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Old 09-25-2017, 02:54 PM   #7568
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Yukinomiya City, Fukushima Prefecture
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Overlord is not especially difficult to read - high school level, I wager - but other novels like Banner of the Stars are insanely difficult, due to technical terms invented using archaic kanji. It's been said that even Japanese readers struggle with Banner and that's the main reason of the more famous novels two decades ago, it never even received a translation attempt.

However, most light novels are below high school level reading. Konosuba is considered average, and Sky says it's late elementary/early junior high tier. Like the equivalent of an Animorph or Goosebumps book, which I would consider pretty dang juvenile.

To me, for years light novel was synonymous was "short story", having no otaku connotations, merely a truncated format compared to a feature-length story. But because of the flood of web novels and trashy, Dragon Quest-esque self-insert power fantasy RPG isekai - the term light novel is starting to get a bad name.

Remember "pulp fiction"? No negative connotations today but long long ago it was a derogatory term meant for identifying low-quality writing. I'd argue the reverse is true now.

Ten years ago, in 2007, if you needed a definition of light novel you need not go further than to link Haruhi's Wikipedia article. That is what a light novel is and how writing one is approached, one would stay.

Stack it against a "light novel" of today, like "I was reincarnated into a fantasy world and my raging erection won't die down" and try to find a best-fit definition. Well, they're both written in Japanese...
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