Week 14: マリアビートル 🐞 (Advanced Book Club)

Week 14

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Start Date Sections Page Numbers Page Count
October 28 王子, 槿, 木村, 天道虫, 天道虫 530 - 572 42

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Proper Noun Readings

Proper nouns
Name Reading
木村雄一 きむらゆういち
わたる
蜜柑 みかん
檸檬 れもん
峰岸良夫 みねぎしよしお
寺原 てらはら
七尾 ななお
王子慧 おうじさとし
槿 あさがお
1 Like

Well, we made it to the end of the line. I think the ending made it clear that what the author really wanted to write about was Ouji – that (including the “will Wataru be OK?” part) was the main storyline and the one that got the major tied-off ending. The stuff I liked in this book was just stuff the author threw in for comic relief.

I was genuinely surprised that the Kimura-and-Ouji backstory sections just stopped where they did – that thread of the story felt like it got left hanging. Also left hanging I think was what happened to the trunk full of money. In general more loose ends were left than I expected.

The 解説 says that the author has a theme in his books of writing about 悪 – what it is and what it looks like and how to respond to it. I guess that works as an analysis of what this book’s theme is about. It’s absolutely not what I want to read about, so I’ll be avoiding this author’s other books I think.

I enjoyed the epilogue and the five page side story (ついていないから笑う).

I do wonder how I would feel about this book if it hadn’t been this weird half and half mix – I think maybe I’m more disappointed in it because I can see the book the author could have written but didn’t, whereas if it had been more clearly and purely a book about a psychopath teenager I’d have said “not for me” and skipped it? IDK…

8 Likes

Well I definitely didn’t expect that 王子 would get tortured to death :neutral_face:

I think the scriptwriters for the movie made a lot of good choices. They kept most of the fun parts and rewrote the rest in a way that I enjoyed a lot more.

Fun fact: the ついていないから笑う section ends on page 584. And how many episodes of Thomas & Friends are there? 584.

Did the teacher go get it? I don’t really remember.

Agreed, the highlights of this book were great, but I don’t want to read another and end up disliking half of that one too.

6 Likes

I think it was left with the conductor (who as it turns out was really a suzumebachi) – but the conductor didn’t take it with him when he left the train, or Nanao would have seen it.

Speaking of the teacher, was he really just a teacher? I kept expecting him to turn out to be another killer, but that never happened. Maybe he turns up in one of the other books in the series?

6 Likes

The trunk

Nanao got it back from the conducter to give Mikan. Right after that, he killed Mikan😅The trunk was with him until the snake coiled around his arm. Then he left it with Ouji and the Kimuras. When the train stopped, he thought about going back but decided not to do.

I will give 5 stars to the book. I admire the connections the author made throughout the story. It is well crafted. There are not any character I empathize with in it, still, I read it to the end.
It was bizarre, somewhat educational, a mixed bag of emotions…I liked it a lot🤓

6 Likes

The teacher is one of the main characters in the previous book. Asagao and Momo (?) also appear in it. I found it out when I tried to find where is the city where Asagao is.

9 Likes

I will eventually read more of this author, I think.
Not right away and possibly one next that is not one of this three-book-series.

Once the emotionally worst parts for me were done with, I got to enjoy the book. It felt a bit too long, but I do not know whether this is because the book is on the long side or whether it is because we spread it over the course of 14 weeks. I liked the way the story was constructed and its outcome, it had funny parts and the style was not too hard for me.

Thanks to Escalus for proposing the book!
It is been nice reading it together with you all. I am almost sure I would have given up otherwise (I tried to read AX before and gave up after 30 pages or so at that time, so I guess I can be fairly certain about that… :grin:).

7 Likes

I really liked the book personally, thanks for making me read it! And I think I preferred it to the movie. Or rather, I didn’t like some of the changes they made in the movie? Maybe if I’d seen the movie first my opinion would be different.

Changes I didn’t like in the movie:

  • How totally ridiculous/unrealistic it becomes, like Mikan climbing on a running shinkansen, and the train getting totally wrecked. I’m not saying the book is realistic, but my suspension of disbelief really struggled on those. Felt like a movie that had too much budget for its own good but that’s probably just me.
  • That the train becomes really empty quite quickly, so you lose the whole “gotta do our assassin stuff without being seen”. Even while there are still supposed to be passengers, there are lots of empty spaces, like a a totally empty bar carriage?
  • That unexpectedly badass grandpa and grandma were replaced with boringly badass grandpa
  • That Kimura gets shot like in the book but then he goes all “it’s but a flesh wound” and fights and stuff like nothing happened
8 Likes