Japanese reading report

This week I listened to a few more episodes of HKBK, watched ep 1 of Flying Witch and up through ep 4 of 月がきれい, read a bit of JP Wikipedia, Flying Witch vol. 6 and 一週間フレンズ ch. 1, and listened to the White Album 2 soundtrack more times than I can count.

HKBK continues to largely go over my head. Ep 11, the latest one I’ve listened to, is about a monthly manga publication called 月刊アフタヌーン and I recognized some of the titles they mentioned (the one that comes to mind is 蟲師) so that portion at least was a success.

I’ve been passively listening to Japanese music daily since I first started studying, so I don’t usually feel it’s worthy of mentioning. This week I decided to try listening a little more actively and I have to assume it’s working out well — each time I listen to a song I pick up a little more. The language in the White Album 2 soundtrack is very poetic and literary (I was struck by the use of 明日「あす」 coming up in a song just a day after somebody asked what the difference was between it and あした). A good amount of it still goes over my head but I’m going to keep drilling it. The compilation I used was here if anyone’s interested.

月がきれい is still pretty easy to follow with regards to the main plot. There are a few moments where Kotarou will say “Dazai wrote […]” or “Souseki said […]”, and at moments like this I basically lose track of the conversation immediately. Fortunately such moments don’t come up too frequently.

The Flying Witch anime is (like many adaptations) pretty much word-for-word to the manga so the first episode was very straightforward. There were definitely a few moments that I couldn’t follow (sentences that were too long or spoken too quickly), but nothing too bad. I’m going to look into using subs2srs for this and set the cards up to specifically train listening.

The WaniKani forum beginner reading club is reading 一週間フレンズ over the next few months. Having finished the first chapter in a week I’m way ahead of them and I’m planning to see if I can help out with any questions over there. Really though, it was just an excuse to read the manga — I loved the anime and so far the manga is great so far.

Flying Witch vol. 6 had an interesting moment where I had to go and search around on the internet as I wasn’t able to find definitions for two of the words they used, namely テラ系 and 九行(ここのつ). It turned out that the magic system in the world of the series is separated into nine aspects(九行, nine ways), of which Makoto is an earth user (テラ系, terra). I don’t think this has ever been mentioned in the series before but it’s a neat bit of worldbuilding and was fortunately outlined on the JP wikipedia page for the series.

Another wikipedia page I read was the story of 隙間女, styled in English as “the girl from the gap”. She’s a monster of some kind who hids in narrow spaces such as between a dresser and the wall. I heard about her a long time ago but could never find any good information on the English internet and I didn’t know how to find her in Japanese — and then I randomly learned the word 隙間 on WaniKani this week and tried tacking on 女 to test my luck. The story was ultimately pretty straightforward but I was so pleased to have found a good source for it.