Light novels are more or less equivalent of japanese YA fiction with its own aestethic and entertainment appeal (also its shorter and has illustrations). While the entire “genre” has been around since the 90’s and several of them has received adaptations in the past, the light novel adaptation trend has only began to explode with Haruhi Suzumiya in 2006.
Recently however, in my time in the fandom (which is, admittedly, isn’t very long), there’s always a groan or specific hatred for every time there’s a light novel adaptation announcement on certain part of the fandom. To large degree, it was understandable, given the fact that many of them seems to be the same old story of either: a) Magical Highschool b) Indulgent Trashy Fantasy b) Ecchi Harem c) Ecchi Comedy d) Meta story of all four or two, with a tired trope narrative execution.
If you ask me though, Light Novel are just media like any other. There are bound to be good apples amongst the bad. Its a bad assumption if the type of story above is all that the fiction could provide (Sadly, it /is/ the most popular type though). If you wanted to look at it in the more positive light, I’d dare to say that, considering how weird and out there LN stories can be (and how loose the editor can be), LN is a land for a storytelling experimentation. Its just the state of the adaptation or kinda what’s happening around AAA industries of video game, where among many slobs of mediocrity and downright repulsive, few good gem just waiting to be found. Some of our acclaim anime has been from LN adaptation. Spice and Wolf, Baccano, Katanagatari, Durarara, Toradora and so on.
This does however brings up a question in mind, what’s with the stigma?
Despite the fact there’s already a good deal of evidence there’s several good LN adaptation, why there’s still some semblance groan form every time there’s one or two announce? What’s even more interesting however, is the fact that the stories that I just mentioned above, its like it was almost forgotten the fact that those stories /came/ from LN.
But, here’s my two cent of a thought about it: Bad LN adaptation (and their source) are always the same specific thing
By one specific thing, I meant they’re always the same trope that’s been executed over and over again, not for any specific storytelling purposes and wasn’t even gracefully executed. Whether it was story about a hapless boy who was blessed with the power that generally someone with only Y chromosome could have. Or a dense boy who gained the power to turn into female and got himself involved in all out war, and gained romantic attraction from other several girls (picture above). Its always the same type of power fantasy story only with different dressing and/or flavor which, as Bobduh puts it, “are designed in a specific style for a specific audience. Those design goals generally don’t align very well with the things that are traditionally considered artistically interesting or emotionally compelling in fiction.”
Good LN adaptation that I mentioned above didn’t get the same classification because they generally work like slightly unconventional, but otherwise, functional story (although, some of them are a lot more straighforward). So while they’re maybe coming from the same type of source material, they don’t generally worked as same.
Anyway, What do you guys think? What’s with the hate? Let me know in the comments!