Fun With Numbers: Some Visuals and Thoughts on Light/Serial Novel Adaptations from 2010-2016

Compared to manga adaptations and original anime, which tend to be all over the map, I used to view light novel adaptations as more of a solved problem – popular light novels almost always become popular anime. However, in the past couple of years I’ve seen that rule broken several times, and it’s worth it to go back and examine the data, especially as the slant of adaptations in the year 2016 was not only unprecedented, but also looks to perhaps be the start of a trend.

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Weekly Light Novel Sales Charts for 2016

These are the weekly light novel sales charts for 2016, via myanimelist news, continued from the 2015 post. If you want more recent data, there are other places where charts are available (e.g. the mal news forum I get them from).


news post url
week of data
Place. [Weekly Sales] [Total Sales] [Series+volume #]

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JinTai Staff Live Event Talk (Animate)

This is a translation of an animate article about a small-scale screening event for the first episode of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita where the director/writer/lead actress showed up and talked for a while, mainly focusing on the talk portion. It’s a weird way to get information, but I’m a fan of the series and they talk about a lot of stuff here (using vuvuzelas for the skinned chicken voices, how the first episode was written with the bread scene at the end specifically in mind, etc.) that’s fun and enlightening.

Original article:

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Weekly Light Novel Sales Charts for 2015

These are the weekly light novel sales charts for the first four months in 2015, via myanimelist news, continued from the 2014 post. I’ll be doing one of these updates every 4 months; if you want more recent data, there are other places where charts are available (e.g. the mal news forum I get them from).

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Fun With Numbers: The Long and Short of 2013

“How many pages long is the average light novel?”

A friend of mine flat-out stumped me with this question a few days ago, and I’m willing to bet even odds it stumped you too. Neat, right? People familiar with anime likely have at least some vague inkling about what light novels are. But anime-focused writers who offer sweeping takes on light novels often don’t have the answers to those sorts of basic trivia questions, and I’ve forced a few acquaintances to google over this in the past week.

Granted, this particular question is sort of misleading; wordcounts are more accurate quantifiers of length than pagecounts, since the latter depend on size and typeface. Still, it underscores how little people can know about something which plays such a big role in the anime industry. Too, the question is also ridiculously basic to answer; I only had to spend about an hour on amazon compiling a list of links to the first volumes of novels adapted into anime in 2013 (excluding sequels), and taking down their given pagecounts. And while I was at it, I did the same for manga. The data, source links included, can be found here, and is summarized below. Note that Uchouten Kazoku, a single-volume novel, was counted as a novel along with the other multi-volume series.

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Fun With Numbers: Print Boosts’ Effect on Sequel Odds

It’s been well-established that an anime adaptation of a manga or light novel can be a huge boon to the source material. What’s a bit less obvious is whether or not boosting print material can fuel the production of a second season of said anime.There are at least a few reasons why it shouldn’t; for a manga get adaptation boosts primarily from the first season – afterwards, their sales tend to plateau or drop off (even if the series does get a second season). It makes sense on an intuitive level that there would be some sort of diminishing returns on subsequent seasons of anime; sequels tend to sell between 0% and 50% fewer disks, and people don’t tend to start watching anime from the second season onward. But whether or not those diminishing returns carry over to print sales, and if so to what extent, is a somewhat separate question.

In this post, I’ll be exploring that question, comparing the rate of shows getting sequels with and without print sales boosts over different ranges of disk sales, to get an idea of whether or not print sales boosts actually “matter” towards a show’s sequel odds.*

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Fun With Numbers: Anime as Light Novel Advertisments in 2010

2010 was a year with fairly thin pickings in terms of light novel/novel adaptations. I counted less than 15 new series with books as a source, and 4 of them (Tatami Galaxy, Katanagatari, MM, and Shiki) were done before the adaptation came out, limiting our ability to measure their impact. Thankfully, there was only one series that ran through the anime and didn’t chart; Asobi ni Ikuyo. There’s a wealth of data for the other 9, though.

In any event, the pre/post-anime two-week sales totals of the light novels for which they’re available are recorded here and plotted below.

Note that, for Shinrei Tantei Yakumo, I was tracking the editions of the volumes reissued under Kadokawa; it was originally published by Nihon Bungeisha in the early 2000s, and later had one new volume (9) released before the reissuing finished. It’s irregular for a lot of reasons. Continue reading

Via Newtype USA: Various Novelists Interviewed (Various Issues, 2003-2004)

I wasn’t able to find anything particularly interesting about these articles, but I did scan them, so I figured I’d just post them in case they were something anyone else cared about. Two of the names on this list are significantly more famous than the others in Western circles; Mardock Scramble’s Ubukata and Haruhi Suzumiya’s Tanigawa.

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