A new year has arrived, and I thought it would be worthwhile taking a brief look back at how things have fared for English light novels over the course of 2015. In 2014 I counted 18 releases… How many do you think there were in 2015?
- January: Vampire Hunter D 22
- February: A Certain Magical Index 2
- March: Accel World 3, Sword Art Online Progressive 1, Kingdom Hearts
- April: Log Horizon 1, No Game No Life 1, The Devil is a Part-Timer! 1, Spice and Wolf 14, Sword Art Online 4, DanMachi 2, Time of Eve: Another Act
- May: A Certain Magical Index 3, Kagerou Daze 1, Attack on Titan: Before the Fall 2
- June: Pandora Hearts: Caucus Race 1, Sword Art Online Progressive 2, The Isolator 1
- July: Accel World 4, No Game No Life 2, Log Horizon 2, Durarara!! 1
- August: The Devil is a Part-Timer! 2, DanMachi 3, A Certain Magical Index 4, Sword Art Online 5, Black Bullet 1, Spice and Wolf 15, Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City 1
- September: Rising of the Shield Hero 1, Kagerou Daze 2, Pandora Hearts: Caucus Race 2, Strike the Blood 1, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Attack on Titan: Harsh Mistress of the City 2
- October: Rising of the Shield Hero 2, No Game No Life 3, Sword Art Online Progressive 3
- November: Naruto – Kakashi’s Story, Accel World 5, A Certain Magical Index 5, Log Horizon 3, Durarara!! 2
- December: Kizumonogatari, The Devil is a Part-Timer! 3, Spice and Wolf 16, Sword Art Online 6, Black Bullet 2, DanMachi 4
And… I think that’s all of them? I hope I didn’t miss any. Last year I included a picture of all the covers of 2014’s releases, but no way I’m doing that this year. If I’m counting correctly, there were FORTY-NINE new light novels released in English for 2015. Did any of you read them all? I think we’re at the point where such a feat becomes quite the challenge!
What were my favorite new titles that I read this year? Here are my top five personal favorites:
Which ones did you enjoy? I hope everyone has been able to find a series they’re excited to follow on into the next year. (I already have a backlog to catch up on myself…) At the moment I have also begun to read Kizumonogatari but I won’t be able to judge that until I’ve finished.
This past year I also read some older releases (and have a backlog to work on in that department as well…), including a number of fan translations I enjoyed. Some more LNs I read and liked in 2015 included When Hikaru Was On the Earth, Another, Gosick, Kino’s Journey, Mimizuku and the King of Night, The Witch’s House: Diary of Ellen, and (as always) Book Girl.
Memorable Moments from My Favorite 2015 Light Novels
- (from Durarara!!) Yumasaki and Karisawa threaten to torture a thug using inspiration from light novels — I just found this whole sequence to be hilarious, and it established their characters perfectly.
- (from Pandora Hearts: Caucus Race) Oz, Break, and Echo infiltrate Gilbert’s date with a noblewoman — it must be read to be believed, and even then you might not believe it.
- (from Kagerou Daze) Shintaro buys a soda from a vending machine on a hot day — over an entire page is devoted to this, which I got a kick out of.
I realize now these are all scenes of comedy…
Licenses Announced in 2015
- In January, from Yen On: Black Bullet, Strike the Blood, and Durarara!! series. These have all received 1-2 volume releases already.
- In February, from Vertical: Kizumonogatari and Seraph of the End series. Kizumonogatari just released in December, and the first Seraph of the End omnibus (covering the first two volumes) will release this month.
- In March, from Yen On: The Irregular at Magic High School. This was planned to release in 2015 but the first volume was delayed, and is set to release this April.
- Also in March, from One Peace Books: The Rising of the Shield Hero. Two volumes have been released so far, with the third to arrive next month.
- In May, from Viz Media: three of the Naruto epilogue novels. The first one (Kakashi’s Story) has already released, with the second (Shikamaru’s Story) to follow next month.
- In July, from Haikasoru (Viz Media): Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Not a light novel, but still of particular interest to many of you stopping by here, I’m sure. The first volume will release in March.
- Also in July, from Vertical: Attack on Titan: Lost Girls. This will release in June.
- Also in July, from Yen On: Baccano!, My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong as I Expected, and Another: Episode S/0. These will all release in April, May, and June, respectively.
- In October, from Yen On: The Boy and the Beast, Overlord, and Psycome. These will release in February, May, and June, respectively.
- And lastly, in December, from Yen On: The Asterisk War, Re: Zero, and Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Sword Oratoria. These are all planned to begin releasing this year.
So that makes ten new series that will start in 2016, plus at least three new single-volume works to look out for. That’s quite the lineup, and I’m excited for a few of them myself (namely My Youth Romantic Comedy, but I’m also curious to try out Baccano and Galactic Heroes). What books are you looking forward to? It will be interesting to see if 2016 will see a similar number of new licenses announced, or if things will start to slow down a bit.
Site Plans for 2016
I hope to keep up with the site, first of all? 2015 was a busy year for light novels, and I was rather busy myself for many months (especially this past month). I did manage to review twenty books though, and I’m glad I was able to help put together at least three interviews. I also liked the summer reading program, and will likely try to have that happen again this year. Perhaps for May, June, and July, so I can include Baccano in the mix.
And as always, I am still meaning to add more to the LN entries themselves to improve that foundational aspect of this site. We’ll see when I finally find the time for that, ha ha. In the meantime, feel free to make any suggestions you have for this site in 2016?