The Top 15 Light Novels With Overpowered Main Characters

Edited by Anime Solutions on Aug 19, 2020

Light novels are short reads targeted towards young adults. They are compact and usually published in A6 size, but they can also be found online. There are many types of light novels out there, but this article includes my personal light novel recommendations with the theme "Overpowered Main Character" or simply "OP MC".

Even though these are light novel recommendations, a few web novels are also included. Moreover, the list contains Japanese, Chinese and Korean novels

What Makes an OP MC?

OP MCs can be found in shounen and action/adventure anime, manga and web novels. (Their immense strength would be wasted in a story that doesn't see any action.) Due to random circumstances or a diligent training process, a normal guy becomes overpowered—either physically or magically. They far outrank any baddy that comes their way, so there is little suspense when a battle takes place.

OP MCs are almost exclusively male. These stories are usually written for men whose fantasy includes being idolized by a harem of women. Because of this, OP MCs are usually found in slightly adult- or mature-themed stories. (One Punch Man and Mob Psycho are a few exceptions.)

But since normal men are reading these stories, the main character should be at least a little relatable, right? While these characters are extremely powerful, when it comes to appearance, they are quite normal looking.

Official "Legendary Moonlight Sculptor" Korean Light Novel Cover | Source

1. Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

Alternative Title: Dalbic Jogaksa

Released: 2007

Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance, School Life, Sci-Fi

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary

Lee Hyun has worked hard all his life but he can't seem to catch a break. He is constantly strapped for cash. Despite working himself to the bone, he still makes time to play his favorite MMORPG, Continent of Magic. He is so good at the game that he is known by other players as the "God of War". At the time of his coming of age ceremony, he decides to quit playing. After reading about people selling their avatars online, he attempts to earn something for his time spent in-game. Little does he know, this decision will change his life forever.

Through a series of coincidences, his avatar is sold for 3.1 billion won. He is elated, only to be crushed moments later by a money-hungry loan shark. But now that he knows he can make money from gaming, he decides to make his mark in the first-ever Virtual Reality MMORPG, Royal Road.

This is a tale of Lee Hyun's rise to the position of Emperor.

Reason to Read

Aside from the main character being insanely overpowered, he also has a very unique personality. He is very lucky, and can successfully acquire rare skills, encounter important characters and complete missions with S Rank difficulty. The plot can be considered fast-paced, though some parts can get a little boring. The romantic scene with the love interest and some real-life and drama scenes can be awkward. The action scenes are excellent, though. Overall, I assure you this is a good read.

"Legendary Moonlight Sculptor" has an isekai-eque theme, despite taking place in the real world. So if you're into isekai but want to read something fresh, give this one a go.

"No Game No Life" Volume 1 Cover | Source

2. No Game No Life

Alternative Title: Nō Gēmu Nō Raifu

Released: 2012

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Harem, Romance, Shounen, Supernatural

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary

Sora and Shiro are hikikomori step-siblings that don't have much going for them in the real world. In the virtual world, however, they are known as "Blank", an undefeated gamer team. When they win a game of chess against Tet, a god from a world called Elkia, they find themselves transported there. In this world, games are used to resolve most conflicts, as citizens are unable to fight one another due to the spell known as the Ten Pledges. The step-siblings must work together to defeat sixteen species in order to challenge Tet once more, and hopefully find a way back home.

Reason to Read

Many people are hyped to read the light novel version after watching the anime. With the two MCs with unique personalities, each serious scene becomes lighthearted and comical. Moreover, the MC's overpowered intelligence makes them super strong, and I'm sure you've guessed already that they've never lost any game except to each other. Additionally, this is such a great series because each volume has them conquer a new race and face a new set of challenges.

"No Game No Life" is perfect for those looking for an engaging plot that sucks you into an original setting with unique characters.

"Tales of Gods and Demons" Cover Art | Source

3. Tales of Gods and Demons

Alternative Title: Yao Shen Ji

Released: 2015

Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Harem, Martial Arts, Romance, Xuanhuan

Personal Rating: 4/5

Plot Summary

Nie Li, a skilled Demon Spiritist, was killed by a Sage Emperor. But somehow, instead of moving on to the afterlife, he wakes up in the body of his thirteen-year-old self. He must re-train himself with the knowledge from his previous life to protect his city and defeat those who betrayed him.

Reason to Read

Tales of Gods and Demons is of the best novels I've read. The protagonist has a determined spirit, and with knowledge of his previous life (since he was transported back in time), he is so very very overpowered that he is comparable to his elders and seniors. Moreover, the plot is fast progressing, and I don't think the fighting scenes are lacking either. The way that the author describes the situation is simply excellent.

If you're looking for a well-defined main character and a story that isn't littered with cliches, "Tales of Gods and Demons" is for you.

"The Tales of Brave Isagi the Demon Lord" Japanese Light Novel Cover II | Source

4. The Tales of Brave Isagi the Demon Lord

Alternative Title: Yuusha Isagi no Maou Hanashi

Released: 2014

Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Harem, Mystery, Romance, Shounen, Tragedy

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary

After being summoned to a new world three years ago to defeat the Demon Lord, Isagi has finally done it. Now that things have settled down, he wants to confess his love to the female healer of his party who helped vanquished evil alongside him. He also wants to start an Adventurer's Guild to prevent anything similar from happening in the future. All seems fine and dandy, that is until he is summoned once more . . . by the Princess of the Demons! Now he has little choice but to help the demons fight the adventurers, the very people he originally fought to protect.

Reason to Read

The main character is quite original in that he had experienced being a hero, and will now experience being the enemy of humans. I also like the fact that after he had been summoned back, the world he once knew had changed so much, in a way that he couldn't predict. Though there are scenes that were written awkwardly, and too few action and fighting scenes, it’s still a good light novel to read for fun.

"LV999 Villager" Illustration | Source

5. LV999 Villager

Alternative Title: LV999 no Murabito

Released: 2015

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary

In a fantasy world, every person is given a role to play by the gods; Warrior, Fighter, Cleric, Magician, Rogue, Merchant, Hunter, Sorcerer and Villager. Those with powers go out into the world and hunt monsters for money. But a majority of the population have no such power, and they are given the weakest role, Villager. One Villager, Kagami, learns from a young age that if he wants to make a lot of money, he has to learn how to kill monsters. That is why he dedicates 20 years to training, which results in him being a LV999 Villager.

Reason to Read

If you want an insanely overpowered character, then this is the light novel for you. The MC is capable of defeating enemies with his combat skills (which could be compared to One Punch Man). The comedy is pretty great, especially in scenes with the MC’s macho girl sidekick. The light novel is written and translated quite well—particularly the fight and drama scenes.

"When a Gun Nerd Is Reincarnated to a World of Magic He Established a Harem Army With Modern Weapons!?" 3rd Volume Cover | Source

6. When a Gun Nerd Is Reincarnated to a World of Magic He Established a Harem Army With Modern Weapons!?

Alternative Title: Gunota ga Mahou Sekai ni Tensei Shitara, Gendai Heiki de Guntai Harem o Tsukucchaimashita!?

Released: 2013

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Harem, Romance, Seinen

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary

Hotta Youta is given a second chance after being murdered on his way home from work. Instead of moving on to the afterlife, he finds himself being carried by a bunny-eared woman! This is a gun vs magic war that Hotta finds himself in the middle of!

Reason to Read

This is one of the typical light novels where the protagonist retains the memory of his previous life and tries to build new things, in this case, guns, from those memories. With his choice of weapon, he's so overpowered that he can easily kill monsters at a distance. However, the main character has a kind and considerate personality, which means he's easily deceived. Furthermore, there are few fighting scenes in this novel, and more conversations and romantic interactions.

"Other World's Monster Breeder" Illustration | Source

7. Other World's Monster Breeder

Alternative Title: Nonbiri Ikusei Shiteimasu

Released: 2015

Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Harem, Mature, Romance

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary

Souta suddenly finds himself in another world and is given the unpopular profession of "Monster Tamer". But by using the skill "Absolute Domination" to his advantage, he makes quite the name for himself with an impressive collection of monsters.

Reason to Read

The light novel reminds me of Kono Suba and Pokémon. It's like Pokémon in the sense that the "Capsule Ball" resembles the obvious Poké Ball and the profession of "Monster Tamer" focuses on catching and taming monsters. On the other hand, it resembles Kono Suba wherein the MC first tested his skill on a Goddess which resulted in her being "captured".

"Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They?" Volume 1 Cover | Source

8. Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They?

Alternative Title: Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sō Desu yo?

Released: 2011

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Shounen, Supernatural

Persona Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary

Sakamaki Izayoi, Kudou Asuka and Kasukabe Yō have been blessed with psychic powers, and thus are completely bored with normal, everyday life.

Their lives become much more exciting when they each receive an envelope, inviting them to play a high-stakes game using their abilities. They are transported to another world where they must help the No Name community regain its prestige by playing "Gift Games".

Reason to Follow

I would encourage anyone who has watched the anime adaptation to read the light novel version. Though some parts have been changed, the anime still follows the same story as the light novel. The three main protagonists are depicted with their own unique abilities. Moreover, the light novels deal with one character's perspective more often (especially dyring the action-fighting scenes) which allows the readers to really get to know each character.

"Spirit Chronicles" Cover Art | Source

9. Spirit Chronicles

Alternative Title: Seirei Gensouki

Released: 2018

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shounen, Tragedy

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary

Amakawa Haruto died before reuniting with his childhood friend who had disappeared five years before. Rio is a boy from the slums whose mother was killed in front of him when he was five-years-old. These two have nothing in common, but somehow Haruto is resurrected in Rio's body. They have to find a way to cooperate to reach their individual goals while sharing a body.

Reason to Read

The first thing you'll notice after reading this light novel is the fast-paced progression of the story, which often skips ahead in time (it will be stated that three years have passed without even describing what happened during those years). No one can really deny that the MC is seriously overpowered, and additionally, he is of royal descent. What I really like about this novel is that it does not focus on romantic interests, but on the goal of the MC for revenge, and the technological advancement of the MC's empire due to his teachings.

"Skeleton Knight, in Another World" Cover Art | Source

10. Skeleton Knight, in Another World

Alternative Title: Gaikotsu Kishi-sama, Tadaima Isekai e Odekake-chuu

Released: 2014

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Shounen, Supernatural

Personal Rating: 3/5

Plot Summary

After falling asleep while playing an online game, Arc, the protagonist, wakes up in a different world with his avatar's skin—which happens to be a skeleton. He is equipped only with his best weapon and armor from the game. Now Arc must use his newfound abilities to find a way to get his original body back.

Reason to Read

At a glance, the prologue and character profile of the protagonist does resemble the MC of Overlord. However, this light novel's MC is a cursed holy undead, and thus could certainly get his human body back (though personality-wise, he does resemble Overlord's MC). Moreover, unlike Overlord, the MC does not have a companion. The fighting scenes are clearly described, but the plot does not really follow a definite path. Moreover, the MC's go-with-the-flow personality is a little distasteful, in my opinion.

"Lazy Dungeon Master" Illustration | Source

11. Lazy Dungeon Master

Alternative Title: Zettai ni Hatarakitakunai Dungeon Master ga Damin wo Musaboru Made

Released: 2015

Genre: Fantasy, Comedy

Personal Rating: 2/5

Plot Summary

Meima Masuda loves to spend his days doing nothing. He is completely content with being lazy. That is until he is summoned to another world where he meets Rokuko, a young blonde girl who demands that he help save her dungeon. He has little choice in the matter, because as the new "Dungeon Master", if the dungeon core is destroyed, he will die.

Reason to Read

As a Dungeon Master, the main character is seriously overpowered in that he is capable of beating high-classed dungeon managers. Moreover, the main character also has the wits and brains to solve difficult situations. Unfortunately, the light novel is a bit fast-paced and some character profiles and designs (e.g., behavior and personality) don't fit the situation.

"Other World Canceller" Fan Art | Source

12. Other World Canceller

Alternative Title: Isekai no Kyansera

Released: 2015

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Mature, Romance, Seinen

Personal Rating: 2/5

Plot Summary

Right before a giant meteor strikes earth, "Hitto" (his gamer tag) decides to spend his last moments playing his favorite game. But just when he thinks it's all over, he wakes up in a field in the game world with a single skill, "Canceller". Can Hitto make the best of this situation, despite having such an underwhelming skill? With his gaming expertise, he just might be able to become one of the most powerful players.

Reason to Read

The main character has a unique skill that allows him to cancel anything (and can be applied to many situations). Though the novel is slightly slow-paced and some parts can be boring to read—like too many conversations and redundant thoughts of some characters—the plot has been well laid-out.

"If It's for My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon King" 2nd Volume Cover | Source

13. If It's for My Daughter, I'd Even Defeat a Demon King

Alternative Title: Uchi no Musume no Tame Naraba, Ore wa Moshikashitara Maō mo Taoseru Kamoshirenai

Released: 2015

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Slice of Life

Personal Rating: 2/5

Plot Summary

Dale is a skilled adventurer in his prime. During a job, he finds a young devil girl named Latina. Conflicted, he decides to take her in rather than leave her to die. He becomes her adoptive father, and together they go on exciting adventures.

Reason to Read

I remembered little about this light novel. The story revolves around the main character parenting a child he found in the forest. The MC is certainly skillful and leads a comfortable life from killing monsters in the area before finding his "daughter". One lacking aspect of this light novel is the fighting (again) and almost all situations focus on the daughter.

"Dashing Through the Blue Sky" Volume 3 Cover | Source

14. Dashing Through the Blue Sky

Alternative Title: Seiun wo Kakeru

Released: 2013

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Romance, Shounen, Slice of Life, Supernatural

Personal Rating: 2/5

Plot Summary

One day, a mysterious man appears in a remote village. The mysterious man becomes a blacksmith, and greatly improves the lives of those around him with his abilities. His arrival triggered the revitalization of the village—trade became more popular and labor became easier on the villagers.

Reason to Read

Most readers, including me, would say this light novel is indeed very light—meaning it does not really include heavy conflict or problems in the story. The novel focuses mainly on the improvement of the transported MC's village as they make upgraded tools and weapons for the village. Moreover, the life of the MC is certainly peaceful, as he gets married and has a child rather early in the story. Other than that, if technological advancement and kingdom building is your thing, then this is the light novel for you.

"Adamantine Dragon in the Crystal World" Cover | Source

15. Adamantine Dragon in the Crystal World

Alternative Title: 

Released: 2015

Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy

Personal Rating: 2/5

Plot Summary

In a fantasy world known as Flow, there was a Demon Emperor that was so powerful he even intimidated the Gods. Therefore, the Gods decided to banish him to another world where his magical powers are useless. He must find a way to survive in a world ruled by mecha.

Reason to Read

Mecha and magic together is an unusual combination. The MC is overpowered based on his previous life and body that fused with his current body. It's also a bit mature-themed, as he has a harem with girls who are also very overpowered. In addition, what I like most about this light novel is how the MC tries to conceal his powers.