Japanese reading report

First up this week: finished ダンダダン vol. 2. I’ve been reading a chapter here and there but there have been other things I wanted to prioritize. Possibly better than the already very strong vol. 1. I particularly liked the part where オカルン and もも are trying to find each other and how that all turns out with her friends after the fact.

Next was 虹浜ラブストーリー (上下) which was…bad. I bought it because it’s set in 和歌山 but there wasn’t a hint of dialect to be seen and the story was really lame. The main guy was kind of a psycho, his childhood crush had a one-page “character growth” that just about gave me whiplash, and it didn’t feel like anything was planned out despite being complete at two volumes. There were moments partway through the final arc where I was just laughing uncontrollably because of how unintentionally silly it was.

I read 37.5℃の涙 vol. 1 since it was free and thought it was pretty nice. The main character is a woman who works for a company that specializes in at-home care for children who are too sick to go to normal daycare. She’s kind of a weirdo but in an endearing way, and she always manages to get through to the kids she looks after (or their parents, in some cases). There was one story I particularly liked about a woman who’s struggling to readjust to her job after having a child, all the while feeling unsupported by her husband. I’ll probably be reading more of this.

トニカクカワイイ vol. 22 came out this week so I read that pretty much right away. Nothing much happened. I guess we got a chapter or two at the end with some more backstory but I wish it would weave the plot in a little better.

シャイ vol. 1 was also free and I decided to give it a try. Wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. There were multiple points through the first volume alone that had me getting suddenly emotional and the characters are great. Definitely planning to continue this soon.

Last manga of the week was ヴィクトリアの電気棺 vol. 2, which I quickly prioritized because I had a 20% coupon to use and wanted to make sure that vol. 3 would be worth reading. Vol. 2 was great so I grabbed vol. 3 (which is actually the last volume, unfortunately). Good backstory, some nice character developments. Since the series is apparently over, I might finish it off earlier than I expected.

Stayed consistently ahead of pace on 京都寺町三条のホームズ vol. 5, reading along with the audiobook. I’m 70 pages in now and could definitely go twice as fast if I wasn’t juggling a million other things (October can’t come a day too soon). The first chapter was mostly just “fanservice” with the main gang hanging out at an onsen. Today’s reading left off just before I expect the first real mystery of this book to start. Saw ならではの for the first time ever since learning about it eight months ago, which was kind of noteworthy (apparently I had actually seen it in プチデビル後輩 last year, but had no memory of this).

I only finished five audiobooks this week, but two of them were pretty long. 同志少女よ、敵を撃て (15:34, medium focus), まんまこと (10:02, low focus), 夏へのトンネル、さよならの出口 (8:36, medium/high focus), 夜市 (5:05, medium/high focus), 本好き vol. 1 (9:50, medium/high focus). What I’ve found is that I get a lot more out of audiobooks if I’m already familiar with the material, which is what prompted me to go for something more familiar (the last three) after noticing that I often got lost with things that were brand new (the first two this week). It’s not a surefire thing — 獣の奏者 and このすば both held my attention pretty well — but the nice thing is that even if I do get lost, it’s not hard to pick back up by recognizing some event or conversation. Going forward, I’ll be trying to listen to familiar material when I’m busy with other things, and new material when I’m able to focus more on the audio itself.

I keep forgetting to mention it, but I’ve started Soul Hackers 2…and barely played any of it at all; I’ve basically made it out of the tutorial area but haven’t had time to dedicate to it. So far I’m having a good time though. Saw the “just like” meaning of よろしく for the first time, which is pretty weird. I also played a bit more Ghostwire now that I have a steam deck which (embarrassingly) runs it way better than my PC does. I’ll finish a game one of these days, mark my words.

Last thing: my sister was out of town again this week so no anime aside from サマータイムレンダ ep. 22, which was somehow even tougher than last week to write good subtitles for. Up to a new record of 69 lines that took me forever to figure out. Most of them were just because translation is different than comprehension, but there were two lines in particular that really twisted me up in knots. The first was encountering ためしがない, which I was completely failing to parse intuitively. Eventually I found that it basically means ~たことはない, but the entry on jisho actually lists it as 試しがない — which is incorrect! The ためし should actually be 例, which makes a whole heck of a lot more sense. The second line that was giving me trouble was 人間ごときが楽しいな!– try as I might I couldn’t make any sense out of this with my existing understanding of 如き. This time it turns out there’s a slang usage that’s basically equivalent to the derogatory ~め. Apparently the japanese subtitles for the matrix use this for the agents’ line “Only human”. Pretty neat and something that took me far too long to figure out.