Are light novel-based animes becoming too alike lately? Do you feel that they all tend to be quite generic and follow the same formula? Well, there are various opinions on this matter, but it’s undeniable that many of these stories seem to be strikingly similar.
Japanese WebNovels are Strikingly Similar
Ichimaru, the author of the light novel “Tsuiho Sareta Gijutsu Shi (Engineer),” recently shared his perspective on Twitter after delving into web novels on Kakuyomu. Kakuyomu is a platform where users can create accounts and publish their stories online.
Ichimaru pointed out that he had read the web novels featured at the top of Kakuyomu’s rankings. Most Japanese webnovel sites have a popularity ranking system that showcases the most highly-rated and read novels.
While reading the most popular web novels on Kakuyomu, he noticed that the webnovels here are strikingly similar and highlighted three common elements:
1 – These novels often swiftly provide an explanation for why the protagonist was expelled or what extraordinary powers they possess. The focus is primarily on the current situation of the protagonist and the use of their powers in the present.
This phenomenon can also be observed in anime series that have already aired, where protagonists frequently commence the story with their exceptional abilities, and viewers are briefly enlightened through flashbacks.
2 – Introduce the heroine as quickly as possible, as a story with just a male protagonist is deemed unsustainable. Ideally, the heroine should start interacting with the protagonist as soon as possible.
Waifus hold the power to elevate a story’s appeal. We’ve previously discussed how the presence of female characters can significantly increase the likelihood of a story being adapted into an anime, as female characters have substantial commercial appeal.
3 – The two points mentioned above are addressed as early as the 3rd chapter, and it’s even better if this occurs as soon as the 2nd chapter.
The sooner the female character is introduced, and the protagonist’s situation is explained, the better. Apparently, nobody wants to wait to discover how the story unfolds but instead dive directly into the narrative with the protagonist wielding their powers.
Analyzing these commonalities prompts two reflections. Firstly, web novels seem to be growing increasingly similar to each other, as these shared characteristics suggest.
Secondly, Ichimaru read the web novels at the top of the rankings, which are those with the highest chances of eventually becoming light novels and, subsequently, anime adaptations.
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