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feihong

Grand Comic Reading Project #14: Nicoichi

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feihong

Are you ready for another Grand Comic Reading Project? In Japan, gender-bender comedies have become something of an institution (thanks in no small part to Ranma 1/2). This month, we'll be revisiting the genre with Nicoichi.

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Makoto Suda is a 29-year-old single father and office worker. Due to a bizarre series of events, he has to masquerade as a woman whenever he is in the presence of his son, Takashi. Naturally, this leads to even more bizarre events, especially as a new romantic interest enters his life.

The language doesn't seem to contain much specialized vocabulary and overall it's not too difficult. Unlike Ranma, there is no martial arts angle so when the characters interact they pretty much just talk (and talk and talk). This is a pretty chatty series, right up there with Ravages of Time. The typography in the speech bubbles might be a bit off-putting to some. In the first volume, the font is relatively large but also quite "jaggy". The second volume uses a more natural-looking font but it's a bit more stylized. Volumes three and above are only available in traditional characters.

Read online: http://www.dm5.com/manhua-bianzhuangqiaolaoba/

Jump to first page: http://www.dm5.com/m17595/

Read offline (CBZ files): Volume 1, Volume 2

Word list: http://grandcomic.wikia.com/wiki/Nicoichi_Word_List

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jbradfor

Thanks!

I'm a couple chapters in. Thus far, I can't say I'm really into the story (but it's been a lot of background....), but I think this will be a really good series for language learning. The language seems very day-to-day, I've only been encountering about 1 new character every 5-10 pages or so (which given the amount of text and my level, really says something!). However, the characters are used in words that are more advanced, so I think this is a good series to take my reading up a notch.

I'm even getting used to the font....

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jbradfor

That's always somewhat of a difficult question to answer for all people, but thus far I'd say it's one of the harder. It contains a lot of (new) HSK level 6 words, and it has a lot of text (so one gets little context from the pictures). OTOH, it doesn't (yet at least) seem to contain much unusual vocabulary, the font is clear and big, and the timeline is fairly linear.

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jbradfor

Finished the first volume last night. Phew, that was a lot of reading (for me!). Not sure what to make of it. OK plot thus far, but I'm having a pretty difficult time suspending my disbelief that no one realizes she's a he without the use of drugs and surgery. [The voice, the adam's apple, body hair, the posture.] I'm also not sure how far they can continue spinning this without it getting bad, but I'll have to read more to find out.

Anyway, quick question. On page 114, how would you translate "瘦瘦的一副若不轻风的样子" ? All I get is something like "even weaker than a light breeze", but that doesn't seem right.

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roddy

Try 弱不禁风。

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jbradfor

OK, that makes more sense.

But I'm still at a loss on how the "一副若不" fits into this. "one secondary as not" is all I get out of this.

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roddy

副 is a measure word for appearances, expressions. 弱不禁风 is weak, fragile - 禁 here being 'withstand', too weak to stand up in the wind. I can't think of a better translation at the moment, but 'skinny and weak-looking' isn't too far.

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feihong

As roddy pointed out, it should probably be 瘦瘦的一副弱不禁风的样子. Here, 副 is a measure word for 样子. The meaning is "a very thin, fragile appearance".

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jbradfor

Ah! Between not knowing that 副 is a measure word, and two typos, I don't feel too bad for not understanding it.

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feihong

You still deserve mucho kudos for finishing volume 1! It's a damn lot of text for a comic.

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jbradfor

Meant to post this earlier. Is it just me, or does the blouse that 藤本 is wearing around these pages make her appear to have massive chest hair?

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feihong

I think that's supposed to be lace. But whatever floats your boat, man.

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jbradfor

HEY! I didn't say I liked the idea of massive chest hair....

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