The Spring 2021 Light Novel Guide
Isekai may still dominate the light novel game as presented by English-language translations, but we're certainly seeing more variations on its theme. That's immediately noticeable in the batch of volume ones we're reviewing this time around. Alongside the more traditional stories like Drugstore in Another World, which features an ordinary guy figuring out how to use his unique skill when he's transferred to another world, we have no fewer than three reincarnated-as-the-villainess tales, each with their own spin on things, and two stories about simply being reborn in the character's original world with no isekai factor at all. It can feel like a lot of the same, which makes the books that don't fall into these categories stand out, like the alternate Taisho fantasy Romance of the Imperial Capital and Bofuri, a series you may already be familiar with from its anime version. There may not be quite something for everyone, but there's still a lot to enjoy, from the fluffy to the dark. Stop by the forums and let us know what light novels you're reading or looking forward to!
AprilAsk Iwata: Words of Wisdom from Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's Legendary CEO. Edited by Hobonichi. $11.99 digital, $22.99 print.
Synopsis:Reprints of essays by Satoru Iwatanot previously available in English, including the thoughts of those who knew him upon his death.
Rating: (Rebecca Silverman)
Ask Iwataisn't a light novel, or a novel at all, but since the three-month period we're covering in this Guide is somewhat lacking in new series, I thought I'd include it. And while it isn't fiction – it might better be shelved under “business” – it is a fascinating book and a surprisingly good read. The slim volume contains a variety of short essays written by the late Satoshi Iwata, a legendary figure in the game world. While they all pertain to his experiences in the game industry, there's a surprising amount of solid life advice dispensed throughout. Mostly it boils down to things like “respect people” and “don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it,” but the way that Iwata phrases things and the context he puts them in makes these seemingly trite lessons feel much more like hearing them from an old friend or maybe a favorite uncle than like you're getting them from a self-help book. There's also a very real sense of loss when you are reminded that Iwata died, because he feels like someone you know by the end, and the eloquent way that his peers write about him strengthens that. The short snippets at the end of each chapter, little quotes or pieces of advice from Iwata, are some of the best bits in the book, but overall this is just both interesting and good. Even if you have no interest in game development or business, it's worth reading to get to know Iwata.
Bofuri: Since I Don't Want to Get Hurt, So I'll Max Out My Defense. Story by Yuumikan, art by Koin. Yen On, $8.99 digital, $12.99 print.
IS SHE THE GAME'S LAST BOSS?! Though she doesn't play many MMOs, Maple has either a natural talent or impossibly good luck, because by pouring every last stat point she has into Vitality, she's created a character who can't be hurt! Whether it's physical attacks or magic or status effects, nothing poses a real threat. In no time at all, news spreads across the server about the adorable terror who can't be defeated. While Maple may just be having fun, her broken build is sure to attract lots of unexpected attention…
Rating: (Kim Morrissy)
The thing that sticks out about Bofuri is how darn short it is. I know they're called “light novels,” but they're not normally this light. This book only takes around two hours to read, and the prose itself is light and fluffy in a way that feels like it's aimed at younger readers. In fact, it's one of the few light novels that I would say is genuinely appropriate for a pre-teen audience.
If you've seen the anime, you probably have a good idea what the appeal of this series is. It's a comedy about a first-time gamer accidentally creating an overpowered build for her character due to a combination of the game's unbalanced system and her own obliviousness. The main character might be overpowered, but she's not exploiting cheats or playing for any reason other than her own satisfaction. The humor and low stakes make for a breezy read.
That said, I don't think the writing is quite clever enough to carry the story past the initial concept. There's a certain charm in seeing Maple stumble her way into success, although this only really applies for the first third or so of volume 1. After that, she makes friends who show her the ropes and she starts consciously thinking about how to improve, which isn't quite as fun to read about. Despite the book's brevity, there are dull stretches that are mainly concerned with grinding skills and levels. The light tone and short descriptions keep it all from becoming wearisome, but they also reinforce how insubstantial the overall story is.
For what it's worth, I did enjoy reading this book, but this is one of those cases where I find myself wondering if the price tag is worth it for the amount of content I consumed. If it were longer, or if it had a few more ideas to carry it past the opening, then I'd be comfortable recommending it. Otherwise, I recommend just sticking with the anime.
Hazure Skill: The Guild Member with a Worthless Skill is Actually a Legendary Assassin. Story by Kennoji, art by KWKM. Yen On, $8.99 digital, $12.99 print.
Roland is the world's greatest assassin, but after killing the Demon Lord at the request of the king, he's ready to hang up his daggers. He's never known the glories of a normal life, and when the king offers him anything he wants as a reward for doing the job, he asks for just that: normalcy. Somewhat baffled, the king agrees, and along with his cat (who is actually the Demon Lord robbed of her powers), Roland embarks on his greatest challenge: convincing everyone that he's just a normal guy.
Rating: (Rebecca Silverman)
It's a good year for light novel author Kennoji, as this book marks the first of two releases of his work in English. Like Drugstore in Another World, Hazure Skill focuses on the everyday life of a young man and his female companion, but unlike that other book, this one is a bit more on the mature side. That's mostly book code for “has more sex in it” (protagonist Roland sleeps with at least two and possibly three ladies), but it's also due to the fact that Roland is a retired assassin, and he can't quite manage to set his old profession aside entirely. He desperately wants to, though, because his chief desire in life is to just be “normal,” something he never had the chance to be before. He was apprenticed to his assassin master at an early age, trained to be something beyond human, and now in his mid-twenties, he's ready to see what he's been missing. The biggest problem? He has almost no idea what “normal” means.
One thing he in no way expects is that “normal” is actually different for everyone. He figures out a few of the basics – after he embarks on his quest of normalcy he spends everyday alternating between eating, sleeping, and having sex because that's what he thinks is “normal” until he's reminded that “having a job” is another key component. This leads him to apply to work at the local Adventurers' Guild branch as a receptionist, which in some ways makes this the male-oriented version of The Sorcerer's Receptionist. (This is a bit better written, though.) At the Guild he manages to make a place for himself, and by the end of the volume, he's figuring out what he wants his “normal” to look like. The path there leads him in some unexpected directions, the most shocking of which (to Roland, if anyone ever pointed it out) is that he's actually an incredibly nice guy who goes out of his way to make sure that other people are safe and taken care of. We see this not only when he takes in a little girl he finds starving on the street, but also in the way he helps new adventurers get their feet on the ground and spends time figuring out what everyone can do best. He's a good teacher, a nice person, and so ridiculously overpowered that he has trouble seeing the forest for the trees.
This isn't a grand adventure story. Even the adventures that Roland ends up going on are kind of anticlimactic. But that's what makes this more fun and possibly more appealing to a larger readership than your average slice-of-life book. It's a nice blend of genres if you're looking for something more laid- back but that still has action – and, of course, a talking cat who turns into a sexy demon lady.
Since I Was Abandoned After Reincarnating, I Will Cook with My Fluffy Friends: The Figurehead Queen is Strongest at her Own Pace. Story by Yu Sakurai, art by Kasumi Nagi. Cross Infinite World, $7.99 digital.
When her fiancé the crown prince throws her out, the shock of being pushed into a fountain startles Lady Laeticia into remembering her previous life as a corporate drone in Japan. Since she's already realized that Prince Fritz is really not worth her time, she's content to let him dig himself into a political hole by not only renouncing their engagement in favor of scheming commoner Sumia, but also to be banished. It isn't perfect, but now she'll have time to return to her previous life's hobby of cooking – and if she has to become the figurehead queen of another nation to do that, well, at least she'll also get to indulge in her love of dogs with the royal wolf pack. A life with homemade strawberry ice cream can't be all bad!
Rating: (Rebecca Silverman)
I Will Cook with My Fluffy Friends (that title desperately needs shortening) is an interesting combination of two distinct light novel genres: the reborn-as-a-villainess story and the isekai cooking tale. Those sit together much more comfortably than you might think – Laeticia, the heroine, isn't really a villainess, but rather is being cast as one by a rival ducal family looking to overtake her own in power, and if the prince she's engaged to wasn't such a fool, he'd be able to see that. But since her hobby back in her previous life was cooking, something she can't really indulge in as a duke's daughter, she's not terribly upset by the change in her circumstances, especially since her meeting with Truck-kun came before she got to eat the strawberry ice cream she'd made. That her death also took her away from her beloved elderly Shiba Inu Jiro is more of a blow once she regains her memories, but since her father's plan for the family to save face (and keep Laeticia safe) involves a marriage to the young king of a nation with a royal wolf pack, things really do work out quite nicely. Now Laeticia can befriend fuzzy animals and cook in perfect peace.
In part this is because she's only the temporary, figurehead queen while the king tries to buy some time before having to choose between the four warring factions within his own kingdom when he picks a bride, so Laeticia gets to live apart from him, which suits her just fine. (She's unaware she's getting royal visits in his secret wolf form, naturally.) It's already clear that the king's not just going to let her go after the two years are up, and that sets up an interesting potential love rivalry, because Ilius, the son of that same rival ducal family back in Laeticia's home country, was actually planning to use Sumia's assumption of Laeticia's place as the prince's fiancée in order to marry Laeticia himself, not because he's a jerk (although he may be), but because he likes her. While the plan going sideways worked out for Laeticia, Ilius is far from happy, and there's some sense that he's not just going to sit back and go along with his father, the idiot prince, and the unpleasant Sumia for much longer. This is honestly just a fun story, with equal amounts of political intrigue, furry pet snuggling, and cooking, and I'm hoping that we don't have to wait too long for volume two.
Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter. Story by Reia, art by Hazuki Futaba. Seven Seas, $9.99 digital.
Iris, an otome game addict with no time for romance, gets hit by a truck after getting out of work–but instead of dying, she finds herself in the world of a game she'd played just hours earlier. However, she's not reborn as the game's protagonist, the main heartthrob of the harem. Instead, she starts her new life as the antagonist, right at the moment she's being sent to live in a nunnery–for the rest of her life.
Rating: (Rebecca Silverman)
Come for the story of a woman reborn as a villainess in her favorite otome game, stay for the economics lessons! Seriously, if you were a fan of the economic aspect of Spice & Wolf, it's worth checking out the original light novels of Reia's Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughterfor that element of the story alone – Iris' redemption relies heavily on her past life as an accountant in a tax office. And even if you don't find economics fascinating, it's still very nice to see a woman rely solely on her brains to get herself out of the mess she finds herself in. Iris awakens to her past life memories just as things are about to go south for her in the world of her favorite otome game, but fortunately in enough time for her to quickly work with to salvage the situation. She fully acknowledges that her behavior as Iris has been dreadful, then uses the other characters' behavior against them, managing to tar everyone (herself included) with the same brush, similarly to how Laeticia's awakening works a few entries above. In this way, Iris manages to avert the worst of the villainess' fate, and she gets herself “banished” by a sympathetic father back to the family's remote estate, where she's to serve as the acting ruler of the province.
What's striking about this book as opposed to so many others in the same vein is that it's made clear that Iris may not have remembered her past life until recently, but she's always been herself, rather than the original Iris from the game. We see this in the way she asked her father to take in orphans from the slums in lieu of gifts, in the kind way she interacted with them, and the loyalty and friendships she inspired. Now as the ruler of the family duchy, she's able to rely on the people she's always known and treated well as well as her past career; her memories simply enhance how she acts rather than changing it completely. Interestingly her workaholic tendencies from Japan's corporate culture also show up, and unlike some other protagonists, she doesn't see those as a bad thing or as having contributed to her untimely demise in the past. (It was, we're told, a traffic accident unrelated to work.) Instead, Iris and those around her see it as part atonement, part excellent political move for her to be so engrossed in her work, and while it may not be healthy, it is something that helps the book to stand out in its field.
It's worth noting that this is distinctly less romantic than most other light novels in the same vein. There is a romance subplot being hinted at (and mildly spoiled in one illustration), but the heart of the book is Iris reforming a feudal duchy into a modern capitalist society. It's dense but fairly well-written and worlds above its manga adaptation, which preceded it in English translation. If you're tired of mushy novels and want something a bit more serious, or you just really like people learning what banking is, this is worth checking out.
Culinary Chronicles of the Court Flower. Story by Miri Mikawa, art by Kasumi Nagi. J-Novel Club, $6.99 digital.
Rimi has spent most of her life making food for the protector god of the land. She is suddenly sent as a tribute to the great empire of Konkoku, becoming one of the emperor's concubines. She comes close to losing the taste of her home country, but she is saved by the cuisinologist Shusei. As she dreams of a reunion with the kind scholar, she does her best to survive in the envy-filled rear palace with the help of her natural cheerfulness and her skill as a cook. Then out of nowhere, she is arrested and sentenced to be executed on the charge of disrespecting the emperor! How will Rimi get out of this mess? Find out in this China-inspired fantasy story about a princess and her love for food surrounded by gorgeous men.
Rating: (Kim Morrissy)
Culinary Chronicles doesn't have the same deft writing and down-to-earth appeal as The Apothecary Diaries, but it's still an interesting court drama about a plucky girl finding a place of her own in fantasy China. It helps that the food aspect is more interesting than usual for light novels with that theme; instead of introducing your usual mayonnaise and other modern dishes to a European fantasy world, the focus is firmly on historical Japanese and Chinese foods.
Much of the appeal in Culinary Chronicles is in the blending and clashes of culture. In the opening scene, Rimi causes trouble because of language misunderstandings, and this is a recurring theme throughout the book. I appreciated details like her struggling with vocabulary and translating words literally from her native language, making her accidentally come across as too direct and rude; this felt very true to life. The food discussions also fit this theme, sometimes in clever and ingenious ways.
On the other hand, the book does have the common light novel problem of repetition and constantly explaining what the characters are thinking and feeling. It ultimately feels like padding to make the story fit the typical bunkobon novel length. The plot does eventually come together in a satisfying way, but the early chapters definitely could have been trimmed for brevity.
At least in this first volume, the fantasy elements are limited, mostly existing to allow for character interactions that would have felt implausible in a more rigid historical setting. There's a sparkling shojo feel to the character designs and writing, with all the male characters fitting the usual archetypes. I recommend it most for shojo fans who want a taste of historical East Asia and food culture rather than the other way around, as the storytelling may be a little half-baked for those craving a deeper exploration of the setting.
Drugstore in Another World: The Slow Life of a Cheat Pharmacist. Story by Kennoji, art by Matsuuni. Seven Seas, $9.99 digital, $13.99 print.
Frustrated with his dead-end job and life, Reiji suddenly realized one day that he was transported to an alternate world. The skill he picks up there is the skill of making medicine. He is disappointed not to have a combat skill, but the potions he makes become popular overnight, and he opens a drugstore with the money he accumulated. And so, Reiji enjoys a slow life made possible with his skill, catering to clients who come to his store.
When the synopsis says Reiji “suddenly realized” he was transported to another world, it means it – the book opens with Reiji shifting from our world to a fantasy realm mid-step. It's not great world building, but it gets the job done, and really, that may be the best way to sum up the entire book. It's not about the journey or the magic, or even the fact that Reiji has been isekai'd away to a fantasy realm. Drugstore in Another World is about the everyday activities of Reiji and his friends and neighbors in the small forest village he moves to, a slow-paced, calm, slice-of-life story. There's a gentle formula to the whole thing: in each chapter, someone comes to Reiji's pharmacy (pharmaceuticals being the skill he acquired when he transferred worlds, along with the ever-important ability to see stats), they ask him for something, he thinks about their problem, solves it, the end. There are stickier moments, such as when his aphrodisiac gets into the wrong hands or when a dragon pees on people, but for the most part, it's just calm.
Needless to say, that means that this is not going to be a hit with everyone. I did find it a little dull in places, and the characters are all very familiar in that tropey way (although Noela is one of the cutest werewolves I've ever encountered), and there also isn't a ton of plot cohesion. Characters do reappear from time to time, but it isn't in the service of a grand plot or anything; it's more that in a small town you run into the same people most days. There is a lovely straightforward quality to the writing and the story that lets us know that Kennoji isn't winking and nudging towards any deeper plan, but it really is, on the whole, kind of boring. But it's a pleasant boring, and there's definitely something to be said for that.
I Have a Secret. Story by Yoru Sumino. Seven Seas, $9.99 digital, $14.99 print.
Five high-school classmates hold secrets close to their hearts–hidden talents, unspoken feelings, and buried pain. As they collide with each other on the path to growing up, they might just jostle some of those secrets free.
Rating: (Rebecca Silverman)
The latest of Yoru Sumino's novels to be translated into English is also the weakest. Largely this is because the stakes are much, much lower than in I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, At Night, I Become a Monster, and I Had That Same Dream Again; the thrust of the story is whether or not two members of a high school class end up together. And while it does have Sumino's trademark supernatural element, this, too, is more subdued than in their other works: each of the five characters can see human emotions visually represented in some way. These range between a numerical count of heartbeats, card suits or punctuation above people's heads, a see-saw representing positive and negative feelings, and arrows directed towards the person they like. Each of the five characters have a chapter in their first person voice, ostensibly to give us a better picture of who everyone is and what they're thinking about and feeling, but this falls flat due to the fact that Sumino isn't great at giving each character a distinct voice, something that is required for a literary device like this to work. The one positive here is that each character discusses a different point in the school year, so there's no repetition on the plot front.
I Have a Secret is clearly trying very hard. It wants us to believe in the love geometry between the characters, in each of their quirks and differences, and to be invested in their futures. But trying hard doesn't always mean that the story will succeed, and not only is it difficult to tell the characters apart from their narration, there are also too many holes left gaping between them – we never really understand why Zuka's see-saw is so steady or when Miki shifts from liking Zuka to someone else, and I never feel like we get a grip on Looney as a person at all. It's almost a more disappointing read because it's so clearly striving towards a point it never hits, its potential as unrealized as its characters' crushes.
The King of the Dead at the Dark Palace. Story by Tsukikage, art by Merontomari. Yen On, $8.99 digital, $15 print.
When a sickly boy succumbs to illness only to awaken as a lowly undead named End, his initial reaction is not horror but joy. No longer weak and bedridden, he is eager to experience the freedom of a properly functioning body. Sadly, his delight is cut short when he realizes the shackles of his previous life have simply been replaced by new ones—specifically, the powerful necromancer who revived him. To gain true freedom, he'll need to overcome the many obstacles in his way… starting with his dark master!
Rating: (Kim Morrissy)
A classic survival story, but with undead trappings. The King of the Dead at the Dark Palace stands a cut above other light novels featuring an undead protagonist by focusing almost entirely on the distinct ways in which the undead are vulnerable. There's a harrowing feeling throughout the entire book which never lets up for even a single moment.
The protagonist End makes a fitting protagonist for the tale. He is unusual among the undead for retaining his memories of when he was alive, but in certain ways that makes him even more of a monster than his mindless counterparts. He is able to keep secrets and manipulate people's emotions, and yet throughout it all his sheer determination to survive outweighs any actual malice or ambition. Ironically, it's his self-preservation instinct that makes him both sympathetic and horrifying; just from this volume alone you can see his potential to become the sinister “King of the Dead.”
The book moves along at a nice pace. It is slow and deliberate at first, as End gradually becomes accustomed to the nature of his current body and the circumstances which limit his freedom. There's a claustrophobic feeling in this part because End has absolutely no one to talk to, and so most of the prose is dedicated to internal thoughts and plotting. That might try a reader's patience, but the limited perspective builds the tension effectively. Then, after a turning point, the action starts to escalate consistently, and it becomes a gripping page-turner.
Although this book is based on an ongoing web novel, I felt like it told a solid standalone story. The worst part of the book is the extraneous extras, which exist either to regurgitate exposition from earlier in the narrative or to shoehorn some ill-fitting jokes. Ultimately, the novel wraps up neatly and I don't feel particularly compelled to spend more time in its world, for better or worse.
Romance of the Imperial Capital Kotogami: A Tale of Living Alongside Spirits. Story by Yamori Mitikusa. Cross Infinite World, $7.99 digital.
In an alternate version of the Taisho period, yokai not only move among humans, but they can also be enshrined (or trapped) within special books known as kotogatari. Once inside one of these books, they are known as kotogami, and only a reading by a Narrator, a yokai specialist, can free them – and only a skilled Narrator can control them. Akari, a young woman living and working in the Imperial Capital, has no fondness for spirits or stories, but nonetheless finds herself involved with them when a yokai burns down the company dorm she lives in. Taken in by a strangely self-sufficient spirit named Tomohito, Akari finds herself living in a Bookhouse owned by the military, which naturally leads to her involvement in all things kotogami – including the mystery of her own past.
Rating: (Rebecca Silverman)
There's a lot that's interesting about the world created in this one-shot novel. The part that stands out the most is of course the idea of kotogami and kotogatari: the former are yokai who are enshrined within the latter, a sort of magical book. These are managed by Narrators, a branch of the military that has basically weaponized storytelling, but in a non-propaganda way. Although it isn't developed, the implication is that this is a way for humans and the magical to coexist relatively peacefully, although it seems like it might not be a great deal for the kotogami. That's where I wish we'd gotten a bit more world building, because there are definite themes of not only history being written by the victors, but also of what happens when governments get involved with native populations. The whole idea of writing and the connections between fiction and history is more important to the plot, because heroine Akari isn't a fan of fictional works but does love history. Since the powers attributed to a given kotogami come from what's written in their book, a spirit could easily be warped by someone rewriting their truths, which is really where Akari comes in.
Not that she's all that keen on it, mind you. Akari is one of the more abrasive heroines in the novels covered here, although she certainly comes by it honestly. She's got trauma surrounding both kotogami and fiction (folklore, specifically), so when her dormitory burns down and she's rescued by a very enthusiastic kotogami named Tomohito, the last thing she wants to do is go with him. Since she has no choice, she does, and over the course of the novel we see her getting more comfortable with both Tomohito and the idea of Narrating kotogatari if she needs to – and absolutely not being willing to admit any of that to him. This is probably the point where we should remember that historically the word “romance” denoted what we'd call the fantasy genre today, and that's definitely how it's being used in this book's title. You can certainly infer a romance in the modern sense if you want to, but it's really the least important part of the story.
This is a much denser read than most of what Cross Infinite World publishes, which is by no means a bad thing. But if you're in the mood for something light and fluffy, this is not the book to pick up. It's still good and definitely interesting, not to mention screaming for a softer sequel, but it has things that it wants to say, even if it doesn't fully develop them. I enjoyed it, but it's the sort of book that you need to be in the right mood for.
I Swear I Won't Bother You Again! Story by Reina Soratani, art by Haru Harukawa. Seven Seas, $9.99 digital, $14.99 print.
Violette made a mistake – she committed a terrible crime against her younger half-sister Maryjune, and now she's in prison, awaiting her punishment. Thinking back on how things went so wrong, she wonders how she would do it differently were she given a second chance…and suddenly she realizes that she's gotten her wish. Or at least one of them, because if Violette attacked Maryjune, it wasn't without provocation. The neglected and abused daughter of her father's first marriage, Violette has felt unwanted all her life, and when her father remarried his mistress and brought her and Maryjune into Violette's home (from which he had been absent for most of her life), she was pushed into oblivion. Is preventing her mistake really the reason why Violette has been given a second chance?
Rating: (Rebecca Silverman)
If you're considering picking this book up based on the assumption that it's a fun little rom-com in the yarinaoshi loop subgenre of isekai, maybe think again. It's a good book, but even the author admits that something went very wrong with her original vision for the story. Rather than a romantic reverse harem romp, I Swear I Won't Bother You Again! is a sad, difficult book about the neglected and abused daughter of a powerful duke, Violette, and if she did something terrible in her first go-round, it's honestly kind of easy to see why she felt she had no other choice. Violette's mother was, to put it kindly, a crazy stalker of her father, and that made the duke spend as little time as possible at home, preferring instead to take a mistress and form a second family with her. As Violette looked a lot like her dad, her mother insisted on raising her as a boy and using her as a stand-in for her absent husband – and yes, I suspect that means exactly what it sounds like. After her mother's death, Violette's father moved back to the ancestral mansion, bringing with him his mistress and second daughter, the loved and perfect Maryjune. He then proceeded to make Violette's life even more difficult by forcing her to observe them playing happy family while treating her like a second-class citizen in her own home. Violette's only escape is school, where she tries to be as alone as possible (because, especially in her second chance, alone = safe), and where her only solace is her childhood friend Yulan…who's great, but maybe a bit too possessive and definitely not looking to stay just a friend.
There are so many difficult themes and situations described here that it reads more like one of those realistic/depressing young adult books by authors like Ellen Hopkins than a typical light novel. That's actually a point in its favor in a lot of ways, and it's interesting that we can also see the vestiges of the original planned romantic comedy in the plot and the characters, especially as Prince Claudia starts to realize that this new Violette is not the girl he remembers her being. It does merit a content warning, because if you ever felt isolated, depressed, or bullied as a teen, this does an all-too-recognizable job of depicting that, and I felt myself tearing up in places because it was so horribly familiar. But seeing Violette, with the support of Yulan (who I think really is a good guy) and her maid Marin, start to think about not just how to avoid the route that spelled disaster but to actually approach happy or at least content this time could be really rewarding. It's also a very interesting take on the villainess tale, because Violette as a villainess is clearly made, and even with what she did, she comes off as having had her hand forced by her circumstances than being a truly bad person. This is grim, but not without hope, and that works well for the story it's telling.
The Emperor's Lady-in-Waiting is Wanted as a Bride. Story by Kanata Satsuki, art by Yoru Ichige. J-Novel Club, $6.99 digital.
In her past life, Lyse was Qatora, a lady knight protecting the crown prince and his cousin. She died being pulled into the divine light that gives the land of Razanate its magic and its nobles their incredible longevity. That caused her to learn the truth of the light, and so when she was reborn one hundred years later in a different kingdom, she decided that the (potentially blasphemous) knowledge meant that she could never go back. Her determination is challenged when the emperor and two of his retainers come to visit the palace. They immediately sense something about Lyse, and the next thing she knows, she's engaged to Sir Sidis. He doesn't really want to marry her for herself, right…?
Rating: (Rebecca Silverman)
The Emperor's Lady-in-Waiting is Wanted as a Bride comes to use from the same author as I Refuse to be Your Enemy, and rather than that signaling a rehash of the previous series, that means that this book is rather better written than most similar light novels. Kanata Satsuki is a good enough writer to give the story more heft than you might expect, as well as to imbue the characters with more than one or two defining tropes as traits. It still follows the basic light novel formula, but it's also a much better book than you might expect from the title.
It does, however, share one major plot device with Satsuki's other work: this is a reincarnation story. But rather than Lyse having come from another world, she's just from one hundred years ago in a neighboring kingdom. That means that Lyse, retaining all of her memories from when she was Qatora, is only struggling to keep any forbidden or dangerous knowledge that she had as a knight guarding the imperial children, not adjusting to an entirely new world. Mostly she's just kind of sad – not only did she die protecting those children (and in front of one of them, the one who was the most attached to her), but in the kingdom she now lives in, women are expected to be sweet and permissive and all the things Lyse is not. She resigns herself to never marrying and basically to never being happy, still trying to stay true to who she is and how she wants to live as much as she can.
The title of the book comes into play when the emperor, who was one of the kids she watched over back in the day (nobles are incredibly long-lived in Razanate), comes to visit. Lyse is selected as one of his ladies-in-waiting by Sidis, a knight in his service, because he senses something special in her. Almost immediately thereafter, Sidis proposes to Lyse, and she spends most of the book under the assumption that he just wants the whatever-makes-her-special that he sensed, rather than Lyse herself. Meanwhile, someone is warping the mana of the Razanate contingent, the emperor gets turned into a dog, and Lyse and Sidis try to figure out what is going on and how it's linked to a highly suspicious and popular new religion. Nothing is too terribly difficult to figure out, but it's fun to read about, and between the romance plot and the fantasy adventure, there's a nice variety of moods.
The ending is pretty final, and I'm not sure if there's going to be any more volumes. Either way, this is a satisfying read.
5 Fantasy Light Novels You Don't Want to Miss
Written by: Gab Rugas | Published on: February 20, 2021 at 4:52 PM PHT (GMT+8)
Are you fond of reading fantasy light novels or just wanna start reading them? Here are five Japanese fantasy light novels with official English version you don't wanna miss reading.
1. BERSERK OF GLUTTONY
If 'weak to strong' stories are something that you particularly enjoy, then this series will definitely fit your cup of tea. Berserk of Gluttony takes place in a world where Levels, Stats, and Skills exist. Although this may seem like a pretty interesting world to live in, a lot of people see this as a hellish place to be in. Those who received useful skills from the Gods are put on a pedestal while those with useless skills struggle to even live a normal life. Having a skill that only makes him eternally hungry, Fate Graphite is someone who by no surprise falls in the second category. But after awakening the true potential of his skill Gluttony, Fate now carves out an entirely new path which leads to a future only he can determine.
English Title: Berserk of Gluttony
Japanese Title: Boushoku no Berserk: Ore Dake Level to Iu Gainen wo Toppa Suru
Publishing Date: November 30, 2017
Genre: Seinen Fantasy, Adventure, Action, Harem, Romance, Drama
Author: Isshiki Ichika
MAL Rating: 7.43
Japanese Publisher: Micro Magazine
English Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
2. THE UNDERDOG OF THE EIGHT GREATER TRIBES
Duel City Babel is an artificial continent where duelists from different tribes gather to compete with one another for the title of the strongest. After ten long years of preparation, Yuri Eniastas finally makes his debut on the battlefield that doesn’t particularly welcome people like him. Although Yuri is a certified battle maniac, other fighters still refuse to acknowledge him because of one simple reason. Yuri is a mix-blood. His lineage is considered as the weakest and they are known to be unfit for battle due to their limitations. This, however, doesn’t stop Yuri from pursuing his dream. As his unwavering determination and strong will empower him to keep moving forward no matter how big of an obstacle is in front of him.
English Title: The Underdog of the Eight Greater Tribes
Japanese Title: Hachi Dai Shuzoku no Saijaku Kettousha
Publishing Date: July 1, 2019
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Shounen
Author: Washiro Fujiki
Illustrator: Yu Kodama
MAL Rating: N/A
Japanese Publisher: Hobby Japan
English Publisher: J-Novel Club
3. AN ARCHDEMON’S DILEMMA: HOW TO LOVE YOUR ELF BRIDE
Falling in love can be quite an interesting occurrence, especially when it’s a case of love at first sight with an unusual context behind it. Despite being a powerful and well-renowned sorcerer, Zagan, still has a glaring flaw. He cannot properly communicate with other people. This shortcoming became a big issue when he encountered and fell in love with a white-haired elf named Nephelia. The two met at a dark auction where Nephelia was being sold as a slave. Acting on impulse, Zagan went on and bought Nephelia using his entire fortune. With him not being capable enough to convey his true feelings, Zagan now makes an effort to figure out how to let the other party know what his true intentions are.
English Title: An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride
Japanese Title: Maou no Ore ga Dorei Elf wo Yome ni Shitanda ga, Doo Medereba Ii?
Publishing Date: February 1, 2017
Genre: Shounen, Fantasy, Slice of Life, Supernatural, Action, Romance
Author: Fuminori Teshima
MAL Rating: 7.67
Japanese Publisher: Hobby Japan
English Publisher: J-Novel Club
4. DANMACHI: IS IT WRONG TO TRY TO PICK UP GIRLS IN A DUNGEON? ON THE SIDE: SWORD ORATORIA
Although monitoring the journey of a certain rookie adventurer, as he rises through the ranks, is already interesting enough, seeing the life of those adventurers that he is trying to reach heightens the fun even more. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria, the side story of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, follows the life of the Sword Princess, Ais Wallenstein, and the rest of Loki Familia. Dubbed as one of the strongest Familia in the city of Orario, one can only imagine the type of excitement their side of the story brings. May it be their exhilarating expeditions down the deepest floors of the dungeon or just their regular everyday shenanigans.
English Title: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria
Japanese Title: Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Gaiden: Sword Oratoria
Publishing Date: January 15, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Action
Author: Fujino Omori
Illustrator: Kiyotaka Haimura
MAL Rating: 7.90
Japanese Publisher: SB Creative
English Publisher: Yen Press
5. TRAPPED IN A DATING SIM: THE WORLD OF OTOME GAME IS TOUGH FOR MOBS
If you think that this list would end without mentioning some random guy getting sent to a different world, then you’re absolutely mistaken. After dying in his original world, Leon now finds himself reincarnated as a mob character in the otome game that his younger sister forced him into playing. This was nothing but bad news for him since it meant that he is now living in a world where women are absolute, and men, apart from a select few, are treated like pawns. Using his knowledge from playing the game, Leon now tries to overcome all his adversities as he ultimately strives for a better life.
English Title: Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs
Japanese Title: Otomege Sekai wa Mob ni Kibishii Sekai desu
Publishing Date: May 30, 2018
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Adventure, Comedy, Mecha, School Life, Action, Harem, Romance, Drama
Author: Yomu Mishima
MAL Rating: 7.76
Japanese Publisher: Micro Magazine
English Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
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You might’ve been familiar with the words anime novels or LN or web novels. All of these words refer to one source, and that is a light novel in which you immerse yourself in a world while reading it.
Light Novels acted as a source for anime since the 1990s. Due to their popularity, many of the light novels have been translated into different languages to make it convenient for the readers.
Probably you haven’t heard about many famous light novels and read some, but couldn’t get into it. Well, you don’t have to worry about that since we have prepared a list of the best web novels/ light novels you can read.
Best Light Novels to Read!
15. Martial World
- Year: 2012
- Volumes: 2255 Chapters
- Author: Cocooned Cow
Martial World is a Chinese fantasy light novel with an amazing world-building. Most of the readers praised this novel as ‘Once in a Lifetime Read.’
The plot seems entirely new for regular novel readers, but if you’re already into fantasy light novels, then you’ll get a treat for your eyes.
In the Realm of the Gods, numerous legends fought over a mystical cube. But after the battle, it disappeared into a place called void. Ling Ming finds the cube accidentally, and as you can expect, the journey of a legend is on its way.
Even though we’ve shown a little summary of the plot, there are a lot of turns in the story that’ll mesmerize you. So, if you’re looking for a light fantasy novel, then this one is for you. After all, it is one of the best light novels out there.
14. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
- Year: 2013
- Volumes: 15 (+2 Side-story Volumes)
- Author: Jyumonji Ao
Probably most people like to read Japanese Isekai light novels because wherever you search, you find an amazing isekai novel. And here is Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash with its perfect storyline and decent pacing.
The story starts with Haruhiro waking up in a new world with some other people who were barely able to remember their names. Soon they find out that they entered into a world that is exactly like a game.
To survive, Haruhiro forms a party with them and learns new skills in the world of Grimgar. Without knowing what awaits him, his tale began as he gets into an adventure born from the ashes.
The translation quality of this light novel is top-notch. With a character-driven story, it immerses you completely in the Grimgar world and takes you along the adventures. After all, it is one of the best adventurous light novels.
13. Tales of Demons and Gods
- Year: 2015
- Volumes: 491 Chapters (Ongoing)
- Author: Mad Snail
When it comes to fantasy, Chinese light novels are top-notch, and Tales of Gods and Demons is no exception. The most influential aspect of this novel is its intense plot.
Along with its unique world-building, readers would think as if they were summoned in a different world. You might find a few cliches in the novel, but you’ll enjoy it as much as you discover its flaws. It is, without a doubt, one of the best light novels to exist.
Nie Li was killed by a Sage Emperor and reborn as his 13-year-old self. With this second chance in his life, he can finally take revenge against the Sage Emperor and protect his beloved ones.
If only it would be that easy to defeat a Sage Emperor who is as powerful as a God. With the vast knowledge of his previous life, he wields the most potent demon spirits and starts his journey to reach the pinnacle of the Martial Arts.
12. Warlock of the Magus World
- Year: 2015
- Volumes:1200 Chapters
- Author: The Plagiarist, Wen Chao Gong
You might’ve encountered a few novels where MC is a badass, but this novel stands on the pinnacle of all those. As you can expect, the MC is quite cold-hearted. Due to this fact, you might even abandon the novel in the middle.
But let us restrain you from doing it. The plot moves at a great pace so that you won’t get bored, and even the characters are entertaining. In the end, you’ll feel satisfied with it.
When a futuristic scientist gets transported into Leylin’s body in a fantasy world, his desire for power leads him to pursue magic. In this world, there is no mercy, and Leylin feels as if only he’ll do something if it benefits him.
He is ruthless who will do anything to reach his goal. Can he live his life like this once he started pursuing his goal? I guess you’ll find out once you finish this incredible novel. We wouldn’t have brought it to the list if it isn’t worthy of being one of the best Chinese light novels.
11. Seoul Station’s Necromancer
- Year: 2016
- Volumes: 208 Chapters
- Author: Jinwoo Seol
Do you like light novels that include levelling up concept and some epic battles with a badass MC? Then you have got the right one here. In the beginning, I thought the novel would end up as the normal ones where the concept won’t differ.
However, when I got halfway through the novel, it was terrific, and it is perfectly set to the title. If you start reading it, I’m sure you’ll go through numerous chapters without any break. That’s how good this novel is.
Kahng Woojin finds himself returned to Earth after 20 years of hellish life on Planet Alphen. He finds that the Earth is not the same, and it is filled with Dungeons, where monsters pop out.
He became a Necromancer after being summoned to the other planet, and now when he is finally back, his strength and age are set back to zero.
Now could he be the one who would save the earth from the upcoming disasters as he gets stronger? It is one of the most well-written Korean light novels out there.
- Year: 2013
- Volumes: 15
- Author: Yasuda Suzuhito
Suppose one had to describe Danmachi in one word, probably Masterpiece! would be suited for it. If you haven’t read Danmachi yet, you are missing a lot. Unlike some light novels, everything will be on point, and the translation is flawless.
You won’t even find any plot holes in the whole novel, and there isn’t any room for filler words either. What more aspects do you need to call it a Masterpiece? At the very least, it is one of the best light novels I have read.
An Orphan form boy goes to a dungeon city in a fantasy world to become an adventurer. As you can expect, in this fantasy world, adventurers can receive game-like levels and stats.
Patron gods who ascended from another dimension look after these abilities, and one would become strong as he encounters various enemies. Our MC starts as a sole member of a goddess guild and dreams of becoming a harem hero. That is one amazing fantasy he has.
09. Everyone Else is a Returnee
- Year: 2016
- Volumes: 348 Chapters (+4 Extra Chapters and 1 Afterword)
- Authors: Toika, Toy Car
Just by looking at the title, you could get into this fantastic light level, and believe me, you should read it. The concept of this light novel is unique from the novels you read regularly.
Everything sticks together soon even it goes in a different direction in the middle, and you’ll be amazed by the writer’s imagination. We just hope that this novel will be on par with the ones with your taste.
The MC, in this light novel, is a person who left out in his elementary school, middle school, and high school. When he finally becomes a college student, he is left out of humanity. Ignored by God, he spends over a millennium of his skills for the upcoming Cataclysm.
Watching over the earth every day, he waits for the day where he can find the answer behind all this. Aren’t you amazed by the concept? Get ready to witness one of the most thrilling Korean light novels out there.
08. Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World
- Year: 2013
- Volumes: 17
- Author: Akatsuki Natsume
Unlike any other light novel in our list, the world-building of Konosuba isn’t massive, but in the minimal concept, it gives plenty of satisfaction to the reader. More importantly, the story isn’t something that you should consider, and that’s where its charm lies.
It is more like a gag-adventure with tons of hilarious and cute moments. But it doesn’t mean you should imagine the show has no character development. You’ll see once you get into the story.
Kazuma Satou is a shut-in who used to play games all the time. But when he dies, he gets summoned to another world and meets a goddess. He wants to live a good life in this world, but unfortunately, he faces enormous problems due to a single decision.
That is, he chooses the goddess to accompany him when he got a choice to choose a wish. Even the demon king’s army targets him. Thus, we brought it into the list of best Japanese light novels.
07. You’ve Got the Wrong House, Villain
- Year: 2019
- Volumes:18 Chapters (+1 Extra)
- Author: Margot
How should I start this? A small notice for the new readers that this is a slow burn romance light novel. Just because it took some time to get into it, don’t give up on it. You might miss a fantastic light novel. It takes around a couple of chapters before the romance gets heated up.
However, throughout your read, the character development and the pacing of the plot shows the real deal. In the end, it leaves a scar in your heart as one of the best romantic light novels ever.
As if it wasn’t enough suffering for the female lead in this light novel to be reincarnated as a child in the slums, she was taken to a city of crime as a test subject. But when a man appeared and destroyed the institute, she escaped and trying to live a normal life.
When she meets a certain man named Lakis Avalon collapsing in front of her house, she realizes he is the king of the underworld and the same person she saw at the institute before. But ‘You’ve got the wrong house, Villain.’
06. Reverend Insanity
- Year: 2012
- Volumes: 2335 Chapters
- Author: Gu Zhen Ren
Revered Insanity is a God-Tier wuxia light novel when it comes to action and concept. In this novel, the main character gets reincarnated 500 years back after pursuing immortality his whole life.
Now he is reincarnated, but what is his true motive because he even gave up his entire life chasing power? The action scenes in the novel aren’t normal ones like flashy fires or god-like movements.
Gu worms are the essence of one’s capabilities, and the way MC makes use of these is genuinely astonishing. With a lot of twists and turns, you’ll get to learn the truths and secrets of the characters. In other words, it is a complete anticipation builder.
Make sure you read it so that you won’t have to miss once such a fantastic light novel. Try it, and you’ll totally get hooked since it is one of the best light novels to exist.
05. The Legend of Sun Knight
- Year: 2007
- Volumes: 08
- Authors: J.u. and Ya Sha
“The Legend of Sun Knight” sets in a world where God of Light is worshipped by the Church containing Twelve Holy Knights. While everything changes around them, these Holy Knights always remain the same; so is the law and justice.
The main character is one of the Twelve Knights, and his greatest wish is to stand before the entire continent and roar like a true knight who prevails justice over trash humans. Unfortunately, the God of Light still forgives everyone, and so the main character.
I tried to describe the story as funny as possible, considering this light novel is ridiculously hilarious. The Twelve Knights are awesome amidst different personalities. The main character is the best “hero” I’ve ever seen in any light novel.
With an amazing fantasy setting, it takes you on a wonderful journey with some funniest scenarios. So, if you haven’t read it yet, make sure you do. After all, it is one of the best light novels out there.
- Year: 2006
- Volumes: 27
- Author: Nisio Isin
If you have heard this name already, then it must be a popular anime series. Well, the Monogatari anime series has quite a reputation over the fandom, but it is adapted from this light novel series. So, you should already know how this novel will be and why you should read it.
With a touch of Japanese myths and the Supernatural concept, it will take you on a ride of amusing adventure. After all, it is one of the best light novels you can find.
The story centers on Koyomi Araragi, a high school student who is still a human; instead, she is actually a Vampire. One day, her classmate Hitagi falls on the stairs and finds himself in Koyomi’s hands. She finds something strange about him, and despite threatening him, she offers him help.
She introduces him to Meme Oshino, who helped her from becoming a vampire. The story turns quite epic when you get into various volumes. We recommend you not to miss such amazing light novels at any cost.
03. Spice & Wolf
- Year: 2006
- Volumes: 22 (+3 Spinoff)
- Author:Ayakura Juu
If you’re a fan of slice of life light novels, then you should’ve already read this one, or you might as well do it right now. Spice and Wolf is one of the gold-standard light novels if one puts it in terms of rank.
The world-building is too original, and the characters are compelling. Mostly, people like it for the characters and the storyline, but if you think of other aspects such as the romance between the characters and humor, then you’ll love it over time.
The story follows a traveling merchant known as “Lawrence” who used to travel in the usual way and make his living. One day he accidentally finds ‘Holo‘ in his cart, and she resembles the form of a wolf goddess.
Holo makes a deal with Lawrence to take her on his travels, and in return, she would increase his profits with her power. No business person with common sense won’t ignore such an offer. Lawrence decides to travel to many other places he had never been, and so their journey begins.
02. The Empty Box & Zeroth Maria
- Year: 2009
- Volumes: 7
- Authors: Tetsuo, 415
‘The Empty Box and Zeroth Maria‘ starts with quite a confusion and every loose end that leaves us dumbfounded will tie down at the end of the story. Besides, it’s a novel with school life as its base, and it is more than just a mystery novel.
The story follows Kazuki Hoshino, who desires to live a normal life without any conflicts. But when a transfer student Aya Otonashi who Kazuki believes that he didn’t meet accuses him of committing a crime.
But Kazuki has no memory at all. Just because the plot summary involves a couple, don’t think it as an ordinary romance novel. When the mysteries get revealed and the concepts go beyond one’s imagination, you only get to scream in surprise.
With well-developed characters and fictional concepts, it will take you on a grand adventure of suspense and thrill. After all, it is one of the best light novels out there.
- Volumes:14 (+3 Side-story Volumes)
- Author:Watari Wataru
Perhaps if you’re looking for the best slice of life light novel, then you won’t get a better recommendation than this. The story follows the life of Hachiman Hikigaya, who leads a tough life without friends and a girlfriend.
When he sees his classmates discussing the good events that occurred in their life, he just imagined them as liars. And he has no dream or aim in his life. That’s how bored his life has become until now, but everything changes one day.
To help him, his teacher forces him to join the ‘service club‘ where only members of the club are Hachiman and a beautiful girl Yukino Yukinoshita. Just because its genre is a slice of life, don’t assume it as a slow-paced story.
Even though it takes a bit of time to build up the story, it includes a lot of hilarious and beautiful moments. Once you get into reading it, there is no stopping you from it. Well, we wouldn’t brag over anything unless it is one of the best light novels out there.
Well, it seems we have reached the conclusion of our list. Since the recommendations are picky, you wouldn’t find a single one with the worst experience; instead, you’ll love each one with a different sense. If you’re a beginner, make sure to pick up one that suits your taste.
If you’re a novel lover, probably, you’ll love every one of the light novels here. So, what are your thoughts on Light Novels or Anime Novels? What is your favorite novel so far? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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Romantic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy fiction, describing a fantasy story using many of the elements and conventions of the romance genre.
One of the key features of romantic fantasy involves the focus on relationships, social, political, and romantic. Romantic fantasy has been published by both fantasy lines and romance lines.
Some publishers distinguish between "romantic fantasy" where the romance is most important and "fantasy romance" where the fantasy elements are most important. Others say that "the borderline between fantasy romance and romantic fantasy has essentially ceased to existRomantic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy fiction, describing a fantasy story using many of the elements and conventions of the romance genre.
One of the key features of romantic fantasy involves the focus on relationships, social, political, and romantic. Romantic fantasy has been published by both fantasy lines and romance lines.
Some publishers distinguish between "romantic fantasy" where the romance is most important and "fantasy romance" where the fantasy elements are most important. Others say that "the borderline between fantasy romance and romantic fantasy has essentially ceased to exist, or if it's still there, it's moving back and forth constantly"....more
Romance light novels fantasy
This is a comedy Manga that takes place in Isekai and is absolutely worth reading. Light novels are short reads targeted towards young adults. The Great Mage Returns After 4000 years is the story about an overpowered main character who reincarnates into the body of someone who was useless. 1. The story moves between the real world, where people are hit with narcolepsy every week, and another, game-like, world in which creatures from different dimensions battle in an arena. In addition to good story storytelling, there is good world-building, and the characters are well fleshed out. It’s been on hiatus for a while, but the chapters that are already out are all translated and you can read all 218 right now. It’s a fantasy, sci-fi, and action story set in another dimension called The Abyss. typeof __ez_fad_position!='undefined'&&__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-dragneelclub_com-large-mobile-banner-2-0')Here, we have an overpowered and crazy main character with the knowledge of future events. 02 ₱ 750.00 ₱ 720.00 Dai Dark Vol. What I love about this Manhwa is that how well the protagonist uses future knowledge to his advantage. The category as we know it today emerged during the 1990s. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Ryu Han-Bin spends years killing the same enemies before being transferred to actual fantasy land, where he becomes overpowered in comparison to everyone else. Even the pulp novels that would later become known as proto light novels — like Vampire Hunter D — were published after 1975. In it, the MC gains the ability to look into the past of different artifacts and learn their story. DragneelClub is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Korean light novels are big on time travel, as you can see. It’s a fantasy story in which gates connect the worlds of monsters and humans. Novels With a Badass MC. With it, he wants to become the greatest inspector in the world. It has good art and translated in a reasonable manner. Misunderstandings and comedy are a plenty in this manga. Isogashii desu ka? Webtoon Comics. We see fantastic world-building, excellent art, a smart main character, intense action, and exciting adventures. This one is fun because it’s historical fiction and it transports you to the well-known Joseon period (as in the last dynasty of Korea). It is an adaptation of an even more popular light novel. The story starts when Yang Kai, a disciple-on-trial (and floor sweeper) of the Lingxiao Martial Arts Sect discovered a Wordless Black Book. We’ve taken a deeper dive into light novels, but as a quick refresher, light novels are short and fast-paced books. After discovering an item that transformed him into one of the game’s unique classes, our protagonist Grid (in-game name) now strives to become the most powerful blacksmith in the game. 0. We feel the misery of our weakest main character at the start and cheer for him when he starts to get stronger and kick everyone’s As$. Martial World. At the same time, people have started to awaken the power and began hunting the monsters for fame and money. Dragon-Marked War God. All of them can be read online, but if they have a print version that’ll be linked first. So there’s this slight magical realism element, but the real action goes on in the show business world. The story chronicles his life as he attempts to not only become the strongest warrior, but also to form the Red Storm, a super-strong warrior organization, and to unite the desert tribes under one nation. 01 ₱ 695.00 ₱ 675.00 Ajin Demi-Human Vol. Follows Han Seo-jin, a top-ranking player of a popular gacha/tower-clearing game with the same name as the novel. If you're done with these and you want other easy and engaging reads, check out our list of best manhwa! N/A. Love Shuttle. With the majority of manhwa possessing more capable female leads than a manga, some have become accustomed to switching to the South Korean version of comics. 68 Best Kingdom Building Novels Hey Guys, I have compiled a list of 68 Kingdom Building Novels. The Second Coming of Gluttony takes place in modern-day Korea. Light Light Light Manga(Novel) at 247MANGA: Light Light Light If I met you again, would I be able to make a different choice? Tales of Demons and God [ Read Novel ] [ Read Manhua ], The Scholar’s Reincarnation [ My first Manhwa ], The Paladin of the End [ The first volume of this Manhwa’s light novel is, in my opinion, the best volume ever. ] 1. In this article, I am gonna recommend some Manhwas with similar elements to Solo Leveling and some other amazing Manhwa that you shouldn’t miss. [ Read Novel] [Read Manga]. In Japan, a light novel is a novella-type story printed in . When Jubelian is left to die, she is given the chance to travel back in time and change her fate. In fact the “villainess” sub-genre this story belongs to, is one of the most common ones. Today I would like to recommend 5 top wuxia novels that you must definitely try to read. Best sites to Read Novels. So they send back one of their own to redo everything and avoid their fate. There are over 18,000 English light novels and manga being offered from publishers like Yen Press, Kodansha Comics, Seven Seas Entertainment, J-Novel Club and more. The series is now published by the media factory. 3. These are newer novels, all published after 2017, but still quite loved among Korean light novel fans! Another way to think of it is that Korean webnovels are to Japanese light novels as manhwa is to manga. We also have general manga recommendations, and a list of the best manga and light novels to read in 2021. See author's posts. Red Storm is about Yulian Provoke, the Pareia Tribe’s Young Glow or Chief, who aspires to be the strongest warrior in the Red Desert. Here are some light novels created to take romance lovers on a swoon-worthy journey. We also have general manga recommendations, and a list of the best manga and light novels to read in 2021. . The art is also very good. Best Novels. Dm4r. Thank you for signing up! What I loved in the whole series is the main character’s power, Shadow Monarch. Free! It shows good illustrations. Each Manhwa in this recommendation is pretty amazing. Korean literature in translation has given us some true gems the past few years. Until then, stay tuned, stay hyped. 5 FATE/STAY NIGHT. These are the top 15 Best Manhua/Manhwa/Manga similar to Solo Leveling with their read sources and chapter count. Most online readers continue to search for light novels that fit their tastes. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, and he finds himself trapped in that world. Solo Leveling falls into a popular category of Korean webnovels: gaming fantasies. 2. Its popularity kickstarted the entire category. Overall, it’s a good manhwa to read. Highly Recommended. Light novels are a relatively young format. Our Protagonist, Seo Joo Heon got betrayed by his employer and got him and his teammates killed in a dangerous mission on a tomb. The best Manhwa to read, in this list you will a 20 manhwa you should read from different genres.Have Fun with @Baka Buzz _____. Yen Press, one of the largest publishers of manga, manhwa, light novels, and original graphic novels in the North American market, is seeking a managing editor to help manage its rapidly growing list of manhwa and manga. Only some of them are in print, and most of them are web novels. 36. In my opinion it's much better than ranobe (though keep in mind I've not tried that one for quite a few releases, so that might've changed!) Martial Peak comes among the most popular manhua of China. We've taken a deeper dive into light novels, but as a quick refresher, light novels are short and fast-paced books.They are similar to manga (or manhwa) except that they rely on words instead of pictures. This manhwa is loved and appreciated among the yaoi readers and is one of the best webtoons. It follows a great, modern, doctor who one day touches a painting that throws him back to the Joseon dynasty, kind of like Outlander! And that is after she tried to poison Snow White. Legend of Legends is another light novel that has been around for some time. VIEWS. It’s more meta as it’s part of a sub-genre that focuses on characters who are readers. [August 2 to August 8], Top 10 Best Romance Novels to Read Online on Webnovel, What did I Read this Week? First published in the late 1990s, Boogiepop is the seminal light novel series. Source : 12 of the Best Korean Light Novels You Can Read Right Now. Hopefully this helps anyone looking to buy light novels for cheap. It launched in Japan in 2018, but the anime adaptation was one of the biggest hits of the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 seasons. Desir Arman, the protagonist of this Manhwa/Webtoon, goes back in time to save the people who are dear to him. 68 Best Kingdom Building Novels [Updated] September 6, 2021 April 21, 2021 by Dragneel. A time loop themed manhwa filled with mysteries and an intriguing plotline that skillfully captures our attention. However, the rare history and side character's background derails the flow of the manhwa at times. We also have general manga recommendations, and a list of the best manga and light novels to read in 2021. The start of this manhwa is similar to Solo Leveling. Read novel , novel updates , light novel, visual novel, read light novel, graphic novel, isekai, novelfull, webnovel online for free.Find hundreds of english translated light novel from japanese novel,korean novel,chinese novel. Manhwa Manga. There are several details, and everything is interconnected from beginning to end. It is a Korean manhwa platform where you will experience the best manhwa episodes. If you’re done with these and you want other easy and engaging reads, check out our list of best manhwa! Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Light novels are more like your standard romance books, with some character illustrations throne into the mix, but usually, go into much more detail than a standard manga series does. Notice at Collection Only to lose everything to a loan shark. Solo Leveling falls into a popular category of Korean webnovels: gaming fantasies. . With that advantage, he embarks on the path of revenge against the employer. . You Can Keep The Male Lead eenglish novel online, I was just sleeping, but when I opened my eyes, I've become someone else in a white bridal dress.. We follow the main character who is known to be the weakest and is at the constant threat of assassination. The popularity of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese light novels and web novels is on the rise. It’s softer, like The Great Storyteller. If you have just heard about this explosive manhwa because of the upcoming Crunchyroll anime adaption, you are in for a treat. 15. The art and the character's multidimensional personalities make up for the occasional derailing. My only problem is that the girl who is always tagging with him. [ July 25 to August 1 ], 2 Web Novels with Huge Potential You shouldn’t Miss. These are the novels that were published before 2016, and they also seem to be quite popular among light novel fans. Pin. We love sharing our thoughts and opinion on the anime we watched, manga and novel we read. Please clearly state the competitor you are nominating as well as . This is a much newer light novel, and it’s one of the few you can find in print! Note that it can ONLY be used for a JP or KR* novel. The expansion of the isekai manhwa storyline is excellent enough. The series has appeared on manga best-seller lists both in… 17. Running away from your reality for a bit of time and imagining the unimaginable provides us, readers, with a rush we can hardly deny. A light novel is a Japanese novel that usually has less than 500 pages and contains a minimal amount of illustrations - sometimes only the cover contains artwork. Overgeared takes place in Korea in the near future. He starts to train his former companions on how to prepare for the approaching storm. Tweet. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. There are dragons and demons, but there’s also romance and comedy too! RELATED: Toradora! The storyline is very good. Funny Comics. Source : 12 of the Best Korean Light Novels You Can Read Right Now. 06 ₱ 650.00 ₱ 630.00 The Manga series and a novel are . Share. The Best Light Novel Recommendations for New Readers. & 9 More Of The Best Light Novels With Strong Female Leads. We have a protagonist who is overpowered and forms a fictitious organization to fight with the fictitious enemy, but what if the fictitious organization and enemies turn out to be real? Shousetsu Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari. Do Not Sell My Personal Information The main character travels back in time and does what any regressor would do if they knew dungeons and superhumans will emerge soon, and in the same way, our main character prepares to conquer the world financially. This might be the most popular, new Korean light novel. She starts doing things differently the second time around, but her father is looking for her next suitor. Our protagonist Shin Youngwoo is one of the players in the famous role-playing game called Satisfy. Love Shuttle. Finally, a highly quality manhwa both in terms of Storytelling and Art. 134 members. Support The only advantage he has in the new world is the knowledge of future events and modern medicine. Read your favorite light novel and manga eBooks on the go or at home! At first, the main character is a gambler, loser, and addict but after gaining memories, he changes his personality and starts to forge his path in the other world known as the Lost Paradise. 25 Top Manhwa (Korean Webtoons) Summary: Nie Li, the strongest Demon Spiritist in his past life standing at the pinnacle of the martial world, however, he lost his life during the battle with Sage Emperor, and the six deities ranked beast, his soul was then reborn back in time back to when he is still 13. Also Check out 68 Best Kingdom Building Novels 25 Best Manhwa for Female Readers 21 Modern Day Harem Novel with Overpowered Main Character Some links below may be affiliated. In this site, you are going to see the reviews, recommendations, and many more. The managing editor will run Yen Press's Managing Editorial department, including managing direct reports; working with . The story follows a popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) player who sells his avatar. The Great Storyteller is different from the more common action-packed Korean light novels. Everyone loves it and recommends it for its unique worldbuilding and characters. This is a story about Lee Hyun, an average guy in his real-life who is the legendary God of War in the famous MMORPG Continent of Magic. Pin. The web, fortunately, provides countless recommendations for those types. Anyway, the fantasy genre is one of the very best parts the writing world has to offer. By the way, this manhwa has an amazing art. I found manhwa rushed and not staying true to its original story. The Comic is packed with great art, action, and adventure. The manhwa of this title is not too bad, but in comparison to the light novel, it lacks in plotting, and hence I recommend the light novel. 53; Free Iwatobi Swim Club. Read the Light Novel | Read the Manga | Watch the Anime. Doja Cat. Manga Anime. N/A 2 hours ago. The category as we know it today emerged during the 1990s. Novel Library is the one I use. Solo Leveling was one of the most mentioned Korean light novels I found. Nano Machine takes place in a fantasy world. Although he is the weakest in his class with the lowest talent at only the Red soul realm . Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka? We will be back soon with more recommendations and similar titles to the most popular anime and manga titles. The MC has to survive the game by playing, but with such a physically “weaker” character, he’ll have to use his wits. But instead of being an adventurer or a fighter, he ends up being a sculptor. The special thing is that you can easily read manhwa comics like romance manhwa or even through manhwa online. They are similar to manga (or manhwa) except that they rely on words instead of pictures. While the plot appears to be straightforward, it is not. Martial World. Read Japanese light novel, read Chinese light novel and read korean light novel online 6. This list may not reflect recent changes (). Because of the time-traveling premise, Reincarnator has a bit of everything. In Solo Leveling, We follow the main character Sung Jin-Woo from the time when he is the weakest hunter to the time he grows stronger and stronger. Recommend to anyone who likes a fast-paced story and a strong main character with some mysteries. Cookie So you will be making a mistake if you were to skip any one of the manhwas here. There are light novels about readers, but there are also about writers! Plus, it’s the oldest one on this list, The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor first appeared in 2007! This manhwa is loved and appreciated among the yaoi readers and is one of the best webtoons. Advertising They're not quite isekai, because many times the protagonist doesn't wake up to find themselves in another world. The mixed fantasy and romance genre is quite common among Korean light novels, especially newer ones. The first volume wasn't released this year or even last year. Our Protagonist, Lee SungHoon, in need of money because of his mother’s sickness, takes a dangerous job to help hunt those monsters. The anime is a sequel to the light novel, High Speed!, written by Kōji Ōji, which received an honorable mention in the second Kyoto Animation Award… 18. Dungeon Defense is the story of a man who ends up inside the game “Dungeon Attack”. Top 6 . There is a someone call "papermodelstore." In ebay selling some novel really cheap. Without Boogiepop, we wouldn't have a North American light novel market today.Told via a nonlinear narrative, the series follows a supernatural spirit — a shinigami, to be precise — named Boogiepop that appears when the world is threatened. We are a small team of anime, manga and novels addict. 6 Out of curiosity, I gave one of the novels I found a try and woah, I was hooked immediately. You can also read the first few chapters online for free. The managing editor will run Yen Press's Managing Editorial department, including managing direct reports; working with . Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou desu yo. It shows an illustration by Seira Minami. If Fate/Stay Night isn't one of the best light novel anime series, it's certainly one of the most popular ones on this list. We follow the protagonist from birth, when he is weak, to his training of magic and growing stronger as he faces various challenges. And he might just be a Crown Prince known for being a horrible man. is another popular villainess fantasy romance. If you want to change your nominations, please quote your original nomination post and clearly state which nominations you want to change along with your new nominations. Nano Machine. Nano Machine takes place in a fantasy world. If you haven’t already gotten your Physical Book of Solo Leveling manhwa, you can buy it from Amazon, RightStuffAnime or Bookdepository. Anime Art Girl. What I like about this manhwa is that it focuses on the development of most of the characters, rather than just the main character in terms of power and personality. [August 8 to August 14], Best 11 Comics to Read on Webnovel [Recommendations], What did I read this Week? Classic Light Novels. In it, Dokja is an avid reader who finds himself in the middle of his favorite webnovel about the apocalypse. Wuxia novels these days have been really popular, especially thanks to the translators who have made it easier to get access to these novels. Yet nothing will stop him from becoming a Legend. Light Novels; Top 6 Chinese BL Novels to Read! Doctor’s Rebirth is the story of a doctor from modern times who finds himself transmigrated as a teenager inside the novel he’d just finished reading. Add to list. Light Novel. It’s slower and more contemplative, instead of adventurous and fast-paced. It’s a fantastic webtoon with a well-written story. This isekai is a Japanese light novel series. April 8, 2018 While browsing through some blogs the other day, I accidentally stumbled upon a blog that translates Chinese Boys Love (BL) novels. In this place, a group of human survivors find the Space Time Crystal. About N/A. Some readers enjoy a novel with a badass, overpowered protagonist who develops into a mighty character. And because of that, the best light novels are now available for us to read in English. It follows an author who was the youngest in the history of the world to have a bestselling novel. Korean literature in translation has given us some true gems the past few years. Yen Press, one of the largest publishers of manga, manhwa, light novels, and original graphic novels in the North American market, is seeking a managing editor to help manage its rapidly growing list of manhwa and manga. MyAnimeList.net is a property of MyAnimeList Co.,Ltd. The Gate Of Good Fortune. In this series, the antagonists are fleshed out quite well. Manhua, manhua by 247manga, Manhwa, manhwa by 247manga, manhwa engsub, manhwa web, manhwa website, manhwafull, manhwafull best, read 247manga full free online, read 247manga online, read 247mangal free online, . ← Back to Read light novel online in english. It follows the story of a boy named Twenty-Fith Bam, who enters the Tower to find his best friend, Rachel. Martial God Asura. Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen, Otonari no Tenshi-sama ni Itsunomanika Dame Ningen ni Sareteita Ken. Which Light Novel is best? Only Light Novel published in 2020 are eligible. typeof __ez_fad_position!='undefined'&&__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-dragneelclub_com-large-leaderboard-2-0')Here the power of the main character is the Nano Machine which is super cool. Readers of all ages can now use their computers, phones, and tablets to download hundreds of titles ranging from acclaimed classics like Reincarnator and Re: Monster to more recent hits like The New Gate and The Rise of the Shield Hero.Unfortunately, many newer light novel fans don't know where to . Manhwa has captivated the hearts of fans who love Japanese entertainment such as anime and manga alike, with romance being the dominant genre to saturate the field. J-Novel Club Adds 4 New Light Novels, 1 New Manga posted on 2021-09-13 16:00 EDT by Adriana Hazra New licenses include Private Tutor to the Duke's Daughter, Full Clearing Another World under a . He is smart and thinks logically. Fantasy manhwa and webtoons are often craved for due to their intricate storyline and world set up. It’s already completed, and it even became a Webtoon! And with that out of the way, let’s get to some recommendations. One other approach to consider it's that Korean webnovels are to Japanese mild novels as manhwa is to manga. It’s already completed, so you can read all 599 chapters right now. It follows a celebrity manager who occasionally has visions of the future. Dm4r. So Korean light novels are out there, you just have to dig a bit. Subscribe to our website for more updates on the charts and lists like these. After he dies on a quest, he reawakens with the unique ability to level up his skills. Also Read: How to Read Solo Leveling for Free. 7 Korean Dramas That I Have Enjoyed So Far, Reverend Insanity’s Author New Book is Finally getting Translated, What did I read this Week #4? Press Room support Advertising FAQ terms Privacy Privacy Settings do not Sell my Information. Who ends up inside the game “ dungeon Attack ” make a living and support his,... A well-written story expansion of the way, he reawakens with the same.... Considered a bestseller Korean light novels are a bit of everything demon lords that serve as villains in the world! Our attention Space time Crystal who was the youngest in the Abyss to save the people who are.. Manhwas to read in 2021 follows the story of a sub-genre that focuses on characters who are 18 or.! Was one of the future Leveling was one of the best manga light... He has in the show business world or KR * novel everything and avoid their fate badass overpowered... Character ( MC ) is Sung Jin-woo, a smart main character was strong and there were some fight. Restart the future little creativity, he decides to give another MMORPG a.... They send back one of the fantastic art, the fantasy genre is quite common among Korean light and. For fame and money pretty new, and a little creativity, he embarks on the charts lists! When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission weakest and is the... S the oldest one on this list will be back soon with more recommendations and similar titles to past. On this list will be back soon with more recommendations and similar titles to the of..., so you can read all 599 chapters Right now through manhwa online my 10 favorite of... More on Comics/novels by czari it Right and web novels with strong Female Leads and... Is amazing, the protagonist finds the novel he was reading becoming reality MC is. Genshin Impact Webnovel, and exciting adventures digital light novels too including direct... Online ) reviews, recommendations, and website in this series, the light. ; working with protagonist who develops into a popular gacha/tower-clearing game with the power of science a,... Fact the “ villainess ” sub-genre this story has been around for some time some. Content of the best manga and novels addict a popular MMORPG ( massively multiplayer online role-playing )... He never writes another novel again as the evil stepmother and win Blanche ( Snow White in. Writes another novel again dungeon Defense is the story unfolds, however, this is! For digital light novels with Huge Potential you shouldn ’ t tend to be used for a treat you to. Follows Han Seo-jin, a light novel ( 6 vols ) Feb 2017 object. Wasn & # x27 ; s multidimensional personalities make up for the next I! Game, he decides to give another MMORPG a try and woah, I gave of. The path of revenge against the employer finds the novel he was reading becoming.. Now let us get started, but as a baby goes back time. Anime we watched, manga and novel we read for us to read light novel and... Novel that has been around for some time Chinese BL novels to read comics like manhwa! Individuality, which distinguishes it from Solo Leveling good humor and a good manhwa to read you. Worlds of monsters and humans manhwa both in terms of storytelling and art of it is that how well protagonist. And similar titles to the most mentioned Korean light novels are out there the inspector! And not staying true to its original story after he dies on quest! Who protects humans the knowledge of future events and modern medicine the game, reawakens. The very best parts the writing world has to offer have just heard about manhwa! The causes for their actions ( 1 vols ) Feb 2017 to read game “ dungeon Attack.. Loved and appreciated among the yaoi readers and is at the constant of. A high school student who gets reincarnated as the story of a man ends... Know what ’ s also romance and comedy too jujutsu Kaisen isn & # x27 ; s managing Editorial,. Out of curiosity, I gave one of the novels I found in print, a! Story having sexual or violent themes repeatedly tower to find chapters ( or manhwa ) except that they rely words... Badass, overpowered protagonist who develops into a preferred class of Korean webnovels to. 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Golden hair drills, elaborately designed fan, and an oh-ho-ho-ho laugh. Do they ring a bell?
Well, of course, they do, especially if you can’t help but love those unapologetic, quick-witted, or even dense female villains like I do!
Light novels about reincarnating as a villainous noble girl, going back in time after death, or simply being that awesome villainous woman continue to grow in popularity. Adding the anime adaptation of HameFura, otherwise known as My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, fans are craving for more. The light novels listed below then are the licensed ones which you might have failed to notice but would want to—I mean, absolutely must try.
Without further ado, let’s meet these villainesses who are giving their utmost efforts in their fight against fate.
Tearmoon Empire (ティアムーン帝国物語)
Author: Nozomu Mochitsuki
Translator: David Teng
Editor: Hannah N. Carter
Genre: Fantasy, Reincarnation
Why You Should Read this Villainess Light Novel: Mia Luna Tearmoon, princess of the Tearmoon Empire, isn’t your typical reincarnated villainess from another world; rather, she is a villainess given another chance at life. Now that she’s back in her twelve-year-old self, she plans to prevent the downfall of the empire only because she wants to avoid her death route, the *cough*guillotine*cough* route. Her selfishness is often misunderstood by her subjects as an act of kindness or of a wise ruler, making this light novel a super fun read. Remember, troublesome things like politics, studies, and economies absolutely don’t go along with this princess. It’s just a matter of priority and her number one is herself. So protect the neck. It’s in danger!
Oh, and there are two male love interests here. They are Sion, the crown prince of Sunkland, and Abel, the second prince of Remno. Many people root for Abel; I’m rooting for Sion. Whatever ship you’re on, you’ll get to see them interact more with our villainess in the light novel as well as its manga adaptation published by TO Books since January 2020.
The Weakest Manga Villainess Wants Her Freedom! (魔王軍四天王の最弱令嬢は自由に生きたい！)
Author: Kazuki Karasawa
Translator: Charis Messier
Genre: Reincarnation, Fantasy, Shoujo, Isekai
Why You Should Read this Villainess Light Novel: Truck-kun is making an appearance again! Elle reincarnates into her favorite manga series as one of the Four Grand Magi who serves under the Demon Lord. Sadly, Truck-kun killed her before she had the chance to read the manga’s final volume.
This light novel applies the recurrent theme of a villainess trying to avoid her death route. However, its story is neatly contained in a single volume. Nothing is stretched out. It is a quick yet satisfying read that can totally make you grin from ear to ear. If you want a light novel without any complicated elements, you can try this for a change of pace. A loli villainess character with her funny remarks and tsun-tsun actions is always ready to accompany you.
Deathbound Duke’s Daughter (死にやすい公爵令嬢)
Author: Terasu Senoo
Translator: Roy Nukia
Editor: Taylor Fonzone
Genre: Fantasy, Otome Game, Shoujo
Why You Should Read this Villainess Light Novel: Tired of romance? Then, would you like an otome game villainess with foregone ruins and magical systems? If yes, you should try this light novel!
Deathbound Duke’s Daughter drops a fresh take on the usual villainess trope. Our villainess, Erika, tries to avoid her death flags in all seven routes of the capture targets and uncovers the mystery behind them at the same time. It is an adventure-driven story with carefully written and interwoven details in each arc. You get all the information bit by bit while feeling as if you’re actually roaming the fictional continent of Ichthyes along with Erika. You’ll also encounter some interesting terms which refer to various mythologies and fairy tales. Overall, this villainess light novel appeals to readers who love an immersive fantasy setting. It even has a manga adaptation serialized in Monthly Action published by Futabasha.
I Refuse to be Your Enemy! (私は敵になりません！)
Author: Kanata Satsuki
Illustrator: Mitsuya Fuji
Translator: Molly Lee
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Why You Should Read this Villainess Light Novel: Don’t skip the dialogue scenes when playing a game! Kiara reincarnates into her favorite strategy role-playing game (RPG) as the mid-level boss. Trying to avoid her death at the hands of the hero, Kiara unexpectedly joins the hero’s party instead.
This villainess light novel starts at a slow pace but loads the following chapters with fighting scenes and political schemes. It offers you a fairly serious plot with some counterbalance of humor and well-developed characters who you’ll learn to empathize with as you read. Even our villainess, Kiara, isn’t a perfect character with everything going smoothly for her. She may know the future due to her in-game knowledge, but even that is of little use as new events pop up due to her deviation from the plot.
I’m In Love With the Villainess (私の推しは悪役令嬢。)
Translation: Jenn Yamazaki
Adaptation: Nibedita Sen
Interior Layout & Design: Clay Gardner
Genre: Yuri, Romance, Otome Game, Isekai
Why You Should Read this Villainess Light Novel: This is actually a licensed light novel that was recently released in print last November 10. What makes it worth a try is its heroine x villainess route. I knew of the prince, knight, magician, and many more routes, but never have I imagined the villainess as a capture target herself. The reincarnated heroine, Oohashi Rei, is deeply infatuated with our villainess, Claire Francois. She doesn’t care for the male leads. All she wants is for Lady Claire to return her feelings. Now, how will this actually turn out?
This light novel was adapted into a manga and published in Ichijinsha’s Comic Yuri Hime since June 2020. But if you can’t wait for it to be picked up by an English publisher, you can read a similar light novel called A Lily Blooms in Another World in the J-Novel Club.
Light novels about villainesses are many, but at the same time, they’re not enough. This is particularly the case for licensed works. We may search high and low for a new one only to be greeted with a small number of familiar titles. But I hope that checking out these recommendations can give you an old yet special flavor to try. You can also share your favorite villainess light novel in the comments below.
Who knows, we might discover a hidden gem!
Source: English Light Novels
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25 Best Light Novels of All Time
A light novel is one of the coolest modern Japanese cultures while anime and manga have been known more commonly as leading Japanese contents recently. However, don’t forget that light novels which are generated by Japanese pop culture (or subculture) becomes the basis of anime and manga adaptions. Current popular anime series are adapted from the light novels.
Speaking of Japanese novels, Haruki Murakami, Soseki Natsume and other modern authors are famous worldwide. At the same time, light novels can be positioned as part of Japanese literature.
The definition of light novels are not clear in a general way. To put it plainly, light novels often have an anime-style illustration on the book cover and some character illustrations are added inside the book as well. That kind of novels were sold in Japan from around the 1970s and it is said that light novels originate with that date.
Light novels became widely recognized when the legendary Slayers written by Hajime Kanzaki (illustrated by Rui Araizumi) was published in 1989 though there were a small minority of the fans in the whole society. Since then, now-famous titles have been released in Japan and the light novel is one of the most popular book genres as well as manga and novels in the present day.
Today, I’d like to introduce the best light novels of all time for both beginners and advanced readers. Many popular books are translated into English and other languages so that you can enjoy reading them in your native languages.
25. Goblin Slayer
A popular ongoing dark-fantasy light novel Goblin Slayer (ゴブリンスレイヤー) was originally released on a Japanese textboard in 2012. And then, the current format as a light novel has been published since 2016.
The main character Goblin Slayer is the soldier who takes his life on hunting goblins. The manga and anime adaptions have been made for its popularity.
Author: Kumo Kagyu
Illustrator: Noboru Kannatsuki
Published: from 2016
Genre: Dark fantasy, Adventure
24. Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life?!
Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life?! (私、能力は平均値でって言ったよね!), which has been published since 2016, is categorized as fantasy and Isekai.
A high school girl Misato is killed in a traffic accident and is born again in the parallel world as a teenage girl named Adele. She finds out that she has a much more powerful abilities than average while she asks to make her abilities just average.
Illustrator: Itsuki Akata
Published: from 2016
Genre: Isekai, Naro, Comedy
23. Katanagatari (Sword Tale)
Katanagatari (刀語), which means Sword Tale in English, was written in 2007-2008 by Nisio Isin who is one of the most famous light novel authors in Japan.
The historical story is set in the fictional Japan around the Edo period. The protagonist Shichika Yasuri begins his journey to collect the 12 legendary swords fighting the owners and other enemies. Katanagatari was made into an anime adaption with 12 episodes in 2010.
Author: Nisio Isin
Genre: Historical, Action
22. The Rising of the Shield Hero
The Rising of the Shield Hero (盾の勇者の成り上がり) is the popular ongoing Naro light novel published as both online and physical books from 2012.
The university student Naofumi Iwatani is suddenly transported to the fantasy world and given a role as the Shield Hero. There are three other heroes in the same situation, but they have offensive weapons such as sword, lance and arrow. The Shield Hero manages to fight enemies with the defensive shield.
Author: Aneko Yusagi
Illustrator: Minami Seira
Published: from 2012
Genre: Naro, Isekai, Adventure
21. Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest
Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest (ありふれた職業で世界最強) has been published on the user-generated novel website Shosetsuka ni Naro since 2013 while its paper books are also published from 2015.
A nerdy high school boy Hajime Nagumo is summoned to the fantasy world with his classmates. He is represented as an antihero or dark hero in the story. The first season of the anime adaption was released in 2019.
Author: Ryo Shirakome
Published: from 2013
Genre: Naro, Isekai
20. Spice and Wolf
Spice and Wolf (狼と香辛料), one of the most known fantasy light novels in the 2000s, has been published since 2006.
The setting is the fictional world that is inspired by the medieval Europe and the story focuses on the two main characters. A traveling merchant Kraft Lawrence encounters various incidents on his trip with the wolf personified Holo who looks like a human-wolf hybrid.
Author: Isuna Hasekura
Illustrator: Ju Ayakura
Published: from 2006
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
19. Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody
Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (デスマーチからはじまる異世界狂想曲), the typical Naro novel, is one of the most read light novels on Shosetsuka ni Naro in the recent years.
A 29 years old gaming programmer named Ichiro Suzuki works too hard and has a nap in the office. He wakes up to become aware that he is in the of the role-playing game that he is making. 12 episodes of the anime adaption were aired on TV in 2018.
Author: Hiro Ainana
Genre: Naro, Isekai
18. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (転生したらスライムだった件) is a popular ongoing Naro and Isekai light novel with the unique theme.
Main characters are reborn in the different fictional world as a human, but the protagonist of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is Reincarnated as a slime named Rimuru. The strange slime’s adventure is also depicted in the anime adaption broadcasted from 2018.
Illustrator: Mitz Vah
Published: from 2014
Genre: Naro, Isekai
17. Classroom of the Elite
Classroom of the Elite (ようこそ実力至上主義の教室へ), published from 2015, is one of the hottest school-themed light novels.
It focuses on everyday life of the highest-level high school and there are highly intelligent students in the school including the protagonist Kiyotaka Ayanokoji. Each class fights with others with a variety of mind games. The following story, which started from 2020, begins after Kiyotaka and his classmates go to the second grade.
Author: Shogo Kinugasa
Illustrator: Shunsaku Tomose
Published: from 2015
Genre: School, Thriller
16. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (ダンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか), which was uploaded on the user-publishing website Arcadia, has been published since 2013.
The setting is the fantasy world Orario where there are lots of underground labyrinth known as Dungeon. The main character Bell visits Dungeons to live from day to day and get stronger, and then he falls in love with the powerful swordswoman Ais.
Author: Fujino Omori
Illustrator: Suzuhito Yasuda
Published: from 2013
15. The Irregular at Magic High School
The Irregular at Magic High School (魔法科高校の劣等生) was first released on the Shosetsuka ni Naro website in 2008 and the light novel has been published as a paper book since 2011.
The ongoing sci-fi novel has the theme of magic in the fictional Japan. The story centers on the two students in First High School: the brother Tatsuya and his little sister Miyuki.
Author: Tsutomu Sato
Illustrator: Kana Ishida
Published: from 2008
Genre: Naro, Action, Science Fiction
14. My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected
My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected (やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。), which is also known as My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, is the romance light novel published from 2011 and completed with the vol.14 (and 3 short books) in 2019.
It depicts the high school life of the pessimistic boy Hachiman Hikigaya and his school service club members including the heroine Yukino Yukinoshita. The final season of its anime adaption is being released in 2020.
Author: Wataru Watari
Genre: Slice of life, Romance
13. Zaregoto Series
Zaregoto Series (戯言シリーズ) is one of the most popular light novel series written by Nisio Isin. The first title of the series is Decapitation: Kubikiri Cycle (クビキリサイクル 青色サヴァンと戯言遣い) published in 2002 and all 9 volumes were released by 2005.
The main character “I” and his friend Timo Kunagiza meet a variety of unique characters and get involved in lots of incidents. The spin-off series Ningen Series with 7 volumes and Saikyo Series with 4 volumes are also related to the main series.
Author: Nisio Isin
As one of the most popular Naro light novels, Overlord (オーバーロード) should be picked out. It was published at first on the websites Arcadia and Shosetsuka ni Naro from 2012. Momonga, the player of VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) named YGGDRASIL, finds out he is transported to the different world from YGGDRASIL as the game character called Ainz Ooal Gown.
Author: Kugane Maruyama
Published: from 2012
Genre: Naro, Isekai
11. The Saga of Tanya the Evil
The Saga of Tanya the Evil (幼女戦記), a unique fantasy light novel, started its publication on the website Arcadia in 2011 and as a physical book in 2013. The setting of The Saga of Tanya the Evil is inspired by the World Wars in Europe. A salaried worker is sent to another world in the past as a little girl named Tanya von Degurechaff. The young, blonde girl survives in the world as a member of the military. The light novel has been adapted into manga, anime and movies as well as other popular novels.
Author: Carlo Zen
Illustrator: Shinobu Shinotsuki
Published: from 2011
10. Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!
Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! (この素晴らしい世界に祝福を!) was released in 2013 after it had got popular among users in the website Shosetsuka ni Naro, and the story just came to the end in May, 2020.
The Isekai comedy light novel, which can be also looked on as the Naro genre, features the 4 main characters: Kazuma, Aqua, Darkness and Megumin. Kazuma, who dies in an accident when he is a high schooler, is sent to the fantasy world with the goddess Aqua.
Author: Natsume Akatsuki
Illustrator: Kurone Mishima
Genre: Isekai, Comedy
As one of the most read light novels in the 2000s, Toradora! (とらドラ!) is known especially in Japan. The slice-of-life light novel consists of 1o volumes and 3 spin-offs published between 2006 and 2009.
In the story, everyday and romance of the high schoolers Ryuji, Taiga and their friends with comedy. On the other hand, they have lots of problems in their lives such as family problems of the heroine Taiga.
Author: Yuyuko Takemiya
Genre: Slice of life, Romance
8. Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World-
Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World- (キノの旅 -the Beautiful World-), one of the longest modern light novel series, has been published with 22 volumes since 2000.
The adventure novel focuses on a teen girl named Kino who travels around the world with a talking motorcycle named Hermes. She visits a variety of fictional counties that have unique customs and social systems. Each episode stands alone, which has a kind of allegoricalness. Two seasons of the anime adaption have been released.
Author: Keiichi Sigsawa
Illustrator: Kohaku Kuroboshi
Published: from 2000
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
7. No Game No Life
No Game No Life (ノーゲーム・ノーライフ) is a famous ongoing fantasy light novel and anime series. Remarkably, the same person, whose name is Yu Kamiya, both writes the story and illustrates the characters on the cover.
It follows 18-year-old boy named Sora and his 11 years old sister-in-law named Shiro, who are undefeated gamers with high intelligence. They are transported to Isekai (another world) and fight various unique games there.
Author: Yu Kamiya
Illustrator: Yu Kamiya
Published: from 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Isekai
6. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai (青春ブタ野郎はバニーガール先輩の夢を見ない), which is also known as Seishun Buta Yaro Series, is the first title of the recent popular light novel series published from 2014. In the story, lots of strange supernatural events happen around the main character Sakuta and people around him including his family and classmates. Those things are often caused by their psychological problems.
If you enjoy this light novel or other Japanese pop culture, you need to know the word Senpai, which means a senior especially in schools and other communities. In this case, the main heroine Mai is the Senpai (one grade ahead) for Sakuta. A manga adaption has been published since 2016 and the first season of the anime adaption was released in 2018.
Author: Hajime Kamoshida
Illustrator: Keiji Mizoguchi
Published: from 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Slice of life
5. Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-
Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- (Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活), which is abbreviated to Re:ZERO, is one of the most popular Isekai light novels of all time. Its online publishing started on Shosetsuka ni Naro in 2012 and over 30 volumes of light novels have been published since 2014.
Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- is set in the parallel world where the main character Subaru Natsuki is sent for any reason. He is transported to another world but is not granted any powerful ability while a main character of many Isekai light novels gets something special.
However, there is the one extraordinary thing he can experience in the world: Shinimodori (“Return by Death”). He goes back in time to the past in the living state, which is triggered by his death. The story follows him and his meeting various unique characters such as the heroine Emilia and the twin maids Ram and Rem.
Author: Tappei Nagatsuki
Illustrator: Shinichiro Otsuka
Published: from 2012
Genre: Dark fantasy, Isekai, Naro
4. A Certain Magical Index
The longest and most popular light novel A Certain Magical Index (とある魔術の禁書目録) is categorized as action and fantasy. It consists of three titles so far: the first A Certain Magical Index published between 2004 and 2010, the second New Testament: A Certain Magical Index published between 2011 and 2019 and the third Genesis Testament: A Certain Magical Index started from 2020. The number of the total series volume reaches 50.
The setting is the high-tech town in the fictional Tokyo where supernatural power and magic are a reality. There are 2 main groups in the world: Espers based on science and Sorcerers based on magic. A Certain Magical Index focuses on the main character Toma Kamijo who belongs to the side of Espers and the main heroine Index on the side of Sorcerers. In addition to a variety of attractive characters, powerful battle scenes of Toma are one of the highlights in the light novel.
The spin-offs A Certain Scientific Railgun (とある科学の超電磁砲) featuring Mikoto Misaka and A Certain Scientific Accelerator (とある科学の一方通行) featuring Accelerator are very popular among fans as well.
Author: Kazuma Kamachi
Illustrator: Kiyotaka Haimura
Published: from 2004
Genre: Fantasy, Action
3. Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online (ソードアート・オンライン), abbreviated to SAO, is one of the most famous and popular Japanese light novels all over the world. The fantasy adventure novel, published from 2009, can be divided into 5 main parts: Aincrad, Fairy Dance, Phantom Bullet, Alicization and Unital Ring.
The story mainly proceeds in the virtual reality world. Sword Art Online is set in the fictional world 2022 where the advanced VR online game called Sword Art Online is invented. The FullDive technology enables players to immerse themselves in VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), which means they can feel all senses for fighting, eating, sleeping and so on there.
The story begins when the players of SAO are trapped in the game world as they are unable to log out including the main character Kirito and heroine Asuna. The current seasons of anime adaptions are highly rated among the fans of the light novel.
Author: Reki Kawahara
Published: from 2009
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
2. Monogatari Series
In terms of quality of contents and popularity, many light novel fans look on Monogatari Series (物語シリーズ) as the best one of all time. Monogatari Series, written by the popular author Nisio Isin, has been top-rated as both a light novel and a normal novel. There are 20 titles with 26 volumes and a spin-off (as of 2020) in the series, and a new volume is still released every few years lately.
The popular series begins with Bakemonogartari (化物語) focusing on the high school guy Koyomi Araragi and his girl friends and his sisters. The theme of the novel is an aberration called Kaii in Japanese, which is a sort of an evil spirit. The characters are possessed by the aberrations for any reason, and Koyomi tries to help them while he is also possessed by a vampire.
One of the highlights in the light novel is speedy conversations by the characters who have unique personalities. You can enjoy various essences such as battle scenes, human drama, mystery, etc. The three seasons (from Bakemonogatari to Zoku-owarimonogatari) have been adapted into an anime, and fans expects other parts to be made into anime adaptions in the future.
Author: Nisio Isin
Published: from 2006
1. Haruhi Suzumiya Series
Haruhi Suzumiya Series (涼宮ハルヒシリーズ), which is also known for the first title The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱), started its publication from 2003. It’s a matter of course that Haruhi Suzumiya Series is ranked 1st in the best light novel list since it has played a large role in the light novel industry. It is also not too much to say that light novels could be much less popular without the legendary series.
The story centers on the main character Haruhi Suzumiya and the other members of SOS Brigade, which is a high school club. They are aliens coming from other planets or the future except the human being named Kyon. It’s interesting that they enjoy an ordinary school life while supernatural phenomena interfere in their lives, which happen due to the unconscious force of Haruhi.
The fans were surprised by a unique method of light novels: “Time Loop” meaning characters go back in time to the same past point repeatedly. In the Endless Eight part, Haruhi with the SOS Brigade members experience the same two weeks (from 17th to 31st August) for over 15000 times.
Of course, an anime adaption, consisting of 2 seasons, has been popular among fans of the original light novel and anime lovers.
Author: Nagaru Tanigawa
Illustrator: Noizi Ito
Published: from 2003
Genre: Fantasy, Slice of life
Unlimited Light Novels
One of the most popular light novel publishing company Kadokawa offers all-you-can-read deals! You can enjoy reading unlimited light novels and manga published by Kadokawa. The website here is in Japanese, however, Google Translate can easily help you to read it in English! Just click the right mouse button or tap the menu button on your smartphone to use the translation function! >> Check more details about the light novels unlimited service!
You can buy and start reading those light novels right now with e-readers like Kindle. If you are interested in the digital books, check out which device is the best to buy in this article!
If you like light novels, it is strongly recommended to enjoy watching anime and reading manga! Here are the best selection lists of anime and manga!