Looks like I’m slipping back into posting more or less daily, heh. Take that as a sign I’m doing a little better
Let’s get the big one upfront: I finished my second Japanese book today! Zoo 2 is finished! I once again wrote a somewhat detailed review on Natively. TLDR, I loved some of the humor and concepts, but it’s overall weaker than Zoo 1 and the inconsistency in difficulty makes it a hard recommend for learning. I have so many things I’d like to do that I’m not even sure if I’m going to launch right into another book (I’ll be reading Summer Pockets as close to daily as possible regardless), but if I do… the path of least resistance would be to try Goth, what seems to be everyone’s favorite Otsuichi book. Then definitely finally reading someone else, if I do opt for one more by him, haha.
I also read Summer Pockets, but only about 2000 characters today from a combination of being more busy and shifting a little time over to finishing up Zoo 2. It’s been fun. Just 2 quick observations to share:
There are harder sentences in this VN, but again, after finding 限り kind of a difficult concept in the past, it made me happy to get through this sentence without much issue.
Also, a character brought up 名字ランキング, which I had to look up to see exactly what they meant by ranking names. Turns out, as I had suspected, it’s about the most common surnames. And going by this website, it seems Summer Pockets was indeed correct when it listed the top 4 most common across Japan, haha.
Feeling great about this again, can’t wait for the return of the challenge proper
I kinda finished another route today? (you were just in time @Daisoujou, I got “to be continued”-ed basically right after where I was ) So yeah I started another one and went a completely different direction, and it’s been fun! Honestly the hardest part was some of the puzzles, not the language
Woo VLR things
Yeah so the route I got cut off on wasn’t going super well, as it turns out ディオ was definitely not the only killer which I had a feeling was the case, but considering he very much got killed there’s absolutely more going on there so who knows! Plus his bangle being destroyed, and 四葉 and 天明寺 still MIA, rough all around, so we’ll see how I can maybe fix that in the future
Schroedinger’s cat huh… I get the distinct feeling this will come up again haha. シグマ keeps accidentally saying にゃ which is funny and cute but I also don’t trust Zero Escape to not make this an angsty backstory thing somehow I also have a feeling this will end up being used with the like recovery pods which… yikes, that’s a prospect
I still have very little idea what’s actually going on big-picture, but I’ve had a decent track record with crackpot theories so I’ll throw one out there: so something’s clearly up with ファイ, she knows too much and she uses a lot of weird old words, and apparently she was also kidnapped on 12/25, when シグマ was, but I’m suspecting maybe not the same 12/25…? I think she might’ve been in like cryo-sleep or something for a while, idk any details obviously but that’s my current guess
Hmm I’m thinking about K again too, I’m always suspicious with characters where their faces are specifically kept from us it was true with サンタ’s sister, I suspect it’ll be relevant again. Also whatever experiment ruined his whole childhood is definitely relevant, I’m sure I’ll find out more later on
Ahhh the spring challenge approaches!! I’ll have to get set up soon, very exciting
I struggled with this so much on the first book I read and I used the obi strip that came with the book as a bookmark which really helped. I’m surprised how quickly I’ve got used to it now and my eye goes to the right column about 80% of the time now!
Chapter 40 of Yotsuba today! I’ve been looking forward to reading this chapter since the last one ended on a bit of a cliffhanger
Only one chapter left in this volume. I was tempted to read it tonight, but its almost midnight already so I probably shouldn’t!
Yeah they’re definitely more elaborate overall, I was doing the cabin area and I’m way too stubborn to not go for the gold files but absolutely no combination that made sense to me was working I got there eventually though lmao
Woo more VLR! I… have more questions than ever Still going well though!
Oh man VLR
Hmm as you would expect, playing a different route gives you very different information But like are we on the moon?? Hello?? シグマ’s what, prediction? Memory? Who knows
It seems like everyone’s having memory issues, based on all the headaches, and maybe also these situations where one person remembers the other and not the other way around? 四葉 might just be keeping secrets, idk why 天明寺 would know her though
I read chapter 41 of Yotsuba today, finishing off Volume 6
Today was a rough day at work, so a chapter of Yotsuba being adorable was a good way to de-stress a bit!
Her happy face at the bottom of page 181 after successfully using the drill to drill a hole was just perfect.
I mean looking at his clothes it seems obvious, but wild.
I’m still very suspicious of クォーク, and 天明寺 is doing nothing but making it worse lmao. He’s so sketchy about all of it?? Like he won’t tell how they know each other, he had a whole thing about how it’d be normal for クォーク to be in elementary school, implying he’s not?? Plus クォーク got really weird I think after talking about schroedinger’s cat or the virus or something, idk there’s definitely something up with him
It is now bedtime so I can play some more in the morning
Started Volume 7 of Yotsuba today. Chapter 42 was a lovely nostalgic chapter for me as I remember making a string phone when I went to a friends house when I was little and using it to whisper messages to each other with her at the top of the stairs and me at the bottom just like this
But the ending though, ファイ!! Bro!! I said I learned after K betrayed me but clearly I didn’t, she played me so hard It’s really true, she never promised huh. But like what did I do to her? Clearly she remembers something that current シグマ does not but like oof. It’s probably related to these “premonitions” he’s been having, they’re probably more like memories but I’m not entirely sure how to reconcile that. We shall see
I did also get bored in between classes, and I guess I had mysteries and also @pocketcat’s 推し on the brain so I went on aozora bunko started messing with 怪人二十面相 I am truly a chaotic mess huh. But I figured out how to use yomichan with it so it’s actually really nice, I’m very intrigued by the bit I’ve read! Love a good mystery
Finished reading Avan vol 4. I think the neat part of it is that Hadler is very much like his part in the dai anime, so that makes his lines easier to read (because I know that voice). Tried to not look up that much words and I could understand most of it just fine. Been seeing some grammar pop up I’ve been recently learning so that was kinda nice. The new volume will be released sometime in July, so that will be a treat after the jlpt exam is over I’m sure.
With that being said, the winter challenge is over. I read something everyday for the past 90 days. For the coming days and months I’m actually not sure if I’ll keep it up, but I’m sure I’ll have new challenges to face. By overcoming these challenges it definitely gets easier to read the stuff at your level and gain the confidence to read a bit beyond my own level and expand upon that. Past me would be amazed at what I’m doing right now and maybe be satisfied enough to be able to read native material, of course it is not enough and there’s still much to be learned.
Alright, tomorrow the Spring challenge will start, so here is my final report for March to finish off the (extended) Winter challenge!
My Japanese friend somewhat fell off the 大聖堂 bandwagon (because he went to Japan, so that’s totally forgivable), so I also stopped reading for the time being as I’m reading faster (in Japanese) than him (in English) anyways. Instead, I continued to read 沖で待つ which is comprised of three short stories. The first two stories I got along very well with, but the third story is entirely written in hiragana which slowed me down considerably in the beginning. Also, the story is written in a style very similar to old children’s stories (it actually very much reminds me of the Ogawa Mimei stories we read in the beginner’s book club) and it feels a bit rambly and pointless, so not yet clear what to make out of it. But I already feel that I get more and more used to parsing the hiragana and being able to pick out the sentence parts more quickly. Will finish this off first thing in April!
In between I felt the urge to finish one of my long-standing manga, 青の島と猫一匹 vol. 3. I started this a long time ago but then put it on the backburner for some reason… pulled it out again and finished it in two days. Sweet story, as always! Plus I love the Seto inland sea, and the landscape images are gorgeous.
After this quick success, I decided that I should finish Death Note before the book club ended, so I read the second half of chapter 1 and all the rest of the volume in 6 days, which allowed me to finish one day before the book club ended
I thought that maybe I was heading towards a manga streak and pulled the next unfinished one out of the box: 聖お兄ちゃん. I reread the first two chapters (and got along much much better than the previous time around, who would’ve thought ) but then my streak ended as a (non-manga) book called for my attention: 雲をつかむ話。This book is written by a Japanese author who lives in Berlin, so that’s interesting for me in and of itself, and I wanted to read some of her works at some point anyways. As it happened, the first chapter of this book was picked by the German-Italian-Spanish online reading circle which took place last Saturday, and so I read this first chapter last week in order to prepare for the meeting. I loved the author’s writing style and way of storytelling, and I’m planning to read the rest of the book after I finished my fight with the hiragana.
The funniest anecdote from the reading circle was that one of the other participants in one of my discussion groups lives in my town We got in touch afterwards, and we’re planning to meet in real life at some point. Excite!
So that was my journey through the “break” () month of the winter challenge! It was great fun, and I’ll hopefully see you tomorrow in the Spring challenge thread
I read chapter 43 of Yotsuba today - as always it was very cute and funny. However, Yotsuba says わかっぱ a few times instead of わかった, and I’m not sure whether thats her mispronouncing it, or a joke of some sort since she seems to think its funny, and the other characters react with things like なにそれ！？
It didn’t seem important to the story, so after a bit of time spent trying to google it I decided move on and just enjoy the story instead of fretting over it!
I guess this is my final post in this thread since the Spring Challenge starts tomorrow!
During March I finished:
The Way of the Househusband - Volume 2
Yotsuba - Volume 4-6
Which brings my total books read in Japanese to 13 so far this year. Thats more than I read in the entirety of last year, so I’m really pleased.
I also managed to read a chapter of a light novel for the first time, which feels like a huge step for me!
Thanks everyone for your continued support, despite the challenge actually ending a month ago
Did a double take at this because I saw someone had reviewed it on Natively the other day and thought it was you for a moment just now! But that is not your user Seeing as they mention the Akutagawa prize, assuming this is part of that book club?