Light Novels: Slayers

Posted by Guest Author on Mar 6, 2008 in Comic Books |


Most people know about anime and manga, but a new wave of Japanese popular culture is just starting to hit the United States: the light novel. The light novel (literally “raito noberu” or “ranobe” for short) is similar to a young adult novel in the United States, but it also has a little twist: manga-style illustrations are littered throughout the books. So now that you know what light novels are, here’s one of our Ten Light Novels That You Need To Know:


If there’s any series that can hold a candle to Haruhi in popularity, the lengthy popularity of the Slayers franchise might be it. The series is a parody of Dungeons and Dragons-style fantasy, featuring a diminutive and incredibly powerful sorceress named Lina Inverse.

Lina is an adventurer and treasure hunter who travels with the very strong but rather stupid swordsman Gourry. Other occasional partners-in-crime are the quixotic Amelia, a Princess of Seyruun who will do anything in the name of justice, even if it isn’t very just, and Zelgadis, a chimera— part rock golem, drow demon, and human —who is traveling to find a way to restore his normal human self. He also likes to think of himself as a mysterious stoic, but his flairs for drama are usually destroyed by his companions’ wry observations. Finally, a trickster demon-priest named Xellos occasionally helps or hinders Lina and her team.

The plot is a continous romp of treasure-hunting, money-grubbing, food-seeking, and world-saving, making it rather difficult to summarize more specifically. But the 15-volume novel series (written by Hajime Kanzaka, illustrated by Rui Araizumi, and published in English by TOKYOPOP) spawned three TV anime series, two OVAs, and five movies, along with an 8-volume manga.

Gia Manry is a Portland, OR-based professional writer specializing in pop culture/entertainment writing. Read up on more of her work at or hire her at

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