This week was essentially a repeat of the last, with a good mix of media types. I rode my bike to work three days, totalling about 1.5hrs to listen to a random podcast I found by searching for ゲーム in the Google Podcast app. Most of the conversation went over my head, but I did notice that I was able to follow the topic of conversation — when they stopped talking about Sekiro and moved on to ジョジョの奇妙な冒険, and from there onto the ジャンプアクション genre.
I watched three more episodes of とらドラ and it’s still a little difficult to catch everything. One nice thing, however, is that I’ve realized just how much I forgot about the show since the first time I saw it (with EN subs). Most of the plot developments feel fresh and unexpected, which is encouraging because it means I’m comprehending enough to be able to follow along without relying on existing knowledge.
For actual reading, I read most of ５花嫁 vol. 9. Once again I found myself stumbling across grammar I’ve just recently learned, notably ~兼ねる and 他ならない, both of which I’d been struggling to recall during my reviews. Additionally, this morning I learned the word 寸前 on WaniKani and then immediately saw it again as 遅刻寸前, which is always fun as it solidifies words as having practical use and makes them easier to remember.
I played a good amount more of Persona Q2, wrapping up the 3rd dungeon and moving on to the 4th. The 3rd boss has an interesting gimmick that literally requires you to be literate, which I’m told caused some pain for the scrubs who imported without knowing any Japanese. I’ve also been picking my way through the sidequests, most of which are 75% dialogue with very simple gameplay.
Finally, I spent about an hour last night translating the entirety of the announcement page for Persona 5: The Royal. It’s really rewarding to be able to apply my hard-won skills in a way that my friends can benefit from as well.
This week I finished vol. 3 of 甘々と稲妻, which has been a back-burner book for a little while now (languishing at about 50% read). It’s another series I started after seeing the anime (quite some time ago), and I’m to the point where I’m caught up with what was covered in season 1. It was pretty difficult for me to read when I first started due to having very little furigana, but lately I’ve been finding it much easier to follow. As a recipe-of-the-week manga, it’s got a lot of cooking terminology that I’m familiar with in English already, so I’ve been able to pick up words strictly in context without having to really look anything up.
I also finished vol. 7 of ５等分の花嫁 (really just the last few pages since I didn’t finish it last week). Vol. 8 came out on Tuesday so I’ll be reading that this week. It’s kind of thrilling to be able to read something that probably won’t be translated for quite some time (I think only up to vol. 6 has been translated into English at this point).
The majority of my input this week came from Persona Q2. I streamed the main quest for about five hours across three sessions, played four or five of the sidequests off-camera, and even did some research on a Japanese wiki for the game. I mentioned in #reading_chat how I’m finding it much easier to understand now than when I first started playing it, and just to check I went back to some of my early VODs — it’s really amazing how much of a difference there is. The pockets of dead air where I have to look up words were much longer and more common, and my comprehension was serviceable but I definitely missed out on a fair bit of nuance in certain places. I’ve been working steadily through N2 on Bunpro (should be finished with the lessons by the middle of next month) and I’ve been seeing one or two of those new grammar points every time I sit down to play so it’s really helpful for reinforcement. I’ll definitely have to find a new game to play once I finish this one up.
This week I diversified a little bit. I won’t have a new volume of ５等分の花嫁 until the 17th, so I slowed my pace down a little and didn’t rush to finish vol. 7 (though I may end up finishing it anyway since I’m on a long bus ride right now). My recently-studied grammar continues to show up (I saw どうやら the day after it was in my Bunpro lessons), and I realized that I’d learned ざる (N1!) without even realizing it when I immediately understood 働かざる者食うべからず.
I dabbled in a few anime to find a new one to watch and settled on とらドラ, which is a little too fast for me to follow without subs, but pretty manageable when I have J-subs on. I watched it about two years ago but I mainly remember characters and important plot points, so I shouldn’t have to worry too much about “spoilers” interfering with the need to pay attention to comprehend.
I also watched a bunch of Japanese cooking YouTube! I don’t remember the recipe I was originally looking for, but I came across this channel and was immediately hooked. I love cooking and know a lot of the patterns already in English, so I can comprehend pretty much everything that’s going on and then map the new words directly to that concept (instead of a dictionary gloss).
I finally got back to Persona Q2 this week after neglecting it for over a month. I did a side quest starting Yukiko and Yusuke and noticed that I have a much easier time understanding Yusuke now. He has a flowery way of speaking that I’ve suspected was very literary, and I think my N2 grammar studies have helped me with some of the constructions he uses. I’ll be back to playing it regularly on Monday. I want to at least finish the third dungeon before the official Western release in June.
Another week, another volume of ５花嫁. I only have two weeks left until I’ll be totally caught up! Vol. 9 comes out on the 17th, and then who knows how long it’ll be until the next — I’ll need to pick up another series to keep me occupied in the meantime.
The biggest thing I noticed this week was that I’m spotting more and more of my recently-studied grammar points . I’ve ramped up my pace on Bunpro recently and I’m currently on track to be done “learning” N2 grammar in 36 days (not including reviews of course). The more grammar I learn, the more I see, and some of the points I’ve been struggling with have actually come up in my reading just over the past few days — だけは (which I would often confuse with だけに) and どうせ were both used in the last two chapters alone. Seeing study material in the wild does wonders to ground it and make sure it sticks, so I’m glad I’ve been able to come across examples like this.
I also finished up K-On season 1 and tried (failed) to move on to さようなら絶望先生. I’d almost be happy just watching it for the animation, but I came away from the first episode almost completely lost. Right now I think I’m better off finding something to watch that’s comfortably at my level since my listening comprehension is still lacking.