No overnight success

Last night I broke my own record for how quickly I could read one volume of manga in Japanese (the delightful とつくにの少女), finishing in about an hour. As exciting as this was, it quickly dawned on me that I was only able to reach this level (and of course, I have much further to go) due to dedicated daily study for almost four years. One hour of reading is propped up by thousands of hours of practice.

How did the Beatles manage to find such immediate success when they burst onto the scene in 1962?
By toiling for years ahead of time without ever being noticed.

How many strokes does it take to fell a tree?
One. But also a hundred.

Japanese reading report

This week I read two volumes of manga, read another chunk of my novel, and watched some more anime.

I got a bunch of World Trigger for free on Honto a while ago and decided to try it out — ended up reading vol. 1 really quickly and finished it in the first few days. It’s pretty good so far and I think I’ll definitely keep reading at least through the ones I got for free. Decided to go ahead and look up every unknown word since I wasn’t coming across very many of them.

My second manga for this week was 5等分の花嫁 vol. 13, which is still a bit difficult. Seems like the story might actually be coming to a close, which is exciting — part of the reason I got started with this series was because I had a feeling from the beginning that it was going to shirk the normal harem tropes, and it seems like I was right.

Throughout the week I read through 14 more pages of 氷菓 in accordance with the WaniKani bookclub pace. Compared to the first week this was much easier and I think I just needed to find my feet. There’s been a ton of unfamiliar vocabulary so I’m reading with Takoboto open and adding everything I look up to the Favorites list so I can go over them later. I’ve come across a few familiar N1 grammar points, including one that 日本語の森 made a video about half an hour before I found it in the book. Funny how that works sometimes.

Across a few more trips to the gym I watched three more episodes of 少女終末旅行, bringing me up to five total. At this point I’m beyond the point that I’ve read in the manga so it’s all uncharted territory, but I’m doing alright.

Japanese reading report

This week I read three volumes of manga, watched a bit of anime, and read almost two chapters in my first novel.

First up was 鬼滅の刃 vol. 13 and 14, which I read back to back in pretty quick succession. While there was a decent chunk of time allotted to battle sequences, there was also a lot of monologuing and two character backstories, so it was a pretty good balance. I love the two new 柱 characters; 蜜璃 has a really cute backstory and I thought the wordplay around 無一郎’s name was really interesting.

My third manga was 3月のライオン vol. 1. I watched the anime ages ago, and in fact tried to read it back in May but it was quite a ways above my level. This time around I was pleased to find that I was able to read it without really any trouble at all — I only had to look up a few words through the whole book and the near-total lack of furigana wasn’t an issue. I’ll probably continue reading this series but I think I’ll skip to vol. 10 since that’s where the anime left off.

I’ve started going to the gym recently, and last time I downloaded episode 1 of 少女終末旅行 onto my phone to watch while I cycled. I’ll be making a habit of this going forward since I like to cycle for about 20 minutes anyway, which is just about perfect. Nothing major to report here; I was able to follow along pretty much perfectly but I’ve already seen a few episodes with English subs plus read the first volume of the manga, so I might not be able to accurately assess until I pass that point.

Finally, I read about a chapter and a half of 氷菓. I really liked the anime but it’s been a while — I think it was one of the first series I ever watched. So far the only thing of note is that Oreki’s sister has written him a letter asking him to join the classic lit club so it doesn’t close down. I’m reading this with the WaniKani book club and it’s been a bit rough getting into the rhythm. I’m sure things will get easier as I get more experience, so there’s nothing for it but to keep moving.

Japanese reading report

Short early report since I’m moving today and will probably be busy tomorrow as well.

Finished vol. 12 of 鬼滅の刃. There were some moments that I had to re-read a few times before I really figured out what they meant due to the combination of exposition and a new unfamiliar setting.

Watched another episode of 俺好き. The rumored 津軽弁 girl showed up and I couldn’t understand anything she said (when she switched to dialect mode), which just makes me want to make subtitle cards and go over it again.

The bulk of my immersion came from Persona 5, since this is the last time I’ll be able to play it for a little while. I made it to the point of opening the mission on Kaneshiro (arc 3, mid-June) and have had very little time to act freely all week — we went to the TV station, unwound with Yuusuke at Leblanc, started investigating the mafia at Makoto’s behest, and only finally got cut loose at the end of the day yesterday. The last thing I did was clear out requests in Mementos (which led to seeing a bunch of new content with a new character). All in all a productive week but gosh if it didn’t feel like a straight-up visual novel instead of an RPG sometimes 😅

Japanese reading report

First report of the new year!

This week I read all of 鬼滅の刃 vol. 11 and about 30% of vol. 12. I really really liked this past arc and I’m so glad I’m reading ahead of the anime/English translation. I’ve been looking up a lot of words and it still baffles me just how small my vocabulary is compared to everything that’s out there.

I’m still pushing hard on P5R since I’m moving out of my apartment this weekend and my PS4 will be in storage for a little bit. I’m close to the beginning of the third arc, but there’s been a lot of on-rails story stuff so my progress through the in-game calendar has been kind of slow.

Finally, I started watching 俺好き (without subtitles) and I’m three episodes in. So far there’s been a recurring gag where the protagonist will be subjected to the same exact situation by each of the two main girls, which sort of reinforces the words/phrasing used. I’m not having too much trouble following along, though some of the inner monologues can fly by very quickly.