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Japanese Recommendation Exchange – June 2016 — 22 Comments

  1. Watching:
    バトル・ロワイアル (Battle Royale) ☆☆
    Been a fan of this movie for a long time. Good to come back to a classic

    ゲームセンターCX (Game Center CX)☆☆☆
    Watching this based on recommendations from this site. It’s really entertaining watching these guys try to plow through challenging games (ala Final Fight). Great stuff.

    Reading:
    ハナヤマ (Hanayamata)☆☆☆
    A nice slice of life anime about an every-girl named Naru Sekiya who befriends an American exchange student named Hana N. Fontainstand, who loves the traditional Japanese dance Yosakoi. The anime adaptation is also great.

    ジョジョの奇妙な冒険:ダイヤモンドは砕けない (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable) ☆☆☆☆
    Part 4 of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure series in which protagonist Jotaro Kujo teams up with his much younger uncle Josuke Higashikata to solve a string of murders in the town of Morio, S-City M-Prefecture. Anyone who has read the first three arcs knows that to expect. Hot-blooded, manly supernatural battles. Apart from the terminology involving stands and musical references, there is a lot of slang used here as well, which might make reading it a tad difficult.

    Playing:

    艦隊これくしょん (Kantai Collection)☆☆☆☆
    Been addicted to this game recently.

  2. Playing:
    アイドリッシュセブン (Idolish 7) ☆☆☆
    Mobile rhythm game where the player takes the role of the manager for an idol group that has yet to debut. In addition to the rhythm game aspect, there is an extensive fully-voiced story mode. The songs are catchy and the story mode is well done.

    • Idolish7 is so great! :) The story is very dramatic, but they’re very good at breaking up with humor. For example… did you get to 二部五章「ボクはキミを」yet? It’s the funniest chapter so far (except for the parts where 天 and 陸 are being 天 and 陸, of course).

      • Great to see another Idolish7 fan around! I’m only at 一部十二章 right now, but I’ll look forward to it. Do you want to exchange friend codes for ライブ? \( ˙▿︎˙ )/

      • Oh my gosh, I just finished 2部5章2話 and am laughing so hard. The entire thing (excepting the segments with 天 and 陸, as you said) was absolutely hilarious, and and the parts with 楽、大和、and 三月 dealt the killing blow. Wow. I literally cannot.

          • I believe it’s only available on the Japanese App Store (or the Android equivalent). I’m an iOS user, so I’m not sure about Android, but you’ll need to create a Japanese Apple ID and sign into the Japanese App Store in order to download apps from it. There are a variety of ways to do this without using a credit card, and I’m certain someone else on Jalup has explained how to do this somewhere, but the least complicated way is to click the sign in button on Apple’s website, then click the button that says “Don’t have an Apple ID? Create one now”. Make sure to set your country to Japan, and when it prompts you for an address, look up and enter a random address in Tokyo (or anywhere, or input your own if you live in Japan). You shouldn’t need to use a credit card number or gift card code if you’re making an Apple ID this way.

            • Ok, I am definitely going to try. I have an android phone but I do have an ipad mini so I think it should work through there. Thank you Emily!

  3. Anime:
    * たまゆら〜hitotose〜 (Tamayura 〜hitotose〜)
    A girl likes to take pictures. Slice of life, finds magic in mundane things. Feels just like ‘Aria.’
    ** 探偵オペラ ミルキィホームズ (Detective Opera Milky Holmes)
    Squad of improbably young female detectives lose their superpowers and get bested at every turn. Farcical over-the-top shoujo antics.

    Book:
    **** 覚えておきたい極めつけの名句1000 (1,000 Famous Sayings)
    Not sure if 名句 should translate to ‘famous sayings’ or ‘famous haiku’… Famous sayings/haiku on the sea, sky, and other poetic terms.

    Games:
    * Audiosurf
    Rhythm game where you bring your own music. Put your Japanese tunes in to make it immersion-compliant.
    **** 世界樹の迷宮IV (Etrian Odyssey IV)
    Dungeon crawler where you have to draw your own map. No frills, very little apparent plot, just a difficult dungeon crawl. Drawing your own map makes exploring strangely addicting.

    Have been using Twitter a lot. Have been tweeting up a storm and putting the tweets into Lang-8. Also have subscribed to a lot of Twitter bots. Give it a shot!

    Also have been continuing to watch the JDrama adaptation of 坂の上の雲 (Clouds Above the Hill, ****).
    Realize that my previous description did not do the show justice.
    A story of three incredible men during the Meiji era, leading up to the Russo-Japanese war. A naval officer who devised the plan that would decisively defeat Russia in the Battle of Tsushima Straits. His older brother, the father of the Japanese cavalry. And his childhood friend, a poet who breathed new life into haiku and tanka.

    This is basically the nationalist war story of Japan at the height of its power, kind of like World War II for America.

    • Upon further reflection, 覚えておきたい極めつけの名句1000 should translate to ‘1,000 Exceptional Haiku.’ Also, most of the haiku are in classical Japanese. Maybe it should be bumped up to five stars? Where does classical Japanese fit in on the level guide, anyway?

  4. these are visual novels i’ve read this month

    忠臣蔵46+1(ChuShinGura 46+1)☆☆☆

    a story of a boy who slips through time and joins the famous(?) 47 ronin group who avenged the death of their lord Asano.he starts practicing for that and finally after killing Kira then he could go back to his world and become the best kendo dude no one has ever seen!… or so he thought. that doesnt seem to be easy since “it also loops” now he’s back to edo era and try doing stuff like saving his friends(smh).ChuSingura has 5 chapters and you’re just going to read all the chapters.and you can’t make any choice too.

    穢翼のユースティア(Aiyoku no Eustia)☆☆☆

    a somewhat of a high praised visual novel.on a floating land 下層 and 上層 exist and then 大崩落 happens making some parts of 下層 fall into the earth and some parts become lower than 下層 that place is now called 牢獄.
    Caim,having lost his family because of that become a beggar and with girly face he was sold to be a male prostitute,he escaped from that then was hired to be an assasin.

  5. I’ll only list difficulty of things that aren’t in the level guide:

    Watching:
    ** 小公女(プリンセス)セーラ A girl named Sarah went to study in England, with a tragic event happening, her life gets turned upside down. School setting vocab and lots of maid speech.
    一週間フレンズ
    夏目友人帳

    Reading:
    NHK News Easy **-*** Depending on the article
    GTO

    Playing:
    Mario and Luigi RPG 3
    Clash of Clans *, minimal text except for items like barracks, army, town hall, etc
    King of Thieves *, same as clash of clans
    Listening:
    L’Arc-en-Ciel
    Sekai no Owari
    AAA

  6. This month was spent reading the series Fushigi Yuugi, a favorite anime of mine back in high school and I’m only now (13 years later) getting to the manga. Very fun throwback that I’ve just been plowing through. And really a great series. It’s shoujo without being… shoujo. You’d see if you read it. Easy Japanese; only parts that might stump you are the book parts using older Japanese grammar, and maybe the more formal grammar directly towards the emperor or the character Tasuki’s kansai-ben.

    Fushigi Yuugi ***

    Also had to take a shinkansen and had nothing to read on me so stopped by the station book shop and bought what I could find. Had to be either a one-shot comic or the first volume of a series. I chose Change-R ’cause the art looked interesting. It’s about a girl who has the power to switch bodies with someone and finds herself accidentally switching bodies with a hit man who is being hunted by the police. The premise sounds interesting, the execution is lack-luster. It progresses too quickly and can’t decide if it wants to be comedy or suspense/action. Only one volume out so far. Very easy to read for someone who needs easy Japanese but doesn’t like slice-of-life manga.

    Change-R *.5/**

  7. Anime: 田中くんはいつもけだるげ / Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless
    Difficulty: ****
    Comedy/slice of life. A group of nice kids, in their first year of high school, coalesce into a circle of friends. Episode one features only two of the five main characters, and moves a little slowly, so I recommend watching at least two minutes into episode two before passing judgment.

  8. I’ve pretty much only been reading this month, and only a single novel:

    Pinball 1973, by Haruki Murakami (☆☆☆☆?)

    I’m not sure if it’s just due to the book having been written/published prior to 常用漢字 being a thing, but I’m giving it an extra star (4 instead of 3) due to a ton of unknown kanji. (On the plus side: I’m learning a bunch of new kanji!)

    Been slacking on my other skills this month, need to pick it up again…

    Oh, I supposed I did read some more 20th Century Boys this month as well (☆☆☆ or ☆☆☆☆). Still my favorite manga, I think!

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