I’m currently at WK level 23 and I’m looking for your fantasy light novel or manga recommendations that might be accessible at my level.
It’s not fantasy per say but I’ve been reading Zetman lately and that’s about the level of challenge that I’m looking for. I’m also wondering, am I realistically just limited to manga at this point? I’ve tried reading the light novel of 魔法科高校の劣等生 because I liked the anime but I can only understand bits and pieces.
Some fantasy manga or anime that I’ve read/watched in in English and enjoyed include:
That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime, Berserk, Goblin Slayer, Grimgar Ashes and Illusions. The Irregular at Magic High. Anything like that is what I’m looking for.
If you think any of those are in reach for me or have other recommendations, please let me know!
Thank you in advance!
Shadows House is very beginner friendly. In fact, the beginner book club is currently reading it, if you’re interested in catching up.
Aria the Masterpiece has some sci-fi and fantasy elements, but it’s more slice of life than anything else. Also very beginner friendly.
Tongari Boushi no Atelier has strong fantasy elements, but is a little harder. I would not describe this as beginner friendly, but you could certainly give it a shot if you want.
That’s pretty much all I got. I don’t read much fantasy manga, and I can’t recommend any novels or light novels that are suitable for beginners.
I write illustrated fantasy stories in easy Japanese (~N4) which I hope can help people at your level have a nice time practicing their reading skills. You can check the first one out here if you’re interested.
As far as I know, LNs barely have furigana. Assuming your current WK level is indicative of your kanji knowledge, you’re gonna need a LOT of patience to get through those. Even at level 37 I encounter about 5 to 15 unknown kanji per page. And it’s not just kanji, but any novel will also be way more challenging grammatically. I don’t know how good your grammar and your vocabulary is, so I’m going to give this advice purely based on my perspective, but if you’re still struggling to get through manga with furigana, I feel like it’s better to hold off on the LNs for now and to really focus on understanding those first, accumulating tons of new vocabulary and input while simultaneously leveling up on WK. I believe this will make the transition to LNs just that much more smooth and enjoyable. But you have to decide for yourself how bad you want it. Nobody is going to stop you from doing it at any level.
Personally, I’ve read about 50 volumes of manga in Japanese starting level 27, I’ve had a blast doing it and made tremendous progress. So if it’s manga recommendations, I might be able to help you. I’m currently reading The Promised Neverland and it’s super addicting. It has furigana, but language-wise the most challenging out of the ones I’ve read so far. If you find yourself having a hard time with the language, reading the English version alongside can help you clear up all the ambiguities right away, and then reading the Japanese version again afterwards can help you check if that new knowledge stuck.
Other than that, of course shounen power fantasy manga like One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Demon Slayer, MHA, Yu Yu Hakusho, will all have furigana as well and not be as difficult as Neverland from a language viewpoint. Claymore is a dark fantasy like Berserk and also has furigana. Shadow House is a really good fantasy manga that also has a book club. Sousou no Frieren is an incredibly hyped fantasy manga right now, of course also with furigana. Then there’s isekai manga like Jobless Reincarnation and Re:Zero, which are however lacking of furigana.
Thanks for all the suggestions! I’m definitely going to stick with manga for now. Those illustrates stories look pretty cool too! Shadow House sounds interesting and I might join the book club.
I forgot to mention that I’ve finished Genki I and II as well as a fair chunk of Tobira Gateway to advanced Japanese
Crystal Hunters is a manga that teaches Japanese. They have Japanese and Natural Japanese. Natural Japanese is the harder version so you can try that first and if too hard then just read the Japanese version.
Under their free stuff there are guides. The Japanese version guide has vocabulary and grammar explanations while the Natural Japanese version only lists the vocabulary being used and has no grammar explanations.
There are different kinds of creatures and talk of magic. Currently there are 5 volumes out right now which you can read thought Amazon kindle.
Given that OP has made decent progress on grammar and kanji, I don’t think they need manga made specifically for learners. They should be able to jump into easier native manga, especially if it has furigana.
@rounin The beginner book club will also be starting a new manga in early November if you’re interested in joining. I believe the new book will have some sci-fi or fantasy elements.
you can try this one I think (I could only recommend the manga, I don’t touch the LN because novels are too much for me). and as far as I read, got no headache politics and the plot is rather fluffy.
This could be a good suggestion for an absolute beginner trying to get their feet wet with fantasy, thanks!
I should also clarify that I am looking for an approachable challenge since I could just turn to Tobira if I want something more accessible to my level. With that said, most manga are a challenge anyway.
@seanblue those proposals all look pretty good, I’ll keep my eyes peeled!
Yes the Japanese version is for absolutely beginners, but the Natural Japanese is N5-N3 range so if you are upper beginner/intermediate that version may be good for you though they don’t have grammar explanations for the Natural Japanese guide so it may be a good way to challenge yourself.