AnimeManga vs Light Novel: What Is The Difference?

Manga vs Light Novel: What Is The Difference?

These days Japanese culture has been dominant all over the world. We all know Japan has got two reading styles manga and light novels. Both of them are a treat to read. But many times people get confused between manga and light novels.

So, if you’re an avid reader looking to explore both art forms, you need to know the differences between them. With this blog, you will understand the difference between these two popular mediums: manga vs light novels, and also how to read each one.

What is Manga?

what is manga

Manga is a black-and-white, Japan’s own form of cartooning. The word “Manga” when translated means “whimsical picture”. Japan uses manga for both comics and animations. The first manga came in the 19th century and since then it has gained tremendous popularity throughout the country. 

Unlike Western comics, Manga has long storytelling that comes in chapters, and all the chapters are related to each other. It has a vast and diverse art form, offering many genres for the readers. Some of the genres are-

  • Shonen- It has a lot of action content written specifically for teenage boys.
  • Shojo- This genre is targeted at teenage girls. It is mainly focused on emotions and relationships.
  • Josei- Best for women who are in their twenties. It has got more mature storylines.
  • Seinen- It focuses on men who are in their twenties. Compared to shonen it has a much more mature storyline.
  • Kodomomuke- This manga genre targets young children. The storyline is fun, cute, and moralistic.

Manga is perfect for both adults and children, it offers a great storyline with beautiful artwork.

What is a Light Novel?

what is a light novel

Light novels are a Japanese form of storytelling. It is a great combination of anime-style visuals and illustrated fiction. Dating back to the 1900s, light novels continue to be a unique way of writing and telling stories. You will find many topics in them like politics, magic, romance, dark humor, catastrophe, etc.

Light novels can be compared to Western young adult novels, which are approximately 50,000 words. Due to its shorter length and finishing the story in one book, the author finds it easy to write, unlike manga which has many chapters.

What is the Difference Between Manga and Light Novel?

The main difference between Manga and Light Novels is the way they are written. Manga is written in many volumes and with amazing artwork, while Light Novel works in prose format with feature illustrations.

Other ways in which Manga and Light novels differ are as follows –

Character Design

character designs in manga

Character design is one of the important aspects in both manga and light novels, as visuals enhance the reader’s mind and understanding of the story. Manga has intricate and detailed character design, whereas light novels have descriptive prose.

Art Style

There is a great art difference between manga and light novels, this is one way to identify them.

Manga artists emphasize more intricate linework and facial expressions. On the other hand, light novel illustrations are subtle, which helps to create realism.

The manga focuses more on action sequences, whereas light novels capture moments from the story.

Reading Style

Manga being a typical Japanese comic book is read from right to left.

Whereas a light novel is read from left to right. If there are any translations of manga that are also read from right to left.

Story Difference

If you like to read a stand-alone book that gets completed in one go, you should go for light novels. Manga has chapters and all the chapters are connected with one another. 

Publication Schedule

Light Novel gets one new book published every 6 months, while in the manga we have new chapters every two weeks.

Which Comes First Manga or Light Novel?

which came first manga or light novels

There is no rule about which will come first manga or light novel. It can be anything. Moreover, many times light novels are converted to manga and then adapted into anime.

You must have seen some of the anime which were taken from light novels or manga – 

Also, many times you can find that a manga or an anime is adapted into a light novel. One famous example of this is The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

What to Read Manga or Light Novel?

what should i read first manga or light novel

Well, there is no right answer to this. It totally depends on the fan’s choice whether he likes to read manga or a light novel. The following points will help you decide what to read-

  • You should read light novels if you like more developed and mature stories. An average light novel has approx. 50k words. If you do not like to wait for the story to end in the next installment, then reading a light novel should be your choice.
  • You should go for manga if you prefer understanding images over reading. Manga artwork is something you like and are interested in. Also, since the stories are available in installments, you don’t need to spend much time.

Above is the difference between manga vs light novels. Both of them contain different types of engaging stories. You can choose according to your taste and reading style.

So do you prefer manga or light novels?

25 Best Yaoi Anime...

Gay anime is a genre of anime that focuses...

20 Strongest Anime Villains...

In anime, villains are the most enthralling characters and,...

Yuri Anime: Best Yuri...

The anime world is full of amazing shows and...

50 Colored Manga Panels...

Fan-colored manga is all over the internet, and most...

40+ Anime In Space:...

The dark and unknown abyss of Space has always...

30 Funniest Comedy Anime...

Watching a comedy anime series is a great way...

25 Best Yaoi Anime Series & Movies To Watch in 2023!

Gay anime is a genre of anime that focuses on stories about LGBTQ+ characters and their relationships. The genre has grown in popularity in...

20 Strongest Anime Villains That Are Nearly OP, Ranked

In anime, villains are the most enthralling characters and, in some cases, the main attraction of the series. With their unfathomable powers, they set...

Yuri Anime: Best Yuri Character & Best Anime to Watch

The anime world is full of amazing shows and animated films, but there's an underappreciated subgenre that I adore. That's right; I'm talking about...

50 Colored Manga Panels That Show What Manga Is Missing!

Fan-colored manga is all over the internet, and most are stunning to look at. No surprise that they are a massive upgrade from the...

40+ Anime In Space: Best Explorations in the Animeverse

The dark and unknown abyss of Space has always been fascinating. And the media industry has milked and continues to milk that fascination. From...

30 Funniest Comedy Anime That Will Crack You Up in 2023

Watching a comedy anime series is a great way to relieve stress or brighten your mood, as even the silliest MCs and most outlandish...

12 Anime With War That Have Plenty of Blasts & Bloodshed

Nothing is more gripping than huge explosions and even greater armies battling for power!  War anime series are among the best content for adult audiences...

VRV vs Crunchyroll: Which is the Best Anime Streaming Site?

Over the years, watching your favorite anime has become easier thanks to the various streaming platforms. While I'm sure people still look for DVDs...

30 Best Romance Anime Series & Movies To Watch in 2023

Romance and anime have a great connection. They take us to another beautiful world of love. And when it comes to Japanese romance anime,...