Japanese reading report

Since I’m ahead of schedule on manga and have been for some time, the plan this week was to allow myself to slack off a bit and focus on サマータイムレンダ 2026 小説家・南雲竜之介の異聞百景 (will have to come up with an abbreviation for this one). I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like it, since it ultimately is one of those spinoff novels by a different author than the main series, but so far it’s been pretty good. It seemed to be going in a kind of mundane direction for a while, which surprised me considering that the main story and the manga oneshot were both very supernatural. I was constantly wondering “is it actually going to be as simple as it seems?” which honestly felt a bit counterproductive from a storytelling sense. Finished the first story (82 pages) and had two days where I put away 24 pages each in a pretty short amount of time.

I did read six volumes of manga and had planned to try to rush through one more before putting my report in, but I decided against it since I was up super late last night too. First up was アオのハコ vol. 7, which seems like it came out surprisingly soon after the previous one. The school festival is definitely bringing some stuff to a head.

Next was 恋獄の都市 vol. 2. I had a coupon to use and I kind of anguished over buying 2 and 3 at the same time, but after reading this one I’m glad I did. It’s still pretty campy but the story is getting pretty interesting. One particular speech bubble stuck out to me: 「そしてアンタたちが部屋に入れた 睡眠ガスを吸って今ここにいる」because depending on how you read that 入れた it means two dramatically different things.

それでも歩が寄せてくる vol. 4 is the last one I have on hand at the moment and I’m definitely going to get more in the near future. It’s great when I’m behind and need something quick and simple to blaze through. Still covering anime material but there were some extra scenes that I don’t remember being adapted.

無能なナナ vol. 10…it’s been 84 years… this was great, definitely a highlight of the week. It seems like a new major arc is kicking off, but this volume also had a complete end-to-end story that hit all the right notes. Very anxiety-inducing at points but with good payoffs and story beats.

I started ルリドラゴン vol. 1 a few days ago but ended up getting sidetracked and only finished it today. I saw the original twitter comic ages ago but apparently the full version is pretty new. The art style is very cute, the characters are charming, the mom is hot, occasionally relapses into 大阪弁, and uses the same coffee grinder as I do??? I’ll be recommending this to beginners from now on, it seems very approachable 90% of the time. I’ll also be continuing to read it myself since it’s very nice.

Last manga of the week was 大蛇に嫁いだ娘 vol. 3. Some weird and tragic backstory (this series is consistently weird) with the 大蛇 and a lady he used to know, and some worrying developments with the 娘’s family back home.

I’m up to seven seasonal anime (spy family, 僕のヒーローアカデミア, 虫かぶり姫, mob psycho, blue lock, うる星やつら, うちの師匠はしっぽがない) at this point, which means I basically satisfy my anime goal just by watching saturday cartoons with my sister (though I didn’t watch しっぽな this week, will have to catch up soon). I’m thinking I’ll probably drop 虫かぶり姫…it’s really not grabbing me two episodes in, and we were both pretty confused about the turn things are taking. I also feel like MHA is not as good as the manga. The rest are great though. Special shoutout to うる星やつら; I watched the first episode today, having never seen the original show and without really knowing much about it at all. It’s definitely the cartooniest anime I’ve ever seen. Pretty funny at times and I love the way ラム and per people talk (it’s just 仙台弁 apparently; time to add another dialect to the pile).

Oh yeah, I also watched five episodes of ようこそ実力至上主義の教室へ. Everyone in this show is a sociopath. Why did it get so popular all of a sudden?

Only finished two audiobooks this week; 獣の奏者 2 (11:02, low focus) and 千歳くんはラムネ瓶のなか 1 (9:50, med-high focus). I was looking forward to 獣の奏者 but this one was pretty heavily focused on the politicking side of things, which always loses me really easily. 千歳くん was surprisingly good. I didn’t know anything about it and to be honest I spaced out through the first hour, so I don’t really know what the setup was. At some point the main guy and his friends decide to help their classmate (who’s become a 引きこもり) turn himself into a リア充 and get a fresh start on his school life. It ended up being surprisingly positive and wholesome, with some lessonslike “putting in a bit of effort to dress well will go a long way even if you’re not naturally gorgeous” and “リア充 aren’t actually that scary and might even be pretty cool if you put aside your prejudices”. I kind of want to listen to it again to fill in the gaps. Might be worth adding to the list of easy LNs for next year’s goals.