[Seeking Nominations!] Beginner Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: この美術部には問題がある!

Is there a template for the vocab sheets anywhere? Otherwise I’ll probably just copy one of the existing ones and empty them I guess?


Yeah copying one works. You also don’t need to create the vocab sheet just yet. Creating it 2 weeks before we start reading is fine!


Short update: We have a home thread for yoru cafe!
There’s some polls to decide on a reading schedule as well :slight_smile:


The Intermediate Book Club is currently voting on what to read next. If you want to push yourself a bit more, especially when it comes to how much you read each week, have a look at the nominations and take part in the vote:


Oh, big thanks for the announcement! Totally forgot about that :woman_facepalming:


I recently picked up this book at my local bookstore and thought it would be fun and easy to read. I’m hoping some people will read it with me. I found this in the children’s section, so it should be SFW.

I wasn’t sure which book club to post in :sweat_smile:

5秒後に意外な結末 パンドラの赤い箱 (Unexpected Endings After 5 Seconds Pandora’s Red Box)



A collection of 100 short stories ranging from funny, emotional, friendship, cynical, and everything in between. Every story is short and has an unexpected ending.


Amazon.jp: Link
CD Japan: Link
Bookwalker: Link

Personal Opinion

I bought this book because each story was really short so I won’t exhaust myself if I don’t understand the story. I read the first few stories, and each one was a different genre from the last. I am able to understand most of the story. I think this is a great book to help Japanese learners jump into reading native material in a fun way.

Pros and Cons


  • Every story is very short, a less than a minute read for native Japanese children, so it’s easy read a few stories.

  • Each story is different and there is no overarching theme like scary, slice of life, sci-fi, fantasy, etc. They’re all different so it’s a nice mix of everything.

  • Each ending has a twist, making reading fun.

  • Each story has pictures that helps comprehension.

  • There’s never a full page of text.


  • There isn’t a lot of furigana, so it’s more practice for reading kanji.

  • I’m not sure what level the grammar is at, but I found it in the children’s section. Due to the lack of furigana, I believe this is aimed at older elementary school children, perhaps 5/6th grade.

  • Some of the stories are sad and bleak.

  • This book is slightly longer than 200 pages (about 214 pages of content), but I’m hoping the 100 short story setup (each page has pictures so it’s never a full page of text) can be easily broken up into 16 weeks.


First Three Pages

The first few pages can be viewed on Amazon via computer. It is not available through mobile devices. I recommend using the Amazon preview as you can zoom the images in and out and the small writing autofocuses.
Amazon.jp: Link


Additional Pages

Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • 1 - No effort at all
  • 2 - Minimal effort
  • 3 - Moderate effort
  • 4 - Substantial effort
  • 5 - So much effort my head might explode :exploding_head:
  • I don’t know

0 voters


Ohhh, I stumbled upon that series just a few days ago and I put it on my reading list for when I want to try something with a little less furigana. I think it’s 中学生向け so it probably still has furigana for most kanji learned after elementary school (?) (maybe even some of the later elementary school kanji? I haven’t checked too closely). It seemed like a good first step into the “not full furigana” world to me, which is why I put it on my list :smiley:


Yeah I wasn’t sure because this was straight up next to the picture books :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile: :sweat_smile: so I assumed it’s for 5th or 6th grade. I’m actually going to check my elementary school library on Monday to see if they had it too and ask what grade it’s meant for :slightly_smiling_face:

But yeah flipping through the book, the kanji does seem a little difficult for ES students. I’m not sure how Japanese bookstores arrange their reading levels so I have no idea.


Omg I think I stumbled on this series recently too, I was absolutely captivated by the beautiful covers.

Apologies if there’s an obvious difference between these series that my tired eyes missed, oh crap it’s 1:35am, why am I awake.


I too was bewitched by the cover art! Haven’t read it yet, but I own the emerald green one. I totally want the orange one too though. :joy:

(Sorry about the blurry picture.)


I’m in the US, and I couldn’t find a link for sample pages on the Amazon site or the CD site. Could you pretty please put up screenshots? Also, The Bookwalker site says this book is not available outside of Japan.


I’ve found that by going through Bookmeter, I can access Bookwalker’s preview.


If you go onto Amazon, click on the Kindle version then the cover should have a 試し読み text click on that and you’ll get the preview.

But it is for sure a downside that it is not available outside of japan on Bookwalker.


Super pretty! These must be slightly longer stories, as the title suggests that the unexpected ending comes after 5 minutes, rather than 5 seconds.


Based on the table of contents, it looks like chapter 95 is four pages. But then chapter 96 must be extra short because 97 starts on the same page as it.


I often found that these children’s series are only available inside Japan on Bookwalker. This also applies to the “10 minutes” series that the ABBC read some volumes of. The trick is that if you buy it through a VPN, you can later access it normally. :wink:
For the preview, a VPN should do the trick as well. You can e.g. use Tunnelbear which gives you 500 MB per month for free.


Yeah those are short stories in 5 minutes, so they’re a little longer. Also, I think some of the books have an overall theme like sad stories, emotional stories, etc, but I don’t know if all of the books do (there was a lot!)

I saw those at the bookstore next to the book I found. My Japanese fiancé was helping me pick out a book and he suggested the 5 second stories as a gateway!


Click on the cover of the book on the Amazon website and it should open the table of contents and first three stories.
Under additional pages, I have screenshots of two of the stories, a total of 4 pages


All I get is the front and back cover. But, the bookmeter link from @ChristopherFritz worked! Thanks for that.


That’s a shame because you can zoom in and out on the Amazon preview. When I get a chance, I’ll screenshot some of the pages, but the writing will be very small.