I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

 

“I want to start reading an intriguing light novel  but having thousands of options, I don’t know which one to read.”

 

Or am I wrong?

 

What you might do is ask a friend, or possibly just head to Google and search “best selling light novel in Japan” or “any good light novels recommendation”

 

I noticed that the second method isn’t all that efficient. The results you get from search engines are not entirely accurate.

 

Well, in this post, I will show three rankings that Japanese people use to discover:

 

  • Trending light novels by title in Japan
  • Best selling light novels by volume in Japan
  • Best selling light novels in 2020 and 2021
  • and more!

 

This post is based on quantitative data!

 

If you are looking for light novel recommendations, you will love this post.

 

Let’s get started!

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive a notification when this post is updated.

 

 

EBook Japan

 

It’s one of the most popular services where you can read and buy light novels and manga.

 

They have a variety of titles and they have a ranking where you can check out their best-selling light novels.

 

Top-selling light novels in Japan by volume in July are:

 

  1. My Happy Marriage (Vol.6)
  2. Overlord (Vol.15)
  3. The Apothecary Diaries (Vol.12)
  4. A Tale of the Secret Saint  (Vol.1)
  5. Nigashita Sakana wa Ookikatta ga Tsuriageta Sakana ga Ookisugita Ken (Vol.2 )
  6. Kioku Soushitsu no Koushaku-sama ni Dekiai Sareteimasu: Kore wa Itsuwari no Koufuku desu ka? (Vol.5)
  7. Seijo janakatta no de, Oukyuu de Nonbiri Gohan wo Tsukuru koto ni Shimashita (Vol.7)
  8. A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation (Vol.16)
  9. My Isekai Life: I Gained a Second Character Class and Became the Strongest Sage in the World! (Vol.11)
  10. The Drab Princess, the Black Cat, and the Satisfying Break-up (Vol.4)

 

 

Nigashita Sakana wa Ookikatta ga Tsuriageta Sakana ga Ookisugita Ken (Vol.2 )

 

A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation (Vol.16)

 

My Isekai Life: I Gained a Second Character Class and Became the Strongest Sage in the World! (Vol.11)

 

Source.

 

 

Kimirano

 

Kimirano is a website created by KADOKAWA where you can discover new light novels and read some of them for free.

 

They have a ranking where you can see what are the Japanese people reading right now.

 

Trending light novels by title in Japan right now:

 

  1. Classroom of the Elite (Vol.1) 🔥
  2. Re:Zero Ex Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 1 Shishio no Mita Yume
  3. Re:Zero Kara Hajimaru Isekai Seikatsu Ex 4: The Great Journeys
  4. My Destiny is the bride’s little sister (Vol.1)
  5. Classroom of the Elite: Year 2 (Vol.7) 🔥
  6. Reunited with my former lover on a dating app (Vol.1)
  7. Classroom of the Elite (Vol.4)
  8. Until she remembered the romantic comedy (Vol.1)
  9. Ao & Sakura (Vol.1)
  10. My Stepmom’s Daughter is My Ex (Vol.1)

 

Re:Zero Ex Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 1 Shishio no Mita Yume

 

My Destiny is the bride’s little sister (Vol.1)

 

Classroom of the Elite (Vol.4)

 

Source.

 

 

Oricon

 

The last ranking that I would like to show is Oricon. You can find there the best-selling light novel, manga & books in general.

 

2021

 

The lists above cover sales of physical copies surveyed from November 23, 2020, to November 21, 2021.

 

 

Best selling light novel in Japan by Volume:

 

  1. Jujutsu Kaisen: Iku Natsu to Kaeru Aki (259,960)
  2. Jujutsu Kaisen: Yoake no Ibara Michi (227,474)
  3. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Kaze no Michishirube (208,693)
  4. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Shiawase no Hana (183,304)
  5. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Kataha no Chō (180,389)

 

Jujutsu Kaisen: Yoake no Ibara Michi

 

Buy it on Amazon

 

 

Source

 

 

Best selling light novel in Japan by Series:

 

  1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Novelization (776,320)
  2. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (597,819)
  3. The Apothecary Diaries (496,626)
  4. Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- (424,173)
  5. The Detective Is Already Dead (367,984)

 

 

The Apothecary Diaries (Vol.1)

 

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-

 

Buy it on Amazon

 

 

Source

 

 

 

2020

 

The following covers from November 18, 2019, to November 22, 2020.

 

Best selling light novel in Japan by Volume (2020):

 

  1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Shiawase no Hana (923,139)
  2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Kataha no Cho (913,388)
  3. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no YaibaKaze no Michishirube (607,347)
  4. Overlord 14 (228,628)
  5. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Mugen Train (light novel version) (197,397)
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Shiawase no Hana

Buy it on Amazon
Source

 

 

Best selling light novel in Japan by Series (2020):

 

  1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
  2. Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World
  3. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
  4. Sword Art Online
  5. Kusuriya no Hitorigoto

 

Kusuriya no Hitorigoto
Kusuriya no Hitorigoto

 

Source

 

 

Our recommendations

 

As I mentioned before, this ranking was based on quantitative data from different rankings. It’s not my opinion.

 

But, if you’re interested to know what I’m reading now or Mipon’s recommendations here are our recommendations:

 

Classroom of the Elite Year 2 (Volume 4.5)

 

Classroom of the Elite Year 2 (Volume 4.5)

 

Buy it on Amazon

 

Sword Art Online: Progressive (Vol.8)

 

Sword Art Online: Progressive (Vol.8)

 

Buy it on Amazon

 

 

What is the difference between manga and light novels?

 

A light novel is basically a book with illustrations.

 

While you’re reading a light novel you may find some illustrations like the one below.

 

Frederica
Frederica (Wandering Witch)

 

If you’re a fan of Wandering Witch, don’t miss the interview with the author of Wandering Witch.

 

 

 

 

Does the story change between the web novel and the light novel?

 

It depends on the novel. Most of the light novels are a bit different from the original source (web novel). 

 

For example, in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Yuuki Kagurazaka has a different role in the web novel and anime.

 

Yuuki Kagurazaka

 

What is considered more canon, a web novel or a light novel?

 

There isn’t an official answer on which one is considered canon.

 

In my opinion, the light novel is considered canon, while the web novel was used as the inspiration. 

 

The light novel has been edited, polished, and improved by the original author. That’s why I have a slight preference for considering the light novel the canon of the story.

 

Also, I would always recommend reading the light novel version of the story instead of the web novels

 

The Rising of the Shield Hero

 

 

Are light novels meant to be anime?

 

In the past years, popular anime like Sword Art Online, KonoSuba, Overlord, etc are all based on light novels.

 

So you can expect more light novels to become anime.

 

We have a video explaining what’s Shousetsuka Ni Narou, where is the place that most of the light novels come from.

 

If you’re into light novels, you need to watch this video:

 

 

 

 

Which light novel are you reading right now?

 

Do you have any recommendations?

 

Let me know in the comments!

 

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