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.
Over the course of 2014, the top-selling light novels were:
- 魔法科高校の劣等生 — The Irregular at Magic High School — 1,599,614
- ソードアート・オンライン — Sword Art Online — 1,403,681
- カゲロウデイズ — Kagerou Daze — 1,106,631
- 物語 — Monogatari Series — 826,719
- やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている — My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU— 640,119
- ハイキュー!! — Haikyu!! — 603,511
- ノーゲーム・ノーライフ — No Game No Life — 594,667
- 新約 とある魔術の禁書目録 — New Testament: A Certain Magical Index — 545,890
- 黒子のバスケ – Replace — Kuroko’s Basketball: Replace — 387,330
- ログ・ホライズン — Log Horizon — 376,830
Onii-sama is quite powerful indeed!
Note: No Game No Life has two separate entries on the list (it also places 15th with 344,771 sales of “old” books from Media Factory, a subsidiary of Kadokawa that was absorbed in late 2013). If you add both entries together then the series has actually sold 939,438 copies, moving it up to fourth place.
Click here to see the full chart for the top 30-selling light novel series for the year. (Source: Anime News Network).
For the most part it appears the trend of top-selling light novels for the first half of the year continued into the second half, though the order has changed a bit due to new entries released (e.g. Sword Art Online and The Irregular at Magic High School received a new volume in August and September, respectively).
To see a sales chart for specific volumes of light novels, click here. The top 30-selling light novels for 2014 are listed. Series that appear the most include:
- Kagerou Daze – 5 volumes
- No Game No Life – 5 volumes
- Monogatari Series – 3 volumes
- Haikyu!! – 3 volumes
- Sword Art Online – 3 volumes (if including Progressive)
- New Testament: A Certain Magical Index – 3 volumes
- The Irregular at Magic High School – 2 volumes
Interestingly, Oregairu (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU) only has one volume make the list (implying that its high ranking overall is due to sales spread out over many volumes). Other entries with one volume on the list include Kuroko’s Basketball (surprisingly the sixth top-selling light novel of the year), Baka and Test, Haganai (I Don’t Have Many Friends), and Accel World.
Also worth noting, is how by the end of this year there will be several series with official releases in English. From the list of top 30-selling series, I see Sword Art Online, Kagerou Daze, No Game No Life, A Certain Magical Index, Log Horizon, Strike the Blood, Black Bullet, The Devil is a Part-Timer!, Accel World, Aria the Scarlet Ammo, and Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (DanMachi).