Shitsurei, ne! (aka my learning log and other random musings)

I guess I’m starting one of these to help keep me honest in the new year.

I haven’t been a huge anime watcher since college in ye olden days before Crunchyroll and HiDive and the like, when we would torrent fansubs as shows came out.
Honestly, I enjoy [young] adult animation in English (Bob’s Burgers, Archer, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, Owl House, etc etc), so it’s not so much that I specifically like anime, but I think I just enjoy the medium.

I would love to get my listening up to level 25 or so, as that’s where a bunch of sports anime and office shows tend to sit, which are more compelling to me than middle/high school romance tends to fall.

My current two-pronged approach is to (1) start watching anime with no subs and (2) prioritize books with audiobooks to read along to. I guess technically this is a trident and there’s a third prong which is to
also play some of my Switch games.

For reading, I’m currently reading 小説 天気の子 | L30 and plan to join on the ふしぎ駄菓子屋 銭天堂 1 | L23 and book clubs. I also started 最弱テイマーはゴミ拾いの旅を始めました。 | L24 but didn’t make it super far.

For shows, I had a Crunchyroll list from a while back of “easy Japanese shows” that I saved but found that they ranged level 20-14 on Natively. I ended up sorting all shows from Crunchyroll and Netflix by level. Around level 20 is the lowest I’ve been able to watch and catch not necessarily every single word but almost everything that is said as long as I’m paying attention. I noticed there were a few shows at level 18 and figured that I may as well get a bit more practice and start there.

I already finished

my review

shitsurei's review of 可愛いだけじゃない式守さん S1 | Natively

and がんばれ同期ちゃん S1 | L18 (still need to review). I’m about 1/3 of the way through 私に天使が舞い降りた! S1 | L18 (for anyone who is familiar with the series I do have Thoughts, but I don’t think they are as big of Thoughts as a lot of people’s Thoughts about the show. I plan to write up a review once I’m done with it).


Wow, that is a lot of 1- and 2-star reviews, haha.


Skimming the MAL reviews, there’s a very clear reason why: (pedophilic themes/MC)

Definitely don’t wanna touch the show after having read that. Too bad, cuz I like otaku characters otherwise.


I wanna do this too, but I’m already in the middle of 4 LNs (two for the book clubs), so I’m hesitant to add another, even though I’ll finish it more quickly… picking up 本好きの下剋上 1 | L30 again is really tempting tho… at least また、同じ夢を見ていた has an audiobook :slight_smile:

Btw the link for また、同じ夢を見ていた isn’t auto-formatting… in any case, looking forward to having you in the club :slight_smile:

Any particular games you’re interested in/playing?


Nothing’s stopping you from doing it once you’re done with your other books. :blush:

Honestly, the show spends more time with the little sister and her friends than the otaku girl, so you’re not missing much. She’s also a really boring character, so it’s def fine to skip.


I will never understand why people continue to watch a show they do not like or even seem to hate.

BTW: the show did not give me vibes of sexual interest on the side of the otaku girl. It definitly was super cringe though from time to time, and if she acted excessively she got punished immediately.

I will definitly give the series at least 4 or even 5 stars when I get a chance to re-watch it.

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Yeah, that’s probably gonna be a while though… even leaving out bookclub stuff, and just counting 薬屋のひとりごと and ログ・ホライズン (which are the hardest things I’ve tried to read so far).

I can’t speak for others, but personally: completionism (esp so I can mark it Finished here), being able to have an informed critique, wanting to challenge myself/give something a fair chance, having mixed feelings and continuing so you can still experience the parts you enjoy.

Tha said, I’m no stranger to dropping things either.


Yeah, that are all things I can understand if we were talking about some book. But watching something I do not have the patience to stay with something I do not like. It would feel like self torture.

I stop them usually after the first episode, some things later, some things I drop after minutes or even seconds after starting them, not even bothering to include them into LN :wink: And some things I drop just because, well, I do not have the time to watch everything.

If I drop them I do not rate them, though, there could be some change for the better later on that I am not aware of… I just delete them completely from my lists. That‘s why there are almost no seasons that get less than 3 stars, btw. Some series where I liked the first season but hated the second might get a second chance during a re-watch, but so far no one of those could work up their way into the 3 star region.

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Opposite for me. I can tolerate watching much more than reading - everything happens much more quickly, and overall duration is shorter. Lack of narration can also be a plus. As a random example, 本好きの下剋上 anime adopts 7 LN vols in 36 eps. Anime runtime: 14hrs 20m (includes OPs and EDs). Audiobook vol 1: 9hrs 50m. (And I definitely don’t read as quickly as an audiobook!!). Manga might be a different story, since they go by much faster.

Btw @shitsurei I gave into the temptation and picked 本好きの下剋上 1 back up… Thx for the inspiration :smile:


Same. Watching is a lot more passive, and in terms of animation, sometimes I enjoy the art style enough to pull me through a not so great show (definitely true for 天使が舞い降りた for me. The art is kinda watercolor-y and very cute and is helping me push through the 3-ish star show for me).


Oops, missed this last time. I’ve started ファミコン探偵倶楽部 消えた後継者 twice now. I played the other ファミコン探偵倶楽部 game and loved it. うしろに立つ少女 occurs chronologically before 消えた後継者, but is a sequel, and just feels like a more fun game. I’m trying to push through hoping to get really into it like I did with the last one, but we’ll see.

Additionally I have:
Dragon Quest XI
Anonymous Code
Amnesia World
よのはな Spring
Triangle Strategy
The World Ends with You
Persona 5

that I picked up at BookOff when I was in Japan last May that are just hanging around waiting for me to finish or decide not to play ファミコン探偵倶楽部.


Week 1 updates.

Finished 私に天使が舞い降りた! S1 | L18.
cw: pedophilia, grooming


I don’t think the show entirely deserves the reputation that it’s gotten. There were a few uncomfortable moments, and an episode where the show overtly stated that a college student was flustered because going to an event alone was like a date with an elementary schooler. But at the end of the day, outside of one scene in the second episode and one scene in the 10th I didn’t feel uncomfortable watching the show. There was nothing overtly sexual about the attraction, and you could have swapped in a cat for the girl and the show would have remained unchanged. All of that said, I think you could fairly say that it normalizes grooming.

From a entertainment perspective I don’t think I would have watched it if it wasn’t towards my language goals, but it was decent enough. From a language learning perspective it was somewhere between i+0 and i+1 for me, so worth sticking it out.

And because I have the ADHD, I started:


Four episodes in and this is approaching a so bad it’s good kind of train wreck for me. It’s like an after school special, but anime. There’s also a bit of 90s nostalgia in the art style, but that mostly just makes me wish I was watching a better show.


I’m legit shocked that there’s a live action show that’s this low of a level. It’s a bit harder to understand since live action actors tend to not speak as clearly as voice actors, but it’s not difficult.
It suffers like all jdrama does for me where there’s not even zero, there’s negative chemistry between the actors, but the story isn’t bad. I’d maybe consider checking out the manga at some point after I’m done.


Going off of episode 1 alone, this seemed to be a lot harder than the other shows at this level, although it may just be because it has game/isseikai vocab that I’m less familiar with.
I’m becoming more and more convinced that I just don’t like the issekai genre, although most of what I’ve heard about this series is that it’s easy, not that it’s particularly good. :sweat_smile:

My main book has been 小説 天気の子 | L30 that I’m reading along with EBW’s informal book club. There are a lot of lookups for me, but I’m enjoying it. Some of the imagery in it is quite lovely. It also makes me very much want to go back to Japan asap.

Also, bc, ADHD, I read a bit more of 黒魔女さんが通る!! チョコ、デビューするの巻 | L24 on a whim this week and finished the chapter I was in the middle of. I had found it to be one of the more difficult Aoitori Bunko books to read last year and this week I was just breezing through it. I still don’t know that I care enough to finish it, but it did feel good that I can tell a difference in my ability from only a few months ago.

I’ve been talking to a few people I’ve met on HelloTalk recently. One who is actually local (but ew people irl). Spontaneous conversation is still rough for me, but I’m mostly able to express what I want to say without looking up words over text, so that’s also been encouraging.


You learn to embrace the horribleness after awhile. I think it’s a result of churning out a ton of short shows where the majority of casting is done based on who the latest talent the studios want to push at the moment is. Hottie of the hour type thing.


I don’t know about the anime, but I’ve read 12 volumes of the LN and I agree with that statement. I read the first 10 volumes because I bought them in bulk at a really low price, and I could just finish one book per day; a couple of years later, when bored, I just got volume 11 because I was mildly curious about what happens next. Some time later, I got volume 12 because volume 11 ends in the middle of something. I haven’t felt like going back to it ever since (and probably won’t ever).


It’s been *checks watch* 25 years since I watched my first jdrama and they’re still awkward af. Will I stop watching them? No. Have they gotten any better…? Also probably no :sweat_smile:


Yeah, I never got beyond episode #1.

I will say I’ve seen some good Jdramas, but they’re almost all in the crime show space :sweat_smile: The only romance-adjacent show I can think of that I thought was good was うきわ ―友達以上、不倫未満― S1 | L29?? and it’s ‘romance adjacent’ rather than ‘romance’ as it’s about two people bonding over the fact they have both discovered their partners’ infidelity.


It’s definitely not the worst thing I’ve seen before, but I’m not real excited to watch more. It’ll probably come down to if I find something else at around level 18-19 that I do watch, or if that just becomes a default show to me.

Definitely saved that. That sounds right up my alley :slight_smile:
Once I power through most of the low level video I think I’m going to settle into one series without subs at a low level and one series at a higher level with subs to watch.


Can I ask what you end up talking about? I gave up on HT for a few reasons, but one of them is that my conversations typically went nowhere (partially my own introvert tendencies). I’m thinking of giving it a try again, and just trying to find other オタク to chat/interact with. Not sure quite how fruitful it would be… but nothing to lose really.


It’s definitely not easy. I tend to cycle through 10-20 “how are you, fine how are you” conversations until I find one that sticks for more than that. Finding other otaku definitely helps. I kinda use those one off conversations to do experiments (what happens when I respond with やっほー?), or use them to notice stuff like who will さんつける or how people slowly fall into ため口.
At this point I have one person I’ve been talking to roughly daily for about a month, and one person who is local that I talk to pretty regularly. The rest I tend to not invest a lot of time into unless interests align.


Week 2

I passed the halfway point in 小説 天気の子 | L30 this week :tada:
I’m very much enjoying it, but it’s a lot of lookups for me (2-5 per page). Thankfully the grammar is fine, it’s just my vocabulary that is lacking. But since I don’t think I could comfortably do this read without the app that I’ve been using for fast lookups, I want to bump down a few levels for my next book.

I also decided to do some housekeeping and finish up the manga volumes that had been half read in my reading section for ages. I finished up らんま1/2 5 | L23 and 山田くんとLv999の恋をする 5 | L25. I started to finish グッドモーニング・コール 3 | L19 that I had somehow conned Brandon into adding the bunko version for me because trying to figure out where I was in the tankobon was driving me crazy, but then the first 3 volumes of ねぇ先生、知らないの? (series) | L18 are free to read this week so I’ve jumped ship until I finish those out.

In my no subs challenge this week I:

  • 貧乏姉妹物語 S1 | L16
    I think I may have come around to this one in the end. I started out hardly wanting to watch it but powering through because it was good practice. I still think the characters and the melodrama was a lot, but there were some nuggets of legit enjoyment.
    Don’t think I would have watched this one but I would definitely recommend it as a language learning tool.
    Still need to review this one.

  • ねぇ先生、知らないの? S1 | L20
    While the romance was awkward af in the show, I did like the story enough to check out the manga, which I’ve now read 2 volumes of since the first 3 happened to be free to read. It’s better as a manga, and I might come back to it after I read through some other manga that I already have, but it’s still only a B-/B. It being easy to read gives it a lot of points, lol.
    Probably wouldn’t have watched if it wasn’t at my listening level, but I’m happy I did because the manga is a good potato chip read.
    My review.


  • 一週間フレンズ。 S1 | L19
    So far this one feels like something I may not have jumped out as something I’d pick, but I’m definitely enjoying it for itself and not just a show to improve my Japanese. I’d be surprised if I wasn’t done with this by next week.

  • 夜は猫といっしょ S1 | L14??
    Technically, I’ve re-started this since I was watching 1-2 episodes last summer before bed. It’s actually not a great show for language learning since the reason it’s so easy is because there’s not really a lot said (and some of the things that are said are actually kinda difficult). But I love the animation of the cat! It’s so accurate, lol.


  • ラブライブ!サンシャイン!! S1 | L20
    I just could not with the cute girls wanting to be idols. It didn’t help that I think it’s probably more of a level 20-21 based on the other shows I’ve been watching. Also, on that note I’ve done some terrible things to the low end of the show ratings, lol, so hopefully someone else grades some of these soon. :sweat_smile:

I played a little bit more of Famicom Detective (I think I played 2 days this week). I still haven’t made it past where I got last time, but I think I’m close now.

My main language exchange has dipped into more like 80/20 English/Japanese. And I’m mostly just too lazy to push for more Japanese. At this point it feels less like a exercise in language and feels more like chatting to a friend, so I don’t know that I even care that much.