We are following the below schedule (page counts may vary based on your medium):
Week 1 - Up until star break. Sentence ending in 殺されたからです。- 9% / p.29 Week 2 - Through end of chapter 1 - 19% / p.61 Week 3 - Up until star break. Sentence ending in 救われた気分でした。- 28% / p. 87 Week 4 - Through end of chapter 2 - 38% / p. 119 Week 5 - Chapter 3 - 54% / p. 169 Week 6 - up until bolded section starting with 四歳児 - 64% / p. 196 Week 7 - through end of chapter 4 - 74% / p. 229 Week 8 - through end of book - 100% / p. 301
I will generally copy this information over thread to thread each week for ease of finding - you can always expect the schedule at the top of any weekly thread
Law and Order
Any reveals, for the current chapters must be behind spoilers or detail curtains. When we get further in you don’t need to hide details that were revealed in previous chapters.
Questions on vocab, grammar, nuance, and the like are both welcome and encouraged. If you’re not sure if it’s a spoiler, assume it is and use one of the above options to hide the text.
You are encouraged to speculate and guess wildly
Be kind about other peoples’ wild guesses
Even if you don’t read the chapter(s) in time, you are still encouraged to post in the thread for that reading once you have finished it. I advise not reading ahead in the threads as you may see spoilers.
To gauge participation - a poll!
Are you reading week 4?
Yes, I’m planning to read along/am reading along this week
The ending to this chapter didn’t feel as much like being run over by a truck, haha. Still took me aback when 美月 said, “And then he killed his mom that night.”, haha. I had to pause to just go, “what?”.
So we do have confirmation now on their identities: student A was 修哉 and B was 直樹, and that ウェルテル was in it for his own sense of self-satisfaction all along. I wasn’t too incredibly surprised that 直樹 did what he did. I mean, sure, I’m surprised he killed his mother of all people, but I figured there was a chance he’d do something drastic in order to atone for whatever guilt was eating him.
I wonder if we’ll ever jump back to 悠子’s perspective? I wonder if she’ll read this letter 美月’s writing, and what she’ll think of the current incident…
I’m also wondering who our next POV character is; I hope it’s someone new!
I organized the character wiki into tables; I was having a hard time parsing the original list, so I’m hoping this will be easier to read. I left the original character list in case it’s preferred that we go back to that, and added a few notes from this week.
Out of curiosity, I wonder if we can identify who the chapter title names refer to? Chapter 1 was 聖職者, and 2 was 殉教者; I’m wondering if chapter 1 referred to either 愛美 or her father 正義, since iirc 悠子 described him in a similar way. Chapter 2 I’m wondering if it could refer to either 修哉 or 直樹; the first because he acts as the punching bag for the rest of the kids, the second because he fully commits to murder in order to (presumably) act as a target for all of that hate.
This book keeps on giving. I am enjoying my time with it.
I am pretty sure 聖職者 refers to 桜宮正義, since she calls him that in the first chapter at some point.
殉教者 is trickier. There wasn’t really anyone who lost their life because of their faith. I was wondering if it might be ミズホ because she gets targeted because she doesn’t want to participate in the bullying. (though she has a short lapse that she apologizes for.) but it could be 修哉 since h e has very specific interests and he is sticking to his guns no matter what the world throws at him. 直樹 doesn’t work for me, because he does what he does out of (presumably) guilt not out of conviction.
And I just read the first few sentences of the next chapter. Already hyped to read it.
In all seriousness that was a satisfying chapter with how much it delivered. 綾香 being the one who sent those text messages telling everyone to target 修哉 under the instigation of 祐介 (possibly because he was affectionate towards 悠子先生) was unexpected but I guess that goes to show how petty people can be when they feel justified in their actions. I REVELED in their comeuppance since we know now that neither 修哉 nor 直樹 have HIV. I feel kinda icky cheering for 修哉 since he is responsible for 愛美’s death, even if he did not directly cause it, but at this point in the story he’s become more sympathetic than the other students. I wonder if the upcoming chapter is gonna flip the script on us again on how to register 修哉’s actions
I was not expecting 美月 to be as lonely as she revealed throughout this chapter. She fell for both 直樹 and 修哉 because they were the only ones at her side when the entire class was against her on two separate occasions (elementary school with 直樹 and currently with 修哉). During her conversation with 修哉 when he revealed that he got his blood tested and it came back negative,美月 already knew and 修哉 thanked her for not revealing it to anyone but 美月 admits to herself that it was because she had no one to tell it to. But I was REALLY not expecting the wrath that would come from her. She is willing to scorch earth, innocent bystanders be damned, if ウェルテル continued to be shameless and self-serving after everything that’s happened. She really did seem like the most level-headed one, since she doubted that 悠子先生 would really try and give two students HIV with how much she talked about ethics 「倫理観」and she turned out to be right. And can I just say 「気にしないでください。。。。最後の審判が終了した合図です」is an ice-cold line to just drop on someone like that.
I agree that the 聖職者 is probably 桜宮正義 by virtue of him trying to actually be a good teacher to his students (someone ウェルテル wishes he was) and 聖職者 moniker gives him an aura “righteousness” in the face of the false accusations laid upon him.
I’m not quite sure who the 殉教者 is but I’m on the side of it being 修哉 with y’all. It seems the most fitting since he never tries to justify his actions or get the other students to leave him alone. He just takes it… until he decides not to anymore.
My just-for-fun crackpot theory is that the 殉教者 is ウェルテル or at least “old” ウェルテル because there’s no way he continues doing what he did after 美月 just laid out how ineffective his home visits to 直樹 were. The happy-go-luck, head in the sand,（偽） 熱心先生 is probably no more.
It’s when 修哉 confronts three students in succession starting with 孝弘.
then 修哉 moves to 綾香’s desk and she’s all freaking out and covering her face so 修哉 grabs her phone off her desk and says
He doesn’t explicitly state her crime but he grabs her phone and reprimands her for using a cowardly tactic, which I’m reading as indirectly revealing she was the one behind the texts everyone was getting in class. Then he walks up to 祐介’s desk and says
which is the reveal that 修哉 knew 祐介 was the one that goaded 綾香 to start the class-wide bullying of 修哉 through their 制裁ポイント game.
I could possibly be reading something wrong but that’s the gist I got from that scene. If I read something incorrectly please let me know.
Also sorry for the crap formatting. I didn’t know whether to keep it as one giant chunk of text or try to split it by quotes to make it more readable.
Ah, I see now; I do remember that section. I forget what exactly I was thinking when 修哉 confronted 綾香, but him implying she was behind the texts does make sense. Taking a closer look at that passage, would anyone mind helping me break down the last sentence?
You’re fine! I’m on a laptop looking at it and it all looks fine and readable to me.
Here’s how I see it:
自分が利用されて= (your)self being used
のも分からない= not even understand
自分が利用されてのも分からないバカ女 - stupid woman who doesn’t even understand she’s being used
I don’t have the context in front of me right now so I won’t attempt to translate くせに, but I guess it can be and yet, even though, or just emphasis.
Hmm, I see I overlooked that も. That does clear up the seeming run-on 分からないバカ女. Thanks for the help! It seems that any accusations are indeed implied here, so I guess we can’t say for certain that 綾香 was the sender, but it does seem likely.
Well, I’m hyped for the next chapter. If that is how the student I thought was level-headed reacts I don’t know what to expect next. Is every chapter going to end in such a manner? Looks like this is going to be one giant train wreck, and I am here for it.
In the first chapter student A just came across as irredeemable, so I’m glad that 修哉 is getting humanised. Seems like he’s actually feeling some guilt about 愛美’s death. He made a lie detector this time? Those are ridiculously inaccurate and more of a pseudoscience, so if it keeps getting used I’m waiting for that to backfire at some point.
直樹, I get that the guilt is destroying you, but really, killing someone else is a less than optimal way for dealing with it. Try therapy instead. Or you could confess to the first crime. Unless there’s are reason I missed why that would be impossible?
Not that we saw on-page, afaik. Him going to the extreme of killing someone else makes me think there’s probably a lot of background information we’re not privy to, kind of like 美月 dropping that bomb that she’s had suicidal tendencies for a while, and wouldn’t mind trying out all the dangerous stuff she’s hoarded on someone else.
I think what’s holding 直樹 back is mostly his ego. It was mostly the recounting of 森口先生 but her account of 直樹/Student B was that he was hyper aware of how people might perceive him and he does not have the wherewithal to handle it. Like in an effort to not be associated with murdering 愛美 (he thinks she’s dead after getting shocked), he throws her into the pool to make it seem like an accidental slip instead of getting someone to help. Based on this, he seems to be prone to rash actions in desperate situations and I don’t think he would have sought the external help he so DESPERATELY needed. His mother is similar in her refusal to seek help when 直樹 started to physically abuse her so there might be a connection there.
I have just finished reading chapter 2 and it’s just one wild ride. Pace and difficulty wise it is just about right for me, just takes some deal of effort and time. Near the end of the chapter it gets easier, so I consider that a good thing.
Had a bit of confusion, when I misread page 90 that I only just now figured out where I went wrong. In my head 真樹 and 直樹 overlapped. Probably was tired that day, although furigana for every name that gets introduced the first time would help!
Small grievances aside, it is a good read so far. I did not expect things to turn up this way. With them getting together and also 修哉 singlehandedly stopping all the bullying. I think he feels bad for involving 美月 in this mess, otherwise probably would have taken it for the rest of the year. The class definitely went too far.
Do feel for 直樹’s mom. I think things would have been very different if ウェルテル wasn’t there and 美月 went alone, but there’s also a limit to how much help you can give especially with the situation as it was. Ironically the best person fit to help him come clean to the police sooner, was 悠子先生.
Anyway this idea of vengeance presented in the book, where consequences be damned makes we feel it is closer to the Vengeance trilogy than a say Kindaichi case files.
I’ll be starting chapter 3 early, so I have enough plenty of time to finish that for next week.
I just finished this week’s reading and I’m still processing (wild ride INDEED!) but that’s a good call out - next week is the entirety of chapter 3. We then go back to normal speed for 2 weeks and finish out with a bang since I expect that I and everyone else will want to know what happens
Wow, this has been quite the reading! I had a hard time putting this book down. (Except when ウェルテル started yelling about 修哉’s situation and I had to close my phone and stare into the distance to mentally face palm)
I did end up being right about the teacher not putting the blood into the milk.
I loved 美月’s brutal retelling that revealed her true thoughts on ウェルテル (I wasn’t mistaken, that was actually what she told police, right? How this book does quotes messes with me sometimes). There are a couple of autobiographies I’ve read where there is someone in their life who seems to be over-the-top/does questionable things that make you as the reader dislike them, but you feel like you may be being too harsh since the narrator seems more forgiving towards them, only for the book to end in a scathing attack revealing what an awful person they actually thought they are LOL. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but something about this switch makes for a big impact.
Most characters in this story I can picture as real people, but I can’t see ウェルテル as anything other than a cartoon character in his words and actions haha. I wonder if this is just 美月’s perspective or if he’s really like that.
Thank you guys for going over the three students 修哉 confronts, I was a bit lost there.
Not sure if I understood correctly, did 美月 say she got the nickname ミズホ from 美月アホ because there was a dumb girl who didn’t even know her multiplication tables that was jealous 美月 was such a good student? Was she actually bullied because of jealousy of her studying skills, like ウェルテル tried to tell the class was happening to 修哉?
I also took this as there being a girl who didn’t know her multiplication tables taking it out on 美月. ‘In retaliation, the stupid girl who couldn’t even say her multiplication tables, assigned me, the top student, the nickname Mizuho.’ or something like that.
That’s how I took it too. She ‘verified’ with the lie detector that the teacher wasn’t doing the visits for the right reason, so then she felt justified in raking him over the coals during the police questioning.
Also I’ve digested a bit of the reading and two things:
That scene where 美月 and 修哉 are just casually talking about him killing stray pets. Just…wtf. ‘Oh, you really make murder devices? Oh, ok.’ → proceed to make out
I had to reread the bit about her fantasizing about killing her teacher a few times. I suspect she won’t (the book seems like it would just have her do it and shock us rather than tell us she’s thinking about it) but I do wonder if someone else is going to get some chemistry class poison now that it’s been mentioned a few times.
I had trouble with this section because I wasn’t sure how to read the his recounting of conversations with other people because he would end each hypothetical conversation with a へえ as if he only remembers their reaction to action more than anything else. That paragraph also starts with
As a kid, he would keep exaggerating until he could illicit the reaction he wanted from someone so maybe everything 森口先生 heard secondhand was false? MAYBE he didn’t actually kill that poor cat in that empty field through heinous methods? I can’t say for sure because we’re taking 修哉 on his word here and as much as he’s throwing a pity party for himself, he explicitly looked for 愛美 on that day to get back at 森口先生 so how much of what he says is really an exaggeration and not just fact.