This week I read three more volumes of 古見さん (14, 15, and 16). I’m almost caught up to my current 積ん読 (will probably hold off on buying the rest of the 単行本 until I have a few more things to buy with a coupon). There was some nice character focus in this block, first from 井中 (very underused) and then from 阿瀬, who I was surprised and pleased to see fleshed out beyond the chapter that introduced her.
Stayed on track with 本好きの下剋上. The last chapter ended with some good clearing of the air between two of the main characters and, very importantly, a successful trial run of the paper-making process. I decided to time myself while I was reading this week and found that I was averaging about 4:15-4:30 per page — a slight improvement from last time I tried it.
Listened to a bit more of the 氷菓 audiobook. Really probably not enough to mention but I’m mentioning it anyway.
My three manga volumes for this week were ゆらゆらQ vol. 1, ゆるキャン vol. 2, and 古見さん vol. 13. I stayed up to date with the 本好きの下剋上 bookclub, listened to the audiobook of 氷菓, and played some 真３.
ゆらゆらQ is a new series by the author of 甘々と稲妻, so as soon as I saw it I had to pick it up. It’s really cute; the main character is a fox girl who for some reason still looks like a tiny child because she can’t control her glamour abilities like her siblings can. The scenarios are really funny and I love the art so I’m definitely planning to stay current on it. As a bonus, the book also contains the first chapter of おとなりに銀河, which is another series by the same author that seems to be running in parallel. Ironically enough it’s about an overworked mangaka…I hope he’s doing alright.
I stocked up on all the ゆるキャン volumes a while ago but never got around to reading them. Vol. 2 brings us pretty close to where the first season of the anime left off if I’m not mistaken, so I’m planning to catch up before the new season airs.
古見さん is as good as ever. I feel like I read this one really fast for some reason.
本好き is still leaning hard into the intricacies of making paper. As of the last chapter they’ve collected all the materials and tools they need to actually start, and the next chapter is literally called 紙創りの始め so hopefully we get a payoff soon. One amusing development involved someone finally noticing that マイン knows a lot more than any normal 6 y/o should reasonably be able to, which feels like it’s been a long time coming. Learned a cute new grammar point; とばかりに (N1).
I had a long walk to take towards the middle of the week and decided to revisit 氷菓 since it’s been about six months since I finished reading it. It’s still pretty hard to follow honestly, but it was good practice.
Finally, I’ve put in about 7 hours of the Nocturne remaster. Not really sure how I feel about it as a game/story but the writing is definitely interesting, lots of variety.
This was a pretty good week for me in manga. I read four volumes in total; トニカクカワイイ vol. 3, 俺物語 vol. 1 and 2, and 歌うヘッドフォン娘. I’m back on track to double my initial goal by the end of the year, if I do decide to pursue that.
トニカクカワイイ is something I might continue reading at some point; at very least I’ll check out the anime. I’m not really sure what it’s going for in terms of big plot stuff but the romantic comedy aspects are nice.
I watched the anime of 俺物語 ages ago and didn’t remember much about it except that it was hilarious and adorable. No plans to continue this one immediately; just trying to make a dent in my ebook library.
歌うヘッドフォン is another one from the backlog; I bought it ages ago because it was a oneshot by the same writer/artist as the first manga I ever tried to read. Nothing super special; good art, some funny gags, but it ends without any real resolution and leaves some threads untied. I’m not sure if it was intended to be a oneshot but it is, so I guess that’s that.
Kept up with 本好きの下剋上 vol. 2. Learned an awful lot about how 和紙 is made, holy smokes — some of the words they were using weren’t even in my dictionary so I had to do some extra research. Not a lot else to say about this chunk, still enjoying myself.
Last (and also least) I started playing the 真３ remake. I swear it took me like an hour just to enter my name; for some reason they just give you a list of every possible kanji grouped by one (nanori?) reading. Pretty bad UX but at least they give you space for four characters per name. I’ve made it through a couple of the first fights so far and I’ll be playing more this coming week.
This week I found myself in a bit of a slump. Despite easily passing the halfway point in 秋の牢獄 by my last report, it took me a while to finish it up this week. I guess part of it could be that the third story in the book just wasn’t striking my fancy like the other ones. Overall I still enjoyed it, but it never got to the point where I was anxious to read more. Still, 11 days is my new record for reading a standard-size Japanese novel, and that feels pretty good.
Throughout the week I read two volumes of トニカクカワイイ, which I got for free since there’s an anime adaptation in the works. It’s pretty evident that there’s going to be some important plot stuff happening sooner or later (involving the moon), but for now it’s just a cute little romantic comedy that I’m quite enjoying.
I started on 本好きの下剋上 vol. 2, which I’m once again reading with the WK book club. Since I wanted to finish up my other book first, I’m a little late, but I did have time to finish the prologue and the first two chapters, so I’m on track. Sounds like we’re getting right into the paper-making; there’s already been a lot of technical talk about the right types of trees to use when making Japanese-style paper. I have a bit of a leg up here since I already went and watched some videos about it while reading the previous book, but there’s still a decent amount of totally new vocab.
This week I started 秋の牢獄, by 恒川光太郎, the author of 夜市. Back when I was reading that book with the wanikani book club, I actually started on an epub, so when I decided to do the right thing and buy a proper copy I threw in two more books almost as penance. I’m very glad I did; have been enjoying this one a lot. Just like 夜市 it contains a handful of short stories, of which I’ve now finished the first two. 139 pages in six days gives me a daily average of 23 pages, which I’m pretty sure is my fastest so far.
For manga, I read カラーレス vol. 1 and 世話焼き狐の仙狐さん vol. 1, both of which I got for free. カラーレス is a pretty interesting scifi story about a world where some kind of apocalyptic solar flare has all but erased color from the world and caused all kinds of mutations among the human population. The writing and characters are good and I think the concept has potential, even if it’s a bit of a stretch; probably going to pick up at least one more volume to see if I stick with it.
世話焼き狐の仙狐さん is just fluffy 癒やし系 but it’s pretty funny and cute. 仙狐さん herself talks like a typical fox, with わらわ and じゃ and all those good things. One funny coincidence was the fact that she uses でない as a way to give negative orders, which seems totally natural for her, even though when I saw it for the first time (also this week, in 秋の牢獄) I didn’t know why it was being used. The perks of interleaving a variety of types of media!
This week began and ended with two chapters each of 本好きの下剋上 vol. 1, which I have just now finished. I enjoyed this book a lot all the way through and I actually have the next two volumes sitting right next to me, freshly delivered from Mandarake. It’s still up in the air whether there will be a spinoff wanikani book club to continue the series, but either way I’ll definitely be continuing. The last few chapters revealed some interesting information about the world which had been left unclear, as well as a hint about what the 下剋上 in the title might actually refer to. Feeling good about having finished this; it makes my fifth novel this year and it was a lot longer than any thing else I’ve read.
For my weekly manga I read さとうとむとう vol. 1. “Two weirdos at school” might be a common premise nowadays but I’ve yet to be disappointed by it; the characters and writing in this were entertaining and I could definitely see myself continuing to read it. It’s a pretty new series, which is always fun.
Since I’m back in the land of highspeed internet for the first time in a good long while, I decided to check out Netflix’s offerings for anime and…there’s not too much. I settled on a movie I’d never heard of, 海獣の子供. It had a pretty strong start with some quite lavish visuals, but I didn’t end up liking it too much. The last half hour of the movie was essentially an extended fever dream sequence and I ended up with no real clue what was actually going on. Oh well.
This week I’m actually putting in my report early (last week I had completely lost track of what day it was).
First priority this week was to stay current with 本好きの下剋上, so I read three more chapters before spending time on anything else. We had one about cooking (it seemed I was the only bookclub member who actually enjoyed this one) and the rest were dedicated to setting up plot developments which will theoretically serve as the hook for the next book. Just one more week until the main story is finished (with a bit of bonus content at the end).
The next thing I read was 阿波連さんははかれない vol. 4. I actually started it as something I could read while falling asleep, and that was an abject failure since I was laughing hysterically throughout the whole thing. Learned some good new words; one standout was 手相, just because I thought it was funny how the meaning was totally different than 相手 despite using the same kanji.
Over the last three days of the week I read one volume of 見える子ちゃん per day, which catches me up with the series. It started off good but has developed into something quite special; vol. 3 in particular had some very good character development and set us off on what seems to be a main trajectory for a while. Excited to see where this goes (of course I have to wait six months for the next one…). I’ve learned a lot of fun JK slang from this one; 既読スルー・いや量・待受・映え are some good ones in particular.
Finally, finished up my Bloodborne playthrough. Not a lot to report here but I did have one fun moment where I recognized 花澤香菜 as the voice actress for a character in the DLC.
Putting in my report a day early this time because I was able to catch up on all my stuff and I’d like to move on without awkwardly splitting my reading across weeks.
For the beginning of the week I was mostly just reading 本好きの下剋上. I was pretty busy with other things so it took me a bit to get through, The last chapter was pretty interesting because I actually predicted what was going to happen — マイン needs to make ink somehow, and my first thought was “just use lampblack!” Turns out that’s exactly what she ended up doing, though we’ve yet to find out how well it works for her.
Once I finished up this week’s bookclub quota, I was able to move on to 鬼滅の刃 vol. 22, which came out in the middle of the week. This volume was really good; we finally got a backstory for 伊黒 (the snake 柱), which was pretty interesting. The final battle seems to have reached a climax and I can only imagine they’ll wrap up the series in vol. 23. I’m very impressed by how so many plot threads are being tied up here; it seems like certain key elements were planned at least all the way back in vol. 2 and it’s very cool to see them paying off.
I also read 見える子ちゃん vol. 1, which I picked up randomly for free on cmoa the other day. I was hooked by literally the second page and it just kept getting better throughout. The gist is that the main character, みこ, is suddenly able to see all these weird monstrosities that everyone else is oblivious to, and she has to act as though everything is normal. The monster art is super detailed and disturbing, but the story is also surprisingly funny and downright wholesome at times. It’s a pretty young series so I’ll probably grab the rest of what’s out pretty soon.
Random bonus: I replayed Bloodborne up to probably the 2/3 point. I could get through this game with my eyes closed, but paying attention to the JP voice track is fun and noticing the changes made in loc is interesting. Also replayed a bit more Persona Q2 now that my sister has progressed with it.
This week I dug in and spent a bunch of time on 十三機兵防衛圏, with the idea of finishing it up before the English version launched on the 22nd. Didn’t quite end up making it in time but I did get there eventually. A 100% clear (including the platinum trophy but not including the optional bonus battle area) took me just about exactly 60 hours, of which over half were put in this week alone. I’m planning to write up my thoughts about it a little later but the short version is: really stunning experience all around, amazing story with a lot of very cool and creative ideas told in a super creative way.
It was a bit close at the end but I did manage to catch up to the WK book club on 本好きの下剋上. We’re past the halfway mark now and I’m still having a great time. This past week hit a page count peak so it’ll be pretty smooth sailing from here on out (especially since I don’t have anything new that I immediately plan to move on to).
This week I finally finished 狼と香辛料, so that’s good news. Once I readjusted to the 10pg/day pace it was much more sustainable, though honestly I wish I had shelved it and spent that time doing something else. Overall I just really didn’t enjoy it, and after thinking about it I can only chalk that up to the author’s writing style — the economics bits are clearly written for someone who already enjoys the topic, and that’s just not me.
The majority of my input came from 13 Sentinels, which just keeps getting better. I’m at 27 hours now and have probably just passed the 50% mark. Some sections are more difficult due to long strings of technical kanji compounds, but for the most part things are still going pretty smoothly and I’m able to pick up new words easily.
Rapid-fire minor contributions: I read a bit more of 本好きの下剋上 but ended up falling pretty far behind the bookclub, so I’ll have to catch up this coming week. Just one chapter this time. Three more episodes of 魔法使いの嫁; almost done with the anime at this point. I feel like it’s not quite as good now as it was in the beginning but I’m still enjoying myself. Also played some more Persona Q2 (my sister suddenly overtook me so I’ve got to catch up); about halfway through the third dungeon now.