Shonen is one of the genres that dominate the rest, exuding an influence, be they manga, anime or light novels. The top series spot in every mode has been occupied strongly by the shonen genre, like Naruto, DBZ, One Piece and many others. The shonen genre typically follows a boy as he follows his journey and adventures and grows up.
Similar to what we have already been watching and reading, the picture-perfect display of a few best, let’s move one step back. Many of you don’t know that many popular series began from light novels, including some shonen ones. So, below you will find some amazing shonen light novels that will blow your mind.
Let’s start with a Shonen light novel that introduces multiple new and unique concepts with characters alike. Campione is one of the rarest light novels that are bright because of the impressive character build-up. The plot introduces a boy named Godou, a former VRMMO player and a person who hates his injury because it ruined his career.
However, every end leads to a new beginning, which is what happened with Godou. Like in a fantasy, he finds himself fighting against a God. To his dismay, it only brought him to the ranks of a Campione, the one who is a devil, a ruler, a god slayer and above all, a supreme ruler. He begins fighting against all divine beings, including gods and reprimands them often. Yet this will be enough for you to get the gist of his work and story.
The Shonen light novel is undoubtedly filled with unique characters with a detailed set of unique abilities. However, the plot lacks connection at times. Introducing too many characters and stories is good. Still, their connection is weak and often leaves a sour aftertaste. Yet, for an intriguing one, it is highly recommended.
8. The Detective Is Already Dead.
The next one on my list is a Shonen light novel that sadly has not been in the spotlight and is a loss for the readers. The Detective is Already Dead is a classic story that will sometimes entice you. It will make you feel for the characters and then laugh and hoot for the couple.
The Shonen light novel begins with a past and follows the current life of a boy named Kimihiko Kimizuka. His life has always been a thrilling adventure for him. The reason is that he unintentionally lands right in the center of a problem involving the life and death of many. In a tragic event, he loses his partner and begins a regular life as a high school boy. However, an encounter with a young girl forces him to reminisce about what he was forced to forget.
It is a magnum opus that puts forth a perfect mix of action, genius leads, and mysteries. Additionally, it showcases a breathtaking developing romance between two discrete characters. Even though it will give you goosebumps and make you nostalgic. The light novel is still on the way to gaining popularity with its anime release. If you want to spend time reading a meaningful series, this one will be at the top.
7. Tokyo Ravens
If not the greatest, then probably one of the best and most interesting series one can try reading. It is a light novel that develops with time at a slow pace but keeps the readers spellbound. Tokyo Ravens are like any magic school light novel that brings in a hero with no outstanding abilities.
On that note, Harutora Tsuchimikado is one such guy living his peaceful life without inheriting the uncanny abilities of his family. His life changes only when his polar opposite and childhood friend, Natsume, makes an entry into his life. Forcing Harutora’s life into a magic high school, he regularly finds a new chapter unfolding for him. All the elements for a top story are already there: magic, action, high school romance and a hero good for nothing.
The story takes a slow start with nothing new; it is all the old stuff. Still, once you get into it, you will know it is way more different and entertaining than many out there. Its manga and anime adaptations are proof of its popularity and entertainment. So, missing it won’t be such a good thing.
6. The Ryou’s Work Is Never Undone
If mind games like Chess intrigue you. If you exert your mind to the best of its limit and counter something before happening, then the next one is for you. The Ryou’s Work Is Never Undone is a light novel that strangely holds the people in a magic spell. How the author expressed a Shogi player’s humor and geniuses are remarkable.
The plot is centered on one of his era’s best and foremost Shogi prodigy, Yaichi Kuzuryu. Yaichi’s life was nothing like a regular person’s life. Because of his genius and skills, he was hailed as a formidable player, often called a Dragon. It was pretty normal to him, yet one day his life flips and takes an unexpected turn. The entry of an outgoing, innocent and stubborn girl named Ai Hinatsuru was out of the blue for him.
She insists on becoming his student and stubbornly talks of a past that our boy seems to forget. So expect suspense followed by humor and cuteness. The story is interesting for Shogi lovers and those who are into cute-looking girls and a fun romance. The light novel undoubtedly brings in a unique concept with many new things in a row. It is one of the reasons the light novel got multiple readers only within a few hours of its first release.
5. Reign of the Seven Spell Blades
Consider this one as a redo of Harry Potter in the Japanese way. Magic wands, broomsticks, swords (surely not a Harry Potter thing), magical beasts and magic, and some dark secrets of the school are essentials for the best magic school series. And this one is undoubtedly one with a strong story of magic.
The story takes an interesting start with Oliver. He is our male lead and the boy who is determined to make the odd prodigy his partner. His only reason to do so is to fight the evil lurking in the dark. His life begins at the magic school of Kimberly. He only knows that the spells are deadly on the level of creating chaos, and he has to make sure to learn a few handy ones.
His interaction with the girl holding a sword with an uncanny appearance leads to unraveling many mysteries. The duo unwillingly fights back to back to seize the destructive power surrounding their school. The story undoubtedly starts big; however, it is lacking many times. The concepts of commoners, high-class nobles, and magical beings could have made the plot more interesting. However, they were not executed in the best way possible. Still, for a unique one, this light novel will be more than enough for you.
4. The New Gate
Boys and games are inseparable in every era. The New Gate uses this very common occurrence and merges it with a modified isekai element. This light novel brought so much excitement and hype with it. It stood up to the expectations because of the unique setup of the story. It stages a game world and how some people are trapped in it.
A single man named Shin takes up the challenge. After fighting against the big boss, he frees a huge number of people stuck in the game world. What happens next is unexpected. After the long-awaited end, our boy seems to have entered a new beginning. He wakes 100s of years later in the future with no knowledge of what and how it happened and why him?
The adventure light novel takes up the challenge of staging a concept beginning after the end. This only fact is exhilarating in all aspects. It may fall on boring pages for many because it occasionally has many expected twists and tragedies that are often seen in every story. Yet, this light novel never fails to amaze you. It brings in strong leads, unlimited action and suspense with the gaming effects in play.
3. Bungo Stray Dogs
For a series, be it manga, anime or light novel, to gain popularity only because of its male characters is a big feat. Additionally, a plot without a dominating love story may seem boring to many. Bungo Stray Dogs is a series that made everyone curious. It drew them towards its unique and entertaining story. The series gained popularity from the get-go and made a banger entry.
The story of Bungo Stray Dogs begins with Atsushi, an orphan with a mysterious past. The rumor of a wild human eating tiger surfaces, and in the midst of it is our innocent boy Atsushi. His turning point is when he saves a drowning man Dazai. Strange people with strange abilities are one thing he never knew existed. The warmth of bonds and people that Atsushi had never felt before make his life unbelievable in many ways.
The story has mysteries, suspense and thrilling fight scenes that simply entangle you in their mesh. The story overall gets five stars with strong and developing characters topped with unique concepts and classy antagonists. The light novel Bungo Stray Dogs grasped everyone strongly. The anime adaptation of this one shook the whole anime fandom with its entrance.
2. Sabikui Bisco
Talk about a unique story, and here we have Sabikui Bisco. Bow to the author for portraying such a fun story in the most beautiful way one could ever even imagine. The fact that something small, like a mushroom, is the main focus of a series is exhilarating. The “mushroom hunt,” i.e., the center of this action-packed fantasy adventure, makes one read it without stopping. Sabikui Bisco became a hit-light novel within days of its arrival for many reasons. Besides, the mushroom part dominates among them.
The plot introduces Bisco Agahoshi into a post-apocalyptic and futuristic world. A disaster resulted in an unknown and deadly ailment. Bisco, the loner, has only his teacher in his life. When the teacher falls prey to the said ailment, it becomes alarming for Bisco. His desire to save his master and to bring a cure for him is hidden only in a mushroom. His fun-filled, action-packed, thrilling adventure begins as he searches for the sacred mushroom.
Bisco’s journey introduces many new challenges to him and along with many new encounters that only add excitement and thrill to his life and the story. It is an exceptional light novel with a unique plot and an entertaining story. You will be bewitched by the entangling events and how the story develops. The characters themselves are continuously developing without giving you a minute to think it’s boring.
1. Tsuyokute New Saga
Tsuyokute New Saga has been keeping up the top space for many reasons but mainly for its strong lead and his determination. With no exceptions, the story does begin with a typical isekai element. Yet the relationship between the characters, namely antagonists and protagonists, is something that makes it different from the rest. The light novel begins with an end to a long and deadly battle between humans and devils.
Kail, our lead, defeats the demon king and brings an end to the bloodshed and gore war. However, during this war, he lost everything. Everyone dear to his heart dies, and he is now on the verge of dying. Miraculously he wakes up years before all this happened. With his memories intact and powers to the ultimate best, he vows to protect the ones he holds dear. This one is completely a determination story. It highlights a strong lead, a sea of action and a lot of drama followed by many twists and turns.
This light novel is a magnum opus.
The reason is its thoroughly maintained characters throughout the series. The engaging plot with swords, magic, demons and friends blending in the lot makes this one an exceptional piece. For a shonen story, this one is perfect because it has all the elements one can even think of. Not reading this one is a loss at your end, undoubtedly.
Conclusion on must read Shonen light novels
With Kail, let’s put an end to our list of best shonen light novels. Plenty of other shonen light novels has exceptional characters, impressive plots, and many unique storylines. And I am pretty sure you have your opinions regarding those novels and this list.
Well, I am eagerly waiting for all of you to bring in your feedback. Also, some more suggestions so that I can read another few since I am one lost soul without them. Are you? Drop some comments, and let’s learn about your favorite shonen light novels.