So, as I continue to add books to the “List of Another World Web Novels”, this got me thinking about which books I like the most. I tend to be critical when I talk about books, stressing the things that bugged me over the things I liked… However, with a list of 50+ books, you’re probably wondering which books are the ones I actually think are worth reading. Or in other words, what are my top ten?
So if your time is precious, and you just want to know what I’d personally recommend, this is the list for you.
What can you say about KonoSuba? This is a story full of awful people being awful to each other. Then again, Seinfeld was popular. So was Friends. KonoSuba is like those stories, but in another world coating. A group of dysfunctional heroes get together, and seemingly by accident, start to knock off the generals of the Demon King one at a time. It’s funny. It’s stupid. You’ll hate them and love them at the same time. I think this is probably one of the most consistently hilarious web novels you can find. Well, it did get approved for two seasons of an anime, so it must have something people love.
9. The Death Mage That Doesn’t Want a Fourth Time
I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed this one. It has a similar direction to Black Demon King in that bad things keep happing to this guy until he’s driven into a corner to the extent that he’ll likely be recognized as the next Demon King and become the enemy of God. The good thing is that in order to do this, the characters and the world actually make sense. In Black Demon King, they fall on cartoonishly evil characters that do this for no reason other than because they claim god tells them to. Death Mage does it better, the MCs rage and hatred for the people who wronged him didn’t come because they were cartoonishly evil, but from accidents, misunderstanding, and happenstance. God takes care of 100s of worlds and billions of people, to the point that he doesn’t even see one life as significant, so it makes sense when he ignores the Death Mage, and doesn’t really care about the abuse the Death Mage suffers because of his mistakes. Most everyone goes after him because they fear or hate him simply because of what he is. It can be a sad story, and a funny story, and while it isn’t as raw and brutal as certain other stories, it has great pacing, and amusing cast of characters, and has a mood that can actually change over time compared to the seemingly perpetual gloom and dread of Black Demon King.
8. My Disciple Died, Yet Again
It starts slowly, but it makes up for it by continually being hilarious. My Disciple Died, Yet Again, follows the tale of a developer brought into a Xian Xia world in order to fix all of the bugs. Bugs being the protagonists and antagonists that normally show up in these kinds of novels, whose actions would inevitably lead to the destruction of said world. It can be sad and heartwarming, but it is always hilarious, whether she’s peeking on the protagonist as he juggles girls in his harem, stealing one of his girls, or building a clan with the flick of her wrist, she’s just great, and so is this novel.
It should come as no surprise that a novel I spent a year translating which started this blog in the first place would be a novel I like. It shows up lower on my list for reasons I mention in my review. The story drags a bit, the change in tone is a bit meh, and the characters have little rhyme or reason to be all obsessed with the MC. Well, stories I truly don’t like tend to have nothing I can say about them, because they left no opinion on me, and I could talk about all of my quips about Arifureta all night long. It’s one of the better stories out there and the best “entire classroom transfers to another world” story I’ve read. The characters are memorable, and the idea of a guy dropped to his lowest point only to crawl back out and become Op’d is great.
6. In Another World With Summon and Support Magic
Better known as Boku wa Isekai, this one is a bit of a guilty pleasure. With a rather whiny protagonist, it can be annoying when you’d rather punch him in the face than deal with him. However, there is something great about the way this story is. Everything takes place in only a day per volume. You can feel the weight of the struggle to survive, as every distraction means more of the class is being murdered by orcs. It gives me a satisfying blend of survival horror mixed with RPG. If you can get over the often one-dimensional characterization, it’s honestly a fun wish fulfillment story as the bullied weakling becomes leader of the middle-school girls. It’s one of the very few another world RPG stories that actually considers group tactics and uses them as part of the story.
5. Shinka no Mi
Admittedly, the protagonist is a really whiny guy, constantly tsukkomi-ing the crazy world he’s found himself in, but that aside, there is something hilariously great about a guy who keeps getting ridiculously stronger even while he’s desperately trying to reign it in. The cast of characters are great, and when my biggest complaint is that the translator is translating it way too slow… that’s got to mean something.
4. Shield Hero
Shield Hero was one of my first experiences with another world novels, and still probably one of the best. It does get very long winded in the end, to the point I was skipping through arcs just to finish things up. Still, it had many memorable events that are hard to forget, and it achieved an epicness that many stories fail to. It ended on a note completely unlike it started, going from a jaded and persecuted hero just trying to do what’s right to a celebrated hero battling a god, but I think it’ll always have a place as one of the big stories that defined this genre.
3. Against the Gods
Some might argue it’s not ‘another world’, because he resurrects on the same planet… technically… although it’s a Xian Xia planet and the continent he started on is so far away (it’s about twice the distance as traveling to the moon) that it might as well be another world. Plus, other worlds exist, and the story will clearly have him leaving his world eventually. This is a repetitive novel that uses the same formula over and over again, always upping the ante. Best in the region, oh, but you live in the smallest, most pathetic region. Best in the nation. Oh, but you live in the smallest, most pathetic nation. Best in the continent? Oh, but that is just one of three continents. Best in the world? Oh, that’s just one world of many. I’ve read many Xian Xia novels, and this is the only one I found myself returning to. Something about it just keeps me interested, even though the main character is closer to a villain than a good guy, no matter how much the story wants to convince you he’s not.
2. Dominion’s End
Although plagued with throwing too many elements at you, but the good thing about it always throwing something at you is that it never gets boring. I find Dominion’s End to be one of the most interesting stories being released. I keep going back to it and waiting for more chapters, and I just love everything this story has to offer. I like gender benders, so a woman trapped in a pretty boy’s body is hilarious. He has a deep and complex personality, conflicted between the need to survive and desire to protect his family. Once again, my biggest complaint on this story is that it doesn’t release faster.
Fimbulwinter: This one would be on my list, except as an English written amazon novel with mature content, it technically shouldn’t be on my ‘another world’ list at all. However, the high octane adventure filled with colorful characters, fast quips, and great action makes it testosterone filled wish-fulfillment on speed.
Wizard With the Flower Blades: A good story, but ultimately a bit too generic. If it tried something a bit more original, the quality writing and setup would have excelled, but instead, it stuck savagely to the cliches, and thus was only a good example of everything you’ve already read.
Going Back and Forth Between Earth and The Other World with Space Time Magic: It was between this one and Death March. Some people like one, Some people like the other. To me, they are both slice of life done right, but the focus on a smaller group of characters and older in age cause this one to slightly win out. However, being a slice of life also causes the issue that the story is never really going anywhere, which keeps it from being higher on my top ten list.
1. Release That Witch
I said as much in my another world list, but I can’t stress enough how much I love Release That Witch. A novel that functions more like a fantasy epic than a light novel, it’s full of strong characters, good pacing, logical progression, and a character whose only OP power is his college education. The female characters are strong. While it’s very much a harem, the women respect him on a level that approaches adult-like. It does frequently have chapters that focus on other characters, which can range from world-building and insightful to boring and just wishing they’d get back to the main character. I know this web novel might not be for everyone, but it’s one of a handful of novels on this list that felt like it deserves to be published, and so it makes it on my top list.
What is your top ten list?