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Novels for Anime Lovers

Novels for Anime Lovers

Discover titles that feature anime-style storytelling in larger doses.

By Hallie Jackson, FCPL Youth and Teen Services Coordinator

Something for Everyone

According to, a website that champions the art and culture of anime, a whopping 94% of Gen Z is familiar with anime. One thing that makes these cartoons and animation originating from Japan so accessible is the wide variety of subgenres to choose from. Like romance? Check. Looking for horror? They’ve got it. A fan of cooking shows? There’s no better-looking food than anime food.

If you love anime, you probably already know that similar stories and artwork can be found in manga, which are Japanese style comics and graphic novels. Several well-known manga have been adapted into anime (and the other way around). There are countless articles and lists featuring the best anime and manga of the moment, but what about novels that are similar in tone and style? You know the type: dramatic, sweeping and maybe a little bit outlandish at times. These books are just as entertaining as the latest season of My Hero Academia, missing only the fantastic artwork.

Books With Anime Vibes

Check out these books when you’re looking for more substantial reading with anime style:

  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
  • With Gundams powered by spirit magic on an alien planet, a love triangle, and dramatic twists and turns that will have you calling “anime logic” every chapter, this is sure to please anime fans.
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  • Is there anything more anime than a magic system powered by swallowing metal coins and a swashbuckling group of ragtag misfits out to murder their god? I think not.
  • Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block
  • In this world, it isn’t enough to live through a natural disaster-induced apocalypse. You also need to face off against man eating giants. Sound familiar?
  • Edger by David Beem
  • One day a computer fixing nerd, the next a superhero predestined to save the world. With a Goodreads description that features the phrase “Jesus chickens,” this book promises to have anime fans feeling right at home.
  • The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
  • If you’re an older teen looking for a book that has something in common with the darker side of anime (think “Death Note” or “Parasite”), this book is for you. Gore, grit and giggles abound in this Western-style novel that will have you cringe laughing all the way to the last page.
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