Hello English Light Novels readers! I’m Justus, and I’ve been lurking in the administrative background for the past year-and-a-half or so. Working on the preorders page, I thought it would be useful to highlight what Light Novel series are making their debut every month. So welcome to this new monthly feature!
For the rest of February’s releases and a sneak peak at what lies in the months ahead check out the Preorders page!
First off, this month very much belongs to J-Novel Club. Of the nine titles I’m highlighting, eight belong to them! Two of those titles are from the new J-Novel Club Heart line, meaning they are Shoujo titles! So let’s get going!
On February 1st, we get 2 brand new series debuts from J-Novel Club! Both are from the ever popular Isekai genre.
By the Grace of the Gods
Under the protection of the gods, a relaxed life with slimes in another world begins!
One day, the life of middle-aged Japanese businessman Ryoma Takebayashi came to a rather sudden and disappointing end. Ryoma had never had a blessed life, but after his death, three great gods sought his cooperation and reincarnated him as a child in another world with swords and magic!
Receiving a most cordial and divine welcome from the gods, Ryoma decides to live leisurely on his own in the forest for the time being. Working diligently at magic and hunting, Ryomaâ€™s greatest passion comes to be researching his tamed slimes?! Training a variety of slimes (some newly discovered), the curtain rises on this easygoing life fantasy celebrating a second life with kind people in another world!
The World’s Least Interesting Master Swordsman
Sansui Shirokuro is a young guy with an old man’s name, which ends up landing him in tragic circumstances when God snuffs out his life candle after mistaking him for a geezer whose time has passed. Now reincarnated into a fantasy world, Sansui is one of the Immortals, capable of immense powerâ€¦ as long as he’s willing to put centuries of work into achieving it. One day, after five hundred years of swinging his sword, his monotonous existence is upended entirely by the appearance of a little baby. His master sends him out into the world to raise the child, and it’s there that he meets a haughty young noblewoman and her tomboyish bodyguard. His fighting style may be bland and unpretentious, but the fast-paced mortal world is about to find out just how good even the most hopeless swordsman can get with half a millennium of practice behind him!
On February 2nd we get another Isekai title, but this time with a twist!
Isekai Rebuilding Project
Have you ever wondered what happens after peace is restored in a fantasy world? What happens beyond the final page of an Isekai light novel? Eiji, a thirty-year-old Japanese city clerk with a thoroughly average life and a fiancÃ©e, had not. He too answers a call to be transported to a fantasy world, but not as a hero. This fantasy world, having already been saved by a hero, was about to collapse for another reason entirelyâ€¦ thanks to that hero, who was also summoned from Japan. Eiji is tasked with restoring the fantasy world to its authentic form: how it was before it was infected with the technology, ideology, and societal concepts of modern-day Japan.
On February 4th we get something special! It’s not really a series “debut” but it is the first time this series is appearing in print (well, in a long time, that is). J-Novel Club is bringing Full Metal Panic! back to print. But they’re doing it in style. This omnibus edition collects the first three volumes and wraps them in an imitation leather cover with silver embossed cover!
Full Metal Panic! Volumes 1-3 Collector’s Edition
Volumes 1-3, now in a collectors hardcover edition, and with a brand new translation!
Sagara Sousuke isn’t your typical high school student. He reads military enthusiast magazines; he responds to questions with “affirmative;” he brings grenades to school in his bag. Though everyone at school takes him for a hopeless military geek, Chidori Kaname thinks there might be something more to him. When their plane is hijacked in the middle of a field trip, Kaname’s instincts will prove correct: Sousuke is an elite, mech-piloting mercenary… and he’s here to protect her!
On February 8th there is another J-Novel Club title. This one combines Fantasy, video-gaming, and online gameplay-streaming! Not sure how this one is going to play out exactly, but it sounds interesting.
PotatoStarch, a live streamer who’s gaining popularity for his excitable attitude and witty banter, has begun streaming Dragon Demon RPG-DX, a game with a cult following known for its extreme difficulty and unreasonable systems. Only masochists would play it.
Meanwhile, in the world of the game, a fierce war between humans, elves, and vampires is reaching its bloody peak. The humans, lacking in magic, were forced into a defensive battleâ€”until a savior appeared. Wielding a battleaxe, a young girl named Chloe stepped forth to oppose both enemy armies. Her heroic efforts earned her the names â€œDragonslayerâ€ and â€œKiller of Demons.â€ Thanks to Chloe, a girl â€œloved by God,â€ humans counter-attack.
PotatoStarch is just a video game player. He dives into this world hoping to forget the tiring real world. But through an unexpected series of events, he ends up almost â€œpossessingâ€ Chloe. As he reaches the gameâ€™s climax, Chloe discovers a mysterious power and PotatoStarchâ€™s fate is changed forever.
On February 11th we get the only non-J-Novel release from Seven Seas! It’s a companion series to a very popular Yuri manga and anime!
Bloom Into You: Regarding Saeki Sayaka
A light novel spin-off for the hit yuri manga and anime series Bloom Into You!
Saeki Sayaka has always been an old soulâ€•serious and reserved, preferring to focus on her studies rather than make friends. Until, that is, a romantic confession from another girl in middle school turns her carefully ordered world upside down. Though none of her classes have prepared her for this, Saeki must now come to terms with her sexuality in this gentle, coming-of-age novel about grappling with first love, growing up, and relating to other people.
On February 15th, J-Novel brings us another Isekai title. Although, I’m not sure if it’s a person reincarnated from our world, or some other “past life.” One thing I’ve been told is that this one is violent!
In the harsh region known as the borderlands, humans must fight an endless battle against demi-human creatures that come at them relentlessly, intent on taking their land and their gods.
A young boy named Kai, fighting to defend his village, sustains a life-threatening injury that causes him to regain memories from a past life.
If youâ€™re not a guardian bearer, itâ€™s like youâ€™re playing life on hard modeâ€¦
Kaiâ€™s newfound knowledge gives him a new sense of the unfair â€œrule setâ€ that governs the world around him. One thing is clear: For those without a god to serve as their guardian, life is a constant struggle for survival.
Thus begins the epic tale of a young boyâ€™s ascent into a vast world filled with magic, bloodshed, and mystery.
Lots to spend our money on this month, right? Well, there’s two more titles left, and these are the Shoujo titles from J-Novel Club Heart! Both of them have a similar theme of the main character trying to avoid a “bad end.” A little similar to another popular title, My Next Life as a Villainess!
First up, on February 22nd…
I Refuse to be Your Enemy!
From an early age, Kiara has been plagued with dreams of another worldâ€”dreams in which a girl she doesn’t recognize plays a strategy RPG called â€œFarzia: Kingdom at Warâ€. Farzia is, in fact, the same kingdom where Kiara currently lives. Oh, and one other thing: there’s an enemy character who’s also named Kiara, though her name is Kiara Credias. Naturally, as with any other RPG villain, this enemy is slain by the heroes.
So when her adoptive father, Count PatriciÃ©l, orders her to marry Viscount Credias, Kiara comes to a horrifying realization: perhaps those â€œdreamsâ€ were visions of things to come! She hatches a plan to get the hell out of Dodge and create a new future for herselfâ€”one where she STAYS ALIVE, thank you very much!
The final series debut happens on February 24th. And I think of all the ones releasing this month, this is the series I’m most looking forward to!
Surrounded by the hate-filled gazes of her people, the selfish princess of the fallen Tearmoon Empire, Mia, takes one last look at the bleeding sun before the guillotine blade fallsâ€¦
Only to wake back up as a twelve-year-old! With time rewound and a second chance at life dropped into her lap, she sets out to right the countless wrongs that plague the ailing Empire. Corrupt governance? Check. Border troubles? Check. Natural calamities and economic strife? Check.
My, seems like a lot of work.
Hard work and Mia donâ€™t mix, so she seeks out the aid of others, starting with her loyal maid, Anne, and the brilliant minister, Ludwig. Together, they strive day and night to restore the Empire. Little by little, their tireless efforts begin to change the course of history, pushing the whole of the continent toward a new future.
And why did the selfish princess have a change of heart, you ask? Simpleâ€”she didnâ€™t. Sheâ€™s just terrified of the guillotine. They hurt like hell, and Mia hates pain more than work.
Lazy, selfish, and a complete coward, the ill-equipped princess of the Tearmoon Empire, armed with memories of her past life and a diary from the future, tries to avoid dying at the guillotine again and changes the very course of history in the process!
So which of these series are you most excited to read? Let me know in the comments! And what do you think of this as a monthly feature? Is it useful? Do you all already know this because you religiously check out the Preorders page? Let me know and thanks for reading along!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Justus R. Stone has been running a light novel dedicated YouTube channel since 2014. He’s also the founder of the Light Novel Podcast, one of the first English language podcasts dedicated to Light Novels. In addition to his love of Japanese light novels, he is also the author of his own light novel-inspired series, The Bleeding Worlds.