I decided to jump into my 2018 Japanese study project a little early, as the first day of the new year is at the end of a three-day weekend.
Volume 1 of Is the order a rabbit? begins with five color strips, to introduce the setting and main characters. Due to the amount of text in these strips, I’ve decided to save them for later, and begin with the first black and white strip.
The first big challenge was learning the kanji for 喫茶店. The mnemonics I’ve picked up feel like a bit of a stretch, but should be serviceable.
For 喫, an image of a large chef with a knife (sword) in his right hand, and vegetables (plant) in his left hand, with a hungry mouth to the side should be enough to conjure an image of eating (and drinking).
For 茶, it’s a bush (tree) with a couple of branches pulled out (thus the unconnected strokes) to get tea leaves from. The bush is under a low roof with grass growing on top. I’ve always recognized this kanji in context, but now I should be able to recognize it out of context.
And for 店, an image of a wall and roof (complete with one of those little ventilation things on top), and inside a rectangular counter with a person (employee) standing there with a hand out guiding a customer, gives an image of being in a shop. Maybe a little convoluted, but I feel I’ll finally recognize this kanji without confusing it with similar-looking kanji.
The kanji in 休む is one I’ve encountered and learned a mnemonic for (person standing next to a tree, resting) but never retained. I expect to be occasionally re-reading early strips to review what I’ve learned, so hopefully that will solidify this simple kanji. (Reviews in Anki won’t hurt any.)
The difficult part was knowing the meaning of いこう in the panel four, thanks to its lack of kanji. My initial thought was 行く (go) conjugated as 行こう (shall go), but looking it up in a dictionary (just to see if I’m missing any other possibility) showed that ikou (憩う) can refer to taking a rest. My back-up, checking the anime subtitles, didn’t work in this case as this line was replaced with a completely different line in the anime.
I decided to sign up for HiNative and asked for input there. The response I received confirmed my original thought: the speaker, Cocoa-san, will first stop to rest (休んで), and then go from there (行く). This makes sense, as the て form of a verb is used to string together multiple verbs in a chronological order.
As for the cartoon’s line, 「入て見ようと」, if I’m understanding Tae Kim’s page on “try” right, Cocoa-san is saying she will try to “enter and see” (or “enter and try to see”?) if there are indeed rabbits in Rabbit House. If this is correct, then it means Cocoa-san simply left off the する at the end. (The English subtitle is, “I’ll go in and take a look!”)