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2020: A Turning Point For Light Novels


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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:56 am Reply with quote
Interesting angle on the Vtuber stuff, and I find it relevant that it's happening in the English Licensing scene as well, with vtubers doing reading streams. I can't link anything in particular because I mostly just saw this through twitter, but it's always fun seeing this kind of cross-marketing.
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:56 am Reply with quote
Also to point out; the domestic light novel market in Japan is very competitive. New titles may struggle to meet expected volume sales targets set by publishers, and may even be quietly cancelled by publishers should the targets fail to be met.

I recall a few cases of webnovels turned light novels that fell into this situation, esp. in 2020.
There was one title, The Villainess' Butler, which the author has chosen to end for the time being until they could determine that the light novel versions could meet publisher targets and thus was worth continuing again. They said their 1st volume came out shortly before Japan's Covid lockdowns, which prevented wider-spread awareness of the novel's existence because of the lack of promotion from bookstores (bookstores were shut down then).
And even though a Vol 2 got approved, the author feared lack of awareness would still kill the series' chance to fly in the long run.


Last edited by zztop on Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:56 am Reply with quote
I had not heard about Rascal Does Not Dream. . . getting a university sequel. Now I'm intrigued! Hopefully it will eventually prove popular enough to get animated as well.
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njprogfan
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Joined: 08 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:04 am Reply with quote
This was a very good article on a subject not talked about much. I was nervous as I was reading thinking about back in the early 2000's when the GN bubble burst and all those series stopping without finishing. I was relieved that there wasn't any warning bells about any particular publishers ending a series or going under permanently, (Denpa pushing back publishing dates for some GN's further and further, for example, worried me). I wasn't much into Light Novels when they started coming out in dribbles, but now having enjoyed many an anime, I felt the need to read where they originated and did the anime do it justice. Who knows what 2021 will bring, but rest assure I'll be purchasing way too many LN's and GN's and enjoy every bleepin' minute.
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LegitPancake



Joined: 26 Jun 2017
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:13 am Reply with quote
I wish the article talked more about the rising popularity of LNs in English, or about LNs other than the big ones published by Kadokawa. There are scores of other publishers that release popular titles, after all.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:21 am Reply with quote
LegitPancake wrote:
I wish the article talked more about the rising popularity of LNs in English, or about LNs other than the big ones published by Kadokawa. There are scores of other publishers that release popular titles, after all.

That's what I was expecting when I read the title. J-novel club alone has +550 released volumes(~107 individual titles) under its wings, and they're just a slice of the overall market for officially translated light novels...

I wouldn't be too concerned about titles ending even if the list does include many prominent ones, new ones entering the market every year still dwarf the number of those ending, so sooner and later there must be a balance achieved...
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:24 am Reply with quote
Kim only mentioned by name the ones with anime released - so the ones that are more 'relevant'. Only the future could tell us how many light novels that started in 2020 are getting an anime adaptation for us to tell where the balance tipped
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invalidname
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:11 pm Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
That's what I was expecting when I read the title. J-novel club alone has +550 released volumes(~107 individual titles) under its wings, and they're just a slice of the overall market for officially translated light novels...

There’s now way more available in English than I have time to read… nice problem to have, I suppose. One specific title I’m interested in knowing about is whether J-Novel Club is doing OK with Crest / Banner of the Stars, since it’s so old, and more of a harder sci-fi than a lot of the stuff that’s popular now. It’s something I want to get to eventually, but I need to get through like five other things first (86, I’m in Love With the Villainess, Bloom Into You: Regarding Sayeki Sayaka, etc.), and every time J-Novel Club licenses something I really like, I find out later I’m like the only person who bought it (like with the Mari Okada autobiography).
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Blanchimont



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:14 pm Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:
...and every time J-Novel Club licenses something I really like, I find out later I’m like the only person who bought it (like with the Mari Okada autobiography).

Pretty sure I have that in my library, so not the only one...
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invalidname
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:26 pm Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
invalidname wrote:
...and every time J-Novel Club licenses something I really like, I find out later I’m like the only person who bought it (like with the Mari Okada autobiography).

Pretty sure I have that in my library, so not the only one...

Exaggerating, of course, but they acknowledged on Curious Cat that it sold poorly: https://curiouscat.me/jnovelclub/post/584267477
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TiagoCosta



Joined: 02 Jan 2021
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:46 pm Reply with quote
Watari already said on interviews that he plan to write more oregairu in the future, with hikki on college and work.

He got a 3rd year story going on already (with the blu ray releases).

Feels far from over to me. Only thing that ended was the OG LN, with the main cast on the 2nd year of high school.
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tsog



Joined: 16 Sep 2017
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:21 pm Reply with quote
Maybe it's my Twitter bubble, but one genre/trend I did notice picking up speed is that of the isekai villainess. I'd be interested to see more of them be picked up for anime adaptations in the future.

The VTuber trend cannot be understated; it's almost as if every illustrator draws them these days, and many are becoming VTubers themselves, Shigure Ui being the most prominent example but also Nana Kagura, achiki, Tsukudani Norio, etc.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:33 pm Reply with quote
tsog wrote:
The VTuber trend cannot be understated;

Personally I am not going to buy a light novel, just because it features VTubers. I am sure plenty of VTuber fans will though. Nothing wrong with that, just that it is not my genre. But if it has a good story, and ANN reviewers like it, I might give it a try.

But I don't see it gaining any traction outside of the VTuber community, if the stories are solely about VTubers. Are the VTubers going to be in space, in RPG dungeons, at war, and etc?

I don't have those answers, because I haven't read anything about them, except here.
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tsog



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:28 am Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:

Personally I am not going to buy a light novel, just because it features VTubers. I am sure plenty of VTuber fans will though. Nothing wrong with that, just that it is not my genre. But if it has a good story, and ANN reviewers like it, I might give it a try.

But I don't see it gaining any traction outside of the VTuber community, if the stories are solely about VTubers. Are the VTubers going to be in space, in RPG dungeons, at war, and etc?

I don't have those answers, because I haven't read anything about them, except here.

I was talking more of VTubers in general, not as a genre of fiction/literature.

It's not quite a completely new medium, but it's different enough from what we had before that I'd consider it a new genre of entertainment. Hologram Miku would be the closest precedent, except this time around its popularity exploded. The crossover of live streaming overlaid with anime kawaiiness has long-term appeal. And as its popularity rises, it's not hard to see it being included in mixed media, including being leveraged to promoted LNs. Some brands even have their own VTubers, including a pharmaceutical company (e.g. Nebasei Cocoro).

And this all coming from me who's only a VTuber casual. I don't follow any of the big names and only catch videos here and the occasional artist stream, but the popularity is clear.

Might it show up in LNs in the future? Absolutely. Just as we have stories about making anime or drawing manga or voice acting, I'm sure there will be stories about being a VTuber. And just as you don't have to be a manga fan to enjoy a story about drawing manga, I'm sure you won't have to be a VTuber fan to enjoy a story about being a VTuber.
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GhostD



Joined: 07 May 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:55 pm Reply with quote
Seeing many light novels that I've been following for years end in 2020 also made me realize how old Im becoming now that its a new year.
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