Top 10 Psychological Light Novels [Best Recommendations]

INTRODUCTION

Who doesn’t love light novels? The ability to capture your attention and hook you into spending hours reading page after page of an epic story is something only light novels can do so well. If you’re one of those who loves a story that captures your mind and leaves you questioning every detail, then you’ll love the psychological genre. Now we know sometimes looking for that right read is an overly daunting task even with the help of the internet. Well that’s why we here at Honey’s Anime have done the work and created our Top 10 Psychological Light Novels to help you beautiful people out.

There are easily hundreds of light novels out there and while a lot of them contain the psychological theme, not all of them hit that sweet note we’re looking for. Our list of psychological light novels was made with the mindset that any of these psychological light novel titles you’re about to read contain concepts and themes that make you really wonder what is the reality being presented. Our research took us into a lot of worlds some about detectives trying to find their perps and others into warped minds of those who can’t escape their sheltered lives. Regardless of the tale we’re sure that this will be a list that will hook you just as much as the amazing authors will once you crack open their works. Now are you ready to have your mind’s turned and twisted like a rollercoaster? If you said yes, then just scroll down and check out our top 10 psychological light novels.

10. Chronicles of an Extreme Yandere

  • Genre: Horror, Psychological, Romance, School Life, Supernatural, Tragedy
  • Volumes: 180+ Chapters
  • Published Date: 2016

How far can love go? For one young boy, he will learn that love can go into some scary places. This girl wants our young protagonist regardless of their turbulent past. Can he escape such a terrifying relationship? The better question: can he survive a true yandere?

Romance in light novels is great. Couples falling in love with one another makes us extremely happy. In Chronicles of an Extreme Yandere, we’re happy about such a great psychological romance story but not because it makes us happy per say. This odd tale will make readers question how far can two fall in love when one is usually wielding a knife in her hands. While our main protagonist may be suffering in this odd scenario we’re sure you’ll enjoy this odd psychological tale of romance gone very wrong.


9. In a World Without Life

  • Authors: Yusagi, ANEKO
  • Genre: Action, Fantasy, Mystery, Psychological, romance
  • Volumes: 6 Chapters+1 Epilogue
  • Published Date: N/A

Imagine if you were in a world all alone. Sure there might be animals, insects and various other lifeforms but not a single human. For one young girl this reality occurs leaving her rushing around to find someone—anyone—alive. Then one day finally a young boy appears before the girl. However, this boy isn’t from her world and hails from another. How can these two souls talk In a World Without Life?

The idea of being the last man or woman alive is a truly terrifying concept. Add to that if you did find someone what would happen if communication wasn’t possible? In a World Without Life, these questions really made us think about our own lives and what if this happened to us. Author Yusagi ANEKO really has made an incredible light novel series that we hope one day will get published as we feel Yusagi deserves it. Trust us folks, you’ll want to read this incredible tale and get lost in a truly epic psychological light novel worthy of being on our top ten list.


8. Welcome to the N.H.K.

  • Authors: Takimoto, Tatsuhiko- Abe, Yoshitoshi
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Slice of Life, Psychological
  • Volumes: 1
  • Published Date: 2002

Dropping out of college and deciding to live the life of a hikikomori, Tatsuhiro Sato has found a means to remove himself from society as best as he could. This lifestyle seems safe, as well as a good way to avoid the dreaded N.H.K., but soon Tatsuhiro will find fate has other plans for him. When a young girl knocks on Tatsuhiro’s door one day, it is there that she explains her plans to cure Tatsuhiro of his ailment. Now he has two thoughts before him: on one hand maybe this girl can cure Tatsuhiro of his hikikomori ways, yet there is the possibility that this is all a plot by the N.H.K. What will Tatsuhiro do now?

Poor Tatsuhiro; he’s going through a lot indeed in Welcome to the N.H.K. Truly this unique tale of a hikikomori is not only a fun story, but also a very weird one in equal measure. The comedy at times almost makes you wonder if Tatsuhiro is losing his mind or if people want him to never leave his home again. That’s the beauty of a psychological story like this. Yes it may be a short light novel but by the end you’ll find that it sticks with you for a long while and thus why it’s on our Top 10 Psychological Light Novels list.


7. Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World

  • Authors: Sigsawa, Keiichi- Kuroboshi, Kouhaku
  • Genre: Adventure, Mystery, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Psychological
  • Volumes: 20
  • Published Date: Mar, 2000- Present

Before the popular anime series and movie, Kino’s Journey was a deep story contained in light novel form. The plot follows a young girl named Kino who travels the world alongside Hermes, who just so happens to be a talking motorcycle. Kino’s journey has her visiting towns—three days and two nights at most—to learn about the city and its inhabitants. With no destination in mind, Kino’s tale seems aimless and aloof. However, as most adventures will say, sometimes not knowing the destination is the adventure in of itself.

Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World is something every person should read. While it’s still currently being published—20 volumes as of currently—the stories in each make Kino’s adventure never tiring or meticulous. Honestly, we love that Sigsawa Keiichi has been able to keep such a series fresh and exciting for now seventeen years. Though we didn’t forget about the great art to each volume coming from Kuroboshi Kouhaku. Overall, Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World is one of those reads we could praise all day but we know that just reading this little bit has intrigued you enough to check it out.


6. Danganronpa/Zero

  • Authors: Kodaka, Kazutaka- Komatsuzaki, Rui
  • Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Drama
  • Volumes: 2
  • Published Date: Sep, 2011- Oct, 2011

Before Danganronpa begins, here’s a story of an interesting young girl named Ryouko Otonashi. Ryouko is a fortunate student of Hope’s Peak Academy but unfortunately, her great school memories aren’t that great seeing as how Ryouko is a chronic amnesiac. While her friend Yasuke Matsuda tries to cure her disease, these two have a bleak future once an odd girl appears before them. You know the story of Danganronpa, but now it’s time to hear a side story only a few know about.

We here at Honey’s Anime are huge fans of the Danganronpa series. Each game of the series has made us giddy for another release or any form of more knowledge from the series. That’s why we really enjoyed Danganronpa/Zero, which provides some lore not fully explained in the Danganronpa games. Ryouko’s story is a perfect fit in the already very psychologically driven series and Danganronpa/Zero is a great light novel that does the series plenty of justice. Fans or newcomers to the Danganronpa world—it doesn’t matter in Danganronpa/Zero as this will appeal to anyone who loves a good twisted light novel.


5. Goth: A Novel of Horror

  • Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Psychological
  • Volumes: 1 (2 in JP)
  • Published Date: 2002

Yoru Moino finds that his mind is always focusing on one main thing: murder stories. If it’s a horror story then you can bet Yoru will be invested in it. Luckily Yoru isn’t alone in her love as a young boy—who is named later—shares Yoru’s passion. However, their love will become all too real when a series of murders take place near them. Why do these events seem to somehow link to the two horror lovers?

We honestly got some serious chills reading Goth: A Novel of Horror from author Otsuichi. Now we want to say those chills come from the horror stories in this 2 volume work—1 volume in America—but the fear comes from the questions Goth: A Novel of Horror asks. Our minds were always trying to piece together each mystery as they began to invade our minds the further we questioned them. There are various sites that will claim Goth: A Novel of Horror is one of many genres but we notice that the psychological theme is stapled on almost all of them. That’s why we know you’ll love Goth: A Novel of Horror, just be warned how much it can truly make your mind spin.


4. Boogiepop Series

  • Authors: Kadono, Kouhei- Ogata, Kouji
  • Genre: Mystery, Horror, Psychological
  • Volumes: 15
  • Published Date: Feb, 1998- Present

Some say there’s an old urban legend that actually is true. Some claim there is a Shinigami named Boogiepop. They say Boogiepop appears if a person is suffering some extreme pain or needs to be released from this world. This is just an urban legend though right? Well we’re here to tell you that Boogiepop does indeed exist…

Death and mystery seem to be a common trend in psychological light novels. However, the Boogiepop Series is one of the best to incorporate these two elements. Each of the 15 light novels aims to tell a new story and it’s up to the reader to figure out what is truly going on within that particular story. Kadono Kouhei and Ogata Kouji have worked together to create not only amazing story telling but awesome artwork that really makes Boogiepop that much better than some of the other works. Once you do finish the series we do recommend checking out the anime series as it’s pretty good as well.


3. Death Note: L Change the World

  • Authors: Obata, Takeshi- M
  • Genre: Action, Mystery, Drama, Horror, Psychological
  • Volumes: 1
  • Published Date: Dec, 2007

L’s fate was sealed once his name was placed in the Death Note. Now with only 23 hours to live, L decides to solve one more case before he perishes. His task is to stop a deadly virus that has a 100% mortality rate if infected. Working alongside a young boy gifted in mathematic calculations, L will rely on his help to track down the virus’s origin before it can be used to kill. With less than a day, L is about to take on one of his hardest jobs ever.

First we do want to explain that Death Note: L Change the World is not based on the anime series but instead on the movie series. Author Obata Takeshi really did a phenomenal job adapting the psychological thriller movie into a light novel work worthy of the third slot on our list. If you saw the movies and wanted an in depth look at L’s final hours, then Death Note: L Change the World is a great read from beginning to end. Canon or not, Death Note fans are sure to enjoy this interesting take on such a legendary movie series.


2. Sairin Yuusha no Fukushuu Hanashi

  • Authors: Usagi, USAKI- Shirakomiso
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Psychological, Romance, Seinen, Tragedy
  • Volumes: 3
  • Published Date: 2015- Ongoing

For reasons unknown Amatsuki Iori became a hero to world that wasn’t his when he was mysteriously summoned to it. During his battles, Iori is unfortunately killed by those he once trusted. Instead of facing the afterlife, Iori awakens to find he has once more been tasked with being a hero but now in the future. However, Iori’s heroic soul has begun to twist thanks to his memory of being betrayed and instead of going against the demon king, Iori finds himself working alongside him. Iori’s mind was once focused on heroic duties but now it’s filled with rage and revenge.

Sairin Yuusha ni Fukushuu Hanashi by author Usagi USAKI and illustrator Shirakomiso is truly an excellent psychological light novel. Sairin Yuusha ni Fukushuu Hanashi examines what happens to a mind that once was heroic becoming corrupted by all too real emotions of anger and rage. Iori’s revenge plot isn’t finished yet—seeing as how only three volumes have been done—but regardless we can’t wait to keep seeing where this plot goes. Now then, we’re inching closer to the best psychological light novel on our list. Here’s the question though, are you ready for it?


1. The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria

  • Authors: Mikage, Eiji- Tetsuo
  • Genre: Action, Mystery, Drama, Horror, Romance, School, Supernatural, Psychological, Thriller
  • Volumes: 7
  • Published Date: Jan, 2009- Jun, 2015

Kazuki Hoshino has a great and calm school life. Kazuki has amazing friends. He goes to class and then goes home without dealing with any problems. Then those great days came to a crashing halt one day when something extra odd occurrs. Transfer student Aya Otonashi has come to his class and makes an interesting threat. Aya claims that she is going to break Kazuki…

Our list on one of the weirdest and definitely very psychological light novels we have ever read here at Honey’s Anime. The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria by Mikage Eiji is an amalgamation of genres and each one first somehow perfectly. At times we wonder if that’s the whole point of the psychological theme in The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria; Maybe it’s meant to mess with readers by giving them no one focused genre. Is this volume going to be a romance focused theme or a horror one? Who knows because Mikage Eiji made sure to make this series a truly one of a kind light novel series. Our psychological light novel list ends perfectly with The Empty Box and the Zeroth Maria, we can’t stress enough how amazing this 7 volume psychological light novel series is.


Final Thoughts

Are you lost for words? We don’t blame you if you are, that’s the beauty of a great psychological light novel. We commend every author and illustrator on this list, they made works that easily deserve even more praise than we could deliver. Thus, our list finally comes to a closure and we hope you enjoyed the ride that we here at Honey’s Anime could deliver. As always if you did leave a comment down below telling us how we did and stick around for future articles such as this one coming soon.

Aaron

Writer

Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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