Japanese reading report

Last week I set a goal of reading the next 青春ブタ野郎 volume over the course of this month. I’m still on track literally all of my reading was done yesterday and today in two big sprints. I’m not sure why I’m not motivated to read it, since I do enjoy it quite a lot (wouldn’t have been able to crank out 20 pages in a row today otherwise). Not a lot to say here; I’m doing the read-along thing again and it does a good job of keeping me focused.

Stayed current on my week-to-week shows and watched ep. 7-10 of 見える子ちゃん, plus two more episodes of ハイキュー.

Didn’t quite hit my manga goal this week (six volumes instead of seven); I could probably stay up late again and finish the one I’m currently reading but I think I’d better just count it towards next week instead.

First manga of this week was 火葬場のない町に鐘が鳴る時 vol. 7, which was the last one I had on hand at the time. Had some nice moments but the pace has slowed down a lot now that it’s daytime again and the pressure is off. I think the reason I was reading through these so quickly is because they were very exciting so hopefully people can get back in danger soon.

Next up was 税金で買った本. Good as ever, and I’m anxiously looking forward to the next volume. I think my favorite story this time around was about the bookworm girl who comes to do work study at the library. She had some rather misinformed ideas about the way libraries work which was very cute, but it also served as a good opportunity to get serious and teach a lesson.

I needed something quick to double up on one day, so I read 明日ちゃんのセーラー服 vol. 1. Ages ago when I first heard about it, my initial impression of this series was that it’s just an artbook with some minimal storytelling, and nothing really changed my mind. It’s very pretty for sure.

3月のライオン vol. 2 absolutely blindsided me with how much text there was. I ended up taking two days to read it just because I kept getting fatigued. I really liked the anime and I’m keen to catch up with the manga but this is definitely not something I can binge like I had originally planned.

I was intrigued by a tweet about 僕が死ぬだけの百物語 and it happened that vol. 1 was free on cmoa. I intended to fall asleep while reading and let me just say that did NOT happen. Pretty much just a collection of short horror stories, though there’s a certain framing device that has me very curious about what’s going on outside the stories proper. Will definitely be reading more soon.

Last up, not including the one I’m finishing tomorrow, was ギャルごはん vol. 1. As a fan of both gals and gohan I was pretty interested in this one but unfortunately (and I know I’m the only person who would complain) the cooking is pretty much just a framing device and they don’t go into the details at all. It’s not bad at all, but I probably won’t be continuing.

Japanese reading report

Was planning to try and squeeze one more volume of manga in today but decided against it since I still have some translation work to finish up and I shouldn’t procrastinate any more than I have already. There were a couple of days where I didn’t finish an entire volume, but other days where I made up for it by reading two. I had a total of nine this week, plus some anime and a bit of a new novel.

I decided to start reading 青春ブタ野郎 vol. 5 (おるすばん妹) and set a very relaxed pace to finish it by the end of the month, which hopefully won’t put too much of a squeeze on my other obligations. It works out to about 6-7 pages per day and I’ve been sticking to that pace without feeling the need to go too much faster. As such I’m not too far into the book so far, and this is all review anyway since this is the last arc covered by the anime. Nothing much to report except the obligatory comment about the writing style being nice.

Caught up with last week’s airing shows (four episodes total), but I’m behind again this week since my sister was gone again this weekend too. We’ve now passed the point that I had read up to in よふかしのうた and honestly the anime has made me want to give the manga another shot. I wasn’t blown away by it originally but the adaptation is so good that I feel almost certain I’ll want to read ahead once this season is over. This is the first week of watching シャドーハウス season 2 and it’s already been a bit of a ride.

For non-airing shows, I also finished up はるかなレシーブ (ep. 8-11) and started watching ハイキュー season 4 (ep. 1).

Also subtitled サマータイムレンダ ep. 16 and 17. This week had a lot of bits that were tricky to wrangle into english but I’m pretty pleased with some of the phrasing I came up with. This is more translation than reading but translating がいーじん!がいーじん!as “gooo home! gooo home!” made me feel rather pleased with myself.

Moving on to manga: I finished 夏へのトンネル、さよならの出口 (vol. 3 and 4) and enjoyed it a lot. I could see myself reading the novel version at some point too, and I definitely want to check out some of the author’s other work. Looking forward to the movie.

I also finished 鍵人 (vol. 2) and as much as I’m a huge 田中靖規 fanboy I have to say this one was a disappointment. If it had one more volume to wrap up the story I don’t think I would complain but it gets to a point of climax and then just…ends. Maybe he was going for a kind of “the future looks bright” type ending, which I’m theoretically okay with, but it just didn’t work for me.

アオのハコ vol. 6 came out this week and I read it right away naturally. The cliffhanger from last volume didn’t cause a major upset like I expected, but now there’s some simmering angst which is even more troublesome! There were lots of good moments in this one though (even if the cover art is false advertising).

The week before last I mentioned trying out 火葬場のない町に鐘が鳴る時, and this week I decided to continue it. I wasn’t convinced by the end of vol. 3, but I decided to go ahead and buy one more volume before making the call about whether to continue, if nothing more than to pay the author back for the entertainment I’d gotten for free so far. Honestly…even after vol. 4 I can’t say for sure whether I like it or not. It’s one of those series where I’m totally hooked despite being keenly aware of major flaws. I don’t honestly think this series is good; the story seems very ad-lib, the main character is unreasonable, and as I’ve mentioned before, the art is pretty rough a lot of the time. Nevertheless I find myself burning through 50 pages at a time. I guess it kind of comes with the territory of campy horror. In any case, I read vol. 2-6 this week and will likely continue it as long as it keeps pulling me along.

Japanese reading report

A pretty good week for reading. I hit my 7 volumes (plus a little leftover from last saturday night that I already counted), but three of those were from today alone. I definitely don’t want to start feeling compelled to read multiple volumes per day (since I have an unfortunate tendency to push myself to the limit) but it’s nice that I can do it if I need to.

We’ll get anime out of the way first since I don’t have much to say; my sister is out of town so we didn’t have Saturday morning anime this week, and as a result I haven’t caught up with most of my seasonals yet. I did finish シャドーハウス (ep. 8-13) and am now eagerly awaiting her return so we can start season 2. I also watched 最近雇ったメイドが怪しい ep. 2 (which she isn’t interested in, and to be honest neither am I; same as last week, the pacing and delivery of the anime are just not as good as the manga and it’s more or less just something to put on while I’m washing the dishes) and はるかなレシーブ ep. 6.

Starting off with another new series, 大蛇に嫁いだ娘. As the title suggests, it’s about a girl who’s sold off to be the bride of a big snake god in the mountains of historical Japan. It’s weird to call this a romance but it kind of became one towards the end. I think I grabbed this one just based on the magazine it ran in. Kinda weird but I enjoyed it, will probably read the next one.

Next up, 鍵人・上, which is an earlier manga by 田中靖規 of サマータイムレンダ. Pretty neat post-apocalyptic setting with good characters and lots of funny moments. The main girl is a dead ringer for 澪 so that’s a plus (I wonder if he and I have the same type).

I’ve been sitting on 王様ランキング vol. 1 for a while and finally got around to it. It took me a few chapters to figure out what all the fuss was about but I ended up liking it a good deal. Will probably watch the anime rather than continuing with the manga though. I especially liked カゲ’s backstory, very poignant and effective without much dialogue at all.

I had meant to read 夏へのトンネル、さよならの出口 vol. 2 right after finishing vol. 1 a few weeks ago but I forgot, whoops. Started off kind of slow but had some nice character development with a redemption arc that ended with one of the characters turning into such a cutie (the popular kids at school don’t agree but they’re wrong). Also set up some rather concerning possibilities about the nature of the titular tunnel.

My last new series of the week was ヴィクトリアの電気棺, which is kind of a victorian take on Frankenstein I guess? Victor(ia) Frankenstein brings an executed convict back to life and gives him a second chance at life (literally) while racing other inventors for the secret to eternal life. I grabbed this one randomly a while ago because 萩原ダイスケ (the illustrator for ホリミヤ and ねねね) tweeted about it, but only got around to it just now when I noticed that vol. 3 had just come out. I enjoyed it a lot, thinking I’ll catch up pretty soon.

Next up was 最近雇ったメイドが怪しい vol. 5, which catches me up with the available volumes. The new maid had a nice little arc and then disappeared. More cute moments. As always I have no idea what to say about this series.

Last manga of the week was 怪獣8合 vol. 2. This series is still a bit rough for me because of all the military vocab, none of which ever gets any furigana (though they put it on 東京 for whatever reason). When it gets going it really goes though; the action and comedy are both so good. I really should read the rest of it; I literally have every volume just sitting around. Reading this also made me wonder if I’m missing on some references since I don’t have much 怪獣 knowledge outside of a few manga series; one of the new characters looks eerily similar to the main antagonist in 戦隊大失格 (which I just remembered I have to read the latest volume of…my poor backlog…)

Japanese reading report

13 volumes of manga this week, and will be 14 by the time I actually go to sleep. After last week’s sorry showing I feel pretty good about doubling my baseline pace. I’m now two weeks ahead of schedule, which is good because I’ll probably need some margin in the next month or two. Also finished my 7th novel of the year and watched nine episodes of anime.

Anime first: kept up with my seasonal menu (サマータイムレンダ それあゆ よふかしのうた  組長娘と世話係), all of which are still delightful. The first episode of 最近雇ったメイドが怪しい aired today and I have to say I was underwhelmed. I’ve been liking the manga a lot but I feel like the pacing of the anime is really not doing the humor justice. I also watched シャドーハウス ep. 2-7, which puts me quite a bit past what I’ve read of the manga. It’s a really great adaptation and I’m hoping to catch up soon so I can watch season 2 week to week.

I finished listening to 化物語・上 while on the road yesterday and today, then dove right into 化物語・下…and made it about 20 minutes in before I realized that I was definitely missing something. Turns out I had skipped right over 化物語・中. This series is going to take a while. I liked this second arc (まいまいまよい) a bit more than the first one but I was a bit unclear on some of the details and definitely didn’t catch whatever pun was supposed to be involved in the twist. That aside, still liked it a lot.

For manga, first up was 古見さん vol. 26, which had some good development and some very nice scenes with our main couple. Next I finished 好きとか嫌いとか大好きとか, which I’d been reading a chapter at a time over the last week or so. I don’t generally consider TL manga but this one is by my friend こむぎさん (who I’ve done translation for in the past) so I decided to give it a try. I actually ended up liking it a lot. The stories are mostly standalone but they’re all of the “happily ever after” variety (which is apparently how the genre tends to go?) and there were lots of funny and/or cute moments throughout.

鬼獄の夜 vol. 13 came out one month (to the day!) after vol. 14 and I’m glad I decided to keep reading it because this is the volume where it finally turned into a 5/5 series for me. It’s still kind of campy but I feel like it’s hit its stride with the historical fiction/horror angle and I’m constantly excited to see what will happen next. Apparently vol. 15 is coming out in another month; I don’t know how the artist is doing it but I won’t complain.

Skipping over a few books in order to consolidate mentions: I read スクール人魚 vol. 1-7, with four of those being on the same day. This one has popped up in cmoa’s free section fairly often but I’ve never given it a try before; honestly the only reason that changed is because I made a userscript that allows me to blacklist series from showing up, and I figured “what the heck, I’ll flip through this one before I decide to never see it again”. Am I ever glad I did! I ended up really enjoying it despite being kinda weirded out by the cover. The basic premise is: you come to the school at night and recite a charm that lets you see “mermaids”, and if you can catch one and eat her flesh before morning, you’ll have success in love. Of course, if you fail you become a mermaid yourself, and if two people have their eyes on the same person… It’s a pretty simple premise but I felt it worked really well. Very unsettling and disturbing at times, and I liked how it subverted expectations here and there by introducing new details as new generations of girls learned about the legend and passed on their own experiences.

それでも歩は寄せてくる vol. 2 was a quick read one afternoon when I didn’t have time for anything else. Pretty cute, not a lot to say (it was nice to be able to see it get animated immediately afterwards). I also decided to give デビルズライン a try because I saw it on the front page of cmoa next to サマータイムレンダ and hey, I’m a simple guy. I liked it quite a bit. Kind of reminds me of tokyo ghoul in some ways. The characters are fun and the worldbuilding seems interesting. I almost wish I’d waited just a day or two to try it, since vol. 1-3 are currently free, but at least at this point I can read the next two without having to decide whether it’s worth spending money on.

Another of my vol. 1s this week was 地球の放課後, which I’ve had in my library for a while but decided to read because it’s by the same author as スクール人魚. This one definitely didn’t grab me quite as hard but I still liked it a good deal. For the most part it’s a “comfy apocalypse” style story but I get the feeling that it’ll get a bit more serious in the next volume. Will probably continue this soon but not immediately.

Next was another I’ve had in my library for a while, 火葬場のない町に鐘が鳴る時. I’m on a horror kick it seems. This one doesn’t seem to have great ratings but I enjoyed it well enough. The art is pretty rough at times but it feels like it has soul, and I’m getting 風の古道 vibes (the second story from 夜市) from the setting. Finally, I read 最近雇ったメイドが怪しい vol. 4 while sitting in a hammock on my parents’ property and had a lovely time. Some nice backstory implications and I saw ~ずじまい for the first time in the wild.

Finally finally, I read most of 税金で買った本 vol. 2 (will be finishing it in bed tonight). So many good moments so far. 早瀨丸 is certified 才色兼備 and I liked 白井’s “tragic backstory” of how he became such a menace.

Japanese reading report

It’s been a busy week with a lot of translation work and unfortunately my reading time has suffered. I managed twelve episodes of anime and five volumes of manga, plus two partial volumes that I’ll be counting towards next week.

For manga, I tried three new series; ギリギリ遮る片桐さん, 魔女先輩日報, and それでも歩は寄せてくる (vol. 1 of each).

桐さん has a pretty basic premise that’s all but explained in the title; the main guy spends all of his time ogling the girls in his class, and the main girl spends all of her time contriving reasons to get in his way. It’s honestly surprisingly entertaining and the gag somehow manages to stay fresh, but I won’t be reading more.

魔女先輩 is adorable and surprisingly deep. I was expecting some lighthearted humor and cute OL hijinks but about halfway through it takes a turn and has some nice relationship drama. It’s complete at two volumes so I’ll be reading the next one soon.

I already knew I’d like それあゆ since I started the anime last week, and I definitely plan to keep reading it. It’s another one I could see being a good beginner pick.

I also read 最近雇ったメイドが怪しい vol. 3, and just like last week I somehow don’t have much to say about it despite enjoying it a lot.

Last manga of the week was 賭けからはじまるサヨナラの恋 vol. 2. It’s been forever since I read vol. 1 and I forgot how funny it is. The series is over now so I’m just waiting on the final volume.

For anime I did a minor binge through 見える子ちゃん (1-6) now that it’s not stuck on funimation. WOW this show is horny. The manga had its moments at the beginning but the show has kept it cranked up throughout. It’s a pretty good adaptation and I like the way they rearranged some things to give better framing.

Stayed current on my seasonal shows and also started watching シャドーハウス (only one episode in so far) so I can watch season 2 week-to-week. Also gave 惑星のさみだれ a one-episode try and it really didn’t grab me. Dropped for now.

Japanese reading report

A bunch of standouts this week, plus managed to stay on top of both my anime and manga goal despite having a bunch of translation to catch up on as well.

First up, I bought and read サマータイムレンダ2026 未然事故物件 immediately after midnight JST and read the whole thing immediately. I honestly didn’t know anything about it before I read it aside from the fact that it was new サマータイムレンダ content and of course that was enough. Really enjoyed it, would like to see some more oneshots like this.

僕のヒーローアカデミア vol. 35 came out and it was very hype. I also picked up Fate/type Redline vol. 1 on a whim (I’ve been following the author for a while after his work on a 鬼滅の刃 oneshot) and liked it quite a lot. The basic premise is that the main character accidentally summons a character from a 中二病 historical fiction novel instead of someone from history and it takes itself just seriously enough while still being kind of fun. There aren’t too many volumes out so I’ll probably read more.

Yet another surprise hit this week was 税金で買った本, which is about a cast of colorful characters who work at a library. Each story was really funny but would take a sudden turn into kind of a sweet payoff towards the end. Already bought volume 2, definitely continuing this soon.

This week’s only real disappointment was 変女 vol. 1. Just a lot of weird pervy humor and not very funny at that — barely managed to be worth a 2/5. Glad I got it for free; won’t be reading the rest of what I have.

I started reading 夏へのトンネル、さよならの出口 群青 (a manga adaptation of the novel). Finished vol. 1, will be reading vol. 2 next week (and maybe even finishing the series). Cool mystery premise, nice art, some good funny moments and characterizations.

Finally (for manga), finishing off as I fall asleep tonight: 最近雇ったメイドが怪しい vol. 2. So far nothing really to say about this one that I didn’t say last week.

The new season of anime has started and my current shows are 組長娘と世話係, よふかしのうた, and それでも歩は寄せてくる (with some others that haven’t started yet). Watched the first episode of each of these. I wasn’t super sold on the manga for よふかしのうた but the anime production is hot; really nice music and visual design. Knew pretty much nothing about それでも歩は寄せてくる but it’s really cute so far. 組長娘と世話係 is adorable; the main guy and girl have a dynamic that reminds me of Loid and Anya. We were looking forward to this one just because of the magazine it runs in and it seems to be a winner so far.

I also watched and subtitled ep. 11, 12, and 13 of サマータイムレンダ. Had a kind of interesting realization that I’m suddenly able to identify when someone is speaking 和歌山弁 just by their intonation, even if they don’t use any words or inflections that would otherwise give it away. Kind of neat.

I also watched ep. 1-5 of はるかなレシーブ. Weirdly enough I feel like I’ve learned more about volleyball from this show than I did watching ハイキュー, but maybe that’s just because my attention is fixated on the screen at all times. Hard to say.

I finished スーパーカブ vol. 2 and started 化物語 上, (both audiobooks). It’s been ages since I saw any of the monogatari anime and most of the monster gimmicks have faded from my memory at this point. I was worried about not being able to understand well enough to follow but it’s going pretty well (though definitely not as well as some other books I’ve read/listened to). Something I definitely don’t remember from the anime, and was pleased to have been able to pick up while listening to the audiobook, was the wordplay around 戦場ヶ原’s weightlessness ailment. The dialogue and narration has nice rhythm and I’m enjoying myself. Had planned to be finished with it today but I decided to spare myself a long drive this weekend so I’ll be taking a little longer with it.

Japanese reading report

Very fast report, for real this time.

For anime, all I watched this week was はねバド ep. 2-3, which is as far as I’ll be watching. I’m willing to stick things out to see if they get good but honestly the animation is always a big part of whether I continue a show, and I kept getting distracted by the rotoscoping. More importantly though, a newly introduced rival character is revealed to have tied up one of the main girls and coughed into her face until she passed on a cold just so they would be on even footing for an important match…and the show somehow plays this straight? It weirded me out and was enough to get me to drop it.

I listened to some more スーパーカブ vol. 2, a few hours here and there. There’s a new character who runs a cafe and I like the dynamic between her and her dad. They’ve also been going into detail on how to deal with cold weather which was kind of interesting. (I still don’t know how to talk about this series half the time.)

For manga, I read むとうとさとう vol. 4 and 5, 阿波連さんははかれない vol. 10, 最近雇ったメイドが怪しい vol. 1, and ジャヒー様はくじけない vol. 1. I won’t go into detail on all of them but the standout was 最近雇ったメイドが怪しい. The gag loop is basically that 坊ちゃま suspects the maid of being a witch, accuses her of using magic in her food or something, and when she plays along like “oops, you got me” he’ll say something totally pure like “I knew it! THAT’s why I can’t stop thinking about your cooking!” and she gets all flustered. It’s a simple formula but very charming and of course the art is beautiful. Already grabbed vol. 2.

Japanese reading report

Hit my manga goal of 7 volumes this week, plus some novels/audiobooks and a bit of anime (though I am falling behind on my margin again).

I’ll cover novels first this time. I finished 学年ビリのギャル and thought it ended pretty well. The impact of reading on さやかちゃん’s life was pretty explicit which we love to see. The あとがき was literally half an hour long and I feel no regret for skipping it. Started listening to スーパーカブ vol. 2 and…don’t really have anything to report here again. I haven’t listened to much but I feel like yet again extremely little has happened.

I also finished 桜子 and I have to say my enjoyment of this book took a sharp downturn around the halfway point. The important events didn’t seem to have much of an impact on each other and it ended up feeling like it didn’t really have much of a point. I originally picked it up just because it was written by a woman from 和歌山 but as the book went on, the narration crowded out the dialogue so I wasn’t even getting the benefit of reading in dialect most of the time. It was a worthwhile experience I suppose but ultimately my initial reaction of “am I really going to read a self-published novel?” was unfortunately pretty accurate.

Anime next: Spy family ep. 11 and 12 (completed), the かぐや様 double-length final episode, サマータイムレンダ ep. 10 (finally finished subtitling it but I’m a week behind), and ハネバド ep. 1. I decided to give ハネバド a try because I was curious about how badminton works after reading アオのハコ, and I don’t know if how far I’ll continue with it, but one thing I will say is that the animation is very striking. It has some interesting rotoscope work, which I generally don’t like, but it feels like it’s integrated well.

Manga time: I read アオのハコ vol. 3, 4, and 5, so I’m caught up for now. Enjoying this one quite a bit, and definitely feeling like my initial impression of “this is gonna be rough” is accurate. The last volume ended with a cliffhanger big enough that the artist included a doodle of himself reading it and saying ここで終わり?! which mirrored my feelings exactly.

Read 呪術廻戦 vol. 15 and 16 in one sitting each. Finally out of the shibuya arc but things are getting pretty spicy. I’ll be waiting on this one for a while since the next english release isn’t out until august I think and I’ll have to wait for that one so my sister can read it forst.

At the recommendation of a guy I talk to on Tandem, I gave のだめカンタービレ vol. 1 a try since it happened to be free this week. Definitely not what I expected from a shoujo manga; the main girl is a complete disaster and the main guy is kind of a jerk, but they play off each other really well and both the visual comedy and writing had me cracking up.

Finally, I decided to try out ブラッククローバー since I have a ton of it sitting in my library and I thought it would be nice to find another action series I can get carried away by. Will be finishing vol. 1 tonight as I fall asleep. So far I’m wondering if Mashle was actually inspired by the first few chapters, just taken to the extreme. Enjoying it so far, will probably read a few volumes to see if I can find some momentum and blitz through it.

Japanese reading report

Quite happy with this week’s showing; I read 11 volumes of manga, finished one audiobook, started a new novel and a new audiobook. The only thing I didn’t check off was anime, but I’m still ahead of pace on that front so we’re feeling good. I took two days off work this week to make it a five-day weekend and my goal was to read at least two volumes of manga per day to give myself a comfortable lead on my pace for the year.

For manga (in no particular order, since I jumped all over the place), I read KIngdom of the Z vol. 4 and 5, which I think just has one more to go? Not a lot to say here, it was kind of a mixed bag. I’m not sure how they’re going to finish the story in just one volume but we shall see.

I only read one first-volume this week, but it’s one I’ve been sitting on for a long time: Mashle, which is about a guy who lives in a world where it’s illegal to not be a magic-user, and he has to sneak through daily life with just his incredible physical strength. It reminds me somewhat of Mob Psycho; the main character looks a lot like Mob and his power level and spaced-out style make for some good moments.

Started reading アオのハコ and I’m really digging it. The story seems like it’s going to tie me up in knots and the art is really nice. Got through vol. 1 and 2 and will likely be catching up this coming week.

I also picked ゆびさきと恋々 again, reading vol. 2 and 3. I’m putting the pressure on my sister to read vol. 4 since she’ll get on my case if I read ahead of her. I mentioned it last time as well but I love how lyrical the narration in this series is. Picking up little bits of sign language here and there is fun as well, and it’s interesting how natural some of them feel (just as ASL fingerspelling has some signs based on the shapes of the alphabet, 日本手話指文字 has some signs that are based on katakana).

東京卍リベンジャーズ vol. 28 came out and was all one big fight scene. I blew through it in half an hour. I feel like there was…one word? that I had previously looked up and saw reinforced halfway through — but I can’t remember offhand what it was.

I wasn’t planning to continue with 鬼獄の夜 unless it wrapped up in the current volume (12) but I decided to try it anyway. The entire thing is a kind of flashback/historical backstory to the times before the demon cult had been founded and it worked well as a change of pace.

Finally, トニカクカワイイ vol. 20 didn’t really give me the resolution that I was expecting but there’s always next time. It had a bunch of cute moments though so we forgive.

I finished listening to スーパーカブ vol. 1 and I wanna say it started getting interesting around the last 1/5 of the book. I wasn’t sure I would continue the series but I think I will. I do have kind of a hard time staying focused unfortunately, but it’s easy to follow.

Next, I started listening to (deep breath) 学年ビリのギャルが1年で偏差値を40上げて慶應大学に現役合格した話, which I picked up at random based on the audible newsletter. The thesis of the book is 「ダメな人間なんて、いないんです。ダメな指導者がいるだけなんです。でも、ダメな指導者も、ちょっとした気づきで、変われるのです」and reading that was enough to get me interested. This is really Pure Gyaru: the novel. It’s based on a true story and I’ve enjoyed it a lot; about halfway through now. Favorite さやかちゃん moments so far: misreading 聖徳太子 as タコ and saying “who named this poor girl”; being sure that nobody knows which way south is and having a rude awakening when she tried to get her sister to back her up; drawing a map of Japan as just a circle. It’s largely a story about institutional failure but also about the people who do support her and how she ends up turning her life around. Will likely finish it up early next week.

Finally, I started reading 桜子, an amazon self-published novel by a woman from 和歌山 (written in 和歌山弁 naturally). It’s not about anything per se, just vignettes from the titular character’s life as she and her mother adjust to life after her father passes away. I’m honestly reading it for the dialect first and foremost but it’s been pretty enjoyable.

Japanese reading report

Feels like I squeezed every moment out of this week just to stay afloat. Managed to hit some goals but some fell by the wayside and I definitely had to make up for lost time this weekend. I’ve been slowly losing my lead on my manga goal for a few weeks now, so that was my main priority; read at least seven volumes somehow so I could tread water at least. Including the one I’ll finish off in bed, I fortunately did manage it this time.

First manga of the week was ハチミツにはつこい vol. 1. It’s a pretty cute 幼なじみ 少女 romance where the two main characters are both pretty clueless about how they feel for each other (but they definitely do feel for each other). I wasn’t sure I would continue it since it seemed like it was setting up an annoying love triangle (square?) and I’m not into will-the-won’t-they stories, but the end of the first volume has me curious how things will develop.

Next up I read Kingdom of the Z vol. 2, with vol. 3 a little later and vol. 4 currently in progress. The wackiness I felt from the first volume didn’t really carry through immediately, but it’s picked back up and I’m enjoying it quite a bit.

くノ一ツバキの胸の内 was another vol. 1 and while I thought it was entertaining I probably won’t read more of it beyond what I have in my library (so just one more, when I get around to it). It does seem like it could be a good beginner recommendation though so I’ll keep it in mind.

Flying Witch came out in June this year so I bought it and read it right away. I remember being slightly let down by the previous volume but this one was really fun. Chinatsu and Hamabe’s antics in particular were great.

Last up, I read 破壊神のマグちゃん vol. 1 and really enjoyed it, contrary to my expectations. I had read a pretty harsh review of this series back when it was wrapping up and based on that my expectations were pretty low, but I was pleasantly surprised. The dissonance between マグちゃん’s pompous old-timey speech and his…condition… is hilarious. Will definitely be reading more.

I had hoped to finish スーパーカブ vol. 1 this week but a minor injury got in the way of my plans to listen to the audiobook while walking. Will have to finish it this coming week instead. I’m not really sure what I can say about this one though, since pretty much nothing actually happens. Koguma’s bike is pretty much kitted out and she has a part-time job now.

Thanks to one day at work that was nothing but back-to-back package builds, I made up my anime goal and then some on a single day, pretty much. Finished re:zero season 2 (part 2) with six episodes, then decided to pick up 俺好き out of its long stint in the paused bin. Re:zero just keeps on surprising me; pretty much every character in this season was well-developed, and they managed to get me interested even in characters who I thought had long since served their purpose (Betelgeuse, for one!). If there were audiobooks for this series I would probably start listening ahead, I think.

It’s been over a year since the last time I watched 俺好き but fortunately I more or less remember what’s going on. Kinda liking the way things suddenly seem to be going with 津軽弁 girl???

Stayed up to date with seasonal anime like usual (かぐや様は告らせたい 阿波連さんははかれない Spy Family) and watched/subtitled ep. 8 and 9 of Summertime Rendering in a push that was just about the end of me. Subtitling still takes me a long time and it’s honestly pretty exhausting but I’m having a ton of fun.