Western light novel

Western light novel DEFAULT

Sadly light novels are a dying thing here in the west, and as things stand at the moment i don’t really see a revival any time soon.

There were only two publishers that actively published light novels in the west, Tokyopop and Seven Seas Entertainment. Both have now pulled out of the market all together because, apparently, sales failed to live up to expectations. Other publishers do pick up the odd series now and again, but as far as i know there are none who actively publish light novels anymore, or so i thought….

While doing some research for this post i came across a couple of posts, one from a blogger like myself and the other from Seiji Horibuchi, the founder of Viz. Since i found both had relevant points I’ve copied them here, and left a link to the original post. I especially recommend reading the Seiji one as it’s rather interesting and i only copied the part relevant to light novels.

So, the first is from a guy called Daniel Lau and australian blogger who believes that light novels will never succeed in the west due to the fact that the fans need the visual elements, because that’s all we like about them.

Dear publishers,

Do stop trying to sell light novels to us. We’re not buying. Here’s why.

Because we are fans of Japanese visual culture and nothing else. If we can’t see it, we don’t care.

Because if we have to read, we’re going to read fanfic. Find a way to make money off that or something.

Because we have always been in it for the violence or the robots or the pretty little boys and girls, and none of that works well in text.

Because if all of this is in English, what part of this is Japanese anymore? What, we just have to take your word for it?

Because while novels, light or otherwise, do detail and immersion better than other media … we don’t care about detail or immersion. Look at what we watch and read. If the subtitles or word balloons are nigh unreadable, we don’t care. If the dialogue is wooden or incomprehensible or half in Japanese, we don’t care. They’re just words, and we’re getting the story primarily through pictures. We have always been satisfied just getting the gist. We are busy, and our next download has finished.

Because OK I liked the cartoon but when you put it like that, it just sounds childish and stupid.

Kids Today

Original Post

This post really does epitomize everything i was saying in my earlier post on fans killing the market. Here we have a guy who espouses scanlations over everything, and event does scanlations and has them on his site.

I have to admit that when i read this i was originally just going to pass him over, but after thinking on it i decided to post about it because of what it shows.

Because we are fans of Japanese visual culture and nothing else. If we can’t see it, we don’t care.

I really don’t agree with this, though he is right to a degree. Most people seem to get into anime and manga because of the visual style, it’s different from western cartoons and looks ‘cool’. However the simple fact is that without good story and characters do you seriously think people would stay following a series? If this was solely the case why are conventions so popular? While people may start off just liking the art style i think it safe to say most people eventually end up in love with the perceived culture, that’s how it was for me at least .

Because if we have to read, we’re going to read fanfic. Find a way to make money off that or something.

I found this hilarious, in the first sentence he says we don’t care about reading because we’re a ‘visual’ fan, but then says we read fanfic for when we want to read. Does anyone else see the contradiction here?

As for selling fanfic, you can’t, plain and simple. Fanfic has very strict laws regulating just what you can do with it and a publisher breaking those rules would end up in serious legal issues on both sides of the pond. The knock on effect could essentially kill the publisher as well, as japanese publishers refuse to license anything to a publisher that wantonly breaks copyright protection.

Because we have always been in it for the violence or the robots or the pretty little boys and girls, and none of that works well in text.

Because if all of this is in English, what part of this is Japanese anymore? What, we just have to take your word for it?

I just can’t agree with this, and here’s why. Two of my favourite light novels are Junk Force and RahXephon. The first has a manga, and the second a manga and an anime, and i loved all of them. Manga and anime are static visual, as in what you see is set in stone and pre-defined, there’s no room for the reader to interpret what’s going on, how characters look and feel, because it’s all laid out for you. In light novels (and novels in general) the reader imagination can run wild, creating a movie in their mind. This is how it’s always been for me, and if I’m honest why i prefer light novels. Also you have to remember that without the text in manga, or subs in anime, we’d never understand what’s going on really. Pictures can and do only tell you so much, without the text we’d always be guessing and never knowing.

The second comment just made me shake my head in exasperation. When we buy manga or anime, or anything that’s been translated, it’s always been and always will be ‘taking someone’s word for it’. Unless you know japanese well enough to translate it yourself you’re always taking someone else’s word that what they’ve translated is a true translation. As for whether it remain japanese, sheesh come on man. If you watch a dubbed anime does it stop being anime? Of course not.

Because while novels, light or otherwise, do detail and immersion better than other media … we don’t care about detail or immersion. Look at what we watch and read. If the subtitles or word balloons are nigh unreadable, we don’t care. If the dialogue is wooden or incomprehensible or half in Japanese, we don’t care. They’re just words, and we’re getting the story primarily through pictures. We have always been satisfied just getting the gist. We are busy, and our next download has finished.

this guy really does come off as a total idiot to me. Manga and anime are all about the immersion. Why do we read series that go for forty, fifty or even a hundred volumes of manga? According to Daniel here it’s all because of the art, it has nothing to do with the fact the story is amazing, the characters are fun, and we’re drawn into the world it’s created. In other words it’s nothing to do with the fact that we get immersed into the world, frankly that’s total bull shit. There are plenty of titles that have mediocre art, but we read to death over and over because we love the story, we get immersed into them and lose ourselves. Take Glass Mask for example, it’s a manga from the 80’s and looks like it. The art style is seriously dated  but it still does really well because the story and characters are really amazing. You care about the girls, their journey towards the Crimson Goddess and feel genuine emotions from the story. As a result it’s the second best selling shojo manga of all time (Hana Yori Dango being the top seller of all time)

His comment about not caring if the dialogue is wooden or unreadable is partially true. for example RahXephon and Junk Force novels were really badly edited, it’s almost engrish at times. However what is important is that the reader is able to get immersed and understand what’s going on despite that, which both of those series do a good job of doing. However without being able to get into the story and become immersed, it’s unlikely I’d have gotten past the first chapters of each. As for not caring about it, again that’s not quite true. We do care, we care a lot, to the point we pressure publishers when they screw it up. However when it’s apparent that we can’t get a better version (as in the case of Junk Force and RahXephon) due to the publisher being dead, we accept it for what it is and make do. This isn’t the same as not caring, it’s a case of not being able to do anything about it.

As for that last sentence, that says it all really. Spoiled brat out for his next free read, that’s how this entire post came over to me.

So, moving on to the next post. This was an interview done by ICV2 way back in 2011.

Where do you see the U.S. manga market in 2016?

This is a good question!  I predict that “light novels” will become more popular in the future.  Light novels are literature written for a young adult audience that includes roughly the same demographics as manga, anime and video games.  Light novels have the essence of manga, animation, and video games combined. It has been a tremendously popular genre in Japan for the past six or seven years and continues to grow both there and in the U.S. Viz Media’s Haikasoru imprint has published some good examples.  Some popular anime films have been based on light novels and I think publishers here in the U.S. will begin to publish more of these titles as more readers become aware.

Once the digital transition is complete, I think manga could enjoy an even wider following in 2016, both in the U.S. and other countries outside Japan as well.  U.S. publishers are getter ever closer to the simultaneous release of manga titles with their Japanese counterparts and digital channels will allow this to happen even faster.  The digital medium also allows readers to browse, archive and transport manga more conveniently and compactly on a digital device than they ever could with the traditional print versions.  I think this idea will have firmly taken hold in the U.S. consumer consciousness by 2016, not only for manga, but also for nearly every other form of media as well.

Original post, it’s the last question on the page.

This is an interesting post, and as a result made me take another look at Viz’s Haikasoru imprint. I was under the impression that it was going to be focused primarily on japanese mainstream fantasy and sci-fi novels.

In his first paragraph he sums up my thoughts on light novels pretty well:

Some popular anime films have been based on light novels and I think publishers here in the U.S. will begin to publish more of these titles as more readers become aware.

For me i saw the RahXephon anime first, and then became interested in the novels, same with 12 Kingdoms and Trinity Blood. I also think he’s right in that as fans of a series come to learn it’s based on a series of novels they’d naturally want to check them out. The problem is the timing though, if a novel is released to long after the release of the anime than interest dwindles. You need to catch the fans while they’re still watching and interested in the anime.

!2 kingdoms

I like the fact that he says they’re moving to digital, however my concern is that Viz is doing it the wrong way. Their focus on apps for smart devices is great, but the fact they’re ignoring e-readers is frustrating. I personally don’t have a smart device, neither phone or tablet, i don’t see the need to have one. I’ve a laptop that does everything i need and a phone that does the same. I do however have a Kindle and enjoy reading on it, Viz however is focusing on smart devices and ignoring the Kindle and other readers. This is a bad business move, especially since most e-readers have a smart device app as well, so i don’t understand why they would limit their market reach like this.

There’s also the fact that Viz are notorious for ignoring the euro zone, they simply don’t care about the european fans. They make a big fuss about their 1000’s of manga being available digitally, but forget to tell you it only applies to those in the US and Canada. Their old argument of licensing restrictions just doesn’t really hold up anymore, they need to embrace their euro fans as well, after all extra sales are more money in the bank right?

So, after all that what’s the future of light novels, and why have they failed to take off so far?

Tokyopop and Seven Seas both fell into the same trap in a way. Both released the novels in a small format. Seven Seas tried to release them in the same format as the original japanese releases, and usually I’d congratulate them for that. However they seem to have failed to take into consideration a rather important factor. Westerners, especially americans and us brits, usually are larger in stature to asians. We have larger hands, so the small books which work well for asians are uncomfortable for westerners to handle. Tokyopop’s versions were slightly larger, but still had a similar problem.

So what’s the solution? Oddly enough Haikasoru and DMP have this nailed down IMO. Instead of releasing them as light novels you release them as simple old sci-fi and fantasy novels. You give them the same novel format as western novels, put them in the sci-fi and fantasy sections of book stores rather than the manga section, and market them as novels.

For example Scrapped Princess would do very well in the fantasy section, release it as an omnibus of two volumes so as to make it more inline with normal novel page count, and market it as such. 12 Kingdoms did really well for Tokyopop because this is exactly what they did.

scrapped princess

That said, I do wonder if it wouldn’t be better to pull them from the book stores completely and focus on releasing them as e-books, less production costs since they wouldn’t have to pay for the printing of thousands of volumes of manga. I do love reading novels in paperback form, but equally i love it on my kindle as well. If the choice ever came down to a digital kindle release or no release, it’s a no-brainer which I’d go for Open-mouthed smile

Personally i hope that Seven Seas returns to releasing light novels since they have the license for several titles i really love, Kanokon and Zero’s Familiar for example.


Sours: https://simplybinge.com/2013/03/whats-the-future-of-light-novels-in-the-west/
masterofgo said:

kuuderes_shadow said:
No. No he really is not.

In what way is he not?

CookingPriest said:
Popularized by movies? Sure.

Among major fantasy fans, he was certainly not popularized by movies. Tolkien's success and achievement, while magnified by the major movies, overshadows anything that Peter Jackson may have done to help him.

CookingPriest said:
Otherwise Robert E Howard, E. A. Poe, H.P.Lovecraft were defining the genre before Tolkien even started telling his bedtime stories.

Poe and Lovecraft were important authors but they are by no means largely considered fantasy authors. Fantasy and the literary/horror/macabre material that were emblematic of Poe and Lovecraft are hardly the same. We may as well start throwing in Ovid, Virgil, and Celtic Tales, because that is not my point. When I say Tolkien is Western fantasy, I do not mean he is the beginning and the end, but rather that he is a standout figure that one could easily identify as being theface of fantasy, whether you like him or not.

CookingPriest said:
Tolkien did popularize the "different world" kind of high fantasy fiction stories, but writers never really lingered on imitation. Stuff like GR.R.Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire has only the "different world" as a common factor with LOTR.

I am not speaking of Tolkien as the end all be all of fantasy. I am merely saying that when we think of fantasy, we almost always default to Tolkien. Why? Because the most common and major tropes that we think about in fantasy were largely popularized from Tolkien, and while you may talk about contemporary, dark, urban, satirical, or whatever other fantasy types you can think of, the fact remains that traditional high fantasy and a number of tropes that tag along with it arethe mainstream perception of fantasy. When people think of fantasy, it is elves, dragons, magic, and it is not just those ideas in and of themselves but within the context that we see in works by Le Guin, or by Diana Wynn Jones, or by Philip Pullman, and not more modern contemporary authors like Pratchett who, I would vehemently argue, is nowhere close to the talent and power of Tolkien.

It also a shame that people only credit Tolkien with worldbuilding and, sometimes, plot, because Tolkien was also a much greater author, writer, storyteller, what have you, than almost any of his successors. His grasp of language and prose were extraordinary and that lends itself to why many ascribe to the, while not necessarily equivocal, statement that Tolkien is to fantasy what Shakespeare was to the theatre.

CookingPriest said:
TlDr: Tolkien was popular and he shaped the market, but he was not the most influential.

So who was? Who brought fantasy to the forefront more than Tolkien?

TheBrainintheJar said:
I heard Lord Dunsany did the 'magical world' fantasy way before Tolkien.

I can't believe people think Western fantasy lives and dies by Tolkien.

Being "first" is no real achievement in this case. I do not know why people harp on Tolkien for not being first, as if that, in any way, discredits him.

And why can you not believe it? What other author, should he or she not have lived (outside of various Greek or Roman poets and playwrights) would result in as much a cataclysmic shift in our understanding, portrayal, and knowledge of fantasy as Tolkien would?

I would strongly argue that any of the names that have been listed by CookingPriest would have demonstrably less discernible impact on mainstream literary communities with regards to fantasy. It would be the equivalent of an Asimov, or PKD perhaps, having never written a single work of science fiction.
All other great authors of fantasy I heard of (Dunsany, Peake, Moorcock) were a little too weird to get as mainstream as Tolkien.Having an impact is not evidence of quality. A lot of classic rock bands sound like toothless version of what came later.Tolkien had an impact, but was it a good one? How did he contribute to the genre? Is his books good compared to others who wrote with him?Did Tolkien really had more of an impact compared to the oldest fantastical works - The Bible, Odyssey?Sours: https://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=1446665&show=50
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Light novel

Style of Japanese young adult novel

"Ranobe" redirects here. For Madagascar locality, see Berevo-Ranobe.

For the science fiction novel entitled Light, see Light (novel).

Not to be confused with Visual novel or Graphic novel.

A light novel bookstore in Macau

A light novel (ライトノベル, raito noberu) is a style of Japanese young adultnovel primarily targeting high school and middle school students.[1][2] The term "light novel" is a wasei-eigo, or a Japanese term formed from words in the English language. Light novels are often called ranobe (ラノベ)[3] or, in English, LN.[citation needed] The average length of a light novel is about 50,000 words,[4] close to the minimum expected for a Western novel,[5] and they are usually published in bunkobon size (A6, 10.5 cm × 14.8 cm), often with dense publishing schedules.

Light novels are commonly illustrated in a manga art style, and are often adapted into manga and anime. While most light novels are published only as books, some have their chapters first serialized in anthology magazines before being collected, similar to how manga is published.


Light novels developed from pulp magazines. To please their audience, in the 1970s, most of the Japanese pulp magazines began to put illustrations at the beginning of each story and included articles about popular anime, movies and video games. The narrative evolved to please the new generations and became fully illustrated with the popular style. The popular serials are printed in novels.

Very often light novels are chosen for adaptation into anime, manga, and live-action films, and some of them are serialized in literary magazines such as Faust, Gekkan Dragon Magazine, The Sneaker and Dengeki hp, or media franchise magazines like Comptiq and Dengeki G's Magazine.

Light novels have a reputation as being "mass-produced and disposable," an extreme example being Kazuma Kamachi who wrote one novel a month for two years straight, and the author turnover rate is very high.[6] As such, publishing companies are constantly searching for new talent with annual contests, many of which earn the winner a cash prize and publication of their novel. The Dengeki Novel Prize is the largest, with over 6,500 submissions (2013) annually.[7] They are all clearly labeled as "light novels" and are published as low-priced paperbacks. For example, the price for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya in Japan is ¥540 (including 5% tax), similar to the normal price for trade paperbacks—light novels and general literature—sold in Japan. In 2007 it was estimated (according to a website funded by the Japanese government) that the market for light novels was about ¥20 billion (US$170 million at the exchange rate at the time) and that about 30 million copies were published annually.[3]Kadokawa Corporation's publishing subsidiary, which owns major labels like Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko and Dengeki Bunko, has a 70% to 80% share of the market. In 2009, light novels made ¥30.1 billion in sales, or about 20% of all sales of bunkobon-format paperback books in Japan.[8]

There are currently many licensed English translations of Japanese light novels available. These have generally been published in the physical dimensions of standard mass market paperbacks or similar to manga tankōbon, but starting in April 2007, Seven Seas Entertainment was the first English publisher to print light novels in their original Japanese Bunkobon format.[9] Other United States English-language publishers that license light novels are Tokyopop, Viz Media, DMP, Dark Horse, Yen Press (Kadokawa's American joint-venture with Hachette Book Group), and Del Rey Manga. The founder of Viz Media, Seiji Horibuchi, speculates that the US market for light novels will experience a similar increase in popularity as it has in the Japanese subculture once it becomes recognized by the consumer audience.[10]


Popular literature has a long tradition in Japan. Even though cheap, pulp novels resembling light novels were present in Japan for years prior, the creation of Sonorama Bunko in 1975 is considered by some to be a symbolic beginning. Science fiction and horror writers like Hideyuki Kikuchi or Baku Yumemakura started their careers through such imprints. Kim Morrissy of Anime News Network reported that Keita Kamikita, the system operator of a science fiction and fantasy forum, is usually credited with coining the term "light novel" in 1990. After noticing that the science fiction and fantasy novels that had emerged in the 1980s were also attracting anime and manga fans because of their illustrations by famous manga artists, Kamikita avoided using terms like "young adult" because the novels did not appeal to one particular demographic.[6]

The 1990s saw the smash-hit Slayers series which merged fantasy-RPG elements with comedy. Some years later MediaWorks founded a pop-lit imprint called Dengeki Bunko, which produces well-known light novel series to this day. The Boogiepop series was their first major hit which soon was animated and got many anime watchers interested in literature.

Dengeki Bunko writers continued to slowly gain attention until the small light novel world experienced a boom around 2006. After the huge success of the Haruhi Suzumiya series, the number of publishers and readers interested in light novels suddenly skyrocketed.

Light novels became an important part of the Japanese 2D culture in the late 2000s, with series such as A Certain Magical Index selling large amounts of copies with each volume release. The number of light novels series put out every year increases, usually illustrated by the most celebrated artists from pixiv and the most successful works are adapted into manga, anime, games and live action movies.

Since the mid-2000s, it has become increasing popular for publishers to contact authors of web fiction on their blog or website to publish their work in print form. The material is often heavily edited and may even feature an altered story, which might compel someone who had already read it online to buy the print release as well.[6] The free novel publication website Shōsetsuka ni Narō is a popular source for such material. Popular works like Sword Art Online, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Overlord, Re:Zero and Konosuba were originally popular web novels that got contacted by a publisher to distribute and publish those stories in print format.

In recent times, there has been a venture to publish more light novels in the United States. The leader of this publisher, Yen Press, is a joint venture between Hachette Book Group and Japanese publisher Kadokawa.[11] Other publishers such as Seven Seas Entertainment, Viz Media (owned by Shogakukan and Shueisha), Vertical (owned by Kodansha USA), One Peace Books, J-Novel Club, Cross Infinite Worlds, Sol Press have all been making an effort to publish more light novels in English.[11] Additionally, light novel authors and authors have been starting to make guest appearances overseas at anime conventions. At the 2019 Anime Expo, one of the biggest Anime conventions of the year, featured creators such as Kumo Kagyu, author of Goblin Slayer, and Fujino Omori, the author of Is It Wrong to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon?.[11]

One popular genre in the light novel category is isekai (異世界) or "different world" stories. In these stories usually feature an ordinary person that is transported from a modern city life to a world of fantasy and adventure.[11]Sword Art Online, a web novel initially published in 2002, contributed to the popularization of 'Isekai' as a genre.[12] This web novel became extremely popular, forming various adaptations such as an anime, manga, and even various movies and spinoff series. Because of the success of Sword Art Online, other novels such as KonoSuba, Overlord and Re:Zero became increasingly more popular.[12] The success of Sword Art Online and 'isekai' as a whole contributed to the creation of write-your-own fiction websites in Japan and increasing popularity of light novels in the west as well.[12]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_novel
Reign of the Seven Spellblades Volume 1 Light Novel Review #LightNovel

10 Light Novels With Western-Inspired Stories

The 'light novel' medium has become more and more popular over the years, receiving tons of anime adaptions. Isekai is the most popular genre to come out of novels, although other genres have also succeeded in capturing readers' attention. It's not surprising that with so many different novels, some would use western influence in their story and characters.

Related: 10 Isekai Arcs From Non-Isekai Anime

For readers who are looking for a mismatch of cultures, these books contain bits of western inspiration that make them a bit different from the normal stories.

10 My Next Life as a Villainess All Routes Lead to Doom! Is Set In A European-Inspired World

Fans of the anime probably already seen this coming due to the set-up of My Next Life as a Villainess. A Japanese girl is reincarnated into a world as the daughter of a duke in a europian inspired mansion and world.

She must learn to change her fate in order to not be killed by any of the game's love interests. To do this, she accidently ends up making everyone around her, including the main character Maria, fall in love with her.

9 Unnamed Memory Is Centered Around European-Inspired Royalty

Oscar is in search of a witch named Azure in Unnamed Memory, and when he meets her, he proposes. The witch named, Tinasah accepts the proposal, which pushes that pair into the dark secrets of her past.

This comes in the form of a lover from the past that seeks to destroy Oscar's kingdom. The only question is if Oscar will have to kill his new love or if there is a way to still save her in this novel centered around European inspired royality.

8 The Lead Of "I Swear I Won't Bother You Again!" Is Inspired By European Nobility

I Swear I Won't Bother You Again! is a light novel that relies on the time travel trope to help its story along. Violette is a European inspired noble who is placed in jail after attacking her sister due to growing jealousy.

As fate would have it, though, instead of serving her time, she gets teleported back to an early point in her life. This gives Violette the chance to redo life and make choices that won't lead her to being imprisoned.

7 86 Eighty-Six Uses Western Military Tactics

86 steps away from fantasy to introduce readers to a world caught up in war. The catch is that the war is supposedly fought between robots instead of actual humans, which is false propaganda made by the government.

Related: 10 Anime That Were Actually Adapted From Light Novels

The soldiers for this war come from an unknown 86th district where the residents are shipped off to die in the war. The story, like most, takes inspiration from military units around the world, with heavy influences from western tactics.

6 Monster Girl Doctor Is Set In A World Inspired By Italy

Dr. Glenn and his lamia assistant Sapphee run a clinic for monsters in world that looks heavily inspired by parts of Europe, especially Italy. The pair are unique since Glenn is a human and one of the only members of his species to work in monster medicine.

The two make housecalls to the ailing monsters of the nation and help with any and all afflictions. There is also a bit of a romantic undertone as Sapphee is head over heels for the doctor.

5 The Saga of Tanya the Evil Is Set In An Alternative Germany

The Saga of Tanya the Evil is an isekai war story about a businessman who becomes a little girl who is born and serves alternative Germany. He ends up fighting in the military using a combination of magic and technology and quickly ascends through the ranks.

Tanya is a ruthless girl, though, and her methods of training her troops are cruel. She is also extremely adept at fighting, giving her the ability to easily wipe out the humans around her.

4 In "Wandering Witch The Journey of Elaina," The Lead Explores European-Style Countries

Wandering Witch became even more popular when an anime adaption showed off the unique take on the series story. The books follow a girl named Elaina as she travel to different countries, experiencing unique cultures, many of them inspired from older European concepts.

Related: The 10 Most Popular Light Novel Protagonists, According To MyAnimeList

The book has tons of self-contained stories, many of which put Elaina in the back seat. Elaina is the narrator of the tales, and the humans she meets are the focus of her tales.

3 Banished From the Hero's Party I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside Takes Inspiration From Western Folklore

This takes a bunch of story material from western folklore and molds it into the setting for Banished From the Hero's Party's world. The main character Red is left on his own after-party betrayed him.

With nothing left to do, he decided that he was going to open a western-styled herbal pharmacy. As fate would have it, though, a girl named Rit suddenly shows up and wants Red to marry her.

2 Spice & Wolf Is Set In A Fantasy World Inspired By Europe

Spice & Wolf is a famous series that sadly never finished adapting its anime. The story centers around Holo The Wish Wolf and a merchant named Lawrence who team up to claw their way to riches in a fantasy land similar to Europe.

The two venture through various towns, expand their business and begin to fall in love throughout the novel series. Eventually, they even have a child who gets her own light novel.

1 The Eminence in Shadow Has A Similar Feel To Western RPGs

The Eminence in Shadow is an action-packed isekai following a character named Sid who just wanted a peaceful life. He tries to do this by making up his own imaginary enemy and then recruiting a party.

As it turns out, the enemy that Sid thought he made up actually exists in the world, and he has now hired a group of pro adventures to help him destroy them. The story is heavily inspired by European themes such as royalty and has the same feel as western RPGs.

Next: 10 Romance Light Novels That Will Make You Swoon


Next10 Anime Characters Who Couldn't Do Anything To Change Their Fates

About The Author
Jessica Thomas (194 Articles Published)

Jess has been writing for clients all around the world for years. From companies in Japan to being featured on The Kim Komando Show, Jess has prided herself in expressing her love for gaming. Her favorite console is the Nintendo 64 and she revels in replaying through Paper Mario and Megaman Legends. When not fighting Reaverbots she can be found gushing over the newest JRPGs or watching seasonal anime with her furless cat. Follow her on Twitter at @Genshin_Writer if you love video games and naked cats.

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Sours: https://www.cbr.com/light-novels-western-inspired/

Novel western light

What is a "light novel" and how does it differ from a novella?

The problem with trying to define what a Light Novel is has to do with a whole lot of cultural baggage that is hard to transmit over to a Western idea of Literature. So it seems to be a medium that is focused on word-count, like a novella, but that isn't a proper definition. Likewise it also seems to be attached to a certain light, popular, and easy-to-read style, but that also may not necessarily be the case. It seems to encompass genres such as slice-of-life, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, or even a mix of all the above, but you can't exactly say that it sticks closely to any of these attributes.

It's definitely linked to popularity and the otaku fandom though, since within multiple series you can see a reliance of cliche and comedy tropes or action/fantasy tropes that you usually see in anime. Usually this means novella-length, genre-focused, cliche-focused, low-description, high action, high dialogue Literature, serialized over several volumes.

None of the above attributes makes it 'different' from serious Literature or heavy Literature though. I can't exactly tell you what makes a Light Novel a Light Novel but I can point out counterexamples to what is definitely not the definition of a Light Novel, and perhaps we can get a general sense of what it is from there.

  1. A Light Novel cannot be so easily distinguished from Literary Fiction. Yasutaka Tsuisui, who is probably one of the biggest and most postmodern literature authors in Japan, has written a Light Novel. A Western equivalent would be like getting the news that Franz Kafka or Thomas Pynchon was writing Young Adult fiction.

  2. A Light Novel is not necessarily light in its concepts. Murasaki-iro no Qualia, a sci-fi light novel, deals with heavy quantum hard-SF stuff like the collapse of the wave-form, the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics versus the many-worlds interpretation, Schrodinger's Cat etc... It has been considered equivalent to some Greg Egan novels. Likewise the LN series Kara no Kyoukai can be effectively called a Buddhist Urban Fantasy Noir, dealing with concepts like Sunyata, Arayashiki and the Buddhist notion of the non-self. Spice and Wolf deals with heavy economics topics. Legend of the Galactic Heroes deals with heavy political military space opera.

  3. A light novel series, when taken as a whole, isn't necessarily shorter or less viable for a literary award than serious fiction either, nor less packed in content. Jinrui wa Suitai Sumashita is a 9 volume light novel series that deals with a fantasy world involving fairies. A highly satirical comedy probably akin to the Discworld series; its been placed on Japanese prize for readers at a University level (大学読書人大賞). The writer, Tanaka Romeo, has been called the Shakespeare of Japanese Light Novels and Visual Novels, and some have lauded his prose very highly, even saying its better than what you'd think of as highly literary classic or modern English writers like Nabokov or Hemingway.

So all these outliers merely make the proper definition of an LN hard for people not within the culture. The fact that many consider it a generic pop-medium and underrate the people within it indicates something. Its more like some kind of sub-cultural movement, like Alt-Lit, or New Weird, that encompasses everything that has been made in Japan so far. All of the above works, although completely divergent, have an awareness of things like otaku subcultural tropes, pop-tropes and genre-tropes, but the best writers will synthesize it into new forms. It can be a very post-modern, medium-defying genre. A new pop-art style of Literature? You can probably see reflections in people like Pynchon, for example, who took hardboiled and noir plotlines as well as plots from old adventure stories and the popular fiction of other eras and turned it into new matter for his books like Against the Day and Inherent Vice.

answered Jun 15 '15 at 14:03

Bobo SadeBobo Sade

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Sours: https://writing.stackexchange.com/questions/8788/what-is-a-light-novel-and-how-does-it-differ-from-a-novella
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She paused a little: - Okay, let's sleep, - and left, grabbing a towel. It seems to me that I fell asleep almost immediately, completely surrendering to the force enveloping my eyes and consciousness. The last thing I heard was the sisters whispering in the next room. I woke up in the middle of the night because someone was tugging at my shoulder.

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