Japanese Busy People #1 Kana is a Kodansha International publication.
The book does have some shortcomings. Other reviewers have pointed out that book does a poor job of explaining form constructions, instead, it directs one to memorize a list of verbs/adj/etc. I agree this is not the way to go. This deficiency is easily overcome by a class or tutor. My Sensei does a good job explaining how verb/adj/etc structures are formed... so the book's failure to do so is no big deal. If you are learning on your own... this could be a problem.
Having a teacher is a good idea in the beginning anyway as it will give you a chance to practice speaking and listening. I actually started using JFBP on my own because my class book (Japanese New College Text) is just awful.
1) Situational Functional Japanese I, II, III (the absolute best! But make sure you get the drill book AND the notes book)
2) Japanese: The Spoken Language 1, 2, 3. While this series is second best, it is absolutely the BEST in terms of grammar explanations. The weird roomaji system is frustrating, but it's worth it if you can digest the explanations.
3) Genki I, II. Rapidly surpassing Japanese for Busy People in terms of popularity. Simple to understand grammar exercises, great exercises, very useful vocabulary, immerses you in kana right off the board forcing you to abandon the harmful roomaji.
Okay, now why is JfBP so bad? Well, first of all, they get progressively better. So Book 2 is mediocre, and Book 3 is not too bad (#1 above is still better). But Book 1. Whew boy. First of all, it pretends Japanese is simple. Instead of actually _explaining_ things, it simply tells you to start memorizing everything under the sun.Read more ›