What (light/web novel) are you reading?

chronodekar

Obsessively signs his posts
Staff member
#1
What light/web novel are you reading? A discussion thread on our non-fanfiction reading.

I just spent the last 4 days on a semi-binge reading of "The Rising of the Shield Hero". Baka-tsuki originally had translations, but the first 2 volumes got pulled due to an official english release. .. I think. Anyway, my source is this very helpful link - http://swordandgame.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-rising-of-shield-hero-volume-1.html

The story is about a random guy (Iwatani Naofumi) who gets pulled into a magical world after reading a book. The story doesn't even hide the fact that this is a blatant rip-off from 'Curious Play' where the heroine was sucked into a book. And that's where the similarities end. Naofumi has been given the role of 'Hero of the Shield' or Shield-Hero, as I like to think of him and needs to 'save the world' with 3 other heros holding different weapons - sword, spear and bow.

The fun part of the story begins around chapter 3 or 4. Naofumi gets back-stabbed and labelled as a criminal. Then we come to the story of how he slowly rises in the world, despite all the prejudice about him. I'm currently at chapter 198, the point where .. well, lets ignore spoilers for now, but darn, I need sleep.

Anyway, as interesting as the story is, the lack of ... romantic commitments from the Hero's side is starting to annoy me. Sure, he has a good reason and all ... but I kindof wish I was reading something else. No, I'm not looking for a Rom-Com, but rather a nice fantasy story like this one, but where the hero is hitched. There was that one other story where an otaku gets reborn as a baby, but beyond a point, the cast felt too two-dimensional for me.

Anyone got any good reading suggestions?

-chronodekar
 

Watashiwa

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I really, really don't like Shield Hero. The start is very promising, but after the wave or whatever it's called the whole thing just loses its charm. Part of the problem is that it's set up to be a guy fighting both his depressive tendencies and an unjust society, but it turns out that the society is rotten to the core and the good parts of it are all on his side after all. It could have still worked if it had been headed in that direction from the start, but it wasn't.

Here's something that I do like, The Zashiki Warashi of the Intellectual Village. The idea is that in order to sell super luxury branded products, Japan implements a system of intellectual villages, basically super high-tech towns that emulate the look of rustic Japan. Not only are the resulting products organic, but they're made with the highest quality ingredients by master craftsmen. As a side effect of the return to all-natural environments, youkai start coming back and living alongside people. While this is really cool, it's also quite dangerous. Like in the myths there are RULES about how you can interact with Youkai, and if you break those rules you're going to get hurt. Not because the youkai hate you, but because it's in their nature to behave the way they do.

What do you think happens when clever, unscrupulous people start thinking about those highly dangerous monsters who never quite understand how humans work?* They start making "packages", or setting up circumstances where a youkai's particular power can be invoked or directed against chosen targets. The packages are horribly deadly, especially since youkai powers don't have to follow scientific law or common sense. Learn your youkai lore or pay the price.

There are four protagonists, a high schooler who is adored by youkai, his older police detective cousin who is hated by youkai, a deadly supernatural assassin, and her younger sister who is very much in love with the police detective (to his eternal horror). And there's the Yashiki Warashi, who does not embody the usual stereotypes of her species, and is hiding more secrets than any two of the main characters combined.

The translation and editing are hardly top of the line, but I think it's gotten better over the last two years, and the stories are usually interesting if overwrought. I'm liking the slowly building metaplot that started in the third book.

*(most of them die.)
 

BlackSun

Well-Known Member
#3
Currently reading:
Magi Craft Meister
Risou no Himo Seikatsu :(guy in his twenties is summoned to become a queens husband due to being related to a prince who eloped to Earth 150 years ago. It´s very slow.
Only Sense Online : no one is summoned to another world, no death games, just a push over guy having adventures as a crafter/support on the first VRMMO.
Push over because firends and family get him to do almost everything they want, including staying in a female avatar.

I´ll add more tomorrow, if I don´t forget.

Edit: better formatting, more links
Mushoku Tensei : 34 yo NEET otaku is chased out of home by his family and dies trying to save some teenagers from an uncoming truck. Wakes up reincarnated in a fantasy-like world with more magic power anyone should have. I like this one better than Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari (Rise of the Shield Hero). It´s completely translated too.

Gun-Ota ga Mahou Sekai ni Tensei shitara, Gendai Heiki de Guntai Harem wo Tsukucchaimashita!?: Another reincarnated otaku, this time a miltary otaku who actually had a job. This one had the disapointment of not having talent for magic though. Worth trying at least the first few chapters to see if you like him and the setting.

Sendai Yuusha wa Inkyou Shitai: back in middle school, Yashiro Yuu was summoned to become a hero. He defeated the Demon King and went home. Three years later, he is accidentally summoned again to the same world, along with four other people who are supposed to defeat the Demon King again. He doesn´t agree with coming out of retirement.

I´ll see if I remember some more worth recommendign.
 

H-Man

Random phantom.
#4
Magi's Grandson

A Japanese guy dies and wakes up as a baby in a different world, raised by a "Magi". He's taught many things that helps him survive as he grows for the next few years, except for the most crucial of them all...

...common sense.

Now he must learn how to have the common sense of a different world from his own.
 

the DragonBard

Well-Known Member
#5
I'm following a few.

High School DxD. A tale of a relatively good hearted pervert whose dream is to become Harem King, who gets killed on his first date... by the girl he's with. He wakes up the next day perfectly fine, with no one else having any memory of his date. He soon finds he has been resurrected as a devil, and wields a powerful magic weapon bonded to his soul.

Campione: Former high school baseball player (who was capable of playing on the national level) is transformed into a supernatural powerhouse after killing a god. Now, the target of fear and hatred by the supernatural world, he must try and find his way through this new world. And all he wants is a normal life.
 

AJ_Katon

Well-Known Member
#6
Monogatari Series: Various supernatural stories involving different girls and a vampire boy.

Worm: Superheroes and escalation.

Oregairu: Very cynical boy meets somewhat perfect girl, yahello girl, and waifu teacher and solve problems.

Hatakarou Maou-sama: Demon king works at Mcdonalds.
 

Watashiwa

Administrator
Staff member
#9
chronodekar said:
H-Man said:
Hataraku.
What's this one about?

-chronodekar
It had an anime a little while ago. Basically a demon lord loses to the hero in a fantasy world, and he and his right hand demon come to Tokyo to escape. They find work and rent a cheap apartment while they try and figure out how to regain their magic power on a magic-less world, and deal with the hero who followed them. And then MORE people from fantasyland start showing up.

The title translates to "The Hardworking Demon King", the official English name is "The Devil is a Part-Timer". Both reference the fact that the demon king in question works part-time at a McDonalds.
 

daniel_gudman

KING (In Land of Blind)
Staff member
#11
Death March in Another World
Suzuki, a programmer that's working overtime after getting pulled from the RTS game to the MMO game because the other guy quit, wakes up in the MMO game. But he's got the complete-battefield-clear "Meteor Shower" command from debugging the strategy game; by chapter two, he's the Lord of OPness as a level 310 character. From a setting that goes to such lengths to have an unfair protagonist, the first real fight was interesting because the main character was emotionally unprepared for a real battle.

How can I put it? I feel like all the weaknesses are because of things the author did to make it more popular. In other ways, it also kind of feels like the author saw Rising of the Shield Hero and thought to himself, 'I could write something better', and then put his money where his mouth was.

Updates pretty much every day.



Regarding Reincarnated to a Slime
A 37-year-old dude reincarnates as a Slime in another world, and basically, immediately becomes the most specialist slime there ever was. Well, this one is interesting because the story is more about establishing a country as it is about an individual.

Well, it still suffers from "Light Novel Protagonists have to be Ultra Special", that kind of condition.


Also updating daily (for now).



Gifting the Wonderful World with Blessings
The protagonist is sent to another world to defeat the Demon King. Unfortunately, the party he ends up recruiting is a total disaster full of troublesome people. This one plays the "Light Novel Protagonists have to be Ultra Special" for comedy; it's pretty funny, I think.

These are the same people working on Overlord, which is quite popular right now, so unfortunately this project is on the back-burner.



Grimgal of Ashes and Illusion
People from "This World" are summoned to another world, or rather, they appear in a certain tower without any known reason. The amnesia is a little too convenient, but the way that the main characters feel like normal high school kids struggling to deal with it; that's kind of interesting.
 

Watashiwa

Administrator
Staff member
#12
FYI, the original version of Gifting the Wonderful World with Blessings apparently gets really dark in the last few chapters, with basically everything conspiring to ruin the main character's faith in humanity/the world. Still managed to have a happy ending, just not a typical one; also the light novels are following their own path.

Even so, Blessings is still about sticking a fork in as many light novel/webnovel tropes as possible while playing them absolutely straight. It's a cringe comedy.

Grimgal is awesome, a gritty take on the trapped in another world plot without being gratuitous. Shit goes bad, nothing comes easy (or free) for the main cast, the ambitionless main character is intensely jealous of his more successful peer, and he has an irreconcilable personality conflict with his party's designated moron. It's all fresh air.

Enough commenting about other people's recommendations, here's a new one. Madan no Ou to Vanadis is the best Western-style fantasy to come out of Japan in years. Oh sure, it's got all the trappings of the current trends--maids! cheesecake armor! harem!--but the content is all about battlefield tactics and fantasy politics. There's also a surprisingly interesting myth arc developing around the neighboring countries seven valkyries, seven rival demons, and the main character's weapon. Which is a bow. In fact, the entire series is named for it; the English title would be "The King of the Magic Bullet".
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
#13
Beware of Chicken, a western-written novel with a Chinese xianxia setting that lightly makes fun of some of the xianxia tropes, with the main character fucking off from his sect to go build a farm
 
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