The Los Angeles Times also looks at the increasing popularity of light novels and other prose works based on manga and anime properties:
The simplest are straightforward retellings of adventures from the original graphic novel or animation.
Other authors use familiar characters in new stories, adding plot twists not found in the drawn and animated versions.
Japanese writers and readers describe these books as “light novels,” recognizing that they’re not serious literature. In English, they read like a cross between the pulp fiction of the ’40s and the juvenile novels of the postwar decades. Yet the manga characters often display greater depth. Nancy Drew never had to choose between violating an oath never to kill again and preventing a coup d’etat that could result in thousands of deaths, as Kenshin does.
Tokyopop Publisher Mike Kiley tells the newspaper, “”This year, we’ll publish about three dozen novels, and probably between 40 and 50 in 2008. This is a major commitment for us.”