Okay, so this is actually a manga, and to my knowledge, it’s not available in English… But the anime is streaming on Crunchyroll (free) with subtitles under the name “You and Me” (a translation of the title 君と僕).
I love this series because 1) the covers are pretty, 2) it’s easy to read, 3) it’s funny and cute. It’s also the only manga that I still keep up with now that I don’t live in Japan anymore so it’s harder/more expensive to buy.
The series is about five high school guys, but it’s meant for a female audience, so it’s more like what girls think it would be cute for guys to do in their free time. Most of it is fluff, but there are some parts that are somewhat bittersweet later in the series, like when one of the boys finds out the girl he likes is engaged (not knowing that her little sister likes him). Most of it is cute and fluffy, though, which is just how I like it.
The anime starts off kind of slow, but the first episode of the second season starts off with one of my favorite chapters in the manga, when the boys have a sleepover. I learned the word for telescope in Japanese (望遠鏡 – bouenkyou) while reading this chapter in the manga.
I think that’s one of the things I love about reading–being able to learn vocabulary in the context of an interesting story. Since most of the books I read in English are for my students, I don’t usually find words that I don’t know anymore. But there’s still a lot of vocabulary in Japanese that I don’t know or am not too familiar with. I like reading at about the level of Kimi to Boku because it’s not so hard that I don’t get the context without a dictionary, but it’s not so easy that I already know all the words.
The tall book in the picture is the Kimi to Boku Fanbook with art, interviews, and scripts inside (the first, probably only fanbook I will ever buy). The other manga on this shelf are all pretty good, and some (the linked ones) are available in English:
- Gintama – A comedy series about what would happen if aliens invaded Japan during the Edo Period. Contains samurai, ninjas, aliens, and a lot of potty jokes.
- The Prince of Tennis – One of the first series I tried to read in Japanese. I like a lot of Shonen Jump series, even though it’s supposed to be for boys (shonen = boy).
- Jump Ultimate Stars – This is actually a book of postcards that came with the DS game when I bought it.
- Gangan Comics Anthologies – I got these anthologies because there were some stories by the author of Kimi to Boku in them.
- NadePro!! – A somewhat fantastical take on the lives of seiyuu (Japanese voice actors).
- Souko no Book Guide – I found out about this manga while I was searching for information about Japanese libraries for an MLIS class, and they happened to have it at my local Japanese used bookstore, so I got it for slightly cheaper than it would have cost me (new) in Japan. It’s about a girl named Souko who loves books and draws detailed book guides for classics (like Robinson Crusoe) to help others grow to love them, too.
I don’t actually read as much manga as it may seem, but I always feel like I should be reading more to increase my Japanese reading speed. I do translate occasionally for Sugoi Books, but that’s about all the manga I’ve been reading lately…
This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter K.