Japanese reading report

Was planning to read a bit more tonight but then I remembered that my last report took about an hour to write so I figured I’d be smart and get it out of the way first.

As with last week, my main goal was to 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. I read chapters two and three, plus a bit of four; 122 pages in total, with 36 pages on my best day. This week’s chapters were better than the first and I do think this author is doing a good job of not only representing the characters themselves, but also telling stories that while they might not be canon-setting, still feel worthwhile (more than I can say about the other jump books I’ve read in the past). Chapter two is my favorite so far, quite a few funny moments.

Five volumes of manga this week; three on one day, two on another. First was はぢがーる vol. 3. Getting close to the end of the series and I was pleased to have predicted a twist at the end of this volume. The basic premise is that the main girl has to fulfill these challenges for good luck in love, but if she fails any of them it’ll backfire and she’ll be cursed to singleness forever. I was hoping the story wouldn’t play out quite as predictably as it sounds like it could, and it seems like I was on the right track.

Next was からかい上手の(元)高木さん vol. 5, which is the last one I have on hand. I needed something quick to pad my numbers and this fit the bill. Very cute, but not too much to say about it.

My next two manga volumes were both disappointing for related reasons. Based on the cover and the introduction, I went into 将軍の血 vol. 1 expecting it to be about a girl raised as a boy so she could be the heir to a 戦国時代 clan in a cultural context when women were not valued at all. The first few pages have this monologue:


And then go on to show the main character being treated badly as a child, only to be effectively ostracized when a new (male) child is born into the family. All the clues were there for this to be a story about fighting back against The Man (literally) but apparently it’s not like that at all, the main character was a guy all along and I don’t understand at all why his mother wanted nothing to do with him. Maybe there’s a double switcheroo that’s going to be pulled in a later volume but I’m not going to read it to find out.

The next one I read, 光と影, ironically was about a girl raised as a boy so she could take over the throne, except it came partway through a typical manwha fantasy cinderella-derived plot (I didn’t realize until about halfway through that this was a manwha). I kind of struggled through the last quarter just out of lack of interest so definitely won’t be continuing this one either.

Last manga of the week was 見える子ちゃん vol. 8. Good as ever, seems to potentially be going in a new and interesting direction. I just wish it published more often.

I watched over twice my anime goal for the week, with 19 total episodes. Finished up ようこそ実力至上主義の教室へ (ep. 6-12) and I can’t believe the main guy was actually the smartest and best all along! What a cool guy! My sister was waiting for me to finish it so we could watch season 2 together, so we watched one episode of that, but I’m not convinced I’m going to keep going with it. It’s very bland male-demographic LN wish fulfillment and I don’t detect a hint of irony.

I also tried one episode of 転生したら剣でした and I don’t get why people are saying “no, it’s good actually”. The catgirl is very cute but the rest of the first episode was incredibly boring RPG stat details that had me totally zoning out. I’ll give it one more episode but I foresee myself dropping this.

Caught up with しっぽな (ep. 2-4). Listening to 文孤 speaking 大阪弁 (and まめだ failing to pick it up) is great. It occurred to me that I should look into some actual 落語 since it’ll all be in 関西弁 anyway.

Kept up with other weekly shows (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), plus one episode of 忍の一時, which was pretty entertaining. Will probably watch some more.

Audiobooks: finished three this week; 千歳くんはラムネ瓶のなか 2 (9:15, med-high focus) and 3 (10:07, med-high focus), plus 弱キャラ友崎くん 1 (9:10, med-high focus). I’ve run out of audiobooks for 千歳くん but it’s definitely a series I want to read more of. All three of them so far have struck a good balance between 千歳 himself (a well-adjusted, friendly guy whose main superpower is being there for people who need him) and the supporting character of each story, who always gets a chance to demonstrate personal growth with whatever is the current hurdle.

友崎くん is the exact other end of the spectrum. The titular main character is a gloomy nerd who hates リア充 and can only see life through the lens of videogames. However, instead of being drawn out by a male peer and experiencing a slow, painful character growth that leaves him a better person (as in 千歳くん vol. 1), in this story he’s rescued by the hot popular girl who happens to be a secret gamer herself, has another girl take an interest in him immediately, totally beats the popular guy at a fighting game, and goes on a tear of righteous anger against the other popular girls . It’s actually incredible how two stories can ostensibly be about the same thing and come across so differently. I will say there was one part which stuck out to me as being pretty positive: essentially that “communication isn’t a skill, it’s something that’s brought about when two people are both interested in learning more about each other”, but I doubt I’ll be listening any further in the series. Someday I’ll find a series that’s both long-running and catches my interest enough to want to binge it all.