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Light Novels With an Insanely Powerful Protagonist

Updated on November 1, 2017
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Zett is a high school student who loves reading light novels, web novels, and manga. He also loves watching various movies and series.

Japanese light novels are popular nowadays, especially to middle and high school students who are interested in manga and anime. It has long been considered a favorite hobby and pastime for many (including me).

A very popular type of story in light novels is where the main character (MC) starts off with overpowered (OP) abilities. Usually, this type of plot provides as sense of thrill because the protagonist often hides his power and abilities. This style of story also often includes an adventure where protagonist sets out on a journey with a primary objective such as revenge.

This is my first list with my top recommendations. Have fun and enjoy!

Magi’s Grandson

Magi's Grandson Characters
Magi's Grandson Characters | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Fantasy] [Romance] [Shounen]

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary:

Thanks to various types of magic, the human race has been saved from calamity many, many times. Retaining his memories from his previous life, a boy, Shin, was picked up by an old man known to the world as a “Magi.”

Shin was brought up by the Magi, who retired, and was known as the Magi's grandson. With the memories of his past life, he learned the Magi’s craft and began to develop his own magic. His grandfather tells Shin he has to become independent when he reaches the age of 15. “Ah, I forgot to teach him common sense.”

The grandson who has grown beyond the powers and abilities of normal people, lacked common sense and knowledge of the world. In order to learn how to socialize, he goes to Earlshide Kingdom City to be admitted to Earlshide Advanced Magic Academy.

Source Japtem

Why Read:

It's easy to tell that the protagonist is very powerful. For example, he kills a demonized bear tiger no one else can beat at a very young age. He also has a very deep understanding of magic (as you can see from the title). He can enchant a simple item of clothing or an accessory to an incredible level. The story is also very funny at certain parts and chapters. However, there are also some parts that left me bored (especially during Shin's very long dialogues) and there is a hint of romance (not harem, of course). The plot is also well founded, though in some cases the story gets sidetracked. Overall, it's a good story for anyone who wants to read novels with a lot of action scenes.

RE:Monster

RE:Monster Characters
RE:Monster Characters | Source

Genre: [Fantasy] [Action] [Shounen] [Harem] [Mature]

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary:

Tomokui Kanata has been reincarnated into a member of the weakest race, and gets a new name, Rou, after his unfortunate death. However, Rou, now a goblin, has retained his previous life's memories, gained an unusual evolution ability, and retained his ability to acquire skills by eating his foes. In this alternate world where only the fit survive, the plot unfolds. Will the goblin party become the heroes in a delightful twist? Will Rou instead become a dark overlord dominating everyone else?

Source: Japtem

Why Read:

The plot is really good. The monster-protagonist fights powerful beasts above his level (from orcs to cyclops). The novel also hints at kingdom building as the goblin base slowly improves and the population increases dues to monsters immigrating. However, kingdom building is a small aspect of this story and at times it can feel like a slow build. One of the biggest pleasures of the novel is the anticipation of the protagonist's evolution- what monster is he going to evolve into? There is a clear plot and harem-style romance. If you're trying to find a light novel with that includes themes of self-improvement, upgrades, and evolution, then you've found it!

Evil God Average

Evil God Average Volume 1 Cover
Evil God Average Volume 1 Cover | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Fantasy] [Comedy] [Supernatural]

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary:

When she stands, she’s like a white peony. When she sits, she’s like a tree peony. When she walks, she’s like a lily flower. And when you look into her in the eyes, she’s like the Great King of Terror.

Despite having the qualities to be a peerless bishoujo, because of the look of her eyes and her scary atmosphere, she’s feared by others and is forcefully sent to another world.

Told that she will be granted a wish as a special favour, the girl makes a wish:

“Make my eyes and atmosphere normal please.”

This is a story of a parallel world where a girl would be perfect (probably) if it weren't for just one weak point. The story is a fantasy comedy with magic, dungeons, a hero, and a demon king (candidate). The main character gets mixed up with all these characters, and she’s cursed.

Source: Oniichan Yamete!

Why Read:

The protagonist is so feared by everyone that making eye contact with a dragon would send it shivering (see how OP she is?). Moreover, he/she (see what I'm hinting at? yep, it's gender-bender) does not even realize her true ability. The plot focuses mainly on the protagonist's daily life and her adventure, so it meanders a little bit. One of my favorite parts of this novel is the comedy: the protagonist's silly actions counter a tense and serious situation. The action scenes in the novel are a bit soft, since the comedic aspect is more important. If you want a fun and lighthearted novel, then I recommend this book.

Ultimate Antihero

Ultimate Antihero Characters
Ultimate Antihero Characters | Source

Genre: [Action] [Fantasy] [Harem] [School Life] [Shounen] [Supernatural] [Tragedy]

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary:

Kamishiro Homura is a hero who once exterminated a world invader that destroyed the entire world's military all by himself. His extreme strength caused the world's influential people to ostracize and exile him from the society with false accusation of being a traitor. A few years later Homura enters the magician academy. He protects the girls ridiculed as the "Burden Platoon." This is the beginning of a fantasy tale about an unrivaled and invincible young man. Not a single ally or enemy can keep up with him. Eventually he will even be proclaimed a messiah by the whole human race!

Source: Baka Pervert

Why Read:

I haven't yet finished this story, but after the first few chapters, the male protagonist is clearly a badass, so much that others fear and wish to control his actions. The plot is fairly simple. The protagonist hides his power as he teaches and improves the lowest-rank students in the academy. The action scenes (cheers to the people who love these) are very well described. There is also a slight hint of harem romance, but was not fully developed. If you want to read more action than usual, try reading this book.

Magi Craft Meister

Magi Craft Meister Volume Cover
Magi Craft Meister Volume Cover | Source

Genre: [Adventure] [Drama] [Fantasy] [Mecha] [Sci-fi] [Shounen] [Slice of Life]

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary:

There is only one Magi Craft Meister in the world. After the death of the last Meister over one thousand years ago, Jin Nidou is transported to another world in order to succeed her. After obtaining the knowledge of the Magi Craft Meister, Jin attempts to use a warp gate but it malfunctions, transporting him to yet another unknown world. Additionally, an automata he recently restored also follows him through the warp gate in order to search for her “father.” This is how the journey of the new Magi Craft Meister begins!

Source: Natsu Translations

Why Read:

This novel is a great choice for anyone who is into inventions, steampunk, and engineering. The protagonist's overpoweredness revolves around his ability to build anything using his special knowledge. He also owns an island where he developed the inhabited lands into farms. The plot consists of related, interconnected short stories (each volume involves an entirely new setting and plot). The story is fast paced and mostly involves the protagonist aiding different characters in each volume. There's no clear romantic element in this novel. I guess if you want a story with mecha and inventions, this is the one you should read.

The Epic Tale of the Forsaken Hero

Epic Tale of the Forsaken Hero Character
Epic Tale of the Forsaken Hero Character | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Ecchi] [Fantasy] [Harem] [Psychological] [Romance] [Seinen]

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary:

Katsuragi Daichi and his classmates suddenly find themselves in a different world. The god who summoned them divides its power and gives it to them, saying that it wants Daichi and the rest to defeat the Demon King as heroes. However, Daichi is the only one given no abilities. And is thrown away and used as a decoy in a demon’s den. Eaten by a demon, Daichi loses consciousness and believes he is dead. When he awakens he notices his stats are much higher. He has obtained『Revenge of the Resented』. Every time he dies, his ability powers up.

Source: Zirus Musings

Why Read:

This is a tale of resentment and revenge. The story gets good when the protagonist, who was once very weak, gets killed with a classmate and is left to die. Instead, he is resurrected and gains magic powers stronger than the strongest magician. The action scenes are great. Additionally, though the protagonist's personality is reasonable, some sudden changes in the character are misleading and confusing, and sometimes he acts in ways that are not appropriate to the situations. I can summarize the romance in 3 words: "harem over time." If revenge and brutality are your priorities, then you've come at the right place.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Light Novel Cover
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Light Novel Cover | Source

Genre: [Action] [Martial Arts] [Mystery] [Romance] [School Life] [Sci-fi] [Seinen] [Supernatural]

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary:

Magic. It is a product of neither legends nor fairy tales, but instead it is a technology of reality since ancient times. Supernatural power is systematized through magic, while magic becomes a technical skill like engineering. A “Supernatural Power User” became a “Magic Technician”. Magic Technicians (in short, Magicians) are trained at Magic High Schools and Universities.

This is a story about a defective elder brother who is a low achiever and a perfect, flawless younger sister who is a high achiever. After both siblings entered a Magic High School, the stage of daily turbulence was unveiled!

Source: Lydia Im

Why Read:

The beloved brother of many has arrived. The protagonist is powerful (with several identities as an inventor, soldier, etc) and calculating, but somewhat hides his power for one particular reason. The plot deals with shifting perspectives and involves the protagonist's struggles in his high school and with society as he tries to fix them without revealing his "true" identity. He and his sister both have their share of romance. The actions scenes are probably one of the most exciting part on this novel aside from the protagonist's "surprises".

Though some parts get a little confusing due to the heavy and complex discussion on magic and its application, readers can still easily enjoy the flow of the story. Recently, an anime adaptation has been made based on this light novel.

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku Characters
Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku Characters | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Fantasy] [Harem] [Romance] [Shounen] [Slice of Life]

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary:

Suzuki, an adult programmer, suddenly noticed that he was thrown into another world wearing casual clothes at level 1. He gains a high level and many treasures after using a 3-time-use disposable magic spell, Meteor Shower, once. After that he intends to do another world “sightseeing tour."

He meets three beast-kin girls, beautiful purple and black-haired sisters, and an eccentric blond-haired elf girl, along with various people during his trip. Although there are occasionally fights with demons and demon lords, this is a heartwarming fantasy story.

Source: Sousetsuka

Why Read:

The story primarily involves the use of game elements in a fantasy setting. The protagonist is very powerful. He manages to fight off a superior dragon and kill a god when he's at level 1. To top it off, he hides his ability and identity to a certain extent. The romance is harem-style, though the protagonist himself only pursues one lady. Plot is somewhat repetitive, which makes it quite boring at times as the the character gains a new power or ability, fighting new monsters and enemies, and finally gets rewarded with prizes or a title. This novel is great for reading on fantasy and adventure lovers.

From Elf Reincarnation to Cheat Kingdom Founding Chronicle

From Elf Reincarnation to Cheat Kingdom Founding Chronicle Volume 2 Cover
From Elf Reincarnation to Cheat Kingdom Founding Chronicle Volume 2 Cover | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Ecchi] [Fantasy] [Harem] [Mature] [Romance] [Shounen]

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary:

A genius magician, to fight against his fate of dying a natural death from old age, grasps at the truth of magic to allow himself to reincarnate with a power he created.

The cycle of reincarnation is repeated multiple times and the magician is in his 31st reincarnation. He becomes a boy named Syril who lives in a village of elves. The village is ruled by humans, and the elves are treated as livestock.

After turning 14 years old, Syril, who regained his past knowledge and experience, stands up to help a girl who is his childhood friend. The story of the creation of an ideal country begins in that village, a place where all races can coexist. Elves, fox-girl, and various other heroines.

Source: Lygar Translations

Why Read:

This is a kingdom-building type of novel. The protagonist is definitely overpowered since he has been reincarnated several times and gained various abilities in the process. These abilities make him the ultimate overpowered character in the novel. The plot is well built, and the story is very fast-paced. Action scenes are frequent since resistance against the protagonist is to be expected. The romance aspect is tan-tan-dan-dan: harem with super mature scenes (so make sure to watch out from those). Anyways, it's a good novel (ehem...).

In A Different World With a Smartphone

In A Different World With a Smartphone Volume 1 Cover
In A Different World With a Smartphone Volume 1 Cover | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Fantasy] [Harem] [Romance] [Shounen]

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary:

Oh no, the MC is accidentally killed by a god! Due to this unfortunate error, the MC starts a second life in a parallel world. The god revives his body and he is allowed to take and use his smartphone. He comes across various other characters while also joining up with important comrades. Before he knows it, he has even discovered the new world’s secret. He inherits the legacy of an ancient civilization and he travels around the world casually with a power that matches the new world's god.

Source: Manga Updates

Why Read:

The story starts out good with the protagonist getting two companions (yep, it's exactly what you're thinking). The protagonist's OPness does not really focus on having a smartphone, but instead on being an "otherworlder" (doesn't change the fact he's OP). The plot revolves around the MC getting involved in different conflicts, making a pact with a powerful beast, and defeating a king. The action scenes are well balanced, but the romance seems to be too vague. Reading a few chapters of the novel feels great, but later chapters become dull.

Kyuuketsu Hime wa Barairo no Yume o Miru

Kyuuketsu Hime wa Barairo no Yume o Miru Volume 1 Cover
Kyuuketsu Hime wa Barairo no Yume o Miru Volume 1 Cover | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Fantasy] [Gender Bender] [Romance] [Shoujo] [Slice of Life]

Personal Rating: 5/5

Plot Summary:

I was suppose to have died in an accident, but instead I awaken as my vampire princess character of the “Eternal Horizon Online” game. My pet, assets, and territory within the game have been transferred into a world similar to the game.

While playing, I was in at a higher level than my followers who were stronger than me. Here, I have no choice but to play as ‘me’ like in the game. The demons and beasts of this world, and even demi-humans, start following me too. Before even realizing it, I have established a huge empire. Additionally, the appearance of mysterious enemies causes me endless trouble.

Source: Manga Updates

Why Read:

The mixture of comedy (especially with the protagonist as a boy inside a girl's body) and action works well. The protagonist rules a kingdom filled with many powerful beings he/she first had a contract with. There are also extra chapters where the story is from the protagonist's subordinate's perspective.

Sendai Yuusha wa Inkyou Shitai

Sendai Yuusha wa Inkyou Shitai Volume 3 Images
Sendai Yuusha wa Inkyou Shitai Volume 3 Images | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Ecchi] [Fantasy] [Harem] [Martial Arts] [Seinen] [Shounen]

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary:

Three years ago, in the land of Reinbulk, in the Kindom of Leezalion, a legendary hero was summoned. He succeeded in repelling the Demon King. Now, five students are summoned back into Reinbulk by the Kingdom of Luxeria to fight against the Demon King and the demon army. Unlike the other heroes, Yashiro Yuu has no magical affinity and the Luxeria Kingdom has no intention on acknowledging his existence or returning him to his world.

However, Yuu is actually the previous Hero who fought the Demon King originally. Moreover, he is perplexed by the situation since he knows the Demon King has not returned since he sealed him. If the seal was ever broken, he would be automatically summoned instead of summoned by members of Luxeria. Since he already saved the world once and the Demon King hasn’t been unsealed, Yuu decides to leave the demons to the new heroes and retire from the Hero business. He decides to become an adventurer.

Source: Novel Updates

Why Read:

The protagonist is definitely strong, but he's also a pervert. this creates a lot of comical situations and tension. Plus, no one knows that the main character was the hero who sealed the Demon King.

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken Characters
Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken Characters | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Fantasy] [Romance] [Seinen]

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary:

A man is stabbed by a robber on the run after pushing his coworker and his coworker’s new fiance out of the way of the attack. As he lays dying, bleeding on the ground, he hears a voice. This voice is strange and attempts to help with his dying regret (being a virgin) by giving him the [Great Sage] unique skill! Is he being made fun of!?!

Source: Novel Updates

Why Read:

This is a kingdom-building type of novel. The protagonist might be a slime, but he has a powerful skill that makes him the strongest being. Additionally, his companions, who evolve with him, are all strong.

The Lazy King

The Lazy King Volume 1 Cover
The Lazy King Volume 1 Cover | Source

Genre: [Action] [Comedy] [Fantasy] [Seinen] [Supernatural]

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary:

Before I understood what was happening, I had reincarnated into another world.
I kept sleeping, and at some point I became a Demon Lord, even though I never wished for it. But as far as not having to work, this world is the best. It must be true that good things happen to good people.

The flavor of Sloth is as sweet as honey. Glory, diligence, virtue, honor; I have no interest in anything like that.
What’s there to hide? The Lazy king is… none other than me.

Source: Inlitify OA

Why Read:

The main character is definitely the strongest and the most lazy person alive. He might be lazy but he is super strong, especially when knows he'll get a new title. Some parts of this book are pretty boring, but it can't be helped since the protagonist would be useless if the whole story was from his perspective.

The Man Picked Up By the Gods

Slimes
Slimes | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Fantasy] [Martial Arts] [Romance] [Shounen] [Slice of Life]

Personal Rating: 5/5

Plot Summary:

Ryouma Takuma, a 39 year old man with hidden past, finds himself in a strange white room. The gods tell him that he has died and they are sending his soul to a different world, a world where magic exists. Living alone for 3 years, his gamer soul loses common sense and starts doing crazy things.

Source: Neo Translations

Why Read:

This is one of the best novels I've read in a while. There's no need to describe the protagonist's OP abilities; he can casually talk to the gods and goddesses in their realms and even have their blessings. What makes the story fascinating is that the protagonist actually collects different kinds slimes as his familiars. He even manages to build a business at a young age, using slimes as the concept.

The New Gate

The New Gate
The New Gate | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Fantasy] [Romance]

Personal Rating: 5/5

Plot Summary:

“THE NEW GATE”, an online game that traps its players and has turned into a death game, is now releasing the thousands of players that have been dragged into it, thanks to the efforts of Shin, one of the most powerful players.

But after defeating the last boss and freeing everyone, he is swallowed up by a strange light and finds himself inside the game world 500 years in the future and unable to leave.

Source: Shin Translations

Why Read:

Though the setting is typical (getting trapped inside a game) the story is still very interesting. The protagonist is a master blacksmith and also known to be very popular since he is one of the famous people who was thought to have disappeared. His race also makes his more important.

Tilea's Worries

Tilea's Worries Volume 1 Cover
Tilea's Worries Volume 1 Cover | Source

Genre: [Action] [Comedy] [Fantasy] [Gender Bender]

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary:

With the progression of his Chuuni Disease, Shioda Tetsuya is shunned by his family, and dies in despair, a thirty-three-year-old jobless virgin. He vows that if he is born again, he will stay away from delusions and live life seriously. Fortunately, he reincarnates in another world as a girl named Tilea, and lives a happy life with her kind parents and adorable little sister, but…

Lately, she’d been troubled. Her beloved sister has begun talking about how she is actually one of the Six Demon Generals, serving directly under Demon King Zorg, a descendant of the Three Great Demons. The situation looks bad. Tilea has to do something before this Chuuni Disease gets any worse!

This is a fantasy “misunderstanding story” about a protagonist who has not noticed in the slightest that she has a “cheat”-like existence, and how in her efforts to heal her sister’s Chuuni Disease (except that she really is one of the Six Demon Generals), she somehow ends up setting out to defeat the Demon King.

Source: Oniichan Yamete!

Why Read:

This is certainly one of the funniest novels I've read. The main character is very powerful, though she never realizes it (until now, I guess). She could even kill a demon general with one punch or a simple kick. Her sister is one of the demon generals who became her follower and the trusted butler (first thought to be jobless).

Overlord

Overlord Characters
Overlord Characters | Source

Genre: [Action] [Adventure] [Comedy] [Fantasy] [Martial Arts] [Supernatural]

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary:

After announcing it will be discontinuing all service, the internet game ‘Yggdrasil’ shut downs . .. That was the plan, but for some reason the player character did not log out some time after the server was closed, and NPCs start to become sentient. A normal boy who loves gaming in the real world seems to have been transported into an alternate world along with his guild, becoming the strongest mage with the appearance of a skeleton, Momonga. He leads his guild ‘Ainz Ooal Gown’ towards an unprecedented legendary fantasy adventure!

Source: Skythewood Translations

Why Read:

Since the main protagonist is a powerful mage-villain, it's a refreshing story. He even owns a tomb that is more majestic than a castle and has strong servants that guard the area as well as to protect him.

Conclusion

That ends the list for now. I hope you've enjoyed reading a few of my recommendations (and learned to like them as well).

See you again for my next installment.

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© 2016 Zett Noir Cromwell

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    • eirofficial3112 profile image
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      Zett Noir Cromwell 4 months ago from Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

      Good to hear that.

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      Dhayan Srivastav 4 months ago from Kolkata

      It was a pleasant read.