Japanese reading report

Couldn’t stay on track with 異世界食堂 this week, thanks to getting sick Thursday night and just ごろごろ-ing round for the next few days. I did read chapters 14-16, so I could theoretically finish it next week without too much trouble, but I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to wrap it up. Oh well.

I did manage to watch a lot of anime though; seasons 2 and 3 of 文豪ストレイドッグス, which were great despite there being lots of points that I didn’t quite track with, but when I was discussing the series as a whole with my sister after the fact I realized there wasn’t too much that I was actually in the dark about. I think I’d like to read the manga at some point anyway, so I’ll have plenty of time for review later.

I also watched seasons 1, 2, and 3 of 八十亀ちゃんかんさつにっき, though with each episode being just three minutes that’s barely two hours so it’s not as much as it seems. This one was fun; it’s basically a tourism anime but somehow seems less blatant than most. The various 名古屋-area dialects were pretty easy to understand and the little tidbits of local culture are always fun to learn about.

Last up I watched three episodes of 魔入りました!入間くん, which I’ve been curious about for a while now. It’s a pretty fun show. The first time I heard Clara I immediately assumed that I didn’t understand anything she said, and then was surprised when I realized I somehow did after all. Will likely continue watching it soon but I might be strongarmed into watching Charlotte instead so we’ll see what next week brings.

Japanese reading report

This week I stayed largely on track with 異世界食堂, reading chapters 9-13. Was planning on reading one chapter per day but didn’t end up being able to stick to it, so my volume is a bit lower than last week, but I should still be able to finish it by my next report. A few of these chapters featured scenarios that weren’t adapted for the first season of the anime as far as I remember, so it was a challenge speedreading them though I did pretty well I think. One of the chapters gave me particular trouble because the guests ended up being vampires, but the only clue was the word 冥府 and the fact that they couldn’t eat ガレオ, which turned out to be one of those silly “fantasy language” words for garlic. I figured I had missed something so I reread the first chunk of the chapter but no, I guess you’re just supposed to be left in the dark for a while.

I also picked away at 京都寺町三条のホームズ vol. 2 here and there, mostly just when I couldn’t read my paperback book for whatever reason. Only made it through the first three parts of chapter 1 (last week was the prologue) so far. Just mentioning this for posterity really; I’ll be focusing on it in earnest once I finish 異世界食堂.

Finished watching ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 part 4, and enjoyed it all. In my opinion this is the strongest final arc in any of the series that have been animated so far.

Also started and finished season one of 文豪ストレイドッグス, which I’ve often heard about but never gotten around to. I really like it and will be continuing with it right away. There’s a decent amount of it that goes over my head but I’m also planning to start using subs2srs cards to get caught up so I can talk shop with my sister. In the meantime, I’ve still learned a bunch of new words — some standouts are やつがれ (definitely the most extra pronoun I’ve run into so far) and 夜叉, neither of which I anticipate being very useful but hey, it’s fun to learn new things.

Japanese reading report

This week I mostly read 異世界食堂 chapters 3-8, just over 100 pages in total. I’m behind on my yearly novel goal again so I’ve imposed another ban on manga until I get caught up. This is a pretty long book and I’d like to hurry up and get through it, so I’m also making a concerted effort to read the way I do in English; scanning lines without subvocalizing at all. It’s going pretty well I think. At this point in the book each chapter is pretty standalone, with a new character and dish every time. Based on the anime I think it’ll branch out a little soon? looking forward to that (and wondering when Aletta will show up).

I also read about 10% of 京都寺町三条のホームズ vol. 2, which will be my main book when I finish 異世界食堂 (using this one to replace my bedtime manga). Whereas the anime introduced the Master Forger right in episode one, the book has only just now dropped its first hint. I think the anime covers the first three books and I’ll probably read 2 and 3 back to back, so I’m looking forward to catching up. It’s been a while since I read vol. 1 so I’m a little rusty with the antique vocabulary but it’s not too bad. Compared to 異世界食堂 I have a much harder time speedreading this one…I wonder if that’ll continue to be the case.

Also got back to my ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 rewatch; part 4 ep. 20-33. I totally forgot how weird the pacing is. I guess it makes sense for there to be time between Yoshikage’s escape and the point where they find him again, but the goofy hijinks seem a bit strangely placed.

Japanese reading report

It’s another slow week for me. Three volumes of manga and four episodes of anime.

First up I decided to read ソウナンですか? vol. 1 for some reason, after being pretty unimpressed by the anime last week. The manga is actually quite a bit better and I could see myself continuing once I finish up what I’ve gotten for free. Each chapter has at least one point where they teach you some new vocab or explain a concept in layman’s terms and the pacing is pretty good if you consider that it’s a trick-of-the-week series.

Next I read 戦隊大失格 vol. 2. I really like this series and honestly I’m considering reading it week to week. The “playing both sides” element I thought I had picked up on in vol. 1 turned out to be a major underestimation and I’m very curious to see how it continues to develop.

My sister has been really into 赤髪の白雪姫, so I read the first volume and watched the four corresponding episodes of the anime. There’s also a one-chapter standalone story called 八月の四季彩 which I liked a lot better than the main book. I’m not totally blown away by it yet but apparently it gets really good so I’m gonna keep trucking.

Japanese reading report

Kind of a light week for me. I watched all of ソウナンですか?, but the episodes are all 12 minutes long for some reason so the total runtime was only 2:30. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series and it was kind of a letdown…it’s fine I guess. I understood most of it and theoretically even learned some survival facts. Might read a bit of the manga since I got two volumes for free a while back.

I also read vol. 1 of 沖縄で好きになった子が方言すぎてツラすぎる, which as advertised was pretty ツラすぎる. Okinawa dialect is absolutely wild and for the most part I couldn’t even imagine how the words would be pronounced (in terms of intonation and cadence etc). I looked up a video to get a feel for it and was surprised to learn that Chiaki (a youtuber I follow) is originally from Okinawa, so that was pretty cool. Throughout the book I was barely able to pick up a few words here and there, which was very surprising. Will probably read the next volume at some point.

Chiaki’s video

I also read Flying Witch vol. 10. It’s been exactly a year since the last volume so I’ve sort of forgotten what all was happening. Fortunately it’s pretty standalone for the most part so I was still able to enjoy it. There was quite a lot of dialect packed into the first few chapters; first a town-wide おすそ分け tour (where everyone spoke light 津軽弁) and then a splash of 沖縄弁 when Makoto goes home to visit her family and meets up with her childhood friend who’s been studying in Okinawa. Learned some temple-related vocab in the last arc and got stuck a bit in the magic academy place, but overall pretty smooth sailing.

Setting up a Kobo without logging in

My trusty Kobo Aura One recently died on me, and I replaced it with a Kobo Libra H2O, which…is honestly kind of a downgrade. I didn’t expect to like the physical buttons, but I’ve come around to them, and the screen is crisper, which makes reading small furigana easier, but the screen is also smaller and the storage size is pitiful (8gb compared to the 32gb I used to have, which is pretty important if you’re going to have a lot of manga on board). In any case…

The main thing I’ve been unhappy about with this new device is the fact that the database handling seems to be really flaky. I had my Aura for four years and never had a problem with it, but this new one has randomly corrupted its own database multiple times over the last few days. Since the only way to fix this is to reset the device and logging in is a hassle (especially since I don’t use any of the online features anyway), I wanted to figure out how to bypass the sign-in process entirely.

There are a few guides on the mobileread forums on how to set this up, but they’re all pretty old — the user database table was only five columns back then and it’s now at 27, which breaks the insert statements. Here’s an updated sqlite script that gets you into the device with minimal fuss:

insert into user
  (UserID, UserKey)
values
  ('-', '-')

The other steps are the same as ever:

  • Connect the ereader to your PC
  • Tap “Set up via USB” on the home screen
  • Download and run SqliteBrowser
  • Click “File/Open Database”, browse to your ereader, and select .kobo/KoboReader.sqlite
  • In the “Run SQL” tab, paste the above script and execute it by pressing F5 or clicking the play button
  • Click “File/Close Database” and save changes
  • Eject the ereader from your PC and disconnect it

You should be met with a fresh clean dashboard. One nice thing about this method is that the ereader never actually sees the internet, so it can’t download book suggestions. I recommend backing up the sqlite database after you set up your preferences (the calibre plugin Kobo Utilities can perform a backup automatically every time you connect the device, which is something I wish I had done much sooner).

Japanese reading report

This week I (re)watched all of 亜人ちゃんは語りたい. I barely remember any of it and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to just follow along with it normally. There were a few sections that weren’t so easy (the part where they try to explain the science behind dullahan mechanics got me a bit lost in the jargon) but it was overall very smooth and I was able to pick up a few words entirely through context here and there. I considered doing some laser-focused subs2srs on them but I’ll be reading the manga soon enough anyway, so I’ll leave it for now.

I read vol. 2 of ホリミヤ and it was great. So far it seems like the anime covered most of the material but there are definitely some extra bits that are not to be missed.

Next up was 無能なナナ vol. 1, which I got for free a while ago and have just been sitting on. I randomly decided to read it in an effort to get through my ever-growing backlog and wow, I was not expecting to like it as much as I did — finished it in one sitting over the course of the afternoon. Picked up a new grammar point (なりして) which I guess is not totally new to me but I’ve always seen it as sort a listing particle, never on its own. I’m not hurting for new manga series but I’m heavily considering whether to buy a few more volumes.

I also read vol. 1 of 東京卍リベンジャーズ after watching the first episode with my sister. I think I also ended up reading this one in a single night. The energy is good and it’s pretty smooth going. Probably not going to pursue it right away, will likely watch the rest of the anime first.

This weekend I watched all of 五等分の花嫁 season 2 (bringing my total anime time for the week to 14:45). It’s been a while since I finished the series and I’ve been thinking about rereading it since my comprehension was not great for most of my first read, but watching the anime has largely scratched that itch. Looking forward to the conclusion.

Also started playing 真・女神転生ソウルハッカーズ, reaching the first dungeon. Not sure if I’ll stick with it but it’s fun so far. I literally didn’t have access to the options menu until an hour into the game so there was some stuff I missed due to auto-advance being enabled by default, but it’s not a huge deal since all the dialogue is voiced anyway. I’ve bounced off every SMT game I’ve tried so hopefully I’m able to stick with this one.

Translation work – Every day is happiness

I’ve once again had the privilege of translating a short web manga by Komugi on twitter (previous work here and here). This one was originally published in the Persona 5 ShuTae anthology a few years ago and I happened upon it by complete coincidence while browsing around on twitter about a week ago.

(Click through to see the full thread including the last two pages)
Continue reading →

Japanese reading report

This week I read 古見さん vol. 21, カラーレス vol. 2, and おとなりに銀河 vol. 2, as well as watched ep. 6-22 of 四月は君の嘘 and all of アオハライド (about 11 hours).

Back when I originally watched it, for some reason I put 四月は君の嘘 on hold about halfway through, so it was good to finally finish it. I have to say the ending was not nearly as emotionally destructive as I had been led to expect. I wonder if it would have hit harder if I had been able to go in blind, but as it was I felt like it resolved exactly as I would have expected just by watching the anime with no expectations. In any case, I enjoyed it a lot.

My sister started watching アオハライド at my recommendation so I decided to rewatch it as well. I honestly didn’t remember anything about it at all besides that I had liked it. Not a lot to say here from a language perspective, but I enjoyed this rewatch as well. Apparently there was supposed to be a second season but it never came to fruition. I might read a bit of the manga at some point since the ending wasn’t really very satisfying.

古見さん is as good as ever. I read this volume really quickly for some reason. The rivalry with 零 is really cute and I like how the two main girls are still really close despite being rivals. I remember seeing pages from this volume on twitter not too long ago so hopefully they keep up this pace and get more volumes out soon.

I keep meaning to go back to カラーレス but getting distracted by other things. The art is really good and the setting is interesting, so I enjoyed this volume. While thinking about how I would go about translating 色力学 (I was thinking “chromatics”) I idly looked it up and found that 量子色力学 (quantum chromodynamics) is actually a real field of study? That was kinda fun. The stuff in the manga is obviously way more literal but it’s neat that it was kind of based on a real thing.

Finally, おとなりに銀河 spent basically the whole volume being cute fluffy romance and barely mentioning the fact that しおり is an alien or w/e, but I’m ok with it.

Japanese reading report

I started off the week by finishing わたしの幸せな結婚, which I believe only took me another day or two since my last report. The last chapter didn’t really accomplish anything major in terms of story but it did wrap everything up nicely. There are more books in the series but apparently it was originally written to be standalone, so I don’t think I’ll run right out to continue it. I liked the ending and didn’t feel like it needed to continue.

Early in the week I read vol. 1 of 進撃の巨人, since I ended up binging all of season 4 (using english subtitles with my sister so it doesn’t count) and was VERY disappointed in the production quality and needed to cope. I’ve been planning to read through the whole series at some point so this was as good a kickoff as any. I learned a new grammar point (feels like a really long time since that happened), てまで, which I was able to figure out by context but later looked up out of curiosity only to find that it’s considered to be N2, not N1 as I expected.

Throughout the week I read up to chapter 3 of 異世界食堂, which is going pretty smoothly when I can find the motivation to read it. For whatever reason I’m just having trouble setting aside time for it. It’s been so long since I saw the anime that I totally forgot some of the nonsense they get up to — like writing 杯 and giving it furigana meant to represent the language of the person whose perspective is currently in use, or just completely using a made-up word to refer to “onions”.

I finally got around to 戦隊大失格 vol. 1, which is the new series from 春場ねぎ(五等分の花嫁)and I’m liking it a lot so far. The basic premise is that some alien invaders came to earth and got rebuffed by the local Sentai troupe…who cut them a deal of “if you agree to keep this up, we won’t completely wipe you out”. So the current arrangement is that the invaders are stuck on earth, unable to leave and forced to participate in a perfunctory battle every Sunday afternoon, while the “Dragon Keeper” Sentai squad prop themselves up into a huge media empire. The main character (an invader who’s gotten sick of all the song and dance) goes undercover to infiltrate the Keepers and ends up falling in with two unlikely allies(?); a girl who wants to topple the Keeper empire because the battles are boring, and a guy who dreams of a world where humans and the invaders can live in peace. I’m kind of getting Spy Family vibes with the whole “playing both sides” angle and the writing has been really fun so far. Looking forward to continuing the series.

Today I (re)watched five episodes of 四月は君の嘘, which I think I got about halfway through a long time ago (with subtitles). Planning to watch the whole series over the next week if I can. It’s been pretty smooth; even the more technical lingo associated with the music industry has all turned out to be stuff I learned a long time ago from 響け!ユーフォニアム.

Finally, I finished ending A of Nier Replicant with a total of 23 hours (my estimate last week was way off). I’m going to count this towards my goal of five games cleared this year, and will count the other endings as one additional game collectively if I decide to finish them. From playing Automata I know there’s going to be a lot of extra content past the original ending, but honestly this game never really grabbed me and I thought the whole final act was pretty bad.