Otaku USA Magazine
Survey Reveals How Japanese Readers Choose Light Novels

This is the most interesting use of Twitter’s new survey feature we’ve seen yet.

Recently “Nekopyon,” a member of the editorial department at GA Bunko, a major publisher of light novels, created a survey asking readers what the most important factor is when picking up a book.

The results, based on 6,160 responses, broke down like this:

  • Author: 13%
  • Illustrator: 27%
  • Title/cover design: 22%
  • Summary/content: 38%


Big win for content, which is perhaps not surprising (and a little bit reassuring – content is still king). The importance of the illustrator isn’t such a shock either, since many light novels are squarely aimed at the same crowd who enjoy manga and anime.

But those poor authors, man.

Light novels, short illustrated novels usually aimed at a young adult market, are often the basis for anime series. They’ve recently begun to appear more frequently in English translation.

Have you picked up any English-translated light novels? How did you choose them?

Source: Yaraon, @GA_Nekopyon

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.