Japanese Short Stories「5分シリーズ」(5 Minute Series)

Japanese with Short Stories「5分シリーズ」(5 Minute Series) – Japanese Book Recommendations

5分シリーズ
(5 Minute Series)

 

Author: Various (published by エブリスタ)
Genre: short stories, moving
Great for: Intermediate (JLPT N2)
Length: Around 210 pages

Amazon Japan: 5分シリーズ(5分後に涙のラスト) (will need to search for others)
Bookwalker Japan: 5分シリーズ

 

Japanese Synopsis (from Amazon Japan)

小説投稿サイト「エブリスタ」が主催する短編小説賞「三行から参加できる超・妄想コンテスト」入賞作品から、さらに選りすぐりのものを集め、加筆・修正。20000作超から選ばれた最高の感動体験8作。

 

English Synopsis (translated by JTalk Online)

A collection of short stories from the novel website Eburisuta which were hand selected or won the “Great / Imaginative Contest for Sangyo”. Eight incredibly moving tales handpicked from 20,000 stories.

 

Why You Should Read 5分シリーズ (5 Minute Series)

There are multiple books in the「5分シリーズ」 by エブリスタ, and each one has its own theme:

  • 5分後にいい気味なラスト
  • 5分後に超ハッピーエンド
  • 5分後に君とサヨナラのラスト
  • 5分後にのラスト
  • 5分後に誰も死なない涙のラスト
  • 5分後に驚愕のどんでん返し
  • 5分後に感動のラスト
  • 5分後に禁断のラスト
  • 5分後に猛毒なラスト
  • 5分後に恋するラスト
  • 5分後に癒されるラスト
  • 5分後に皮肉などんでん返し
  • 5分後に切ないラスト
  • 5分後に歪んだ愛のラスト

I was walking through Village Vanguard when I saw this series of books and decided to pick up 5分後に涙のラスト. Why the crying one? Because I like stories that make me cry, and honestly, I was in a melancholy mood that made me want to read something SAD.

I don’t read short stories in English. To tell you the truth, I don’t like short stories. Or at least, I thought I didn’t, but I was pleasantly surprised by 5分後に涙のラスト!

 

First of all, each story is incredibly short; only about 20 pages each. I also found most of the stories had short sentences and short paragraphs. So, they are incredibly quick reads.

Not a quick 5-minute read, though. I timed myself for a few of these and it took me 20-40 minutes to read each story. Then again I am not a native Japanese speaker, and I read slowly in English anyway. So, reading time may vary.

However, they’re also quick reads because they’re so good! I was surprised at how these short stories could quickly get their hooks into me and make me want to find out what happens next! They were great page turners.

My one critique is that I didn’t cry! I teared up once but didn’t cry. Although that could because I was expecting to cry and so made myself not cry? Either way, they were great heart-string pulling stories.

Speaking of crying, I find it hilarious they have a 5分後に誰も死なない涙のラスト book. I might have to read that to see how they make people crying without killing anyone off!

Japanese with Short Stories 5分シリーズ (5 Minute Series) – Japanese Book Recommendations

 

Why Japanese Learners Should Read 5分シリーズ (5 Minute Series)

I was considering recommending these books to JLPT N3 levels because the stories are short. But decided N2 might be better after finishing the book. If you are N3 level and want to give one of these a try I highly recommend it!

However, the way some of these short stories are written are incredibly flowery and might be challenging for some. Then again, the flowery language is a great step away from the simple grammar structure used in light novels.

It’s also a great way to read a variety of writing styles in Japanese. As the stories are so short, you can easily pick up these differences and see how native Japanese people use their language in different ways.

One aspect of different people’s writing styles is the different language they use. 200-400 page novels, for example, tend to use similar sentences and words all the way through. Whereas I found these short stories to be full of new words and kanji. (See vocabulary list below.) It was a great way to be exposed to a wide variety of terminology in a short amount of time.

As I mentioned, these stories are short, page-turning reads. Which makes them great for people who need a short Japanese reading goal. Bursts of reading practice you can easily get done in a day, make them great motivational goals for Japanese studies.

 

Summary

I read 5分後に涙のラスト from the 「5分シリーズ」 by エブリスタ, but I really want to pick up more!

The wide variety of themes means you can easily select a book that matches your mood.

These short stories are great page-turners for quick Japanese practice for upper intermediate learners.

Japanese with Short Stories 5分シリーズ (5 Minute Series) – Japanese Book Recommendations

 

Vocabulary from 5分後に涙のラスト

Feel free to use this for your own studies or Anki decks. I added them to Memrise here.

Kanji Kana English
鬼気迫る ききせまる bloodcurdling, ghastly
眼差し まなざし (a) look
忌々しい いまいましい annoying, provoking
巨額 きょがく great sum
清算 せいさん (to) liquidate, settle
手切れ てぎれ severing a relation, connection
手切れ金 てぎれきん consolation money
懸念 けねん worry, fear
沸々 ふつふつ simmer, bubble over
歯軋り はぎしり (to) grind teeth (frustrated)
憔悴 しょうすい (to) waste away; exhaustion
蒼白 そうはく pale
傍らに かたわらに besides, nearby
不憫 ふびん pity, compassion
回顧 かいこ recollection
殺風景 さっぷうけい dreary, tasteless
奈落 ならく hell; theatre basement
奈落の底 ならくのそこ the abyss
自暴自棄 じぼうじき desperation
些細 ささい trivial, slight
疎遠 そえん neglect, estrangement
献身的 けんしんてき devotion
豹変 ひょうへん sudden change
樹海 じゅかい sea of trees
一睡 いっすい (not) a wink of sleep
分娩室 ぶんべんしつ delivery room
無為 むい idle, inactive
除細動器 じょさいどうき defibrillator
痙攣 けいれん cramps
豆粒 まめつぶ speck
掠める かすめる to  graze, skim; to rob, pillage
宥める なだめる to soothe, calm
撫でる なでる to stroke
羅列 られつ enumeration
同棲 どうせい (to) live together
暫くして しばらくして after a short time
頬杖を突く ほおづえをつく to rest one’s chin in one’s hands
鉄槌 てっつい (iron) hammer
眉目秀麗 ぶもくしゅうれい handsome
頭脳明晰 ずのうめいせき have brilliant mind
剛毅花壇 ごうきかだん fortitude and resolution
通販 つうはん mail order
起床 きしょう (to) get out of bed
咀嚼 そしゃく (to) chew, break into bite-sized pieces
餓死 がし (to) die from starvation
金蔓 かねづる source of revenue, financial support
払拭 ふっしょく (to) wide/sweep away
銃身 じゅうしん gun barrel
白昼 はくちゅう daytime, midday
白昼堂々 はくちゅうどうどう in broad daylight, openly (unashamedly)
脳震盪 のうしんとう concussion
装甲 そうこう armored
晒す さらす to expose (to air, public, danger)
貪る むさぼる to indulge in, deeply desire
ふさぎ込む ふさぎこむ to mope, brood
戒める いましめる to prohibit, forbid; to warn
黙認 もくにん (to) tolerate, tacit consent
被弾 ひだん (to be) shot, bombed
甲高い・疳高い かんだかい high-pitched, shrill
整髪 せいはつ hairdressing
整髪料 せいはつりょう hair product (cream, gel, etc.)
惣菜 そうざい side dish
筋違い すじちがい cramp, sprain
決壊 けっかい (to) break/rip down
虫食む むしばむ to eat into, spoil
復唱 ふくしょう (to) recite, repeat, rehearsal
大鉈 おおなた big hatchet
大鉈を振るう おおなたをふるう to make drastic cuts
変哲 へんてつ unusual
変哲もない へんてつもない usual, monotonous
諫める いさめる to warn (not to do)
小奇麗 こぎれい neat, tidy
否応無しに いやおうなしに compulsory, whether you like it or not
饒舌 じょうぜつ talkativeness
饒舌家 じょうぜつか talkative person, chatterbox
纏う まとう to wear, put on
孕む はらむ to conceive, be filled with, get pregnant
嗚咽 おえつ (to) sob, weep
商談 しょうだん (to) negotiate, discuss business
律儀 りちぎ honesty, integrity
訝しい いぶかしい suspicious
焦点 しょうてん focal point, focus (photography)
整理 せいり (to) sort, arrange
整頓 せいとん (to) put in order, tidy up
整理整頓 せいりせいとん keep things tidy and in order
会釈 えしゃく (to) greet, nod
懐古 かいこ nostalgia, remember the old days
懐古的 かいこてき old fashioned
哀愁 あいしゅう sorrow, grief
感慨 かんがい strong feelings, deep emotion
けん盤 けんばん keyboard (piano, computer, etc.)
雲泥 うんでい great difference
雲泥の差 うんでいのだ a world of difference
朦朧 もうろう dim, hazy
紺色 こんいろ deep blue

Other Japanese Books Great for JLPT N2 Level!

「かがみの孤城」(Kagami no Kojou)

女だから、とパーティを追放されたので伝説の魔女と最強タッグを組みました
(Sexiled: My Sexist Party Leader Kicked Me Out,

So I Teamed Up With a Mythical Sorceress!)

 

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