Difference Between Light Novel and Manga

Light Novel vs Manga

Light Novels and Manga are terms that are used to refer to similar forms of written media emerging from Japan. Both are targeted towards youth and teenagers and incorporate ideas and concepts that are attractive for this age group. There are many similarities between a light novel and a Manga that confuse people. This article attempts to find out the differences between Manga and light novels to enable readers to know the form of Japanese media they are reading.

Light Novel

No, this is not a genre of fiction writing but a unique name given to a format of writing by the administrator of a forum on the internet that seems to have stuck and become popular. Today small novels or novella, as they are called in the US, are written keeping in mind the teenagers and youth, and originating from Japan, are referred to as light novels. A light novel is made up of no more than 200-250 pages, and the words are also not more than 40000-50000. These books appear in A6 size and have a dust cover over them. These light novels are mostly illustrated.


Manga is a term that needs no introduction today. These are comics originating from Japan and are so popular that they are read not just by kids but by people of all ages. Manga should not be construed as simple comics for kids as they today appear in all genres such as romance, mystery, horror, adult, sci-fi, and so on. Manga books carry text in black and white with a large number of illustrations. There are many large sized books especially devoted to this type of fiction writing with every issue of the book containing several Manga. People wait for the next issue of the book to read their favorite Manga episode.

What is the difference between Light Novel and Manga?

• Manga is basically a comic with lots of illustrations whereas light novel is a small novel with some illustrations.

• Light novel contains text with the book rarely exceeding 250 pages. It is comparable to a novella as it is called in US.

• One can find words in paragraphs, in light novel but not in a manga.

• Action is described with words in light novel wile illustrations do the trick in manga.

• Manga appears to be more artistic and engaging than a light novel, and this is why it is read by people of all ages in Japan.

• Manga is older in Japanese culture than light novel.