One of my goals for this year was to expose myself to more Japanese while prepping for the JLPT N1. I need a faster reading speed for the test, so reading more is my best option. However, I have a terrible habit of buying a ton of books and not reading them. So, I decided to start a Japanese language book club. Our first book was Na no Nai Shisha by Yamada Yusuke.
The nearly 400-page book seemed daunting at first, but it flew by, and I’m a little sad I finished already.
The book follows three beings known as messengers who have the appearance of humans around the age of 10. They don’t have blood, bones, names…nothing. But, they do have the ability to see how much time people have left to live. They can even give people more time, though that comes at a price. These beings aren’t really trying to be bothered with humans though, so that doesn’t matter. However, of course, unexpected things happen. The three get separated, meet people, one gets a name, and then it gets more interesting from there.
Na no Nai Shisha was the first book in Japanese that I have read from cover to cover. The plot was interesting and held my attention from start to finish. I also found myself becoming attached to the characters and the events unfolding in their lives. It was the first time in a while where I was able to experience a variety of emotions over the course of a story. This might be because I usually read non-fiction, but I think the author did a good job with his descriptions of events and conversations. For example, there’s a character in the book that is like an unwanted guest and Yamada’s writing did a good job of making me groan “Not this guy again” every time he popped up. You just knew he was coming and the main character didn’t like him either.
I would say if you’re interested in dipping your toe into the shallow end of the Japanese literature pool, this book would be a good start. I really enjoyed the characters and the story. Even though it was 400 pages long, it was a relatively quick read and painless read. If you are JLPT N3 level or N2 level, you can read this book without needing much assistance from a dictionary.
My vote is 4 stars out of 5 as a review for this book, and I highly recommend it.
This isn’t an affiliated link, but if you’re looking to by the book, it can be found on Amazon Japan here.
If you read or have read this book, please tell me what you think in the comments below! I would love to discuss it.