Japanese reading report

This week was a near disaster for manga. It’s been a while since I’ve been so keenly aware of how much of a factor interest (or lack thereof) can be in my ability to stay engaged and be able to focus.I managed to turn it around in the end, but it was pretty demotivating. Something to be aware of in the future.

First was 道産子ギャルはなまらめんこい vol. 3 and I think this series might be starting to lose my interest. It’s still pretty cute but it’s starting to feel formulaic and there’s not even that much 北海道弁 going around. I have one volume left in my library so I’ll probably read that one before making a decision.

Next was Crazy Food Truck vol. 3 and it was fine. This was the end of the series and I couldn’t really tell if it was meant to end here or if it was cancelled and wrapped up prematurely. The conclusion to the relationship between the two main characters was handled in a cute way but it seemed like the main goal was to put the “crazy” back in the name after it settled way down in volume 2, and what that translated into was just a lot of spectacle and flimsy excuses for the main girl to get naked.

Next (and almost last) was かなたかける vol. 6 and it was not fine. It took me three days to get through this. It’s one of the first series I ever tried and I’ve kept up with it out of a sense of nostalgia I guess, but this volume just dragged and dragged. I eventually compromised and “finished” it by only reading the speech bubbles but even so I could hardly motivate myself to keep it up.

Once I finally finished (today), I read miroirs (a short story anthology by the author of 約束のネバーランド) and それでも歩は寄せてくる vol. 3 back-to-back in about an hour. The former was quite nice; three standalone stories about being identity and comfortable with who you are; the latter was all recap from the anime but was still quite entertaining.

Earlier in the week, I finished 京都寺町三条のホームズ vol. 5 (several days ahead of schedule). Very good plot developments, some actual crimes to contend with, and a payoff I’ve been waiting for ever since I finished the anime all that time ago. Excited to get into the next one as soon as I can (though it’ll probably have to wait until later this month).

For anime, I watched 魔女の宅急便 (for the first time), よふかしのうた ep. 13, and episode 1 of 僕のヒーローアカデミア, Spy Family, and うちの師匠はしっぽがない. For new anime, Spy Family is the standout of course. しっぽな seems a little weak but the rakugo segments are fun and all the 大阪弁 is very welcome of course. I also watched/subtitled episodes 24 and 25 of サマータイムレンダ, finally bringing the whole project to a close. The final episode was about 50% new material but fortunately I didn’t have any issue figuring out what they were saying. There were a few parts that gave me trouble; one in particular was a “quotation” by 南雲先生 which I couldn’t find anywhere else on the internet (なぜそなたは通り過ぎてわれらを置き去りにするのか・このほのかな空虚で荒涼たる巨大な涙の谷に). I also made the ludicrous decision to try to translate an important song in such a way that it conveyed the meaning, matched the syllable count, and also roughly rhymed with the original lyrics. Needless to say it was a pretty intense challenge but I think it paid off. I’ll be giving the whole series a once-over soon, but for now I’m very glad to be done with it and quite happy with the result.

Finally, for audiobooks I listened to 夜は短し歩けよ乙女 (8:00, very low focus), 虚構推理 vol. 2 (9:06, low focus), 氷菓 (5:21, medium focus) 京都寺町三条のホームズ (full focus as part of my readalong, 8:45), 青春ブタ野郎はバニーガール先輩の夢を見ない (high focus, 8:00), and 青春ブタ野郎はプチデビル後輩の夢を見ない (high focus, 7:10). Since a lot of my audiobooks this week were repeats, I caught a lot of detail and was able to stay focused more than usual. In 氷菓, there was a moment I remember being difficult when I first read it, but it made perfect sense this time. The power of four straight years of reading!