Terminology – Narou-type (なろう系)

There’s a whole genre in Japan known as Narou-type (なろう系). These are anime/manga/novels that originated from a site called Shousetsu-ka ni Narou (小説家になろう) which is one of the largest sites in Japan where people can publish their original stories. There are approximately 800,000 stories published as of February 2021, and many well-known titles have originated from this site including the Overlord series, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (転生したらスライムだった件), and the Re: Zero series.

Narou-type titles have been popular over the last several years, as publishers have continuously capitalized on content that are published on Narou already having a huge fan-base. This has been both accepted as fans can enjoy their favorite titles come to life, but also criticized with people wanting creators to come up with something new and original.

The criticism is often associated with the “patterns” of the titles often involving a “normal” person without anything special going on in their lives suddenly being rewarded some special power (often via some higher being when the main character gets accidentally killed and gets reincarnated, a.k.a Isekaitensei “異世界転生”, in a medieval fantasy world). These have spanned across reincarnation into a royal family, monster, swords, to reliving a game or another comic book. While situations and the plot may be a bit different, there are many similarities as noted above.

So, the word Narou-type has the context of not simply being derived from the site, but also pointing to a specific genre that are very popular within the site.