Look at what I have
not been reading these days.
*squeals* 桜蘭高校ホスト部 (Ouran High School Host Club) is one of my ALL-TIME favorite animes and mangas ever. It’s cute, funny, endearing, and not to mention the art is gorgeous. (It’s also the only anime I’ve ever watched both English-subbed and English-dubbed – and the dubbing is very impressive!) Now shoujo manga can be pretty ridiculous but one of the charms of OHSHC is that it makes fun of its own genre and tropes and doesn’t take itself too seriously. You have the typical shoujo setup: a cross-dressing(or is she?) female from a working-class family enters a private academy for the Incredibly Wealthy & Snooty and gets entangled in rich-kid shenanigans – but our heroine Haruhi is far from the typical Mary Sues of shoujo-verse (lookin’ at you, Honda Tohru). She’s sharp, resourceful, delightfully glib and her deadpan humor keeps readers laughing and rooting for her.
I’m not going to lie – reading this was (is) a very long and painful process. I’m amazed at how much Kanji I don’t know (heh), but in turn, I’m surprised at how much I do know. The grammar is very basic and easy to follow; I hardly need to look up anything, even with the mere year of beginning Japanese that I went through. And the Kanji really isn’t as awful as I make it out to be. I use the microscopic furigana over each character to get the pronunciation, and I have my Japanese dictionary app open to help with learning the meaning and stroke order. It works! I have a notebook that’s solely full of Kanji from this manga and I find myself getting better and better at remembering them without needing to make flashcards. Yay.
I’m taking just over a week off for winter break (so short *sob*), but hopefully I’ll get around to studying Japanese a little more very soon. For now, though, my days are consumed by experiments and labwork; I need to get tons of stuff done before Christmas. Wish me luck. Sigh.