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Top Light Novels List

Updated on September 18, 2012

A Quick Overview of the Light Novel

A light novel is one that is a fictional book without deep themes, that is to be read strictly for enjoyment, such as your typical romance, mystery or sci-fi book. It requires little thought and are often illustrated.

A typical light novels sometimes use a short style with paragraphs of one to three sentences in length. They are usually driven by dialogue. Light novel authors make use of literary minimalism.

In recent years, light novel stories have been popular choices for adaptation into manga, anime, and live-action films such as Suzumiya Haruhi series.

The light novel pictured is Suzumiya Haruhi written by Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrated by Noizi Ito

About Our Best Light Novels List

The recommended titles are listed in no special order, so just because a title is listed first/last won't mean it's the best/worst. You can also vote for your favorite light novel on below, add it to the top list, or simply find good light novel to read.

You can even grab the whole thing as an RSS feed or a widget for your blog. Most popular light novel will usually be located at the top of the rankings list. This isn't just my opinion, these novel are the ones that those in the know have consistently rated as the top light novel available right now.

*Sources: animenewsnetwork, myanimelist, wikipedia and more

Ore no Imouto
Ore no Imouto

Ore no Imouto

Written by Tsukasa Fushimi, with illustrations provided by Hiro Kanzaki.

Plot Summary: Living on the shadow of his prodigious younger sister, Kyousuke Kosaka conducts a normal lifestyle until he accidentally finds out that she hides a secret. In addition to being smart, pretty, and popular; Kirino Kosaka is also an obsessive consumer of anime and eroge (adult computer games).

After being assured that Kyousuke is committed to not mock her and keep this concealed from their parents, she starts to share a bit of her world with him. Kirino faces several problems as she tries to keep the appearances and balance her exemplar school life with her hobbies. Her brother then becomes a crucial ally while dealing with all the difficulties that lie ahead.

Bakemonogatari
Bakemonogatari

Bakemonogatari

Written by Nisio Isin, with illustrations provided by Vofan

Plot Summary: Although there are still traces of the brief period he became a vampire, third year high school student Koyomi Araragi is human again.

One day, a classmate named Hitagi Senjougahara, who never talks to anyone, falls down the stairs into Koyomi's arms. He discovers that Hitagi weighs next to nothing, in defiance of physics.

Despite being threatened by her to keep away, Koyomi offers his help, and introduces her to Meme Oshino, a strange middle-aged man living in an abandoned building, who cured him of being a vampire.

Shakugan no Shana
Shakugan no Shana

Shakugan no Shana

Written by Yashichiro Takahashi and illustrations provided by Noizi Ito

Plot Summary: Sakai Yuuji, a high school student who expected his normal life to last forever, is dead. When he was on his way home he witnessed a shocking view as the world suddenly froze: people were engulfed by blue flames and a monster resembling a large doll swallowed them.

Just as the monster prepared to consume Yuuji, a sword-wielding girl in black attire with flaming red eyes and hair that burns like embers saved him from the monster.

The girl called herself a "Flame Haze" who hunts the "Guze no Tomogara", creatures from another world.

As Yuuji noticed a blue flame in his chest, she called him a "Torch", a temporary replacement, saying that the "real" Yuuji's existence had already ended.

Unfazed, Yuuji befriended the strange girl, named her "Shana", and joined her fight against Tomogara and other Flame Hazes.

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

Written by Hitoma Iruma and illustrations provided by Buriki

Plot Summary: The story revolves around a highschool boy named Niwa Makoto. He lives with his aunt's family since his parents are away on business.

It is there where he meets his mysterious cousin of the same age Touwa Erio - who happens to tie a futon mattress around her upper body and is a self-proclaimed alien.

Her staple food is pizza. Erio had been missing for half a year and was found floating in the sea. She doesn't remember anything about what happened during that period of time, but she began to think that it was the act of an alien and wanders the neighbourhood wrapped in the futon.

Aria the Scarlet Ammo
Aria the Scarlet Ammo

Aria the Scarlet Ammo

Written by Chugaku Akamatsu and illustrations provided by Kobuichi

Plot Summary: Kinji Toyama is a student at Tokyo Butei High, a universal educational facility. At this school, students undertake special training in order to learn the path of the Butei, which is a national qualification permitting its holders to arm themselves and capture criminals.

The Butei were established to counter the worsening crime conditions, with training in various specialized fields. One day, Kinji decides to quit the Academy, until he is mysteriously attacked by the Butei Killer,

However, when he gets caught in a bombing on the way to school, he encounters H. Aria Kanzaki, the most powerful S-Rank Butei student in Assault Studies.

Suzumiya Haruhi
Suzumiya Haruhi

Suzumiya Haruhi

Written by Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrations provided by Noizi Ito

Plot Summary: On the first day of high school a beautiful girl named Haruhi Suzumiya introduces herself as having "no interest in ordinary humans".

She asks for any aliens, time travelers, sliders or espers to join her.

Watching her weird behaviour is Kyon who sits in front of Haruhi and is the only person who talks to her. When Kyon comments about Haruhi's joining every club in school and then quitting he unwittingly gives Haruhi an idea to start her own after school club.

Thereafter Kyon and several others find themselves dragged, literally, into the Save our world by Overloading it with fun Suzumiya Haruhi's Brigade (the S.O.S. Brigade for short).

Gosick
Gosick

Gosick

Written by Kazuki Sakuraba

Plot Summary: GOSICK takes place in 1924 in a small, made-up European country of Sauville. The story centers on Kazuya Kujo, the third son of a Japanese Imperial soldier, who is a transfer student to

St. Marguerite Academy, where urban legends and horror stories are all the rage.

There he meets Victorique, a mysterious yet beautiful and brilliant girl who never comes to class and spends her days reading the entire content of the library or solving mysteries that even detectives can't solve.

The series mostly focuses on Kazuya and Victorique getting involved in different mystery cases and their struggle to solve them, at the same time forming important bonds with different people.

Fate Zero
Fate Zero

Fate/zero

Written by Gen Urobuchi and illustrations by Takashi Takeuchi

Plot Summary: Fate/zero takes place 10 years prior to the events of Fate/stay night, detailing the events of the 4th Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City. The War of the Holy Grail is a contest in which seven magi summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete to obtain the power of the "Holy Grail," which grants a miracle.

After three inconclusive wars for the elusive Holy Grail, the Fourth War commences.

Founded by the Einzbern, Mato, and Tohsaka families centuries ago, the Einzbern family is determined to achieve success after three successive failures, no matter the cost.

As a result, they have elected to bring the hated magus killer, Kiritsugu Emiya, into their ranks, despite his methods and reputation as a skilled mercenary and a hitman who employs whatever he can use to accomplish his goals.

Toaru Majutsu no Index
Toaru Majutsu no Index

Toaru Majutsu no Index

Written by Kazuma Kamachi and illustrations by Kiyotaka Haimura

Plot Summary: Kamijou Touma is a student living in Academy City, a highly advanced place in terms of technology. Despite being gauged as a level zero esper (no powers), he possesses on his right hand the Imagine Breaker, an ability that negates any power whatsoever.

Touma finds a young girl named Index who is trying to run away from Necessarius, a powerful magic organization that she is member of. Blessed with the skill of memorizing any sort of information, she holds 103,000 forbidden magical books within her head.

As science and magic cross paths, Touma must face several dangers amid espers and magicians who appear at the exciting scientific town.

Infinite Stratos
Infinite Stratos

Infinite Stratos

Written by Izuru Yumizuru and illustrations provided by Okiura

Plot Summary: Infinite Stratos (IS), a weaponized exoskeleton system, has become the dominant tool of warfare and conflict. Unfortunately for the men in society, only women are able to operate Infinite Stratos... with very few exceptions.

One of those exceptions is Orimura Ichika, an orphan raised by his older sister who is herself a famous IS pilot. When his compatibility with IS is discovered after he accidentally touches an IS at the age of 15, he's given a scholarship and enrolled in a school that specializes in training IS pilots.

Which of course means an... interesting life surrounded by girls for this shy, unassuming boy.

Toradora
Toradora

Toradora!

Written by Yuyuko Takemiya and illustrations provided by Yasu

Plot Summary: Despite Ryuji Takasu's gentle personality, his eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent, so he is utterly hopeless about his chances of getting a girlfriend anytime soon, and does not have many close friends either.

Class rearrangements on his second high school year put him together with his best friend, Yusaku Kitamura, and his hidden crush, Minori Kushieda. Along with these two comes Kushieda's best friend, Taiga Aisaka.

Her delicate appearance contrasts with her brutal personality. Secretly in love with Kitamura, Taiga agrees to help Ryuji with his love interest as long as he helps her get closer to hers.

Durarara
Durarara

Durarara!!

Written by Ryohgo Narita and illustrations by Suzuhito Yasuda

Plot Summary: Ryugamine Mikado is a boy who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro. Masaomi has warned him about people he doesn't want to cross in the city: a champion fighter, an informant, and a mysterious gang called "Dollars."

Nervous from Masaomi's stories, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle. From then on, the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Scarves will rise to the surface, and Ikebukuro will pushed to the breaking point.

Have a comment about this lens? Perhaps you have a different opinion on what makes the best light novel what they are? Feel free to drop me a line here if you have anything to add, or any questions regarding this lens. All feedback is welcome!

Feedback/Comments - This is where you get to have a say

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    • profile image

      anon 2 years ago

      my faves are drrr!!! and shinrei tantei yakumo :D

    • profile image

      RandomDude 2 years ago

      My favourites are Haruhi Suzumiya,Sword Art Online and Gosick.

    • profile image

      Som 2 years ago

      Utsuro no hako to Zero no Maria is a really great light novel too...

    • JennyRowling profile image

      Jenny Rowling 4 years ago from London, UK

      I like the list. It actually made me interested in some of them. I love Durarara a lot.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      where the hell is FMP!

      faggots, faggots everywhere...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Me too HIGHSCHOOL DXD IS TOP 1

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I really luv DRRR!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I really luv DRRR!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Really can't believe that High School DxD is not on here With it's superb mix of Comedy, Ecchi and extremely well written story line. It definitely ranks number one on my favorite light novels.

    • b4ndit profile image

      b4ndit 5 years ago

      I love manga...

    • b4ndit profile image

      b4ndit 5 years ago

      I love manga...

    • b4ndit profile image

      b4ndit 5 years ago

      I love manga...

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Interesting to have these novels featured as I don`t know of these before.

    • profile image

      adamwilliams 6 years ago

      greatg writing,, really beauty