Week 1: マリアビートル 🐞 (Advanced Book Club)

Week 1


Start Date Sections Page Numbers Page Count
July 29 木村, 果物, 天道虫 7 - 43 36

Discussion Guidelines

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current section(s) and any content in future sections.
  • Please also use spoiler tags when discussing content from the movie (Bullet Train).
  • When asking for help, please mention the page number. Also mention what version of the book you are reading.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun!


Mark your participation status by voting in this poll.
(Please feel free to update your status whenever you like!)

  • I’m reading along
  • I have finished this part
  • I’m planning to catch up later
  • I’m skipping this book
0 voters

Proper Noun Readings

Proper nouns
Name Reading
木村雄一 きむらゆういち
蜜柑 みかん
檸檬 れもん
七尾 ななお

I started reading this without knowing the page count for this week, but apparently I stopped at just the right place!

The length of this book is daunting, but once I got going, just like the last time I read this author, it’s 読みやすい, pulls me along, and is fun. Also funny. I’ve already laughed quite a few times. :+1:

I should probably be writing down character names and nicknames and train car numbers… I need a diagram. But a diagram with information only up until p43. :grin:


I’ll probably add a (spoiler-marked) section for that in the weekly threads.


Only 36 pages and the author has already set up multiple interacting situations.

My predictions/guesses so far:

  • has Lemon and Mikan’s employer set them up? Not sure who else would know they were on this exact train with a pile of cash.
  • my theory is that Maria isn’t just Nanao’s remote handler but is actually on the train, and played an active (but hidden) role in all those other “Nanao just happens to blunder into a major incident” jobs in the past too…

I have only read the first two parts of this week‘s reading so far, but those parts were very promising.

It might well be the longest book in Japanese I have (started to) read up to now and there is rather a lot of vocab I am not familiar with, so it is a slow read for me at the moment (which does not mean that I am actually looking up much of the vocab - I try to do without were possible :laughing:).

Nevertheless, it was very funny and intriguing. There were a couple of times where I thought „No, that surly cannot be what they are talking about… I must have misread this… Oh, they DID say this?“ or „What? Has this really just happened?“

Very nice! :+1:


Hamburger incident is too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence. What kind of job is it in the first place? Why does someone ask for that?! :joy: I think Maria is very well-informed about what the jobs require but she does not give Nanao the details not to scare him.


Fun book so far. It isn’t exactly difficult to read, but there have been lots of passages where I had to stop and think “did I misunderstand this, or is it just weird?” :slight_smile:


I’ve found myself having to go back and read several pages after thinking “how the heck did we get here?!” I think I need to deliberately take things slow or I might get hopelessly lost…

I do love the cast of characters so far! Everyone is so delightfully weird.


Nice to read I am not the only one having to re-read stuff because it is so weird. :smile:

Edit: Sorry, you did not actually say you re-read. That was just what I did when it go too weird.


Me too. But I think it will probably get easier after a while. :wink:


Finally finished the first week (a bit late). I pretty quickly learned that I shouldn’t be looking up everything because then I’ll never keep up :blush:. I thought about leaving the book until later but I’d rather read along with the book club. Thankfully I’m finding most of fairly easy to understand without looking everything up, despite indeed having to reread sections sometimes to make sure I understood correctly because of the mentioned weirdness :smile:.

It also helps probably that I saw the film some time ago. It’s fun to notice that there are already some very subtle hints about stuff that is coming later in the story :grin: