Usagi Nakamura, author of the light novel Gokudou-kun Manyuuki, voiced a very controversial opinion when asked about the current light novel industry in a recent interview.
According to her, the success of the light novel industry was largely owed to Naro (i.e., independent novels, also implying to the website where people can publish their own light novels novels), as well as the increasing popularity of the isekai themed light novels.
Usagi feels that stories where the protagonist gets impressive ability and a harem full of beautiful girls are in mass production, taking away even an ounce of originality left in the industry. This left her wondering how low the standards have fallen.
“…When I see so many stories being mass-produced about people suddenly being given amazing abilities, being popular with girls, and being in a harem ……, I wonder where the originality of these stories lies. I wonder if people are not ashamed of writing the same kind of novels.“
She pointed out an instance to further support her statements. When Usagi was a judge for an erotic novel contest aimed at men, all the shortlisted works were so similar that she thought it was written by the same person.
The situation of the isekai themed stories was somewhat similar, according to her. The outline of the plot is so overused that it feels like it was all created by one person, the only difference being the characters.
“This is a long time ago, but I was once selected as a judge for a male-oriented erotic novel, and when I read the shortlisted works, they were so similar that I thought they were all written by the same person. I think the same thing is happening to novels. I think the authors of “otherworldly reincarnation” novels are all written by the same person, or to put it another way, they are so similar that even I, who have lost my Ranobeki brain, could write them.“
Back when she was a light novel author, all Usagi wanted was to write something only she could think of, something that was different from other works. It was a matter of pride. But she felt that all the creativity in today’s industry has been lost, with most of the newcomers going with trend and creating mediocre novels.
It is not just the writers, but also the illustrators. In order to be liked, they resort to drawing pictures resembling the latest trends.
Usagi then gave a piece of advice, to all the newcomers dipping their toes in the ocean, that they shouldn’t write with the aim of making sales in their mind, or what others would think of them. They should write something only their can create, it is out this that future hits will be born.
“You shouldn’t write for the sake of sales from the time you are an amateur. It is out of the question to be concerned about what others think of you. You must write what only you can write. It is out of that that future hits will be born. Amateurs are privileged to be able to write freely, so I would like them to write the novels they like as much as they want.“