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Light Novels and Web Novels with Main Character (MC) Hiding His Strength
Anyone who had watched anime such as the recently released Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku (Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody) and Overlord had probably brushed the topic of reading their light novel or web novel counterparts. Light novels and web novels are the original manuscripts of anime and provide a great pastime for many. Recently, a theme in these novels has been gaining popularity in the most reading communities. Light novels with the protagonist hiding his or her true power had brought much excitement to many readers. And among the said kind of novels, here are among the most famous and highly recommended to read.
Main Character Hides His Strength
Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Fantasy] [Mature] [Mystery] [Korean]
Personal Rating: 4/5
Enemy of the world, cursed by all, Sungchul Kim goes on a quest to prevent the ‘Prophecy of Calamities’ from coming to pass.
But no matter how much he raised his strength, there were still some things he could not achieve with physical strength alone; Facing the Devil King of the 'Other World', Sungchul is forced to accept this fact.
Resolving to obtain the power of magic, he goes into hiding to learn Magic from his most hated of enemies; The Mages.
Main Character Hides His Strength seems like a comical title in which it states exactly what the novel is in a single glance, but the plot development of the novel is certainly great in ways comparable to Reincarnator and The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor. The story of the novel starts with the main character with the title World’s Enemy unable to kill a powerful ethereal existence which encouraged the main character to learn magic. The plot of the story revolves mostly the main character’s journey of learning magic (e.g. trying to increase his cursed status) while avoiding the attention of powerful enemies. The plot generally is quite similar to The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor.
The main character of the novel is also similar to the protagonist in Reincarnator who prefers acting alone and usually manipulates people to achieve personal goals. The novel is also well-paced and does not delve much deeper into side stories (as the perspective of the narration focused mostly on the main character). However, the novel packed only with short descriptions of the action scenes leaving unsatisfactory and “not enough” feeling to the readers.
The New Gate
Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Fantasy] [Romance]
Personal Rating: 5/5
"THE NEW GATE", an online game that trapped its players and turned into a death game, was now releasing the thousands of players that had been dragged into it, thanks to the efforts of Shin, one of the most powerful players. But after having defeated the last boss and freed everyone, he was swallowed up by a strange light and found himself inside the game world 500 years in the future and unable to leave....
Though The New Gate’s plot is not entirely unique (rather quite similar to Overlord), the plot still give an interesting flow especially on the part of the protagonist. The protagonist, aside from being completely overpowered, provides an original perspective of the story in terms of behavior (e.g. passive with regards to fights) personality.
Most of the thrill of the novel comes from the protagonist showing legendary and rare items nonchalantly towards other characters. The fighting scenes also provide excitement in the novel (especially the part where the main character shows his true strength) which you should actually look forward to though character dialogues still dominate much of the novel. The novel is also slow-paced with side stories emerging everywhere in the novel.
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
Genre: [Action] [Martial Arts] [Mystery] [Romance] [School Life] [Sci-fi] [Seinen] [Supernatural]
Personal Rating: 4/5
It is a product of neither legends nor fairy tales but instead has become a technology of reality since a time unknown to people.
Supernatural power became a technology systematized through magic, while magic became a technical skill. A “Supernatural Power User” became a “Magic Technician”.
Magic Technicians (in short, Magicians) are nurtured through Magic High Schools and Universities.
This is a story about:
A defective elder brother and low achiever.
A perfect, flawless younger sister and a high achiever.
After both siblings entered a Magic High School,
The stage of daily turbulence was unveiled —.
Anyone who had watched anime had probably heard of Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. Though the anime gives a gist of what the story is all about, the novel digs much deeper into the story. The plot follows the main character, by the name of Shiba Tatsuya, who has a ridiculously powerful backstory (in short, he’s an overpowered character), attends a magic academy with a low student ranking (i.e. Weed as used in the novel). The main character is calculative, smart, and as mentioned, very powerful that his alias is known all over the world; however, he prefers to hide his abilities to avoid any unwanted attention. Still, in some situations, he reveals his might most likely to induce fear or trust in his opponents.
The novel all together is well-paced with character conversations dominant in each volume. Action scenes are not a miss. Still, flaws in some events such as an insufficient explanation on magic and character’s unseemingly “abnormal” actions create bafflement on the readers. The tons of character names, too, would be hard to remember in case you’re reading the novel on more than one sitting.
From Elf Reincarnation to Cheat Kingdom Founding Chronicle
Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Ecchi] [Fantasy] [Harem] [Mature] [Romance] [Shounen]
Personal Rating: 3/5
A genius magician, to fight against his fate to die a natural death from old age, grasped at the truth of magic to allow himself to reincarnate with a power he created himself. The cycle of reincarnation is repeated multiple times and in his 31st reincarnation, the magician became a boy named Syril who lives in a village of elves. However, that village is ruled by Humans, and the Elves are treated as livestock.
After becoming 14 years old, Syril, who regained his past knowledge and experience, stands up to help a girl, who is his childhood friend. The story of the creation of an ideal country begins in that one village, a place where all races can coexist.
Elves, Fox-girl, and various other Heroines.
Reading the first few chapters of From Elf Reincarnation to Cheat Kingdom Founding Chronicle would actually give you some thoughts on the novel being ‘boring’ or ‘too typical’ for its genre. Indeed, the novel is mainstream on the reincarnation part. However, further parts of the novel show exciting progression on the plot in terms of how the main character builds his own kingdom as well as how the main character shows his true prowess (i.e. bring a reincarnated countless times while gaining the experience of his past life).
Though the action and fighting scenes between groups or tribes are insufficient in providing an exciting atmosphere, the fighting scenes of the protagonist (especially the plot twists on failing-winning of the protagonist) overpower this lack of thrill. But just a bit of warning before you actually read this novel; the novel contains explicit and sexual content so you should actually take that into consideration.
Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Fantasy] [Romance] [School Life] [Supernatural]
Personal Rating: 4/5
Powerless and filled with raging anger for half his life, an avenger grasps hold of what was to be his redemption only to find despair and darkness.
His mind lost, his anger went on to bring about the path of carnage. He is, but an inextinguishable flame that threatens to consume everything; all in the name of retribution.
Death was but a moments reprieve for his agony. His rage overflows even after the sweet release.
Unable to be snuffed out by the laws of the world, he is granted life once more In a different era. All those whom his vengeance is focused on vanished into obscurity with the passage of time.
What does one who has all the power of the world at his finger-tips do, when all the reasons for that power have vanished?
Forgotten Conqueror is one of the first novels I’ve encountered and certainly, it fits the theme of ‘main character hiding his strength’. The story of the novel focuses on the main character being reincarnated years after his time. It is important to point out that the narration of the events on the novel gives off a mysterious yet thrilling vibe (similar to finding out the murderer on a crime investigation television series). The plot development, too, is one thing that should be applauded on this novel as it gives a direct-to-the-point information in shifting character perspectives. As for the main character, he would not be a thing to miss; his calculative and powerful personality carrying himself like a true king are some points you’ll love about the protagonist. Moreover, how the main character hides his true power then unleashes to overcome a grave situation is definitely one of the things you should look forward to when reading this novel.
ELYSION Virtual Region
Genre: [Action] [Fantasy] [Harem] [Martial Arts] [Romance] [School Life] [Sci-fi] [Shounen]
Personal Rating: 3/5
An incredibly athletic older brother, Tenryu Taiga. A programming genius girl, Tenryu Fuyuki. The two siblings separated for eight years ended up living under one roof again after facing the problem – a lack of funds for living expenses.
Fuyuki proposes a way to earn money, a core system deeply involved in people's daily lives, a game that awards you money as a prize for defeating malicious bugs in the cyber world, the 《Aries》structure. Taiga after becoming a warrior in the game relying on his inborn senses is puzzled by the unfamiliar sensation.
One day Saionji Rui, Fuyuki's best friend appears and is attacked by a mysterious bug― “I'll be waiting, my prince.”. Hybrid fantasy battle of cheating siblings begins here!
If you read Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei already, you can spot few similarities with ELYSION Virtual Region. Foremost, both of the novels deal with siblings as protagonists, protagonists being overpowered, and of course, protagonists hiding their strength for a viable reason. However, what differs ELYSION from Mahouka revolves mostly around the plot and setting of the story. ELYSION deals with a light plot (i.e. not too many vigorous and serious action scenes) in a virtual game setting. Rather than having the serious atmosphere Mahouka has, ELYSION provides a humorous and lukewarm vibe. Characters do not entirely engage in fighting scenes in each volume; but when they actually do, it’s a scene really worth remembering for. Overall, this novel is recommended for those who prefer light-themed adventure mixed with bits of comedy.
Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Fantasy] [Mature] [Psychological] [Sci-fi] [Supernatural]
Personal Rating: 5/5
The change that had started in order to rid of a God’s boredom.
The diary of Kang Hansoo who had come back in order to save humanity which had been destroyed by this change.
Source: Gravity Tales
Reincarnator is one of the best novels to read out there. The novel has an excellent storyline (though not entirely unique) that flows smoothly all throughout the chapters. As for the main character, he is undeniably the best protagonist that hides his true power without any flaws. In addition, the main protagonist too has an original personality and behavior that make him the center of focus on the story. Aside from the main protagonist, the side characters have also great backstories (with a connection to the protagonist) that make each chapter of the novel worthwhile.
Action scenes in the novel are well portrayed and described. The shifting perspectives of the characters in some parts of the chapter add up to the thrill of the action scenes. Even the conversations of the characters are all significant part of the story that readers like you would dare not to miss. Each information on the character’s conversation give tidbits of clues what had happened in the past or what could possibly happen in the future.
The Lazy Swordmaster
Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Drama] [Fantasy] [Martial Arts] [Slice of Life]
Personal Rating: 3/5
I finally managed to kill the demon lord. Can't I rest a bit now? Just leave me alone. Let me rest.
A hero from a modern world is reincarnated in a new world. He just wants to lead a peaceful new life, but his troubles begin when his family begins choosing their new successor.
Meanwhile, new enemies are rising from the shadows...
Source: Light Novel Bastion
The Novel Swordmaster has the potential to be one of the best novels. A progressive and clear plot exists. A diverse range of characters and opponents from demons to dragons to undead exists which makes the story more interesting. The fighting scenes are carefully described that makes it entertaining and not boring. However, the disappointing part of the novel lies on the main character. The novel greatly emphasized the main character’s laziness all throughout the story (which made the main character hide his power). Yet, the protagonist’s actions on most of the events portray the opposite; the main character acts actively as far as spending great efforts on concealing his works. Moreover, the main character's actions also instill a massive amount of attention when he entirely wants to avoid it. Altogether, not minding any of these contradictions on the main character, the novel certainly is one of the best novels to read out there.
The King’s Avatar
Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Slice of Life] [Sports]
Personal Rating: 4/5
In the online game Glory, Ye Xiu is regarded as a textbook and a top-tier pro-player. However, due to myriad reasons, he is kicked from the team. After leaving the professional scene, he finds work in an Internet Cafe as a manager. When Glory launches its tenth server, he who possesses ten years of gaming experience once again throws himself into the game. Bringing with him the memories of his past and an incomplete, self-made weapon, his return along the road to the summit begins!
After fighting and scheming, who snatched away my glory? Under the tossing of the wind and rain, my dreams shall still appear as though they had never been shattered. In all its splendor, the path shall never be lost. Before the gazes of millions, this is where I return!
After reading a few chapters on The King’s Avatar, some could deem it to be boring and too slow (as in the case of the plot). Indeed, the novel has an unclear narration and slow-paced progression of the story. However, the original story of the novel is one of the best things worth praising for. The main character, which is completely and insanely overpowered at the start, starts back again from scrap; just that simple though keeps the novel exciting and the readers wanting for more chapters. Even the main character’s past makes every reader completely thrilled of what had happened and what will happen (in case he wants revenge). Though the fighting scenes are mostly in the game setting, it does not lessen the entertainment and excitement from seeing how the main character maneuvers excellently away from danger.
That concludes the list for now. If you have anything to search for such as light novels and web novel with an overpowered main character or with kingdom building, try reading my other lists. And I hope you enjoyed reading my recommendations.