Light Novels (in America)July 6, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Articles, Light Novels | 16 Comments
(Oddly enough only two of these novels are getting releases in America)
This is meant to lead up to that new category for light novels I mentioned before. I’m going to be getting to a bookstore soon, so that’s probably going to start up soon.
I’ve always been interested in light novels. Especially recently when it seems like every single anime is being adapted from light novels rather than manga. Wagaya no Oinari-sama, Kure-Nai, Allison to Lillia, and Toshokan Sensou are all based off light novels; and that’s just from the spring season (Apparently Kanokon is too, but I’m not even going to list that title with all those other good anime). And in the Summer Season there’s even more.
It seems like every other week I read some new announcement about an anime adaptation from more light novels. Off the top of my head, we have season three of Hakushaku to Yosei, and that one with the girls that transform into soda cans or whatever (I think it’s called AkiKan). I know there have been plenty of others. There was one announced really recently on ANN.
(So basically, this is just my introduction post for that new category I talked about before for Light Novels)
This all started with Haruhi. A while ago I tried reading the Haruhi novels online. The gender-bending project to rewrite the novels made me finally check the translations out. It just didn’t work though. I hate reading stuff online. It’s almost impossible for me to do unless there’s pictures breaking up the text or it’s all fitted into a smaller width. I have a widescreen monitor, so if the text isn’t constricted to a certain width, I have a lot of back and forth to do and it gives me a headache.
I finished the first novel online, but that was so much of a chore that I gave up after hearing there was a light at the end of the tunnel and Haruhi was licensed (but it’s going to take a year to come out).
I suppose I could have printed the stuff out and read it like that, but to be honest I want something to look forward to. Besides, my parents stole my printer because theirs isn’t working.
But the news had another effect, it got me thinking about light novels again. I’ve sort of acknowledged light novels, but just thought of them as “stuff anime gets based off of” since it’s rare to see them in stores.
I’ve been collecting the Karin (Chibi Vampire, ugh) novels, but I really didn’t see light novels in stores that often, so there was sort of a, “out of sight, out of mind” thing going on. And before Karin, all I’d ever seen were the Love Hina novels, which really…is just the main story written out (isn’t the main purpose of Love Hina the fanservice? Who really wants to read it?). So my interest in light novels is fairly recent.
Then I started stumbling on more and more anime that was based off of light novels. And after the Haruhi announcement, I made up my mind. I was a fan of light novels…despite not reading them. Sort of like those fanboys who don’t know Japanese but are still fans of visual novels and dating sims that aren’t translated. It basically means I became someone who sat around and complained about light novels not making it over to the states enough.
Of course, I’m still complaining, but now that I’ve found out that a good amount of light novels are being brought over, I had to change what I’m complaining about…slightly.
Because of TokyoPop’s stupidity, I get to complain about the two Light Novels I’m currently reading being in trouble (Karin’s been dropped altogether it seems and there’s no foreseeable plans for more FMP!).
And I’ve also chosen to complain that…not enough people are aware of Light Novels. And not enough of them are interested.
I actually had a conversation about this with my friend Ashley that explains this. She doesn’t really like anime (not enough to be an “anime fan” anyway), but she’s usually well-aware of the community and stuff.
“Crap. They don’t have it.”
“Well, I was looking for the latest volume of the Karin novel…I was sure it came out recently.”
“Then why are we in the manga section?”
“Because it’s from Japan and based off of a manga.”
“I didn’t even know they had that sort of thing.”
*sigh* “No one really does. It sucks because I want to read them.”
“Well, it’s not that surprising. Most people who read manga don’t seem to be very…scholastic.”
Don’t be insulted. After that I laughed at her because she hasn’t even finished reading the first Harry Potter book. She reads less than anyone so she really isn’t allowed to judge someone else’s reading habits. But because she’s not really that interested in talking about anime, we dropped it after that.
Though, I understand where her statement is coming from. I meet plenty of fans who aren’t “scholastic” and don’t even want to read manga because it’s reading. It’s pathetic.
Really, I never thought Light Novels would make it over in the first place. I wonder how well they’re selling.
I mean…Start with the whole anime community. Take out the people who have never bought a single anime-related item in their life. Then take out the ones who don’t bother reading manga because it’s “too much work” (yes, they exist). And once again you have to cut that number down because I know plenty of manga fans who hate reading books.
So, while I’m not sure about what the actual percentage would be, common sense tells me that anime and manga make more money. It’s obvious that this is what people are going to pursue.
I’ve been pretty pessimistic about novels making it over, excluding a major hit like Haruhi. But I guess I was wrong.
Granted, the list of light novels being brought over isn’t really that long. But I’m at least mildly interested in
most of what’s being brought over. I guess it’s a small benefit of limited products, the good ones (popular ones) are more likely to make it over.
But for now I’m not going to be picky and am just going to pick up everything that seems even slightly interesting.
I’m, of course, starting with Full Metal Panic!. I currently have the first two volumes for that. I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to get the rest after volume 3…thinking of TokyoPop’s current troubles and the fact that there are no release dates listed after volume 3. Freakin’ jerks. They’re responsible for a lot of the novels I want to check out. And if I can’t get the rest of FMP!…ugh. I’d have to read it online (so annoying).
Here’s my current Wishlist:
- Full Metal Panic!
- Strawberry Panic
- Shakugan no Shana
- Scrapped Princess
- Crest of the Stars
- Ballad of a Shinigami
- Good Witch of the West (Likely Dropped by TokyoPop)
- Karin -Chibi Vampire- (Dropped by Tokyopop)
Released in the Future:
- Haruhi Suzumiya (2009)
- Zero no Tsukaima -Zero’s Familiar- (December 2008)
- Maria-sama ga Miteru
- Hakushaku to Yosei
- Ginban Kaleidoscope
- Wagaya no Oinari-sama
- Toshokan Sensou
What really bothers me about this list is that the manga versions usually make it over to the states first. The Haruhi manga is going to be available in October of 2008 and we have to wait until 2009 for the novel? Ugh.
To be honest, I have no use for manga adaptations. They’re usually god awful. Whether they adapt an anime or a light novel, it just never seems to work. I guess it just goes with the idea that the original work is almost always best.
But now that novels are making it over to the states I’m a happy girl. Everyone else should celebrate with me as well…and read novels. And hope for some other novels to get licensed as well…and hope that everyone doesn’t go the Yen Press and Little, Brown route and take a year to get them out there. =_=;;
Of course, anyone is better than TokyoPop at this point. Amd with TokyoPop having some troubles, I’m wondering how bright of a future light novels will have in America. At least the titles that TokyoPop picks up for novels seem rather…doomed. TokyoPop’s having trouble and light novels don’t seem to make the sort of money they want.
But maybe if some people spent more time promoting them instead of their obviously-gonna-fail OEL manga, things would be a little different. All TokyoPop has for manga is Fruits Basket and Karin (which they stupidly renamed Chibi Vampire).
Recently they added Kaichou wa Maid-sama, but that almost made me break down in tears because I just know they’re going to release it slowly and they’ll go down before the final volume even gets released in Japan. You watch…it’s going to happen.
Everything else I’m probably getting from Viz and Del Rey these days. *sigh* If only Maid-sama was picked up by Viz like I thought it would be.
Well, let’s hope that Seven Seas and others do a better job with their light novels (though I expect TokyoPop to start being less lame since they’re holding my precious FMP!).
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