I never had any of these books next to each other before, so I never realized until today that the pages are slightly different colors. Top is 透き通った風が吹いて, middle is おばちゃんたち, and bottom is 2.43 代表決定戦編①. I wonder if it’s because they’re all from different publishers. Anyway:
I read 12 pages of 2.43, finishing ch 2-2 and leaving off on pg 184. Since Chika’s staying with Yuni for the time being, we get a description of Yuni’s house. It looks like something straight out of a yakuza drama, with a gabled roof and gated stucco fence and white gravel, and a traditional landscape garden and a pond with brocaded carp. The only thing they’re missing is a Doberman lmao. The grounds are kept this way according to his grandfather’s interests.
I think this confirms that Yuni and his parents live with his grandfather? I mean, yes, in the first volume, Yuni mentioned that Yori would come over to play shougi with their grandfather as a kid, which would imply that Grandpa Kuroba lives with them. Also, Yuni’s father is the first son, making them the main family line, and Grandpa Kuroba is the current family head. But then, I’m pretty sure he made the banner that Itoko toted over to one of Yuni’s games in middle school—from her house? Which would imply that he doesn’t. Since Itoko, Yori, and their parents live separately from Yuni and his parents. Also he literally never actually shows up, just his calligraphy (and his naming sense, considering he gave Yuni the reading of his name), and we have been to Yuni’s house before a few times. I dunno, I’m confused.
Update: A couple pages later, it says that Grandpa Kuroba usually presides over the head of the table 巌のごとき渋面で, so, yeah, he lives with them. I guess Itoko just had him come over to her house to do the calligraphy on that banner. Also, hey! First on-page appearance for him!
It’s kind of interesting though them (or at least the main house) being compared to the yakuza. The Kuroba family owns a lot of land in/around Monshiro (though most if not all of it farmland considering how many of his relatives in the area seem to be farmers), and they’re probably the richest/most powerful family in this part of Fukui. Yuni’s even called ボン or 坊ちゃん by some people. Not that he acts like it though lmao it’s easy to forget he’s not just some guy. At least until the two of you spontaneously decide to catch a train to Tōkyō so he goes and gets (expensive!) tickets for free from his family member who works at the train station (book 1, ch 5), or you wanted a strawberry tart but the café doesn’t have any left in their display case so he goes and talks to the chef who’s his relative and gets you a fresh slice with a big helping of extra strawberries because they’re your favorite (even though you’re the now-ex-captain of his rival school and he barely knows you? Yuni) (first audio drama included with the 2nd vol of the anime). The Kuroba family is big, so he’s got relatives all over Fukui, and even though he usually doesn’t act like an heir, he is definitely used to asking for and getting things (even getting things he didn’t want/ask for) from his family. I would not be surprised if he has family outside of Fukui too and he still gets spoiled in college all the way out in Kantō. Yorimichi’s the only one who could be considered “yakuza-like” though, being a delinquent and even being compared to an outlaw by Chika (book 1, ch 5), but he almost got disowned for it in the past (short story included with the 1st vol of the anime), and at the end of book 1, he’s decided to clean up and study to become a teacher. So the yakuza comparison isn’t exactly apt, but it also sort of is.
We also learn Chika’s parents’ names: 公信 (Kiminobu) and 早百合 (Sayuri). Well, I already knew his father’s name, but at this point I can’t remember if it was just hearing it in the anime or if I’d seen it written aside from when I went looking for how it was spelled…
Okay, I’d thought Chika lived with his grandparents in Suzumu, but it turns out he’d lived with his parents in Suzumu, and his grandparents live in Monshiro? Did that get retconned or am I just misremembering.
This subchapter is called CHILDHOOD FRIEND though and I’m enjoying the little bits of backstory we’re getting of Chika as a little kid when he’d come visit Yuni’s house. We knew from the first book that they were friends in kindergarten, but it turns out they didn’t meet there—their grandfathers were shougi friends, and when Ooe-jiisan would come over to play shougi with Kuroba-jiisan, he’d often bring along little Chika since he was left with his grandparents a lot as a young child due to his mother frequently being hospitalized. Chika was shy and would just sit there unmoving like a doll watching his grandfather, and Yuni was the one to approach him. Also he was scared of the bath back then (he was like four), so today he doesn’t want to use the bath first so he can put it off a little longer, but it turns out the Kurobas have had their bathroom remodeled in the intervening years and they have a different type of bathtub now, so he had nothing to worry about.
And it’s even more clear in this than the anime how excited Yuni is that Chika came to consult with him about his worries, which is cute. There are about five sentences that end with “!?” in a row lol (only one of them said out loud), although a good half of that was his surprise that Chika, who usually keeps to himself, would actually come to someone for help (明日の地球は無事か!?). They were inseparable as kids, and since Chika moved back Yuni’s wanted to go back to that, and they’re not nearly there yet, but this is a step.
Anyway Chika’s awkward and Yuni’s a little weirdo, and that about sums that interaction up lol. I love them.
I’m a little disappointed though that this scene just ends with Chika blinking, caught off guard, when Yuni suggests that the two of them just have to be like Mimura Subaru together, instead of shooting him down and saying that Yuni needs to catch up to and surpass Mimura on his own (and calls him バカ, and Yuni’s like, “You Tōkyōites really know how to make your insults hurt”) like in the anime, tbh. Oh well, we got some good stuff that wasn’t in the anime, too.
And because I have no self-control, I also started 透き通った風が吹いて, a novella by あさのあつこ. (Although I guess I have some self-control, because it was either that or 風が強く吹いている, which is, what, 600-some pages?) The book includes the novella plus a short story and is only 186 pages total, so it’s probably the thinnest (non-doujinshi) book I own lol. Anyway, I read 20 pages, leaving off on pg 30. I like it so far.
It’s set in Okayama Prefecture, so they speak in a dialect I’m unfamiliar with, though I did get a bit of exposure the other day in the Mujinazaka-Fukuroudani match in HQ. I think I can more or less understand a good portion of it by feel, though. Like, I think けん shows emphasis rather than is a negative like some -えんs are, in a lot of places じゃ is obviously だ, and -ている and しまう and 言う seem to work the same as in Kansaiben. Hopefully it won’t give me too much trouble.
And then I had wanted to read a bit of おばちゃんたち while I was at it, I only have like 12 pages left of the story I’m currently on, but my brain didn’t wanna do anything more novel-wise today so I just grabbed HQ vol 39 and read 2 chapters of that. It seems I can now read one chapter of it in about 10 minutes, so a whole volume would take me less than two hours, even accounting for the chapters with more text, providing I don’t get distracted! That’s a big improvement over the last time I semi timed myself with this series, where it took me closer to 4 or 5 hours for one full volume.
Some vocab of note:
枯山水 (かれさんすい) [noun] traditional Chinese/Japanese dry landscape garden. Also written 枯れ山水 (thus the reading).
錦鯉 (にしきごい) [noun] colored carp; brocaded carp. a.k.a. what in English are known as “koi.”
当代 (とうだい) [noun] current head of household
一粒種 (ひとつぶだね) [noun] only child
ひとかど [noun, の-adj., adv.] a cut above the rest; superior; respectable; full-fledged
巌 (いわお) [noun] huge boulder
茶々を入れる (ちゃちゃをいれる) [expression, 一] to interrupt (with frivolous remarks, silly jokes, etc.); to butt in; to make teasing remarks
忘れ形見 (わすれがたみ) [noun] memento (from a dead person)
虚を衝く (きょをつく) [expression, カ五] to attack the enemy in the moment they’re unguarded
英気を養う (えいきをやしなう) [expression, ア五] to restore one’s energy; to restore one’s spirits; to recharge one’s batteries
はとこ [noun] second cousin. In kanji, it’s written 再 + any of the ways that いとこ can be written.
“Petty”… At least it still comes from ‘petit,’ but it’s the wrong sort of “small”… Ohh, this whole thing’s gonna give me a headache…