Satoko to Nada Japanese
Alt name(s):
  • Satoko & Nada
  • Satoko and Nada
  • サトコとナダ
  • 8.06
  • 8.10
  • 135
Pub. status:
  • 47,833
  • 1,121
  • 225
My first time in America, and my first time living with someone else. If it's the two of us, anything will become enjoyable! A charming tale of friendship between a Japanese woman and her Muslim roommate.

Satoko, a Japanese student studying in America has a new roommate: a Saudi Arabian woman named Nada! They might have different customs, but through mutual respect--and the hilarious adventures of their daily life--Satoko and Nada prove that friendship knows no borders.

[Description taken from raw site and vol.1 back cover]
Reading progress:
  • Volume 0/4
  • Chapter 0/?

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can land a b52 on that big of a forehead
Woah, drama! :O That took me by surprise here. Huh.
@Ironclad I don't believe that is an "official" series description. Statements from the raw site and the Amazon page for the first volume give this:

Raws: はじめてのアメリカ、はじめての共同生活。ふたりでなら、何だって楽しい。この作品はエッセイではなく、フィクションです。
English: My first time in America, and my first time living together with someone else. If it's us two, anything will become enjoyable. This is not an essay, it is a work of fiction.
Amazon: ルームメイトはサウジアラビアの女の子!?初めてのアメリカ、イスラム文化、ひとつ屋根の下で繰り広げられる魅惑の異文化交流ライフ
English: My roommate is a Saudi Arabian girl!? My first time in America, encountering Islamic culture, and our life living under the same roof while fascinating cultural exchanges take place.

So yeah, the Amazon page does mention Nada's nationality, but the cultural aspect is highlighted more. This manga is about two people living together (even just the challenges that come from co-habitation and a new country) and the cultural trivia that arises from everyday interactions. True, they don't touch as much on more serious issues but this is meant to be fun. While America is a mix of lots of cultures and peoples, you're much less likely to find someone from Saudi Arabia in Japan than you are in the US. Do keep in mind that this wasn't written for American audiences, it was just translated into English. And yes, things become outdated and there's not much you can do about that. This isn't like a blog where if something shifts you can write a new post or update that entry. This isn't meant to be an essay, either. It's fiction. I see your points about objectifying these girls into their nationalities, and I'll admit you have that.
I'm guessing this is one of those series that are based on extremely personal and anecdotal experiences that are easily criticized for not being accurate or representative. The synopsis sets it up for failure by describing the cast by their ethnicity and nationality rather than it just being a minor character trait. They stop being their own people and become representatives of their respective cultures. Another common flaw in these types of stories is that they are extremely time specific and become antiquated. Someone mentioned a theater butter dispenser for popcorn but college students don't even go to theaters these days. Assimilation can be a rapid phenomenon and while Japanese and Arab culture may have been alien to the US and vice versa when Marie Nishimori was in college, it would be hard to find an American college student not familiar with hookah bars and sushi today. Modern Saudi Arabia and Japan are also two of the most Westernized nations in Asia, and the least likely for culture shock moments.

Last edited 4 mo ago by Ironclad.

why can't you delete comments

Last edited 4 mo ago by Judy.

I just read all of it. Loved it!
This is great! I'm definitely buying the official release. ?
Nada is just really really cute and funny. Love her ?
This is really good.
How can this can any cuter?
I love this manga so much! Thank you for the translation. I'm a Saudi and all the information in the manga are pretty much accurate , except for a few details here and there.
@Ceiye literally Mrs. Worldwide
@MarqFJA87 Awesome, thank you! I'm looking forward to reading your comments!

Yeah, I didn't really expect a lot of stuff to be accurate. Like, if the parts on US culture weren't quite right, I wouldn't really think that anything on Saudi Arabian culture which is far less prolific in widespread media, would be quite right either

I got curious about the author and Nishimori Marie has... quite the background
"Nishimori (西森マリー) is a Japanese journalist and translator. She was born in the U.K. from a Dutch father and a Japanese mother; she also speak Arabic. She graduated from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and, as a Muslim, perfectioned at the Cairo University in Egypt. Nishimori worked as translator on rock and metal albums for the Japanese market from Europe, before moving to the U.S.A."

Last edited 8 mo ago by MangaDex.

This manga gets several things about Saudi Arabian culture and Islam wrong. I'm Saudi Arabian, so I'll try to correct them in the comments as I read.

Last edited 8 mo ago by MangaDex.

Good luck on exams
I can honestly use the TIL tag in here.

good read

A lot of people in Japan do false christian style weddings just for the pose. The priest is always some caucasic foreigner who has to act and have to talk in a english accented japanese or the families will get angry at him. There is a spanish youtuber I follow who has been in Japan for 10 years, he has japanese level of a college professor and since he is spanish his japanese accent is almost pefect, he told in a video how he almost got in problems doing the priest act with the parents of one of the spouses because he had a perfect accent and the families wanted him to talk with a flawed english style japanese xD

It's a similar case exposed before with the japanese descendant, they will prefer a blonde russian no matter his english level before the japanese american. There are a lot of funny stories with asians hiring blonde people no matter their abilities to do things just for the pose of status or international connections. Happens too t in China with reunions between executives, they have a blonde near them to give the impression he is some sort of counselor when they are just probably students or even tourists.

Last edited 10 mo ago by MangaDex.

Did they ever mention where in America this was set in? I'm guessing it's not a city with a relatively large Asian population like those on the East and West coast, since in the diner chapter, the people there were surprised to see a Japanese and Middle Eastern person. Not especially important, since this manga is told through a "familiar vs foreign" lens rather than about the specifics of a particular region, but I am genuinely curious

@ichi24 Nope, it's nothing like that. It's more like a ketchup dispenser than a fried Snicker, which I can tell you is not an American stereotype, as it does exist, but no one eats that except out of curiosity, dares, or an already poor diet

Last edited 10 mo ago by MangaDex.

Shinto when you're born, Christian when you marry, Buddhist when you die.
I like that I'm learning so much!