I’m so grateful for this challenge. I’ve read にゃんにゃん探偵団, a book that I brought back from Japan many years ago and hadn’t even opened yet.
Thank you @windupbird!
I am astonished at what I can read. I remember slogging through しろくまカフェ (had fun reading it though). I dropped 魔女の宅急便, I found my bookmark at page 18… And now I’m reading 世界から猫が消えたなら.
Thank you @sycamore!
Summer Pockets has been increasingly wild, which I’ll briefly cover in a spoiler section.
The game is really going all in with implying that stuff about her being from another time that I mentioned before. Half my reading today was the protagonist searching for her as she increasingly goes missing, and where I left off, she almost disappeared before his eyes. I expected nothing of the sort so I’m having fun. I guess I should’ve known better than to think it’d all be straightforward normal occurrences.
Still, the game made characters endearing enough that I kind of miss the fun times! Read ~6200 characters and 620 lines in, I dunno, a couple hours probably. I need to remind myself that I’m much more comfortable with Japanese sentence structure overall than I thought I even could be, despite just how regularly I get caught out by small bits I don’t properly notice, those little one hiragana bits that sometimes drastically change the meaning of everything before them. It’s an upward trend I’m sure. I just have to fight off that feeling of “Yomichan sure is good at Japanese” when every other sentence has words I don’t know, haha. I get that it’s hard to wrap your head around how big languages are, but the new words feel so inexhaustible. I’m having fun reading so it’s fine, but it’d make me happy if I needed a little less help than I do.
Late as usual but gotta mark the end of the challenge some time right? I’ve just been alternating reading a chapter from PokeSpe and 恐怖授業転生 every day the last few days but that means I’m at least getting 15~20+ pages in per day.
I have to say, I feel a little disappointed until I look back at my home post and notice that my original goal was to just read the １０分で読める series (and probably only two of them at my previous pace). But once I switched over to reading books and a bit higher level manga, I realize I’ve accomplished a lot more than I intended to. I finished 3 manga volumes (if you count the days I read in March) and halfway into one more. I’m also halfway into one book and am probably ready to start a new one in the next challenge. If I can read a full book (probably キノの旅) and finish 夜カフェ in the next challenge, I’ll be really pleased.
Thanks to those who’ve organized this challenge for the past few seasons! You’re doing a great service to many people on here! Thanks also to those who share some really interesting info in their updates whether it’s the content from their readings or the new words they’ve encountered. All of it was enjoyable to read, and I also got a nice list of texts to check out later.
Red meets Erika who is interestingly another upper class lady similar to Kasumi and also the gym leader. She requires Red to find an Eevee before she is willing to accept his challenge. He later enlists Masaki’s help, and they’re able to find one with his gadgets. The Eevee they find is unlike other Pokemon as it’s able to change typing by using its ears to identify the enemy Pokemon’s type (and changing to the advantageous type as a result). Red realizes that it has a gadget implanted in its ear that allows it to “evolve” freely. After getting knocked out, Red rushes Eevee to Erika to confirm his suspicions.
New Vocab & Kanji
名家 めいか distinguished family; good family; reputable family
対して たいして for; in regard to; per
バカンス holidays; vacation
条件 じょうけん condition; term; requirement; qualification; prerequisite
指示 しじ indication; denotation; designation
特徴 とくちょう feature; trait; characteristic; peculiarity; distinction
距離 きょり distance; range; interval
重要事項 じゅうようじこう important matter; matters of weight
覇 は championship; victory
一刻 いっこく a minute; moment; an instant
割り出す わりだす to calculate; to compute
有力 ゆうりょく influential; prominent
判別 はんべつ distinction; discrimination; distinguishing; discernment
機械 きかい machine; mechanism
故障 こしょう breakdown; failure; fault; accident; out of order
探る さぐる to feel around for; to fumble for; to grope for; to search for; to look for
塞ぐ ふさぐ to stand in the way; to obstruct
超特殊能力 ちょうとくしゅのうりょく ESP
恐怖授業転生2 (page 106 of 200 - chapter 7)
Pleasantly surprised that this story was the first in the volume that was enjoyable. I think it helped that I didn’t pay attention to the title before I read, so I didn’t have a moment to really think about the story. When the two twists at the end came, it actually felt surprising. If you’re not a completionist and would rather read the interesting stories from the series, I would suggest skipping directly to this one for vol 2. And don’t read the titles!
New Vocab & Kanji
千里の道も一歩から せんりのみちもいっぽから a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
積み重ね つみかさね pile; accumulation
到達 とうたつ reaching; attaining; arrival
一瞬 いっしゅん instant; moment; for an instant
測る はかる to measure; to weigh; to survey; to time (sound, gauge, estimate)
息抜き いきぬき taking a breather; relaxation; vent hole
発想 はっそう way of thinking; approach
見失う みうしなう to lose sight of; to miss
Pokemon Special 2 (page 91 of 207 - chapter 20)
The Eevee is in pretty bad shape and Red puts it in the machine to restore its energy (but it isn’t turned on?). Masaki finds the experimental plans for Eevee and Red confronts Erika about them using Eevee as an experiment for Team Rocket. Instead of explaining, Erika accepts Red’s challenge and starts the gym battle. All of Red’s Pokemon are at a disadvantage and he leaves it up to Pikachu. Refreshia covers Pikachu in leaves and contains its energy while Erika leaves the arena to approach the machine the holds Eevee. It seems like she’s about to end its life, but she turns on the machine to restore its energy after Pikachu breaks free and attempts to guard Eevee. Erika reveals that she was testing Red, having heard about his accomplishments from Takeshi and Kasumi. She was forced to participate in the experiment, but she didn’t want a part of it anymore and helped Eevee escape. She wanted Red to find it and save it. She also reveals the Elite group of trainers that they’ve organized to oppose Team Rocket. We also see a little preview of Natsume overlooking the scene.
New Vocab & Kanji
改造 かいぞう alteration
珍種 ちんしゅ rare species
形態 けいたい form; shape; figure
戦力 せんりょく ability (to compete); capabilities; valuable asset
勢い いきおい force; vigor; vigour; energy; spirit; life
瀕死 ひんし (on the) verge of death
哀しい かなしい sad; lamentable; deplorable; grievous
確実 かくじつ certain; sure; definite; reliable; sound; solid; safe; secure
息絶える いきたえる to die; to lay down life’s burden
組織 そしき organization; organisation; formation
書類 しょるい document; official papers
入手 にゅうしゅ acquisition; obtaining; procurement; getting (hold of)
保護 ほご protection; safeguard; guardianship; custody; patronage
対抗 たいこう opposition; rivalry; competition; antagonism
精鋭 せいえい elite; best; pick; cream of the crop
実際 じっさい reality; actuality; truth; fact; actual conditions
襲撃 しゅうげき attack; charge; raid
恐怖授業転生2 (page 140 of 200 - chapter 8)
Again, reading the title really helped not to spoil the twist haha. But the ending twist was part dark but mostly sad. Not like a bring you to tears kind of sad, but I felt it was a shame that the protagonist had no choice but to come to that conclusion. Again, nothing special about this chapter, but unlike the first two I read in this volume, after reading it I feel like I want to keep reading. Earlier on I strongly considered dropping it and maybe checking out the book version.
New Vocab & Kanji
幼なじみ おさななじみ childhood friend; friend from infancy; old playmate
教わる おそわる to be taught; to learn; to take lessons in
女優 じょゆう actress; female actor
一妻多夫 いっさいたふ polyandry
抑 そもそも in the first place; to begin with; from the start; originally; ab initio
全寮制 ぜんりょうせい system where all students live in dormitories; residential system; boarding system (e.g. boarding school)
健やか すこやか vigorous; healthy; sound
犠牲 ぎせい victim
Pokemon Special 2 (page 107 of 207 - chapter 21)
Red ends up at the Safari Zone for reasons I can’t remember (I’m not sure they spelled that out either). With the support of the robot Poppo (Pidgey) employed by the Safari Zone Park, he navigates his way and encounters two giant Nidoking that are fighting over a Nidoqueen. He accidentally captures the Nidoqueen and becomes the target of their anger. He’s attacked and chased all over the park. He tries to avoid the robot Poppo so it doesn’t become a target. He manages to save it. Meanwhile the guards in the control center are having a hard time helping him out from their end because technology failed them. Red’s Pokemon are watching worriedly. The last we see of Red is he’s about to be eaten by an Utsubotto (Victreebel). Will he survive digestion?
Two lessons from this story: Don’t mess with Pokemon in heat and Red is such a sweetheart to all Pokemon, even robotic Pokemon. Look at him with the robot Poppo.
観覧 かんらん viewing
くれくれも sincerely; earnestly
決闘 けっとう duel; shoot-out
巡る めぐる to surround
対決 たいけつ confrontation; showdown
最新 さいしん latest; newest; late-breaking (news)
加える くわえる to add; to add up; to sum up; to append; to annex
数分後 すうふんご a few minutes later; after a few minutes
違反 いはん violation; offense; offence; breach; transgression; infringement; contravention
教助隊 きょうじょたい Educational corps
狙う ねらう to be after (something or someone); to have an eye on; to plan to make one’s own
たどり着く たどりつく to arrive at (after a struggle); to finally reach; to find one’s way to; to finally hit on (e.g. an idea)
凶暴 きょうぼう ferocious; brutal; atrocious; savage; barbarous
弾く はじく to repel
闇雲 やみくも reckless; (at) random; haphazard; blind; sudden; abrupt
貴重 きちょう precious; valuable
猛毒 もうどく deadly poison
余よ計 よけい all the more; even more
通信 つうしん correspondence; communication; transmission; news; signal; telecommunications
破損 はそん damage
巻き添え まきぞえ getting mixed up in; getting embroiled in; involvement; entanglement; by-blow
庇う かばう to protect (someone); to look after (e.g. an injured leg); to defend; to cover for; to stand up for; to stick up for
認識 にんしき recognition; awareness; perception; understanding; knowledge; cognition; cognizance; cognisance
見届ける みとどける to make sure of; to assure oneself of; to see with one’s own eyes; to ascertain
恐怖授業転生2 (page 175 of 200 - chapter 9)
This was the most terrifying thing I’ve read in this series and it’s all because of the baby. I mean if you had a baby and you read a story about an an evil demon baby with really frightening illustrations, I don’t you think you’ll be able to sleep at night either. That’s all I have to say. I want to UNSEE that.
The last part of the volume isn’t another story told by the demon girl, but is a series of mini stories that are actually interrelated. Unlike the cutesy tale they ended with in volume 1, this (particularly the images and some of the ideas of encountering frightening things when you turn the lights out) was absolutely TERRIFYING. I swear they did this on purpose to let your guard down “oh hey the stories in this volume are pretty weak, I guess I’ll finish up the rest of the volume since I’m already awake at 2 o’clock in the morning…” I’m here to warn you that is a very bad idea. Oh, and the official title of these stories is roughly translated as “To Give You Goosebumps at Night” and well, they succeeded.
New Vocab & Kanji
付つけっぱなしつ けっぱなし leaving a device on (e.g. TV, air conditioner); leaving something engaged (e.g. a key in a lock)
電気代 でんきだい electric utility expense
節約 せちやく economising; saving
粟立つ あわだつ to have gooseflesh (e.g. from cold or horror)
皆既日食 かいきにっしょく total solar eclipse
現象 げんしょう phenomenon
正午 しょうご noon; midday
軋み きしみ creak; squeak; creaking; squeaking
紛らわす まぎらわす to divert; to distract
飛びおり とびおり jumping off
大人数 おおにんずう large number of people
恐怖授業転生3 (page 42 of 192 - chapter 10)
I went ahead and decided to start the 3rd volume in the series. It started out with a “good” story about the dangers of getting caught up in paid dating. Unfortunately, this is a big problem in Japan. The cases I know tend to involve girls who do it because they have no choice - they’re in a bad place already and need money to get out, but in this story, the protagonist tries to get money fast for poor reasons. Unlike volume 2, this one started out with an entertaining story with a good life lesson similar to volume 1. I hope this volume continues on this pace.
New Vocab & Kanji
稼ぐ かせぐ to earn (income); to make (money)
業種 ぎょうしゅ type of industry
時給 じきゅう hourly pay; hourly wage
神々しい こうごうしい divine; sublime; solemn
交流 こうりゅう exchange (e.g. cultural); interchange; interaction; mingling; mixing; coming together
弾む はずむ to pay handsomely; to splurge; to part eagerly with (money, etc.)
料金表 りょうきんひょう list or table of charges; tariff; price list
振り込む ふりこむ to make a payment via bank deposit transfer
お揃い おそろい matching (clothing); going together
金額 きんがく amount of money; sum of money
交際 こうさい (romantic) involvement; dating
援助 えんじょ assistance; aid; support
援助交際 えんじょこうさい paid dating (esp. with an underage girl; oft. involving selling of sex); compensated dating
項目 こうもく item; heading; category; clause
全財産 ぜんざいさん everything one owns
口座 こうざ account (e.g. bank)
お小遣い おこづかい personal expenses; pocket money; spending money; incidental expenses; allowance
妙 みょう strange; weird; odd; curious
仕上げ しあげ finish; finishing; finishing touches
心理 しんり state of mind; mentality; psychology
合体 がったい union; coalescence; amalgamation; combination; alliance; annexation; incorporation
update: Since I’m late on posting this for the end of February anyway, I’m just going to go ahead and continue into March. It doesn’t sound like a new thread will start for a while either, so until it does, I’ll continue to update here!
Thank you for that recommendation! I’ll probably read it before 獣の奏者 but maybe after キノの旅 because I at least have the full furigana text version. I’ll probably need to level up a bit more on WK before I can truly dig into books without full furigana.
I definitely fell off in the middle of the challenge. All I can say is that FFXIV is a pretty good game. I was barely managing to do my reviews lol. However, I would like to finish the manga I started. Maybe I’ll do a reading log on my own post or just read it on my own. I am thankful for at least starting this challenge. Twenty-one days of reading is still more than the zero days I would have done without it.
I think I’ll wait until I’m a higher level and know more grammar before doing another challenge like this. I don’t want to have to rely on a translator as heavily as I did here.
All in all, another pretty productive month! I didn’t get as much reading done in Spanish as I would have liked, but I did read at least something!
With Japanese, I’m behind on the 大海原と大海原 book club, haha . But I read a fair amount of wrestling recaps and post-match comments! I switched to translating Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling, since DDT got an official translator! Here is my post about the things I was reading, as well as a match recommendation.
All in all, it was fun participating in the challenge, and I think it did give me a little extra incentive to actually read something every day! Weirdly, it helped more with Spanish than with Japanese. I really wanted to be able to post the better check mark instead of just the normal one, so there were a few days where I really pushed myself to get a little more done that day.
I’m tentatively planning on also participating in the spring challenge, though I’ll probably continue hanging around this thread in the meantime. It’s really fun to see what everyone else is up to, and I’ve gotten some great reading recommendations out of this thread! Apologies if you get a notification from me making note of things that I want to read in my study log .
I didn’t really feel up to reading reading but I watched an episode of an anime with Japanese subtitles so close enough I checked out the first episode of 魔入りました！入間くん which I’ve been meaning to for a while, and if it wasn’t just the most delightful time! Definitely an instant mood-booster, I really enjoyed it even though it has some weird fantasy demon-world kinda vocabulary. It’s just… so absurd a wonderful time really.
Anyway I’m almost through a busy week, so hopefully afterward I’ll have more time to dedicate to some good reading!
So…I kind of fell off the wagon with regards to posting for…I’d say…all of February? HOWEVER! I did keep up with reading every day. There were certainly dark times (praise be for past me who followed Japanese Twitter accounts to read through quickly). At the same time, there were highlights. I really impressed myself during those several weeks of pushing my reading to catch up with the Intermediate Book Club. Having said that, I am still behind by a few weeks…
Still, not bad for someone who came in a little late! I’m honestly surprised that I read each day since entering the challenge on the 5th of January. I only remember waking up in a panic once thinking I hadn’t read anything the previous day (and then spent several hours in the morning periodically thinking if that was really true (Turns out it wasn’t. (Why so many parentheses? Gotta chill on using so many…))).
Needless to say, I’ll still continue to read every day, at least until I finally catch up with the club. I want to thank those that continue to put this challenge together each season; this community has truly been a gift. I also want to thank everyone who shared their progress. Despite my own lack of posts, I read through nearly every single one since I joined. What journeys everyone went on! Seeing so many of you grow in your abilities has only lit a fire under my own butt.
If people are gonna keep posting here until the spring, you can bet I’ll keep reading all of them. For those taking a break, enjoy the rest! You earned it. For those continuing through March, keep up the amazing work! Even on difficult days, you’re doing great.
I read my first ever novel in Japanese so for that alone I’m quite satisfied. 君の名は was a cool book, and even though I preferred the movie because I think the visual aspect is just too great, there were things that I really liked in the form of text. It was enjoyable, and I could stay committed everyday for the whole book, so I think that tells a lot.
星の王子さま is kind of another story. As I mentioned several times already, I underestimated this book and the amount of hiragana words broke my motivation sometimes, because it took too long to parse everything. I thought it was going to be easier but it was a bit of a challenge, which is all good but… I think I wasn’t looking forward to reading it too much, and I might just drop it at this point. I’m not sure, it’s undecided. I wasn’t enjoying the process a whole lot. I might keep going, or I might come back to it at some point.
Happy that many new people joined, and that the thread got a lot more attention than the previous ones, which were already very active. And also glad that many of you will stay and/or come back in the next one .
Also happy that my perception has changed from full-completion perfectionism to a read-more-than-usual mindset. Though I won’t lie, there’s still a small corner of my brain that is disappointed I missed 5 days, but it’s getting smaller and smaller each challenge. As I said the other day, I’m starting to see this more as a study log with friends than anything else, and I love it. As many of you, I really like the social aspect of this, and just coming back to see what you all have read or said is enough to make me do the same. It’s the magic of the daily updates, it keeps so many people going it’s so silly. It’s like, everyone is doing their best, I have to do my part, contribute a tiny bit, even though ultimately this is all for ourselves alone.
I’m not sure what I want to do for the next one. I don’t have any physical book apart from 君の名は and 星の王子さま and I’m not sure if I’ll get another one. I’ll look around to see if there’s anything close to 君の名は in level, perhaps a tiny bit harder, that I’d like to read. But as always, something that is so easy for me to keep going is video games, so will most likely do that next again.
I should probably have multiple resources going, so that if I don’t feel like doing something I don’t need to feel bad and do it when I can simply do something else. Reading NHK news when I didn’t feel like reading 星の王子さま was alright, buuuuuut… news aren’t particularly fun, to be honest. When I think of fun, I don’t think of reading a newspaper . It was mostly a way to avoid the discomfort of reading the book, more than genuine interest. So next step, find a few resources I like (again) and rotate them.
Thank you all for the encouragement, participation and fun! These threads as always are a pleasure to be involved in, and they’ve made me read much more than I would do on my own. I completely share @Redglare 's sentiment, quoting:
I’m also really bad at doing things for myself, because if I’m not required to do something, I default to “I’ll do it later” perpetually. I feel like the challenge is a “silly”, artificial type of commitment that my brain surprisingly accepts, and puts the focus on something coming from the outside, instead of something coming from me. It might not be super healthy or sustainable long term, possibly, I don’t know, but as someone who struggles with mental health and anxiety at the moment, I think whatever works is welcome. Whatever drives me and gets me doing things is welcome, even if I’d love to eventually have the drive coming from myself as opposed to an external source. But you have to work with what you can at the moment . And this is what works well for me right now, so hoping to participate in these challenges as they come!
Honestly I keep having all sorts of doubts recently – perhaps disrupting my usual patterns wasn’t the way to go. I’m sticking it out a little more, but I wonder if I’d be best served by staying the course on WK. It’s too soon to even say but I dunno, neuroticism is peaking like crazy. Pretty sure it’s more that than actual learning struggles, so far. I just think generally right now is a stressful time for me and my fiancée so that’s probably just leaking into Japanese. Life is hard sometimes; it’s been tough to relax. I’ll be alright though.
Summer Pockets was fun anyway! I’m going down a rabbit hole of things I didn’t expect and it’s really keeping me hooked, waiting to see what’s coming next. Read ~5500 characters and ~510 lines today. I guess I try to aim for surpassing 5000 at this point if at all possible. That said, I might read again later tonight… I’ve been making efforts to go back to Zoo 2 but this story is just too much. The sentences are long enough to be a grammatical challenge at times on their own, but combined with frequently having 3-4 words I don’t know in a single sentence, it’s exhausting and I’m starting to just not figure it out in the end. I really don’t like the idea of dropping another thing for difficulty so soon after Ace Attorney, but I think I may have to either skip this story (which is the sensible idea but my stubborn mind doesn’t like it) or drop the book entirely for now. Maybe extra SP time would be good for me.
Because I can go places like this and relax a little when the language is beating up on me
Also, as part of my stumbling onto cultural references experience, today I learned about the Namahage. I guess I recognize the demons by sight, but I knew next to nothing about them. The VN even featured the signature line: 泣く子はいねが? so I had to look this up to know what was going on, heh.
Still busyyy but I read some ヴァニタスの手記 so that was fun! I have theories (that I’m sure I won’t find out about for a long time considering I only own the first volume lmao) but yeah still keeping it up! I’m looking forward to having more reading time soon
然るべき - proper, suitable
生け捕り - capturing (someone) alive
殲滅 - extermination, annihilation (bruh that first kanji)
かの - that well-known (person)
刷り込む - to instill (a thought, impression)
Aw yay, very much agree! Definitely gonna have to watch more
Hey last time you did that you ended up with Summer Pockets, so I’d say it worked out! I know it can still be frustrating to drop something, but if you’d have more fun elsewhere then go for it!
I only know a little about him, but Namajague was portrayed by a Japanese wrestler during his stint in the Mexican promotion CMLL, hence, I believe, the spelling of his name. The same guy also portrays El Desperado in New Japan Pro Wrestling, though El Desperado and Namajague are treated as different people, in kayfabe. He used to run different social media accounts for them, even. I’d wondered a bit about the character, haha, but obviously searching for “namajague” only brings up results about the wrestler, and doesn’t really explain the namahage origin!
Sadly, going right back on what I had previously decided, I think I’m going to take a break from posting. My mental and physical health are both tanking – feels like not the place to go into much self-pitying detail so I’ll leave it there. I hope I can keep learning Japanese, if I’ve actually managed to learn much of anything yet.
Thank you so much for the challenge; hope I manage to see you all next time