I’ve been reading and translating Shimeji Simulation, the new-ish 4-koma comedy manga from Tsukumizu, the author of (my absolute favorite!) Girl’s Last Tour. It tells the story of Shijima, a mopey former hikikomori with shimeji mushrooms growing from her head as she befriends Majime, another high school girl with a strange head ornament. The manga follows the same existential, pess-optimistic mood and surreal-but-direct art style of Tsukumizu’s previous work, on display right away on page two of chapter one with visual reference to Girl’s Last Tour (the fish!, and later surprises):
Personal translation: (down the right column, then the left):
Older Sister: Nothing ventured, nothing lost. But if I’d rather pass the time quietly, I might as well just read books or something, huh?
Shijima: Yeah, sure.
Sister: Just gunna give me that “don’t want to talk” attitude then, are you?
Shijima: …How’s college then, sis?
Sister: I quit.
Sister: Failed again…
Shijima: Yeah, well, see you later.
Unfortunately, the manga does not yet have an English translation, though given the success of Girl’s Last Tour, I imagine that an official license will show up sometime. In the mean time, I suppose a scanlation exists out there even if I shouldn’t condone it here due to, uh, questions of legality. Personally, I am writing a text-only translation as language practice — I will not publish it but for anyone that can’t read Japanese and has bought the original, I’d be glad to share, discuss, and compare notes in private.
Anyway though, I can give a super-solid recommend for this first volume, even if it’s maybe a tad weaker than Girl’s Last Tour due to its greater focus on repetitive punchliners in the 4-koma comedy format. But like Girl’s Last Tour explained, it’s nice to bring good humor into the apocalypse — Shimeji Simulation is lots of fun.