Japanese wouldn't be so hard if the characters made more sense. Yes, I mean 漢字 (kanji) and yes, I also mean 人物 (jinbutsu), the word used for characters in works of fiction.
Once you've mastered the former enough to be able to read some basic 小説 (shōsetsu, novels or short stories), your challenge then becomes trying to understand the fictional constructs of Japan's creative minds.
Notably, you have to understand what these characters say to each other and even to themselves. Dialogue in Japanese fiction has its own set of rules, and if you're not paying close attention, you may have trouble understanding who is saying what to whom.