(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
Japanese Synopsis (from Amazon Japan)
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
|清算||せいさん||(to) liquidate, settle|
|手切れ||てぎれ||severing a relation, connection|
|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|
|奈落||ならく||hell; theatre basement|
|樹海||じゅかい||sea of trees|
|一睡||いっすい||(not) a wink of sleep|
|掠める||かすめる||to graze, skim; to rob, pillage|
|宥める||なだめる||to soothe, calm|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|白昼堂々||はくちゅうどうどう||in broad daylight, openly (unashamedly)|
|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|
|整髪料||せいはつりょう||hair product (cream, gel, etc.)|
|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|
|大鉈を振るう||おおなたをふるう||to make drastic cuts|
|諫める||いさめる||to warn (not to do)|
|否応無しに||いやおうなしに||compulsory, whether you like it or not|
|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|
|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|
|感慨||かんがい||strong feelings, deep emotion|
|けん盤||けんばん||keyboard (piano, computer, etc.)|
|雲泥の差||うんでいのだ||a world of difference|
Other Japanese Books Great for JLPT N2 Level!