If you are a fan of Japanese light novels, you might be interested in reading some web novels as well. Web novels are online serializations of original stories, usually written by amateur authors who publish their works on platforms like Shōsetsuka ni Narō or Kakuyomu. Some web novels become popular enough to get printed versions, manga adaptations, or anime adaptations. In this blog post, I will introduce you to three web novels that I think are worth reading. They are:
- Eiyuu to Kenja no Tensei Kon: A fantasy romance about a hero and a sage who reincarnate in a world where magic reigns and become engaged to each other.
- Classmate no Moto Idol ga, Tonikaku Kyodou Fushin nan desu: A romantic comedy about a high school student who has a crush on his classmate, a former idol who is acting suspiciously.
- Shangri-La Frontier: An action fantasy about a gamer who masters even buggy “trash games” and enters the world of Shangri-La Frontier, a VR game with 30 million players.
Eiyuu to Kenja no Tensei Kon
Eiyuu to Kenja no Tensei Kon (The Reincarnated Marriage of a Hero and a Sage) is a web novel by Fujiki Washiro and illustrated by Heirō. It began serialization on Shōsetsuka ni Narō in May 2017 and has over 1.5 million views as of December 2021. No printed version of the novel series has been published yet. Still, a manga adaptation by the same author and illustrator has been serialized in Kodansha’s shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine since July 2020.
The story follows Reid, a young hero with the strongest physical strength, and Elria, a beautiful sage with the strongest magic prowess. They were rivals who fought in opposing enemy nations, but their relationship came to an end with the sudden death of Elria. Then, a thousand years later, they reincarnate in a world where magic reigns and meet again as students of the same magic academy. They discover that they are engaged to each other due to an ancient contract between their families and decide to give their relationship another chance. However, they face various challenges and enemies as they try to live peacefully in their new world.
The novel is a fantasy romance that combines elements of action, comedy, and drama. The main appeal of the story is the chemistry between Reid and Elria, who have contrasting personalities but share a deep bond. The novel also features other characters such as Arthur Pencilgon, Reid’s best friend and rival; Oikatzo, Elria’s loyal servant and bodyguard; and Emul, a mysterious girl who claims to be Reid’s sister. The novel has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Shōsetsuka ni Narō, with many readers praising the author’s writing style, humor, and plot development.
Classmate no Moto Idol ga, Tonikaku Kyodou Fushin nan desu
Classmate no Moto Idol ga, Tonikaku Kyodou Fushin nan desu (The Idol Girl in My Class Is Acting Suspiciously) is a web novel written by Korin-san and illustrated by Krki. It began serialization on Shōsetsuka ni Narō in September 2020 and has over 2 million views as of December 2021. No printed version of the novel series has been published yet. Still, a manga adaptation by the same author and illustrator has been serialized in Media Factory’s shōnen manga magazine Monthly Comic Alive since January 2022.
The story follows Takuya, a high school student who has just started dating his classmate Shimizu-san. Takuya is happy to be in a relationship, but he is also secretly in love with Midori, another classmate who is a former idol. He feels guilty about having these feelings while he is dating someone else, and he struggles to figure out what to do. As the story progresses, Takuya begins to notice that Midori is acting strange. She seems to be avoiding him and other classmates, and she spends a lot of time alone. Takuya becomes worried about her and decides to try to get closer to her to find out what is going on. The story takes a comedic turn as Takuya tries to become friends with Midori, but she continues to act suspiciously.
The novel is a romantic comedy that follows the antics of Takuya and Midori, who have a complicated relationship. The novel also explores the themes of idol culture, friendship, and love. The main appeal of the story is the humour, which comes from the misunderstandings, awkward situations, and funny dialogues between the characters. The novel also features other characters such as Shimizu-san, Takuya’s girlfriend who is oblivious to his feelings for Midori; Rei Saiga, Midori’s former idol partner who is also in love with her; and Towa Amane, Takuya’s childhood friend who is a popular light novel author. The novel has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Shōsetsuka ni Narō, with many readers enjoying the author’s witty and lively writing.
Shangri-La Frontier is a web novel written by Katarina and illustrated by Ryosuke Fuji. It began serialization on Shōsetsuka ni Narō in May 2017 and has over 10 million views as of December 2021. No printed version of the novel series has been published yet. Still, a manga adaptation by the same author and illustrator has been serialized in Kodansha’s shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine since July 2020. In October 2023, an adaptation of the anime series was launched on television by C2C. It won the 47th Kodansha Manga Award in the shōnen category in 2023.
The story takes place in the not-too-distant future, when full-dive VR games are the norm and games with normal display panels are labelled as antiquated. Since these games have become popular, there are a lot which are known as “trash games”—hurried, glitch-filled, and flawed games whose systems have not kept up with the improved visual technology. Rakuro Hizutome goes by the moniker Sunraku and plays these typically embarrassing games under the alias “trash game hunter” until he masters them regardless of the difficulty due to their glitches. Rakuro has cleared the oversized “Faeria Chronicle Online” trash game is suffering a sort of burnout syndrome. He purchases the highly recommended and best-selling “Shangri-La Frontier,” a full-dive VR game with 30 million registered players, at the advice of the proprietor of his favourite game shop, “RockRoll”. He assumes the role of Sunraku, the player, and uses all of his acquired abilities to become a proficient garbage game hunter in the realm of Shangri-La Frontier as he progresses in the game.
The novel is an action fantasy that depicts the adventures of Sunraku in Shangri-La Frontier, a vast and immersive game world that offers endless possibilities and challenges. The novel also features other characters such as Psyger-0, Sunraku’s first friend and guide in the game; Arthur Pencilgon, Sunraku’s rival and fellow trash game hunter; Oikatzo, Sunraku’s loyal companion and healer; and Emul, a mysterious girl who claims to be Sunraku’s sister. The novel has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Shōsetsuka ni Narō, with many readers complimenting the author’s creativity, imagination, and world-building.