Japanese reading report

The end of the year is getting pretty close and my reading goals are in pretty good shape. My Moyase manga goal is steady at “one every two days”, so I’ve decided to slow down a little bit and not feel so much pressure to stay ahead. I’ll be aiming to finish my last volume on the last day of the year.

Quick mention: two audiobooks (裏世界ピクニック6, 7:14 and わが家は祇園の拝み屋さん, 5:33; both at low-med focus) a few pages of 探偵はもう、死んでいる and the latest ep of Mob Psycho (yikes! again!).

I spent this week catching up on ダンダダン (vol. 4-7), and since this is the only series I read I’ll take the opportunity to go into a bit more depth than usual. This series rules and I’m extremely glad I decided to take a chance and buy vol. 1 instead of waiting for it to go free. The story has been a crazy roller coaster from the very beginning and it’s still surprising me with the kind of creative scenarios it comes up with. The humor is impeccable; it’s not uncommon to enter a stretch where every page has me laughing out loud — but every now and then I flip the page and it’s like the author has pressed the “you will cry now” button. I don’t think I’ve read another series that so consistently nails emotional highs.The downtime is super comfy, the action scenes have great momentum, and it’s not afraid to pull punches when you need to feel like the characters are in danger.

I think the series’ biggest standout feature though, is the characterization. モモ and オカルン are obviously the “main characters”, but only in the sense that at least one of them is on screen at any time. There are no “side characters” in this series. Each arc has brought a new character I expected to be one-and-done, and each time I’ve been surprised by the depth of development they get. I love the budding romance between the two leads, but it’s nearly as much fun seeing モモ’s two friends alternate between teasing her and being her biggest allies, or watching オカルン developing a male friendship for the first time in his life.

Highly, highly recommended. I’m eagerly awaiting the next volume.