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Japanese Recommendation Exchange – May 2016 — 7 Comments

  1. I’m not too confident in appropriately leveling things yet, so I’d appreciate if anyone who knows more could correct me!

    What I’ve been watching:

    ふらいんぐうぃっち (Flying Witch) ☆☆/☆☆☆
    Although the title suggests a heavy fantasy-theme, the content is largely slice-of-life/school/home-life. I can understand a reasonable amount, but the fantasy vocab still catches me out.

    The story revolves around a witch-in-training who moves in with her aunt, uncle, and cousins. The episodes follow her as she gets to know her relatives and learns about living in a more rural area. Of course with magic spells and magical people thrown in along the way. I’ve really been enjoying it so far. It has a really relaxing feel to it, while still being peppered with comedy. It currently has 7 episodes out.

  2. Watching:

    Lately, I have been getting into Japanese variety shows. Partially thanks to the great recommendations on this site. However, I have struggled to find a really good way to watch these (why is tver.jp geoblocked!). I was thinking about hulu.jp, but it seems they have just like half of the shows I would like to watch and I do not want to pay for two separate services. Does anyone know of a better (legal) way? Anyway, here are some recommendations :

    旅ずきんちゃん☆☆/☆☆☆
    This is a female cast show that mostly covers travelling/food and some gossip. It clocks at about half an hour an episode and works wonderfully as a background immersion (during a breakfast etc.).

    トリックハンター☆☆☆
    The show focuses mainly on magicians performing a variety of tricks (but they sometimes cover useful life hacks and such). These are usually explained in the show (often utilizing slow motion camera). The reactions of the cast to the performance of the magicians is quite hilarious!

    今ちゃんの実は☆☆☆/☆☆☆☆
    This is an Osaka based show (a bit of dialect!) featuring quite a few of my favorite actors. There are typically several segments – local food coverage (where they ask people in public baths or taxi drivers for their recommendations), some fishing (I am not exactly a fan of fishing, but the comedian duo is a lot of fun watch), various polls regarding a bit wacky questions, etc.

    Reading:

    キノの旅4(Kino’s Journey)☆☆☆
    I have just finished the fourth volume. I really enjoy this series. The thing that I like the most about it is that even though it is a light novel, and quite an easy read, it does explore some really deep and philosophical issues. Consequently, it is a light novel series that a mature reader can easily enjoy, I can’t recommend this enough.

    カラフル(Colorful)☆☆☆
    I am only at the beginning so I can’t say much about the story, but it seems to be quite a comfortable read. This is my first book by 森絵都. If it is good, there seems to be quite a few more!

  3. Anime
    ** 彼女と彼女の猫 -Everything Flows- (She and Her Cat -Everything Flows-)
    The trials of a job-hunting college student, as told by her cat.

    Game
    *** ペルソナ4 (Persona 4)
    You’ve probably heard of this one. The best dungeon crawler/monster catcher/dating simulator on the market. Absurdly long.

  4. Reading:

    A lot of manga, due to this month’s challenge:

    * 20th Century Boys ☆☆☆☆ — unbelievably good
    * Inuyashiki ☆☆☆ — the only contemporary manga series I’m up-to-date with
    * Fullmetal Alechemist ☆☆☆☆ — still my favorite 少年 by far
    * One Piece ☆☆☆ — I always get bored after one or two volumes, but also always find myself coming back to it…
    * Yotsubato ☆ or ☆☆ — no matter how much I level up, Yotsubato is still freaking brilliant

    Watching:

    * Mushishi Season 2 ☆☆
    * Kill la Kill ☆☆☆
    * Smattering of awesome movies: Onibaba, Versus, Marebito, Journey to the Shore (new Kiyoshi Kurosawa movie!), etc.
    * Also re-watching various episodes of Monogatari un-subbed, probably at least ☆☆☆☆ difficulty

    Listening:

    * Same old boring anime episode audio (I need to update my playlist so bad…)
    * Same old “Read Real Japanese” audio rips
    * Japanese Pod 101 intermediate lessons

    The JPod101 stuff is really surprising me and I strongly recommend it. I never really “got” JPod101, mostly because their site comes off as so obnoxiously ad-filled and terrible. But this content is really great! This intermediate series in particular is a continuing story (of sorts) and is actually really interesting. There’s still some English in there as they explain grammar points and so on, but it gets slowly removed as the series goes on. I’ll definitely be checking out some of their other content soon.

  5. Reading:
    Nothing
    I was on vacation all month traveling so I wasn’t able to read anything.

    Watching:
    **/*** Yowamushi Pedaru (弱虫ペダル)

    However, I had read the first volumes of 弱虫ペダル at a mangakissa once and while I couldn’t really get into it, when I saw it on Netflix I thought I would turn it on while cleaning my room. I haven’t watched anime in years but it was fun listening to it while cleaning. Fairly standard sports anime language with just bicycle terminology thrown in. A lot of it is English terms though so with practice, you should be able to understand the more technical words.

    • Ooh, thanks. Etrian Odyssey 4, here I come.

      Too bad the recent yen appreciation makes Japanese imports more expensive anyway.

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