レベル7 Informal Reading Club

レベル7 Informal Reading Club


This was mentioned here and on the WK forums quite some time ago and we’re finally kicking off. The Natively entry is here: https://learnnatively.com/book/8716b31b04/

レベル7 is a book by 宮部みゆき who is a very prolific mystery author whose work I’ve so far interacted with tends to focus on Japanese societal issues and messy, often hidden interpersonal relationships. Many of her works have been made into TV shows and movies.

This particular book is only available as a physical copy (no ebook) and runs over 600 pages long.

Anyone is welcome to join! I will make this post a wiki so that people can add character name readings as well as any unusual place names if needed.
Because this is expected to be a very small club it will just be this one thread.


This is a long book. We can check in a few weeks along and see if we want to speed up or keep the course. Luckily while there are only a handful of chapters in the book, the sections are numbered and don’t reset by chapter. From those I came up with this schedule (overlapping page numbers are where section cuts share a page):

Sections are inclusive
Week 1 - Feb 27: pg 7 - 35 \ 28 pages

  • プロローグ - 2

Week 2 - Mar 6 36 - 68 \ 32 pages

  • 3 - 5

Week 3 - Mar 13 68 - 109 \ 41 pages

  • 6 - 8

Week 4 - Mar 20 109 - 148 \ 39 pages

  • 9 - 11

Week 5 - Mar 27 148 - 180 \ 32 pages

  • 12 - 14

Week 6 - Apr 3 180 - 212 \ 32 pages

  • 15 - 17

Week 7 - Apr 10 212 - 242 \ 30 pages

  • 18 - 20

Week 8 - Apr 17 243 - 286 \ 43 pages

  • 21 - 23

Week 9 - Apr 24 286 - 330 \ 44 pages

  • 24 - 26

Week 10 - May 1 331 - 360 \ 29 pages

  • 27 - 29

Week 11 - May 8 360 - 398 \ 38 pages

  • 30 - 33

Week 12 - May 15 398 - 427 \ 29 pages

  • 34 - 36

Week 13 - May 22 428 - 479 \ 51 pages

  • 37 - 38

Week 14 - May 29 479 - 521 \ 42 pages

  • 39 - 42

Week 15 - Jun 5 521 - 553 \ 32 pages

  • 43 - 48

Week 16 - Jun 12 553 - 581 \ 28 pages

  • 49 - 51

Week 17 - Jun 19 582 - 622 \ 40 pages

  • 52 - 54

Week 18 - Jun 26 622 - 657 \ 35 pages

  • 55 - end
Character list

Add character names and readings here. Feel free to add notes about character relationships (ex: 田中太郎さんの娘) but if they’re spoilery please blur them

三枝隆男ーさえぐさ・たかお;sec 8: 関係ない男
みさおーsec 5 spoiler:9日に行方不明になった好子の娘。17歳。
東海林郁恵;しょうじ・いくえ;sec 25: 中学校のときに自殺した女子
祐司;ゆうじ;24歳;sec 27: 名字:緒方
明恵;あきえ;22歳;sec 27: 名字:三好
広瀬耕吉;ひろせ・こうきち;sec 27: 祐司のオヤジの下で勤めてる人
蓮見加代子;はすみ・かよこ;sec 32: 桐子の高校時代からの友達


@Belerith and @pm215 - thought I should tag you to let you know this is up :slight_smile:


It’s just as well there are numbered subsections, since it looks like the pagination is different in different versions – in my copy section 3 starts on page 40, and the whole book is 768 pages not including the 解説.

I’m reading the 新潮文庫 edition with this cover:

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Feel free to edit in your numbers if it will help you! I admit I will mostly use section breaks, no idea what version @Belerith has

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Week 1 thoughts:

Good strong start. I suspect this may be the classic case of a prologue with characters we won’t meet again until page 600 :slight_smile: I imagine that missing pin will turn out to be a fatal mistake…

I’m also amused that so far we’ve had four characters, none of whom have been given a name, so nothing to add to the character name list yet.

I think if I were to wake up with complete amnesia my first instinct would be to seek out the authorities (police, or maybe hospital). I wonder what these two will do?


I added the name on the front door but couldn’t tie it to anyone :sweat_smile:

I agree with the strong start. Super mysterious, tantalizing, lots of ‘dream’ states.

Also maybe it’s just because I’ve been reading on my ipad a lot lately, but this first assignment felt like a breeze! Not sure if it’s just the smaller pages or what.


I think I will lurk on this thread as it intrigues me, but I don’t have the stamina to read such a long book just yet! :grin:


I’m reading the same version as @pm215. I just read the prologue and I’m pretty intrigued already. :slight_smile:


Week 2 :slight_smile:

Just when I think we’ll be with our two amnesiacs for a while, we switch POV! So I guess the woman in the apartment could be the missing daughter, since she seems to look like an adult - and the woman’s thoughts have revolved around what the rest of the world will think, just like the mom.

I wonder about these levels… :thinking:

I’m really happy with the book so far. Solid writing, intriguing start - good thing I have like 5 other books by this author sitting unread on my shelf. :laughing:


Finished week 2! I updated the character list in the top post. Doesn’t seem like we’ll have a giant cast of characters so far, but just in case!

I’m also leaning towards みさお being the woman in the apartment, but I wonder if the guy is her boyfriend or just some random dude who also decided to go to level 7? Also she had failed level 3 before - so I guess failing doesn’t necessarily mean dying…? Very curious how this will unfold, but somewhat relieved to have a change of perspective. The constant ‘knowing nothing’ perspective of the 2 in the apartment got a bit tiring to read :joy:

edit: ha, good catch with the kanji @pm215 :sweat_smile:

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The other interesting hint in the diary was the entry that seemed to link level 1 with Shingyouji’s name…

PS: I fixed the kanji in 真行寺’s name in the character list, on the assumption that was a henkan miss rather than a difference between versions.

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100% me just accepting the auto-suggested kanji and not rereading :joy:

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Week 3: the fake-out with “I live in apartment 706!” guy was good :slight_smile: And we got a bit of social commentary with the bits about over-work. I wonder if that was a one-off or if it will develop into a theme? My assumptions about what kind of job “Neverland” would be were also completely off…


Week three, just barely in time:

I’m trying to figure out if they’re in reality with their memories wiped, or some kind of simulation. Like if this is reality, they could bump into someone who knows them.

Also found the social commentary interesting, although very on-theme for 宮部みゆき. I suspect the girl’s home life will be delved into further as we go along. We also so far have no clues as to the guy.

Lots of questions, few answers so far!


I’m not convinced that Misao and the woman in the apartment are the same person, incidentally – I got the impression the woman was a bit older than 17.


I also got the impression they were both portrayed as young adults. Since Misao was described as seeming older than her age (iirc? I might be basing all this off of a wrong assumption) it still seems plausible to me.

Since I’ll be leaving on a trip in 2 days, I read ahead a bit. So the following is up to part 14. Sorry. :sweat_smile:

The mother is treating the disappearance of her daughter really cavalierly. And I don’t mean that last bit. She got a call, everything seems fine - okay, sure. But up to that? I’m surprised she didn’t go to the police before then. But also not… What would the neighbors say, after all. :roll_eyes:

I went back over the prologue trying to see if there was a mention of a cigarette brand at all, since that’s apparently relevant now, haha. While the older guy on the rooftop did smoke, I didn’t see a brand get mentioned.

That said, it’s already day 2… Out of only four! A lot should be happening quite fast.

I’m really curious to find out more about this Saegusa dude, and also detective Shingyouji in action! But there’s no way I can justify taking this monster of a book along on a multi day hiking trip.


I am late to the reading, just finished up through 11. I’m honestly getting a bit annoyed with the unknown woman, although I suppose in her situation I’d also be frazzled.

It looks like we’ll finally have some real development in both the storylines soon though, so I look forward to the next section.


How are people feeling about the pace? One of my other book clubs is done now, so I would be ok with speeding up a bit, but I’m also happy with the current speed…


I’m hoping to wrap my other book club tonight so I also could speed up, but agree this speed feels fine. While the book is long it doesn’t feel slow, the author is moving things along at a nice clip.


So I think I have a first print run, or near to it judging by my cover. It’s definitely a pretty worn book, but not in terrible condition (I thought). Anyways, I went to do a bit of the reading today and pages 71-98 just fell out :sweat_smile: Luckily they fell out in a bit of a bundle so I can try gluing them back in later, but I must say I haven’t had that happen since I was a kid and read some books til their spines split :joy: