The arrival of Oricon’s light novel sales charts for 2012 has revealed the year belongs to Sword Art Online by a wide margin, with the series being by far the best selling of the year, and with every single SAO title in the featuring in the top 20 best sellers – leading to half the chart being comprised of SAO novels.

The top 10 best selling light novel series of 2012 – Sword Art Online leads the pack by some margin:

1. 2,764,454 – Sword Art Online
2. 1,033,906 – Accel World
3. 767,236 – Koten Seies (Hyouka)
4. 696,322 – Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
5. 686,467 – A Certain Magical Index – A New Contract
6. 654,224 – High School DxD
7. 620,972 – Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
8. 544,507 – Ore no Imouto
9. 450,794 – Oda Nobuna no Yabou
10. 447,053 – Papa no Iu Koto

The top 20 best selling light novels – with every single volume of Sword Art Online ranking in:

1. 368,089 – Sword Art Online 1
2. 317,124 – Sword Art Online 2
3. 304,731 – Sword Art Online 9
4. 299,319 – Sword Art Online 3
5. 286,781 – Sword Art Online 10
6. 286,031 – Sword Art Online 4
7. 256,812 – A Certain Magical Index – A New Contract 3
8. 256,003 – Hyouka (Koten)
9. 249,531 – Sword Art Online 5
10. 248,944 – Sword Art Online Progressive 1
11. 238,096 – Tomodachi ga Sukunai 8
12. 234,235 – Sword Art Online 6
13. 225,343 – Kagerou Days -in a daze-
14. 221,681 – Ore no Imouto 10
15. 213,382 – A Certain Magical Index – A New Contract 4
16. 211,803 – Sword Art Online 7
17. 206,810 – Sword Art Online 8
18. 203,672 – Baka+Test 10
19. 196,364 – Ore no Imouto 11
20. 187,129 – Gusha no End Roll (Koten)

Unsurprisingly, the influence of popular anime adaptations seems to be one of the driving forces behind strong light novel sales, with sales of top novels tending to be propelled ever higher once they receive their anime.


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    Comment by Anonymous
    08:05 04/12/2012 # ! Good (+0.7)

    well, guess we will be seeing season 2 of SAO soon.

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    16:51 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Two seasons were confirmed from the get-go. This news may make it possible for a third, which is always a plus, imagine if they were able to get enough sales and popularity to animate the 'entirety' of its light novels into anime adaptations :O!

    Not even Haruhi has accomplished this, hell as much as like like that series, it doesn't even come close to the potential of SAO's. It can do what other light novels have yet to do, go all the way XD!

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:58 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Shakugan No shana did it, 3 seasons

    Avatar of Castian
    Comment by Castian
    00:10 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Zero no tsukaimas 4 seasons.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:19 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree, from my perspective, Zero no Tsukaima is not that popular and over hyped unlike SAO but it reached 4 seasons. Yeah, it is a great series and I enjoyed it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:42 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    is it SAO is over hyped too?

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:25 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    A season is 12~13 episodes, so we are already at the end of season 2. I hope for a third and fourth.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:02 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    There's no rule dictating a Season must have only 12-13 episodes. The number of episodes in a Season is solely in the decision of the producer. Respectively, Season 1 of SAO anime contains 25 episodes pertaining to Volume 1-4 of the light novel.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:57 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Not always. A season is a continuous run of episodes, until it stops.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:30 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    And to add to all that, if you are talking about season length, then 12~13 episodes is called "half-season".

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:22 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I really want to see the Alicization arc get animated *o*

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:58 09/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope there is time to complete the arc in the novel's before that. For what I've readed the Alicization arc is still at best on the second third of the story, I think there will still be another 2 or 3 volumes (Alicization Turning will be out this month BTW).
    If they are already going for a second season will probably be on the Phantom Bullet arc since the other arcs a way too short for even a half-season at the pace they choosed for the anime, they would be just right for OVA sequences tought...

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:15 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    maybe not. since the meaning and use of 'anime' these days are merely marketing tools for whatever the original content might be.

    if 12 episodes of anime (or even maybe a few OVA) did its job of promoting the novel/manga/game/ect then i don't see why companies need to continue the high cost, low return of TV animes. there are only a handful on animes that makes a good profit from BD/DVD sales, most are just enough to cover production cost.

    Avatar of Solace
    Comment by Solace
    10:49 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Gun Gale, here we come!
    Meanwhile, Kawahara Reki is rolling in so much dough.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:24 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    yeah and i think accel world LN is also his work

    Avatar of Artist Rising
    Comment by Artist Rising
    Comment by Anonymous
    15:39 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anon nailed it perfectly. Anime is nothing more than an "ascendance" if you will. It's just extra marketing and hits, mostly because it's never an accurate representation, it's just something that's earned the right to be 100% colored and cute.

    Avatar of Daniel Park
    Comment by Daniel Park
    21:33 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    I hope they do the whole thing, I'm really loving the anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:48 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    You sure like to make articles about such an overrated anime

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:38 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    seeing the way the anime was develloped i can understand that people want to understand more about the SAO universe, the anime version is way under-develloped... too bad, but the novel is really great!

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:55 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    AHAHA, good one. The ALO arc (volumes 3 and 4) are especially bad though 9 is probably going to make me drop it completely.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:00 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Best part about ALO is the Caliburn side story, really reminded me of good old dungeon crawling parties.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:07 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I don't see what all the fuss is about. I got tired of waiting for the boring anime's episodes and read the first four volumes of the LN instead.
    They were mediocre at best.
    Very bad plot, underdeveloped characters, one of the worst, anticlimatic endings for the first arc.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Comment by Anonymous

    NO U.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:39 14/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    09:10 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Seeing this top ten makes me finally understand why so many people consider light novels to be utter garbage.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Seeing your response makes me understand why people are such stereotypes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:39 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Most people don't have standards. Seeing your response proves that to me.

    Comment by Anonymous

    You are one of the "most people". Seeing your response proves that to the world.

    Comment by Anonymous

    So from your stupid reply I can guess that you dislike the series and everyone in the world through your eyes, except yourself, has no standards. Apparently to you, voicing out an opinion based on someone elses criticism makes them have no standards when they are clearly basing their standards on something they like. So in short you are a whiny bitch who dislike SAO and thinks that anyone who likes the series if not everyone has no standards just cause you don't like the series yourself.

    Comment by Anonymous

    dude just get high and enjoy the music 凸(`0´)凸

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:09 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    New type of profitting.

    - adapt into anime in horrible adaptation quality and cut some interesting scene for TV version.

    - let people buy DVD/BD version for director's cut version.

    - let people buy the source of adaptation itself.

    - Big Profit.


    Comment by Anonymous
    20:08 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope Baka to test will get it's 3rd Season.
    It was entertaining and fun~

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:25 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm sad that my imouto doesn't have better sales.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:17 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    What I don't like is that soon, they might start milking this hard like Madoka and I feel like because of the success of SAO, more shows like it are about to pop up.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:03 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    incomparable, because sao is actually the cash cow franchise

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:01 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sao, yeah, nothing but a fad that'll probably die out soon for everyone to forget, unless it turns to a cash cow franchise like the counter part twilight in the west.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:55 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dat power level gap between no 1 and no 2

    Total hax I tell you, SAO isn't even a competition anymore

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    23:58 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    How can you read light novels? THere's almost no pictures in it!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:55 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Light novel still have illustrations here and there. Real novel - at most the cover.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:40 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Guess the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings aren't real books then.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:47 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    "How can you read light novels? THere's almost no pictures in it!!!"

    when you are writing or reading books that it contains pictures in it? what a stupid question.

    that is why it is called light novel cos its pure
    text. when you're reading you read the text not the picture dumbass.

    Comment by Taylor
    05:15 06/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Millions of people spend money on twilight also.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:34 05/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    ahahahaa owned!

    And for good reasons! I love it! (And its a huge plus since I am also a MMO fanatic besides watching anime).

    I really hope there is a English version available as well at some point. As I was planning to read the novels after the current season is done.

    This total domination makes a sequel more likely! I hope they do if they follow the novels and dont stray off too much.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:51 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm surprised High School DxD is above Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai and Ore no Imouto. Almost makes me want to check the Light Novel but first seeing the anime, I'd rather not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:29 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I like how SanCon conveniently left "Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou" off the list. That series is destroying every other series per volume. Sancon also left "Kuroko no Basket -Replace-" off the list as well.

    I like SAO. it has flaws but overall it's a really good series. You shouldn't have to fudge the numbers to make it look better than everyone else though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:44 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Thats because Biblia is a novel, not a light novel.

    Doesn't explain why Sankaku kept Hyouka though, since thats also a regular novel.

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    08:38 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    According to the source SAO is best selling / volume. If you can provide another source for them that would be great.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:48 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    >I like how SanCon conveniently left "Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou" off the list.
    You made three mistakes in word "Oricon".

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:52 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Any good idea to support those novels coming over seas? I rather want to read this stuf then other books I had to read in highschool.

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    08:36 04/12/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Send 2 years worth of cum to publishing houses to show them your love.

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