For the past week or so, I’ve been in a language reading contest and reading the manga 隠の王 (Nabari no Ou – King of Nabari). I’m a part of a Japanese Language Club in my school and we had a smaller competition between the club members to see who could read the most. After reading 98 pages of my manga, I was able to come out on top! My original goal was 100 pages, but even though I was so close, I’m proud of myself for being able to do it.
There are multiple Tadoku competitions throughout the year with this one starting on March 15th and lasting until March 31st. It was really exciting in the beginning and I couldn’t wait to start reading the manga, but my spring break started on the 15th and Anime Boston was coming up so I got very distracted because of that and I didn’t think I would be able to do the competition. I was very discouraged for a while, but I decided to just go for it and see how much I could read.
I was very glad I had Nabari no Ou to read! The language used in it is very simple and there’s furigana for every kanji. For those who don’t know what furigana is, it’s the hiragana written out next to a kanji so that you can know how the kanjia character should be read. This made it easy to look up the words I didn’t know and made for a much nicer experience. This story is about ninja’s so there are a lot of vocabulary that had to do with ninja’s, jutsu’s, etc. I’m an avid fan of Naruto – I don’t care what other people say about it, it’s an amazing series and I love it – so I was already familiar with this kind of vocabulary and I was able to know which words wouldn’t be in the dictionary.
As for the story itself, it’s very entertaining! I love the character Miharu and his relationship with the other characters in the story. I haven’t exactly finished the manga yet (I want to do so in the next week or so). I haven’t even gotten to the part with the guy with the hat whose name I don’t know. From what I know of the series beforehand, this character is pretty recognizable, but shows up towards the end of the manga – the part I haven’t gotten to yet.
So if any of you decide to try out this contest, you can look at the rules and past winners here (You can see my ranking as #44 for March 2014!). It’s a great way to learn Japanese and improve your reading, vocabulary, and understanding of the language.