Though this site focuses on light novels in English, I feel it’s useful to take a look at what’s making waves in Japan every now and then. Series that are popular in Japan may become likely candidates for official releases in English, and it is interesting to note the trends within Japanese pop fiction.
From November 18, 2013 to May 18, 2014–the top-selling light novel series are:
- カゲロウデイズ — Kagerou Daze — 814,638
- 魔法科高校の劣等生 — The Irregular at Magic High School — 651, 405
- ソードアート・オンライン — Sword Art Online — 592,669
- 物語 — Monogatari Series — 519,732
- やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている — My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU — 487,397
Click here to see the full chart for the top 20-selling light novel series for the first half of this year. (Source: Anime News Network)
As can be expected, the top-selling series all have recent anime adaptations.
- The Kagerou Daze light novels were written to go along with a series of Vocaloid music videos known as Kagerou Project. An anime adaptation titled Mekaku City Actors is currently airing and can be viewed on Crunchyroll.
- The Irregular at Magic High School also has an anime adaptation currently airing, which can be watched on Crunchyroll.
- Sword Art Online’s anime will receive a second season this summer.
- More of the Monogatari franchise will be adapted into anime this summer as well, this time for Hanamonogatari.
- It was recently announced that My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU would receive a second season for its anime adaptation, though it has not yet been announced when.
To see a sales chart for specific volumes of light novels, click here. The top 30-selling light novels for the first half of 2014 are listed, with the most coming from the Kagerou Daze series.
I personally find it interesting to see something a little more out-of-the-ordinary like Kagerou Daze doing so well. Obviously Vocaloid is still a force to be reckoned with, but the story behind these particular music videos has clearly connected with a great portion of the Japanese readership.
I was also surprised to see My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU doing as well as it is. Despite the story’s orthodox setting, it’s a series I’ve found engaging thanks to its cast of interesting characters.
Also worth noting that series such as Sword Art Online, A Certain Magical Index, and Accel World continue to perform well. Each of these have been recently licensed for English publication by Yen Press. (The first volume of Accel World is slated for a July release, while a release window for A Certain Magical Index is yet to be announced.)