death vote top

It’s a showdown between Clighton, the death god Tryuk, and the mysterious B.

Hey there and welcome to to the sixth installment of Learn Japanese through Ridiculous Manga, where every Friday we study Japanese together in a quick, fun way.

New to the series? Check out the intro article which will help explain all this craziness. And if you missed last week’s article, be sure to take a peek at it here.

Fullmedal Alchemist didn’t earn those medals,
he was cursed with them.

fullmedal teaser

Today we’re going to look at the next five hiragana. As always, I highly recommend putting these five into Anki, a flashcard program, so that you can practice them between articles. As long as you just do whatever Anki tells you to do every day (which usually isn’t much), you’ll be a master in no time.

1) Today’s first hiragana: た (ta)
(Pronounced like “taco”)

(Click the play button below to listen to our wonderful
native Japanese writer Meg pronounce this hiragana for you!)

little hiragana ta

▼ Oh my god there’s a ta right there in the hiragana!
It’s a miracle!

hiragana ta

2) Today’s next hiragana: ち (chi)
(Pronounced like “cheese”)

little hiragana chi

▼ This hiragana looks like someone who’s been asked to say cheese
for just one too many pictures.

hiragana chi

3) Today’s next-next hiragana: つ (tsu)
(Pronounced like “tsunami”)

little hiragana tsu

▼ This one looks like the crest of a giant tsunami wave.

hiragana tsu

4) Today’s penultimate hiragana: て (te)
(Pronounced like “ten”)

little hiragana te

▼ That’s a pretty fancy “T” in the word “ten” right there.

hiragana te

5) Today’s final hiragana: と (to)
(Pronounced like “toe”)

little hiragana to

▼ Ouch! I got a thorn stuck in my toe!

hiragana to

(Click below to hear Meg pronounce all five hiragana!)

Okay, quiz time! Can you read the new hiragana below? (Hint: they’re not in the same order we just did them.)

tachitsuteto quiz

Now try reading twenty-five of the hiragana we’ve learned so far:

cumu hiragan quiz 5











(1st Quiz Answer: tsu, to, ta, chi, te)
(2nd Quiz Answer:
gu, chi, go, sa, se,
za, shi, ki, te, zo,
ta, zu, ko, gi, ge,
ji, ka, tsu, ze, su,
ke, so, ga, ku, to)

Did you get them right? If you don’t feel confident yet, just review them in Anki and try again until you and the hiragana have formed a truly special bond.

But for now, it’s time for another installment of… Pronunciation Station!

▼ Last stop, sounding awesome.

pronunciation station

In Pronunciation Station, we’ll go over some Japanese pronunciation tips. As we talked about in the first article, the focus here is reading not speaking, but it helps to read things out loud sometimes, and you don’t want people to giggle at you when you do…not too much anyway.

Today’s Pronunciation Station is about the little つ (tsu). When a little つ (tsu) comes before a hiragana, it doubles the consonant of the hiragana that comes after it.

For example:
kata = ka-ta = shoulders (no little tsu)
katta = kat-ta= won (with a little tsu)

hakai = ha-kai = destruction (no little tsu)
hakkai = hak-kai = eight times (with a little tsu)

So unless you want to yell “shoulders!” after your team wins a match, or tell someone that you’ve eat sushi “destruction times” before, it’s good to get your little tsu’s down. Here’s how it looks in hiragana:

(Notice how it doubles the consonant of the hiragana that comes after it.)

Katta (meaning “won”) pronounced as kat-ta.

math katta

Kitto (meaning “for sure) pronounced as kit-to.

math kitto

Zasshi (meaning “magazine”) pronounced as zash-shi.

math zasshi

Not so bad, right? Now let’s take a look at the little つ and the rest of the hiragana you’ve learned so far by reading this excerpt from the manga Death Vote.

“Yagami Clighton is a high school politician who stumbles upon the Death Vote, a ballot that allows her to vote for any person to die. It belongs to Tryuk, a death god, and Clighton is wondering why she came into possession of it.

But there is one person neither of them knows about yet: the mysterious man who only goes by the name B.”

(Read like a real Japanese manga: panels go from top right to left,
hiragana is read from left to right.)

death vote 01

Clighton: Shikai kuji atatta ka?
Tryuk: Chigau. Otoshita zo.

Clighton: Suteta?
Tryuk: Sou. Kusakatta.

Clighton: Koitsu, sugoi ze!

Clighton: Sugu tsukatte, aku keshite, sekai tasukete iku!
Tryuk: Souji ga suki ka?

B: Tatakai ga… kaishi shita ze.

Clighton: Did (I) win the netherworld lottery?
(Shikai = netherworld, kuji atatta = won the lottery, ka = lesson #2’s particle)
Tryuk: No. (I just) dropped (the Death Vote), bro.
(Zo = lesson #5’s particle)

Clighton: (You) threw (it) out?
Tryuk: Yeah. (It) stank.

Clighton: My god, this thing is amazing
(Ze = lesson #5’s particle)

Clighton: (I) will use (it) right away, erase evil, and go save the world!
Tryuk: Do (you) like cleaning?
(Souji = cleaning, ga = lesson #4’s particle,
suki = to be liked, ka = lesson #2’s particle)

B: The fight… has begun, you fiend.

All right! Did you read it yourself? If not then review in Anki a bit, and give it another crack.

This will be the last article in this series for a while, but in the meantime if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on Twitter. I can’t promise that I know everything, but I can guarantee at least an attempt at a witty response.

See you later everyone, and remember to stay ridiculous!

“Extra Credit” Anki Input: (Front / Back)
しかい / gusugusu, sniff sniff
くじ あたった / kuji atatta, won the lottery
ちがう / chigau, no
おとした / otoshita, dropped
くさかった / kusakatta, stank
こいつ / koitsu, this thing or person
そうじ が すき か? / souji ga suki ka, do you like cleaning?
せかい / sekai, world
たすけて いく / tasukete iku, go to save the world
たたかい / tatakai, fight

Text/images: ©RocketNews24