Week 2: 四畳半神話大系 (The Tatami Galaxy) 🎓 Advanced Book Club

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Week 2


Start Date: April 15
Previous Part: Week 1
Next Part: Week 3


Week Start Date End Phrase End Page End Percentage Page Count
Week 2 April 15 抜け出したのである。 66 16% 30

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I will catch up next week since I won’t be able to play Persona 5 at work (oh but if I could T-T).

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I finished this part last night. This week we have 10 subsections if I’m counting correctly.

Nothing new here, but our protagonist sure spends a lot of time praising himself and bemoaning his circumstances. He seems at least a little deluded to me, possibly a lot. I wonder how accurate his descriptions of Ozu are.

Note that while I have watched a couple episodes of the anime, it was without any kind of subtitles so I haven’t really followed much of the plot. Everything is nearly new to me apart from the faces and some visuals. :sweat_smile:

As far as (possibly/) supernatural elements go, we have the “God” and the fortune teller. Not sure if we should count impish Ozu in there too, his yokai-ish nature is commented upon way too often, as does his wide knowledge of everyone and their secrets. All of this could end up not being supernatural at all, depending on the direction the book takes. The God especially could easily be a fraud working on information from Ozu or other sources. We’ll see.

We also finally learn what that final movie was that broke the guys’ connections with the club, and we get to know a little about Akashi. I definitely like her. Does our protagonist like her? It doesn’t look like she fits the ideal of the black-haired maiden he believes he somehow deserves for just existing. He only found her alluring when she showed vulnerability, but she generally looks like a strong character who likes keeping people at a safe distance.


A few geographic and cultural notes (I didn’t include every street mentioned, they’re all roughly in the same neighbourhood anyway)


Section 1 (and later): 辞めた人間に待ち伏せされ、あやうく琵琶湖疎水に沈められそうになったこともある。
Lake Biwa Canal is a historic waterway in Japan connecting Lake Biwa to the nearby City of Kyoto. Constructed during the Meiji Period the canal was originally designed for the transportation of lake water for drinking, irrigation and industrial purposes, but also provided for the conveyance of waterborne freight and passenger traffic. Nowadays it still provides water for drinking and irrigation, and is a popular sightseeing destination.


Section 3 (and later): 街の明かりの中で、小津はぬらりひょんのような顔をした。

Nurarihyon is a yokai. From Wikipedia:

The name Nurarihyon is a portmanteau of the words “Nurari” (Japanese: ぬらり or 滑) meaning “to slip away” and “hyon” (Japanese: ひょん or 瓢), an onomatopoeia used to describe something floating upwards. In the name, the sound “hyon” is represented by the character for “gourd”.

The Nurarihyon is usually depicted as an old man with a gourd-shaped head and wearing a kesa. In some depictions he also carries a single sword rather than the standard two to demonstrate his wealth. There is speculation that in Toriyama Sekien’s portrayal of Nurarihyon, he serves as a political cartoon to represent the aristocracy. Others suggest that he is retired from a samurai family due to the sword and his clothing style.

Here’s the kind of face Ozu makes: :joy:


Section 8: 吉田山の山中で例によって城ヶ崎先輩の意味不明のイメージに従って撮影を行っていたときであろう。
This is a hill very near the area our characters inhabit, just east of Kyoto University.



Thanks for the extra info! I didn’t bother looking them up since there’s so much stuff to look up already ^^’

So far the main character is still unlikeable/deluded/trying to pass for the victim for being a huge jerk, which to be clear doesn’t preclude me from liking the book, but I do hope they will come out a better person from whatever happens next ^^

Also yes, I can’t tell if there’s actually any supernatural or not!


Finished with this week’s reading! Below are basically my live reactions to some of the sections (I lost track of what number they were, sorry)

section 2 (私は映画サークル… pg. 38-40)

I’ve been suspecting for a while from the way he talks (well, narrates), but I think when he calls everyone getting along and making movies together “detestable” pretty much confirms it. Our MC never outgrew his preteen edgelord phase. It’s been a decade, man! No wonder nobody likes you. Well, that, and he’s totally full of himself. Go get an ice cream or something and chill

Also I feel like if he used 俺 instead of 私 in the narrative he would be slightly less dislikable. The only other first-person novels I’ve read so far had a gal as the POV character so I dunno if the POV character using 私 regardless of their default personal pronoun (although there was the one who used あたし) is just a thing or not, but him doing it just feels like he’s pretending, or I dunno playing nice or something. It kinda rubs me the wrong way tbh. Almost like it’s false politeness.

Honestly I hope more stuff like him getting struck in the back by his own firework happens to him. Narrative justice, or what have you.

その日、街へ… section (pg 49-54)

MC: -goes on about how his life would be so much better and more meaningful if he hadn’t met Odzu, and he’d be so much more productive and dating the woman of his dreams-
Odzu: その椎茸、妄想キノコではないですか?

Pffft. Unfortunately, no, he’s just that delusional even without any psychotropic compounds to help him along. Those mushrooms are totally ordinary.

Also, bold of MC to assume anyone would want to date him, much less the black-haired maiden he so idealizes and no doubt wouldn’t treat as an actual person, involvement with Odzu or no. Please please please tell me he gets humbled at some point—and actually learns from it, instead of it making him worse. I may enjoy seeing him get punished by the narrative as much as the next guy, but honestly he needs that more.

鴨川デルタでの… section (pg. 54-56)

He… He hates women who understand guys like him, and just wants a black-haired maiden “girlfriend” to just sit there and look pretty. He’s so stupid (derogatory)

Yeah, he absolutely wouldn’t treat her as an actual person; she’s just a trophy.

Someone should punch him in the mouth. As a treat.

Odzu calling him a “未曾有の阿保で醜悪無比な人間” was great. Roast him more.

Akashi has good judgement of people, so she won’t go for Odzu. Oh, but she’ll go for you?? He’s so deluded. Honestly him calling Odzu 腹黒過ぎる feels a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, too.

And that final movie sure was, uh, something. I don’t remember, did our MC ever specifically say why he hates Jougasaki? He’s mentioned quite a few times that Jougasaki’s always leering at the female members’ breasts, but tbh our MC doesn’t really seem the type to care about that, at least not specifically/on its own; he ain’t exactly drinking his respect women juice either, and he only cares about looks too (though I guess face more than body)

Y’know, now that I think of it, I wonder if Odzu uses polite speech because that’s just how he talks, or because MC is older. MC mentioned having been a rounin for an unspecified amount of time, but nothing about Odzu having been so too iirc, so he’s probably younger. (And was he a rounin because he chose to take the time off, or was it because he couldn’t get in? Because if it was the latter, that might put a dent in his so-called “genius” lol)


Yeah I don’t remember when/if this was mentioned but I think they have a 先輩/後輩 relationship? so the 後輩 (Odzu) has to speak politely to him.


Actually, I remember him being mad that Jougasaki doesn’t want to retire/hand the baton off to someone else, but that’s not why, that’s just a symptom. But he did mention something about his leadership before—in fact, when he expressed disgust at everyone happily making movies together. Did he join a circle where the rules are “play nice and have fun making movies together” but he doesn’t want to play nice, so he decided to hate the guy who made/enforces the rule? If that’s the case, then he doesn’t exactly have a leg to stand on (not that that would be surprising)

I know Odzu’s a junior same as MC, so it must just be a senpai/kouhai in life thing

I’m currently reading the preview for a first-person novel where the POV character uses 僕 in the narrative, so it doesn’t seem to be a hard and fast rule, if it even is a trend. I stand by my being put off by our MC’s use of 私.