Kiki-Mimi Radio

A chance discovery of a curious radio leads to unexpected consequences in this modern retelling of a Japanese classic.

In the Easier editions, we've worked to constrain the grammar to a modest set of basic patterns, and at only 27 episodes, this series should feel approachable for people who are just getting started reading real Japanese stories.

Those who are more advanced (or those who have graduated from the Easier editions) will enjoy the Harder editions, which include more challenging grammar and vocabulary, as well as Harder-only extended notes.

We hope you enjoy this story.

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Episode 1
A nearby park provides the perfect venue for the narrator's daily routine.
Notes: This episode contains notes on the difference between two words related to going out for a walk, as well as two words for "many."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.2(267 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.4(125 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.6(36 votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.8(41 votes)
Episode 2
The narrator takes a look around a market event going on in the park.
Notes: This episode contains several examples of a special pattern for naming examples, and a note that breaks it down.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.3(124 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.3(73 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.3(23 votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.5(19 votes)
Pro
Episode 3
The narrator happens on an interesting item as she looks around one of the tents.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a common word that can be used to say a device or machine "runs" or "works."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.4(69 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.6(41 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.8(10 votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 4.0(13 votes)
Pro
Episode 4
A mysterious old man talks to the woman about the radio.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the the use of alternate kanji for common words, plus one that looks at the difference between hontou ni and hontou wa.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.2(56 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.4(40 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.6(7 votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.8(10 votes)
Pro
Episode 5
As the narrator enjoys her new radio, a small hiccup occurs.
Notes: This episode contains two notes on wa being used for special effect, and a breakdown of a sentence containing degree-marking gurai.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.2(54 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.4(36 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.6(6 votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.8(9 votes)
Pro
Episode 6
The woman wonders about a strange setting on the radio.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a pattern that means "to go to do something" in the sense of just beginning to undertake the action, another one on a word that means "if I recall correctly," and more.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.3(44 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.5(33 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.7(5 votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.9(11 votes)
Pro
Episode 7
The new setting seems somehow connected to an interesting radio program.
Notes: This episode contains great demonstrations of the word yappari, as well as the pattern of asking yourself a question, to which the implied answer is "yes."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.1(42 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.4(29 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.6(5 votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.8(8 votes)
Pro
Episode 8
The woman notices something strange while listening to the radio.
Notes: This episode contains a note on an expression that means "there's no way," as well as one on the use of the word yoku to express amazement.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.1(34 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.4(27 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.6(3 votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.8(10 votes)
Pro
Episode 9
The woman begins to doubt her sanity as the scene becomes more and more peculiar.
Notes: This episode contains lots of fun vocabulary and expressions.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.2(39 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.4(24 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.6(3 votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.8(9 votes)
Pro
Episode 10
Newcomers to the scene further surprise the woman.
Notes: This episode contains several lengthy notes, including one on the so-called "suffering passive," and one on an expression that means "just when I thought..."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.1(34 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.3(22 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.5(3 votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.7(7 votes)
Pro
Episode 11
The woman tests a hypothesis.
Notes: This episode contains a note that looks at the difference between two verbs for animal vocalization, and another that breaks down a tricky sentence.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 2.9(34 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.2(29 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.0(too few votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.6(8 votes)
Pro
Episode 12
The woman searches out another opportunity to test the radio.
Notes: This episode contains a note on why and when you must use the "seeming" -sou suffix.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.1(28 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.3(19 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.0(too few votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.7(6 votes)
Pro
Episode 13
The radio leads the woman to an amphibian in distress.
Notes: This episode contains a discussion of a pair of verbs that mean "to help."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.1(22 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.3(18 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.0(too few votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.6(5 votes)
Pro
Episode 14
The woman reflects on what the old man might have meant when he sold her the radio.
Notes: This episode contains dramatic vocabulary, like the words for "betray" and "misuse."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 2.8(33 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.0(21 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.0(too few votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.2(6 votes)
Pro
Episode 15
The narrator describes where she lives.
Notes: This episode contains pleasant vocabulary like "gently sloping," as well as interesting notes, such as one on a common pattern for describing locations.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier (SFX) Unread 3.1(15 votes)
Harder (SFX) Unread 3.3(10 votes)
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3.0(too few votes)
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 3.5(4 votes)