Japanese reading report

Quite happy with this week’s showing; I read 11 volumes of manga, finished one audiobook, started a new novel and a new audiobook. The only thing I didn’t check off was anime, but I’m still ahead of pace on that front so we’re feeling good. I took two days off work this week to make it a five-day weekend and my goal was to read at least two volumes of manga per day to give myself a comfortable lead on my pace for the year.

For manga (in no particular order, since I jumped all over the place), I read KIngdom of the Z vol. 4 and 5, which I think just has one more to go? Not a lot to say here, it was kind of a mixed bag. I’m not sure how they’re going to finish the story in just one volume but we shall see.

I only read one first-volume this week, but it’s one I’ve been sitting on for a long time: Mashle, which is about a guy who lives in a world where it’s illegal to not be a magic-user, and he has to sneak through daily life with just his incredible physical strength. It reminds me somewhat of Mob Psycho; the main character looks a lot like Mob and his power level and spaced-out style make for some good moments.

Started reading アオのハコ and I’m really digging it. The story seems like it’s going to tie me up in knots and the art is really nice. Got through vol. 1 and 2 and will likely be catching up this coming week.

I also picked ゆびさきと恋々 again, reading vol. 2 and 3. I’m putting the pressure on my sister to read vol. 4 since she’ll get on my case if I read ahead of her. I mentioned it last time as well but I love how lyrical the narration in this series is. Picking up little bits of sign language here and there is fun as well, and it’s interesting how natural some of them feel (just as ASL fingerspelling has some signs based on the shapes of the alphabet, 日本手話指文字 has some signs that are based on katakana).

東京卍リベンジャーズ vol. 28 came out and was all one big fight scene. I blew through it in half an hour. I feel like there was…one word? that I had previously looked up and saw reinforced halfway through — but I can’t remember offhand what it was.

I wasn’t planning to continue with 鬼獄の夜 unless it wrapped up in the current volume (12) but I decided to try it anyway. The entire thing is a kind of flashback/historical backstory to the times before the demon cult had been founded and it worked well as a change of pace.

Finally, トニカクカワイイ vol. 20 didn’t really give me the resolution that I was expecting but there’s always next time. It had a bunch of cute moments though so we forgive.

I finished listening to スーパーカブ vol. 1 and I wanna say it started getting interesting around the last 1/5 of the book. I wasn’t sure I would continue the series but I think I will. I do have kind of a hard time staying focused unfortunately, but it’s easy to follow.

Next, I started listening to (deep breath) 学年ビリのギャルが1年で偏差値を40上げて慶應大学に現役合格した話, which I picked up at random based on the audible newsletter. The thesis of the book is 「ダメな人間なんて、いないんです。ダメな指導者がいるだけなんです。でも、ダメな指導者も、ちょっとした気づきで、変われるのです」and reading that was enough to get me interested. This is really Pure Gyaru: the novel. It’s based on a true story and I’ve enjoyed it a lot; about halfway through now. Favorite さやかちゃん moments so far: misreading 聖徳太子 as タコ and saying “who named this poor girl”; being sure that nobody knows which way south is and having a rude awakening when she tried to get her sister to back her up; drawing a map of Japan as just a circle. It’s largely a story about institutional failure but also about the people who do support her and how she ends up turning her life around. Will likely finish it up early next week.

Finally, I started reading 桜子, an amazon self-published novel by a woman from 和歌山 (written in 和歌山弁 naturally). It’s not about anything per se, just vignettes from the titular character’s life as she and her mother adjust to life after her father passes away. I’m honestly reading it for the dialect first and foremost but it’s been pretty enjoyable.