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Old 2009-02-17, 05:18   Link #1
Imagine_broken536
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Light Novel Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx
This is primarily an english language based forum - if no one is translating the novel, then its a bit hard to justify a thread for it. The number of light novels being fan-translated or license-translated into english is relatively small.

However, one thing I'd want in a light novel subforum though is a thread devoted to pointing out novels that might be worth reading in japanese or translating into english, though
Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru
It's a good idea, but why waiting a hypothetic light novel subforum ?
Someone could start such thread in the manga sub-forum, no?
Those are posts from the topic that I've created in Forum & Site Feedback section regarding having an own section devoted for Light Novels. Just as what both of them said, I thought it would be a good idea to establish a topic that covers recommended light novel titles, since the number of light novel titles being translated through fan-subbing or licensing are growing.

Here, you could post any light novel title that you want to recommend, share information, or ask question about a particular title that caught your interest.

It would be great if an entry would include a synopsis, or better yet a short translated part (A prologue maybe).

Of course, light novel discussions for some popular titles (Toradora, To aru Majutsu no Index, Spice and Wolf, etc.) should NOT be discussed here since they already have their respective sub-forums.



I would like to start with my recommendation.



Quote:
17-years old high school student Kousaka Kyousuke was at a cold-war with his little sister Kirino. They seldom talked, and never had a proper conversation these past years. One day, Kyousuke accidentally found a DVD case of a childish anime program titled "Stardust-Witch Merle". What surprised him more was the fact that inside the case was an R-18 Ero-game
CD ROM. Things looked bad since the obvious suspect for having a pornographic material such as that was HIM. (He did have some, but they were all magazines) He didn't want to think what would happen if his mom or his scary father found out about that. Later he learned that his little sister owned the DVD case (AND the CD ROM inside). She confessed to him that she liked, er, loved Imouto characters with great passion, enough that she'd bought tons of Imouto Ero-games and other Imouto-related items. To put it simply, he learned that she was an Imouto-only Anime Otaku. Kyousuke had hard time believing that a "typical girl nowadays" such as his sister would turn out to be an Otaku. Now, Kirino wanted Kyousuke to have a "Life consultation" with her, which put an end to the peaceful life that Kyousuke was having.
It's a synopsis from Baka-Tsuki Translation Community. I've read that it's genre was under comedy. By the way, it's not about incest alright?

This novel is quite hilarious^^. Also it was refreshing since the imouto featured here is very different from the typical imouto characters that we have today (Those Imoutos with unnatural affections for their elder brothers). Kirino looks at his brother as though he was a garbage. It was clear that she hated him with passion, which made things all the more interesting.
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Old 2009-02-17, 05:58   Link #2
Doraneko
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Wow this is a great thread . But too bad that English speaking fans in general have little interest in Japanese light novels . Wanna bet which will come first, a new season of Haruhi or the AS lightnovel forum?

Back to the topic, the recommendation sounds very good but somehow I can't find the title anywhere . But at least I can recognize the cover art, which I seen in a book shop a few days ago. So here is the critical information for anyone interested.

Quote:
俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない
作者: 伏見つかさ
出版社:電撃文庫

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
Author: Tsukasa Fushimi
Publsiher: Dengeki Bunko
There is also a dedicated entry in the Akiba Blog where you can see photos of the illustrations inside.

Spoiler:


Btw I also have a few titles that I would like to recommend. But I wonder if it would be appropriate to as well talk about light novel magazines and serialized stories too in this thread.
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Old 2009-02-17, 09:51   Link #3
Imagine_broken536
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doraneko
the recommendation sounds very good but somehow I can't find the title anywhere . But at least I can recognize the cover art, which I seen in a book shop a few days ago. So here is the critical information for anyone interested.
Thanks. n_n
btw, I got my copy through net shopping. It seems that its quite hard to find a stock in the local bookstore. perhaps you should try going to Akiba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doraneko
Btw I also have a few titles that I would like to recommend. But I wonder if it would be appropriate to as well talk about light novel magazines and serialized stories too in this thread.
I see no problem with it.
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Old 2009-02-17, 13:33   Link #4
Tiamat's Disciple
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From experience i've ound that fan translations are a pain to read, especially now they're moved to doing all in Wiki. I prefered the old days when they used to release pdf's of the chapter. Reading manga online is onething, trying to read a novel is a different thing. PDF's could be printed out with minimum of fuss, wiki is a pain to get right for printing.

Also, i don't think there's 'little' demand for light novels, quite the opposite. The problem is that publishers don't actively promote the novels they release, especially when you look at the promotions they do with manga. If you want the fans to buy the novels, we need to know they're out there.
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Old 2009-02-17, 14:46   Link #5
ganbaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiamat's Disciple View Post
Also, i don't think there's 'little' demand for light novels, quite the opposite. The problem is that publishers don't actively promote the novels they release, especially when you look at the promotions they do with manga. If you want the fans to buy the novels, we need to know they're out there.
At reading this, I imediately though of Kino no Tabi, Tokyopop really did screw-up this time. Great novel than I sugest, but they only managed to publicate only one novel in english.
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Old 2009-02-17, 15:05   Link #6
chaos_alfa
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I recommend Boogiepop and Strawberry Panic from Seven seas.

Seven seas website: www.gomanga.com
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Old 2009-02-17, 16:16   Link #7
Tiamat's Disciple
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
At reading this, I imediately though of Kino no Tabi, Tokyopop really did screw-up this time. Great novel than I sugest, but they only managed to publicate only one novel in english.
In fairness to TP on this point, the lack of subsequent releases of Kino no Tabi isn't thier fault. They've tried to license the subsequent novels, but for some reason the license holder is refusing. So while they do want to publish the volumes, they cant.

A good example of TP screwing up would be the Scrapped Princess series. Quietly release 3 vols, then say it didn't sell enough and stop publishing them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaos_alfa View Post
I recommend Boogiepop and Strawberry Panic from Seven seas.

Seven seas website: www.gomanga.com
Hell NO!!!! Don't touch SSE with a 10ft barge pole!!

Boogiepop should be okay, since according to their website it's already been fully published. However do not get strawberry panic. While the series is awesome, it's not going to be finished. SSE canceled their entire yuri line up, which included the final volume of strawberry panic.
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Old 2009-02-17, 16:27   Link #8
ganbaru
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I suggest the ‘’bungaku Shoujo’‘ serie from Nomura Mizuki

synopsi from baka-suki:
Quote:
Konoha Inoue is a seemingly normal senior high 2nd year student. His high school life, other than a hinted incident 2 years ago, can be summed up as normal- if one can dismissed the secret fact that he used to be a female bestselling romance author. Due to an incident, however, he has now vowed never to write again.

This continued on until he was forced to join the literary club by the literary club president, the 3rd year female student Amano Tooko, a beautiful girl who has a taste of eating literary works
Main and importants characters:

Amano Tooko: the ‘’bungaku shoujo’‘ ( literature girl) her diet consist of books.
Inoue Konoha: the narrator, got a novel publicate a 14, a lot happened after that.......

Spoiler for important character ( more spoillish):


Langue level: I can’t really tell, I am still learning, but the use of furigana is lighter than others light novel I readed, a word or name usualy get furigana only one time per chapter

Illustration: This light novel got the first place on the このライトノベルがすごい 2009 If you want to see some, go watch the album on my public profile or my account on ImageShack.

It’s the best serie than I readed so far. It’s not for everyone taste of course, but it’s a great story the main/important character get a lot of developpements ( at the exeption of Kazushi). There is the prologue and first chapter of the 1st novel translated on BakaSuki under the Teaser project . I don’t find the first chapter sorepresentatif of the whole serie, there is a little of what could be called fan-service ( 2 or 3 panty shot a apparition in vol 6 and some of the ‘’retributions'') and even some of those are used for the plot so talking of ‘’fan-service ‘’ might be innapropriate.
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Old 2009-02-18, 07:47   Link #9
chaos_alfa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiamat's Disciple View Post
In fairness to TP on this point, the lack of subsequent releases of Kino no Tabi isn't thier fault. They've tried to license the subsequent novels, but for some reason the license holder is refusing. So while they do want to publish the volumes, they cant.

A good example of TP screwing up would be the Scrapped Princess series. Quietly release 3 vols, then say it didn't sell enough and stop publishing them.



Hell NO!!!! Don't touch SSE with a 10ft barge pole!!

Boogiepop should be okay, since according to their website it's already been fully published. However do not get strawberry panic. While the series is awesome, it's not going to be finished. SSE canceled their entire yuri line up, which included the final volume of strawberry panic.
Actual SSE canceled there whole light novel line because of bad sales (They couldn't even break even ). But that doesn't mean that there light novels aren't awesome.

Boogiepop is still ongoing in Japan and there have been 15 novels released so far. To bad SSE won't translate more of them now

Last edited by chaos_alfa; 2009-02-18 at 07:57.
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Old 2009-02-18, 17:42   Link #10
Tiamat's Disciple
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SSE cancelled their titles because they couldn't get their act in order, it's as simple as that.

They had so many issues with their supplies that it was impossible to get copies of most of their yuri and light novel line up for almost a year before they cancelled them. As a result fans stopped buying. Not to mention the whole thing of licensing stuff, but then never releasing them (Kodomo no Jikan, Kanokon, and Zero Louise to name a few).

Also they made the same mistakes as TP and other make with light novels, no promotions. When it come to manga they go all out, full colour ads in magazines, ANN promo's website covered in promo stuff, but they slip[ in a light novel and expect it sell.

People can't buy what they don't know is there, and with SSE that's most of their line up.

Sad thing SSE have tried to blame everyone for their screw ups, except for themselves.

As for Boogiepop, SSE licensed 4 novels originally, and all have been released, at least according to their site. TBH i wouldn't be surprised if SSE collapses this year, TBH im kinda hoping they do, couldn't happen to a nicer company.

That aside, for LN to become a successful medium in the west it needs the same sort of promotion that manga and anime gets. This means making sure people know whats coming out and where to buy it. IMO their really needs to be a seperate company dealing only with light novels, that way they can give the titles their full focus, and really push them. They've never been anything more than a side concern for most manga publisher
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Old 2009-02-19, 09:24   Link #11
chaos_alfa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiamat's Disciple View Post
As for Boogiepop, SSE licensed 4 novels originally, and all have been released, at least according to their site.
Actually they licensed 6 novels.

Quote:
That aside, for LN to become a successful medium in the west it needs the same sort of promotion that manga and anime gets. This means making sure people know whats coming out and where to buy it. IMO their really needs to be a seperate company dealing only with light novels, that way they can give the titles their full focus, and really push them. They've never been anything more than a side concern for most manga publisher
I think LN should have there own shelf in stores, otherwise people will just think they are manga's and won't buy them.

They also should be aimed at the mainstream audience because the hardcore audience is to small to sustain them.

They should release LNs the way the Haruhi novels are going to do it. release two editions, one for the hardcore fans with a hardcover and one for the mainstream audience with a paperback cover without manga illustrations.
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Old 2009-02-19, 11:49   Link #12
Tiamat's Disciple
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaos_alfa View Post
I think LN should have there own shelf in stores, otherwise people will just think they are manga's and won't buy them.
Never happen. Bookshelf space is at a premium and no book store will give up space to LN's when they can add more normal stock that will sell quicker and thus garner more profit. Also, there aren't enough ongoing LN's to justify the space. Sure if you look at the whole, there are a good number of titles out there, but most of those have been cancelled by their publishers. My local store now only carries completed or near complete series that sell. They'll order any other, but wont carry it. They got fed up of having active titles being dropped and bearing the brunt of the fanbase anger

Quote:
They also should be aimed at the mainstream audience because the hardcore audience is to small to sustain them.
Dosen't work like that though. Viz tried doing that and it didn't work, in fact it was a total failure.

Quote:
They should release LNs the way the Haruhi novels are going to do it. release two editions, one for the hardcore fans with a hardcover and one for the mainstream audience with a paperback cover without manga illustrations.
Not going to happen really. Yen are taking a gamble on Haruhi, one i sadly don't expect to really succeed. Though they have the advantage of being a little known (yet) publisher.

The underlying issues need to be resolved before LN's can ever be sucessful.

1) They need their own department. People may be interested by the title, but for a lot of people as soon as they see Viz or Tokyopop on the spine,, they discount it immediatly. To counter that they need to set up a new branch, give it a different name, and have it only do light novels.

That's something Yen Press have taken to heart by giving all their LN's to Little Brown, so there's a definte space between manga and LN. Also because it's coming from a book publisher, and not a manga publisher, it'll go in the normal book shelves much as any other new novel will (confirmed that on the ground with my local stores).

2) Don't license and then never release. This was the biggest mistake that SSE ever did, they acquired numerous titles that would have sold, but never released them. If you license something, release it.

3) Promote Promote Promote and Promote some more. Get the word out, get sample chapters out (Again something Yen Press did), make them a big thing and make sure everyone knows you have a new series coming out. Get involved with the chain stores so as they have promo/launch events. People can't buy if they don't know it's out.

4) Don't release one or two volumes then kill the series. This is something both SSE and TP did, frequently. This has a severe knock on effect of people not buying any series, even if they love the series, for fear it'll get canceled and thus wasted their money.

5) You need to give a series a chance to breath. If a series is only a few volumes long, instead of focusing on how much money it'll make you, look at using it as a launching pad. Show off the quality and effort gone into it. Many people will go for a short series first before taking on a longer one. If they're impressed quality wise they're more likely to come back for others.

6) Be prepared to loose money. LN's have a smaller market share at the moment than manga. they're a long way from being a profit earner. You have to be prepared to lose money in the short term as you build up a following. Things are going to be harsh in the short to mid term, but if you put out quality consistently, and fairly fast, people will buy.
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Old 2009-02-19, 13:42   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiamat's Disciple View Post
Never happen. Bookshelf space is at a premium and no book store will give up space to LN's when they can add more normal stock that will sell quicker and thus garner more profit. Also, there aren't enough ongoing LN's to justify the space. Sure if you look at the whole, there are a good number of titles out there, but most of those have been cancelled by their publishers. My local store now only carries completed or near complete series that sell. They'll order any other, but wont carry it. They got fed up of having active titles being dropped and bearing the brunt of the fanbase anger



Dosen't work like that though. Viz tried doing that and it didn't work, in fact it was a total failure.



Not going to happen really. Yen are taking a gamble on Haruhi, one i sadly don't expect to really succeed. Though they have the advantage of being a little known (yet) publisher.

The underlying issues need to be resolved before LN's can ever be sucessful.

1) They need their own department. People may be interested by the title, but for a lot of people as soon as they see Viz or Tokyopop on the spine,, they discount it immediatly. To counter that they need to set up a new branch, give it a different name, and have it only do light novels.

That's something Yen Press have taken to heart by giving all their LN's to Little Brown, so there's a definte space between manga and LN. Also because it's coming from a book publisher, and not a manga publisher, it'll go in the normal book shelves much as any other new novel will (confirmed that on the ground with my local stores).

2) Don't license and then never release. This was the biggest mistake that SSE ever did, they acquired numerous titles that would have sold, but never released them. If you license something, release it.

3) Promote Promote Promote and Promote some more. Get the word out, get sample chapters out (Again something Yen Press did), make them a big thing and make sure everyone knows you have a new series coming out. Get involved with the chain stores so as they have promo/launch events. People can't buy if they don't know it's out.

4) Don't release one or two volumes then kill the series. This is something both SSE and TP did, frequently. This has a severe knock on effect of people not buying any series, even if they love the series, for fear it'll get canceled and thus wasted their money.

5) You need to give a series a chance to breath. If a series is only a few volumes long, instead of focusing on how much money it'll make you, look at using it as a launching pad. Show off the quality and effort gone into it. Many people will go for a short series first before taking on a longer one. If they're impressed quality wise they're more likely to come back for others.

6) Be prepared to loose money. LN's have a smaller market share at the moment than manga. they're a long way from being a profit earner. You have to be prepared to lose money in the short term as you build up a following. Things are going to be harsh in the short to mid term, but if you put out quality consistently, and fairly fast, people will buy.
You have some good points.
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Old 2009-02-22, 16:05   Link #14
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I agree with what has been said above.

Light Novels actually have more pottential to take the entire country by storm than Manga or Anime does. Unlike comics or animation, novels are and have been apart of american culture for a very long time.

The LN publishers of today mostly dont have a clue what they should be doing to help LN's sell.

For one, we should not be marketing to manga fans. Light Novels are not always loved by manga fans, in fact, usually there are huge differences in the minds of LN fans and Manga fans (I'm one of those that enjoys both. XD).

If teachers and librarians were explained about what Light Novels were, then they would LOVE them and actually PROMOTE them. Think about it. Most teachers and Librarians are NOT HAPPY ABOUT MANGA. They want their kids READING REAL NOVELS. If companies were to make educational materials and send them to Teachers and Librarians explaining how they could get their teens or kids to read books that had a manga theme, but were actually novels. They'd be all over it!

And as for average readers that are adults, how do you market light novels to them? By marketing it as an easy to read alternative for the busy worker of today. Tell them that they should read a Light Novel because you can read it in a day (which means if they read a chapter per day, they could read it with almost no sweating in a week). And ofcourse advertise it as cutting edge fiction with storylines that have not been seen in the WEST before and are imaginative and will capture the readers imagination.

And on another note, they also need to go onto TV. Sure they can't afford a commercial yet, but they could certainly schedule an appearance on Opera or another talk show where they could discuss their Light Novels and make millions of people suddenly aware (they'd better get a guy who is a good talker to do it though).

So yea, Light Novels have huge pottential. I certainly hope Haruhi DOES become a, as Yen Press put it, "Household Name". As I hope Spice and Wolf does as well.

-Marr
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Old 2009-02-22, 16:26   Link #15
Ryuou
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Yeah it's unfortunate how unpopular, or rather, unknown light novels are as a whole outside of Japan (and Asia). I don't read manga at all (except School Rumble) but I own 40+ light novels: to go along with that comment that the fanbase may be different. Although I think about getting into other manga series sometimes, I just prefer to read light novels. If I see an anime I like, I’ll probably start buying the novels, but that’s not the case with manga for me. I think it's just going to take time before they break into the market. I don't think many people know that they exist. There's only anime and then manga to a lot of fans.

Related topic question: What is your favorite light novel (Japanese) publisher? Mine would be Dengeki Bunko 電撃文庫. I like the quality of the novels, the quality of the covers and pictures, and most of the series I like they publish.
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Old 2009-02-22, 18:49   Link #16
Matt122005
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My favorite japanese publisher is Dengeki Bunko as well.

However, if you ask me which has a better serialized magazine.

DRAGON magazine in my opinnion is better, because the paper quality and layout is better designed then Dengeki's.

-Matt
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Old 2009-02-22, 22:40   Link #17
ganbaru
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Matt122005 ,I think you are right about the pottential of light novel. Some light novel could be commercialized as novel in north america and it would work.
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Old 2009-02-22, 23:22   Link #18
Ryuou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt122005 View Post
My favorite japanese publisher is Dengeki Bunko as well.

However, if you ask me which has a better serialized magazine.

DRAGON magazine in my opinnion is better, because the paper quality and layout is better designed then Dengeki's.

-Matt
Haha, yay. (Man, I wanted to put a nice smilie with a thumbs up but I guess they don't have one)

I wouldn't know anything about the serialized ones. I've read Jump's weekly magazine for manga a couple times, but I don't think I've ever seen a serialized magazines for novels. Although I know about a couple different ones like Sneaker.
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Old 2009-02-23, 01:32   Link #19
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Ganbaru, Light Novels can be marketed to the general public as "LIGHT NOVELS". If done right. <_<

However, I knew TokyoPop's idea of calling it POP FICTION would fail.

Oh, and incase you didnt know it, their two newest light novels (an OEL one and .hack/gu) have a new logo on the back that says LIGHT NOVEL. XD

-Matt
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Old 2009-02-23, 01:38   Link #20
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I absolutely must recommend Gosick. You must read it!
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