6 Light Novels Like Re: Zero [Recommendations]

Author Nagatsuki Tappei became petty famous in 2016 for his anime adaptation of Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu. However, many forget that this brilliant action and drama isekai work originally started as a light novel series back in 2014. While still currently ongoing, Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu has blown away readers with some of the most intense narrative ever seen in its genre. Here at Honey’s Anime, we understand why Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu is so beloved. There isn’t enough praise we could give Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu as its just a great series that continuously amazes us with interesting characters, plot and drama.

Unfortunately, with Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu being an ongoing light novel series, there are times where waiting for the next volume to drop can be quite hard. Luckily, Tappei’s work isn’t the only good light novel series out there to read. Today, we here at Honey’s Anime HQ have found 6 Light Novels Like Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu and wish to share them with you. Action, drama, time loops galore and tons of isekai themes. These are just a few of the things to expect from our list of 6 Light Novels Like Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu and we’re sure you’re going to love it!

Similar Manga to Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

1. Sword Art Online

  • Authors: Kawahara, Reki- abec
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Game, Romance, Sci-Fi
  • Volumes: 20
  • Published: Apr, 2009- Present

In our world, VR hasn’t really ascended beyond just being a kind-of-cool accessory with only some games feeling realistic. However, in the world of Sword Art Online, VR has evolved into a world where your five senses can truly thrive. Kirigaya Kazuto—Kirito, as he goes by online—has become one of the 10’000 players of Sword Art Online a new VRMMORPG that gives players an immersion unlike any other game before it. However, this video game Kirito has stepped into becomes no ordinary game as he and the thousands of other players find themselves trapped in Sword Art Online until they can reach floor 100 and beat the boss. Making matters worse, the players of Sword Art Online soon learn that dying in game doesn’t just mean you lose some experience or items but you lose something much more valuable…your life.

Whether you consider yourself a new anime fan or a die-hard otaku, it’s pretty hard to not know what Sword Art Online is. Easily one of the more mainstream anime out there—especially in the west—Sword Art Online has a lot of fans who love it and you can add us here at Honey’s Anime to that said fandom. However, we do tend to tell people to read the light novel series created by author Kawahara Reki and illustrator abec. Those who love the death and fantasy elements found in Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu will no doubt love Sword Art Online as it can get pretty dark despite seeming like just a game narrative. If you loved the anime for Sword Art Online, we hope you’ll give the original light novel adaptation a try!

2. Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari (The Rising of the Shield Hero)

  • Authors: Aneko, Yusagi- Minami, Seira
  • Genres: Fantasy
  • Volumes: 10
  • Published: Aug, 2013- Present

The Kingdom of Melromarc has told legends of heroes from an unknown land being summoned to aid in defending this great kingdom. Soon though, these legends will be turned into fact as random people are summoned from modern day Japan to rise up and become saviors to Melromarc. One man named Naofumi Iwatani has been summoned but instead of a powerful weapon—like maybe a spear or mighty sword—he has been given a shield. Considered powerless, the princess of Melromarc—Malty—pretends to need Naofumi and joins him as other heroes begin their various quests. Quickly though, Malty betrays our otaku-turned-hero and this causes Naofumi to branded as a villain. Seeking revenge, Naofumi will now prove what happens when you mess with someone who has seeks vengeance.

Often, isekai works feature heroes who might hit hard times but typically rise up and gain praise and admiration throughout the land. This happened to Natsuki Subaru in Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu as he eventually became well known for his feats. However, if that type of isekai narrative doesn’t strike your fancy and you want an atypical isekai that still adheres to themes found in Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, then we proceed you to check out Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari. Rather than be just a simple hero summoned from another world plot, Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari abandons this cliché theme and goes with a revenge plot thanks to its main character Naofumi. Go check out Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari if you want an isekai like Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu but with a bit less of your usual plot.

3. Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria (The Empty Box and Zeroth Maria)

  • Authors: Mikage, Eiji- Tetsuo
  • Genres: Action, Mystery, Drama, Horror, Romance, School, Supernatural, Psychological, Thriller
  • Volumes: 7
  • Published: Jan, 2009- Jun, 2015

One thing Kazuki Hoshino loved was his peaceful and calm school life. Hanging with friends and just dealing with the everyday boredom of school was something Kazuki truly treasured. Though Kazuki find his perfect mundane life threatened when a transfer student by the name of Aya Otonashi appear. All that Kazuki knew as normal will soon become anything but as he soon enters Aya’s world. Kazuki will soon learn that all of his woes and life changes stems from a powerful series of devices known simple as boxes…

Now we know some of you probably read the first two entries on our 6 Light Novels Like Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu list and thought to ask one question. Where are the time loops in our stories like Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu does so well? Don’t worry everyone, if you want time loops done well just like Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu then we recommend reading Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria. We won’t spoil how the time loops in Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria are done, we will say fans of Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu will be sure to love this action, mystery and romance thriller. Get going to your nearest bookstore today and grab the first volume of Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria and we will find it hard to imagine you won’t try to buy the rest of the series when you can.

Any Manga Like Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu?

4. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash)

  • Authors: Jyumonji, Ao- Shirai, Eiri
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
  • Volumes: 11
  • Published: Jun, 2013

Waking up in a dark tower, Haruhiro has awoken with nothing but his name and the fact that he knows he’s alive. Other than that, Haruhiro—like others around him—has no memory of his past or how he came to awaken in this strange place. It doesn’t take long for Haruhiro to realize that if he wishes to find out what led him and those around him to this strange landscape, he will need to fight and earn money to live. Danger is all around Haruhiro and his new-found friends. Yet together, they will somehow survive this world that is known as Grimgar…or die trying.

Isekai stories are usually best when they throw characters in a situation that is unknown and foreign. It’s what we loved about Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu and it’s equally what we adore about Hai to Gensou no Grimgar by author Jyumonji Ao and illustrator Shirai Eiri. Filled with wonder and danger, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is a story that makes you dig your nails into your light novel—though we tend to try to avoid damaging our light novels personally—as you follow Haruhiro and his team through one perilous journey after another. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar might not have looping rebirths like Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu but it does mirror Tappei’s series in one other way. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar is one heck of a read and our love for it grows only stronger with each volume.

5. All You Need Is Kill

  • Authors: Sakurazaka, Hiroshi- Abe, Yoshitoshi
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Military
  • Volumes: 1
  • Published: Dec, 2004

Keiji Kiriya was a new recruit in the United Defense Force—keyword was—but on his first mission, he was instantly killed by the aliens known as Mimics. However, Keiji didn’t stay deceased and instead was surprised to discover a very unreal ability he gained. Anytime Keiji dies during his first mission he ends up back to the start of the mission alive and well. With this powerful but cursed ability, Keiji now has the ability to not only try and find a way to not die but to also stop the Mimic invaders. Now Keiji’s biggest concern should be can he keep sane when death never comes to him?

All You Need Is Kill might not seem at first overly similar to Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, but we’re here to say otherwise. While both stories might be set in different settings—All You Need Is Kill being a more real world setting—the protagonists have the same ability of dying and coming back to life in what seems like an endless loop. All You Need Is Kill thus is the perfect light novel to check out if you love the feel of Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu and yet feel like you want to give the isekai genre a bit of a break. We definitely recommend checking out All You Need Is Kill if you love time loops and sci-fi stories in the same narrative. Honestly though, what series wouldn’t sound amazing with that combo?

6. Isekaijin no Tebikisho (Stranger’s Handbook)

  • Authors: Takkurun- Parsley
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy
  • Volumes: 154 Chapters
  • Published: Sept, 2016- Present

32-year-old Kato Toshiaki didn’t do much out of the normal in his everyday life. Kato’s daily activities felt like an endless cycle of mediocrity. However, during his trip to work one day, Kato and various other people were caught up in a strange earthquake and found themselves all in some strange location. Kato will soon realize that his normal life has ended and those days of calm are but a distant memory. What awaits Kato now is a life or death situation as he must rise up to survive as a hero in a world very different than the one he came from.

We wrap up our list with a lesser known light novel series called Isekaijin no Tebikisho. In many ways, Isekaijin no Tebikisho feels almost eerily similar to Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu but that isn’t a bad feeling. Kato isn’t a typical hero but instead a guy trying to grasp what has happened to his world and how to survive in this deadly world filled with magic and those who abuse it. Isekaijin no Tebikisho so far can only be read online as no official English volumes have been published but we’re really digging this isekai story so far. Go check out Isekaijin no Tebikisho if you like your isekai works to be a blend of realistic reactions and characters.

Final Thoughts

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu is one of those light novel series that keep you reading for hours on end. There’s just something so captivating about watching our young “hero” Subaru deal with one issues after another. Nagatsuki Tappei’s work really blew us away in anime form but the light novel series—if you haven’t read it—is truly stunning. That’s why for those who are looking for good alternatives to Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu the list above should provide you some joy. Have you read any of the light novels above or plan on checking them out? Tell us in the comments as we always love hearing about what series you’re now checking out because of us! Remember to not fly to far from our hive as we have plenty more light novel recommendation lists just like this one curtsey of us here at Honey’s Anime.

re-zero-1-300x422 6 Light Novels Like Re: Zero [Recommendations]


Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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