Starting 27th June: 魔女の宅急便・Kiki's Delivery Service 🧧 Repeat Club

Welcome to the 魔女の宅急便 Repeat Book Club

This book was originally read by the Beginner Book Club in early 2018. This thread has been set up to organise a group ‘re-read’ in 2020.

Kiki's Delivery Service 1

If you want to take part… just buy the book and join in the discussion when we start on the 27th of June! There’s a membership poll further down.

We will be making ample use of the resources generated by the Original 魔女の宅急便 Book Club, including their fully populated vocab spreadsheet and existing discussion threads, where many questions will already have been answered.

Buy the Book

Click here to indicate which version you’re reading!

V1 - has furigana, but not full, and contains illustrations
V2 - essentially no furigana, and no illustrations
V3 - essentially no furigana, and no illustrations

The eBook is effectively Version 2.

CD Japan   | V1 - Red Border | V2 - Block Blue | V3 - Balloons
Amazon JP | V1 - Red Border | V2 - Block Blue | V3 - Balloons

BookWalker | Kobo | Kindle

If you haven’t used Amazon JP before, note that you will need a separate account.
CD Japan has (slow) economy shipping options available so is usually cheaper.

Reading Schedule & Discussion Threads

We will be using the discussion threads of the original book club. These were separated by chapter, and are linked in the table below. I will post here each week with a link to the current thread, and will post in those threads to indicate the start of our discussion.

Reading Schedule
Week Start Date Chapter V1 Pages V2 Pages Count
1 June 27th 1・お話のはじまり 9 - 17 7 - 13 7
2 July 4th 2・キキ、ひとり立ちの時をむかえる 18 - 31 14 - 26 13
3 July 11th 3・キキ、大きな町におり立つ 32 - 44 27 - 37 11
4 July 18th 3・キキ、大きな町におり立つ 44 - 59 37 - 51 13
5 July 25th 3・キキ、大きな町におり立つ 59 - 70 51 - 61 11
6 August 1st 4・キキ、お店をひらく 71 - 84 62 - 74 13
7 August 8th 4・キキ、お店をひらく 84 - 98 75 - 87 13
8 August 15th 5・キキ、一大事にあう 99 - 110 88 - 98 11
9 August 22nd 5・キキ、一大事にあう 110 - 123 99 - 110 12
10 August 29th 6・キキ、ちょっといらいらする 124 - 137 111 - 124 13
11 September 5th 6・キキ、ちょっといらいらする 138 - 150 124 - 135 12
12 September 12th 7・キキ、ひとの秘密をのぞく 151 - 163 136 - 147 12
13 September 19th 7・キキ、ひとの秘密をのぞく 163 - 177 148 - 160 13
14 September 26th 8・キキ、船長んおなやみを解決する 178 - 189 161 - 171 11
15 October 3rd 8・キキ、船長んおなやみを解決する 189 - 200 172 - 181 10
16 October 10th 9・キキ、お正月を運ぶ 201 - 210 182 - 191 9
17 October 17th 9・キキ、お正月を運ぶ 211 - 221 191 - 200 10
18 October 24th 10・キキ、春の音を運ぶ 222 - 231 201 - 209 9
19 October 31st 10・キキ、春の音を運ぶ 231 - 240 210 - 218 9
20 November 7th 11・キキ、里帰りする 241 - 253 219 - 230 12
21 November 14th 11・キキ、里帰りする 253 - 265 231 - 241 11

If you would prefer a slower start, there is a ‘headstart’ schedule you might like to follow for the first few weeks, starting on the 13th of June. Discussion will follow the schedule above though.

Vocabulary List

The original club put together a fantastic vocabulary sheet as they went. It has been locked so that it can’t be edited, but looks very comprehensive.

There is also a FloFlo list for this book now. You might want to learn some of the most frequent words in advance, or use the list to learn as you read.


Are you planning to read 魔女の宅急便 with us?

  • Yes :package: :red_gift_envelope: :gift:
  • Nope

0 voters

If you’ve read it before but will join in the discussion, please select ‘yes’!


Okay, following on from the discussion here, I’ve created a new home thread.

I think I’m going to propose a start date of 27th of June (slightly different from what I said in the poll, sorry). Does that work for most people? Also, this is probably the most advance notice a book club has ever had :sweat_smile:

Brace yourselves for the polls! probably only two, actually

Discussion Threads

Some thoughts on the discussion threads:

It might be a little messy using the existing discussion threads, but I think it would be super annoying for people if we generate two sets of Kiki Discussion threads on the same material.

I will post a big ‘new discussion starts here’ notice in each thread as we start.

Lots of our questions will hopefully have already been answered, though of course it would be nice if we could have some lively discussions ourselves. I’m not expecting anybody to read all of the posts in the existing threads before posting, especially the earlier and longer threads. However, it would be helpful if people could check - by searching for the page number - whether their question has already been answered.

Perhaps if a question has already been answered but there was originally some debate or discussion, it would be nice to write a little summary or conclusion post.


Reading Pace

I guess people are wanting to read this roughly at Beginner Book Club pace?

In the OP I’ve proposed a slightly shorter schedule than the one originally followed, because 26 weeks is a horrendous amount of time to spend on one book and I know the original group found they got much faster as they went.

We could potentially ramp up the speed much more slowly (spend two weeks on chapter 2, then four weeks on chapter 3, for a page count of 6-7-8-9-9-9), before hitting the ~12-page weeks.

Fair warning: this book has about 15% more text per page than 霧のむこうのふしぎな町, and 241 pages of text to Kiri’s 171. You can’t really avoid the fact that it’s a lot more reading unless we take a year. However, it should help greatly that there is already a well filled-in vocab sheet.

  • I’m happy with the 21-week schedule
  • I’d prefer a slow start (23-week schedule)
  • I’d like to read one chapter a week (12-week schedule)*
  • I’d like to go much slower (27 weeks+)

0 voters

*Fair warning #2: I don’t know if I can go that fast, so someone else would have to volunteer to run this. Also, I reckon you’d still want to consider two weeks for the gargantuan chapter 3, hence a suggested total time of 12 weeks.

‘Headstart Schedule’

Although we settled on the 21-week schedule, if you think you’d benefit from a slower start, NicoleRauch had the excellent idea that people could choose to start a couple of weeks early if they wanted.

I put together a suggested headstart schedule starting 13th June.



There are three editions of the book.

The schedule I’ve put up is based on the page numbers from my copy, the one with the block blue background. It would be helpful to know which versions everybody has, so that I can include page numbers from other versions as necessary.

If you have the eBook, you effectively have V2 with the block blue background.

Oh how I wish I had that beautiful balloon version :sob:

If you have the balloon version, please share whether it has furigana and/or illustrations.

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Jealous? :slight_smile:


I voted no for participating (despite your disclaimer), but I’ll stalk the discussion as usual.


Yes :unamused: does it have furigana / illustrations?

Stalking always welcome (er, in this context) :+1:

Oh, and for anyone wondering - after nearly suffering an aneurysm trying to get the three images to behave in the OP I decided to use just the balloon one because it wasn’t represented in the original thread.

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No furigana or illustrations if I remember correctly.


This version has some but not full furigana and illustrations. Most of the illustrations are small ones, and a few are full page ones.

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Side question–is the Kiki we’re familiar with just one book in a series? I was searching Amazon and found this. I guess I never realized…

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Haha yes, there’s a whole series covering Kiki’s life and eventually even her kid setting off to become independent, I believe. The Ghibli movie we all know and love is based on the first book.


To add, it’s a 6-book series, and every vendor I came across offered the option to buy the set (of the editions you linked). The one with the border is available as part of a boxed set.

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I don’t see it mentioned specifically, but the ebooks don’t have furigana. (Same cover as the “V2” listed in the first post.)

Very loosely based on, right? Been a long time since I read the first book in English, but I remember thinking the Studio Ghibli movie in comparison was more of a “all new story based on the concept and characters” of the book.


Edition 4 has no furigana, but I think I can finish it in a week (if I tried):


Yes, very loosely. The movie has some resemblance to the first few chapters of the book, and then they just go in different directions. Mostly in that the movie tries to have a continuous plot, whereas the book is more episodic.

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Fantastic idea! Nothing like book club to motivate me to read real Japanese! Thanks for organizing everything. :hearts:


As it goes with most ghibli movies afaik. :joy: The only other ghibli movie/book comparison I can make is girl who leapt through time, and having read that first, I thought Kiki kept surprisingly close to the book.

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That’s not Ghibli though. :wink:


Oh!!! I’m in! =D
I got to like… 80-90% before I finally gave in (was supposed to just be a pause… but at this point I’m more motivated to start over =P )
Will be interesting to see how much more I’ll understand this time around! =D

It’s a 6 book set?! I think I only got 4… D=
I’ll have to double check later =P


Oh gosh, seeing these discussion threads maybe will make me read the full collection I bought a whole year ago xD Maybe I will race you all :eyes: One week in a day right, just like 時をかける少女 :DD

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What really? :open_mouth:

For me it’s always been part of the franchise… Mind, this was before I got into Japanese, so maybe it was also a bit ‘Japanese movie = Ghibli’… :see_no_evil:

Never mind then, I take it back. :joy: I’m glad we had this discussion!


The other Ghibli movie/book comparison you could make is Howl’s Moving Castle. Or Tales from Earthsea. Or Arietty. Or to a lesser extent (since Miyazaki didn’t write or direct that one) When Marnie Was There.

Or you could wait a few years and then compare How Do You Live? :slightly_smiling_face: