What are the best-selling light novels of all time? And why are they the best-selling?
I can’t answer the second question, but the first one is easier.
Some of the best-selling light novels (turned anime) are a bit controversial, disrespected, dismissed, or over-exaggerated in terms of so-called bad quality.
Either way, money talks, and they’re responsible for making the anime industry a lot of money, and the
Not to mention inspiring a lot of new and current light novels many years later since 2000.
Let’s talk about it.
The top-selling light novels by sales (ranking order):
1. A Certain Magical Index (31M+ including spin-offs)
Sword Art Online (30M+)
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (30M+)
4. The Irregular at Magic
High School (22M+)
5. Haruhi Suzumiya (20M+)
6. Slayers (20M+)
7. Kagerou Project (15M+)
8. Sorcerous Stabber Orphen (14M+)
9. Danmachi (13M+)
10. The Twelve Kingdoms (12M+)
11. The Apothecary Diaries (12M+)
12. Overlord (12M+)
13. Re:Zero (11M+)
14. Full Metal Panic (11M+)
The Rising of the Shield Hero (11M+)
16. Mushoku Tensei (10M+)
17. My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected (10M+)
18. Record of Lodoss War (10M+)
19. Konosuba (10M+)
20. Aria the Scarlet Ammo (9M+)
Shakugan No Shana (8.6M+)
22. Kino’s Journey (8.3M+)
23. Baka and Test (7.3M+)
24. Goblin Slayer (7M+)
25. Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends (7M+)
26. The Familiar of Zero (6.8M+)
27. The Saga of Tanya the Evil (6.5M+)
28. The Story of Saiunkoku (6.5M+)
29. Kyo Kara Maoh! (6.5M+)
30. GATE JSDF (6M+)
31. Date A Live (6M+)
32. Student Council’s Discretion (6M+)
33. No Game No Life (5.8M+)
34. Durarara!! (5.6M+)
35. Shōnen Onmyōji (5.5M+)
36. My Little Sister Can’t Be This
Classroom Of The Elite (5.1M+)
38. My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! (5M+)
39. Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest (5M+)
40. Spice And Wolf (5M+)
Breaking down the results:
- For all the shit people talk about Sword Art Online, it’s the 2nd best-selling
light novelof all time to this day.
- The results are continuously measured.
- The #1 best-selling
light novelis A Certain Magical Index, which doesn’t surprise anyone who’s a fan of this often underrated franchise (the anime more so).
- Old school-ish anime like
Shakugan No Shanais still a top contender after so many years.
- Mushoku Tensei has climbed up the ranks somewhat, but they’re in the 2nd half of the results instead of the top half (not bad).
- Full Metal Panic is also no surprise despite the disrespect the series gets as far as recognition.
- Slayers, a personal favourite is still dominating since the 1990s (one of the oldest novels on the list).
- Kinos Journey is another surprise since the anime is so obscure.
Also, No Game No Life being on the lower end of the sales might make fanboys salty with SAO being so high, further proving the point of SAO kickstarting the Isekai trend.
And that’s all there is to it.
I’ll break down another post like this soon, so keep an eye out for that.