Japanese reading report

Alright, it’s my combination last-report-for-2021 and first-report-for-2022! This past week I did nothing but read manga. I wanted to close the year out with a bang and see how many I could fit in, and I ended up with a total of nine volumes read.

First up was 極妻デイズ vol. 1. I got the first three volumes for free a little bit ago and since one of my soft goals for this coming year is to read more female-oriented manga, I decided to give this series a try. Basic premise: the main girl is a ひきこもり who’s obsessed with a yakuza-themed gacha game, and one day as she’s trying to work up the nerve to go to school, she happens to save the life of a local mob boss. He decides she’s the perfect candidate to take over for him as patriarch (matriarch) and tries to get her to fall in love with one of his three grandsons, all of whom are unworthy of the position in some way. It’s entertaining enough but nothing amazing. I’ll probably finish the next two volumes but likely won’t continue past what I have already.

Next: むとうとさとう vol. 3. It’s been a while since I read any of this and I’d kind of forgotten most of the characters but fortunately most of them are just one-note comedy types. Not a ton to say about this one. I enjoy reading it but it does seem like the only character with any depth is さとう most of the time. Still really funny.

僕の心のヤバイやつ vol. 3: hilarious, and makes me glad I stuck with the series after a pretty rocky start. The initially bizarre characterization of the main pair has paid off into something pretty interesting and it feels like they have a good dynamic now instead of just him being edgy and murdery and her being inconsiderate.

珈琲をしづかに was another vol. 1 I’ve been sitting on a while. Really nice coffeeshop vibes, cute 和服 heroine, promising premise about what it really means to become an adult. I bought the next volume to see if I’ll continue reading it.

Next up was 早乙女選手、ひたかくす vol. 1, which I didn’t like much at all. This is a series I’ve had in my library for probably like three years? I’m pretty sure it was one the first “purchases” I made back when I was looking for free manga to just get started with. The one thing I’ll say is that when I first started trying to read it, it was basically impossible due to no furigana and the fact that the main character talks in a heavy kansai dialect. At this point neither of those things are a problem at all so it was nice to be able to blaze right through it.

Next: ホリミヤ vol. 3. I’ll probably binge through a few of these in the near future. It’s really funny and I know my sister has been champing at the bit to discuss the non-anime content with me.

I’ve been sitting on 戦隊大失格 vol. 3 for a long time now. I think when it came out I was still in the middle of trying to polish off one of my novels or something. Unfortunately what that means is that I had totally forgotten a bunch of details from the last volume, but thankfully the important points are woven into the story well enough that I wasn’t in the dark for long. Some pretty interesting reveals throughout, and one implication in particular that I’m very curious to see about later.

On New Year’s Eve I squeezed one more volume in before the new year with 阿波連さんははかれない vol. 5. I’m sure the sake had something to do with it but I was howling the entire time. The newly introduced 古文 teacher kept showing up and dropping increasingly horrible gags with old words like をかし・いと・あはれ and I kept losing it.

Finally, today I started the new year off on the right foot by reading vol. 7 of Spy Family (also been on the list for a while). Honestly I feel like nothing really happened in this one? The first chapter paid off a big cliffhanger, but then pretty much the entire middle of the book was just silly vignettes with one character at a time. The last chapter rounds them all up again so hopefully we’ll have some highjinks in the near future.