I grew up reading fantasy, and I realized recently that 1) I’m getting to the point where I can actually read Japanese! (it might be slow-going still, but I can understand more, so it feels more like actual reading) and 2) I have yet to read a single fantasy since I started reading in Japanese nearly a year ago, and I need to rectify that.
I have a definite preference for ones that are in like the typical “Medieval Europe”-esque settings, but I’m fine with Modern With Magic settings as well. I love Dragon Quest and Legend of Zelda, and I remember liking the Slayers and Scrapped Princess animes when I was younger (haven’t gotten around to rewatching or reading them). Some English series I like are The Inheritance Cycle (Chris Paolini), The Legend of Drizzt (R.A. Salvatore), Heralds of Valdemar (Mercedes Lackey), and Septimus Heap (Angie Sage). Also, Simon Snow (Rainbow Rowell).
I’m looking for both manga and novels/light novels (whether with or without illustrations). Original works, rather than translations from English. Completed or ongoing. I care more about the content/the actual story than if it’s aimed toward guys or gals. I’m fine with ones aimed toward younger audiences (upper elementary/middle school, or about 5th-8th grade), but no younger than that. Teen and up preferred. Bonus points if there are dragons. Already on my wishlist are 暁のヨナ and とんでもスキルで異世界放浪メシ.
Some things I don’t like:
- Harems. I don’t have much patience for love triangles, either, though I won’t necessarily say no to them outright.
- Pervy stuff. Romance is fine (bonus points if it’s queer, I’d like some more queer fantasies), but no male protags being lecherous toward female characters and stuff like that, please. I know there are some series oriented toward guys that are like that.
- (On the subject of romance, I seem to stumble across a lot of teen/adult or barely-out-of-their-teens/an-adult-adult pairings, from Negima [although that’s… child/teen] and Rurouni Kenshin to all the teacher/student series out there, and just… no. I admit that I like age differences, but not when the younger party is that young. If there is romance, an age-appropriate love interest, please. That includes no 20-year-olds with late-20s-plus-year-olds. 25-27 is on thin ice, but more than that is an automatic no from me. Ideally with larger age differences, I’d rather the younger party were at least mid-20s.)
- Dark themes, whump, psychological, etc. I’m fine with and even like angst, but I can’t deal with whump. Also, anything particularly graphic. If the blood and violence would net it an M/M+ rating, then that’s likely too graphic for me. Below that’s generally fine.
- Political intrigue. Some politics are fine, and even expected, but if it’s mainly a political story, I get bored.
- Spiders, especially in manga. (Well, I suppose it’s fine if there are a small number that only show up like once or twice, it’s not like you don’t fight giant spiders in Neverwinter Nights, but I’d. really rather there not. Thank you.)
If there are ones like slice-of-life in a fantasy setting, those would be good too. I’m all for the excitement of external-plot-driven series, but I also love slower, character-driven plots. I also enjoy ayakashi series (夏目友人帳 is one of my comfort series, and I love 不機嫌なモノノケ庵), so even though that’s not really the kind of fantasy that I’m looking for, I’ll accept recommendations for those, too.
For anyone else who’s interested, as well as for my own organizational purposes, I’ll be gathering all suggested series here and including links to the first volume on Bookmeter (as well as to the book club here if I found one), organized by whether I’m interested in them or not.
For those who like reading digitally, the site 小説家になろう has various novels available to read on it for free, including fantasy (divided into High Fantasy and Low Fantasy) as well as other genres.
Ones I found that I like/think I’ll like:
- 暁のヨナ [manga] - [book club]
- とんでもスキルで異世界放浪メシ [novels] [manga] (spinoff とんでもスキルで異世界放浪メシ スイの大冒険 [manga])
- 竜のかわいい七つの子 [manga]
- 王国の子 [manga]
Going on the wishlist:
- ダンジョン飯 [manga]
- とんがり帽子のアトリエ [manga] (spin-off とんがり帽子のキッチン [manga])
- 本好きの下剋上 [novels] - [book club]
- 獣の奏者 [novels] [manga] - [book club]
- 狐笛のかなた [novel] - [book club]
- 鹿の王 [novels]
- かがみの孤城 [novel] [manga] - [book club]
- 魔法少女育成計画 [novels] (I think that’s the first one)
- 蜘蛛ですが、何か？ [novels] [manga]
- 悪食令嬢と狂血公爵 [novels] [manga] (though I may come back to it in the future)
- RDG レッドデータガール
- 狼と香辛料 - [book club]
Thanks in advance!