Japanese reading report

This week was my first full week on a new project at work and I was keen to make a good impression and get up to speed quickly. As such, I ended up being pretty tight on time for everything else, and as expected that meant my reading took a hit as well. I did manage to hit my goals for the most part, but I did let some stuff fall by the wayside. Such is life.

First things first: I finished サマータイムレンダ2026 小説家・南雲竜之介の異聞百景 (finally, I’ll never have to use that title again!) in the first few days of the week. The final chapter was another standout and I feel like the story ended pretty well, tying together some threads that had been sneakily foreshadowed throughout the rest of the book. I’m curious to see what the author’s other work is like; it was sometimes difficult to tell whether I was enjoying myself more due to the characters and subject matter or due to the writing style. While I don’t think this book would be a worthwhile read for anyone who isn’t a fan of the main series, I did have a good time with it.

My first manga of the week was それでも歩は寄せてくる vol. 5. Another quick read that didn’t leave too much of an impression but was nonetheless enjoyable throughout. Some new material that wasn’t adapted for the anime. One chapter in particular connected the dots between うるし’s fascination with と金 and the obvious pun in 歩’s name, which I thought was pretty fun.

I finally started reading とんがり帽子のアトリエ (vol. 1) after having it on my list for over a year. I love it. The characters are so charming and the art is gorgeous, full of sumptuous detail and highly dynamic poses. A few of the panels have yet to leave my mind, the composition is so great. I really like the worldbuilding and the magic system design is really interesting. I feel like it sapped my stamina faster than some other series but I would like to keep reading it soon.

I took a chance on a new series that I saw on the front page of cmoa, 虎は龍をまだ喰べない (vol. 1, and then 2 immediately after finishing), which is about a tiger lady and a dragon boy and their weird ツンデレ relationship. It’s somewhat sparse on dialogue at times but makes up for it by having really nice artwork. Most of the characters in this series can shapeshift between animal and human form, and there’s an unexpected focus on power dynamics and intrigue. If I had to guess I’d say it’ll probably go one more volume? I’ll be looking forward to it.

Another new series I decided to try was ほてりほてってファーストキス (vol. 1). I loved this one and wish there was another volume to read right away. It reminded me a lot of きみが、すき if the stories were longer, or 徒然チルドレン with not as much ridiculousness. Just really nice character-driven short romance stories with good pacing and a nice balance of humor and drama.

Finally, I read 恋獄の都市 vol. 3, 4, and 5, finishing the series off. I feel like the story started getting rushed along towards the end of vol. 4, but all in all, I thought it wrapped up pretty well. Not an amazing series all things considered, but it had a good balance of suspense and horror elements with an interesting premise that kept me uncertain (in a good way) about what was really going on the entire time.

I watched kind of a lot of anime this week (admittedly, mostly on my second screen while I was working). Imo is out of town so I didn’t watch any of our usual weekly shows, but I did watch the whole first season of 探偵はもう死んでいる (ep. 1-12), which was actually pretty nice, much better than I had heard. I only started watching it for 白砂沙帆 , but she didn’t end up being in it much unfortunately. Still, interesting premise, executed pretty well. I might give the LNs a try.

I also watched ep. 2-4 of 転生したら剣でした with the intention to drop it, but I haven’t gotten around to dropping it yet. I probably wouldn’t be sticking with it if I was spending focused time on it, but it’s decent as background noise.

Lastly, I watched the first (double-length) episode of 昭和元禄落語心中. I’ve been curious about 落語 and this seemed like a good way to get some. Honestly a LOT of it went over my head. I expect to be in the dark for a while on this one.

I mentioned that some stuff had fallen by the wayside. I did manage to listen to one full audiobook (スーパーカブ 5, 6:12, medium focus). I still don’t really care for this series but it’s easy to put on and dip in and out of. One cool thing we learned about こぐま this time around: people who don’t ride cubs are just ゴミ, and people who used to ride but have stopped are ゴミ以下. Um! What!

Aside from Soul Hackers 2 (which I have once again completely neglected), I really struggled to find time for 月夜の島渡り, my new book by 恒川光太郎. If you take out the table of contents etc, I’ve literally only read about one page per day. Decided to extend my schedule to three weeks to give myself a fighting chance, but I really need to try and prioritize this. The setup seems interesting so far; a remote island chain where the events of certain myths and folktales actually occurred and are essentially treated as local hazards that the islanders have learned to deal with. The main character gives me slight Rawhide Kobayashi vibes. Hopefully that doesn’t last for long.