2017 is the year of light novel anime adaptations! It has become a trend in recent years for light novels to get animated, and feature various themes from school life, sci-fi, and fantasy to battles, romantic comedy, and serious stories. We can say that light novels have a special affinity with anime. This is because light novels only have textual information, and it is easy for the animators to create images flexibly. Also, the readers of light novels and anime otaku tend to have similar tastes and preferences.
Today, I would like to introduce to you some anime adaptations of light novels which are currently being broadcast as Spring 2017 anime, and make some observations on the recent trends.
The Two Romantic Comedies This Season are Both About the Industry!
Eromanga Sensei is a comical light novel which is being published by Dengeki Bunko, the light novel industry leader. In the novel, Masamune Izumi is a light novel author who finds out by chance that his hikikomori (shut-in) sister Sagiri is actually the illustrator of his novels. The two characters speak for the first time in almost a year, and the story illustrates how Sagiri starts to open her heart to her brother. By the way, the title Eromanga Sensei refers to Sagiri’s pen name as an illustrator.
The story also includes romantic comedy aspects illustrating the relationships between Masamune and his rival light novel authors, Elf Yamada and Muramasa Senju. The viewers can enjoy the entertaining story from different perspectives.
The original novel is written by Tsukasa Fushimi, famous for the series Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (My Little Sister Can’t be This Cute), also known as Oreimo. The illustrations are drawn by Hiro Kanzaki. Just like for the sensational anime adaptation of Oreimo, the character designer and supervisor of Eromanga Sensei’s anime is done by Kanzaki, who uses the name Hiroyuki Oda as an animator. Therefore, the anime’s drawings are a perfect reproduction of the illustrations in the novel. Sagiri, who opens the door of her room and speaks to her brother for the first time in a year, shows many different facial expressions such as anger, embarrassment, and happiness, and you get to see her many cute aspects!
‘Saenai Kanojo no Sodatekata ♭’ (How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend: Flat)
Saenai Kanojo no Sodatekata ♭, or SaeKano, began as a light novel from Fujimi Fantasia Bunko, a publisher with a long light-novel history. Tomoya Aki, a high school otaku, meets his beautiful classmate Megumi Katou by chance on the streets during the spring season in which cherry blossoms were blooming. He then decides to create a computer game with a character that uses Megumi as the model, and he gathers members to create the game. Eriri Spencer Sawamura, a talented art club member, is also a doujin author and a closet otaku. Utaha Kasumigaoka is the smartest girl in school and also a popular light novel author selling over 500,000 copies. Michiru Hyoudou is a non-otaku who is a singing guitarist. This team of unique members work together happily, while sometimes having fights, to create their own computer game!
The author of the story is Fumiaki Maruto. He is a famous scenario writer for bishoujo games (beautiful girl games) such as Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo (Making A Promise to this Blue Sky) and White Album 2, and SaeKano is his first light novel. The main goal in a bishoujo game is for the players to make the cute characters fall in love with them. It seems that these types of games work well with light novels, in which the cute characters play major roles.
(Next Page: The Proof that the Light Novel Industry has Fully Grown)