February 13 update:
Read chapter 20 of よつばと！ today. Quite unusually for this mange, the chapter ended in a cliffhanger – not a dramatic one, but still, I barely stopped myself from peeking I’m wondering whether the Jumbo-Asagi situation is going to be resolved any time soon, because it has been drawing a lot of focus lately.
Yeah, it was something like “UFO detection.” I guess a lot of the more complex words are on the less useful side, because even if they don’t have a more common equivalent, I don’t think they get used all that often. But in this case is can also be quite hilarious
Wow, that’s quite a feat! Did you know all the constituent kanji when you read it?
(I just looked it up again, and there’s just one kanji that I don’t know – and even that one I’ve certainly seen before… I guess it just looked too scary )
Oh that’s awful! I hope it’s fixed soon, and you can stay warm
I adored that chapter, but it’s an early reminder of just how often uncommon words are going to pop up EVERYWHERE, haha. Commonly recommended beginner manga? Here’s a chapter on global warming right away. Also wow, I just learned 暖 this level so I finally can read all of that! Thanks for that reminder, that’s cool; I remember it being terrifying before.
Summer Pockets: ~2300 characters, ~190 lines, a little over an hour. This is a pretty steady pace for me now, and about the time it takes to grab somewhere in the 20-25 words mined zone that I shoot for (I’m good at dumping problems onto future-Daisoujou so it’s always hard to stop mining words hah).
Today was fun! I had another choice of where to go without つむぎ available so I went to the shrine, and it was just a tiny opportunity to donate some money. Wonder what that’s about . Then we hung out and began plans to umm… build a veranda out of not-Pringles cans.
I certainly do appreciate highbrow literature. This led to lots of little encounters together with more of the cast which are always a highlight. Another memorable thing was the VN using furigana for the first time ever, on 盛者必衰 (じょうしゃひっすい), a Buddhist expression apparently from the Humane King Sutra meaning “even the prosperous inevitably decay.” I kinda love the juxtaposition of that with not-Pringles can nonsense.
Zoo 2: 2 days and I’m already at 9% and page 18, which is great for me. It’s still a little tougher because there are two old men now, but the story has a lot of dialogue which makes for more gaps in the pages, and also I’m just having a great time reading it, so I’ve been going as long as my stamina allows. This has blown past horror into absolute slapstick nonsense.
A slightly spoiler-y discussion of the first Zoo 2 story
So, this guy who lost the ability to feel pain wakes up to realize he’s covered in blood, and soon realizes there is a knife in him, while he’s somewhat isolated at a mountain vacation home with a few family members and his elderly (95 years old!) personal doctor. And then it’s just absurdity after absurdity. The whole family is either incompetent from freaking out or just outwardly like “Hooray, he’s dying; let’s take his things!” The doctor’s shaky hands can’t properly operate with the rusty scalpel he brought, and he lost the blood he brought specifically for this purpose. So this guy is just sitting around, knife is his side, blood constantly leaking out of him, while everyone around him is doing everything short of falling over on banana peels or talking about how excited they are.
Reading is fun! Coolest new word is 都市伝説 (としでんせつ), urban legend. Very self explanatory kanji there.
Finished volume 8 of Honzuki light novel series That was fun, from the prologue all the way to the end. Definitely felt like I was reading faster today.
I started this book three weeks ago, hoping I could balance the other books I was reading as well, but I kinda got stuck in the Saikawa&Moe book while Kagami no Kojou felt a bit heavy thematically for me. I’ll definitely get back to both of those.
Though I’m a biiiit behind in one of the book clubs (three weeks behind? ), I’m happy that I spent time on Honzuki too. Enjoyed it a lot
Time spent: 10 min
Today’s color: 薄香 (うすこう) - kind of a light beige-y color
Dyeing clothes with clove gets you this color (and some good-smelling clothes)
色味 (いろみ) - shade; tone; tinge; hue; color; tint
丁子 (ちょうじ) - clove
香木 (こうぼく) - fragrant wood; aromatic tree
常緑高木 (じょうりょくこうぼく) - tall, evergreen tree
熱帯 (ねったい) - tropics
珍重 (ちんちょう) - prizing; valuing highly; esteeming
Time spent: 6 min
Today’s reading was about ダイヤモンドダスト and how pretty and 幻想的 it is (I like this word - 幻想的 [げんそうてき] - fantastic; magical; wondrous; whimsical; fairytale-like; romantic). It can be written in kanji as 細氷 (さいひょう).
What else did I read?
Amount read: 8 pages
Time spent: 38 min
Oh nooo, now we’re on seals I love seals D: I think I say that about every sea creature lol but it’s true, I love them all
This is probably the cutest thing I have seen today: orcas holding baby seals
Today I finished the main story and the epilogue of ティアムーン帝国物語 2!!! I’m done! Whoo!! I feel very accomplished, haha. This was my second book in Japanese, and it was definitely easier than the first one (which was ティアムーン帝国物語 1).
Thoughts on the Reading Process
There were still a LOT of lookups even though book 2 was easier overall, ahaha. About 10 per page on the harder chapters, 8 per page on the easier ones. I have a high lookup tolerance and a low tolerance for dealing with ambiguity, so… lots of lookups (often of the same words ahaha). But anyway, hopefully book three has less unknown stuff. I know the author’s writing style, regularly used expressions, etc. which is quite nice. I might not start book three for a few days though.
Oh it’s me, looking up every unknown word I ever see
I’m glad it’s not just me
Thank you! It’s a very fun, light series. I’ve read it in English before and I loved it so much I started rereading it in Japanese after I’d only read a grand total of 1 - yes, 1 - volume of manga. (The first volume was a bit of a slog, as you might imagine, haha.) But I would highly recommend the series to people who are fans of the rebirth genre and like funny, heartwarming stories.
Fighting a similar battle here. The boiler is malfunctioning and we have been freezing here at times. Unfortunately, every time we get a technician out here the boiler is performing flawlessly. It’s malfunctioning again tonight. Leaving it off for a couple hours seams to have reset the boiler into a working order but the temp dropped a lot.
I was having a pretty easy time with it for the first 30 pages. Got to a section, on Thursday, that appears to be mixing time/location/reality, spent an hour reading and re-reading the same 3 pages before switching to an episode of Terrace House Aloha State (JA subs). I’ll come back to reading it again soon.
Update February 10-13
10: 聲の形 3 pages, over and over again. Terrace House Aloha State
11: それでも歩は寄せてくる chapter 47. Terrace House Aloha State
12: それでも歩寄せてくる chapter 48. 極主夫道 chapter 12.
13: 極主夫道 chapter 13. Wiki entry for 樂焼, raku-yaki.or.jp , and this site.
Alright, today was more normal I read some more ヴァニタス手記! I’ve been enjoying it a lot, actually; it’s absolutely gorgeous. There’s so much detail in basically every single panel, it’s wild. Honestly, I didn’t tend to read a whole lot of manga before I started studying Japanese (I generally stuck to anime and only really picked up manga if I really enjoyed a show and wanted more), but I think this might be converting me I just adore the way it’s all laid out, really. (And as gorgeous as it all is there’s still goofs and that’s the best combination)
Difficulty-wise, ヴァニタスの手記 is… strange lmao. Like 90% of the time it’s pretty simple, few to no lookups, not very dense, etc. but the other 10%? Oh boy, it hits with a vengeance I’ll be vibing just reading along no issue and suddenly I’m like “woah, what even are any of the words you just said”
All in all, I’m really glad I decided to give it a go! I expected it to be lot… weightier? of a read than it is, but it’s mostly just slow because I’m looking at all the pretty backgrounds
I have words today!
失念 - forgetting, lapse of memory
爆睡 - fast asleep (like “crashed,” I love this lmao)
居合わせる - to happen to be present
もみ消す - to stub out, to cover up, to suppress
伯爵 - count, earl (bc we’re in ~France~)
礼儀知らず - rude, mannerless
名を騙る - to impersonate someone, to go under a false name
Oof spot on yes I’ve looked up this same conjunction variation like three times this session for no reason, and? I’ve gotta make sure I know One day I’ll have faith in my memory maybe
Day 2 - February 13
1 episode of Shirokuma Cafe with Japanese subtitles.
Couldn’t find the time/energy to crack open a manga today, but I read the subtitles for a whole episode, so… good enough haha. Wasn’t the most in-depth reading since I watched it straight through without stopping to look things up, but I understood a surprising amount, and the pacing was really beginner friendly. I actually enjoyed it which was nice. Previously I’ve tried watching K-ON (which didn’t have subtitles and is now no longer on Netflix :/) and Mitsuboshi Colors, but I just really don’t enjoy ‘cute girls doing cute things.’ I’ll be glad when I can start watching sports anime and more complex slice of life stuff.
I’ve been at the challenge for a whole month now! Missed one day during our holiday trip, but I’m actually glad I managed to keep up otherwise. I definitely would have missed many more days if it wasn’t for the challenge.
Reading material wise I finished all the side stories of 時をかける少女 on February 11th (or was it the 10th?), so that book is officially finished now <3
Some final thoughts (major spoilers!) on 時をかける少女
To be honest, I was pretty disappointed about the latter half of the book. The first half was more action packed than I thought (so much so, that it caught me off guard) and the latter half was the complete opposite. Everything was basically resolved in one to two big and long dialogues and all that happened in between was “going to school”. I don’t necessarily mind dialogue focused story telling but it just felt a little weird?
The first half felt like setting up the time/space leaping as a system… then in the second half there’s the whole storyline “he’s a person of the future and there are these cool/weird science things in the future” (explaining time leaping and other stuff) which felt a bit like setting up another system… but then nothing happens with those systems and the story is just over?
To me it felt a bit like I had played through a game tutorial explaining all the game systems to me, but then the main game was cut. There seemed to be so many possibilities and stories that could have been told with those systems but then just nothing happens. I guess that’s why I’m a fan of longer series, because they can play more with different aspects of the world they set up.
Oh well, overall it was still a fun ride! And in a way it’s also just cool how I can experience this in a language I sometimes think I barely understand
Sooo what’s coming now? I’m currently trying to catch up to the デスノート book club and once I do I’ll have to decide. I still have another volume of 黒魔女さんが通る on my kindle (I think the Cinderella one, so volume 4) so that’s pretty likely I guess?
Wholeheartedly agree with everything you said! The other members of the book club also generally thought along the same lines iirc. And no, I don’t think this is due to it being a standalone (short) book! We have read standalone books (200 - 300 pages) in the Intermediate book club, and they were amazing and well-balanced and interesting and everything. I think 時をかける少女 is just an example of a bad author.
I agree with the discussion above but admit that I kind of put that down to it being a kids’ book. I absolutely recommend it to people as it’s hard to find a book with more accessible language that even gets close to a normal book plot. It’s imperfect but it acts as a good gateway book, I suppose.
Today’s reading was 「鵜の目鷹の目」とは？意味・読み方・類語・英語【使い方や例文】 | Meaning-Book
They compared the phrase to the English expression ‘eagle eyes’ and saying someone has ‘eager eyes’ but I’m not sure sure either of those actually fit that well after reading their explanation and example sentences using the idiom. It seems to carry a more negative meaning and imply fault finding which the English expressions do not.
Just finished reading volume 7 of Spy x Family. My phone was charging upstairs today so I read without looking up anything on phone during reading, afterwards I went over some spots again when it was fully charged. This volume has a nice variety of different stories, for one continuing where volume 6 leaves things off and having a bit of a Damian focus, before leading up to the next big arc. This put me a bit in a weird spot as a new arc has started, but I looked through volume 8 and it stops mid fight. So rather than jumping right in, I think it’s probably better to pause it till volume 9 releases. I can’t find much about the release schedule, except a line on the shonenjump+ website that lists it on april 4.
Anyway I made some pics you can look through in the details below.