Light novels have blown up hugely in the last decade or so and it isn’t hard to see why. Sure, they’ve existed for a long time, but they never really had an edge over manga, which was the most popular print media coming in from Japan. But over the years, they’ve carved their own niche with a lot of seasoned otakus. But are they worth a read?
Because of their high enjoyability factor, they’ve become a favorite amongst animators and producers to be picked up for an anime adaptation. And it’s fascinating to see why, because several reasons make them the perfect source material. But even aside from that, light novels are just a very fun hobby for avid readers.
The content is perfectly bite-sized for a fan to sink their teeth in, and you have so much variety to choose from. There’s a light novel for everyone, with the perfect length for a quick binge session before getting back to work. It’s not hard to see why they got so popular, especially in this fast-paced age.
Sometimes you just don’t have the time to go buy a 700-page novel and try finishing it during odd hours of the day. This is where light novels truly shine, with a host of websites being available for a person to access right there on their tablet. And if you’ve been hesitant about dipping your feet into the world of light novels, here’s why it might be just the thing for you!
Perfect Length For Guilt-Free Indulgence!
The selling point for most light novels is right there in the name – it’s lighter reading compared to a traditional novel. Usually capping in at no more than 50,000 words per book, it isn’t a typically long-winded story, with more filler than plot.
This conciseness ends up working in its favor when you consider how many weebs are of the age where they can’t afford the time to indulge in a thousand-chapter manga. Life is a lot more hectic now, with millennials being in the workforce. A lot of us really only get the time to read during lunch breaks or while commuting. And lugging around a heavy paperback isn’t the answer here.
It’s why light novels work. You don’t have to jump through loops and holes to access them when they are conveniently downloadable onto whatever smartphone you keep on yourself. There isn’t a lot of world-building or flowery prose that takes up space from an engaging plot. It is meant to be a quick read, less stressful on the average busy body.
A Light Novel Out There For Everyone!
Honestly, the biggest appeal of light novels for me (beyond the convenience, of course) is the sheer number of genres they cover. I am generally a huge fan of romance (because I am a huge sap!) but I also love fantasy and comedy.
With manga, sure there is a lot of romance, but you can’t find everything in a single series. That’s just how the medium is. But with a light novel, there is a story out there that caters to whatever mood I’m in. Plus, I don’t have to make a long-time commitment and wait for the story to deliver on it.
Sure, a lot of light novels tend to be Isekai-heavy but honestly? I prefer the light novel version because I don’t have to strain my brain trying to adjust to a thousand different characters and very overwhelming art. And it’s not like the light novels are threadbare because they are usually accompanied by a collection of gorgeous illustrations that add to the feel of the story.
Are Light Novels Worth The Effort?
Honestly, that’s not a question I can answer easily. Mostly because to me, the entire point of light novels is the fact that I don’t need to concentrate too hard to enjoy them. Light novels aren’t big on information overload, giving the reader room to breathe and pace out the reading.
It’s that easiness which is that makes the medium so easy to get into. Light novels are available everywhere. You can either download them through E-publishing sites or you can read them on numerous light novel scan sites. Their global appeal also means that more likely than not, your local bookstore is also stocking them in physical formats.
And the stories are genuinely interesting, some of the best I’ve read in a long time. The plots for some of these stories go as far as to reinvent the genre for me. Their success isn’t just because they are concise, but because the stories hold impact. For example, Violet Evergarden is my top 5 favorite anime of all time and it started as a light novel itself!
Some of the Otaku world’s favorite anime and manga happen to be adapted and pulled from pre-existing light novels. So, it’s not a stretch to imagine that light novels might just be something most anime fans would heartily enjoy. I think that they are definitely worth a read!