Thank you to NetGalley and Bingo LLC for this review copy.
I feel like I need to preface my review with my own learning experience. I took several years of Japanese at a university and then transferred to another. The first program was amazing. By the third semester we would have class four days a week and Fridays were optional. The Friday class was at a Japanese restaurant and we would speak in Japanese as much as we could and learn about culture, habits, things not to do and so on. In other words, it was fairly immersive.
The second school I transferred to to finish my degree was paltry in Japanese. They were
phoning it it. I think the American school system (in general) phones it in. We don’t teach to be prepared to speak. It’s a bunch of courses to get students to spend money.
Having said that, not all said beginners are equal. This is not a beginner for an average student. You need to be intermediate with excellent vocabulary. When I say vocabulary I mean Kanji and full mastery of hiragana and katakana. You need to probably be at least grade 4 with your kanji. I do like this. It’s very engaging with the illustrations and the dialogue. I’m having to rack my brain for the vocabulary, but it’s getting there. This requires effort from the student. It’s not magic. If you have the basics down that I mentioned above, then this is excellent for pushing you further. I have noticed an increased difference in recall. I recommend this to intermediate students.