I’ve only read it in English, but looking at the first volume in Japanese, I’d say that once you feel comfortable reading Yotsuba (understand most of the grammar, few vocabulary lookups), then 僕だけ should be a moderate increase in difficulty, due to more complex topics.
Have you read the series in your native language already? If so, that tends to make it a bit easier to read because you can gloss over unknown parts due to knowing the story/events already, allowing you to focus a bit more on improving reading speed and further building up pattern recognition.
You have nothing to lose by trying it out! Don’t even have to make it through a full chapter, I usually try to break stuff roughly into: “easy”, “moderate”, “challenging but doable”, “not quite yet but soon”, and “too far beyond me to judge difficulty” categories. It doesn’t take thaaaat long of me trying out something new to pretty accurately put it into one of those (couple pages of manga, one or two pages of a book). Just make sure you go back to check if it’s still in the right category every once in a while, you’ll be surprised at how things that seemed impossible magically become manageable after a few months of reading other stuff
Bookwalker previews are great for that purpose if you don’t already own the volumes, but if you have the manga right in front of you, you might as well just take the like 10-15 minutes and give it a shot!
I have seen the anime a while ago so I’m familiar with the story already, that should probably help a bit. So far yotsuba has been a nice experience, there were a few things I did not understand but it was just words and could guess the general idea of the conversation even without those words.
That is a really good idea! I’ll apply it too
Thanks to both of you for the kind words and info I will definitely give it a shot after yotsuba, worst thing that could happen is that I won’t be able to read it and just look for something else instead then come back later.
In today’s story we again follow the pirates from last time. They’re following the treasure map they got previously. On the way they lose one of their party members… Unfortunately my eyes are too tired to read now, so I’ll find out what happened next time.
Just a quick read. I found an article about an unusual car crash on NHK and read that. (Car crashed into restaurant.) And also started reading a new romance novel in English that is pretty enjoyable although it has the modern trope that the woman can get away with being a douche, while if the guy even skates on the edge of it or it could be a douche move but clearly isn’t from him, well he has to apologize and scrap.
I’ve read a lot of romance from 70s, 80s, 90s where the men were douches and the women had to put up with a lot. And it doesn’t get quite that bad, but I’m really not a fan of the trope that only men seems able to be douches and the women are just protecting themselves or something. Basically the women are allowed to get away with a lot of douche behavior (or borderline douche-y), while the men can not.
So that is annoying (could you tell by my need to rant?). Despite that kinda nagging at me, I am enjoying it and I hope the woman also gets to eat craw, otherwise my opinion will probably change.
(Thank goodness for lecture being cancelled today, I really needed a break)
While reading today I encountered the expression 雷におへそを取られる = “the Lightning (God) is going to steal your belly button (so hide it!)”. Seems like kids in Japan are being told this when thunderstorms are roaring outside. But why? According to a weather site there might be two reasons:
Lightning brings cold wind. That’s not good for belly. Must keep warm so you don’t get sick = hide the belly.
When someone is warning you “your belly button will be stolen!” you’ll instinctively bend forward to physically hide your belly with your arms. That’s good! Because the taller objects around you are more likely to get struck by lightning instead
(Weather site: “P.S. When you sense the signs of a thunderstorm coming up, such as the heavy dark clouds, cold wind and roaring thunder in distance, instead of crouching down, let’s evacuate and find shelter at a safe place, yeah?”)
Learning about this expression was fun
Relate ;u; I binged this series during summer holiday, enjoyed it a lot.
Day 13: January 13th
What did I read?: おでかけ子ザメ2
How much did I read?: 8 pages
How long did it take me?: 2 min
I swear one day I’ll be doing real reads again Got bad news today on multiple fronts and still tired from the rest of the week so I’m just not really in the mood tbh. I didn’t even think tiny shark would lift my mood much, but then I opened the book to what may in fact be the cutest chapter in the history of tiny shark.
Look at him He got all muddy, and now he’s getting all clean
What did I read?: にわにはににん
How much did I read?: 7 pages + 5 sentences of あとがき
(Finished 5th Story: 庭師の休日 Started あとがき)
How long did it take me?: 1 h 21 min
Finished the 5th story! One thing I was confused about got cleared up. The gardener (who was also in the prologue) is a friend of the 4th story’s protagonist, which is how he knows about that story’s garden. And the 5th is the last main story of the book, although there’s still the あとがき and an epilogue after it.
Speaking of the あとがき, when I saw there was one in the table of contents, I thought it was going to be one of those scribbly-short-manga-afterwards where the mangaka draws him or herself essentially as a blob with a へのへのもへじ face. And I really like those! It’s fun to get a glimpse at the mangaka’s personality and what their thoughts on their work is. So I was really surprised to see… walls of texts, with just a decorative drawing at the bottom of the 2 pages! D: It’s actually not that bad, but reading prose without the visual aid of drawings feels really different, eheheh. But I’m still very interested in what the mangaka has to say, so I will read it! (ง๑ •̀_•́)ง
It’s also the first time I tried reading earlier in the evening, and I think this is quite a bit better. Now I can maybe do some reading in English in the evenings! I’ve totally pushed that aside since the beginning of this challenge, which I wasn’t really happy with. I’m in the middle of a couple of things and I don’t want to forget too much of what happened and who all the characters are! And a less sleepy brain is probably better for Japanese comprehension anyways, ha, ha!
Ooh, you put にわにはににん on your consideration list! I’ve almost finished it now, and I think I’d recommend it, story-wise. Most of the stories were enjoyable in one way or another, and I really like the art. The stories can be a little open-ended and understated though, so if that isn’t your thing, it might not be right for you.
As I think I mentioned elsewhere, it also has no furigana except on one or two words… But as I’ve been reading through it, I’ve been taking handwritten vocabulary notes, so I could scan those for your use if you’d like? It would be kind of fun for me if someone else read the same book~
ヨコハマ買い出し紀行 and さよなら絵梨 are both on my to-be-read list, so I think they look interesting too, but don’t know what they’re like Japanese-wise. It might be worth mentioning that the 17-21 collection by Tatsuki Fujimoto consists of stories written by him between the ages of 17 and 21, and I’ve heard that as such they’re kind of rough. But if you’re a fan of the mangaka could still be worth checking out, of course! (There’s also a 22-26 one.) I haven’t read it though, so that’s just what I heard.
For other recommendations, there isn’t a lot I can say since I just started reading in Japanese myself this year, but if you’re interested in the other manga I bought in my first Japanese book order, you could check them out here:
True to my word, I’ve deprioritized 天使様 for a bit while I focus on other things like Slow Loop and boy am I having a better time now… The difference between reading something you enjoy for reading practice compared to something you don’t is, unsurprisingly, night and day.
Nonetheless I’ve been randomly nodding off mid-read so I am going to make a concerted effort to fix my sleep schedule as well…
Word of the Day: 蛋白 - protein, egg white. 蛋 is another character we commonly use in Chinese, as chicken egg is 鸡蛋 or 鶏蛋 (we still use 卵 I think but that one is mostly referring to eggs without hard shells, like roe)
I finally had some time to read! But not as much as I’d like. I’m traveling quite a bit in upcoming weeks (for work), with some of it international, so a lot of my free time is being eaten up by prep work.
I’m up through chapter 7 of チュベローズ and might try to sneak in more reading before bed. But also considering putting it to the side for a bit so I can binge it in the airport next week as having good reading material during long waits and even longer plane rides is important. Choices
チュベローズ meta discussion
*looks at bookshelf* I’ve done far worse
But I get what you’re saying about perception. I distinctly remember buying books in Japan in 2019 and the shopkeeper put a privacy cover on one of them automatically Hearing about being judged for reading about 水商売 as a teacher does make me think of some things I’ve heard about/experienced in America. We have our own moral judgements about books. A friend in elementary wasn’t allowed to read Harry Potter because it was about witch craft. I got some very odd looks reading Naked Lunch in my high school’s cafeteria. So many, many banned books. I suspect if teachers in some parts of this country were seen reading something called like “Midnight Passion” or “Waiting for you at the boy brothel” they’d get called out.
For myself, I’m generally not judgey about what other people read, although once a family friend heard I was into reading and tried to give me a big box of her old bodice rippers…
On the 12th I read a good chunk of チュベローズで待ってる., leaving only one and a half chapters to finish the book. I finished it yesterday, then thought I’d start this week’s Eugenia. I ended up reading the whole chapter in one go, and I seriously doubt I’ll stick to the book club schedule for the one remaining chapter.
But you can binge the second volume if you finish this one before then! Win-win.
Aria: the masterpiece volume 3 / Card Captor Sakura volume 6 – progress report Yesterday: Read Aria: the masterpiece volume 3, continued up to page 110, finished chapter 23. Today: Began reading Card Captor Sakura volume 6, finished chapter 23, read up to page 82.
Back to Sakura. And, as always, I notice the difference between the difficulty and amount of time I need to invest in Sakura compared to Aria – the former is easier to decipher (in regards to words).
Fast progress today because there were more action scenes as the plot thickens. The last two Clow cards have been collected and by now it is pretty clear that the trial by Yue is just about to begin.
When I watched the short video, it certainly looked to me like the bunny was stressed because it breathed very fast (given that it’s still winter, I don’t think the problem was heat regulation). At least it didn’t seem utterly shocked as this would have been visible in the bun’s eyes.
But I agree with you: seemingly quite a few places or situations in Japan such as events or animal cafés (dogs or cats which are more used to ‘hectic’ in- and outdoor life aside) seem to be rather detrimental to the animal’s comfort and it makes me sad. Unless specific movements or animal welfare organisations manage to raise more awareness in this regard, I don’t see things changing in the foreseeable future…
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Word or expression of the day:
互角 - (ごかく) - equal (in ability), evenly matched, on par (with)
it’s the weekend that means going back to smooth reading stuff! カノカメ continues, and is definitely becoming less fun/interesting as i go on. there’s some tropes i really don’t like in there still, i’ll finish the volume cos i’ve started. i’ve read five chapters now but i’m still only like two thirds of the way through, and it’s not even that long of a volume…