After Isekai / Fantasy, What Genre Do We Want Licensing Companies to Pursue?


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    Assuming we were to somehow run low on compelling + viable licenses in Isekai + Fantasy genre (or general interest wanes in the genre), where would you like the major Japanese licensing companies we follow to go next? Are there particular genres or story tropes you'd like to see explored? Are the majority of your wishlist of licenses in a particular genre? Feel free to share.

    There's of course genre mixing that will help Isekai / Fantasy stay on top a while imo: Yuri Fantasy, Mystery Fantasy, Slice of Life Cooking + Farm Life Fantasy, Spy Fiction Suspense Fantasy. If you have interest in a particular genre mix or a trope you'd love more of, that's cool too, feel free to mention that.

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    (You can vote and comment at this point, rambly thoughts below).

    Mystery I would love, but there's almost no viability it seems. There's authors pumping out mystery stories that sell like hotcakes in Japan, like Sakurako-san's author and Nisiosin with 11 volumes of "Okitegami Kyouko no Bibouroku", but stateside we don't get them. Iirc, mystery is the most popular fiction genre stateside, but fans of Japanese light novels seem to not be as keen on pure mystery. Mystery with some occasional Horror mix I would love, but again, lukewarm reception stateside for the albeit adaptation focused Horror (video game adaptations and a multi-media project adaptation) has killed that it seems. Most we get is... Dark Emo Fantasy / Hot Topic Clothed Hero Isekai, which I guess is something.

    If I'm being honest, I think Rom-Com has the most viability and it's one of my most enjoyed subject matter, especially when they have some element of impending "change" for a normally stable group dynamic that encourages romantic action, like graduation, transfer students, or plain out and out confessions by a member of a group. Romance series are also going beyond high school now with series like "Remake Our Life" going to college and even more recent stuff going passed that into adult lives.

    Romantic Drama, especially Yuri Drama (with some SciFi / Fantasy genre blend) seems to have carved out a niche too, but I don't expect that to explode. I still enjoy those a lot though, and wouldn't mind more. Plain real world Romantic Drama I don't think has gotten much play stateside, and I don't know that it ever will, but we shall see I guess.


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    I chose Mystery, but at the end of the day I just want good content, don't matter which genre, or what troupe, or for what demographic, I just wanna read stories that make me feel feelings, and not ones that make me yawn.


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    Yeah, I voted mystery too, but realistically, I'd be very happy with some Rom-Com + Drama + Slice of Life with some emotion to it too, some kind of thinking involved for the hero and the reader about what they should do. Commentary on Japan or meta commentary on fiction would be interesting too.

    I just feel like mystery is so underserved based on how many books are out there, the pedigree of the authors, and the good length of some of these series (Sakurako is at 14+ volumes; Subete Ga No F's series is 10 volumes long, both got anime). If a longer commitment is an issue, there are series just starting out, like aforementioned Sakurako-san author's "I'll Be Killed By Yesterday's Me", which is only 2 volumes.

    The slower release cycle for mysteries presents a challenge, but also an opportunity to fill in gaps cheaply with early series or pick up a longer series that you don't have to worry about getting much longer while you're releasing it (one volume a year often for these writers, sometimes less; Sakurako's latest volumes were over 14 months apart).


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    Rom-coms! Although well, I don't really mind the setting, school, fantasy, isekai, etc. Although I'm more on the light-hearted camp.

    Mystery would be an interesting one. Haven't read many (any?) of these.


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    I voted sci-fi (though preferably non-mecha). If I could vote for multiple ones, I'd also go rom-com and mystery.


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    A tough decision but I had to go with rom-com. Historical fiction, mystery, and sci-fi would be great too.



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    I dont know maybe its me but except "horror" genre , i dont really care spesific genre for read. Writing , writer's abilty etc much important for me. There are so many isekai novels here but i only read maybe 10 of them and kept reading 5 of them. Although my view and popular view must be different because there are so many x genre novels but i dont like to keep reading. Same as anime etc. So , for sake of JNC and its popularity , i would like to pick the most popular genre. With that , at least time to time , i can find "good" novel to read(my personal opinion ofc).


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    @legitpancake said in After Isekai / Fantasy, What Genre Do We Want Licensing Companies to Pursue?:

    I voted sci-fi (though preferably non-mecha). If I could vote for multiple ones, I'd also go rom-com and mystery.

    I would love some SciFi. One of my most wanted early licenses is SciFi.

    Going to other planets, viral contagions, crazy tech, even just seeing future civilizations + the breakdown of society (It's a shame Clockwork Planet never continued). You can go to a lot of places with SciFi, it's a very broad genre category, and I like them all.

    They frequently speak to the human condition, what it means to be human (robots, cloning tech, and prosthetics / brain transference tech making that distinction more murky) or where we as a species are going.


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    Sci-fi definitely (not mecha). There must be some good sci-fi in Japan.


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    I'd love me more sci-fi... But, unfortunately, there's not much to choose from in the first place, so I went with romcoms - mostly because there are enough of them published and they have the best chances to be popular and actually sell.



  • I have to go with rom-com. Please give me GAMERS!


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    What JNC lacks right now are series that occur in the modern world with no fantasy or sci-fi. Just pure ordinary modern world.

    Most series like these are rom-com or drama.



  • I voted for Sci-Fi (that doesn't involve mechas) but I like Sci-Fi mixed in with other genres, Romance (or rom-com) being one of the top choices, then Mystery or a mix of all three.


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    @bartzbb Well we do have Kokoro Connect and SisKan, though KoCo does have paranormal stuff.


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    @bartzbb said in After Isekai / Fantasy, What Genre Do We Want Licensing Companies to Pursue?:

    What JNC lacks right now are series that occur in the modern world with no fantasy or sci-fi. Just pure ordinary modern world.

    Most series like these are rom-com or drama.

    I agree that this is a gap in JNC's line-up for non-paranormal/fantasy stories set in the present day, which as you say tend to be romantic comedy / drama.

    Not sure how much this relates to which Japanese publishers the English publishers have a relationship with. For example, both Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki and My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected are fun romantic comedies, but both are Gagaga Bunko (Shogakukan) novels which all went to Yen Press. Similarly I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a good drama (not read LN, but liked the movie), but it was from Futabasha and all their LNs went to Seven Seas Entertainment (SSE).

    Another potential explanation is that whilst manga might have a fair number of present day non-paranormal romantic comedies they are generally less prevalent in light novels.


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    There is actually a ton of real life rom-com popular right now in Japan. Frog-Kun / Kim Morrissey did a column on how light novels are going back to school.

    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2019-12-23/the-light-novels-of-2019-went-back-to-school/.153992

    There are definitely issues with licensing though. Particularly some branches of Kadokawa that JNC doesn't have stuff from and Gagaga holding many of the popular licenses afaik.


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    I personally hope for titles that are more like Boogiepop or Durarara. So, I guess I'm hoping for more supernatural?

    I'm the kind of person who REALLY judges a book by its cover. So I was really surprised by how good Boogiepop was despite me finding the cover not that engaging.

    I think JNC's serialization format really works for niche titles like these.


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    @terrence said in After Isekai / Fantasy, What Genre Do We Want Licensing Companies to Pursue?:

    There is actually a ton of real life rom-com popular right now in Japan. Frog-Kun / Kim Morrissey did a column on how light novels are going back to school.

    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2019-12-23/the-light-novels-of-2019-went-back-to-school/.153992

    There are definitely issues with licensing though. Particularly some branches of Kadokawa that JNC doesn't have stuff from and Gagaga holding many of the popular licenses afaik.

    Interesting article. Also, just found that 3 months ago
    @LegitPancake said in My Friend's Little Sister Is Only Annoying to Me (Tomodachi no Imouto ga Ore ni Dake Uzai):

    @theloo Sam said at the ANYC panel that he is interested in getting school romcoms, but the publishers he has connections with don’t usually publish stuff like that. JNC has never licensed from GA Bunko, and Kadokawa as a whole sounded like it is difficult and expensive to get brand new stuff like this, which just came out in April 2019.


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    I'd love mystery and slice of life but chose Rom-Com because my two favorite series at the moment are A Sisters All You Need and ToraDora! So I want more like those (and yes, Bottom Tier is in my "to read" pile).