Week 1: 幻惑の死と使途 - Illusion acts like Magic

Join the Saikawa & Moe (S&M) Series Book Club here!

幻惑の死と使途 - Illusion acts like Magic Home Thread

Week 1


Start Date: Jun 03
Next Part: Week 2


Week Start Date Chapter Page Count
Week 1 Jun 03 Chapter 1 71

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the chapter and 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! :durtle:


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

Name Reading Notes Proof
有里 匠幻 ありさと しょうげん Elderly magician
簔沢 杜萌 みのさわ ともえ Moe’s friend
浜中 深志 はまなか ふかし Saikawa’s student
犀川 創平 さいかわ そうへい
西之園 萌絵 にしのその もえ
蒲郡 がまごおり place name
吉川 よしかわ member of the magicians’ show
有里タケル ありさと performing magician
有里ナガル ありさと performing magician
ミカル girl involved with the magicians
滝野ヶ池緑地公園 park in Nagono

There’s no “list of characters” at the front of the book :eyes: I’ll have to mark all the names as they pop up.


You should try my much superior strategy of trying to memorize the names, promptly forgetting them, then reading them incorrectly (or not at all) for the remainder of the book.


I’ve added the names I took note of while reading to the OP. If anybody wants to add some remarks or correct any mistakes I made, please speak up!

Haha same here! Finally I start to invent silly nicknames based on the kanji or whatever to be able to remember who is who :sweat_smile: :rofl:


Amazing thank you!

My thoughts on this chapter.

Smoking: omg we got an official cigarette count! Although the day wasn’t over yet. As expected he smokes quite a bit but I think it could be worse, you often hear about people smoking 2 packs a day which would be 40 cigarettes.

While I’m still a bit perplexed by the state of Saikawa & Moe’s relationship (so they’re sort of engaged even though they haven’t really dated, and they’re in a teacher-student relationship where she keigo’s him) I really enjoyed their conversation at the end of the chapter ^^

I’m also still very perplexed by the character of Kunieda, and even more by her getting married. What was the purpose of that except for everyone to (still) be surprised that someone who is not feminine she could even get married? And apparently Saikawa expects her to get divorced any moment. :confused: So it was nice to see some more progressive/feminist thoughts from Moe, because the series has not been great in this regard, even though we have Moe herself which is a fairly strong female character. But could she please please solve the case at least once?


Mhh so apparently this park is based on a real life park in Nagoya called 牧野ヶ池緑地公園 (まきのがいけりょくちこうえん). Therefore the one in the book is probably read たきのがいけりょくちこうえん.


And like I’m only realizing now (at volume 6!!) that this whole series takes place in the fictional city of “那古野市” which is actually just Nagoya with a different name. Please tell me I’m not the only one >_< Apparently Mori himself graduated from Nagoya university and worked there (for y’all kanji lovers: he’s a 元名古屋大学大学院環境学研究科都市環境学専攻助教授). On this blog someone had fun going to the real life locations of the books in Nagoya, including the park.


Actually it takes place in a part of Nagoya that is called Nagono:

1 Like

Yeah I saw that there’s an area called 那古野 but I don’t think that’s what they’re referring to. They explicitly talk about 那古野 in the book. And googling e.g. “S&M 那古野 名古屋” leads for example to this page which says 名古屋市が舞台になっていて、(『那古野市(なごのし)』と名前を変えていますが)


In The Perfect Insider the masculinity was a plot point, wasn’t it? That’s all I can think of, though

Also while checking back on that I totally forgot that Gidou Setsuko was introduced in that book…


Oh was it? That vaaaguely rings a bell now that you mention it.

Yeah, specifically after all the N University people (besides Saikawa & Moe) leave the island, one of the facility people mentions that the group that left only had one woman* in it, which we assume to be Kunieda. At the end, when Saikawa reveals where Shiki went, he realizes that, since Kunieda looks like a man, someone who doesn’t know the group wouldn’t identify Kunieda as a woman, so she couldn’t have been the “one woman,” so it must have been someone else, that is, Shiki.

(*: For some reason I think there was a female grad student named Wu, in which case the person said there were two women in the group, which we assume were Wu and Kunieda. But I can’t find any evidence of Wu in character lists and whatnot and I’m too lazy to do an actual dive into the text.)

Also on Nagoya vs Nagono–I also first thought that Nagono was a fictionalized Nagoya, then I found out that Nagono is a real place in Nagoya and thought it referred to there, but now miwuc is convincing me back that it’s just fictionalized Nagoya.


Awesome, thanks for the recap I had (almost) completely forgotten that ^^


So does anyone know why Moe called Hamanaka’s use of 女の子 incorrect/inappropriate?


It might be just because he specified a gender for his example of a person who’d believe in it, rather than leaving it open. :thinking:


That could make sense. My theory was that maybe 女の子 sounded a bit childish to refer to e.g. a college student, or women in general? The internet seems to says that 「女の子」 goes until ~20yo but opinions vary, some say more, some say it’s util 18. Also it’s not clear he was referring to college students in the first place. The context was 「文系の女の子」 but I think the meaning of 文系 itself is a bit vague, it could refer to a humanities student, or just someone who in general is better at arts/literature than math/science? So yeah not sure ^^’

1 Like

I checked back with a Japanese friend, and he said that not only does he degrade the humanities students by saying that they are the silly ones who believe in magic, but he specifically degrades the female humanities students. That’s why she got offended.