Vol 2 starts Apr 13 - 気になってる人が男じゃなかった ・The Guy She Was Interested In Wasn't A Guy At All (Beginner Book Club)

Join the Beginner Book Club Here!

View this book on Natively

View a preview of this book on Bookwalker

Welcome to the 気になってる人が男じゃなかった Book Club!

Now reading Volume 2

気になってる人が男じゃなかった is a manga series written and illustrated by Sumiko Arai. It originated on Arai’s account in April 2022, before being serialized on Pixiv Comic in April 2023. The series has been a critical and commercial success, with critics praising the story, artwork, and characters. It won the 2023 Next Manga Award in the web manga category.

Story: Aya is a high school student who is captivated by the mysterious “Onii-san” who works at a CD store. The real “Onii-san” is actually Mitsuki, a girl in her class with whom she had never spoken to before.

We read volume one of this manga as part of the Beginner Book Club between February and April 2024. The reading group for volume one is now finished, but the discussion and the vocab sheets are still available for anyone wanting to look at these in the future.

There will likely be people who are still watching those threads, so if you are reading in the future and have a question you can ask it in the thread and someone might respond.

View the nomination post here!

How it works

We create a reading schedule, with a set number of pages to work through each week. Each week we create a new discussion thread for that week’s reading. In those threads we discuss everything from vocab and grammar to the characters and story. We try to help each other by contributing to the shared vocab list, by answering each other’s questions and by keeping each other motivated.

How do I join in?

  1. Get yourself a copy of the book (see “Where to purchase” below)
  2. Click on the participation poll below to let us know you’re planning to join in
  3. Set this thread to “watching” so you get updates on the group (go just past the last post in this thread, click on the grey box that says “normal” or “tracking” and change this to “watching”)

Where to purchase


Week Start Date Chapter Page Numbers Page Count
Wk 1 Feb 3 “Rhythm A” & Start Chapter 1 4-18 12
Wk 2 Feb 10 Continue Chapter 1 19-30 12
Wk 3 Feb 17 Continue Chapter 1 31-46 16
Wk 4 Feb 24 Continue Chapter 1 47-62 16
Wk 5 Mar 2 Continue Chapter 1 63-78 16
Wk 6 Mar 9 Finish Chapter 1 & Start Chapter 2 79-96 16
Wk 7 Mar 16 Finish Chapter 2 97-116 20
Wk 8 Mar 23 Start Chapter 3 119-138 20
Wk 9 Mar 30 Continue Chapter 3 139-158 20
Wk 10 Apr 6 Finish Chapter 3 & “Rhythm B” 159-177 17

Volume 2 reading thread


Please read the guidelines on the first page before adding any words.


  • Jisho is a popular online Japanese-English dictionary.
  • ichi.moe is a tool for parsing out sentences. You can type/paste in a whole sentence and it will try and break the sentence down into its individual parts.
  • Deepl will translate a sentence from Japanese to English. It’s obviously not going to be right all the time, so if you want to check your translation it’s often better to ask in the thread.


Will you be reading with us?

  • Yes
  • Yes, but I might start late
  • Maybe
  • No
0 voters

Which version will you be reading?

  • Digital
  • Physical
0 voters

Reading Speed

There are 165 pages to read excluding the gaps between chapters. They breakdown into:

Rhythm A - 4 pages
Chapter 1 - 72 pages
Chapter 2 - 32 pages
Chapter 3 - 44 pages
Rhythm B - 13 pages

Looking at the text density, and thinking about the pace that has felt comfortable for people in recent books, my suggestion would be a 10 week schedule based on approximately 16.5 pages per week. Alternatively we could go at a faster pace and read in 8 weeks, that’s 20.5 pages per week.

Please let me know your preference by voting in the poll. @seanblue thanks for offering to help with the breakpoints once we’ve decided on a reading speed.

How quickly shall we read?

  • 10 week schedule (16.5 pages per week)
  • 8 week schedule (20.5 pages per week)
  • Something else (please comment below)
0 voters

Thanks for volunteering to run the club! Since I’ve already read the manga, let me know if you want help coming up with a schedule. I don’t really know how many pages people want to read each week though.


Poll for reading speed added above.


I voted “something else” just to express that I don’t really have a preference.


I just read through the Bookwalker preview, and I’m surprised at how I was able to mostly follow it without referring to a dictionary at all? If the difficulty stays the same(ish), I might actually join and follow a book club for once :joy:

This would also be my first romance genre manga if I decide to join in… so that’ll be fun.


I’ve never joined a book club because none of the titles have ever interested me, but this one is actually already on my wishlist on Natively, so I’ll be reading along with everyone for the first time!


i actually made a full deck of flash cards mining this whole manga, so i’ll see if I can figure out how to easily reverse export it for checking against whatever machine-gen vocab sheet we end up going with. Excited to reread it with the class, it’s one of my faves.


OFFICIAL PLAYLIST (linked because Nirvana album baby on cover)


I’ve closed the reading speed poll, the slower speed of ten weeks (average 16.5 pages per week) was the clear winner.

@seanblue this is where I’d like to take up your offer for help on dividing up the reading please. I was considering:

Rhythm A and Chapter 1 over 5 weeks = 15 pages per week
Chapter 2 over 2 weeks = 16 pages per week
Chapter 3 over 2 weeks = 22 pages per week
Rhythm B in the last week = 13 pages

Thank you!


Two things to note. First, every chapter (other than Rhythm B) has sub-chapters that are exactly 4 pages long. Second, I don’t think it’s necessarily important to keep the chapters separate, so if one week ends a chapter and starts the next, I think that’s fine. But I certainly wouldn’t split sub-chapters across weeks. Based on that, I see a few options:

  1. Start with 12 pages in week 1 (typical ease in kind of thing), then 16 most of the rest until the last two weeks, which would be 12 and 13 pages. This coincidentally does allow us to finish each chapter in a given week without starting the next chapter. (Total 11 weeks)
  2. Read 16 pages every week except for the last, which would be 21 pages. (Total 10 weeks)
  3. Start with 12 pages in week one, then 16 for the rest of chapter one and two (to finish each chapter in a given week without starting the next). Then read 20 page for two week and then 17 pages (final sub-chapter of chapter 3 + Rhythm B). (Total 10 weeks)

Hello, book clubbers! I will try reading this book with you. I saw something like that that book has a level 24 difficulty. I am a level 7 kanji noob so, I will probably be level 10 by then. In your honest opinion, which level is suited to comprehending (by kanji means!) a little this manga?


I don’t know but the book club pace is exceedingly generous and people here will help you through. If you know how to look words up in a kanji dictionary either by radicals or through handwriting recognition you’ll be alright, though progress will be slow to start for sure.


I forgot a bunch of the kanji I’ve learned by level 14 and I manage just fine. As long as you’re willing to use a dictionary’s search-by-radicals function (Jotoba has a good one where you can type kanji you know and either select the radicals that make them up or see kanji that contain that kanji) I think you’ll be fine on that front - knowledge of grammar and colloquialisms is going to be a much bigger factor.


I see thank you. I thought that we would not use a dictionary to learn more natively approach. See you on Feb 3 then!


Thank you, that’s really helpful!

I think it’s important to have a shorter week in week one, and I’m reluctant to extend to 11 weeks when several people voted for the 8 weeks schedule. So I think we should go with the option above unless anyone has any objections?


I’d say make it a vote if think that 11 weeks would actually be better (or just go for it; it’s only one week more, anybody annoyed by it will get over it…), but to me, that 10 week schedule looks fine too. Reading more towards the end is pretty standard too for our book clubs.

My only nitpick is that it might be better to have 2 or even 3 shorter weeks in the beginning, not just 1.


Not sure if you’ve looked at a preview or bought the manga yet, but there’s relatively little text on many pages. Given the Natively level I think 16 pages is probably fine? But I’ll leave it to you all to decide. If the consensus is a longer ramp up period I’m sure I can give another option for a schedule.


I haven’t - I’m just going of 16 pages/week being the decided “normal” reading speed for this club. If that is the “this should be slightly challenging for new participants” level that we usually target, I feel like a longer ramp up than just a single week is better.

I usually like to have my books clubs:

  • 2-3 weeks at a slower reading speed so participants can get used to the style.
  • Most of the weeks with the “normal” reading speed (which seems to be 16 here).
  • For a few weeks at the end finishing off with a faster speed.

So unless the first few weeks have already less text in the pages in general than the weeks after, I think a good balance might be e.g.:

  • 2 weeks: 12 pages/week
  • 5 weeks: 16 pages/week
  • 3 weeks: 20 pages/week
  • 1 week: 17 pages

I honestly have no idea what’s normal. The current book had two ramp up weeks and then the “normal” amount is ~24 pages, but that manga has full furigana whereas this manga does not. But they are both level 24 on Natively, so I don’t know.

Regarding your proposal, the only real difference is with yours certain weeks will read across chapters, but as I said before I don’t think that matters much. Whatever you guys decide will probably be fine.


Yeah, I don’t know what’s normal here either. I’m just going with my usual “having more than one week for ramp up helps people get on board”. If 16 pages/week is slow to begin with for this manga, I guess ramping up for longer is not necessary, but then the whole club is probably unnecessarily slow anyway.