6 Light Novels Like Sword Art Online [Recommendations]

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sword-art-online-light-novel-cover-300x425 6 Light Novels Like Sword Art Online [Recommendations]

Welcome to the MMORPG otaku world! In recent years, light novels have evolved and diversified, covering our favorite fantasies with alternate worlds, races, guilds and magic! One of such works was Sword Art Online, which shows the adventures of Kirito and Asuna in the online world. We did not only have the purest forms of action, but a cute love story that resounded in other otaku formats like manga and anime. What other light novels invite us into virtual universes with charismatic characters like Sword Art Online? Let’s find out in this article!

Similar Manga to Sword Art Online

1. Kasou no Ryouiki no Elyson (Elyson Virtual Region)

  • Authors: Kazuma Jouichi, nauribon
  • Genres: Action, Fantasy
  • Volumes: 3
  • Published: Dec 25, 2013 to Jul 25, 2014

This was the debut of Kazuma Jouichi as writer, while nauribon has experience illustrating light novels from the seinen genre. Kasou no Ryouiki no Elyson tells us the story of a brother and a sister. Tenryu Taiga is the athletic one and Fuyuki is the genius girl. When they end up living together due to lack of money, the adventure begins!

We have a male protagonist and a female protagonist in both Sword Art Online and Elyson. All the protagonists are capable on their own accord. They are set in worlds where technology permits “travel” to virtual worlds. Also, although the first impression of such worlds is amazing, we quickly learn that things get can pretty serious in the game. The style is also kinda similar, although the color is brighter in Elyson. Also, Sword Art Online gets a bit grimmer and sadder sometimes, so if you would like a lighter version of it, Elyson is the option for you.

2. 1/2 Prince

  • Authors: Wo Ju, Sha Ya
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Game, Magic, Martial Arts, Parody, Romance, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Gender Bender
  • Volumes: 9
  • Published: Oct 4, 2004 to Aug 15, 2005

Wo Ju has authored many light novels in the fantasy realm with a characteristic Chinese flavour. Sha Ya has accompanied them in three occasions as illustrator, including in ½ Prince. In this novel, we travel to the year 2100 A.D., where video games are very advanced. Feng Lang is a female player who plays as a male character in the popular game Second Life. However, her real life gets more and more complicated as she meets her virtual companions in the real world.

If you liked Sword Art Online but found it too occidental for your likeness, maybe ½ Prince will satisfy your oriental craves. Both novels are about a highly realistic virtual game. On occasion, the real life gets intertwined with it. Another aspect that is highlighted in both stories is the romantic relationship between the main characters. The main difference is that ½ Prince is more comedic and the character design is more childish. Therefore, if you found Sword Art Online too tragic, now you know what you can read instead.

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

  • Authors: Usagi Aneko, Kyu Aiya
  • Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Seinen
  • Volumes: 19
  • Published: 2013 to Present

Usagi Aneko has some experience writing epic style light novels. As for Kyu Aiya, she also has some experience illustrating seinen and fantasy light novels.The protagonist of this work is Naofumi Iwatani, who is summoned to another world in order to become the Shield Hero. After being betrayed on his third day of adventure, Naofumi vows revenge counting only with his shield.

Did someone mentioned a MMORPG world that looks European? The protagonists also have to fight to survive from the beginning. The objective in both stories is to escape from this world too. And did we mention the beautiful weapons and accessories found in the two plots? The most obvious difference is the drawing style, which is a bit more adult, detailed and stylish in Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari. If you are crazy about occidental epic themed video games, this might be the novel for you.

Any Manga Like Sword Art Online ?

4. Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara kuru sou desu yo? (Problem Children are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They?)

  • Authors: Tarou Tatsunoko, Yuu Amano
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Supernatural
  • Volumes: 12
  • Published: Apr 1, 2011 to Apr 1, 2015

This is the debut work of Tarou Tatsunoko as a writer, who has been telling us a few isekai style stories. It was also the debut for Yuu Amano as an illustrator, who has only one other newer light novel under their sleeve. The story is about three people called Izayoi Sakamaki, Asuka Kudou and You Kasukabe. They have psychic powers but are bored with the world. When they receive an envelope, they jump into a new world gladly. The Black Rabbit has summoned them to defeat the Devil King.

People bored with the normal world? Check. We also have an alternate world based in an occidental world with medieval imagery, too. The protagonists have to fight for their lives and have the opportunity to level-up as well! If you liked the cute characters in Sword Art Online (particularly the girls), this is your lucky day! The title might be long, but the light novel’s length is just right to enjoy character development and adventure together.

5. Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu (Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation)

  • Authors: Rifujin na Magonote, Sirotaka
  • Genres: Fantasy
  • Volumes: 24
  • Published: Jan 23, 2014 to Present

Mushoku Tensei is the debut of the writer Rifujin na Magonote. As for Sirotaka, they have illustrated other recent novels as well. In Mushoku Tensei, we meet a NEET who dies when he is 34 years old. However, he keeps his memories when he is reincarnated into a magic world. Now named Rudeus Greyrat and holding great magical powers, this guy vows to have a better life in this new opportunity.

We have an alternative magical world inspired by occident once again in Mushoku Tensei. We also have a normal person who crosses the realm and becomes the unbeatable protagonist. Both characters have to grow mentally above everything in order to overcome what life throws at them. The main difference is that Mushoku Tensei has more comedy and sometimes can be a bit ecchi. Also, the characters in Sword Art Online look a bit more childish and younger. If you felt that Sword Art Online was a bit serious, maybe you might want to check Mushoku Tensei.

6. No Game No Life

  • Authors: Yuu Kamiya
  • Genres: Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Supernatural
  • Volumes: 10
  • Published: Apr 25, 2012 to Present

Yuu Kamiya is an artist from Brazil who moved to Japan when he was a kid. He has other famous works including his most recent Clockwork Planet. In No Game No Life, the internet is being broken by a gamer known as Blank. It turns out that Blank is made up of two NEET siblings, Sora and genius girl Shiro. When they are challenged to a chess game, they cross the barrier towards an alternate world where their gamer abilities are sorely required.

Did you want highly skilled protagonists kicking asses in an alternative reality just like in Sword Art Online? We got you covered. A couple that is not related by blood but pretends to be family is involved in both cases as well, although their relationship is more similar to the one in the novel Elyson. The main difference is that, while the characters in Sword Art Online are trying to go back to the real world, that is not the main target in No Game No Life.

Final Thoughts

Sword Art Online is one of those novels that bridges the pleasure of playing our favorite games and literature. Some of us enjoy to pass the pages while we enjoy tea, pocky or anything otaku-related. With every panel full of adventure or the feelings of the characters (or both!), Sword Art Online and similar novels help us reimagine reality by traveling to different worlds. It will always be a pleasant journey if we have unforgettable characters to travel with, don’t you think the same? Which other novel like Sword Art Online have you read? Don’t forget that we are open to all your comments and suggestions. See you soon!

sword-art-online-light-novel-cover-300x425 6 Light Novels Like Sword Art Online [Recommendations]


Author: Sakura_Moonprincess

Writing about anime by Moonlight. Swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the Moon.

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