Thanks in part to a few hours of standing in line at the Shanghai World Expo last week, as well as a two hour flight delay at the airport, I finally finished the second novel of Sono Yubi after meandering over it for months (seriously, it's been at least half a year if I remember correctly!). Good thing is that I'm slooooooowly getting faster at reading Japanese...which half made up for how unfulfulling the first story, The Left Hand Dreams of Him (左手は彼の夢を見る), felt for me. Whilst I understand that it was mostly about introducing Asaka, and developing Wataru's character a bit more, it just wasn't as interesting as I wanted it to be. The 2nd half about their trip (手のひらの遠足) was better, not only because meeting Kazuki Shouhei is something I've been looking forward to, but also because I actually live in Okinawa and know some of the places and foods that they were talking about.
It was nice not to have to check up what on earth "karela" was (p.206 of June's release) - we know it as Goya （ゴーヤー）, whilst it might be better known as "bitter melon" or "bitter gourd" in parts of the English speaking world. Karela/Karella is its Indian name. And for everyone wondering what a "yanbarukuina" is (p.231), it's the Okinawa Rail. This small bird is found only in the northern part of Okinawa (Yanbaru, hence the local name). WIth a small population estimated at less than 2000 birds, it's rarely seen even by residents. One ex-JET who lived in Yanbaru went almost three years before seeing any, and finally saw three in one encounter during her last one or two months here.
I also feel sorry for the English novel readers, what with June's tendency for strange image placement. Put the pictures near the relevant passages at least!
And this seems like the appropriate place to archive the summary of a certain side story (or fanfic? I can't find any more information on it!) that I made for a forum: Called "The colour of happiness" (幸せの音色), it's set after the Okinawa trip...
( Collapse )