[Seeking Nominations!] Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: この美術部には問題がある!

You should probably close the old polls (or delete them if possible) and include a link to the new one.

This was when trying to just remove the whole poll, delete them completely.

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That’s kinda silly, but whatever. I guess just close them then. :man_shrugging:

I just want to make sure that people correctly associate that poll with your book nomination.

I’ll start of =)
I know it will be a long time till next voting, but the suggestions should start come in long before if possible, so that when it is time for voting we have them ready =)

Title: 絶叫学級 (Scary Lessons)

Quick Summary: The girl Yomi—a creature without legs—leads through a world of horror, which slumbers in the midst of everyday life and only lies in wait to pounce on the unsuspecting. Anyone who is foolish enough to engage in it terrible things will happening!

Amazon jp: Link

My opinion: I picked it up due to it being on several lists for beginners and mentioned here on the forum as well when asking about easy material. I have only tired to read the first few pages, but was amazed how much I could understand! It seems to be a very entertaining book, and is likened to the R.L.Stine’s Goose Bumps Books, both in theme and is aimed at younger readers (tween/teens, not young children)

Pros: Instead of replacing harder kanji with kana, which makes it harder to look up and identify words, they use furigana. So we don’t get the same problem as with Kiki, where the lacking kanji made it harder to read.
It is also a long series, so if we find them decent we can do several (to my understanding you can read them in any order, like the Goose Bumps Books, so late arrivals can still join in on any book) Either as part of the group or keep reading on our own.
It has pictures. I like the visual aid every now and then =)
As far as I know there is only one version, no more confusion due to multiple versions

Cons: It seems everything has furigana, so it won’t help you practice “how to read kanji”.
Not sure if there is an English version of this or not.

First few pages:

Random Pages:

Difficulty Poll
How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help

0 voters

@conan @Nath @fl0rm please revote =)
(will remove tag once vote added =^_^= )


I tried just deleting the whole post. I didn’t get a warning, so guess it worked? (I can still see it as normal though, never deleted any post before =P )

It’s still there. You should see the post replaced with one of those “this post has been deleted and will be removed in 24 hours unless flagged” messages. Though I’ve never tried deleting a post with a poll before so who knows if that’s different for some reason.

Strange… The delete icon has been replaced by “Undelete this post”

Also, I kind of expected you to edit your post with the new poll to include the original post’s content, not create a third post. Now people might have to vote for a third time haha.

You might want to at least @ people who already voted so they know to revote.

I wasn’t allowed to remove, edit nor add new one. So to have it on same post and not a link to it it had to be done on a new one, had no choice. Only other option was leave it like it was, with a link to the poll.
I just removed all info and left the polls only, as an example of what we tried with polls.

I think I refrained from voting before since I didn’t have time to read when it was posted, but I’ll do it today, as soon as possible.

There were three grammar patterns I didn’t recognise (I’ve recently started working on N3 material), but nothing that hindered my ability to read smoothly.

Most vocab is covered by WK, but there were a number of words I know I picked up elsewhere (I’d recommend prospective readers do at least the first thousand words in V2K or Core6K before jumping in).

Considering the vocab and kanji, it’s probably something people in the late WK 20s with mid-N4 grammar could handle without much frustration, but below that, the lack of visuals to establish context might make it hard to understand what’s going on.

Maybe we should also/alternatively include polls on what sort of reading skills we think each book would require to be considered “easy”, in terms of WK progress and grammar. It might be more helpful to readers who don’t know how they’d measure up. It could be information overkill, though.

Also, I think Borx validated why we should put an “I saw a poll and had to click something” option on stuff.

Maybe @Borx has little grammar knowledge and legitimately couldn’t understand anything?

I added the option to the template anyway.


@fl0rm I’ve updated the first post to include the guidelines you suggested.

@Abstormal I’ve added 絶叫学級 to the new list of proposals.

How long do you guys think we should keep the old list of proposals before deleting it?

Are we still planning to create a new thread to discuss proposals or keep that here?

If we’re moving them, we could delete them one at a time as they get re-proposed; otherwise, maybe just drop them as soon as we start Aria so new proposals are the focus here.

I can provide pictures for しろくまカフェ and 干物妹! うまるちゃん if needed, and 時をかける少女 next week. The first of those is very likely to stay in the running, I’d think.

Sorry, I click through every thread and voted just to vote. But seanblue is right, I haven’t studied enough grammar, so I voted honestly.


I don’t see a reason to move it out of this thread, personally. Aria is only 9 chapters, so we’ll probably have to vote somewhat early to avoid a major gap between books. So we should probably make sure everything is renominated within 4-6 weeks. I think we should remove the old list by the time we do the poll for the next book after Aria.

As for those three books, if you want to renominate them, go for it. But please make sure to include the full details of the proposal based on the template that’s now in the first post. :slight_smile:

This might seem out of left field, but it’s working well as beginner-level reading practise for me.

I live near a Kinokuniya, and found a great series of graded reading books for children. Each book has about a dozen stories. I bought the sixth grade one, found it was too advanced, and stepped back to fourth grade. I’m finding it really good practise. The stories are by real writers, and there are both Japanese and “world” writers. The fourth grade book includes a very condensed Christmas Carol (about twenty pages of text), and an emotional story about an elderly man whose wife and child had been killed many years before in a bombing raid in WWII. Each story I’ve tried had plenty of unknown (to me) kanji, vocabulary, and grammar, and I’ve needed my tutor to untangle sentences I couldn’t make head or tail of.

The books themselves are attractive - good quality paper, very clear printing, and the furigana is not too much and not too little. Just $10.99 at Kinokuniya, which is a real bargain for what you get. Whoever’s behind this series is making a real effort to make reading attractive to kids.

I’m throwing this out there more as a general idea for language study, rather than as a potential Book Group candidate. But it might work well there too, because these are real stories and not at all trivial, at least at a beginner / low intermediate level.

Alright, I just read the pages you provided. I still had to look up a handful of words, but the sentence structure was very easy. Definitely much much easier than Kiki. Any book is still going to be a huge step up from a simple manga though because of all the adverbs and different ways of saying “he/she said” after dialog.

I still haven’t fully gone through N4 grammar, but there wasn’t anything I noticed that I wasn’t familiar with. @fl0rm Do you remember what grammar you encountered that you didn’t know? Maybe I just glossed over a certain grammar piece without noticing, or maybe I just happened to learn some N3 grammar outside of dedicated study. Either way, you got me curious.

Also, here’s my re-pitch for ご注文はうさぎですか.

ご注文はうさぎですか?(Is the Order a Rabbit?)


ご注文はうさぎですか is a 4-koma manga, which means that all the panels are uniform in size (read top to bottom in the right column, then top to bottom in the left column, just like a book).

From MyAnimeList:

Cocoa arrives at the cafe Rabbit House one day, excited for rabbits. She actually all but lives in that cafe. She meets lots of different girls there, including a tiny and cool girl named Chino, a tough and soldier-esque girl named Rize, a spacey and quintessentially Japanese girl named Chiyo, and the ordinary but dignified Sharo.

Additional Information

It’s a random slice of life comedy like よつばと!, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. It’s basically about five girls who work at various cafes, hang out, and do random things together.


From Amazon.jp: https://www.amazon.co.jp/ご注文はうさぎですか?-1-まんがタイムKRコミックス-Koi/dp/4832241192

My Personal Opinion

I’ve watched the anime adaption, and I would say it’s probably my favorite random slice of life comedy. I like all of the characters (which is rare in this kind of genre for me) and it’s pretty funny. Plus it’s super cute. :blush:

I read the first four chapters this week to get a sense of the difficulty. I would say it’s significantly easier than Kiki and slightly harder than Yotsuba. Some aspects are actually easier than Yotsuba (a lot less slang), and the hardest part is the kanji. There is a lot of kanji and very little furigana. With some use of a dictionary, I’d say I understood 80% or more of the first three chapters, but maybe only 50-60% of the fourth chapter.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Straightforward story with fun characters
  • Good kanji practice (very little furigana)
  • Short chapters (8 pages) so it should be easy to read 1-2 chapters per week
  • Good art
  • The anime adaption seems to follow the manga fairly closely, so people could watch it to get an idea of what they didn’t understand.


  • The genre might not be for everyone
  • Could be difficult to read for low level WaniKani users (very little furigana)


First Three Pages of Chapter One

Additional Pages

Even more pages here: ご注文はうさぎですか miscellaneous discussion

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Just right
  • Challenging
  • Impossible, even with everyone’s help
  • I just like to click polls

0 voters

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It’s also possible that we learned from different N4-ish resources and that I’ve forgotten stuff I don’t see very often. I’ve gone through Genki I and II, Tae Kim, and Jalup, and I picked up a lot through exposure, but kinda lost track of what I learned where.

I’m planning to re-read them later tonight or tomorrow when I have access to my grammar dictionaries anyway, so I’ll make a note of anything I look up. It was just minor stuff like particles that seemed out-of-place.

(The data about what the tests cover is based on observations, not insight into how they’re prepared; I’m considering Tobira to be “N3” for the purposes of labeling study materials)

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Most of this is pretty understandable, but there’s no furigana. Since I’d need to do lookups every few panels, I rate it challenging for me. I expect it’ll be just right by the time we get to reading it, however.

I’ve studied N4 pretty well from Tae Kim and BunPro. I still need to go through most of N3.