Japanese reading report

Komi-san is as good as ever and I’ll need to go buy some more of it since I blazed through the last batch I bought. Standout moments this week were an explanation of how to play a particular type of 花札 game (which I had a lot of trouble with at first) and a section which featured 井中 speaking freely in her ずうずう弁 accent (where I was gratified to find that I understood her perfectly — my mild interest in 東北方言 is paying off it seems. Bonus: coming across かろう for the first time in the wild, then hearing it in a song almost immediately afterwards and realizing that I’d actually heard it years ago — the mysteries of passive immersion!

I didn’t end up having as much time as I expected for reading this weekend so I wasn’t able to finish Flying Witch vol. 8, but I’ll polish it off next time. Something I’ve been noticing though, is that the series has gotten noticeably more complex as it’s gone along — it’s no longer the beginner-friendly series that I started with. It could be that the setting has been developed to a point now where the reader can be expected to have a working knowledge of the magic system and should be able to handle more in-depth topics, or maybe this is just a natural progression as more characters are introduced. Either way, the number of text-heavy pages has increased a lot over the last three volumes and it’s nice to find that I’m still able to keep up with the same ease that originally drew me in.

I’m trying once again to get on the audio immersion train, so I put away four or five more episodes of Toradora. A lot of the plot points are still hitting me as brand new (despite this being a rewatch) but I’m still having a pretty easy time following the story, even if a decent amount of the banter goes over my head. There were a few points where I was able to pick up secondary meanings for vocab I already learned based on context (as one example, I learned 谷間 as “valley” but that’s not all it means).

Japanese reading report

At the beginning of the week I was still in Yokohama, so for my last night I went to see 天気の子 in theaters. I didn’t like it quite as much as 君の名は but it was still excellent. As far as my comprehension, it definitely wasn’t as good as some of the other movies I’ve seen (even including 君の名は), and I’m still not 100% sure I understand the mechanics behind 晴れ女, but I managed to keep up and never get blindsided.

I finished up vol. 5 of よつばと! the night before heading out. I haven’t picked it up since very early on in my reading career and I forgot how great it is. Not much to report — I was able to puzzle out some constellation names during the stargazing chapter, but beyond that it was basically just casual leisure reading (which is nice).

On the plane ride home I read Flying Witch vol. 7, leaving me with just one volume left to go before I’m caught up (and have to wait until next October for another volume!). It’s still pretty simple to follow so I’ve decided to go for a higher level of comprehension when I read it, namely by looking up words in the dictionary when I can’t figure them out through context (usually I just skip anything I don’t know). The friction it adds is definitely noticeable but it’s not too bad, and it seems like it’ll benefit me.

Also on the plane, I read Komi-san vol. 5. I wish I’d made some notes while reading it because while I can remember what happened, I don’t remember any new words I learned or anything like that.

Finally, through the past few days I’ve been reading Komi-san vol. 6. One notable thing from just today was learning the おぼえがない pattern and then hearing it just a few hours later in the latest episode Fire Force (not appearing in my report since I used EN subs). I’ll be finished with it today but I wanted to get my report in so I can read myself to sleep — jet lag is still kicking my butt.

Japanese reading report

Between my 12 flight to Japan and two days of being cooped up in my hotel room due to the typhoon, I had plenty of time for reading this week (even if most of it was frontloaded).

On the plane I read 少女終末旅行 vol. 1, which didn’t take me very long — I think I finished it on the first leg of the flight. I only ended up coming across a handful of words I didn’t know, which feels like a triumph in and of itself. It’s not terribly complicated in terms of dialogue but there were some military terms that I was able to figure out just based on the kanji (though I went and looked them up later just to make sure of the pronunciation). This series is kind of a pain to read on Honto because you need to use the app, but since there aren’t too many books I think I’ll continue it anyway.

The second book I read on my flight was 鬼滅の刃 vol. 2, which I’m reading to catch up with the anime. Since I already watched the show with subs I can figure out pretty much all the unknown words through context. I ran across a few words that I’d recently learned elsewhere, like 専念 and 深追い, which helped reinforce them right away.

The last piece of immersion I had on the plane was watching the movie Diner. It was…very weird. I was able to follow along with the plot and understand most of the dialogue so I guess it was an overall success but I was DEFINITELY expecting something a lot more lighthearted just based on the description.

Throughout the week I played a fair bit of Dark Souls in Japanese. I know the game like the back of my hand so I didn’t do too much reading per se, but I did pay attention to the NPC dialogue. It’s interesting how wildly different the EN voices are from the JP subtitles. Another noteworthy moment: randomly coming across 紋章(の盾)the same day I learned it on WaniKani.

I went to a BOOK-OFF and found a physical copy of ねねね (which was one of my goals for this trip). I also picked up よつばと! vol. 5 and read through most of it yesterday while wandering around the hotel.

Honorable mentions: 新幹線 schedules, menus at various restaurants, listening to コンビニ and ticket counter clerks. About a dozen pages of Flying Witch vol. 7. It’s been a busy week.

Japanese reading report

This week I had a bit of a false start but managed to pull it together in the end.

A while ago I got the first few chapters of 薬屋のひとりごと (the manga adaptation) for free on Honto, and I’d been sitting on it waiting for a chance to give it a try. I got about 20 pages in and decided to put it on hold for a while — a lot of the words that were coming up were totally new to me and it just wasn’t jiving with my reading approach. Apparently it was originally a web novel on ncode, so I might read it there instead in the future.

Bouncing back from that, I read vol. 5 of 古見さん, which had a few nice “aha” moments. There’s a new character who speaks some type of 東北方言, using わだす instead of わたし and occasionally ending her sentences with べ (which is like だろう). It’s pretty cool because I’ve already gotten somewhat familiar with 津軽弁 from Flying Witch (which is another of the so-called ずうずう弁 dialects) so I immediately understood her and recognized the characterization they were going for.

When I first started reading 古見さん it was definitely a bit above my level but at this point it’s very comfortable. I picked up the next few volumes to read while on my long flight tomorrow (I’m headed to Japan!)

I also watched two more episodes of とらドラ with j-subs. Comprehension still feels about 80%. Fortunately it seems like the subtitles act as an aid rather than a crutch; I’m finding more and more that they help but I don’t rely on them.