Sholum's Study Log

Taking a page from everyone else, I’m going to summarize the important parts from my old log instead of posting two years worth of old stuff (I’ve saved that for myself though, I do reread it every now and then).

Up 'til now:

BSL (Before Study Log)

As best as I can remember, I started trying to learn Japanese in 2010, but didn’t start making much of any progress until later (I guess late 2011; around when I joined Koohii). My initial motivations were something along the lines of “I want to learn another language” and “it’d be cool if I could watch anime and read manga raw”; not exactly the noble reasons that people are told they need to learn a language. Most of my knowledge and appreciation of Japanese culture and whatnot came after I started studying. I’ll be completely honest, my primary interaction with Japanese is still webnovels, manga, games, and other ‘frivolous’ things like that, though I do have Japanese friends that I talk to now.

I started out learning the kana as normal, but struggled with ‘seeing’ kanji (I’d confuse kanji that looked even vaguely similar), and so struggled with vocabulary acquisition initially. I bought RTK and did a recognition only deck of it (called Lazy Kanji Mod or something like that). That gave me the boost I needed to start on vocab, and I moved on to the Core decks. I don’t know that I’d recommend that approach to kanji anymore, but it worked for me, just left me unable to write them (and without some more intimate kanji knowledge that gets drilled in when you practice writing).

Reading started with easy stuff like NHK EASY, JOI teachers’ blogs, and some manga with furigana. From there I moved to more manga, then VNs and games, then some regular news, then webnovels and other articles.

My initial listening (other than learner material) was mostly music from bands I looked up about the time I started learning the kana. I still listen to several of those bands, since I picked them based on musical taste as much as for them being Japanese; I’m a fan of 陰陽座 (no matter how cheesy some of their songs are), which is probably the only Japanese band I listen to that actually uses only Japanese lyrics (thematic reasons).
Anyway, sometime late 2016 I started watching anime with Japanese subs, which really helped improve my listening, which had been lagging severely behind my reading. About the same time, I started watching some Japanese YouTube channels.

According to my old study log (see, these things are useful), I started working with my tutor in 2015 to prepare for the JLPT. I wanted to get N1 and had no use for anything lower, so I went straight for it.
Working with a tutor in person has been a big deal for me; she can point out the things that I don’t notice and is a good conversation partner. She’s also become a friend.

2017

I had a big focus on JLPT prep in this year. I had already failed the N1 in 2015 and 2016. My main targets to improve were the grammar section, reading speed, and listening comprehension. I used multiple practice books and an Anki deck based off of 新完全マスター to tackle the grammar section. I did a crap ton of reading (almost won Tadoku one time…) for reading speed; I also did practice books. I watched a crap ton of YouTube and anime for listening comprehension; I also did practice books. I took the J-CAT when I could, and took multiple mock exams. Finally passed N1 in December of 2017.

I also started working on kanji production in this year. I got up to 1006 cards in 2017.

2018

Continuing on kanji production for the first part of the year; I got up to 1141 cards (probably over 1250 I could actually produce, since I didn’t add the ones I knew well already). Bigger things this year were graduating from my electrical engineering program and going to Japan. After three weeks in Japan, I didn’t exactly keep up with my kanji deck, so that got screwed up.
Because of my planned trip to Japan, which ended up being mostly a homestay (had a great time), I focused a lot on speaking with my tutor. After I got back, I still felt the difficulty I had with speaking, so I continued focusing on that. Can’t say it’s much better than it was when I got back from Japan, but that’s entirely on me, because I keep procrastinating so that I don’t have to talk to people I don’t know…

Now:

  • Mostly focusing on production; particularly speaking, but writing also
  • Trying to get myself back to Anki; probably need to restart my kanji deck from the beginning
  • Reading and listening are mostly fun activities now, rather than study; they still have study quality, but it doesn’t feel like studying anymore

I don’t think my update format will really change, because at least half of my updates has always been “what I’ve read and watched lately”. Most of the rest has been complaining about how much I suck at production.

Oh, and I recently started playing about with studying Spanish. I’ll probably mention that in my Anki stats, but since it’s off-topic, I’ll keep it to a minimum.

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Lots of real life events will probably be keeping me quiet for the next couple of weeks (I’ll be peeking in daily like I have been), so I figured I’d update real quick while I still have some time.

Update

Anki cards:
Core Supplement: 400
Kanji production: 1141 (needs restart)
RikaiSaves: 555
Spanish 5k: 50 (29 others suspended)

Still trying to get the ball rolling again, so I haven’t put too much into the Spanish deck yet. The RikaiSaves deck would grow a lot more if I weren’t so lazy, or used my old phone (with old Firefox) to read like I used to.

Reading

More isekai bologna.
転生賢者の異世界ライフ - Read up to chapter 112 (short chapters). You know the drill: MC = OP * AF. It hasn’t gone long enough for me to know for sure, but there’s a pretty interesting development in the plot revolving some group using monster spawners to terrorize the world, along with a couple of other things that make me feel like it’s worth continuing to read, for now. Also, the slimes are freaking adorable.
This one’s a pretty easy read; most of the special vocab is standard fare for isekai. And again, short chapters. However, the author changes several things as the story goes on without updating the previous chapters (there are notes when it happens), and it’s leaning towards the ‘more errors’ side of the ‘how much this author needs an editor’ scale. It is being published as an LN, so that’s always an option.

Started catching up on the updates to 暴食のベルセルク; at chapter 116 at the moment. Took me a while to remember who the heck everyone was and what was happening, but wasn’t too bad. What was bad was the

Spoiler Warning

fact the author used a body swap gimmick between the MC and love interest. Thankfully, most degeneracy was avoided (though the possibilities were joked about), and this development is actually a serious problem in-universe and should be fixed soon. My bets are it’s going to be used for cheap relationship development.

Whatever the case, I face-palmed when I read it.

Listening

Got the latest 陰陽座 album. It sneaked by me last year, 'cause it came out right after I got back from Japan. So I’ve been listening to that; much better than the previous album, IMO.

Only anime I’ve gotten to this season is どろろ. I’m digging it, gonna have to go for the source material for more. Old-timey speak is throwing me off a bit without subs, but nothing I can’t handle (though there has been one or two times where I had to rewind and still didn’t get it).
What cemented this anime as a masterpiece (possibly exaggerating, but still) in my eyes was something simple: they accurately animated a method of starting fire with friction. And we’re not talking some cheap shot with a fire bow (or worse ‘rub two sticks and get fire’), it goes all the way through: showing the shape of the base wood and the hole and notch cut into it, the hot dust from rubbing the dowel in that hole, dumping that hot dust into light kindling, and only then making a camp fire.
The rest of the show is cool too (great attention to detail in both animation and sound design; not even getting to the story, which I’m also loving), but I had to pause and marvel at the fact that they actually showed all of that.

Writing and Speaking

Nothing of particular note here. I’ve been talking to myself in Japanese some, though, and doing some mock conversations in my head (daydreaming stories, basically: situation, characters, make it work). Since I can think about this stuff as much as if I were writing, hopefully it’ll help get correct Japanese to come to mind more easily when I talk for real.

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So, I can get up early and deal with afternoon traffic, or I can get up late® and deal with morning and afternoon traffic. Guess who decided to change his schedule to wake up at 4:15…
Figured I’d get an update in this week, since I’ll be playing paintball all next weekend. Looking forward to that.

Update

Anki:
Core Supplement: 420 (don’t say it. Don’t say “blaze it”! … Dammit!)
RikaiSaves: 565
Spanish 5k: 50

Still haven’t figured out how I want to approach my kanji deck. The flaws I noticed in it before are really shining through now that I don’t remember which kanji the jukugo cards were supposed to be testing. Might actually download a shared one, if I can find one that meets my criteria.

Reading

Some more on webnovels, but not much. A bit of that article/transcript that @cophnia61 posted (I intend on finding the documentary). Not much else.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading at work, so by the time I get home, I’d rather watch videos and exercise.

Listening

Been watching 弟者 play Apex Legends. The battle royale boom is laughably stupid, IMO (though I have no problem with people that like these games), and I have no interest in playing any of them, but it is fun to watch someone else play. At least this game spices it up a bit by ripping off Overwatch (just what we needed, double genre cancer put in one game… actually works this time though).

Anyway, now that I’ve had a few listens of 覇道明王 (album I mentioned last time), It’s really growing on me.

Again, not much to report. I’m looking at that service @Splatted mentioned, audiobook.jp
And come to think of it, I never went back and finished that audio drama I was following for a while. Might look into more of those too.

Writing and Speaking

Contacted my tutor with a big message, so there’s that. Other than that, nothing much.
I think I’m going to have to switch to remote lessons (probably use Skype or Hangouts), so I went ahead and got a camera and a better microphone (for the few people that suffered from my last one: I’m truly sorry. That was actually the best microphone I had). Value shopping, of course.
Want to use those (well, at least the mic) for some other output practice, but I’ve been saying that for at least a year.

You mean all the companies scrambling to cash in? I feel the same way to an extent but it’s not so different from all the past genre trends. We just get to see it more clearly this time.

After further investigation I’m pretty disappointed by the selection. So few of their books are 聞き放題 that I can’t even find one without using the dedicated search button in the app. I think I’m still going to subscribe for a little bit since I really want to listen to lots of audiobooks at the moment, but it will likely be a temporary thing.

Anyway the free trial is still definitely worth it, and I enjoyed 算法少女 so you might want to check that out if it sounds at all up your ally.

Yep, some of the cash-in attempts are just… ugly. I even saw one that has a bunch of Hot Wheels style cars dropping out of a plane and doing the battle royale deal.

But don’t worry, I also remember the awfulness of the online-multiplayer death-match craze (and the 3D graphics one too). So many bad games that could have been better…

That’s too bad… Though I guess a 聞き放題 plan at that price would have to come with severe restrictions to keep people from doing exactly what I was planning to do. My guess is that they’re mostly older books?

I’ll take a look at that book you mentioned. Thanks!

Yeah, old books and books of questionable quality. There’s also stuff like Highschool textbooks which I guess someone wants to encourage engagement with.

Honestly everything I learn about the games industry just makes me wonder more and more wtf is going in the heads of some of the decision makers. Like the recent bioware reports. Staff members were quitting and having stress related breakdowns and retiring from the entire industry and they didn’t even have a clear idea of what they wanted to make… but they still thought they were doing a good job. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Was doing keto for a while, just for kicks. Then I fasted both Thursday and Friday. Getting into ketosis prior to fasting is definitely the way to go: didn’t have any of the cramping or nausea I’ve had prior. The only thing is keeping magnesium levels up. I could tell my electrolytes were out of whack this morning (Saturday), so I need to find a bio-available magnesium supplement (sodium and potassium are easy to get).
I failed spectacularly at breaking my fast though, and now my stomach is killing me…
I tried to prepare for Easter dinner by eating carbs today on top of breaking my fast, but that just resulted in me overeating by a large margin. Probably two days worth of food. I’ve had a headache all day, too, which tells me my blood sugar levels have probably been on a roller-coaster ride all day.

Update

Nothing to say for Anki. I’ve been keeping up with reviews; that’s about it.

Reading

Not much reading the past couple of weeks. I have been going through the lyrics of the songs in 覇道明王 though. Doesn’t matter which language it is, it always takes me a while to get all the lyrics worked out, even when I’ve read them.

Listening

Lots of music and a couple of podcast episodes. It’s not really my preferred format for history content (overview of a large time span), but 世界一周!チラ見の世界史 is interesting enough. Going to download more episodes.

Writing

Working on an essay for homework.

Speaking

Had a (pretty much) Japanese only lesson this past week. Think I’m going to do them weekly for a while. It’s pretty amazing how rusty I got in just a few months. Not that my spoken Japanese is any good to begin with.

Oh, and I got a new mic, finally. Can’t use my lack of a decent mic as an excuse not to record anymore. I even got a pop-filter for it.

Making progress working study and exercise into my new schedule. Found a gym near work that I can get to during lunch. Can’t get a full workout, but there’s enough time to get the stuff that I need to add more weight to (chest press, lat pull-down, leg press, calf raises, shrugs, etc). Found out how little strength I have in my chest; was pressing 50lbs on the bar (probably ~35lbs on its own; haven’t measured it). Decided to switch to dumbbell press to get the extra work of stabilizing the weight, and also to isolate left from right, even though it’ll impact my max lift.

For those interested, I decided to go back to a keto diet for a few more weeks (will definitely cycle every few weeks to a less restrictive low-carb diet). Many reasons, but mostly because of how good I felt and how small my appetite got. Depending on my resources, I might try pure carnivore for a couple of weeks, just for fun. Would never do that long term, because I love vegetables, but I thought it might be interesting to see what it’s like.

Update:

Anki:
Core Supplement: 420
Kanji Production: 1142
Rikaisaves: 565
Spanish 5k: 50

Finally started working on my kanji backlog. Decided not to restart it. I’m actually pretty surprised that I’m remembering as many of them as I am. Might start suspending some in order to get through the review backlog faster. Accidentally added a couple new ones when I was doing custom study, so that’s why the number got a bit greater.

Spanish is still in stasis. I have started reviewing again (really easy when your backlog is only 50 cards), but I need to start adding again too. I know I said I’m not trying to go fast, but it’d be nice if I could get a decent level of comprehension this year. With Spanish, I should be able to accomplish that primarily through vocabulary study, with just a bit of grammar (since I still have some of that ingrained from school).

Reading:

Got a chance to read a bit more, recently. Mostly some webnovels. Will have a chance to do quite a bit of reading before long, so hopefully I can work through my backlog on the series I’m following.

Listening:

Podcasts, music, YouTube. Have a bunch of anime backlog to work through, including stuff I want to watch this season. Will talk about that when I get around to it.
Going to listen to the Jekyll and Hyde audio book this week, I think. I have the goods to LR it (perfectly innocent source), so I might do that too.

Saw/listened to a newer episode of サイエンスZERO on YouTube using the Hayabusa 2 news as an excuse to talk about asteroids. Part of it was about the various (weird) plans that have been proposed to move dangerously sized asteroids out of their collision paths with Earth. That stuff is always fun, because of the creative(ly weird) stuff people come up with that might actually work under the right circumstances and with the right tech developed.

Writing:

Not much of anything, just some notes where Japanese came to mind before English (generally happens when I’m making notes about Japanese study, so not that often).
Need to write a paper about 令和 before my next meeting with my tutor.

Speaking:

Again, not much. I did do some stuff on a Discord server, but it was just saying words (helping some people out with reading), not really speaking.
My new mic works great though, so I’m going to challenge myself to do something like what @unseenjapan is doing. Have to decide a topic though. That’s always been my block on this kind of activity.
Also, still haven’t done that practice I said I’d do on Discord.
Also, will get to see some of my friends from Japan when they come to visit in a couple of weeks, so that will be a good chunk of Japanese speaking.

About it for this update. Bad grammar/composition was to get this typed faster; other things to do today.

Quick update. No computer access atm.

Making a huge dent in my kanji backlog. Down into the 800s (had all due initially). For most, I don’t remember until I look, fail it, then have no issue recalling it for the relearning reviews. So the knowledge is still there, just burried. This will probably impact future reviews as well, since I still have a bunch of backlog to get through before regular reviews can resume. I expect to have a low recall rate for the next month or so.
Some I remember with no problem. It’s quite a rush when I do.

Also making some progress with Spanish. It really is amazing how much easier written Spanish is to understand, right off the bat. The only real struggle is conjugation. I think I’ll be looking at using mostly native material in a few months, depending on how much studying I do.

Did a bit of reading and listening, but not much. Been really busy and in an environment that is better for quick stints of Anki rather than reading or listening to Japanese.

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Popping in just to say I ripped right through my kanji backlog; finished last night. Will have high (over 50) review numbers for the next few days, at least, so I don’t think I’ll be adding new cards (maybe a couple) for a while.

Stats and other updates will be this weekend. Actually doing pretty well this past week.

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Full update this time.
On the health side, I’ve been eating too much junk recently. Was staying at a place about five minutes away from a shop with really, really good pies. Blueberry, Boston cream, banana split, chocolate coconut, and more…
I think the only one I didn’t try was the lemon meringue. And that’s only because I ran out of time.
I also had my fair share (with an extra helping) of regular food, too.
Despite that, I managed to keep the damage to a minimum. I was working, and I also did some maintenance exercise (body-weight, no equipment). I still gained a couple pounds though. Hoping to get it back off in the next couple of weeks.

Update:

Anki:
Core Supplement: 420
Kanji Production: 1142
Rikaisaves: 567
Spanish 5k: 220 (plus 70 suspended)

As I mentioned last time, I’m finally caught up on my kanji backlog! Looking at 100 card reviews for a couple of days. Once I get those down, I’ll be slowly adding new cards (I have 68 already made and waiting).

I also got my Spanish deck moving. Been adding 15 or so per day, but there’s a decent amount of stuff that I can suspend or hit ‘easy’ on. Will probably add more once my kanji reviews come down (I don’t like spending tons of time in Anki).
There’s probably a decent amount of Spanish content that I could struggle through with a dictionary right now, but I’m going to keep priming for a bit. I want to focus more on grammar when I start reading and actively listening. For now, it’s just the example sentences on the cards. Most have a good selection, but words that are used as multiple parts of speech tend to have sentences stuck on one or the other usage; all the verbs get used as subjunctives in their sentences (guess the search function that was used didn’t search for conjugated verbs).

Reading:

Still catching up on my backlogs, but I’ve been getting in about a chapter per day. My goal is to maintain that. It really doesn’t take much time to read that amount, so I could easily do it right before bed, or something.

Listening:

Didn’t LR much of Jekyll and Hyde, for reasons (noise levels, give-a-darn levels… you know, reasons), but I did do the first two chapters. Might try to shadow this, since that’ll force me to study it better and get the production practice in at the same time.

I watched some lectures in Japanese; one on the German migration period starting in the 4th century, a couple on physics stuff (basics of quantum mechanics). And of course, Science Zero.
And the usual stuff.
Still haven’t started on my backlog of anime. Might start on it tomorrow if I have time.

Writing:

Nothing. Need to write that paper before Wednesday… I’ll start on it tomorrow, before I let myself watch any anime.

Speaking:

Talking to myself. I promise it’s a perfectly healthy activity.

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It’s always a good week if I get to watch top-tier waifu anime. (Alright, the bait has been cast!)

Starting with health and fitness: Going so-so. There’s been a lot of celebrating lately, which means I have to either hate my life while avoiding goodies, or let myself eat a bunch of junk food on the weekends. So I haven’t gotten back into keto yet; I do keep my 20:4 fasting during most of the week though. Super easy to do with this work schedule.
Switched from barbell to dumbbell presses; they’re a bit easier on my joints, I think, and I get better work out of my left side. Putting on some obvious mass in my chest and lats, which are my main focus at the moment. Still far from my goals though.

Made something exciting (to me) the other day for dinner. Using my flax biscuit recipe as the crust, I made some mince pies. I was worried that the dough wouldn’t hold up well or dry out enough while baking, but it actually worked perfectly! I went too light on the seasoning for the filling, but I’m really happy with the structural result. I intend to eventually buy some liver to put in them (the only time when I’m actually strict about buying grass-fed beef). I can make them on the weekend and have a nutritious meal that’s quick to heat up. Need another jumbo muffin tin, though. Might post a picture the next time I make them (maybe tomorrow if i have time; I have filling left to use).

Update:

Anki:
Core Supplement: 420
Kanji Production: 1142
Rikaisaves: 567
Spanish 5k: 440 (plus 103 suspended)

Kanji reviews are slowly coming down (about 70-80 per day). Spanish vocab is going much better now; don’t feel like its as difficult to remember them as when I started. Still can’t get myself to form Spanish in my head (Japanese keeps creeping in), but I haven’t really started practicing sentence formation yet, so it’s to be expected.

Reading:

Webnovels when I have the time (well, mostly just 暴食のベルセルク, because I’ve yet to catch up).
I just received a book on Japan’s war history (starting from 幕末) as a gift, so I’ll start tackling that soon, I think.

Listening:

Caught up on Dororo. Getting pretty intense, story-wise, but I feel like the animation quality dropped significantly in the last few episodes.

Started watching 世話焼き狐の仙狐さん.
Nakano is a man of culture.
He is my brother (in spirit), yet I want to kill him in a jealous rage… I think there was a story with ancient wisdom about this very situation.
I mentioned a top-tier waifu at the beginning, didn’t I? That is Senko.
I dig the ending animation more than the opening.

About to watch an episode of 鬼滅の刃. I remember seeing this title a lot when looking for things to read over many years, but I don’t remember ever picking it up, so I figured I’d check out the anime.

Writing:

Was going to write NTR, but realized that might have different connotations coming right after my anime report…
I mean Nothing to Report, just to be clear.

Speaking:

Met with my friends for dinner for a couple of hours. Got plenty of conversation in. Apparently it doesn’t take much alcohol for me to stop worrying about my speech. It also helps when Japanese is the only common language available to talk with people you actually know and like.

I’m happy for the rebirth of Tadoku! Even though it’s a trial run, it’s still the same as any previous half-round, so let’s all do our best!

Things are going fairly smooth with studying, but health and fitness, not so much. The thing that kicked it off was cake. I have a wheat/gluten intolerance/allergy. I still haven’t asked what the blood test actually measured, but suffice to say that eating wheat in any significant quantity tears me up and causes a lot of swelling. It just doesn’t kill me (not Celiac). For an idea of ‘significant quality’, I’m fine with fried food, so long as I don’t overdo it. I can occasionally get away with minimal issues when its something that is primarily wheat (breads, pastries, etc), but I have to be mindful of the quantity, and it’s usually not worth it.

So what happened (mostly for my future reference) was that a particular celebration brought with it a super high-quality cake. With normal celebrations, I can skip the cake by bringing a wheat free substitute or eating icecream instead. I couldn’t deny myself this cake though. Unfortunately, it didn’t end after that day; there were tons of leftovers (big cake)! So I ate (decent quantities of) cake for most of last week. And yes, I knew I’d pay for it.

So, minus the gory details, I was bloated and swollen for the whole week. The worst part of the stomach problems finally hit me over the weekend (a couple of days after finishing the cake, a week after starting; some people find the delay after exposure hard to believe, but I’ve tested it multiple times; also, it makes more sense with the details… which even I understand are TMI). Every joint has been stiff and sore all week, so I haven’t been able to push myself with exercise. My ears hurt, my face was swollen, and I was breaking out.

It’s actually kind of interesting, because every time I do this to myself, it just reaffirms that a lot of the problems I had for years were the result of this allergy. It’s clearly something that gets worse over time, but even though it probably wasn’t as bad as it is now, there’s part of it where I just think “I dealt with this crap for years”.

Was it worth it? For one or two pieces worth of rare occasion cake, yes. With continued exposure, cake enjoyment decreases and the backlash gets worse. Anyway, on to the update.

Update:

Anki:
Core Supplement: 430
Kanji Production: 1145
Rikaisaves: 567
Spanish 5k: 720 (plus 125 suspended)

Been adding a couple of kanji (only one in a day). Also had to get the Core Supplement off of 420. Spanish vocab is going well; still haven’t done much with grammar.

Reading:

Tadoku is back!
Most of my updates have been from 鬼滅の刃. I was a little worried that this would inflate my score too much, but after doing a loose timing of reading both a volume of this and a chapter of one of the webnovels, it doesn’t seem to be too different in terms of page points per time. I just finished volume 9, so there’s not much left for me to go through. After that, it’ll probably be all webnovels.

Listening

Speaking of 鬼滅の刃, I’ve been watching that. Clearly I liked it enough to read the manga, but I don’t know how I feel about it overall. There are parts that are fun and touching, but the pacing is a bit fast in the manga and significantly slowed down for the anime (for reference, the episode 10 in the anime is volume 3 material; haven’t watched the new episode yet to know where it goes). In my opinion, the anime is too slow. On the other hand, the art in the anime (despite the disgusting 3d models they use for distance) is wonderful.
Either way, the story is simple (as you’d expect from a Jump series) and you can tell that the direction the author wanted to take things changed several times (knowing the way these things go, possibly at the direction of the editor). And some characters (who are around for quite a while) are super annoying. If you don’t like watching the righteous underdog prevail against all odds, then there’s not much here for you.

I already see several things I’ll be watching starting next month.
ケンガンアシュラ
I expect to be heavily disappointed, going by the trailer and the fact that Netflix grabbed it.
ダンベル何キロ持てる?
From the same author, believe it or not. Though the artists are different. TBH, I’m watching for Machio.

And then a couple others I’m not sure of yet.

Writing and Speaking

Nothing.

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Hope all my fellow Americans enjoyed their Independence day! We kept things pretty chill and mostly just relaxed at home. I did make the required hamburgers (albeit, they were venison), but I had to do them on a skillet instead of the grill, due to the weather. It’s fine though, 'cause that means I got to cook them in bacon grease!
I ended up eating too many sweets, I think, because I ended up with a splitting headache in the evening.

With the extra time over the weekend, I ended up reading and watching quite a bit… though a lot of the reading was English scans of a manhwa I was reading years ago, so doubly not Japanese.

I thought this time’s update would be short… Clearly, I’m incapable of writing short updates.

Update:

Anki:
Core Supplement: 430
Kanji Production: 1153
Rikaisaves: 567
Spanish 5k: 740 (plus 125 suspended)

Pretty slim on Anki additions. I haven’t been doing them during the day as much, so I end up just going through my reviews before bed. On the other hand, my kanji reviews are finally getting to the point that I don’t mind adding cards. Even better, the ones I’m adding at the moment are really easy. Just to complain a bit, I still have a couple of cards that I should know that just don’t stick well: I mix up 勢 and 潔 (to the point that I actually put ‘not: x’ on both prompts), and I tend to forget 種類 and 料理. For context, these have been in my kanji deck since well before I stopped reviewing it last year.

Reading:

So, I’ve been reading 四度目は嫌な死属性魔術師 by the random recommendation of someone to someone else that wasn’t me. I keep hoping it’ll get better, but… it’s not really my thing. At the same time, I want to keep reading it. No idea how long I’ll continue, but I really can’t recommend it: it’s just too edgy. I don’t particularly care for revenge stories to begin with, and this doesn’t use any of its tropes particularly well (who’d have guessed that there’s a country with rice in a freaking isekai story… and despite said rice arguably being a symbol of the abusive life the MC suffered at the hands of his adoptive family in Japan, that he of course, being originally Japanese, would love to go eat some…)

But I’m still reading it for some reason…

Other than the things I read during Tadoku, there’s not much else. Speaking of, seems like there isn’t going to be another test round this month and instead the official first contest will start September 1st. That’s fine with me, because I should have plenty of opportunity to read then.

My friend that’s doing rice is upping production, and it sounds like he’ll want my help with the new equipment he’s getting, so I might get to read more manuals!

Listening (actually just anime)

I took the holiday opportunity to catch up on last season’s stuff and watch the first episodes of some things that caught my eye in the new season.

I finished up どろろ. I was moved in the final confrontation, but the ending itself left quite a bit to be desired. I’ll have to check the source material to see what’s up there. Maybe there’s more? Overall, I really enjoyed this series. I recommend it to anyone that’s interested.

And now there’s no more kitsune waifu anime…

鬼滅の刃 is getting low priority at the moment, since I caught up in the manga, but I am up to episode 13. I still think the anime is a bit too slow. Side note: this series made me go on an MJ music video binge… which of course meant I had to watch some Weird Al parodies afterward.

So far, for this season, I’ve started five series. I’m not sure how many I’ll keep watching.

ダンベル何キロ持てる?
It’s going as well as I hoped for the first episode. Is it weird that I suddenly want to work out when I watch this? I want to be as buff as Machio!

Dr. Stone
Looks promising. I’ve heard mention of the manga before, but I’ve never read it. The animation is nice, and I like the premise, even if I will probably end up complaining “it doesn’t work that way”. What am I saying? I already complained about that in the first episode.

炎炎消防隊
Somebody said “You know what dudes like? Nuns! You know what chicks like? Firemen!”, added some weird super-powers, and set up all the possible shipping combinations one could ask for. If it doesn’t get more interesting soon, I’m going to drop it (there’s a bit of hope with the MC’s motivation, due to his backstory, but I’m pessimistic).
And at least part of that first line must be true, because there’s also a romcom anime releasing this season with a fireman…

魔王さま、リトライ!
Another isekai WN adaptation, yay (棒読み)
Harmless enough, so far. I’ll stick with it for a bit.

うちの娘の為ならば、俺はもしかしたら魔王も倒せるかもしれない 。
Japanese for “we’re going to prison” (there are quite a few anime titles that translate to this).
Oh, and yet another WN adaptation, yay.
As long as I don’t die of diabetes, or get taken in by the cops for a misunderstanding, I’ll watch this for a bit. I need some amount of cuteness to counterbalance the edge in that story I’m reading.

Writing and Speaking:

Nothing. Might get a good chance for practice soon, but I haven’t been able to get back into a schedule for lessons. Also, there are some personal events (good things) that will probably prevent regular lessons for a while.

If I’m going to improve here, I really need to step up and do literally any of the things I said I’d do to practice production before. I’m getting to the point with reading that I read Japanese almost automatically, like English, but my production is still barely above survival level. I at least want to be fluent in the sense that I can get my point across reliably without pausing a lot, even if I always sound like a foreigner with word choice and accent. I don’t think that’s too distant a goal, since I can be reliably understood with a certain level of effort on my conversation partner’s part (more than I’d like to be the case, but still) and there are several phrases and structures that come out without a problem.

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This sounds delicious!

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Just part of an update, because it’s almost bed time, but I wanted to point out something I realized recently with my kanji study.

I’ve now been stalled on my kanji study long enough that I could have finished by adding only three cards per day since the time I first stalled out last year.
Another example where doing things slow and steady is better than failing to do them quickly.

That observation is a big deal to me, because multiple times I’ve thought that I’d like to scrap the deck and just make myself write more, but I haven’t been writing. Worse, I now have evidence that my kanji production could be much better had I just stuck with an easy regiment, since I dislike these reviews so much.

Anki:

Core Supplement: 430
Kanji Production: 1167
Rikaisaves: 567
Spanish 5k: 740 (plus 125 suspended)

Not much Anki activity this past month and a half. And I’ve barely kept up with my Spanish deck; the only reason it hasn’t blown up is because it’s so easy to review and easier to retain.

I’ll leave reading and watching updates for another time, but I do want to mention this manga I started reading (scanlated), recently:
チェンジザワールド―今日から殺人鬼―
Social dropout suicidal dude bodyswap with a very successful, wealthy, popular detective… who also happens to be a serial killer with countless bodies and severed heads in a secured basement. The levels of suspense and comic relief are balanced a bit more towards the comical once you get into the meat of the story, but I like it. It’s not very realistic with the physical capabilities of its characters, but I don’t think it’s to the point that it detracts from the severity of the main character’s situation.
Some character developments hint at things going similarly to Heads (東野圭吾; I want to say it’s adapted from 分身, but I haven’t read it and don’t feel like looking it up), but it’s still too early to tell if it’ll develop the same way or not.

That’s all for now. Bed time. Good night.

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This is the same realisation I’ve come to recently. Small consistent changes really add up to a shocking degree, and far outstrip the results of sporadic large efforts.

This sounds fun I’m going to check it out. :slight_smile:

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Definitely. And to try to put this into practice, I’ve started adding two kanji per day (hopefully I can keep it up). Ultimately, it’ll only really stick once I get myself to write, but I might have a plan for that.


Some extra stuff that would normally have been in my update:

Reading:

WN I started reading recently:
魔石グルメ ~魔物の力を食べたオレは最強!~
https://ncode.syosetu.com/n0610eg/
I found it from the manga adaptation. The interest was in the story gimmick and political stuff, not the mother-son shipping part (why is this such a thing, recently. It’s like moms are the new sisters of otaku-land… Don’t worry, the author tries (unsuccessfully) to make it less creepy).
It takes almost twenty (fairly long) chapters in the WN to get to the exposition on the MC’s power, with way too much buildup beforehand.
Not sure if it’ll keep my interest going forward. Thankfully, I’ve got a bunch of other stories I can catch up on during Tadoku, next month.

Game

I think I’m going to go buy FE: Three Houses this week. I’ve read that it changes languages based on system language, like Mario Odyssey and BotW, so I don’t think I need to import it. If this is wrong, please tell me!

Listening:

I’ve been watching 2BRO again. I mean, the best thing to do when you have limited time (and hardware) to play games is to watch other people play games… and complain to yourself that they don’t play the way you would! Search every corner for loot 弟者! Stop running through an RPG like it’s a freaking shooter!

Anime:
I’m keeping up to date on
Dr. Stone
魔王さま、リトライ!
うちの娘の為ならば、俺はもしかしたら魔王も倒せるかもしれない 。
And ダンまち season 2.
Behind on the others. I’m surprised there were so many that I kept watching this season.

Writing:

I had the thought, after making that ‘Share Your Food!’ thread, that I could squeeze a bit of Japanese practice out of that. After all, my goal is just to write; no reason to care about complexity or feedback if it means I don’t practice.
Going to see if I can make myself keep a journal, too. The problem is that there’s never anything I think is worth writing about. Maybe I just need to make something up and write short stories instead…

Other Languages:

So, I think I need to find some Spanish (language, not necessarily country) reading material and start working through that. The vocabulary is so easy to study, but I know I won’t make sense of the grammar until I start looking through more sentences. There are a lot of sentences in books.
So I think I’ll add Spanish to this coming round of Tadoku. I don’t plan to get in more than a few pages worth, but maybe it’ll act as motivation.

And my passing interest in Korean has come back around. Probably because I’ve been reading more scanlated manhwa recently. Today, I actually went through a good overview of pronunciation and Hangul. I also found what I think will be an excellent resource for learning: https://www.howtostudykorean.com
I went through Lesson 1 (loosely, I didn’t bother learning all the vocab yet). The structure reminds me a lot of Tae Kim’s Guide, but with more practice resources available (and audio for all the sentences). Though I’m probably too cheap to buy the premium products, which are mostly just for convenience, I found the practice videos linked at the end of the lesson to be very helpful.
I’ll be reviewing Hangul for a couple of days, and continue with the lessons.
Maybe I can add some reading in one of next year’s Tadoku rounds?

One nice thing about Spanish is that, unlike with Japanese, you can actually make use of children’s books. If you have an even halfway decent used bookstore near you, you could easily pick up a bunch of Spanish kid’s books and their English equivalents very cheaply.

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I’m thinking my local library will be a great place for Spanish books. But certainly, the overall availability is way better with Spanish than it is with Japanese materials.