As I was reading through my top ten “Another World” novels list, I thought it might also be interesting to write about my top 10 least favorite novels. This can be kind of difficult. If I hated something, I rarely read very much of it, so I must admit that while these are the novels I liked the “least”, they’re also the novels I most likely read the least. Still, I typically give every novel on my list at least 20 chapters. There are some novels on the list that were so meh that they really gave me no impression at all. I would read my 20 chapters and then, upon leaving, barely even can recall what happened. I won’t be including these. This is the list of the ones that left the worst impressions. These are the ones I remember, and for some, wish I could forget.
This one sits on the bottom of my list because it’s a story full of extremes. There are parts I really liked. The another world theme is fantastic, and definitely in the first 30 some chapters there was a lot to love about this story. However, the story is very slow and drags things out for very long time. The pacing can be a mess, and I think the stories seeming complete lack of tying up loose ends, continuous characterization, or a clear direction really just destroys it. Every character introduced seems to disappear after their part in the plot of the story is done. Since the MC never communicates with anyone, the MC himself seems to have almost no personality. The story is written in a very much “making it up as he goes along” kind of way and around the time the story gets to the world tree the author stops explaining things and the story starts getting really congested and confused. If you can follow this mess, more power to you, but I’ll stick to stories that actually focus on the people and the events, not just the random meaningless goal of the week that author felt like throwing at him that was never mentioned before. And don’t give me a line about how it “gets good” 150 chapters in. If it takes 150 chapters for a plot to make sense… you have a badly written story.
- Doll Dungeon
There was nothing absolutely disagreeable with Doll Dungeon. It simply was abrupt, boring, and poorly written. The pacing is a mess. The reasoning is a mess. The progression is forced. This is a story that has nothing particularly bad with it, other than the fact that it just wasn’t very good. It has nothing to like, and nothing to hate.
- Grand Prize: Unrivalled Harem Ticket
This story is just so blatantly clichéd and choked full of wish-fulfillment that it permeates every inch of this story. The story is just lazy (you’ll see that as a recurring theme on this list). Besides using every cliché in the book, it also just pushes through and makes things happen without reason. The MCs capacity to strike out with luck is really the unrivaled part, and everything falls into his lap. Eventually, his behavior with women takes on a rapey vibe, although the story makes up silly plot conveniences to legitimize the rape. I don’t think you could write a more Standard Japanese Protagonist if you tried. He is literally the textbook example. In fact, this entire story is the textbook example of a harem isekai story, but not in a good way. It’s more in a shameless pandering kind of way.
- In A Different World With a Smartphone
Other than Slave Harem, this is the second webnovel I’ve been the most vocal about openly disliking. You might be surprised it is not higher on the list, but that’s because it doesn’t really offend me in any particular way. It’s just boring. The characters are flat. The dialogue is flat. And for a story with Smartphone in the name and all about him having his Smartphone, he doesn’t use it for anything important. Instead, he gets generic op abilities exactly as strong as he needs to overcome any obstacle, and that’s really all the story is. A guy goes adventuring, forms a harem, and… stuff… I guess. I had a discussion recently where someone told me Death March was boring and that this was good. Now Death March may take a long time to have some of the more amusing parts, but this one loses me before I can even get going. I can’t even get through the anime, that’s how dry and uneventful everything in this story is.
- The Amusing Other World Trading Travelogue of Net Auction Guy
This is a book I should have and would have absolutely loved. A Spice and Wolf style merchant story mixed with a magical portal allowing the protagonist and him alone to dance back and forth between this world and another world? What’s not to love? Well… just about everything the author did in it. The protagonist is a small time Net Auction guy, but because he’s a shitty person, he barely takes advantage of his access to another world. He mooches off of everyone around him, wants to rape his slaves, and oh yeah, of course the slaves suddenly fall in love with him for literally no reason. In fact, everyone falls in love with him for no reason. He does nothing cool, exciting, or clever, yet everyone wants to just bend over backward for him. In the chapters I read, he hadn’t done a single successful merchant thing, while spending days getting favors from companions for everything.
- Moon-led Journey Across Another World
I really wanted to like this story, I did. First, I struggled to get into it because the webnovel description is hard to follow. Then, I struggled to get into it because the translation is hard to follow. The story seems to just jump all over the place. The guy is OP’d, but it isn’t even addressed why. It certainly didn’t come from skills the god left him. The second the first girl shows up and she’s a pigmen (orc) that, I kid you not, looks like Miss Piggy, I found the novel impossibly hard to enjoy. The premise is good. Like I said, I want to like this story, which is perhaps why it leaves such a bad impression with me, because ultimately, whether because of translator or writer, it’s just something I can’t follow.
- The Reincarnated Vampire Wants an Afternoon Nap
Okay, yes, I don’t like lazy protagonists. I mean, I’m a procrastinator. I’m lazy. But when I’m reading a story… I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to want crap to happen, and when you have a protagonist who won’t even wake up to feed themselves, that makes the whole process a pain. This story makes my list because it’s lazy. Not just the protagonist, the whole story. The main character is OP… but it isn’t through some serendipitous event… this character actually tries to screw their character up because of how little shits they give about existing at all. However, apparently, the god planned to make them Op regardless because he was handed so many points that no matter how they were distributed he’d be OP. That, followed by the story immediately jumping into the “bandit attack” cliché immediately after, just showed a story written as lazily as the protagonist in it.
- Because Janitor-san is not a hero
I’ll openly admit I didn’t give this story a chance… but that is mostly because after three tries I just couldn’t get past it. Perhaps it isn’t fair that I blame the quality of the story on the very very very shitty translation job. However, every time I doubt it belongs on this list I just think about just how incoherent this story is, I remember the scene where a bunch of people are being teleported to another world, and their first reaction is to give the Janitor nasty looks and laugh at his expense as they instantly grasp the concept of a world they haven’t been to yet, and harass an aging janitor instead of worry about that whole “god exists and he’s sending you to another world” thing. An ahole student manages to swipe his soulsword away from him… and then I remember just how dumb that is. It’s just too dumb. I can’t give this story another chance.
- Cheat Skill: “Sleep Learning”
While I’ve never been a fan of the lazy protagonist, there are a few stories with lazy protagonists that did not make it on this list. However, a few authors think that if you write a lazy protagonist, you as a narrator can also be lazy, and that’s where this story fails. His power isn’t simply ridiculously op, it’s nonsensically op’d. The guy sleeps, and becomes OP. That’s about it. I think…. If that was all it is, there was something you could like about it. However, it’s also revealed that the guy is also a dickhead. He whines and demands food, expecting other people he doesn’t even know to provide it for him. Not only does his sleeping skill auto-kill anyone who attacks him, but he himself also will ruthlessly murder anyone who interrupts his sleep, because they interrupted his sleep. He functions with the mind of an absolute psychopath, not giving a crap about anyone and only protecting a village at his own “sleeping” convenience. Even this wouldn’t necessary give it number 2 on my list, except that the novel also tries to get you to see this story as cute! He’s an attractive boy, and so all the girls want to fawn over him, giving him food and rewarding his selfish, shitty behavior. He’s a freaking monster! But for all accounts, the story wants you to like this guy? To hell with that. It’d be like rewriting Friday the Thirteenth where all the girls giggle and hold Jason while he senselessly slaughters all their boyfriends and the story tell you how cute he is. It’s… freaking… gross.
- Slave Harem in the Labyrinth of the Other World
I’ve made it no secret that I hate this story with a passion. And the reason I hate it isn’t because it was so dry and boring that I threw it away. The reason I hate it is that it was just enough to keep me reading on and no. Hundreds of chapters… where nothing happening. If Death March is slice of life done right, Slave Harem is everything wrong about slice of lifes. This novel is nothing but a waste of time. It shows a very despicable protagonist… a complete chickensh*t who visits suicide websites for fun, feels like women owe him if he even talks to them, will openly eye married women and then condemn anyone who dares eye any of his slaves. His slave harem, every girl is as dry as wheat, saying the same lines over and over again in response to ANY action the MC takes. The harem is closer to a cult than a harem, and when they indoctrinate, abuse, and finally rape the fifth harem member, that was when I finally threw this novel out. However, if you aren’t blinded by the basic repetition, you’d have seen his constant rapist behavior and sexual manipulation of his harem from the beginning. But no, just like a rapist, this novel depends on soft touch tactics and continuous repetition to lull you into a sense of false security before ripping off your pants, throwing to the ground, and having its way with you. A shitty guy goes around with cardboard cutout women and fight in identical looking dungeons slowly and methodically one level at a time, chronically testing for every weapon, skill, ability, monster, and food… over and over again, every day… for all eternity. May god have mercy on our souls.
So, I’m really curious, what were your least favorite novels? Everyone has their triggers. It seems like mine are rapists, lazy protagonists, and lazy, derivative, crap.