What are you reading today?

I’m about a third of the way through カフーを待ちわびて | L30??

It’s a fairly light-hearted romance novel. The protagonist has a physical disability which I found interesting because Japan isn’t known for being very accommodating of disability. It’s also set in Okinawa so I had my first experience of Okinawa-ben :skull: thankfully the furigana puts the meaning in standard Japanese!

However… I don’t know if I’m missing nuance, or if it’s the author’s humour, or if it’s intentional, but sometimes the protagonist seems like a creep :see_no_evil: grabbing a hostess’s thigh/butt, finding it torture to think of a pretty girl sleeping defenceless in the next room, peeking at her underwear in the wash… Uhhh… :sweat_smile: I’m not rooting for him lol but I’ll go with the ride.

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I finished 本好き volume 27! A couple days ago, actually.

It was a slower paced volume but I really liked it. Especially the scene with エルヴィーラ finally opening up to ローゼマイン、 and voicing appreciation for what she did for フェルディナンド. I was really worried no one would acknowledge it, so I was glad to hear her say it and explain how even others like ジルヴェスター are grateful too, but can’t show it directly. That scene actually made me nearly tear up, which doesn’t happen to me much.

On the other hand, one thing that’s bugged me through this volume is ローゼマイン deciding to move her family without asking them first. They seem to be okay with it, but I feel like the significance of this move isn’t really addressed… I know they all love マイン a lot, but they’re suddenly moving very far away with (as far as I know) no way to contact anyone back in エーレンフェスト except maybe through the プランタン商会. At the very least I expected a stressful family meeting as one of the post-epilogue chapters. I doubt カミル would be happy about it either, being forced to move away from all his friends at age 7.

I’m excited for volume 28 (taking care not to read any spoilers from this thread), but I think I’ll make myself read something else first to space it out better. Probably サイレント・ウィッチ IV 沈黙の魔女の隠しごと | L29, this series has been on hold for a little while and I don’t want to forget what’s going on.

As for manga, I’ve read a bunch:
ふらいんぐうぃっち 1 | L20 was excellent, this series might be able to fill part of the Yotsuba shaped hole in my life.
異世界おじさん 1 | L27 was fine I guess. It has one gag, which was reasonably entertaining for a whole volume, but I don’t care to read more.
気になってる人が男じゃなかった 1 | L23 was a lot of fun, but I didn’t really get into the characters.
BEASTARS 1 | L29 was great, I think I watched the anime but I forgot it was this good. I’ll have to pick up more of this.
ご注文はうさぎですか? 1 | L24 was not what I was expecting, but I laughed a lot. I might pick up another volume if I’m in the mood.
ベルサイユのばら 1 | L32 was good, but I struggled to read it for more than 30 minutes at a time. It doesn’t pull me along in the same way as, for example, Beastars did. I think it’s much more text-dense than modern manga tend to be.
放浪息子 4 | L26 (and volume 5) were excellent. I’m getting into the part that the anime adapts, and my first impressions of the characters are much different in the manga. I never really understood the new homeroom teacher’s character before, but seeing his internal monologue helped a lot. I also think ちーちゃん has a much cooler first impression in the manga than she did in the anime.

I’m also midway through:
MONSTER: ヘルDr.☆(ドクター)☆テンマ 1 | L33 I started this with no prior knowledge, and there’s a lot of good workplace ethics/medical drama in the first half.
ぼっち・ざ・ろっく! 1 | L28 is as fun as everyone said it would be.
うちの師匠はしっぽがない 1 | L24?? is a book I forgot about, I must have bought it months ago digitally, but it’s very fun so far. A tanuki disguises herself as a human, finds out about Rakugo, and decides to become a student of the best 落語家 in Japan–who also happens to be a kitsune in disguise. I’m somewhat familiar with Rakugo (I admit it’s only because of 昭和元禄落語心中 | L35) so it’s been fun to see another story related to it.

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Same. Both when I read it as web novel and when I read it again once it got published.

I feel like that would be part of the short stories collections that are published on the side. The latest one ends around the time of volume 25~26-ish, so that might be part of the next one (if a next one is ever published)

I felt exactly the same!

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Good idea! Volume 28 is excellent, but unfortunately doesn’t end at a good break point. Volume 27 is a far better break point than volume 28 or 29.

Excellent! I’m always trying to get more people to read 4-koma in general and GochiUsa is my favorite. I have a list linked on my profile for all my favorite 4-koma if you find yourself wanting more.

Edit for direct link: https://learnnatively.com/list/fb7a7d823a/

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I was looking at the audiobook.jp app on my phone, and they have some trickery going with book “cost” on the app. It shows the price in coins, but coins aren’t one to one with yen, so it makes it look cheaper than it actually is.

Anyway, has anyone read or listened to 硝子の塔の殺人 | L33? The audiobook is on sale right now and I’m debating getting it. The preview makes it sound well made. If you’ve read it would you recommend it to someone who doesn’t typically read or watch “whodunit” mystery stories but isn’t necessarily against them either? I liked Knives Out for example, but can’t really think of any others I’ve watched or read as it’s not a genre I normally gravitate towards. I don’t care one way or the other about the “guessability” of the mystery (since I’m not good at guessing the ending of stories anyway) so long as the reveal isn’t an asspull.

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Well, I remember our resident @cat talking about it. I don’t remember what they thought of it, but they wrote a glowing review, so I assume it was good?

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I adored it but it’s written by and for mystery buffs. A lot of the charm of the book is how enthused the detective character is about real, famous mystery books (both Japanese and otherwise). I’m not sure how much it would appeal to someone who isn’t that into mysteries :thinking:

It’s also a very “trick” based book with less focus on the underlying motives.

There were parts of the mystery I could guess but other pieces which surprised me a bit. I wouldn’t say anything is horribly obvious, but it does give people enough clues to work things out for themselves if they are so inclined.

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Hmm, yeah that might be a tough sell if it relies a lot on referencing classic mystery books that I surely won’t know.

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You don’t need to know them to follow the story but I think it’d move the needle from “charming and nostalgic” to “ugh another rant about books I don’t know” for sure :sweat_smile:

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Finished:

(well I’m on the last volume now). Overall I’ve really enjoyed this. It started out a bit middling, but got better and better after a few volumes. Though I’m seriously put off by a lot of the latest story arc. The author made a choice that involved a minor getting manipulated and sexually assaulted by an adult, and having that be the vehicle for them finally making relationship changes (with a different character), and I’m very not fond of it, and hope to never see that antagonist in the story again. (Come to think of it, they’re the only character who’s purely an antagonist).

Besides that, the story is one giant yuri polygon (that somehow hasn’t produced any full couples yet well there is one at this point) that blurs reality with dramatic fantasy, and I’m very into it! The scenarios themselves can be kinda contrived or stupid at times, but the actual character arcs and character development are generally really well done, and you get to see different sides of characters, in ways that make you reconsider your view of them.

This turned out to be pretty good - a lot more moderate and tasteful than I was expecting/worried, despite the age gap (the characters are 16 & 22 at the start, 17 & 23 at the end). I was expecting a lot more cheap romantic humor, accidental ecchi situations, etc. There were parts where it got more descriptive about food or shopping than I cared for (I skimmed those). The systemic consequences of being a teenage runaway are never really brought up… but the emotional/psychological side of that is definitely reflected . A lot of the story is really kind of a coming of age story, and about these 2 characters living together. The romantic development is pretty subtle until towards the end (I think one of the chars is maybe ace spectrum). The few other age gap stories and side characters I’ve read have generally had some sort of a weird, creepy, or “this is really off” vibe to them… While I won’t say I was never uncomfortable, overall the book had a wholesome vibe to it. Definitely going to keep reading the series… tho I hope the characters get older soon (age of consent in Tokyo is 18 afaik). Nevermind, I was wrong about the legality.

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Err, no, it is 16 by default, and as low as 13 if the other person is less than 5 years older. (That’s a new law from last year, it used to be 13, period)
So a 17 yo can have sex with a 13 yo, if both are consenting. The Seishōnen Hogo Ikusei Jōrei (青少年保護育成条例, the thing you are referring to) prevents “unfair” sexual relationships between an adult and someone who is less than 18. However, if you are married, engaged, or even just in a plain old relationship, then it’s (legally) fair game.
Japanese law has no issue with a relationship between a 16 and a 22 yo.

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Oh, thanks for the correction!!

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:grimacing:

That’s so creepy. Some states in the U.S. have similar age gap consent laws, which is totally fair, but as far as I know those usually start around age 16, not 13.

(Though I obviously don’t know all state laws and I wouldn’t be surprised if some states in the south have similarly creepy laws.)

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Prepare to be surprised: Ages of consent in the United States - Wikipedia
Not all states do have an age gap consent law, but of those who do, for the majority it seems to be 13 or 14. (Determined just by eyeballing, not by counting.)

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I just finished https://learnnatively.com/book/cc80058d80/ as my “why is this in my TBR?” book. I tried searching the forum for it, and I can’t remember for the life of me. Maybe the discussion about reading difficulty? No clue (but it felt easier than 本好き to me, now that I can contribute to that conversation from more than a year ago :joy:)

Anyway, I kinda liked it, even though the last confrontation (and to some extent the other ones, except for the first one) felt really weak. Like, the reason why all those people’s situation got worse is not because the main character made them like books and stop accruing status/wealth like crazy. The problem is obviously capitalism. Yet the book never acknowledges it (the word doesn’t even appears, despite discussions about books being consumables and only produced if they sell), instead talking about how people “stopped” caring for each other (looking at the history of humanity, I don’t think that’s our default state though). While I do agree that books help people grow (and get a sense of ethics for instance), like, that’s not related to the situation…

Also, the interest of 沙夜 for the main character is incomprehensible at face value. My head canon is that he is incredibly hot (in a geeky way) and she believes she can fix him.

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I enjoyed the hell out of that book, but I listened to it as an audiobook. I remember feeling like it was a kids story and giving the weak parts of the story a lot of leeway. But it’s cute and there’s a talking cat - how can I resist?

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I guess reading the book did it a disservice, since, between kanji usage and the lack of furigana, there’s no way to interpret it as a kids book.

I did enjoy the cat, though!

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I seriously think they’re doing the book a disservice by not making it accessible to kids. It’s the sort of book I would have adored at age ~10. Also the characters don’t really live up to adult scrutiny…

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I finished ふらいんぐうぃっち 6 | L19 and 人外さんの嫁 1巻 (ZERO-SUMコミックス) | L17 as my “easiest in TBR” and “easiest ever” bingo spot, respectively.
ふらいんぐういっち was fun, but, as usual, I don’t really feel any pull to keep going. Without the bingo, that series would have been gathering dust on my shelf. Now, it’s just volume 7-11 gathering dust :stuck_out_tongue:

人外さんの嫁 was okay. Some wholesome moments too, but it felt quite empty. There’s no justification as to why the main character (and some other guys) are called wives and the non-human counterpart called husband, regardless of gender (e.g., there’s at least two cases where the guy is the wife and the female monster the husband). It’s also unclear why monsters are marrying humans. They aren’t doing anything particularly couple-y either…
Another issue is the price. Content is very light (a single 4-koma per page). I don’t think I will keep going with that series.

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I still feel bad I haven’t read those (I have watched the anime a few times)… I started the first one, but couldn’t really motivate myself to keep going (it’s not bad or anything, I’m just a hard sell with iyashikei). I’ll read it eventually tho

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