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Bacon41

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J-Novel Club Best to Worst (Light Novel)

These are all of the light novel titles available on J-Novel Club that I have read, ranked from best to worst. Best is at the top, worst is at the bottom. This includes currently publishing titles, so a title's position may change as it continues. Series are not ranked until at least 1 volume has been read.
1 The Faraway Paladin (Light Novel)

The Faraway Paladin (Light Novel)

So far, it seems like the world of this series is more similar to Grimgar than most: it's styled after a Lord of the Rings Western type fantasy, rather than something Japanese like Final Fantasy. On top of that, the tone of the series is fairly slow and serious, like Grimgar. However, when this series starts at the beginning, it really starts at the beginning, putting us inside the mind of a baby (with the memories of an adult). It's a super slow burn, but I can't help but it pick up a little bit starting in volume 2 (the first volume is basically stand-alone). The art style of the illustrations is super fuzzy and washed out, giving a very murky picture of the world, which is a nice touch.

2 Ascendance of a Bookworm (Light Novel)

Ascendance of a Bookworm (Light Novel)

Just browing this list is probably enough to convince you of my love for books, so you can see that this series is an easy sell to me. But beyond just the concept, this is actually a quite well written story. Like in The Faraway Paladin, our protagonist starts out as a child (though not a baby), and we get to watch them grow into their new world. I find this really helps the reader immerse themselves in the world too. The struggles are simple and easy to relate to, and the solutions are clever. Plus, they're all just so likeable. The art has a kind of soft, faded feel to it, which pairs nicely with the setting, and is very cute.

3 Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (Light Novel)

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (Light Novel)

The worst thing about this so far is that it's not the anime adaption. I know not everyone liked it, but I was a big fan. This doesn't have the slow, contemplative tone that the anime did, and is just more conventional in general. The anime was 100% about the events of chapter 10 in volume 1. Everything before it and everything after it was in service of that. The light novel isn't really about that though. It's still important, but it's not the main thing; instead, it's focus is on their daily lives in this strange world. Don't take that to mean that the world of the novel is any less harsh than the anime; this series has basically been a relentless seige of bad things happening to our main characters. The fight scenes are nervewracking every time as a result, since we never know when something will go horribly wrong. Unfortunately, the writing overexplains things that we could understand through inference, and the art is too pointy for me. I much prefered the softer, more natural looking anime's style.

Volume 13 Update: I'm still really enjoying this series, but man, it just gets weirder and weirder. Things get pretty surreal. The writing style has always been a stream of consciousness, but now the story is starting to feel that way too. Like the author doesn't really know where he's going either. The character writing is still top-notch, though, and I'm still invested.

4 From Truant to Anime Screenwriter: My Path to “Anohana” and “The Anthem of the Heart” (Light Novel)

From Truant to Anime Screenwriter: My Path to “Anohana” and “The Anthem of the Heart” (Light Novel)

Completely unlike anything else on this list, but also one of the most fascinating reads. Mari Okada goes into some shockingly raw detail about her life growing up, and the insecurities she still struggles with to this day. The part that stuck out to me the most was when she recounts a time where her mother tried to kill her; if that happened to me, I don't think I would dare write about it in a book for the public to read, no matter what my relationship with her was at the time of writing. It's a tough read at times, with the stress and anxiety she experienced palpable, but well worth your time. Credit to the translator; they really conveyed the feelings well.

5 Infinite Dendrogram (Light Novel)

Infinite Dendrogram (Light Novel)

The first couple of chapters have done a great job selling the experience of being in a VRMMO that's clearly more advanced than anything else in the world. I feel like that's going to be a plot point in the future. We're still to early to get a solid feel for how the series wants to be taken, but it is clear that it wants to be more serious than funny. Some of the banter is a pain, too. On the other hand, I really love the art. It's got a kind of sketch feel to it, with rough, thick lines and fuzzy shading (though not quite to the extent that The Faraway Paladin does).

Volume 8 Update: I'm not really sure where this all is going. The author seems to be actively avoiding keeping things the same for too long, as well. Characters and locations are introduced, serve out their purpose for the story arc, and then we move on to something else entirely. The world is still fun, but I would like a more clear goal; some reason to keep coming back.

6 Kokoro Connect (Light Novel)

Kokoro Connect (Light Novel)

Fair warning, I do have a bit of a soft spot for this series, as the anime adaption was the among the first I ever watched a simulcast of. However, I actually walked away from the anime with largely negative feelings, so I'm enjoying the ability to give this series a second chance. The writing is perhaps a bit too on the nose at times, especially with regards to the emotions the characters feel, but so far I've found it fairly endearing. Because this is a series that's so wrapped up in the thoughts and feelings of its main cast, I think it's working much better in novel form, were interal monologues come across much more naturally. I love the character designs by Horiguchi (bonus points for being KyoAni affiliated), but the art itself is a bit... fuzzy for my tastes. I think I'd prefer if it was a bit crisper, with less of a watercolour feel.

7 Invaders of the Rokujouma!? (Light Novel)

Invaders of the Rokujouma!? (Light Novel)

Wow, this is a really long series. They're going to be back-publishing volumes for years. The tone of this series so far is most similar to Little Apocalypse, as it's been pretty light hearted for the most part and is unabashedly setting up a harem. In fact, its first volume even introduces more heroines faster than Little Apocalypse does. The conceit of all these people fighting over the rights to this apartment room is fun enough, and the series is old enough that I'll give it a pass on some of its more common elements; we'll see if it evolved with the times as we go forward. There are an awful lot of breast focused jokes and insults alike; high-brow this is not. The art's kind of boring, but for at least the first volumes, there's clear noise over all the images, as if they were scanned at way too low a resolution.

Volume 7 Update: Oh man, this is where it gets real. Suddenly, I can see that the previous volumes (and entire anime) were just setup for the story from here on.

Volume 18 Update: For the first time since volume 8 or so, I feel like we've been given a clear glimpse that yes, there is a destination that this story is working towards. The writing itself remains an extraodinarily easy read, with clear prose and well staged battles.

Volume 29 Update: Hats off to Takehaya - he really pulled it off.

8 Full Metal Panic! (Light Novel)

Full Metal Panic! (Light Novel)

Several of these series have been adapted into anime that I've seen, and a handful of those I've watched the dub for... but this is the only series where I can perfectly hear the characters as I read. It's hard to describe how enjoyable it is to be reading a book, and have everything perfectly align with your mental picture of it all. Everything just clicks. Plus, it's just so much fun; a wonderful blend of humour and drama. The art style is a tad dated compared to modern expectations, but the characters are much closer to their anime versions than, say, Grimgar has. There isn't a ton of shading in the ilustrations, but they clearly convey what they're trying to.

9 Cooking with Wild Game (Light Novel)

Cooking with Wild Game (Light Novel)

There are a handful of series on the service now that deal with cooking, but this is the best of the bunch so far, both in terms of the story and the cooking. Some series are more interested in just describing how tasty Japanese-style food is to these backwards folks, but here we have a series that's committed to actual cooking technique, and why doing things this way tastes good. Add a cute little romance plot on top of that, and you've got yourself a winning formula. It could stand to tone down the time that our main character spends describing how attractive the women are, but that's a minor quibble. This is definitely a slow-burn series (very little actually happens in the first volume), but I'm happy to be along for the ride.

10 Amagi Brilliant Park (Light Novel)

Amagi Brilliant Park (Light Novel)

I'm familiar enough with Shouji Gatou that I wasn't particularly surprised with how he kind of comes across as a 'dirty old man' in his writing... but man, the Kyoto Animation version of this really cleaned things up, huh? It was one of their more fanservice-heavy series, but this original source is way more so. But regardless, it is a fun read. The characters come across as beliveable (if a bit extreme), and their wacky hijinks keep the story from dragging. As you would expect, the art loves the fanservice scenes, but that's not the majority of illustrations. The series is extremely self-aware, and a lot of jokes will go over your head if you (like me) don't know that much general Japanese pop culture, but there's enough jokes in there that it's funny even without that knowledge.

11 Altina the Sword Princess (Light Novel)

Altina the Sword Princess (Light Novel)

Something about this story I found immediately captivating. I think it was the natural ease with which the characters were portrayed, and the clear chemistry that they all have. The dialog flows really well; perhaps to well, considering the main character comes across as wittier than I think he's supposed to. The plot and character motivations so far have been easy to follow, and it hasn't spent too much time wallowing in far-too-detailed explanations of economics or tactics, making it a fun read. It's from the same author as How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord, but so far doesn't have nearly the same level of raunch. I'm not sure I'll persevere all the way to the end of the series, but I'm sold on several more volumes at least. The art is the crisp style you would expect from the artist of The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind!.

12 Crest of the Stars (Light Novel)

Crest of the Stars (Light Novel)

Let me start off with the fact that I do enjoy this series. That being said, one of my pet peeves is when authors try to make their sci-fi/fantasy series sound more unique by inventing a whole bunch of words for normal things that they don't need to. Like, this series is set in the far future, when everyone speaks non-English languages. It's understood that we're effictively reading a translation of their future-speak, we don't need special words for 'Admiral' or 'planet' tossed in there, especially if they're unpronouncable in English. It's just exhausting to read, especially with all the bold sections that signify these special words. As you might expect from a '90s series, the art style is quite dated, but it doesn't look bad. And bonus points for the mention of floppy disks in the afterword.

13 How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom (Light Novel)

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom (Light Novel)

I'll admit that I'm biased towards liking this series from the get-go, what with the clear focus on economics and governance. It's not as good at either of those as Spice and Wolf or Legend of the Galactic Heroes are, but those are nearly unatainable heights to reach anyways. It opens with a massive infodump and has some others later too, and it's well aware that it's doing that. BUT, knowing that you're doing something wrong does not excuse doing it anyways. Aside from that, I enjoy it so far. It's a pretty standard setup for a hero summoned to another world, but the twist is that his superpower is being a bureaucrat, so I'll give it a pass on the originality scale. By this point, it's pretty clearly a harem, too.

Volume 9 Update: It's been very explictly a harem for a long time now, but thankfully it's of the wholesome variety, where everyone is friends with everyone. Not quite as fluffy as Rokujyouma, but in that vein (with significantly more consummation). There have been hints of a larger mystery going on in this world, but they're few and far between, with most of the focus on the continuing adventures of our heroes. If there is an end goal for this story, it's not clear yet. The cast of named characters has gotten too large for me to keep track of everyone now, however.

14 Otherside Picnic: Their Strange Exploration Files (Light Novel)

Otherside Picnic: Their Strange Exploration Files (Light Novel)

It's a delightfully strange series. The first volume isn't quite as surreal as Side-By-Side Dreamers, but it's not too far off. The plot has a strong hook, and the characters' motivations are clear. The paranatural elements are fascinating, though it was a bit disappointing that the urban legends encountered are almost entirely ones I'd never heard of (though not particularly surprising, as they tend to be culture specific). But perhaps most of all, it's just really fun seeing some college age girls be the leads, and take control of these crazy situations (with a combination of brains, guts, and firearms). Not much in the way of illustrations.

15 Banner of the Stars (Light Novel)

Banner of the Stars (Light Novel)

16 Der Werwolf: The Annals of Veight (Light Novel)

Der Werwolf: The Annals of Veight (Light Novel)

These volumes are fairly long, and rather slow reads, but most of that comes from the explanation of the tactics being employed, so it doesn't feel like wasted words. The closest comparison on this list is probably Realist Hero, but this manages to destinguish itself by focusing a bit more heavily on the military side of things, as well as by being from the perspective of the invading demons. It's also far less of a harem, with just hints of romance that are largely ignored. The art has a soft, moment-in-time feel to it, like the sketches of a particularly artistic reporter.

17 Side-By-Side Dreamers (Light Novel)

Side-By-Side Dreamers (Light Novel)

For a one-shot volume, and not a very long one either, it's actually pretty impressive how much of a story it's able to convey. There have been a few series with trippy dream logic scenes in them on this list, like Yume Nikke or Echo, but this book does it best. They're definitely strange, but not so overblown that it's difficult to actually read. Plus, it's able to flow so smoothly between dreaming and waking scenes that you the reader can lose track of what's real and what's dream, just as the characters are. No illustrations to speak of.

18 Sexiled! My Sexist Party Leader Kicked Me Out, So I Teamed Up With a Mythical Sorceress! (Light Novel)

Sexiled! My Sexist Party Leader Kicked Me Out, So I Teamed Up With a Mythical Sorceress! (Light Novel)

There's something so very satisfying about seeing women absolutely demolish hyper-sexist people and systems. On the other hand, it's also kind of distressing; for as over the top as some of those sexist people and ideas are, some of that is kind of how things actually are in our world today. As the author mentions in the afterword, the thing about women having their test scores artifically lowered actually happened. It's not all real-world stuff though; I particularly enjoyed how this fantasy world has some dumb excuse for why women are told they have to wear bikini armour, and how that gets torn apart. Plus, the writing is just a lot of fun. The art is generally competent, with decent shading and clear designs, but there is the occasional section that does come off a bit messy.

19 JK Haru is a Sex Worker in Another World: Summer (Light Novel)

JK Haru is a Sex Worker in Another World: Summer (Light Novel)

A collection of JK Haru short stories from several different characters' perspectives, all without any explicit sex scenes? I'm all the way on board with that. It's fascinating seeing the inner thoughts of some of the side characters from the main story, and how they actually feel about Haru and the people around them. It really helps flesh them out, and even manages to make Chiba sympathetic. Plus, the way the stories all intertwine and fill in the gaps for each other by the end is quite gratifying. There are no images to speak of, just like in the main book.

20 The White Cat’s Revenge as Plotted from the Dragon King’s Lap (Light Novel)

The White Cat’s Revenge as Plotted from the Dragon King’s Lap (Light Novel)

Not yet read.

21 The Extraordinary, the Ordinary, and SOAP! (Light Novel)

The Extraordinary, the Ordinary, and SOAP! (Light Novel)

Not yet read

22 If It's for My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord (Light Novel)

If It's for My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon Lord (Light Novel)

Man, and I thought that Realist Hero was in my wheelhouse; it's almost criminal how well this plays into my tastes. A young adventurer adopts a little orphan girl, who is also a demon, and he starts to raise her. As far as I can tell, it's just pure fantasy, not an isekai, so it's got that going for it. There are some scenes early on involving him bathing her and sharing a bed with her that made me a little bit uncomfortable; not because they were explotative or creepy, but just the fact that they existed. I think really what this speaks to is a difference in culture. From what I've heard, Japan is a much more trusting society, which is why they let their kids run errands and stuff, whereas North America teaches kids to fear strangers. It's interesting seeing another perspective here. So far it hasn't given the impression that it's going to go into creepyland, but I've been burned before (*cough* Bunny Drop *cough*).

Volume 3 Update: I think it's going that direction.

23 I Refuse to Be Your Enemy! (Light Novel)

I Refuse to Be Your Enemy! (Light Novel)

Not yet read.

24 Apparently it's My Fault That My Husband Has The Head of a Beast (Light Novel)

Apparently it's My Fault That My Husband Has The Head of a Beast (Light Novel)

A lot of the first volume can be pretty rough to read due to the male lead's actions. The author tries to paint him as a tsundere, but he ends up coming across as a cold-hearted jerk instead. The main character has crippling social anxiety, and some of the things he does to her knowing that fact are simply cruel. Thankfully, he starts to mellow out as the story goes on, and by volume two, they have a fairly sweet relationship. Our main character's anxiety is depicted in a way that feels believable, and very sympathetic. The second volume's story isn't as strong as the first's, but was still enjoyable to read. The cover art is fairly indicitive of the inner illustrations, which are drawn in the same soft, flowing style.

25 There Was No Secret Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!), So I Made One MYSELF! (Light Novel)

There Was No Secret Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!), So I Made One MYSELF! (Light Novel)

It's actually a pretty great concept; the main character had a normal life growing up, so he decides to use his powers to live a special life vicariously through others. It's a light, easy read, and there's abundant creativity. The main downside is the lead character himself. His narration is kind of annoying, but more than that, he's kind of a creep. It's repeatedly mentioned that he spied on many people in every aspect of their lives, with no privicy. Trying to present him as likable despite all that is a bit gross. The lead aside, the rest of the characters are fun, and they all play off of each other well. The art is decidedly normal, which is the right choice for a series like this. Very easy to look at and understand.

26 My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! (Light Novel)

My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! (Light Novel)

I'm not usually one for reverse harems, but this one's so much fun, it's hard to resist. One interesting thing about the writing is how it constantly shifts perspectives between Katrina and basically every named character at some point, but that also unfortunately means that they end up rehasing the exact same events in almost the same detail multiple times. The first time they tried that, it was alright, but it can get very tiring. The art is clean and well drawn, and also likes to make use of chibi characters from time to time, which is cute. I get the feeling that the longer this runs, the futher it'll fall out of my good graces (looking at you, Smartphone), but for now, I'm having a lot of fun with it.

27 Ao Oni (Light Novel)

Ao Oni (Light Novel)

This was actually quite the surprise to me; I didn't expect to enjoy this series as much as I have. It's a fairly standard 'trapped in a building with a monster' setup, but by keeping the cast small and really focusing on a few of them, it was able to keep me interested and invested in the outcome. It looks like later volumes will expand the focus to some of the other supporting characters more. There are some twists and turns to the plot that keep it from growing stale, and the book itself is an easy read. The art looks maybe a little less polished than other series, but it's certainly not bad.

28 Tearmoon Empire (Light Novel)

Tearmoon Empire (Light Novel)

Not yet read.

29 Teogonia (Light Novel)

Teogonia (Light Novel)

While technically an isekai, it has a bit of a different feel from the standard. Something about the presentation of it all just feels a bit more mature than the typical wish-fulfillment story. Not enough to keep me reading it, but overall it feels more like a standard fantasy novel than a light novel. A lot of that comes down to the writing, which uses proper sentences and fairly clear conversations, rather than the typical fragmented mess. It also doesn't tend to wallow in info dumps for too long, allowing the action to move on. Unfortunately, neither the story nor the world are interesting enough to keep me engaged, however. The art is quite strong, with an impressive amount of deatil on display in each illustration.

30 Bibliophile Princess (Light Novel)

Bibliophile Princess (Light Novel)

Not yet read.

31 Middle-Aged Businessman, Arise in Another World! (Light Novel)

Middle-Aged Businessman, Arise in Another World! (Light Novel)

Having the main character be middle aged with a wife and 3 kids is definitely a fresh take on the isekai formula, and by having him take a role not as an overpowered fighter (though he is that) but as a business expert only sweetens the deal. It does rely a little bit too much on the standard template at times when it makes his whole family superpowered due to the fact that his wife is a literal goddess, which drives down my enjoyment slightly, but thankfully that crutch is used somewhat sparingly. Not really onboard with how all the young females seem to be falling in love with this old married man, either. The art is fairly standard, with clean, smooth lines and basic shading, able to easily convey the scenes depicted.

32 Paying to Win in a VRMMO (Light Novel)

Paying to Win in a VRMMO (Light Novel)

It wears its influences out on its sleeve, that's for sure, with a number of direct references to Sword Art Online in particular. To be honest, there's nothing all that interensting going on so far; they're basically just hunting for a guy who pretends to be 'Kirihito' who's totally not a Kirito stand-in. I'm not 100% sure who the main character is in this story, as it could be either the annoyingly perfect rich guy or his poor 2nd cousin (or even 'Kirihito'). This just has all the trappings of being a middle-of-the-road quality series.

Volume 6 Update: I would still consider it fairly middle-of-the-road, but towards the end as it starts bringing up questions about AI and personhood, it at least starts to become something a bit more interesting.

33 Welcome to Japan, Ms. Elf! (Light Novel)

Welcome to Japan, Ms. Elf! (Light Novel)

When I saw the title, I was really hoping that this was purely a reverse-isekai story about a fish out of water elf dealing with life in Japan. Alas, that story makes up half or less of the actual first volume; the rest is still spent in a fantasy world with all the trappings of a video game. I enjoyed the sections in Japan, but all the fantsy stuff was extremely boring, and just turned me off. Which is too bad, because there's a romance in the story; perhaps too much of one. I would have prefered more of the time in Japan to focus on the idea of life in Japan, rather than on how infatuated the main character is and the romantic situations they end up in. Usually I love stories with a heavy focus on a romance, but for some reason this one never really clicked for me. There isn't much to say about the art: it's your usual crisp, clear illustrations. Obviously they focus on the since she's the attractive one the readers are here for (and obviously they gave one to the 'runs naked from the bathroom' scene).

34 I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse (Light Novel)

I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse (Light Novel)

Yes, it's obviously set up as a harem, but it's basically taking it to the biggest extreme that it can, where the wishy-washy harem protagonist never makes a choice of one girl, and thus ends up dooming the universe. It's rediculous, but it seems to be aware of this fact. Could be a lot of fun going forwards. It, unfortunately, gets into cop a feel territory pretty quickly, but if it can just try a little harder than that, I think it can be a genuinely enjoyable series. You can't just cram a bunch of story templates together and expect it to work; they need to actually put in some effort.

Volume 16 update: With a cast of characters this large, it's understandable that they can't all be focused on, but they still do a remarkable job of bringing everything together and ending on a sufficiently large note. An appropriate ending to the series.

35 The Unwanted Undead Adventurer (Light Novel)

The Unwanted Undead Adventurer (Light Novel)

Not yet read

36 Walking My Second Path in Life (Light Novel)

Walking My Second Path in Life (Light Novel)

It's really nice having a female protagonist for once. I suppose the premise is believeable enough, with the less liked of two princesses being basically ignored in favour of her sister. I can't say anything in the first volume really surprised me; the masked man was who I expected, and the characters' interactions are all how you would assume them to go. I guess if anything wasn't how I thought it would be, it's how many people know her secret by the end of just one volume. I wouldn't use the word 'crisp' to describe the art for this series; lines are thicker and wavier than I would have expected. Still, it does kind of give off the vibe of an otome game, which I guess is what they were probably going for. Volume 2 unfortunately drags in the middle with a long tournament arc that I just couldn't get invested in, or even remember which character I was supposed to be cheering for.

37 The Economics of Prophecy (Light Novel)

The Economics of Prophecy (Light Novel)

It's another 'capitalism will save the world' type story, but I'll try not to hold that against it. That's not an entirely accurate or fair assessment, but it is a story partly about a modern businessman doing modern business things in a fantasy world, and that's easily the most boring part. The much more interesting part is the 'prophecy' side. Taking vague dreams and then scientifically interpreting and validating them made for a surprisingly compelling thread to follow, and while I'm not confident they can pull that off more than once, it certainly worked this time. Plus, there were just enough little hints of romance to keep me entertained. There are no illustrations to speak of, however.

38 Sorcerous Stabber Orphen (Light Novel)

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen (Light Novel)

Not yet read

39 Seriously Seeking Sister! Ultimate Vampire Princess Just Wants Little Sister (Light Novel)

Seriously Seeking Sister! Ultimate Vampire Princess Just Wants Little Sister (Light Novel)

A very light hearted series that ends up dragging itself into some pretty dark areas from time to time. Several scenes deal with rape (of children) in somewhat roundabout terms, but it can still be somewhat distressing. And then there are scenes involving bloodsucking with the same children, which are framed in a sexual light, and it's all rather uncomfortable. The rest of the book aside from those parts is actually quite amusing, however, with our OP main character's continual insistence that she's 'a normal girl' a good running gag. Nothing really in the way of art for this one.

40 Occultic;Nine (Light Novel)

Occultic;Nine (Light Novel)

The 2nd preview chapter is much better than the first. The focus characters of chapter 1 are kind of obnoxious, with his focus on breasts and her nonsense talking, but it gets better from there. Plus, later chapters do make them somewhat more sympathetic. It's basically a series of short vignettes where the main character keeps changing, and slowly we start to see how all of these different characters are related to each other. I was actually pretty impressed with how well they all fit together; the information reveal rate is pretty well paced. The writing isn't bad, though it is odd how some stories are first person and some are third person.

41 ECHO (Light Novel)

ECHO (Light Novel)

Not yet read

42 Isekai Rebuilding Project (Light Novel)

Isekai Rebuilding Project (Light Novel)

Honestly, I spent most of the first volume just extremely bored with the whole thing. It's ostensibly making light of all the other isekai series that have come before, where the protaganist intoduces modern concepts and technologies to another world, but then this character just does basically the same thing. It's a neat concept, pointing out how using modern tech without fully understanding it can lead to disaster, but they don't have enough fun with the idea for the audience to enjoy it either. And the lead, even though he's repeatedly mentioned to be older and engaged back on Earth, really doesn't act like it. Despite all that, the epilogue to the volume actually managed to get me reinvested; enough that I'll check out the 2nd volume, at least. There are no illustrations to speak of.

43 The Combat Baker and Automaton Waitress (Light Novel)

The Combat Baker and Automaton Waitress (Light Novel)

This wasn't originally translated by J-Novel Club, but it's being touched-up and released on their site, so I've included it here. The premise is fairly standard in its basic form, with a retired soldier who feels guilty about his role in the war trying to redeem himself and the various women who fall for him, but the details is where this starts to come into its own. The focus on baking bread is nice, and the secret bond between the baker and the waitress is fun in the short term, at least. The number of volumes probably means that some kind of long-term plot eventually kicks in, but for the first volume all that stuff is kept largely in the background, with only hints of where it could be headed. The art is kind of strange; not in the character designs, which are fairly standard, but in the way the characters are seperated from the background by a white border, making them feel kind of like cardboard cutouts. It's an interesting choice.

44 The Tales of Marielle Clarac (Light Novel)

The Tales of Marielle Clarac (Light Novel)

Not yet read.

45 An Archdemon's Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride (Light Novel)

An Archdemon's Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride (Light Novel)

Not yet read

46 By the Grace of the Gods (Light Novel)

By the Grace of the Gods (Light Novel)

Gosh, there's a lot of slimes in this series. Overall, I would describe this as adequate. Nothing really to set it apart, but it doesn't make any serious missteps etiher. I've read so many isekai volumes by now that I just couldn't get interested in this one, but it's a perfectly fine example of the genre. It does have explicit skill numbers, which always turns me off as well. This first volume mostly just gives the impression that it's the start of a very long, slow series, so could be a good one to watch evolve. The art is very light, with more greys and whites than blacks, giving it an inviting feeling (though I didn't find the illustrations themselves much to look at).

47 Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles (Light Novel)

Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles (Light Novel)

Not yet read

48 Kobold King (Light Novel)

Kobold King (Light Novel)

It starts out quaint enough, the story of a misunderstood brute of a man who finds acceptance among a tribe of misunderstood monsters. The protaganist is even a quarter troll, which is a fascinating choice for a series to make. But that fluffy fascade is just masking the true dark heart of this story. This is a world of cruelty and pain, and it seems to almost enjoy reveling in it. Violence is depicted with shocking detail, and several horrifying events are portrayed including an attempted sexual assault and child murder. Not for general audiences. Also, no illustrations to speak of.

49 Outer Ragna (Light Novel)

Outer Ragna (Light Novel)

Not yet read.

50 The Greatest Magicmaster's Retirement Plan (Light Novel)

The Greatest Magicmaster's Retirement Plan (Light Novel)

Not yet read

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Bacon41 Feb 4, 2019

@Sarcataclysmal
Yeah, that's on me; I've read them, but been very delayed in updating the text descriptions. You know how it is: fall behind once, and it starts to feel impossible to catch up. Hopefully this is the kick in the pants I need to actually start bringing this back up to date.

Sarcataclysmal Feb 3, 2019

"These are all of the titles available on J-Novel Club that I have read"
Um, but you have stuff you havent read here... and they're listed above stuff you have read? I don't think that's how that works, and even if you've watched the anime or read the manga adaptations (dunno if you have), ranking stuff based on their adaptations is a rather inconsistent and inefficient way of ranking stuff. So like, hmm.

TheElfiestElf Jun 5, 2018

Will be checking out several of these due to this list thanks. Wandered in looking for someone else's opinion on Mixed Bathing in anotherwhatever. I'll give it another volume or two based mostly on Rulitora. ;p