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

1 The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria

My dad works for microsoft

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.


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2 Monogatari Series

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

The Adventures of a Teen Pseudo-Vampire Lolicon

Nadeko=Best Girl - Kuro

What's with this image of gahara San though

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3 Oregairu

One of my favorite protagonist of all time

Best novel forever...ever...,

Best love triangle of all time

To put it shortly, it's the best thing I have ever read

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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

A slower paced story filled with a wondrous series of believable events, savourable timelines and developed characters.

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5 Zaregoto
6 Overlord

The cover is wrong

If you like the anime you will love the novel

The best villains plot ever

I think this is the worst mistake of this web

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7 Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu Ka?

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

Love the story and also love the plot

8 Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

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?

Heart wrenchingly beautiful.

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

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

Best isekai light novel ever.
If you’re into isekai’s, this is a must read LN

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10 Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World

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

The Contenders

11 A Certain Magical Index

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.

One of the most well-established worlds and power systems in fiction. Characters you will love and hate. The author is simply a genius.

A great read. Very entricate and delicate plots. All around amazing.

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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.

The best

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.

The best novel ever

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13 The Rising of the Shield Hero

Rising shield hero is a fantastic Anime series

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.


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14 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

This is a great read!

Started reading the LN after finishing the Webtoon. Worth the time. Really awesome LN.

This is really good

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15 Knight's & Magic

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

it is good

16 Umineko When They Cry
17 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.

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18 Konosuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! Konosuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World!

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.

The comedy could be compared to gintama

A light hearted romp that just makes you happy to have read it

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19 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

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20 Baccano! 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!

21 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.

Bit slow but still a good read. - Dragovik

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22 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.

Top 2 light novels ever written!

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!

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.

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23 Danmachi 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

Best Lightnovel out there

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

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!

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24 High School DxD

Super creative with all of these dragon and faction stuff

Very attractive novel I always used to read in free time

Just a great one.

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

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25 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.

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

27? what a shame

Simply the best

To be honest, this is one of the most beautifully written light novels I have read. The characters, their perspectives, and their stories all add up to each other making you feel part of the story. I’m quite disappointed it is only 27th here.

27 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 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


28 Arifureta Kanashimi No Hate

Not overpowered from start


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

29 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

30 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.

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31 Durarara!!

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 Invincible Level Up
33 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

34 Hyouka 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

35 Fate/Zero 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.
36 Isekai Wa Smartphone to Tomo to In

Linze best girl

Awesome must read I liked it most

37 Peerless Martial God
38 Kaifuku Jutsushi No Yarinaoshi
39 Slayers
40 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

41 Campione Campione
42 Kagerou Project 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!

43 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

44 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

45 Bungou Stray Dogs Bungou Stray Dogs
46 Full Metal Alchemist 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.
47 Sayonara Piano Sonata
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 Cooking with Wild Game
50 The Asterisk War

Battle, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery. Couldn't put it down, despite that I generally find ecchi and harem annoying and too unrealistic. As the series goes on, the world gets deeper.

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List Stats

2,000 votes
57 listings
4 years, 205 days old

Top Remixes

1. Monogatari Series
2. The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria
3. Oregairu
1. The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria
2. Monogatari Series
3. Spice & Wolf


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