What is a light novel? Light novels are short stories or more importantly, novels, written by Japanese authors. In Japan they're also known as range, which literally is a shortened form of rano sober, or light novel itself. Some common things that a light novel isn't:
This article will discuss the first form of what is a light novel or manga vs anime. If you're new to anime or to light novels in general, the comparisons here should help you understand the differences. Animes are short stories that often have less plot, as the focus is on the characters within the story, rather than on a huge, complex world. They are much more personal than stories of romance, philosophy, or other more complicated topics. As such, they fit better under the category of what is a light novel or manga vs anime. These examples should help give you a good idea of what you can expect the story to be like.
So, what is a light novel, then? The answer is... everything. Light
novels are exactly what their name suggests: a novel written in the
style of a light novel, a type of book that has more of a fast-moving
pace and utilizes action, adventure, mystery, and the protagonist's
fantasy rather than the more serious stories of the more traditional
kind. The first person perspective is what makes a light novel so much
fun to read. Even if you don't care for these types of stories, you'll
enjoy what is a light novel by heart simply because of the style of
There are two different types of light novel format. The first is the full-length version, which the author spans the entire novel in one work. This means that the work spans all of the pages, even including the end. In doing this, the author has to be sure that there is enough content to keep you interested, since you may get bored waiting for the next few pages. The second type is called the shorter novel, or animes, which means that it only has a small amount of content and is split up into episodes.
Anime. Although it's probably the most well-known of all Japanese novels, the one thing that really brings it down is the fact that they use animation instead of actual drawings. This has always been one of the problems with these kinds of works. While it's still pretty much true that anime drawings are drawn to be more appealing to children, they often do not look anything like what the author intended. Most Japanese novels use illustrations in order to make the work more appealing and realistic.
manga. These are basically short comics or perhaps graphic novels that are published in comic shops here in America and England. They use drawings or sometimes full-color illustrations and are usually between seven and twenty-two pages long. While there are many different types of light novels, the most popular ones are manga.
doujinshi. A doujinshi is similar to a comic book in that it's written in three panels. However, instead of being read like a comic book, doujinshi are created for more of a "manga" or animated format. doujinshi are much more recent than they are for westerners. Basically, a doubt shows the story, some action, some comedy, and then some other characters reacting to what's going on.
Anime. Light novel artists have always drawn their materials based on Japanese stories, anime, manga, and now with anime inserts. Anime is much more popular in Japan than it is here in the west, but many artists are beginning to draw their material based on anime. Even so, it's still not the majority of the market as it was ten years ago.
Light Novel Adaptations. Finally, anime is the home of some amazing light novels, known as Mangaka adaptations. Basically, these are fan-made adaptations of famous manga series from Japan. Mangakas are basically fan-created re-branding efforts that are made into a light novel series and then released over the internet for everyone to enjoy.
How Stacked? We're almost at the end, and this is an important question. Why? Because stacking light novels is something that most people like to do when they get to a certain point in their writing. You've gotten to the point where you've created several different novel chapters, each with its own plot, and you want to try to combine them into a final novel that has multiple layers of meaning and is very appealing to your reader base. The problem is, when you get to the point where you've stacked the books, you've reached the end of the line - and the chapter that you wanted to end is the last one.
As you can see, there are several reasons why adaptation is harder than it would be for other mediums. Light novels aren't nearly as simple to adapt to other media, and translating anime into English is no easy task. However, translating a manga into English is easier than almost any other medium, since the source material is already available in the original language. It's the same as adapting a movie into the theatre, only it's done entirely in English.