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.
Another pretty busy week…boy am I looking forward to finishing up 狼と香辛料. I was out all day yesterday and barely had any chance to read at all, so even after the work I had done to catch up (reading 12 pages per day instead of 10), I still ended up behind at the end of the week. Oh well. Honestly, the last few days’ worth of reading has been a huge drag. There’s a lot of scheming about how to get Holo out of a scrape, but it’s all politicking and economics talk which I am having a lot of trouble following. I basically just have to remind myself that I learned a lot by reading at low comprehension way back when, so theoretically this is all still beneficial.
I also managed to keep up with 本好きの下剋上, which is fortunately much easier and more enjoyable to read. I’m a little under halfway through the book now. The descriptions of the antiquated customs and technology continue to impress…some standout moments this week were a hog slaughtering party, hand-dipped candles, and an attempt to make papyrus (one of what will likely be many failed attempts at creating something like paper).
My favorite bit of reading this week was definitely 十三機兵防衛圏. I’m about 10 hours in and enjoying myself immensely. Pretty much every line is voiced, which makes it really easy to look up unknown words, but I’m having very little trouble following along (which was definitely not the case when I first started seeing trailers last year). It’s not a very long game so I expect to finish it pretty quickly if I can put the time in.
Played a bit of Persona Q2 with my sister, just cruising through the third dungeon. As usual, not much to report.
Watched the first 17 episodes of 魔法使いの嫁, which I’m enjoying quite a lot.
Last up, since I wanted to keep on track with at least one manga volume per week, I read ギャルと恐竜 vol. 1, which was just good fun. Super easy, not a lot of text, but the art and pacing are both hilarious. I could easily see myself recommending it as a first manga.
This week I kept on track with my 10 pages of 狼と香辛料 per day (except for today, whoops!), bringing me up to 180. We’ve been introduced to what I suspect is kind of the driving force behind the story; a kind of speculation/price-fixing racket having to do with money devaluation. My enjoyment of this book continues to fluctuate…just wish there were more scenes with the two characters and a bit less economics stuff.
Also kept up with 本好きの下剋上, which is still a delight. I’ve been timing myself during my reading sessions and was surprised to find out that I’m reading both novels at about the same speed, but this one feels a lot smoother and faster. As someone who was a huge book nerd with all kinds of random knowledge as a kid, I find myself relating a lot to the heroine in certain ways.
I watched a TON of anime sort of by accident, starting by finishing ハイキュー！. The final act of the tournament was great and I’m looking forward to the next season. Next up I finished 響け！ユーフォニアム S1 (a rewatch) and then all of S2 (totally new); compared to when I was watching it originally six months ago, I barely missed anything even without subtitles. Tangible progress is great. Next, all of かぐや様は告らせたい S1, which I passed on ages ago after being unimpressed by the first episode, but I really liked it this time around. Comparatively low comprehension, but certainly enough to enjoy it. Finally, three episodes of たまこまーけっと, which seems to have been designed to irritate me. I was understanding everything effortlessly so I don’t feel bad about dropping it.
Played some more of Persona Q2 with my sister, finishing the second dungeon and starting on the third (along with knocking out a bunch of sidequests). Nothing much to report here.
Today I read すいとーと vol. 2, which (since it’s been a while) is basically an advertisement to get people to come eat in Fukuoka. I was actually somewhat surprised to see this get another volume — I originally bought the first one on a whim because it had just come out the same day, but it struck me as something that might be too niche to continue for very long. It’s fun learning little bits of 福岡弁 along with all the food vocab and stuff.
Despite falling short of some (very optimistic) goals, I did a ton of reading this week.
First and foremost, I launched right into 狼と香辛料 on Sunday, with the idea of reading 15 pages per day and finishing the whole book in three weeks. A few days in and I realized this was technically doable, but it was going to suck up a lot more time than I wanted to spend. I slowed my pace to 10 pages per day, which is a lot more sustainable, totaling 120 pages for this week. As for the content itself, I’m enjoying it quite a bit. The two main characters have good chemistry and ホロ’s speech is quite eclectic and charming, which makes it fun to read no matter what’s going on. Between this novel and my last, I’ve noticed a lot of んばかりで, which I’d previously never seen in the wild. Lots of unfamiliar vocab to look up here, mostly in relation to all the economics stuff.
Throughout the week I watched 12 more episodes of ハイキュー！, bringing me up to S3E2. I believe we’re up to the final match of the championship, so everything’s been getting steadily more exciting. I’m still not sure that I understand all the rules of volleyball yet but I’m deliberately not looking anything up so I can learn it organically. Honto has the first 10 volumes for free right now so I grabbed them; might read some once I’m out of episodes.
(Re)played a bit more Persona Q2, but I’m taking care not to overtake my sister and she was pretty busy so we didn’t make a ton of progress. I mostly did sidequests, which have been fun. There are some things that I’m certain I didn’t pick up on in my first playthrough but which are now plain as day.
Just like last week I ended up neglecting my manga until the last minute, so I spent the afternoon reading SPY x FAMILY vol. 2. I love this series and I don’t know why I didn’t immediately start reading it again when I bought the rest of the volumes a little while ago.
Finally, I read three more chapters of 本好きの下剋上. The Wanikani bookclub is synchronized to Fridays now, which throws a wrench in my plan to keep in sync with my typical Sunday reports. It’s looking like I’ll need to read six chapters this week in order to get to where I want to be, but it shouldn’t be a problem because I really like this book. The main character is maybe a little too obsessed about books but I would be lying if I said she wasn’t relatable. She’s started tackling the problems around her with the knowledge she’s picked up from books, which I imagine is an isekai staple (haven’t read one before) — but the narration style is so engaging and I’m just flying through. I have a paper copy on the way and I’m pretty sure I’ll be following this series beyond the end of the club.
This week I finished しあわせの花, which suddenly brings my best time for reading a Japanese novel down to exactly two weeks. I averaged 13 pages per day throughout the whole book and it was quite manageable even with the other reading I wanted to do. I’m planning to keep up the momentum and jump right into one of the other books I’ve accumulated. Overall this book was pretty smooth; I learned some new grammar just through context, and came across some other N1 grammar that I don’t see too often. For more on the actual contents, I wrote a detailed review here.
At the beginning of the week I read another chapter of 本好きの下剋上, so now my normal reports are in sync with the wanikani club. From this week onward the pace will be a good deal higher. Nothing really to report for this chapter; it’s definitely a pretty easy book.
Watched twelve more episodes of ハイキュー！, bringing me up to S2E15. For all of season 2 I’ve been watching without subtitles and not looking anything up, so there’s definitely a decent amount I’m missing, I’m still following along well enough though, and I think it’s interesting how I’ve managed to mostly learn the rules of volleyball despite hardly know anything about it before I started the series.
Since I wanted to have read at least one volume of manga this week, I went back to 古見さん again and read vol. 12 over the last few evenings. I think I originally paused this series because the 単行本 were coming out really slowly but it seems there are three more that I don’t even own yet, so maybe I’ll pick up the pace again. I always forget how much I enjoy it until I’m in the middle of reading.
Finally, since my little sister has started playing Persona Q2 (in English), I’ve decided to do a parallel playthrough with her. Hopefully this time I’ll actually be able to keep up! We’re both on the second floor of the second dungeon now, making very good time. I keep finding things that I know I didn’t understand when I originally played it but which are totally obvious now. Some of the translations in the English version are quite horrendous though…
Earlier this week I decided that I wanted to ramp up the pace of my novel reading. Since I’d been polishing off each week’s quota of 夜市 in a single day anyway (10-13 pages), I decided to extend that out and make it a daily goal. I figured I could read the entirety of しあわせの花 (one of the light novel side stories in the 鬼滅の刃 setting) by the end of the month if I read 8 pages per day, and I’m actually way ahead of pace. I ended up reading 100 pages total and I fully expect to finish the book this coming week.
I also started reading 本好きの下剋上, also with the WK bookclub. This schedule has us reading up to 44 pages per week and is split up on chapter boundaries. Since the book club started yesterday I’ve only read the prologue so far so as to stay in sync with my normal reports.
I also watched 9 more episodes of ハイキュー！, closing out the first season and bringing me up to S2E2. It finally hooked me around the middle of the last match of the season, so I’m looking forward to continuing it.
This week I barely read any manga at all — I read 1/4 of 女神異聞録ペルソナ vol. 7, but I ended up being busy with other stuff and didn’t get around to finishing it until just now at the end of the week. I was wondering how they were going to fill one more volume but I guess we just wrapped up the fakeout final boss and are on to the real one now. Some interesting plot developments happening right at the last minute. Looking forward to wrapping this up.
First thing this week I read vol. 12 (final) of 甘々と稲妻. It’s one of the very first series I started reading (actually, looking at my bookshelf on Honto, it may have been the first series I read after よつばと), so to finally get to the end was bittersweet. This last volume did a lot of time-skipping, ending with Tsumugi graduating highschool and heading off to college to study nutrition science. Some aspects of the ending felt a little vague to me but I’m overall happy with how everything came together.
Next up I read vol. 2 and 3 of 少女終末旅行, which I started almost a year ago and never finished (despite having seen and enjoyed the anime). I had intended to finish the series this week but I got distracted by other things.
Throughout the week I watched some more ハイキュー！, finishing 11 episodes (up to 17 now). I gotta say I didn’t really like it for a good chunk of the first season but it’s becoming more enjoyable as it goes on. I’m really kind of antipathetic towards sports and it’s tough to get invested. It’s good practice though and I’m following it decently well.
Last up, I read two weeks’ worth of 夜市, which brings my second novel to a close. I really enjoyed this one all the way through, but the second story, 古道, was definitely the star of the show. Lots of cool worldbuilding, good pacing, and in my opinion it did a better job of setting up plot threads than the first story in the book did. Would highly recommend. I already grabbed a couple of other books by the same author so I might move on to another one pretty soon.
This week I decided to start watching ハイキュー！after hearing good stuff about it from one of my friends. Currently 5 episodes in, hoping to do at least that much next week too. I’ve been using subtitles this time around and it’s helping me follow just about everything, though I’m not sure if I’m going to keep it up as I continue.
I also ended up reading some manga, probably because it’s a tough habit to break. 甘々と稲妻 vol. 9, 10, and 11 brings me just shy of the end of the series, so I’ll be finishing that up this coming week. The character development has been really good as we approach the finale and I’m super excited to see events I predicted at the very beginning finally coming to fruition.
Getting back on the Persona 4 bandwagon, I played through 11 in-game days, bringing me up to 6/5.
Finally (literally; I only finished at the last minute) I caught up with 夜市. We only have two weeks left until the book is over and I’m honestly expecting a not-so-happy ending. Still very interesting and fun to read; learning new words and getting lots of repetition.
After writing my last report, I realized that I had just finished my 45th volume of manga since the beginning of the year. My goal for the entire year was 52 (one per week), and obviously I’m way ahead of schedule. With only seven volumes remaining, I decided to try to achieve that goal in one week, reading one per day — a pace which would prove a challenge due to me taking part in my brother’s bridal party. Since I had just bought the remaining six volumes of 外つ国の少女 (probably the easiest series I’m reading), I decided to get all caught up with that, plus one more to total.
I finished vol. 4 the first day, starting immediately after posting my last report. On Monday I read most of 女神異聞録ペルソナ vol. 6, then finished it on Tuesday. Wednesday was pretty busy but I squeezed in 外つ国の少女 vol. 5 at the end of the day.
On Thursday I woke up early and knocked out 15 pages of 夜市 to stay on track with the wanikani book club. I read 外つ国の少女 vol. 6 and 7 throughout the rest of the day when I could find time. Friday was another early morning to read vol. 8, and I read part of vol. 9 while falling asleep that night. Saturday, the day of the wedding, was predictably busy. I managed to steal a few moments to read some more of vol. 9 but didn’t end up finishing it until Sunday morning.
It’s kind of funny…I picked 外つ国の少女 to read for this sprint because it had been pretty easy up to this point, but around vol. 7 it suddenly took a change from the laid-back “girl and her monster” pace and turned into full-on political intrigue complete with a lot of fantasy worldbuilding. Fortunately it was still manageable. I really really need the next volume to come out though. The ending of this one was such a tangle of emotions and I’m super invested in seeing what happens.
I think at this point I’m going to dial way back on my manga consumption and just read things as they catch my fancy. I’ve been wanting to do more audio immersion so I’m thinking I’ll start watching Haikyuu (a friend of mine has gotten really into it recently). Plus my little sister has overtaken me in Persona 4 so I should probably get back to that…
First up this week I read Spy X Family vol. 1, which I got for free on Honto ages ago but ended up not reading because I think it was a bit above my level at that point. Really enjoyed it this time; the characterization is great and the writing is snappy and hilarious, and I couldn’t resist reading the first chapter of vol. 2 in 立ち読み. There are only four volumes out right now so I’m planning to grab the rest next time I make a manga haul.
Next up was ヨコハマ買い出し紀行 vol. 3, which wraps up the volumes I got for free on cmoa. Another character has joined the cast, with a brand new dialect similar but not identical to the old man who’s been in it from the beginning. Some of the patterns (like けんど instead of けど) are apparently 神奈川方言, which makes sense I suppose, given the setting. Just like before this one went pretty quickly. Will definitely be continuing this series a little later.
Kept up with the wanikani 夜市 book club. The story has gone in a direction that’s sort of compatible with my prediction from last week, but not exactly the same. Just out of curiosity I decided to use a stopwatch to measure how much time it took me to read this week’s section (16 pages) and ended up at about two hours, which surprised me; it feels like the time goes by a lot faster.
The last thing I read this week was 天つ狐と封印詩 vol. 1, which I picked up on a whim a while ago and never ended up reading. It’s basically about a kid who inherits an old house full of cursed stuff and has to get in touch with his onmyouji heritage to maintain it all I guess. Not bad but not something I’m going to prioritize keeping up with…I did see that vol. 2 came out recently so I might grab it at some point.