I live in Hong Kong, and at least from my observation, light novels and comics are quite different things in Asia. However it seems that on sites like MAL, which is not of the Asian origin, they categorize light novels and comics as one.

Are light novel and comic seen as similar things in English speaking area? Or is there any special reason for services such as MAL to decide light novel and comic should fall under the same type?

I also noticed that this site is named "Anime & Manga", but also contains a light-novel-production tag. Hence the same categorization seems to happen here as well.

  • Doesn't myanimelist have its own forums and support? Have you tried asking there?
    – user38352
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 7:21
  • @Kozaky Well, I didn't, but the forum page is not yet recovered after previous shut down in May. myanimelist.net/forum
    – cytsunny
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 7:25
  • This is just how they decided to group the items in their database for easier /better/more obvious discovery/(whatever other reasons they thought of). This site is not a discussion forum though, we only answer questions. Discussion is not held here on the main site proper. But you can join chat and talk to users there.
    – Hakase
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 7:26
  • should also note that we (Anime and Manga.SE) also allow questions on Visual Novels, Japanese Video Game Storys, Manwha. name is already getting long. that part of your question is more for Anime & Manga Meta()anime.meta.stackexchange.com
    – Memor-X
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 8:06
  • 1
    I rephrased your question to focus a bit less on MAL in particular, and more on the underlying question "why would Light novels be categorized along side comics", if you feel that some of the meaning is lost, feel free to edit it back in.
    – Dimitri mx
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't say comics and light novels are the same thing. To be even more precise, I think there's even a big difference between Comics and Manga but more about that can be read over here.

This distinction can also be found strongly in the readers. Not all light novel readers like manga, and vice versa. This being the case in both Asian and Western cultures.

However, on services such as MAL and A&M, it does make sense to throw them under the same category.

A&M aims to be a Q&A platform focused on a fandom, which commonly identifies themselves under the terms 'anime and manga' fans. However, the people that are part of this fandom don't limit themselves to 1 specific medium, as some stories may differ/extend through out Visual novels, light novels, manga and anime/movies.

This also leads to questions about Visual novels, light novels, and the likes. Which is also the reason we have a tag for

To take from a MAL perspective, you want to keep track of what you have watched/read, whether this is a light novel, or a manga/comic.

So TL;DR, this form of categorization is mostly for convenience, and reaching a larger chunk of a/the fandom.

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