Novels in English are generally completely written in past tense, but Japanese narration is quite confusing because they constantly switch between past and present tense. For example, take this excerpt from a light novel I was reading.
From an English reader's perspective, such a paragraph is bizarre since it's a mix of present and past tense despite describing events happening at the same time. I have heard of sentences such as 私の言うことを誰も信じなかった, where only the end part of a sentence is past tense, but I am unsure if this applies to an entire novel. If I wrote an entire novel in present tense and only made the last sentence past tense, does that retroactively make the whole novel past tense?
There is also how the present tense of a verb often expresses something different from future tense or habitual action. For example:
A sentence like that is quite confusing because 歩く seemingly means "walking," the progressive form of "walk."
There are also many sections in songs where present tense is used. For example*:
It doesn't fit the usual definitions of the Japanese present tense. The best fit, I found, was wikipedia's definiton of the simple present tense for English where it says "In providing a commentary on events as they occur."
However, now I am in a conundrum. Is Japanese narration done in past tense, like English is usually done, or are they narrating as the event happens? In addition, now it is very difficult to distinguish between describing habitual actions and providing commentary as an event happens when reading Japanese.