When I first started looking into reading Japanese manga, I picked up a bunch of free volumes on Honto.jp, all of which were well above my level. This week I finally read one of them, and it’s still a little bit above my level, but not to the point where I got overly lost. It was a little longer than most 単行本 I read, and also quite a bit higher on text density, so I didn’t have too much time to read anything else this week.
かなたかける is a story about a little girl named Kanata who loves running, and specifically likes to pass people. She transfers from Tokyo to Hakone discovers that that she’s the slowest person in her new class– it’s easy to outrun people who are just walking through the 商店街, but running in an actual race is a different story.
The first volume mainly involves Kanata trying to fit in at school despite being a spacey weirdo. She runs all the way to school every day to the puzzlement of her classmates, who can see her from the bus; she says things that are easily misunderstood (relatable am I right); and she’s a little socially stunted due to attending a very small school in the past. At one point she’s being bullied and somebody tells her “why don’t you run back to Tokyo if it’s so boring here” …and she decides that’s actually a great idea so she tries it out. By the end of the book she’s learned to run a little faster, but more importantly her classmates have realized that she’s far above them when it comes to endurance racing, which I suspect will play a role as the story continues.
There’s very little furigana in this book, but it hasn’t been too much of a problem. As far as I can remember the only words I had trouble with were ones that used kanji I wasn’t used to; 他人事 was one example that tripped me up. I’ve picked up a fair number of words that have to do with running, like かけっこ (track meet), 鬼ごっこ (the game of tag), グラウンド (running track), and シューズ (which specifically seems to refer to running shoes).
Bonus round: I played a little more Persona 4, just getting past Chie’s shadow fight. The only time I really spend playing P4 is when I’m trying to fall asleep, so my sessions have been pretty short. I also listened to a bit more きくドラ, but my podcasts app kept bugging and restarting the episode, so I ended up hearing the first five minutes over and over again. Hardly worth mentioning but input is input.