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 6?
Yes, I’m planning to read along/am reading along this week
Finished the chapter last night. Very interesting.
Kinda creepy to be in the head of a mentally-disturbed person.
I don’t think he will be prosecuted. At least he should not be. He basically has a break from reality. He is not fit to stand trial. He needs to be locked into some kind of mental institution. I don’t think you can recover from something like this.
I wonder if there will be any discussion on mental health and how people who are clearly disturbed and commit crimes are treated.
Also, I may retract my statement that the sister is OK.
Edit: I didn’t realize week 6 was only parts of chapter 4. But my comment has no spoilers. It’s just a general impression of the chapter, w/o details.
I think I’ll read through chapter 4 this weekend and divide up chapters 5 and 6 accordingly. It’s kinda funny, I had not read for the most part this week as I was tired from work and playing a lot of zelda. Then I read like 30 pages in one go.
直樹 is just a kid of middling talent, crushed by the weight of the expectation his mother has for him. The author really has words for those helicopter parents that end up warping their kids with their constant and ever-present gaze. Always watching. Always judging.
He reveals the toll this has taken on him, diminishing his own sense of accomplishment because his mother props everything he does on a pedestal. Things that should been seen as a recognition of his achievement (the award he got as a kid) become a mark of embarrassment instead because he hasn’t been able to accomplish as much since he moved to a bigger school with more kids to compete with. But 直樹 is surprisingly grounded when it comes to his own perceived lack of talent. He didn’t feel like a teacher praising the achievements of other students as an attack on him, probably because he sees it as deserved recognition for being at the top of the class compared to the empty praise his mother showers him with.
During that conversation with 修哉 at Domino Burger it’s apparent that all 直樹 has on his mind is him having a friend (that he respects or feels is worthy of respect) and focusing on how good it feels to a more “big-brained” conversation compared to the other patrons around them. He doesn’t even register that they’re trying to electrocute a child and just wants to keep hanging out with 修哉, going as far as to have a bet on whether or not 愛美 would cry ( ) and the loser would have to treat the winner to Domino Burger. The イヤミス qualifier for this is certainly appropriate because my skin was crawling during this entire scene, juxtaposing the innocent desire of wanting a friend with the extreme detail they get into to make sure their plan to ELECTROCUTE A CHILD comes to fruition. I think we can definitively say now that both of them are equally deranged; 修哉 was okay with killing a child and 直樹 is willing to kill someone to beat 修哉.
But this half of the chapter really threw a wrench in whatever sympathy I had for 修哉 up until this moment. With how smoothly he manipulated 直樹 (and me to be honest), I wouldn’t put it past 修哉 to have manipulated 美月 as well BUT considering how 美月 is ready to poison ウェルテル and how 修哉 recognized a kinship between them maybe she’s not the saving grace of the class I once thought. 森口先生 was right all along… OR WILL THAT ALSO BE FLIPPED ON ITS HEAD. The amount of characters I can trust in this book is slowly and steadily diminishing yet I still don’t want to get off this crazy ride.
I forgot when this reading ends and accidentally went ahead a bit. Will just give a few random thoughts since I started to ask a question but realized it’s related to the beginning of the next reading.
I was glad we get a section going over 直樹’s perspective.
Agreed that any remaining sympathy I may have had for 修哉 has gone out the window at this point. This reading made me despise the both of them even more lol
When 直樹 went on that long speech to 修哉 about how he could come over and eat his mom’s cake that gave me a bad feeling that 修哉 may not reciprocate the feelings of friendship. Up until that point I hadn’t doubted it.
The description of 愛美 falling made me recall two months ago when I passed out convulsing in a similar way from lightheadedness. Well, reminded me of what parts I was conscious for.
Man, can’t believe we only have two weeks left. Feels like we should have double that number of pages or something.
Anyway, most of this chapter was a wholesome story of two young men becoming friends, right? Marred by the horrible tragedy of a terrible accident.
…Yeah… I wonder how 直樹’s sister is going to take all this, if he confesses the truth. You could argue for his relative innocence aaallll the way up the end. Did I read that right? He let 愛美 drown in order to one up 修哉? “Haha, you thought she was dead, but she was actually alive! And then she died! I win!”
I’m probably being naïve, not having any association with real middle schoolers, but I wasn’t that horrified, relatively speaking, when they were plotting out the electrocution. My takeaway is that they were just dumb kids who weren’t really thinking through the consequences of playing with electricity, let alone on a young child.
直樹 at least felt this way; his two braincells were entirely devoted to “omg I have a friend”, so I’m not surprised he agreed to the terrible plan. 修哉 I don’t see it as “woohoo I murdered someone” but “woohoo, my experiment was a success” type of thing. Still terrible, still deserves to be taken to trial as an adult, but still manages to walk that fine line of grey, at least for me.
I wonder how 修哉 could possibly be prosecuted at this point, sans confession. 森口’s method was extreme, but she had a good point. You know this kid had and has no remorse for his actions. Makes me wonder if they’ll be one last round of punishment waiting for him, somehow. Time for a traffic accident
I could totally see the manipulation here. I’m kind of hoping he turns on her, then she poisons him.
I probably could have made this week all of chapter 4, but to be fair I thought the book would be a much more challenging read when I set the schedule
Nah, I occasionally do after school teaching of that age group and they can be vicious. Starting to get brainy, but severely lacking in emotional regulation and depth. It’s still disturbing, but it’s not unimaginable, I guess? That actually makes it more to me actually, knowing how realistic both characters are.
I would love this
Honestly don’t think 直樹 would have killed anyone without this perfect storm of events. He’s egotistical and lonely, but those don’t automatically make you a murderer.
He was so excited and 修哉 just pulled the rug from under him. I wonder how far the manipulation goes though. Did 修哉 just want someone else to be there for the crime or did he intend for 直樹 to kill 愛美 in the end. There was a lot of back and forth from 直樹 on whether or not to alert the authorities but he was worried he would somehow get outsmarted again.
Having 直樹 give us an account of what happened to him made it easy to forget the severity of the situation because I don’t think he really comments on it other than he considers 森口先生 as someone worth punishing. He was so focused on making a friend that I almost forgot about what ultimately ends up happening to everyone.
It also seems like 直樹 and his mother aren’t aware that there’s the whole system of the 担任先生 needing to be the same gender as the student in situations when the teacher is called outside of school.
Yeah, the last two books didn’t have this many consistent participants, I feel. I recall 十角館の殺人 being fairly lively, at least. I guess it ends up being a pretty good measuring stick of how well-liked the book is, haha.