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Old 2015-09-13, 11:05   Link #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Settings of fantasy light novels/web novels

Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed quite a number of fantasy LNs (and WNs) that use highly similar settings to each other. It will always be:-

1)a particular, pseudo-Western European fantasy world of swords and magic, with cobbled streets, castles, churches, etc.
2)society and technology is always at the medieval level
3)adventurer guilds that classify people according to grades, similar to an RPG game. Actual RPG game mechanics like inventory menus and pop-ups may be included too

Sometimes I wondering if all these writers get their setting ideas from reading the same books or playing the same RPGs. I understand social conformity is a big thing in Japan, but surely the writers must have more creativity than this. The readers must be getting tired of the same medieval Europe settings being used over and over again, especially with so many distinct historical periods in European history. The possibilities of alternate fantasy settings are endless like:
1) Fantasy Antiquity (ie. Rome)
2) Fantasy Industrial-Revolution fantasy world
3) Fantasy 1920s-30s fantasy world

Or perhaps even non-European settings, like the Aztec/Maya world of the Rokka no Yuusha anime.

What does everyone think? Do you feel sometimes the LN/WN fantasy novels tends to reuse the same settings? What other ideas would you recommend?
zztop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-09-13, 12:25   Link #2
Unleashing the Homu-Rage
Join Date: Apr 2010
As for other fantasy settings, if you want some recommendations of series with a fantasy world with a non-medieval feel, here are some examples in anime, however, all of these are rather well-known, so you've probably heard of them. However, these are examples of each of the potential other tech/society levels for fantasy.

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There: OK, technically speaking the tech level is more medieval- they have full plate armor, crossbows, trebuchets etc, but the society, military structure, architecture, and at least some of the clothing in the Empire is very Roman in appearance. Also a great departure from the standard transported to a fantasy world story in the the fantasy Empire tries to invade through a portal to modern Japan, but gets curb stomped by the modern firepower of the JSDF. The protagonist is a 33-year old JSDF lieutenant (and self-admitted otaku), and is part of a large Japanese invasion force- rather than a single person, typically a teenager, sent to the fantasy world.

Zero No Tsukaima: Probably the series that started the whole transported into a fantasy world plot, and it does not involve a medieval world- Some of the architecture looks medieval, but the tech level and society are like 18th century France- for instance, early firearms exist.

Valkyria Chronicles: Originally a game but also an anime. In any case, it is essentially a fantasy world at a roughly Second World War tech level (though heavier-than-air aircraft do not exist). Expect tank battles, parallels (although not necessary direct paralells- the villains are a mashup of Nazi Germany, Imperial Germany, Tsarist Russia etc) to real-world countries and events, surrounded by the rediscovery and weaponization of magic.
SPARTAN 119 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-09-13, 12:34   Link #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Isekai and tensei stories are the trend. A lot of them are made because they make money. Wait til they aren't making money and they will be gone. They still are so not much you can do.

I only find this true about WNs though. LNs have a lot of varied settings. Most of them just aren't translated.
IceHism is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2015-09-14, 17:27   Link #4
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Vladimir, Russia
Age: 24
It's not really about light-novels, it's about media in general: I'd say about 90% of fantasy is using the same setting. There's exceptions, of course, like Arslan Senki (of we go Japanese novels) is using middle-eastern setting, or some Forgotten Realms novels are set in another lands, rather then "Standart Europe lands", or Witcher, that uses Eastern Europe setting. But most settings are the same. Why? Because "Classical fantasy" as a genre is pretty much formed by the authors from the England and from a certain former British colony. And afterwards when people think "fantasy" they have a certain image in mind.
P.S. As far as I know Rokka have a "Europe fantasy" setting as well. Anime staff changed it.
AntonKutovoi is offline   Reply With Quote

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