Played some more Zero Escape today! Shocking, I know I’m still very much early enough in the game where I don’t really have any idea what’s going on, so very curious to see what happens. I have many questions and basically no answers haha. One difference from a Japanese standpoint is that there’s definitely more dialectal/role speech type stuff in VLR than there was in 999; it’s still not like a crazy amount, but it’s there for sure. ファイ and 天明寺 (is that how you write his name? I can’t remember lmao rip) are the worst offenders, and then ディオ’s just aggro but like… really aggro Still generally manageable though for sure, dialogue is so much faster to read oh man.
I also read a couple pages of 風つよ between classes! Definitely haven’t been very consistent with novels in the Zero Escape times, but it’s nice to check in sometimes Altogether a pretty good day!
Ahhh congrats!! (10 months woah, you are powerful )
Whaaaaat, nooo… how could you have possibly guessed ah, predictable Natalie is predictable lmao
999 responses :o
Ahhh yay!! That’s so fun, I’m glad you’re enjoying it! Having a good text extractor is definitely super helpful
Ooooh yeah that’s really neat, I love that kind of thing! I remember feeling super cool doing that puzzle
lmao we love Santa, what a guy very on brand
Honestly?? Like I don’t know where he got these like shredded fabric scraps, but it’s a vibe
Omg I love that, that makes it so much better immediate branding of “no I promise I’m not an idiot, I’m Santa obviously”
Wow I think that went over my head completely before, 紫's brand of nonsense is strong
Just checking in lightly to say I’m up to page 23 in 透明カメレオン! I think I’m getting used to the author’s way of writing
As for the story:
It’s just the intro so there’s no drama yet. Basically, the main character is a man who has a wonderful voice without a face to match. They’re just talking about how little luck he has with women, and his job as a radio personality.
This is really good advice, thank you. I think I’m leaning towards trying a light novel. I’ve got the fear a bit because although I successfully read one last summer, I had so much more time on my hands then than I do now. But that was nearly a year ago and I’ve made a lot of progress since then. In reality the grammar of a light novel is probably no harder than a kids book so it’s really just the kanji that could scupper me.
Light novels can be quite hard actually So far as I know it’s basically just the Young Adult (aimed at middle and high school) category in Japan, but with a larger adult audience and its own set of tropes. High school students can understand quite a lot of tricky grammar, they’re just less likely to be writing in what I’d call prose, but that doesn’t mean archaic nonsense, keigo for effect, dialects and the like won’t be present.
As a quick, concrete example, a light novel I read, 夏へのトンネル is rated a 32 on Natively (3 people have finished, I’m not the sole grader) and I personally consider it significantly harder than novels like コーヒーが冷めないうちに (29) or 世界から猫が消えたなら (29) which I’ve also read.
Indeed The “light” bit does not mean “easy in terms of grammar and sentences” but instead “non-deep in terms of contents” (some people might call it “pulp” actually). A pretty hard light novel is e.g. Spice and Wolf which is rated 36 on Natively; it contains a lot of advanced grammar and economy-related vocabulary. The Advanced book club is currently reading 薬屋のひとりごと which is also rated 36 on Natively and which also contains a lot of difficult vocabulary, from what I’ve heard.
Of course there are also light novels that are easy to read. Just please don’t take that for granted
If you want to, I say go for it! The worst that can really happen is you try reading something and you’re like “actually nevermind, let me read something else” Yeah light novels are really situational like others are saying, but if there’s something you want to read you never really know how it’ll go until you try! I know some of my best experiences have been with media I thought was probably way out of my depth but I had tons of fun with regardless, and I’ve definitely grown a lot from those.
Anyway my point here is really there’s nothing to be afraid of! It’s not like you have anything to lose really, you can always change your mind
Oh don’t worry I’m aware of that. The one I’ve got to hand - ぼくは明日、昨日のきみとデートする - is a romance novel so I’m hoping there will be a certain amount of predictability to the contents! The book I read last summer, the main character was a cafe owner who had a cat and to be honest I could pretty much guess what was coming next with in the cat sections. Oh you’ve gone into the bath for some quiet time? Good luck with that…
I would say that the kids books I’ve been reading haven’t been any less complex grammatically. I struggle most with direct speech and casual speech and they have a lot of those. Plus long sentences just in hiragana can be pretty exhausting to try to make sense of. I would say the main difference is not so much in the grammar itself but how much the author spells things out for the reader, which is why they’ve been so easy for me to read.
Chapter 38 and 39 of Yotsuba today. I enjoyed trying to read Yotsuba’s handwriting in chapter 38
Also chapter 39 ended on a cliffhanger, so it was really hard to make myself not carry on and read the next chapter!
Yayyy more Zero Escape Things are starting to get wild, or at least hint at things that will definitely be a big deal later. Very interesting
The like fundamental mechanics are definitely different than 999! We’re out here doing prisoner’s dilemmas, I can already see how that’ll get messy fast oh man. Some the dynamics are already getting rough… the whole thing with ディオ and クォーク and 天明寺 oof. Like I really don’t trust ディオ much, have you met him? But idk… it seems like kind of a specific lie… maybe クォーク’s crafty
Also ファイ’s super caught in time loop or something, idk what’s going on with her but she absolutely knows too much, very curious
Something else I noticed, though I’m not sure if it’s actually anything? シグマ doesn’t like… exist? Like in the group shots when it zooms out and shows everyone, like when ゼロ’s talking, he’s just… not there. I don’t think he’s actually been visually depicted in the present day at all so far, so I guess I’ll see if that means something
Anyway Zero Escape’s been fun as always! I’m definitely intrigued to see where it goes
Not a virus ah how times change. Not them maybe being in like quarantine, wild
But no I’m starting to get real Danganronpa vibes from like… the worldbuilding? Which is concerning to say the least They were talking about how they don’t know what day it is, they all got kidnapped on different days, and how long were they out for? And then this:
@natarin Nothing specific to add, but I’m loving the VLR updates.
@lucylavelle Love to hear about you enjoying Yotsubato too. That was one of the first things I read and it’s just so sweet and delightful. You’re making great progress through it!
Wanted to pop in again mostly just to share an interesting discovery. I’m a couple days into my third route. Ao (蒼) this time. She didn’t seem like one of the more appealing characters from the beginning to me, but I’ve been kind of chaining between characters as they stand out in each other’s routes. She’s probably one of the most outgoing well known characters on the island so she has some connection in both routes I’ve done so far, and usually is rather helpful. Figured it was time to see what her situation is. As usual, new routes slow me down considerably. The effect is always more dramatic than I expect. It’s that hard restart wall. Late in a route I’ll be smoothly reading 6000+ characters before even hitting like 20 suitable words to mine, then when I start over I’m having to cut myself off when I’m already at or above that in like 2000 characters, and hitting my soft minimum target of 5000 characters itself takes like 2 hours and I just barely reach it while really wanting a break. The new words, they are everywhere.
So, the aforementioned discovery. I had my first case in a while of “what in the world is this I’m looking at” that I had to throw into an internet search, haha. And what that was, was an (all hiragana) mispronunciation of 生麦生米生卵.
For anyone unaware, this is apparently a well known tongue twister in Japanese! Here’s a video I found of someone demonstrating it and a few others. I find this not very hard, but those others, oof. Edit: Well of course I’ve spent too much time practicing the persimmon one and I’m kind of good at it now, haha. Really don’t want to touch the patent office one right now though!
I’ve also in the last 2 days come across two grammar points that are allegedly N1: がてら (at the same time) and a use of という with the same noun (as 壁という壁) which took me way too much searching to find, but seems to just be a way of expressing all or every. Always feels good to be getting a first exposure to these “high level” grammar points.
I started reading 夜カフェ with the Beginner Book Club today, which I’ve been really looking forward to but have also been a little nervous about.
So far every attempt I’ve made to read a light novel, or short stories has been a real struggle and I’ve given up pretty quickly. I don’t know whether its just from many years of only reading horizontal text, but I’ve been finding it really hard to read vertically.
I keep losing my place - especially when I need to look away from the book regularly to look up words!
But I mentioned this to a friend recently and he suggested I try using a reading ruler to help me keep my place, so I bought one to try…and it worked.
It still took me quite a long time, but I made it through the whole first chapter.
Something I’ve really noticed is, when doing a difficult thing like this, even the presentation can matter a lot. I think I lucked out that when I was doing simple graded readers, enough of those were vertical to give me a taste of how that worked. Even still, I think I’ve found games and visual novels approachable because even though it’s all the same, the ones I’ve been reading hide most of the text and just give it to you line by line. Then on the other hand, while it’s not exactly the same issue with vertical reading, I think I’m only now, while nearing the end of my second book, starting to get over the quick shock at just being confronted with a full page of Japanese characters, haha. Really glad to hear you’ve found something that helps! Moving to a light novel is a really big step!
Wellll, I finished my first playthrough of VLR today Honestly wild? I think the routes are generally shorter than the ones in 999 (there’s just a billion of them lmao), but like… it still only took like twelve hours? Looking back at 999 where I was twelve hours in and just learning everyone’s codenames So if I wanted proof that I’ve improved, there it is! I’m a decent ways into my second playthrough too so… I only started a few days ago and I’ve already almost finished two routes? Growth
Time to scream about VLR
I have complicated feelings about K so how better to start than with a cute goof:
He had such so much fun riding the nightmare bunny, precious :’) (and writing this with the context of at least some of his backstory I’m realizing how sad this actually is, zero escape pulls no punches ever huh)
But yeah my first ending was an absolute failure, I’m too kind and trusting K absolutely blindsided me, I guess I don’t get to be naive and innocent in zero escape anymore lmao. But after doing that, I immediately ended up in at least a route where you get blasted with K’s angsty backstory and like dude?? It’s pretty messed up, and I’m sure connected to the nonary games in ways I don’t know yet but man… rough
I was also absolutely blindsided by ルナ and アルス getting killed, idk why really but somehow I was not prepared for it at all, if anything I thought it’d be クォーク but nope, even more unanswered questions
And last but not least ディオ… he is clearly involved in some things, probably the same secret organization or whatever 四葉 refuses to talk about? But like as aggro he is, I don’t get the sense he would have killed that lady for her bangle and messed with the game like that without a good reason. All the characters are like “you can’t trust him!” and sure maybe not, but idk, I don’t think he’s up to anything bad actually (as shocking as that is lmao)
Glad to provide, I have to outlet my chaos and anguish somewhere I’m glad to hear Summer Pockets is still going well too! We love a random N1 grammar point, Zero Escape has been pretty good for those as well haha
Ahh congrats, I’m glad it’s going well! A whole book chapter in a day is an accomplishment in and of itself I definitely get the vertical text struggle too, it’s an adjustment for sure! But hey, what better way to get used to it than reading yeah?
Yeah the structure is a bit different this time, you’ll see if it hasn’t been made clear yet, but you’re meant to be switching over to other routes a little more than them being a long thing the way 999’s were. Nonetheless, I don’t mean to diminish anything! They still aren’t short. You really do sound like you’re moving at an impressive pace!
Finding my place on the page had been my biggest problem when first I started reading novels. It sometimes took longer to find where I left off than to read the whole page itself. I read ebooks, so I would sometimes remember to highlight the last word I read, but not always. I’m happy to say that with enough exposure this problem goes away completely, and I now find it quite natural to quickly scan a page to find where I was, or even to find a relevant passage that I remember reading several pages back.
The horizontal bookmark is such a genius idea for paperbooks! Other than highlighting, a trick one might use in digital books is to change the screen orientation to landscape. The vertical lines will then be much shorter, and more in line with our horizontal reading experience where we get many shorter lines instead of a few long ones.