Japanese reading report

Me: I won’t push myself to read one manga volume per day this year.
Also me: So this week I read ten volumes of manga.

First up: Fire Punch vol. 1-8 in an uninterrupted blitz. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about it and I think if you go in expecting an action hero romp after Chainsawman you’ll definitely be disappointed, because that is definitely not what this series is. It’s an unrelenting tragedy about the inevitability of the abuse of power, the nature of guilt and culpability, and the human tendency to believe whatever is necessary in order to survive, along with a bit of metacommentary on how stories are told. The tone is very bleak and even the humorous moments are heavily wrapped in irony. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would encourage anyone considering it to go into it with no preconceived notions about what it’ll be.

I had started reading ミステリと言う勿れ vol. 3 last week and just couldn’t prioritize it for one reason or another. It took me a few more days this week to finish it off too. I’m not sure why; I liked the first two volumes a lot but for some reason this one was really slow. There were still a lot of good moments though. My favorite bits are always when 整 makes some simple statement that totally changes the perspective of the person he’s talking to. The one I liked most this time was when another guy is talking down to a little girl and he tells him “Don’t treat children like they’re stupid just because they’re young. You weren’t stupid when you were a child, were you?”

Last manga of the week was ルックバック. What a beautiful story. I loved how it portrayed the isolation that comes from giving yourself singlemindedly to something, the organic and raw relationship between the two leads, and the way time can pass around you without you realizing it. I’m quickly running out of 藤本タツキ material to read.

My audiobook for the week was カスピアン王子 (7:33, medium focus). There were a few points that stuck out to me as being interesting translation decisions; one example is Dr. Cornelius correcting Caspian’s use of んだ to のだ (the original English featured a correction of “who” to “whom”).

I watched a fair amount of anime this week; しっぽな ep. 7-13, 俺好き ep. 6, ロマンティック・キラー ep. 6, 僕のヒーローアカデミア ep. 14 (the half that wasn’t a recap episode) and イジらないで、長瀞さん ep. 1-3, along with one episode each of a few new series from this season; 文豪ストレイドッグス, 氷属性男子とクールな同僚女子, シュガーアップル・フェアリーテイル, and Buddy Daddies. Buddy Daddies is a potential standout as the tiny child anime of the season but I think sugar apple has promise in being a shoujo fantasy series that actually hooks me.

Finally, I decided to start on my first novel of the year with 人間失格. I’m not too far in yet, basically just meeting the narrator and learning about his childhood. I’m listening to the audiobook at the same time and it’s going pretty smoothly so far. Coming across some crazy words like 頗る and old orthography like 一人々々. My takeaway from the book so far is that the author needs to find his 生きがい (an ancient japanese concept).