We talked about it many times on this blog. Other blogs also mention it. Light novels showing on the top 10 can even be good contenders for future licenses. But aside from the rankings, we rarely show what the KonoRano holds. Because if it were only a ranking, there would be no need for 500 magazines. So today, I’ll present you what is confined in it.
The Kono Ranobe ga Sugoi! Ranking first appeared in November 2004, for the 2005 edition, and is published by Takarajimasha. Bizzarely enough, Takarajimasha already published other rankings in the same style with just the format’s name changed (Kono Manga ga Sugoi!, Eiga, Anime, etc.) The Konorano is the latest addition to this series.
Since it is really difficult to get a hold of the book (I received my copy of the 2016 ranking in March 2016) I’ll mainly get around the 2016 edition. Though I can safely say that previous versions have some or all of the same categories presented in the one I’ll currently present.
Right off the bat, the book directly announces the big winner on the front cover (2016’s being OreGaIru for the third time) and also features two of the biggest contenders (Eirun Last Code and Suumetsu Nani Shitemasuka?) for the 2016 “Close-up”, aka first-time ranked KonoRano light novels. Also, yes, everytime you’ll read “Close-up”, assume it’s going to be light novels who never were featured on the KonoRano before.
The other side of the cover features the Top 5 Light Novels from the previous three years. In case you needed to catch up.
The first few pages inside rapidly bring the Top 10 for each category (Series, Male Char, Female Char, Illustrator) with some “Close-up” for the characters since you absolutely need to know that Rem from Re:Zero not only lost to Misaka Mikoto from Index, or as I like to call her, Battery Problems, and Shiba Miyuki from Mahouka, aka Brocon Simulator.
This year’s also had a “Illustrator Pick-up” where 6 big names were asked the same three questions. (They had Eiri Shirai (Grimgal), Shirabi (Musaigen), Haruaki Fuyuno (Sekai no Owari no Encore), Eihi (Shitayomi Danshi to Toukou Joshi), Kurone Mishima (KonoSuba), Kei (Houseki Haki no Onnanoko) and Marui-No (Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku))
After all the big names, we finally get to the juicy stuff. The full rankings.
We switch from the bright red to the marine blue. The rankings are easy to understand with some special symbols included for some details (Stars for “Close-up”, double-hyphens for same place and blue circles for once-forgotten-returning series.)
There are synopses for everyone in the Top 30, putting them under the spotlight. After that, there’s a breakdown of the scores (For those not aware of the point system, I redirect you to this post explaning the ins and outs of the ranking system) and some more rankings based on HP/collaborators/Monitor points.
The next four pages feature an interview with the author of Eirun Last Code (1st place 2016 “Close-up”) and I wished I could have translated those interviews but man, Eirun Last Code seems pretty bad.
After that, there are “close-up” rankings, followed by another interview, this time with the Suumatsu author. (Again, no translation because I was pretty busy)
Aside from the already mentionned rankings, there are also book sales rankings on various sites. Pretty neat, although I wouldn’t say it is very useful for noticing great LNs.
The rest of the KonoRano book mainly consists of LN presentations selected from diverse genres (Battle, Mystery, Isekai…) but they don’t mention, aside from 2016 ranking, any distinction.
Last pages feature notorious blogs or sites talking about LNs (if you want and have the patience to go through all of them) and a big Light Novel Index. (I doubt it has all the LNs published since the start…)
And that’s all. In itself, unless you’re really into the industry, I wouldn’t recommend buying the full book. Just wait for some people (like me) to report on it.
No review next month, instead, you’ll have Scrambles #3, a big article just for you.
Addendum: If anyone wants to check out the sites listed just above, here’s the list. (I’ve yet to do a full check of all the blogs so, quick apology for the lack of information concerning them.)