The Kimochi Warui Diary
I was stuffed into the plane seat, but luckily, I had the window seat. I opened one of the girly manga I bought, but found there was no furigana to help me read the complex kanji.
Instead, I opened another manga that did have furigana. I also had my phone’s Japanese dictionary app open. It was slow going, but I’d go back and forth, reading the manga as best I could while looking up the words I didn’t know.
Sometimes I’d come across a definition that really gave me a profound sense of accomplishment—typically when it was a word that I’d heard thousands of times before and never bothered to look up. So that’s what that word meant all along? Maybe I’d even recall an exact song or show where I’d heard the word or phrase.
When I got tired of translating, I’d try reading the manga without any help from the dictionary.
But as it turned out, emotionally driven manga about deeply personal feelings isn’t great for inferring meaning from the pictures—guess I’d better stick to the kid’s manga for now.
“Hey.” Jotaro was stuffed into the center seat next to me. He had a superhero movie up on the miniature TV screen. “Watch this shit with me, it’s good.”
I didn’t really have any interest in watching it, but it’s not like my manga wouldn’t still be there after.
“Yeah, okay, fine,” I said.
After scrolling to the movie, I found that it had the option for a Japanese dub. I didn’t mention this to Jotaro.“Okay,” I said. “Ready to watch when you are.”