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Book Review: Kaito Red Volume 4

This is the fourth book in this phantom thief series. Here’s a bit of a synopsis on the main plot.

Two fathers pass the thieving business down to their children, Asuka, a cheerful athletic girl and Kei, a unsociable child prodigy. With Asuka’s athleticism and Kei’s intelligence, together they make up the phantom thief that is simply named Red.

Fantajista (Phantajista?), a phantom thief from another country has thrown down the gauntlet to see who can pull off a heist first. Their target: a necklace called the Black Tear (漆黒の涙) that is on a cruise ship.

ENTERTAINMENT

So, is this book entertaining? If you like heists, action, and learning a few facts here and there, this is for you. You can really see how series like Detective Conan, Magic Kaito, and Lupin III have influenced this series.

The character interactions and addition of new characters keeps this series fresh. The action scenes and the game of cat and mouse add to the story as well.

Unlike the other volumes, Two phantom thieves with two different ideals are racing to get a hold of the jewel called the Black Tear. Red acts as a Robin Hood of some sort by stealing things and returning them to their rightful owners. On the other hand Fantajista only seems to steal things for fun.

LANGUAGE LEARNING

From what I saw on Bookwalker, this series is for elementary or an intermediate level of Japanese proficiency (小学中級から). Even though I passed a couple of N3 practice tests (these kinds of books helped so much with my reading speed.), I still had to look up 128 words.

Here are some interesting words that I found while reading:

  • ちんぷんかんぷん = an expression that is used say something is incomprehensible. Takobato had a good English equivalent to this word: “it’s all greek to me”
  • 引(ひ)ったくり = purse snatching or purse snatcher
  • げっそり = a verb that means to be disheartened
  • 種明(たねあ)かし = reveal of how a magic trick is done

Some words I could figure out through context, but I like to double check on things. Luckily these books have furigana so looking up words is easier. I wish that Bookwalker had a built in dictionary like Kindle though -_-

A SMALL JAPANESE REVIEW

さすが、秋木せんせい。4巻もおもしろかったです。まさか、怪盗の対決とは思いませんでした。この巻では、ケイ君の弱点の使い方はいいポイントです。怪盗の仕事によって、アスカとケイはまだ青いだから、ファンタジスタに比べて、まだまだです。ファンタジスタってば、彼の正体は明らかですけど、あの人と関係が思いがけなかった。正月いよいよだから、この本はぴったりです。それでは、みんな、良いお年を!

FOR MY NEXT BOOK…

I’ll be reading the first volume of the Demon Slayer light novel. I bought Mugen Train at Kinokuniya last year. Wish I would have bought the first two books while I was there. Fortunately they can all be found on Bookwalker. Learn Natively has this book sitting at level 30 (N2 level). This book will be quite challenging but that’s what the New Year is all about, right?

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