Japanese reading report

This week I put in about six more hours of P5:R, bringing me up to the middle of Kamoshida’s castle. There have been a fair number of new scenes and mechanical tweaks, so the extent to which I can coast on my existing knowledge is ever decreasing (which is fine by me!). The biggest benefit of this playthrough so far has been, I think, my listening comprehension — I find that the spoken dialogue sections are much easier to follow, which is encouraging. I’m picking up some vocabulary that’s pretty domain-specific (in the first Palace of course we have words like 色欲 which are thematically appropriate but probably won’t show up later in the game). Just as with PQ2 I think the variety of the areas and characters is going to be super beneficial.

For manga I finished Flying Witch vol. 8 (which catches me up with all available 単行本 volumes). The last chapter was really kind of weird — it introduced a lot of new characters and focused entirely on Makoto’s school life without any of the established themes making an appearance. It also ended up being a lot wordier than I’m used to — it almost feels like the series has grown with me as I’ve improved. The later volumes definitely aren’t as beginner-friendly as the first few, but I think that makes for a cool progression. Nothing to really report in terms of new vocab.

I also read the latter half of Yuru Camp vol. 1. Most of the new vocab showed up in the first half (almost all of which were camping terms). One moment I thought was kind of funny though; I keep struggling with the word 寛ぐ on WaniKani — for some reason I just can’t keep the kanji and the reading associated with each other. It was a nice surprise when I happened across that very word in Yuru Camp…but without the kanji. Apparently it’s usually written in kana alone. Oh well, hopefully it still helps somehow.

Yesterday and today I read Komi-san vol. 7. It’s still great. There was one joke that I worked hard to understand and was very gratified when I figured it out because it requires a decent amount of cultural trivia: one of the new characters is named 加藤 三九二, which is a reference to the famous Shogi player 加藤 一二三. At one point the other characters say she’s 123的, which I was able to decipher by putting it together that the Shogi girl from Persona 5 is also named 一二三 and there must be some shared connection between them. It was a fun rabbit hole that I probably would have missed entirely without that external context.

Honorable mentions: I listened to about two hours of HKBK and aside from one section where I was able to follow along pretty well as the two hosts talked about their favorite voice actresses, as usual it mostly ended up as passive immersion. I also watched a bit of MHA with my sister and even though we were using English subs for her benefit, I was still paying attention to the audio. I specifically remember hearing 諸刃の剣 and being glad that I put it in Anki a while ago. It’s a cool phrase and I probably would have forgotten it by now.