ANromance leveis a type of Japanese literature that features manga-style illustrations. While still not as popular as anime andmango, you might be surprised to learn that many of the two are actually based on light novels.
It is a medium that is growing rapidly, especially in the western market. And as English translations become more available, it's expected to continue to increase in the coming years.
top light novels
Getting started with light novels can be intimidating. The author base continues to grow and they are churning out books at an almost ridiculous rate. Some even publish a book a month.
With so many stories coming in, it's hard to sift through all the noise and find the ones worth reading. So here's a list of light novels that many consider to be excellent exponents of the format.
1.Goblin Hunterby Kumo Kagyu, ilustrado by Noboru Kannatsuki
A young, inexperienced priestess is on her first adventure when her group is slaughtered by goblins. All hope is lost until an adventurer appears whose lifelong quest is the extermination of monsters commonly thought of as fodder.
2.Boogiepopby Kouhei Kadono, ilustrado by Kouji Ogata
Boogiepop is said to take the misery out of those who suffer. He is also an urban legend, just beyond belief.
But when students at Shinyo Academy start disappearing, Kirima Nagi knows something sinister is afoot. And that it's all about boogie pop and something far more dangerous.
3.Hunterby Hajime Kanzaka, illustrated by Rui Araizumi
Lina Inverse is a teenager who is also a sorceress, capable of some of the most powerful magic in the world. Together with their companions, they experience various adventures ranging from comedy to crises that threaten the world.
4.A saga of Tanya, a pervertby Carlo Zen, ilustrado by Shinobu Shinotsuki
An atheist salaryman is murdered by an underling and confronted by a being who calls himself God. He reincarnated into a world of hardship and bloodshed to induce him to ask a higher being for help.
Reincarnated as a child soldier, Tanya Degurechaff, this young woman will do whatever it takes to rise through the ranks and be positioned far from the battlefield. Because if she dies an unnatural death, her soul will be damned in hell forever.
5.spice and wolfby Isuna Hasekura, illustrated by Jū Ayakura
Being a traveling merchant is a lonely life, with nothing but your horse for a companion. So while Kraft is surprised to find Lawrence, he's also greeted when he finds Holo, a wolf deity sleeping in his cart.
Together, the two explore the country, do business and increase profits. But as they grow as merchants, Holo's true nature slowly attracts unwanted attention from humans, who can do them a lot of harm.
6.Eighty-sixvon Asato Asato, illustrator von Shirabii
The Republic of San Magnolia prides itself on having fought a war without casualties. For the public, autonomous drones are used to fight the army of the neighboring Giadian Empire.
But beyond the walls of the Republic there is a sector that does not exist. In this land live the Eighty-Six, young men and women stripped of their humanity and forced to pilot the "unmanned" weapons of the Republic and die in a bloodless war.
7.cinema journeyby Keiichi Sigsawa, ilustrado by Kouhaku Kuroboshi
Kino is a traveler who constantly explores a mysterious world full of many countries and different adventures. Her faithful companion Hermes, a talking motorcycle, is always with her.
Always moving forward, they stay in one place for just 3 days and two nights - enough time to learn everything there is to know about a place, leaving time to explore new lands.
8.No game No lifeby Yuu Cameo
Sora and Shiro are half-brothers who have isolated themselves from the world. In the gaming world they are known as Blank, a legendary group of undefeated players.
One day they are challenged to a chess match by a god from another reality. But even though it was the toughest match of his life, his victory comes with an unexpected price: living in a world that revolves around games.
9.A certain magic indexby Kazuma Kamachi, ilustrado by Kiyotaka Haimura
Touma Kamijou is an unhappy man. Although he lives in Academy City - a place where superhuman abilities are found, studied and developed - he himself is classified as having no potential. And the power he has is more trouble than it's worth.
But meeting a nun who loves sorcerers changes all that. Now he must rely on his unique ability to survive the battle for supremacy between science and magic.
10.Love, Chunibyo and Other Illusionsby Torako, illustrated by Nozomi Osaka
Yūta Togashi once suffered great delusions of having supernatural powers and called himself the "Master of the Black Flame". Embarrassed by his past, he tries his best to hide it, including transferring to a school where no one knows him.
But forgetting becomes difficult when a delusional classmate learns about his past. Together they created a club where students with similar cases can meet.
11.Rise of an avid readerby Miya Kazuki, illustrated by You Shiina
Urano Motosu is a book lover and aspiring librarian, so it's ironic when a pile of books crushes her to death during an earthquake. With her dying breath, she wishes to be reborn into a world where she can read books forever.
The next thing she knows, she's waking up in the body of a five-year-old girl in a world where books are scarce, expensive, and only for the elite. If she wants to read books, she has to make them herself!
12.Didn't I say that I should have my average abilities in the next life?!by FUNA illustrated by Itsuki Akata
Misato is a genius who has a hard time making friends. When she dies after saving a child, she is given the chance to be reborn into a fantasy world. She agrees, but with a special request: to make her average in her next life.
What she didn't realize is that her wish takes into account the strongest (a dragon) and the weakest.creatures(an amoeba) in his new world. And so the medium she desired is physically and magically much stronger than any other human.
13.Full Metal Panic!by Shoji Gatoh, illustrated by Shikidouji
As a member of a military anti-terror organization, Sagara Sousuke has only known military life. Assigned to protect a schoolgirl, he moves to Japan and ends up slipping into civilian life.
Marked as a military maniac, he only sees everything from a combat perspective. As he struggles to adjust to his new situation, he must also figure out why he is protecting a seemingly normal high school girl.
14.sovereignby Kugane Maruyama, illustrated by so-bin
YGGDRASIL, a popular massively multiplayer online virtual reality role-playing game (VRMMORPG), is about to close. Out of nostalgia, Momonga, one of their elite players, stays until the servers shut down.
But when time runs out, he is surprised to find that the game isn't over yet. Instead, it appears to have become real - with him hiding in his skeletal "Overlord" avatar.
fifteen.Otherwise, picnicby Iori Miyazawa, illustrated by Shirakaba
There are doors that lead to the other side - parallel worlds that are connected to ours. Sorawo Kamikoshi and Toriko Nishina willingly enter these portals in search of artifacts and lost friends.
But the Otherside is not a friendly place. Urban legends and creepypasta come to life here, all intent on harming outsiders who invade their domains.
read light novels
Light novels can be a rabbit hole to fall down. Not only are they easy to read because of their simple prose (aimed at young people) and length (50,000 words per volume on average), but authors can quickly expand on their stories. You won't have to wait long for the next episode, and when you do, it'll be easy to find other stories to fill your time.
You don't even have to sift through the myriad of available novels. All you need to look at is your titles. Most light novels have comically long titles that already explain the premise of their content.
And if you're too lazy to read texts, chances are some of the light novels you love have already been adapted as manga or anime.
What other light novels can you recommend? Share them in the comments below!
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- What are light novels? How a Niche Format Is Conquering the Publishing World
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- The 14 Best Webcomics You Should Be Reading Right Now
Kohlis a blogger and aspiring novelist. He has a degree in communications and is an advocate for media and information literacy and responsible media practices. In addition to his interests in technology, crafts, and food, he is also your typical science fiction and fantasy junkie, spending most of his free time reading an ever-growing to-read list. It's either that or postpone writing his book. I wish you luck!