Best Light Novels

A light novel (ライトノベル raito noberu? ) is a style of Japanese novel primarily targeting middle- and high-school students (young adult demographic). [1][2] "Light novel" is a wasei-eigo, or a Japanese term formed from words in the English language. Such short, light novels are often called ranobe (ラノベ? )[3] or LN in the West. They are typically not more than 40,000�"50,000 words long (the shorter ones being equivalent to a novella in US publishing terms), are rarely more than a few hundred pages, often have dense publishing schedules, are usually published in bunkobon size, and are often illustrated. [4] The text is often serialized in anthology magazines before collection in book form.

The Top Ten Best Light Novels

1 Monogatari Series

Simply put, an amazing ride with great characters. Truly a story made with love.

The best light-noel I've ever read and definitely the best anime adaptation of a light novel

I can't express in words how AMAZING the Monogatari series is.

It's way too good, seriously

2 The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria

My dad works for microsoft

By far the best novel I've ever read. A masterpiece in the truest sense of the word, this novel draws you in right from the very start and compels you to follow it till the end. And damn, was the ending satisfying. This series couldn't have ended in any other way!

Really love the twists and plot development. You can plow through a book in a day just because how much it captivates you to read on.

The best thing ever written. It is mysterious, thought provoking, offers insight on every character and is very addictive.

3 Oregairu

It is amazing

Deserves to be on the TOP 5

It's the best accumulation of realistic thoughts that can be put together in a fictional story

The best cynical protagonist out there

4 Spice & Wolf

It was the best light novel I have seen so far

Amazing progression, wonderful unforgettable characters, keeps you hooked

This is not a normal light novel, it's Legend

The epitome of storytelling!

5 Zaregoto
6 Overlord

The cover is wrong

Basically, read this. You won't be dissapointed. Go on, just read Part 1 of Chapter 1. You'll love it.
It's got everything you can imagine and more. Power, women, realism, politics, not vanilla content. Want a generic hero type who works hard and does the right thing? That's Climb. Want a ruthless butcher of humans that "friendship! and Justice!" can't overcome? There's Clementine.
For anyone who's into the psychological aspect, this has it in spades as well and for those who want to see Momon find everything he desperately desired and more, read the twitter side story set in an alternate universe.

Amazing story, anime adaptation was successful but they left out a lot of stuff. Narrative is dynamic, sometimes it is told from Mc's point of view, sometimes it is told from others' (and this creates hilarious situations). I recommend this to everyone even if you don't like isekai(trash) genre.

How to do overpowered characters right in a story? With good world building and taking multiple perspectives from good side characters.

7 Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

One of the best world-building pieces I've ever seen in a while. Some authors could learn a thing or two from Re Zero. Plus, I love Rem.

I've always been a huge fan of this, and will always think this is the best. It's just such an AMAZING story I can't describe it with words. The best thing in my life that happened to me was finding this masterpiece, and I don't think anything is going to beat this.

This story is amazing. By far my favorite light novel and show. Love all the characters in this story and it is a very dark and awesome series.

Why it isn't first yet?

8 Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu Ka?


Amazing characters and relationships with a sad tragic and melancholic atmosphere and a nice story about family and passion

So sad

Love the story and also love the plot

9 A Certain Magical Index

One of the best novels I have ever read it easily captures the wonder of magic and science with a understandable reason to why they are fighting the powers are unique as well as interesting while both has grounded reality the science is sound and the magic takes from real religion in the best way possible.

One of the best novels with amazing world which seems alive. You can feel everything is connected and a part of a larger world. It's like a crossover

Has such an engaging and unique story and one of the best battle systems in anime/manga/light novel I have ever seen

This is arguably one of the most engaging light novels dealing with the theme of magic vs science. The best thing is that it becomes more loveable and intricate with each passing volume.

10 Jobless Reincarnation - It will be All Out if I Go to Another World

Truly an isekai masterpiece

Great novel, mostly thanks to the strong characters. Each one is flawed but in a very humane or endearing kind of way, especially the protagonist that goes from being a useless NEET to risking his life over and over for the sake of his family.

Full of adventures! filled with fun, excitement and brimming with emotions! recommended to everyone!

By far the best isekai out there. Many isekai leave a lot to be desired but this one was executed beautifully. The main character and the supporting cast are all unique and memorable and the plot makes sense...kind of. - AndrewHunt42

The Newcomers

? Moon-Led Journey Across Another World
? So I'm a Spider, So What?

one of the best "reincarnated into another world" light novels out there

The Contenders

11 Konosuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! is a Japanese light novel series written by Natsume Akatsuki.

Easily, the funniest I've encountered so far.

Best comedy I've seen in a while

Instantly hooked. The plot continues to astound me as it unfolds and I absolutely love all of the very well developed characters.

Definitely worth reading if you have some spare time to waste. It's hilarious and has great characters.

12 No Game No Life

Read every available volume (1-7) in 3 weeks. I love the logical genius built into the scenarios the MC's have to get through in order to win.

Exceptional series. I have read each book multiple times and watched the anime, and I can't recommend it enough. The characters and the writing is exceptional, and their genius is portrayed flawlessly.

I know the anime for this, but I haven't watched It yet. I might start off with the novels - MLPFan

Though the english translation is not at top notch. It drops bombs after bombs as the novel approach the end. Imagine the boner u gets from the anime when he declare war on all other race top it all of being the weakest. Get that feeling and times 5 my guy.

13 The Rising of the Shield Hero

Shield Hero was amazing right from the start were the Shield Hero gets sucked up into a different world and has to fight along three other heroes who dislike him and a woman who framed him for a crime he didn't do as well as defend a world that rejects him. This is probably the best action pack fantasy that I have ever read.

Revolves around a main character that goes from being a hopeful would-be hero, to a practical and at times heartless hero. Full of good plot, details, character development, worldbuilding, and a fantastic supporting cast of well developed characters make this an excellent read. Cannot reccomend it enough.

Definitely love the 2 MC. And I absolutely love the MC's personality. It's rarely hard to see such a personality that was good to being twisted but still maintained the good qualities. And I like the fact that he knows what he's doing and won't hesitate to do it, even if it's right or wrong, nice or cruel. He doesn't even let the girls correct him, bully him or tell him what to do which is what I desperately wanted because, dude, where's your pride as a man?.-. (unlike some other MCs like Kojou or Shidou). He can be caring and kind but can also be twisted (again, which I love :3) and incredibly dangerous at the same time.

Fast pace and very good storyline. Keeps readers in suspense and draws them in with un expected twist and turns. The cgaracter development is also really good. After completing this novel, I felt so empty. That, is a true definition of a great LN.

14 Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World

Deep, suspenseful, philosophical, funny, and effortlessly cool.

15 Sword Art Online

This is the best novel where Kirito and Asuna had SEX

Sword Art Online below Log Horizon? You gotta be kidding me.

I'm sorry, but there are just too many problems with Sword Art Online for me to like it. - itz_izzy

There's too many issues and it's kinda really boring

It's getting boring hope it regains its hype soon.

16 Legendary Moonlight Sculptor


A refreshing twist on game element light novels, it has a very real vibe to it, even though many light novels have a similar theme they're all related to transmigration etc. Giving the protagonist an edge over the others. Legendary moonlight sculptor though, has a refreshing change where the protag has good instincts

I just love the MC and his background story...
Learn so much about how cruel life is and how to properly handle it...
The MC is so mouthful but actually kind in his own way, errhhh it's kind in any way... Truly better anger management than Arifureta or Shield Hero

This is a great read!

17 Fate/Zero Fate/Zero is a series of light novels written by Gen Urobuchi, illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi, and is a prequel to Type-Moon's visual novel, Fate/stay night. An anime adaptation of Fate/Zero was jointly produced by Aniplex, nitroplus, Type-Moon, Seikaisha, and Ufotable that ran from 2011-2012.

A great story that made me question what it means to be a hero. Arturia, Iskandar and Gilgamesh really stole the show.

18 Knight's & Magic

I hope for the continuation. it was the best novel for me

it is good

19 Umineko When They Cry
20 The Irregular at Magic High School

Where is season 2 or at least a OVA? It sells sells very good in Japan so what gives?

Relatable though a fantasy work. Not over the top action and story makes it (for me) the best thing I ever read.

Absolutely love it!

This anime is so cool and I really want to know if they will make season 2

21 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Really enjoyed it. Took a while new spin n the stereotypical high school light Novel and made it truly something special.

I'm surprised this wasn't on the list, but this series is one of my favorites. I love all of the characters, and from the light novel, the series got two anime seasons, a movie, and a manga adaptation. Definitely worth checking out. - itz_izzy


22 Baccano! Baccano! (バッカーノ!), which Narita translates as 'stupid commotion', is Italian for 'ruckus'. An ongoing light novel series with over twenty volumes published, it takes place across three eras – the early 1700s, 1930s, and 2000s – and presents its story arcs in anachronistic fashion. Though more.

Awesome plot, keeps you glued from the begining 'till the end each volume. Characters, you could actually look up to. Give it a try!

23 Tales Of Demons and Gods

Great story latest updates have slowed though

It was really good but long update

Can't stop reading this. Amazing story and the way MC knows so such, its stunning.

Started with the Manga and then went "... WHERE IS THE LIGHT NOVEL I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IN THE STORY! " I Couldn't stop with the Manga and I can't stop with the Light Novel now It's a great piece with a good mix of action, mystery, romantic, diplomatic and dark scenes within it.

24 Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken

Underrated, so so good, just keep reading its addictive. Love the LN more than the manga and anime. The story is just that good.

I'm literally obsessed, this is probably the singular best light novel series I've read, full of humor and fantastical beasts, definitely one great isekai!

Top 2 light novels ever written!

Best for me. I can't get over it and have been addicted to it since the beginning. The character development is well portrayed, the transitions on each arc is very smooth, the events in the story can take your breath away (in anticipation). seriously guys, if you want an LN with an OP MC but still down to earth -- who plans ahead before going to battle when it's clear as day that he's by far the strongest--, and support characters that are strong as hell, you better read this! This LN is amazing.

25 Danmachi

I first watched the anime and loved the lightheartedness and the fantasy dungeon aspect. For years after I was wondering where the second season might be but it never showed then I found the light novels... and let me tell you the anime does not do these masterpieces justice... 10/10 Makes a grown man cry like a school girl

When fantasy crosses dreams. By far the most well written light novel I have red. If you like mythology give it a shot. I promise it will not disappoint. The story isn't as deceiving is the title!

Was skeptical at first but seriously some of the best written characters and story plots I had the pleasure of reading!

Great anime, amazing light novel! This is by far my favorite series out there! Love able characters and great story! Highly recommend!

26 Toradora!

It's the best and biggest cliche, and I love it

One of the best light novel. I even read it 10 times the romantic comedy. they help each other to like each's best friend but in the end they fall for each other what a cliche

27 You-Zitsu

Two letters: OP

It should be in top 5
You don't wanna believe me just read itand then come

If you enjoy a series about an OP MC that tricks everyone through intellect this would be your series.

Best Light Novel I've ever read. MC is so good and the story is always intriguing and thrilling.

28 High School DxD

Very attractive novel I always used to read in free time

Super creative with all of these dragon and faction stuff

Just a great one.

One of the few ecchi series with an amazing plot and non stereotype characters

29 Violet Evergarden Violet Evergarden is a Japanese light novel series written by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiko Takase.

it's the best story I've ever encountered my whole life. The love, lost and longing of Violet and Gilbert shatters my heart. Seriously Kana Akatsuki, you've made a master piece. I've never cried so much as I cried for this piece.

Simply the best

Some say it's a sad story, but I call it a love story.

27? what a shame

30 Arifureta Kanashimi No Hate

It was great

Not overpowered from start


I liked the light novel very much can’t wait for the next volume

31 Durarara!!

one of the best first reads. like if you're just into reading for entertainment and you accidently saw this and decide to read. hell gosh. I cannot forget, I cannot move on from durarara

Best show I've ever seen. period.

Really one of the best animes that I have seen there is a lot of caracters and every one have a role in the story.Whene I think about it I still can't say this serie talk about what, because its just a mix of events that create a kind of suspense and thriller and made you interested

When I first started reading, didn't know what to expect. But the story was well done, and the character's designs fitted well with the plot.

Very enjoyable.

32 Against the Gods

Most amazing story I have ever read! Give this a shot and you will not be disappointed. I have read a lot of light novels and this one takes the cake by far.

Have to read it. its still on going & worth to wait

This Is very very good for you who like harem genre with OP mc

Typical chinese OP MC with harem and stage progession system(strongest in city weakest in county, strongest in county weakest in country, stongest in country weakest in continent etc.) If the average one is a 5 this one would be a 6. It's better than average type in this genre but its still doesn't stand out in any field except its chapter number. - AndrewHunt42

33 Log Horizon

Easily the best light novel of its kind.

SAO turned from a good story to fanservice that I just can't bother with anymore. The writer of SAO even admitted that it became a harem scenario because he doesn't know how to write male characters, which is plain lousy excuse. Log Horizon on the other hand only got progressively interesting. So LH > SAO for me. SAO fanboys should just go watch your ecchi and hentais to fulfill your harem fantasy.

Anyone who says this is even remotely similar to SAO besides genre clearly hasn’t read or watched Log Horizon, which has a much more political and academic look on an astoundingly more realistic and intriguing world.

Better than SAO, always.

34 Invincible Level Up
35 Hyouka

Nostalgic mystery

You can feel the mystery

I like kudryavka seqence very much!

Now why isn't hyouka in this list? deserves to be under hakomari in my opinion

36 Re:Monster

A bit out in a many extents (like too overpowered, etc) but quite entertaining, like it much

It's pretty good except the story is a bit fast and sometime it's a bit confusing other than that it's pretty good read...exciting stuff.

Good story - Dragovik

Pretty good

37 Peerless Martial God
38 Isekai Wa Smartphone to Tomo to In

Linze best girl

Awesome must read I liked it most

39 The Saga of Tanya The Evil

An awesome piece of work and a strong character

A highly underrated masterpiece - Kuro


40 Campione
41 Everyone Else is a Returnee

Main character takes things his own pace while others have to just role with it. Really good twists that make you question everything. It is kind of fast paced; however it ends up ending in the most satisfying way possible. I don't regret reading this.

The MC is in the clever side, furthermore he never commited the same mistake twice

The progression is interesting, very fast pace and it keeps you on your toes imagining what ability the MC is gonna get next. - AndrewHunt42

42 Kaifuku Jutsushi No Yarinaoshi
43 Slayers
44 Full Metal Alchemist Fullmetal Alchemist is an anime series adapted from the manga of the same name by Hiromu Arakawa. It is about two brothers, Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric, trying to restore their bodies after failing at bringing their mother back to life. It aired in 2003 and was remade as Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood more.
45 Bungou Stray Dogs
46 Kagerou Project

Amazing story spread out over 8 volumes. It's about a group of kids that all have "eye abilties" that cause them to have red eyes, and because of this are made out to be monsters. Each charcter has a backstory, and every single one of them is sure to leave an impresion.

Kagerou Project is really good!

47 Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai

My god this light novel is so funny and realist about the people who don't have any friends - MloikFred

48 Hataraku Maou Sama (Devil is a Part Timer)

It is the best, I don't remember the part time lady partner that maou had, but I root for her

This is the best reverse isekai for me, Yusa Emi for life!

49 Sayonara Piano Sonata
50 Cooking with Wild Game
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