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What are Japanese novels like?


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The Mad Manga Massacre



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 901

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:55 pm Reply with quote
I am confused, are Japanese novels which are not "light" included in your question or are you referring strictly to light novels? Light novels are, unsurprisingly, quick reads. Granted, the only light novels I have read are Ballad of a Shinigami (volumes 1 and 2) and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. While they are light reads, if you live in the Western hemisphere they are ridiculously difficult to find (legally) and the companies which license them never finish them. Occasionally, they can be cartoony. Razz
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wanderlustking



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 449
Location: Bozeman, Montana

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:37 am Reply with quote
I doubt anybody really cares, but if anybody is interested in contemporary Japanese literature, but doesn't know where to start; look up Huruki Murakami. He's a little more accessible then most Japanese novelists, due to his being heavily influenced by Western literature (mainly Vonnegut), but he's a good gateway.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City

PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:07 pm Reply with quote
In modern Japanese literature (i.e. from the 50s and 60s rather than contemporary), I highly recommend Seicho Matsumoto's short story collection The Voice. Some of the stories have a light novel feel, but I think that's because he was a heavy influence on contemporary Japanese mystery writers. The book's a good gateway from light novels to more "adult" Japanese literature. (Plus it's a darn good read.)
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Scialen



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:18 pm Reply with quote
Well, let's look at it from a medium perspective:

Manga: Japanese comic books
Anime: Japanese animation

Light Novels: Written word interspersed with manga illustrations.

To my understanding, light novels are so-called because they're not completely word-filled. Due to the inclusion of illustration, one might regard them as 'lesser' or 'minor' novels, and as such as typically marketed toward teenagers who might be put off by having to tackle a book-with-no-pictures. A crude generalisation, but it helps to get the point across.

A famous example would be the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which started out as a light novel, and was subsequently adapted into both anime and manga.

Novels are thus your run of the mill literature, and are targeted at any age group.
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Andrez



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 67
Location: Tokyo

PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:03 pm Reply with quote
wanderlustking wrote:
I doubt anybody really cares, but if anybody is interested in contemporary Japanese literature, but doesn't know where to start; look up Huruki Murakami.


Then follow up Ryu Murakami (no relation) for a more extreme ride! Wink

But more accessible perhaps are people like Yasunari Kawabata (Sound of the Mountain) and Junichiro Tanizaki (The Makioka Sisters).
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einhorn303



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 1137

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:53 pm Reply with quote
The question itself is absurdly over-generalizing, if you compare it to "What are American novels like?"
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Shiroi Hane
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 5980
Location: Wales

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:05 am Reply with quote
If anyone is interested in what Japanese light novels are like physically, then I have some examples:
http://picasaweb.google.com/​shirobane/​KiddyGradeNovels
http://picasaweb.google.com/​shirobane/​UtakataNovelAndManga​
http://picasaweb.google.com/​shirobane/​KiddyGirlAndNovel1
http://picasaweb.google.com/​shirobane/​KiddyGiRLAndNovel2MM​yMovelessMemory
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Nokcha



Joined: 06 Feb 2011
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:09 pm Reply with quote
If you do get the chance to read japanese light novels make sure that they are fit to your taste, otherwise you won't very much spend your time reading them cause it takes a tremendous effort to actually up and read the whole thing without getting bored once in a while.
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