Light Novels, Are They Really Worth It?

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Ever wondered whether Light Novels are worth the effort it takes to read them? Well I’ve tried to go through it in a bit of detail here so hopefully it’ll help you out if you’re trying to decide.


We all know that feeling when an anime comes to an end and you just need MORE! A couple of examples come to mind in Toaru Majutsu No Index and, more recently, Overlord. But sometimes the manga just isn’t there! Maybe the series was a rare case and went straight to anime. But the more likely scenario is that it was based on a set of light novels.

So, my next question is how do I get a hold of these? Well, it’s more difficult than you might expect. They’re really hard to get a hold of in paper copies and there often isn’t a nice neat site where you can just click to the next page either. Most of the time it’s just a wall of text someone copied and translated, often not 100% accurately. And being honest it’s probably not licenced in most cases…

Having said that, if you’re just that hooked on a series and you NEED to know what happens next, sometimes you have to try. But then you need to ask whether reading the Light Novels is actually a good idea. It’s like when a sequel isn’t on the same level as the original series and tarnishes the image of the show for you forever. A badly translated, not 100% legal copy of the story might just ruin the whole thing!


It’s a risk fans everywhere take just to get another glimpse into the life of their beloved MC’s. Though it’s often not that bad. Some things are poorly translated, but that often just leaves some hilarious lines which leave happy memories.

I would say it’s a balancing act, juggling the risk of spoilers for potential future anime or manga series in the Light Novels, and the less than idea medium with the story you’re basically addicted to. Having been there more than once I have had it go both ways. With overlord for example I was lucky and found a great version of it, with a story which did not disappoint. And looking into the future plans for the series, another anime series looks to be in the distant future, if it ever happens at all. So no instant regret there! But it has also bitten me in the past with series like index where I read on only to be greeted with a second season I had already spoiled for myself!


In the end it’s a personal choice. If you feel like you just can’t go another day without your fix then it might be a good option. But I wouldn’t often recommend it. Just hold out and wait for the manga to catch up! It’ll be worth it in the end… I hope.


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    1. They’re not super common, so I should have been more specific (Sorry!). They’re just short books for light reading, aimed at young adults mostly, and a lot of them get turned into manga or anime if they become popular enough. A surprisingly large number of series get going this way! 🙂

  1. a lot of light novels have been recently licensed and translated, which is really awesome, companies like Yen Press and Vertical. I know June also does some yaoi light novels but in terms of quality, the yaoi ones get the short end of the stick :/

    1. I didn’t know that, thanks! I don’t think it’s super common though (Maybe that’s just for the UK though 😛 ), and the ones I want are still hard to get a hold of :/

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