J-Novel Club Announces 17 New Light Novel & Manga Acquisitions During September 2023 Livestream

from old country bumpkin to master swordsman light novel cover feature image
© Shigeru Sagazaki, Tetsuhiro Nabeshima

J-Novel Club announced the license acquisition of several new light novel and manga series, following their latest industry Twitch livestream on September 15, 2023. 

Nine light novels and eight manga series will be joining the J-Novel Club catalog, with all of them receiving a digital launch on J-Novel Club’s website and app a few hours after the conclusion of the announcement panel.

Among the newest licenses include the light novels Butareba -The Story of a Man Turned into a Pig and You Were Experienced, I Was Not: Our Dating Story (KimiZero)

Here are the details for the latest licenses: 

Light Novels

The Frontier Lord Begins with Zero Subjects 

the frontier lord begins with zero subjects light novel volume one cover
© Fuurou, Kinta

Story: Fuurou

Illustrations: Kinta

Launching today with parts one and two of volume one. 


Dias finally returns home after decades of war. He’s hailed as a hero and promptly rewarded with his own domain…which turns out to be little more than empty plains. Population: zero. Dias, who has only ever known battle, finds himself at a loss. How is he supposed to survive, let alone cultivate his territory into a thriving, prosperous dominion when there’s nothing but grass as far as can see?

Fortunately for Dias, a horned girl by the name of Alna is about to show him there’s more to the plains than meets the eye!

Fake It to Break it! I Faked Amnesia to Break Off My Engagement and Now He’s All Lovey-Dovey?

fake it or break it light novel volume one cover
© Kotoko, Esora Amaichi

Story: Kotoko

Illustrations: Esora Amaichi  

A J-Novel Heart title launching today with parts one and two of volume one.  


Viola wants nothing more than to break off her dull arranged engagement with Phillip. He’s the son of a duke, and Viola is thoroughly convinced she’s an unsuitable future wife for a man of his station. Worst of all, he seems utterly uninterested in her. So when Viola is in a carriage accident, she takes the opportunity to fake amnesia in hopes of getting out of her betrothal. Little does she know Phillip is also an opportunist, and he takes advantage of the situation by feeding the “amnesiac” Viola a tale she can scarcely believe—that they’ve been passionately in love this entire time!

Now trapped in her own lie, Viola is forced to play along. Can this curious couple outwit each other into happiness? Or will their bizarre web of deception get them both caught?

From Old Country Bumpkin to Master Swordsman: My Hotshot Disciples Are All Grown Up Now, and They Won’t Leave Me Alone 

from old country bumpkin to master swordsman light novel volume one cover
© Shigeru Sagazaki, Tetsuhiro Nabeshima

Story: Shigeru Sagazaki

Illustrations: Tetsuhiro Nabeshima

Launching today with parts one and two of volume one.


Beryl Gardinant, a self-proclaimed “humble old man,” is a sword instructor at his dojo in a rural, backwater village. In his younger years, he dreamed of glory as a master swordsman, but those days are long behind him. Out of the blue, he receives a visit from a famous former pupil who brings him world-shattering news—he’s been appointed as special instructor for the knights of the Liberion Order! With his life now turned upside down, Beryl travels to the capital and reunites with some of his former students: elite knights, an ace wizard, and even an adventurer who’s attained the highest guild rank possible. But why do they all want his tutelage?! As far as he’s concerned, they clearly don’t need him anymore.

Can Beryl live up to his new position? And will he ever get a moment’s peace away from his adoring students?!

The Brilliant Healer’s New Life in the Shadows 

the brilliant healer's new life in the shadows light novel volume one cover
© Sakaku Hishikawa, Daburyu

Story: Sakaku Hishikawa

Illustrations: Daburyu

Launching today with parts one and two of volume one.


Life hasn’t been kind to Zenos. He was born in the slums, and his dirt-poor background has denied him almost every opportunity. After an encounter with a healer, he throws himself into studying to become one and finally catches a break when an adventurer invites Zenos into his party. Zenos is thrilled—so thrilled, in fact, that he’s willing to put up with his teammates treating him like garbage. They fail to appreciate his talents and ultimately kick him to the curb, claiming he’s outlived his usefulness to them.

Now bereft of money and out of options, Zenos decides to put his self-taught skills to use elsewhere and opens an underground clinic. Word quickly spreads about the brilliant healer  working incredible magic in the city’s shadowy underbelly. Even the royal palace is taking notice…

Can Zenos buck the odds and carve out a life for himself in a world that’s done nothing but spit in his face? And can he save the lives of the patients who wind up on his doorstep in the process?

Finding Avalon: The Quest of a Chaosbringer 

finding avalon the quest of a chosbringer light novel volume one cover
© Akito Narusawa, KeG

Story: Akito Narusawa 

Illustrations: KeG

Launching today with parts one and two of volume one.


When a hardcore gamer downloads an update that transports him into his favorite game, Dungeon Explorer Chronicles, he expects a life of pretty girls and epic fights. He starts as a student at Adventurers’ High, the top school for budding adventurers, eager to dive into the fantastical dungeon that’s appeared in modern-day Japan. But one glance in the mirror shatters his dreams of badassery! He’s entered the game as Piggy, the love-to-hate overweight villain whose stalker-like obsession with his reluctant fiancée spells his doom.

With elitist bullies roaming the school halls and cutthroat adventurers lurking in the dungeon, our hero has to act fast to lose weight and level up if he wants to survive and break free from his scripted fate. Using his peerless knowledge of the game, he’s ready to exploit every trick to become the world’s greatest unsung hero!

I Could Never Be a Succubus! 

i could never be a succubus light novel volume one cover
© Nora Kohigashi, Wasabi

Story: Nora Kohigashi 

Illustrations: Wasabi

Launching today with parts one and two of volume one.


Liz, a young noblewoman, is a star pupil at her academy—talented, refined, generous, and the apple of everyone’s eye. But the day a legendary hero comes to the academy to convalesce, Liz, in spite of herself, does the unthinkable… She asks for the hero’s underpants!

Liz, as it turns out, has a secret. She was a member of the hero’s party until all her memories were stolen during a climactic battle—including the fact that she’s a demon of desire known as a succubus! She can hardly believe it when she reawakens to her completely out-of-character powers, but unfortunately for Liz, she’s about to find out that it’s not so easy to defy your true nature…

Butareba: The Story of a Man Turned into a Pig 

butareba light novel volume one cover
© Takuma Sakai, Asagi Tohsaka

Story: Takuma Sakai

Illustrations: Asagi Tohsaka

Launching today with parts one and two of volume one.


A run-of-the-mill otaku collapses from stomach pain after tasting raw pig liver and wakes up in a whole new world—as a pig, of all things! He’s helplessly trapped in his pen until Jess, a girl who can read minds, comes along and rescues him. Our porcine hero will have to work to keep his boar-ish thoughts to himself, but sweet Jess isn’t deterred. In fact, she wants to spoil this little piggy rotten!

By Jess’s side, it seems like life as a hog might not be so bad after all, yet there’s more to this strange fantasy world than meets the eye. Jess is a girl of many secrets, and she’s in danger. But what can a mere pig with no special powers do to protect her from her cruel fate? Will his modern knowledge, quick thinking, and sharp nose be enough to ham it up and save her?

You Were Experienced, I Was Not: Our Dating Story 

kimizero you were experienced i not light novel volume one cover
© Makiko Nagaoka, magako

Story: Makiko Nagaoka 

Illustrations: magako

Launching today with parts one and two of volume one.


Kashima Ryuto is a gloomy high-schooler who quietly spends his days watching his crush, the beautiful Shirakawa Runa, from afar. She rules the school and has had no shortage of boyfriends. Although Ryuto is fully convinced she’d never accept him, fate leads him to confess his feelings to her anyway. To his astonishment, she accepts—simply because she’s “available” at the moment—but the surprises don’t end there. She immediately invites him over as if it’s the most natural thing in the world!

This odd couple is different in just about every way—the friends they keep, their hobbies, their love lives—but with every passing day, they grow a little bit closer. This may not be Runa’s first relationship, but their dating story is going to be full of firsts for them both!

The Diary of a Middle-Aged Sage’s Carefree Life in Another World 

the diary of a middle aged sage's carefree life in another world light novel volume one cover
© Kotobuki Yasukiyo, JohnDee

Story: Kotobuki Yasukiyo

Illustrations: JohnDee

Launching today with parts one and two of volume one.


Forty-year-old Satoshi Osako is a farmer in the Japanese countryside—and a hardcore player of Swords & Sorceries, an online VRRPG. The day he finally manages to defeat the game’s final boss, it curses him with its dying breath and kills him in real life!

With a little help from a carefree goddess, Satoshi finds himself reincarnated into a mysterious new world as his in-game character, the incredibly powerful Great Sage known as Zelos Merlin. He accordingly decides to use his newfound powers to…continue living a quiet life on another farm! But first, he’ll have to fight his way out of the vast dangerous forest he woke up in—thanks a lot, goddess—and it won’t be long before he’s running into bandits, getting roped into teaching a young noble girl magic, and much more.

Will the almighty Great Sage be able to conquer the toughest quest of all: getting some peace and quiet?


D-Genesis: Three Years after the Dungeons Appeared 

d-genesis manga volume one cover
© Miya Taira, Kono Tsuranori

Story: Miya Taira 

Original Work: Kono Tsuranori

Based on the light novel series of the same name. Launching today with chapter one of volume one. 


Three years after monster-infested dungeons start appearing on Earth due to an American experiment gone awry, anonymous researcher Keigo Yoshimara strikes gold when he accidentally kills a creature. This earns him a magical “D-Card” and a mysterious skill that allows him to see RPG-style stats.

Deciding to quit his job and go into dungeon diving, Keigo seeks the assistance of his highly knowledgeable colleague, Azusa Miyoshi, to help him conquer the dungeon exploration market and make millions. But it’s a race to obtain all the treasure and magic he can before the masses of government agencies and like-minded explorers take it first. No one said getting rich would be easy!

The Oblivious Saint Can’t Contain Her Power: Disgraced No Longer, I’m Finding Happiness with the Prince! 

the oblivious saint can
t contain her power manga volume one cover
© Yona Etou, Almond

Story: Yona Etou 

Original Work: Almond  

A J-Novel Heart title launching today with chapter one of volume one. 


Lady Carolina Sanchez has spent her entire life believing she is the “Sanchez family disgrace,” a notion constantly reinforced by her elder sister, Flora. In public, Flora is a model of kindness and gentility, always coming to her baby sister’s defense…but behind closed doors, she heaps abuse on Carolina, leveraging her younger sister’s perceived shortcomings to suit her own ends.

When Carolina is sent to the neighboring Malcosian Empire for a political marriage to Prince Edward Ruby Martinez, she expects to disappoint her new family too. But, to her surprise, her husband-to-be and her new in-laws seem to genuinely adore her!

Can Carolina escape the anguish of her past and rise to the occasion as Edward’s imperial consort? She just might, especially if she’s not quite as powerless as she assumed…

The Retired Demon of the Maxed-Out Village 

the retired demon of the maxed out village manga volume one cover
© Yuusuke Miyauchi, Akinosuke Nishiyama

Story: Yuusuke Miyauchi

Original Work: Akinosuke Nishiyama

Based on the light novel series of the same name. Launching today with chapter one of volume one. 


On the advice of a suspicious bard, Albrea—the kingdom’s strongest knight—sets off to the remote village of Montt to slay an evil demon. However, when she arrives, Albrea finds out the demon is just a retired old man! And he’s far from the only strange inhabitant—there’s also a demonic sword taking the form of a young girl, a money-hungry witch, and a drunken priest.

As it turns out, the village has another, lesser-known name—the Maxed-Out Village—and is home to many of the kingdom’s greatest heroes! With help from those she came to fight, can Albrea learn what it truly means to be a knight? And what was the bard’s real reason for sending her to Montt in the first place?

8th Loop for the Win! With Seven Lives’ Worth of XP and the Third Princess’s Appraisal Skill, My Behemoth and I Are Unstoppable! 

8th loop for the win manga volume one cover
© Riku Natsume, SkyFarm

Story: Riku Natsume

Original Work: SkyFarm

Based on the light novel series of the same name. Launching today with chapter one of volume one. 


This is a story about Remille, an adventurer who died. Specifically, he’s died a lot—seven times now, always at the hands of vicious monsters. Every time, though, he’s returned to the same day, three years prior. He’s tried everything at this point, from sword fighting to magical arts to beast taming, but it always ends the same way. Is there any hope for him in this 8th loop of his life?

Perhaps a chance encounter with Princess Ciel might change things? Her magical eye can see all possible futures—and with Remille’s vast stores of XP from seven lives of adventuring, just about anything is possible! Add in the fact that his erstwhile feline friend Catra isn’t exactly what she seems (and how the princess herself wants to party up with him) and this 8th loop might just be the charm!

I Want to Escape from Princess Lessons 

i want to escape from princess lessons manga volume one cover
© Uri Sugata, Izumi Sawano

Story: Uri Sugata 

Original Work: Izumi Sawano  

Based on the light novel series of the same name. A J-Novel Heart title launching today with chapter one of volume one. 


Leticia Dorman, daughter of a duke, has been engaged to the crown prince, Clarke, since age seven. Though once a spirited child, she’s undergone ten years of strict lessons to teach her manners fit for the future queen. Distraught by the loss of her freedom, Leticia clings to her hope that the prince might someday take an interest in another woman—and when he shows up to a royal ball with an unknown lady at his side, she’s elated to see her engagement broken off.

Finally, her dream has come true! Lettie wastes no time at all in retreating to the countryside for a new peaceful life, but her joy is cut short when the prince appears and informs her that she is still, in fact, his fiancée. Prince Clarke is determined to win her heart and marry her. Lettie is determined to resist him and escape. The universe is determined to not be of any help whatsoever.

The Invincible Little Lady

the invincible little lady manga volume one cover
© Sabaneko, Chatsufusa

Story: Sabaneko

Original Work: Chatsufusa

Based on the light novel series of the same name. Launching today with chapter one of volume one. 


On her deathbed, a sickly young girl wishes to be reborn with a strong body that will never succumb to anyone or anything. Lo and behold, her wish is granted! Upon reincarnating into another world as Mary Regalia, she discovers her new body has maxed-out attributes, from physical strength, to defense, and even magic. But wait! That isn’t what she really wanted! All she longed for was a normal life…but that’s a tall order when you’re absolutely invincible!

Join Mary as she navigates her new life as a duke’s daughter, makes friends of all stripes—including her devoted maid, an irreverent trainee knight, a proud magician girl, and even the prince of the kingdom—fights off terrifying monsters, and maybe even gets mistaken for a knight of legend!

Forget Being the Villainess, I Want to Be an Adventurer! 

forget being the villainess i want to be an adventurer manga volume one cover
© Tasuke Sakura, Hiro Oda

Story: Tasuke Sakura

Original Work: Hiro Oda  

Based on the light novel series of the same name. A J-Novel Heart title launching today with chapter one of volume one. 


When young Serephione has a fateful encounter with Lou, the cute and fluffy guardian tiger, it opens the floodgates to a torrent of memories. She realizes she had a past life as an office worker in which she loved to read fantasy books, including one featuring the infamous villainess…Serephione Granzeus!

After using her immense magical power in battle, the novel’s Serephione was defeated and condemned to die alone. The surest way to escape that fate is avoiding magic school altogether…so Serephione vows to hide her power and become an adventurer instead! But what will she do when major characters from the book threaten her plans?

The Brilliant Healer’s New Life in the Shadows 

the brilliant' healer's new life in the shadows manga volume one cover
© Ten Junoichi, Sakaku Hishikawa

Story: Ten Junoichi

Original Work: Sakaku Hishikawa

Based on the light novel series of the same name. Launching today with chapter one of volume one. 


Born a poor man in the slums, Zenos never had opportunities in life, so he decides to forge his own by teaching himself the curative arts after a chance encounter with a healer. When an adventuring party led by a man named Aston extends him an invitation, Zenos is elated—only to then be treated like dirt by his teammates. Despite Zenos’s diligent efforts to hone his skills to nothing short of perfection, the party deems him useless and kicks him out.

Bereft of money and options, Zenos starts an illegal clinic and becomes a shadow healer. Word of his healing genius spreads quickly throughout the city’s underbelly, and as his reputation grows among the dregs of society, knowledge of Zenos’s esteem reaches the wrong ears…

Source: press release 

William Moo is a freelance writer who has previously written for OTAQUEST and MANGA.TOKYO. He also contributes work to the website Yatta Tachi. He enjoys watching lots of anime every season and reading from time to time. You can follow him on Twitter @thewriterSITB.
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