The best-selling light novels of 2020 in Japan

Oricon, Japan’s main data collection agency, published the list of best-selling light novels over the past year, with figures ranging from November 18, 2019 to November 22, 2020. For the first time since the company began to carry out this annual ranking in 2008, a single franchise ranked first in sales by series and by volume: Demon Slayer: Kimtesu no Yaiba.

These numbers are a reflection of the resounding success that Kimtesu no Yaiba enjoys in all areas of pop culture in Japan, since it must be remembered that the franchise does not originate in the world of light novels, but in Koyoharu’s manga Gotōge. In fact, the novels of the saga, by Aya Yajima, are mere expansions of the Kimetsu no Yaiba universe with side stories of the events that occur between the different plot arcs of the original work and a novelization of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu film no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train, which is already the second highest grossing film in history in the Asian country.

The rest of the sales ranking by literary saga is complemented by well-known titles among lovers of light novels such as Re: ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Y Sword Art Online. In the West, these three sagas are published in English by the publisher Yen On and their volumes can be purchased through Amazon. The only title that appears in the lists below and has an official publication in Mexico is Overlord, courtesy of Panini Novelas.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
– Shiawase no Hana

So far, no publisher in North America has yet announced the acquisition of the license to publish the Kimetsu no Yaiba novels.


POSITIONERIEAUTORSESTIMATED SALES1Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Koyoharu Gotōge (original story) / Aya Yajima (novel) 2,752,5932Re: ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-Tappei Nagatsuki (author) / Shinichirou Otsuka (illustrations) 732,3143Tnahatted Time as I 732,3143Tnahatted Time as I a SlimeFuse (author) / Mitz Vah (illustrations) 606,7004 Sword Art Online Reki Kawahara (author) / abec (illustrations) 564,2355 Kusuriya no HitorigotoHyūnganatsu (author) / Kashiwa Miyako (illustrations) 527,950


POSITION TITLE AUTHORS ESTIMATED SALES1Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Shiawase no HanaKoyoharu Gotōge (original story) / Aya Yajima (novel) 923,1392Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – Kataha no ChōKoyoharu Gotōya (original story) Slayer 913,388 Kimetsu no Yaiba – Kaze no MichishirubeKoyoharu Gotōge (original story) / Aya Yajima (novel) 607,3474 Overlord 14Kugane Maruyama (author) / so-bin (illustrations) 228,6285Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train Koyoharu Gotōge ( original story) / Aya Yajima and Ufotable (novel) 197,397

Overlord 14

This is the first time that the same franchise has led the annual sales of both light novels and manga in Japan.

You may also like: The best-selling manga of 2020 in Japan.

Oricon light novels

Gustavo Pineda I write about film, television and anime at Cine PREMIERE