Japanese reading report

Whoops, almost let the day go by without posting my report.

Had some tough days this week between my new job and some overall fatigue and let a couple of days go by without reading 雷の季節の終わりに at all, but I managed to hit a flow state for the past few days and got caught up again. The two storylines have started to converge I think? There’s been some good development lately both in terms of characters and also the setting itself. I might try and read at a faster pace and finish it up this week. As much as I’ve been perpetually having trouble sitting down with this book, it does go pretty smoothly once I’ve started.

The only manga I’ve read this week was シャドーハウス vol. 1 and about half of vol. 2 (will be finishing it as I fall asleep). I actually grabbed this a while ago but had let it sit on the backlog until a friend of mine mentioned that it was getting an anime adaptation this season. It’s swinging crazily between cute and creepy and I can see some interesting potential in some of the ideas they’ve hinted at. Really enjoying myself with it so far.

Watched ep. 22-26 and (moving on to part 3) 1-4 of ジョジョの奇妙な冒険. Still not much to say about it. I’m understanding it pretty well (much better than I’ve always anticipated) but it’s always hard to say how much of that is based on my memory of the subbed version.

Japanese reading report

At the beginning of the week, I kept making headway through my backlog with 大きくなったら、結婚する! vol. 1 and からかい上手の高木さん vol. 4 back to back. I actually picked the former up almost exactly a year ago and shelved it because it doesn’t have much furigana, but this time it was nice and easy (always a nice feeling). I’ll probably keep reading it pretty soon; it’s cute and there aren’t too many volumes out yet.

Right after this, I started reading うちの師匠はしっぽがない vol. 1, which I’ve been curious about for a long time now but was always too intimidated by. All in all it went pretty smoothly aside from a few 落語 sections. 大阪弁 is pretty neat and not too different from what I’ve heard spoken in Kyoto, so that was fun. Definitely planning to continue it in the future. I read this one over the rest of the week, about a chapter per night as I was falling asleep.

I had a terrible time staying on schedule with 雷の季節の終わりに again, despite really enjoying it by this point…I missed two days and had to make up the difference today. A little behind schedule now but I’m past the halfway point which always feels good.

Watched ep. 15-21 of ジョジョの奇妙な冒険. Not a ton to say, just truckin’ along.

Finally, today I read からかい上手の(元)高木さん vol. 3. I’m surprised I don’t see it recommended more often as a beginner manga. It’s super easy and quite adorable and barely has any surprise N1 西片 monologues at all.

Six Tanuki and Transparency

Last year I started playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons in Japanese as part of my daily practice routine. It was my first experience with the series so all the characters were new to me, though I did know ahead of time that, just like in Pokemon, Ace Attorney, and other many titles with a long history of western localization, all the characters would have completely different names between regions.

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Japanese reading report

Stayed current on 雷の季節の終わりに again, slowly slowly reading ahead of my goal (probably not enough to change the projected end date, but enough to give me a bit of margin). It’s turned into quite a different book than I expected and I’m quite enjoying it. The last two chapters have actually followed two different characters which is something I hadn’t expected. In addition to the supernatural horror stuff that has been introduced, there’s also a decent amount of more mundane or psychological horror happening. I’ve been looking up a lot of words but a lot of them have just been in order to verify pronunciation since the meaning is evident in context, which is nice.

I also read two volumes of manga; 見える子ちゃん vol. 5 and トニカクカワイイ vol. 5. Both were quite good. Regarding トニカクカワイイ, they rearranged some stuff for the anime adaptation but the last chapter was also the last scene in the anime, so I’m all caught up now. One interesting thing that stuck out to me: my first-ever (that I can remember) encounter with 勝手に that had a positive connotation. I’ve always seen it used in a disapproving way, at least when applied to humans.

I had planned to watch four episodes of ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 per day this week, but I started late and then had a bunch of work to do so I couldn’t dedicate as much time as I wanted. I did still manage to watch 14 episodes though. I was definitely expecting it to be harder to follow but I was surprised at how much I was able to keep up with without any effort. The fact that it’s entirely review likely helps with that, but I feel like having latent memories of the English translation has helped me make some connections I might not have made otherwise.

The nested factory pattern

When writing code, I try to structure my project in such a way that it’s impossible to misuse. I often run into cases where I need some class to be responsible for instantiating and managing its own resources, such as a message hub (which needs to maintain a list of subscribers) or a tweening engine (which would need to update and dispose of tween control objects according to a timer). In these cases, I like to ensure that these objects can never be created outside the class which manages them.

A simple solution, of course, is to use internal constructors, but I personally prefer to avoid using the internal access modifier whenever possible, as I find it does a poor job of signalling the intent of the code, and in many cases is just a band-aid fix for a poorly planned access scheme. Furthermore, in cases where the class in question will only be consumed within the same project, internal is essentially no different than public.

My solution to this problem is as follows:

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Japanese Reading Report

This week I just read one volume of manga, 怪物事変 vol. 2. Kon is great. I love every scene with her. Shiki and Akari have gotten less annoying too.

Most of my reading was from 雷の季節の終わりに, which I managed to stay on track with this time. The story has picked up and I’m quite enjoying it now; I’ve been feeling compelled to pick it up more often so I’m feeling a lot better than last week. Compared to the other two books I’ve read by this author, it definitely took its sweet time building up the setting and laying the foundation, though I guess that just comes with the territory of long-form fiction rather than the short story format I was used to.

Japanese reading report

This week I read three* volumes of manga and started a new novel.

First up was 古見さん vol. 20, which I really enjoyed (they need to release these faster! seriously there are like six months of chapters that haven’t been collected yet). I think I picked up a bit of skiing-related vocab and that’s about it. I liked how they subverted the typical ski trip disaster and came up with something a bit fresher. Also Hitomi needs to be nerfed.

Next was ヨコハマ買い出し紀行 vol. 5. Still really good. It’s surprising how understated the “post-apocalyptic” elements are; it’s a real slow burn and I have a lot of respect for the way the storytelling and worldbuilding is done.

My last manga of the week was 罠ガール vol. 1 (I’ll actually finish it as I fall asleep tonight). It’s pretty interesting; set in a seemingly realistic 田舎町 and written by an actual farmer apparently. Each chapter has to do with trapping animals in various ways, and then (more often than not) actually killing and eating said animals. It’s definitely not the standard fare for a cute-girls-doing-cute-things manga so the incongruity was a little odd at first, but I’ll probably keep reading it at some point.

My next novel is 雷の季節の終わりに, which I’ve been wanting to read for a while. For some reason I had a really hard time getting started with it though…not sure if it’s just more difficult than I’m used to or if I’m still in a bit of a slump. I was planning to read it at a pace where I would finish it by the second week of April but I decided to slow down and take the whole month. Reducing my daily goal down to 8 pages helped me feel a little less overwhelmed and I actually ended up reading a little over, so hopefully that fixes things. I’m only about 55 pages in, but so far the worldbuilding is interesting and that’s the main appeal of a 恒川光太郎 book to me, so I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

Book review: 京都寺町三条のホームズ vol. 1 (Holmes of Kyoto)

About halfway through my watchthrough of Holmes of Kyoto’s anime adaptation a few weeks ago, I found myself checking Amazon Japan on a regular basis to see if the first book in the series would happen to be listed for free (as occasionally happens for promotional purposes). It got to the point where I literally decided to buy it instead of waiting just because I was getting tired of checking. And so, once I finished 風の道しるべ, I jumped right into this series and finished book 1 in just over two weeks, finally catching up to my novel goal with three books down.

As much as I enjoyed the Holmes of Kyoto anime, the main thing running through my mind as I read the book was “the show did not do this justice”. Between the mysteries and character moments that make up the majority of the screentime, we also get tidbits of local history, descriptions of various locations visited throughout the story, and small vignettes with characters who, despite having no major importance, help deepen the overall experience. The author mentions in the afterword that she started writing this series out of a desire to share the beauty of Kyoto, and it shows.

The anime covers material from the first three books, so naturally there was a lot of review here, but there were also a fair few scenes which I don’t remember from the anime at all; my favorite involved a confession of love, and then a rejection of that confession, both performed through the medium of tanka from the One Hundred Poets where both parties relied on the subtext of each poem, rather than the literal words, to send the desired message.

Before I had finished reading the last chapter, I’d already gone back and bought the next five books, so it goes without saying that I’ll certainly be continuing with this series. There’s also an official English release, which I’m sure is also good; if I’m not mistaken, the translator was chosen during the Manga Translation Battle contest, and the samples I saw looked quite well-done. Heartily recommended.

Japanese reading report

Had a really hard time focusing this week. Theoretically I had a lot of opportunities to read but there were lots of times where I sat down with my book and barely made any headway at all. Fortunately this weekend I was able to do some catchup this weekend and finish 京都寺町三条のホームズ vol. 1 on time. Chapter four gave me a good thrashing since it dug pretty deep into the history behind three historic wall scrolls and their artists, but I persevered. I’ve been enjoying all the 関西弁 quite a bit; thinking I might make a point of reading more of it (I have 極主夫道 and うちの師匠はしっぽがない in my backlog but have been hesitant to start on them since they’re very dialect-heavy). Anyway, I’m glad I stocked up on the next few books because I’m definitely planning on continuing the series in the near future.

Also watched four more episodes of 五等分の花嫁 (9-12) but I don’t really have anything to say about it besides that it’s cool to revisit the series with full knowledge of what’s to come.