Japanese Novels

Best 8 Japanese Light Novels For Beginners [Must Read]

Hello everybody. Today we will share the Best Japanese Light Novels For Beginners. All these Novels with their Review and all information. We hope you will love this. So let’s jump to the article.

A light novel (ライトノベル, Raito number) is a style of Japanese young adult novel primarily targeting high school and middle school students. … 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.

Japanese Light Novels For Beginners

[1] ソードアート・オンライン 1: アインクラッド [Sōdo āto onrain 1: Ainkuraddo]

ソードアート・オンライン 1: アインクラッド [Sōdo āto onrain 1: Ainkuraddo] (Sword Art Online Light Novel, #1)


I watched the anime first, and I was instantly hooked. Thanks for my bro for showing me this awesome light novel, or more likely, the anime. The anime was well-made, with just a few scenes being omitted. I hope there would be a second season of the anime!

Anyway, the story is set in the future. In 2022, Japan had finally developed the first VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), with the technology of Full Dive, which allowed the player to fully dive into the game as if it was reality. Sword Art Online was the first VRMMORPG game. Aincrad, the floating castle inside SAO, had 100 floors with a diameter of 10 km. The way to go up to the next floor was by defeating the boss in the current floor.

Kirigaya Kazuto, known as Kirito as his ID, was one of the ten thousand of SAO players. At the first day, they were shocked by the ultimatum that they couldn’t log out. Death in the game, meant death in real life since when you died (in-game), the console would fried your brain (in real life). Removing the console was also unacceptable since it would also trigger the program to fry your brain. The only way to be free was to complete all 100 floors. With that, ten thousand people from all range of ages were imprisoned until someone completed the grand quest.

[2] Death Note: Another Note – The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases

Death Note: Another Note - The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases

There’s a serial killer loose in Los Angeles and the local authorities need help fast. For some reason, the killer has been leaving a string of maddeningly arcane clues at each crime scene. Each of these clues, it seems, is an indecipherable roadmap to the next murder.

Onto the scene comes L, the mysterious super-sleuth. Despite his peculiar working habits, he’s never shown his face in public—but this time, he needs help.

Enlisting the services of an FBI agent named Naomi Misora, L starts snooping around the City of Angels. It soon becomes apparent that the killing spree is a psychotic riddle designed to specifically engage L in a battle of wits. Stuck in the middle between killer and investigator, it’s up to Misora to navigate both the dead bodies and the egos to solve the Los Angeles Murder Cases.

[3] Fullmetal Alchemist: The Land of Sand

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Land of Sand (Fullmetal Alchemist, #1)

Edward and Alphonse Elric continue their search for the Philosopher’s Stone in the mining town of Xenotime where it is rumored that someone is trying to create gold out of stone to revive the dying city. When they arrive, they discover two brothers, Russell and Fletcher Tringham are using the Elric brothers’ names to continue their father’s research in the alchemic lab run by town leader Mugear. While Edward and Russell argue and fight over the name, the two younger brothers talk.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Land of The Sand is a action, adventure, and science fiction novel, written by Makoto Inoue. The book is about Edward and Alphonse who then wandered into a town and wanted to find the philosopher stone, (a stone that grants the user unlimited power of alchemy.) Luckily there was word around town that two other boys are creating their own prototype, but are using the identities of Edward and Alphonse to work on this project.

My favorite character is Fletcher because this little kid can hold his own in a fight, like in this fight scene where Fletcher uses very powerful alchemy. There are more reasons but this one is the one I know people will also agree on. My favorite scene has to be when Edward and Russell are duking it out, single hand-to-hand combat. That scene is and has to be my favorite scene out of may the book has to offer.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of anime, or anyone who likes action/adventure books. I give this book 4/5 stars because the ending is obvious, the jokes about Edward being to short are really old, and that’s all the bad things I have to say about this great book.

[4] Spice & Wolf, Vol. 01

Spice & Wolf, Vol. 01

The life of a traveling merchant is a lonely one, a fact with which Kraft Lawrence is well acquainted. Wandering from town to town with just his horse, cart, and whatever wares have come his way, the peddler has pretty well settled into his routine-that is, until the night Lawrence finds a wolf goddess asleep in his cart.

Taking the form of a fetching girl with wolf ears and a tail, Holo has wearied of tending to harvests in the countryside and strikes up a bargain with the merchant to lend him the cunning of “Holo the Wisewolf” to increase his profits in exchange for taking her along on his travels. What kind of businessman could turn down such an offer? Lawrence soon learns, though, that having an ancient goddess as a traveling companion can be a bit of a mixed blessing. Will this wolf girl turn out to be too wild to tame?

Amazing what happens when you’re flipping through channels looking for something to watch and your significant other says, “Stop!” So, I stopped and saw this woman with animal ears and rolled my eyes. “It’s a catgirl. Please, let me find something else.” And after being shushed I listened to the dialogue and sat through the remainder of the episode in pure disbelief. The first chance I had I bought the first season. We watched through all thirteen episodes in two days. “Then” I discover it’s based on a series of popular novels.

Spice and Wolf, while there seems to be some controversy over the English translation of the title, is very unique in its presentation of a classic “slow build” love story. Isuna has created two very intelligent and crafty characters that seem to have Murphy’s Law following them at every turn. Everytime the reader is given just a little glimpse at the love growing between Lawrence and Holo the two seem forced to take three steps back.

If you are looking for a great love story with outstanding dialogue do not fail to become a fan of this series. My one complaint, the books are being released once every six months and the first volume is still fresh on the shelves. That slow pacing is going to drive the love of my life crazy. She’s even started howling at the moon and eating apples by the bushels. Come to think of it there seems to be an aweful lot of wheat on the floor… Hmmm… Must be my imagination.

[5] Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime

Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime

For self-styled “book girl,” third-year high school student Tohko Amano, being the head of the literary club is more than just an extracurricular activity with minor perks. It’s her bread and butter . . . literally! Tohko is actually a literature-gobbling demon, and instead of the less palatable option of water-soaked bread, she opts to munch on torn out pages from all kinds of stories.

But for Tohko, the real delicacies are handwritten stories. And to satisfy her gourmet tastes, she’s employed (aka. browbeaten) one Konoha Inoue, an underclassman who has retreated from writing novels after his experiences with getting published at an early age. So day in and day out, Konoha scribbles away to satisfy Tohko’s appetite. But when, one day, another student comes knocking on the literary club door to seek advice on writing love letters, will Tohko discover a new kind of delicacy to whet her voracious appetite?

I thought when I ordered this that it was a manga, but it is actually a novel with some illustrated pages. It would have worked better as a comic because many scenes were ridiculous in a way that can be glossed over in a visual format but come across as absolutely stupid and pointless in writing.
we heard a thud and someone fell into the room
A girl was splayed on the floor, her skirt flipped up in her fall, exposing her bear-print underwear for all to see.
[…] as she reached out a hand, she brushed against one of the towers of books, which immediately collapsed on top of her, and she dove to the ground again.
Okay, that passage would still be stupid and unfunny in an illustration, but it seems to happen quite a lot in manga so I assume there is an audience.

It was very odd to me to have these cartoony scenes interspersed with ongoing sexual harassment and body-shaming (one girl is made fun of repeatedly for being flat-chested, even by a guy for whom she is undressing) and a darker plotline about student suicide.

The only aspect I liked was that the author clearly does love books, and sounded genuinely excited when talking about The Snow Goose or No Longer Human.

[6] Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Light Novels, Vol. 1

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Light Novels, Vol. 1 (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Light Novels, #1)

In Orario, fearless adventurers band together in search of fame and fortune within the monstrous underground labyrinth known as Dungeon.

But while riches and renown are incentive enough for most, Bell Cranel, would-be hero extraordinaire, has bigger plans.

He wants to pick up girls.

Is it wrong to face the perils of Dungeon alone, in a single-member guild blessed by a failed goddess? Maybe. Is it wrong to dream of playing hero to hapless maidens in Dungeon? Maybe not. After one misguided adventure, Bell quickly discovers that anything can happen in the labyrinth–even chance encounters with beautiful women. The only problem? He’s the one who winds up the damsel in distress!

I’m really very happy to see that light novels have finally begun to gain somewhat of a foothold in the English markets. Initially the only works that North America received were the ones that were already extremely well known and received in the United States like the Haruhi series (also released by Yen Press), but it’s nice to see something new.

This is a pretty cute series overall and one that I have to admit is fairly cleverly done. DanMachi (as it’s known overseas) is pretty much a story about an RPG experience (leveling up, slaying monsters, drop items) without it actually being a group of kids playing a game online, which is normal way that stories like this tend to unfold.

The mechanism for everything is fairly well-thought out-you can only level up if you are part of a goddess’s house and even then it’s difficult to get into said houses. Our main character of Bell is kind of a loser when it comes to adventuring, as he isn’t particularly strong and has shown himself to be somewhat unwilling to do some of the things to improve his other stats (reading to raise his intelligence, for example).

If you’ve ever read a manga, light novel, or an anime of any type, you can guess that obviously, Bell does begin to grow stronger for seemingly no reason at all, but the author has given us a fairly good reason for this. (Which I’m not going to divulge because of spoilers.)

As this type of light novel was aimed at teenagers, this book doesn’t really have anything truly objectionable in it. There are some slightly perverted actions here and there (one girl groping another girl’s top half) but it’s done for laughs and not for titillation.

So far this doesn’t seem to be that sort of book, and even though I know that there will be some more mention of things like that, it won’t really have anything that parents need to be overly cautious about. It’s a pretty good read for teenagers, adults, or mature younger readers (as there is some slightly graphic description of monster fighting).

I wholeheartedly recommend this work and the best Japanese Light Novels For Beginners in English.

[7] How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom: Volume 1

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom: Volume 1

“O, Hero!”
With that cliched line, Kazuya Souma found himself summoned to another world and his adventure–did not begin.
After he presents his plan to strengthen the country economically and militarily, the king cedes the throne to him and Souma finds himself saddled with ruling the nation!

What’s more, he’s betrothed to the king’s daughter now…?! In order to get the country back on its feet, Souma calls the wise, the talented, and the gifted to his side. Five people gather before the newly crowned Souma. Just what are the many talents and abilities they possess…?! What path will his outlook as a realist take Souma and the people of his country down? A revolutionary transferred-to-another-world administrative fantasy series starts here!

This week J-Novel Club put out a week’s free trial of their service and enabled all subscribers to go back and read pre-published versions of their published works. Therefore, the version I am reviewing is the finished pre-published version of this novel.

I have to say, How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom pleasantly surprised me. I had previously seen it compared to 公爵令嬢の嗜み 1 Koushaku Reijou no Tashinami 1 (fan translated as Common Sense of a Duke’s Daughter), another book series I have recently been enjoying, so I decided this would be one of the novels I would check out for JNC’s catch-up week.

I can certainly see why people made the comparison as both novels focus on (fantasy) national economics and politics with a focus on improvement through reform. Thankfully though, the difference in perspective and style makes them feel separate enough to not feel like I read the same story twice.

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom is an isekai light novel but, perhaps in part due to the unusual setting, it feels a lot fresher than many other stories of this kind. The main character Kazuya is an everyman gifted in one particular area but, instead of the isekai-usual combat skill, that area is governance.

This one subversion shapes the story and helps Kazuya become a different kind of hero, one for whom the focus is not on saving an individual or a village but a whole nation. Kazuya himself is fairly likeable, hard-working, and practical, often taking a realistic view in the face of others’ wishful thinking.

If I had to nit-pick him, my issue would be that perhaps his breadth of knowledge is a little too vast – I would like to see some kind of vulnerability in his plans or an opponent who can pressure him. The novel hinted that this was on the way in the sequel so I will look forward to reading volume 2 to see if this has been addressed.

Much like Koushaku Reijou no Tashinami, there are a fair amount of side characters in this story and most of them are not particularly developed in the first volume. Kazuya’s fiance Liscia gets a decent amount of time spent on her and is the most fleshed out of the side characters but I feel like outside of her growing relationship with Kazuya, she never had a moment where she truly shined.

With the exception of Aisha (who spent most of her time getting excited about food but found time to occasionally be serious), the other side characters got much less development and time, so it’s hard to say much about them. Again, I hope some of the side characters get some time and polish in the sequel volumes as this was, for me, the weakest element of the novel.

Overall I enjoyed the story quite a lot. It has its flaws, as I’ve mentioned, but it’s still fun and creative and different enough from other isekai works that it’s worth checking out.

[8] All You Need Is Kill

All You Need Is Kill

The last best Japanese Light Novels For Beginners. Let’s see this.

There’s one thing worse than dying. It’s coming back to do it again and again…

When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known as the Bitch of War. Is the Bitch the key to Keiji’s escape, or to his final death? 

I knew about this novel due that it’s the basis for the incoming movie Edge of Tomorrow and I am truly glad that I was able to read the original Japanese novel before of watching the movie.

The novel itself is something odd in the Japanese literature culture, since it’s a prose novel. I say this, since on Japan, the Manga culture is quite spread and even there are mangas for all tastes, genders and ages. And I must say that the topic and story of this novel could fit quite easily in a manga format presentation, since it’s military sci-fi with cibernetic battle suits, involving time travel and an alien invasion. So, finding that the author chose to present this story in a prose novel was something quite brave.

I just found out that it will be a manga adaptation of the story, most likely since the prose novel got a lot of hype due the incoming live action movie. I am a huge fan of manga, but I am truly glad of being able to read first the story on its original format.

To explain quick what you can expect here, it’s like Groundhog Day meets Halo.

I really like how smart is this novel. It presents a great characters’ development. Also it’s a festival of genres, while the military science-fiction is the main genre, you can find too elements of dystopia, mystery, politics and romance. Also, the author did a great work establishing his own sci-fi technology, how it works and how the pilots must use it. Everything in a total adult way.

The main characters are Keiji Kiriya and Rita Vrataski. Something quite amusing when the characters are described is that Rita Vrataski is a petite woman with red hair, but due she is a hero of the army forces, it will be done a movie on U.S. about her, and it’s said that the chosen actress is a tall blonde woman, that it’s how Emily Blunt will performed the character on the incoming movie.

The interaction between the main characters and the interaction of them with the secondary characters, everything is done masterfully with realism and depth.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! Japanese Light Novels in English and Begginers..

So that was the Japanese Light Novels For Beginners. We hope you have enjoyed this article. If you have any questions let me know in the comment below.

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