Week 6: 傲慢と善良 😤😇 (Advanced Book Club)

Week 6

Start Date: December 16
Previous Part: Week 5
Next Part: Week 7
Home Thread: 傲慢と善良 :triumph::innocent:
Book club: Join the Advanced Book Club here!

Reading

Start date To read Num pages
Week 6 Dec 16 Chapter 4 39

Discussion Guidelines

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current section(s) and any content in future sections.
  • 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!

Participants

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

  • I’m reading along
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  • I’m still reading the book but I haven’t reached this part yet
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0 voters

Proper Noun Readings

People
Name Reading
西澤 架 にしざわ かける Main character
坂庭 真実 さかにわ まみ Kakeru’s fiancée
坂庭 陽子 さかにわ ようこ Mami’s mom
坂庭 正治 しょうじ Mami’s dad
岩間 希実 いわま のぞみ Mami’s sister
剛志 つよし Nozomi’s husband
桐歌 きりか Nozomi’s daughter (mami’s niece)
大原 おおはら A male friend of Kakeru’s
美奈子 みなこ A female friend of Kakeru’s
あずさ A female friend of Kakeru’s
小野里 おのざと Matchmaker old lady
金居智之 かない ともゆき Mami’s first suitor
Places
Name Reading
阿佐谷 あさがや Where Mami lived
富洲 とよす Where Kakeru lives in Tokyo
小岩 こいわ Where Nozomi lives
群馬 ぐんま Prefecture Mami’s from
前橋 まえばし City Mami’s from
1 Like

Answers to last week’s quiz:

  • 桐歌 is read きりか, although according to the internet it can also be とうか
  • Nozomi’s husband is a freelance designer, which her mom wasn’t super happy about! The engineer was Mami’s first suitor (chosen by the mom), the dentist assistant is the second suitor (chosen by Mami), and the politician is some kind of family friend that got her her job.
  • Kakeru’s mom of course made :custard:. I don’t know why the japanese seem so fond of the stuff, it seems like it’s always about プリン.
4 Likes

I actually just looked it up and boy does it look good! I think I had been mistranslating it in my head as “pudding” for years, or maybe just accepting it as a generic pudding-like dessert.

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Hmmm. I wonder if that strange couple will come into play later on. Also, why did 真実 told 金居 she dislikes her “friends”, maybe they are a “bad influence”, in her view (non conformist)? Maybe they made her run away? (It’s not like anything makes it seem that way, I just thought I’ll write some crazy theories down for a change to be able to say a bit more haha)

Or maybe the author just wanted us to see another side of 真実…

Also, was it ever specified what gender the stalker has? I can’t remember. I wonder if it might be a woman. But I also don’t feel like the book really will go into crime novel territory, so I still have no idea how this could unfold, even if it was a woman.

4 Likes

To be fair in English “pudding” is used for so many completely different things, it’s kind of a meaningless word. But yes, Japanese プリン is basically French “crème caramel”, but personally I’m not a fan!
I just saw on wikipedia that they also have プリンアラモード (à la mode) where they serve it with fruit and whipped cream and sometimes ice cream .


Which reminds me they also stole our French crêpes only to serve them with fruit and whipped cream (which is not how we usually eat them).
They also like their fruit and whipped cream fruit sando, don’t they. And what the hell is this combo???

7 Likes

I always have to look up モラトリアム – I know it has a meaning in Japanese that’s diverged from the English meaning, but I can never remember what it actually is…

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(answer to the question; no spoilers for this chapter)

Maki has very few lines of directly quoted dialogue, and I think all of those she just refers to the stalker as あいつ; the Maki-POV prologue isn’t specific either. But in the Kakeru’s-POV narration on eg p28 and p30 he uses 男 when he talks about the stalker; so Kakeru at least is not uncertain, though of course he could be being misled by Maki being deliberately super vague.

(Spoilers for this chapter)

This chapter seems to me to mostly be about a depiction of a couple who made dating and finding a marriage partner work for them – a worked example of the abstract principles discussed in the previous chapter. It doesn’t really seem to have moved Kakeru forward in trying to find out what happened to Maki, though there were a few things, like that encounter with the “friend”, that I guess will tie in later, and we get a bit more of a picture of Maki’s life.

We’re now nearly halfway through the book, so it seems like we can start drawing conclusions about what the author was interested in writing about, and it’s definitely the 恋愛 part more than the ミステリ part. So far as there is any resolving of mystery going on, it’s more that we and Kakeru are gradually finding out what this person was really like. It almost feels kind of unbalanced – that Kakeru doesn’t make very fast progress is certainly realistic, but Maki’s been gone nearly two months now. It doesn’t seem likely that the book is going to take a fast turn into a tragic ending, so I guess that argues for her having gone somewhere more or less voluntarily. Perhaps she didn’t feel she could tell Kakeru about something in her past, and didn’t feel she could marry him without talking about it. But that doesn’t seem to quite gel with the real sense of fear in the prologue section.

I think this isn’t a book I would have read without the book club, and I’m enjoying it, so I’m happy it was chosen – reading things a bit out of my comfort zone is part of why I like taking part in the clubs.

6 Likes

Interesting discussion on the gender of the stalker! There’s definitely an implicit assumption that it’s a guy, but that could indeed be unexpectedly female.

Btw it’s Mami not Maki ^^’ Fyi I put most name readings in the top posts.

I think this chapter illustrates the crazy pressure around getting married. You can tell Kakeru regrets not having started 婚活 sooner, and while he’s flabbergasted at Kanai and his wife getting married so quickly, he seems jealous. It’s not even very clear why Kakeru wants to get married. He seems to “assume” he’ll have kids more than he actually “wants” kids? Mostly it looks like he wants to be a happy little family to fit in with every one else. To just be normal. Can’t blame him, this feels all too familiar to me be honest.

6 Likes

This week’s quiz for your voting pleasure:

What did they have for lunch?
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Salad
  • Lasagna
0 voters
How old are Kanai’s kids?
  • 2 and 5
  • 2 and 6
  • 3 and 5
  • 3 and 6
0 voters
Why is Kakeru crying at the end?
  • Because he thinks he migh never get married
  • Because he feels selfish
  • Because he’s worried about Mami
  • Because he’s jealous of Kanai
0 voters
2 Likes

Doh! I am very bad at remembering names, and this one I’d got into my head and been reinforcing the wrong reading every time I read it…

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The last question is a bit tricky. I feel like the answer is a mix of 2 or 3 options. :thinking:

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