Japanese reading goals for 2021

I’ll be using this post to keep track of my goals and progress across the upcoming year.

  • 35/52 volumes of manga
  • 5/12 novels
  • 1/5 visual novels or Japanese-language games

Where applicable, I’ll also be updating my Bookmeter and VNDB lists.

My baseline manga goal won’t change from last year; even though I could easily double it, I’d rather set my priorities elsewhere. I enjoy reading manga but I’m not sure there are 52 volumes of anything that I’m anxious to read, so I’ll be pursuing this goal on a more casual level.

With the novel hurdle soundly cleared last year, I’m raising my goal to 12, which should be easily achievable considering my pace by the end of 2020. I was considering whether to include visual novels in this number, but I ultimately decided to keep those in their own category.

I’ve been wanting to get into visual novels for some time now (after all, that’s where I had my first introduction to anything Japanese-related), but I’ve heard that they sit rather high on the difficulty spectrum. Since I plan to play on either my Vita or Switch, the typical tools like text hookers and OCR won’t be available to me, so I wanted to hold off until they were a little more accessible for me to read unaided. This third category is primarily intended for VNs, but I’ll also count games which have a substantial amount of reading involved.


Jan. 21
Well, it’s the third week of the year and I’m already well ahead of schedule regarding manga (current total of 8). With no way to judge how far I am through 大図書館の羊飼い, I must admit I’m a little anxious that I set an unrealistic goal on that front. My current scene completion only shows 5%, and while I know that refers to the entire game (with all routes), it still feels like a pretty low number. Furthermore, I’m definitely behind schedule on my novel goal — I’ve barely cracked a book since the beginning of the year. I feel like I ought to give manga a break until I finish one.

Jan. 30
With the first month nearly over and still no meaningful progress on my novel goal, I’m about to be quite behind schedule. At the beginning of the week I decided to focus on 本好きの下剋上 and read one chapter per day until I finished it. I’m now 25% of the way through and hope to keep a similar pace so as to finish by the third week of February.

Feb. 20
Three weeks later, I finished 本好きの下剋上 vol. 3 exactly according to plan. I’m now no longer behind pace, and assuming I can finish one more novel by the end of the month (which I’m also on track to do), I’ll remain caught-up into March as well. 大図書館の羊飼い has been put back on hold but I’ll be resuming it at the beginning of the month.

Mar. 21
Not sure if I’m just in a slump or what but I’ve had a really hard time focusing on reading for the last two weeks. Decided to cut my daily reading for 雷の季節の終わりに down to 8 pages per day, which feels pretty bad since it’s a lot slower than I’ve read anything for a little while now…BUT once I adjusted my pace I was able to get back to reading it and even went a bit beyond the cutoff point, so maybe I shouldn’t be worrying. My original goal was set with the idea of finishing it by the second week of April, but with this adjusted pace I’m now aiming for the end of April.

May 22
I’ve been really enjoying わたしの幸せな結婚 and was actually expecting to have been finished with it by this point at the pace I was going, but unfortunately my ereader randomly died one morning while I was turning it on. I ordered a replacement right away, but it won’t be here for another few days. In the meantime, I’ve started reading 異世界食堂 (which has been on my backlog for a while now), and I’ll probably continue reading as my book for June since I’m at it.

June 2
Despite the delay caused by my ereader’s untimely death, I managed to finish わたしの幸せな結婚 only one day late. It’s too bad considering I was on track to finish it much more quickly, but not a big deal. I’ve also been playing Nier Replicant, which might actually become my first completed game of the year pretty soon.

June 6
I’ve now finished Nier Replicant ending A, and I’m counting it as my first completed game for this year. If I decide to go through the other main endings I might consider them to collectively count as one additional game, or I might not. Haven’t decided yet, but what I do know for sure is that my first impression of the ending (of the entire second half, really) is that I have no idea why it’s considered to be a classic. Will be writing about that in its own post.