Since the 1960s, Japanese animations, locally referred to as anime, have become very popular among lovers of animated works, not just in Japan but around the world. One of the most popular genres of anime is Isekai, which consists of light novels, animations, manga (Japanese comics and graphic novels), and video games. This article talks about the 10 greatest Isekai anime that you should watch.
What Is Isekai Anime?
Isekai is a Japanese word that means a different world or another world. Therefore, Isekai anime is a Japanese genre of manga, video games, animations, and light novels revolving around someone who goes to the other world. This other world can include the fantasy world, parallel universe, and virtual world.
This style of film production is designed to allow you to understand the other world at the same time as the protagonist. Isekai anime can also fall under the science fiction, accidental travel, fantasy, and portal fantasy genres. Since the other world is considered a pre-existing universe, the protagonist is portrayed as being familiar with it.
But sometimes the protagonist is not familiar with the parallel universe, as seen in the “Reverse Isekai” narrations like Sonic X and Isekai Quartet. In other stories, the other world can be a completely different alien universe that only the protagonist knows about. Therefore, it’s only the protagonist who has a recollection of their previous life.
How the protagonist gets to the other universe varies with the story. For instance, they can be reincarnated into the universe when they die or be summoned/teleported to the other world by accident or for intended purposes. Sometimes the protagonist can unknowingly walk right into the other world through a portal that connects the two universes.
Isekai can also occur in a virtual world of a massively multiplayer online game. It can also take place in a space where a previously virtual world turns into a real world.
What Genre Is Isekai?
The Isekai genre is normally divided into two major categories: transition into the other world and reincarnation into the other world. The former genre is where a protagonist is teleported to the other world. For example, they can either travel or be summoned into the parallel universe. In some Isekai anime, the person traveling into the other universe is a gamer, shut-in, NEET, or an overworked employee.
In the other universe, the person is able to use their skills and knowledge that were somehow useless in the real world to succeed in life. In some Isekai anime stories, the main character is just a regular guy who succeeds in their new life thanks to ordinary skills they acquired in their real life, such as engineering, driving, cooking, and medicine.
A few years back, there were suggestions that the Isekai genre was dying. But to the contrary, the genre appears to be growing in popularity, with more Isekai mangas and animations emerging all the time. It’s obvious that Isekai has already established itself as a major genre that is here to stay. That said, this genre appears to have reached its peak between 2017 and 2019.
Best Isekai Anime to Watch
When you are looking for the best Isekai anime for your entertainment, choose the types of series that present you with fascinating worlds and characters. Here is a list of the 10 greatest Isekai anime to inspire you.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
This Isekai anime tells the story of Satoru Mikami, a middle-aged man who is reincarnated as a slime after getting stabbed in the street. After reincarnation, his name is changed to Rimuru Tempest. Rimuru isn’t just another slime; his ability to acquire new skills from the surrounding environment and enemies gives him an endless array of competencies.
Although he has the ability to use his new skills to destroy his enemies, Rimuru chooses to help other people and build a strong community. This is a continuation of his work on Earth.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
This Isekai anime started airing in the 2019 Winter season and is one of the most entertaining anime series thus far. It tells the story of Naofumi Iwatani, an otaku (a young person who gives up their social life to pursue their obsession with computers and some aspects of popular culture) who is mysteriously teleported to the Melromarc universe to accomplish a mission.
His main task in the other world is to join hands with three other heroes to defeat the Waves of Catastrophe that are destroying the world. Naofumi is the Shield Hero, who is despised right from the start. He is even betrayed by the person he hopes will help him. His reputation is destroyed and is forced to accomplish the mission alone so that he can see his home again.
This is a Japanese light novel series created by Kugane Maruyama, and illustrated by so-bin. The series became available online in 2010 before it was acquired by Enterbrain. By 2012, fourteen volumes had already been published. But in 2020, Maruyama announced that the series will only have 17 novels.
It talks about a skeletal “Overlord” character named Momonga, who loves to play MMORPG, Yggdrasil game. Unfortunately, this game is about to shut down after a powerful twelve-year run. Momonga decides to stay logged in for as long as it takes to wait for the last moments of the game.
Accidentally, the game’s servers fail to shut down, transforming Momonga into his new character, the wizard master of the dark guild Ainz Ooal Gown. Therefore, he has to get used to his new life and find a way to run the guild.
No Game No Life
This Isekai anime tells the story of two incredible gamers: Sora and Shiro, who lack knowledge and skills to succeed in their current world. The two are so obsessed with gaming that they hardly leave the house. But their lives change suddenly when they are teleported into Disboard, where gaming controls every transaction and relationship.
The two gamers become exceedingly successful in their new world to a point of acquiring a royal status and bringing together the warring parties of Disboard through gaming.
The Philosopher’s Grandson
This anime tells the story of an exhausted employee, Shin Wolford, who dies in a road accident. After his death, Shin is reawakened as a baby in a magical universe where he is raised by one of the greatest mages of his time, Merlin. Sadly, Merlin doesn’t take him to school but instead focuses on his supernatural abilities.
Therefore, Shin lacks important life skills such as how to purchase things. To deal with this shortfall, Shin goes to a school in the city where he excels to become the best student. This is a hilarious Isekai anime with a unique idea.
How Not to Summon a Demon Lord
This Isekai anime tells the story of an expert gamer named Takuma Sakamoto, who fails in everything he does in real life. He is suddenly summoned into another universe by two NCPs with the intention of making him a slave. But with his exceptional ability to play Cross Reverie, Takuma manages to turn the tables. He even manages to make the two NPCs his slaves, although they don’t seem bothered by it.
This is a unique Isekai anime especially because it’s two-way. It starts with the opening of a strange portal at the heart of Tokyo, through which strange beings invade the Earth. The main character, Youji Itami, is caught up in the melee while traveling to a Doujinshi convention. So, he must fight off the strange beings along the way.
Itami ends up saving many lives. This earns him instant fame and is therefore the first person to be selected to go to the other universe to broker truce with the invaders. They must fulfill this mission, or else they will start the biggest conflict between the two worlds.
The Devil is a Part-Timer
This is a unique Isekai anime because it doesn’t feature a human being moving to another world. Instead, it features the devil himself stuck in the human dominion without any of his supernatural powers. Therefore, he finds a job at a fast-food joint for survival.
KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World
This Isekai anime tells the story of an avid gamer named Kazuma Satou, who is a high school student. When he dies, he has to choose between going to heaven or being reincarnated as a gamer in a magical world. He chooses reincarnation into a strange world where he has to fight monsters and all kinds of demons like he does in the real world.
However, he has to work to survive. This is followed by a panic-stricken take on a stranger’s experience in a bizarre world–one he thought he had mastered.
The main character in this Isekai anime is Subaru Natsuki, who is dragged into a fantasy world and immediately comes under heavy attack. Since he doesn’t know how to defend himself, he appears defeated. But he is suddenly rescued by a lovely witch called Satella.
To show his appreciation, Subaru agrees to help Satella find a missing emblem. But they are killed immediately after finding the emblem, then reincarnated into a strange realm. To know why Subaru was brought to this world and the secrets that Satella has, you have to watch this anime.
Strongest Isekai Characters
Although Isekai anime works feature many popular characters, some appear to have insanely powerful abilities than others. Here is a list of some of the strongest Isekai characters.
Kazuto Kirigaya (Sword Art Online)
Also known as Kirito, Kazuto Kirigaya is a hardened gamer in the real world. He uses his exceptional gaming skills to survive in the other world as an adventurer and swordsman.
Naofumi Iwatani (The Rising of the Shield Hero)
Naofumi Iwatani comes into the Isekai world as the definitive underdog. But he eventually grows strong and ends up overpowering his adversaries to become an immovable object and an unstoppable force.
Tanya Von Degurechaff (Saga of Tanya the Evil)
With a deep understanding of the World Wars, Tanya becomes an important adviser and strategist in applying the knowledge of her previous world to adapt to her new home. Using her incredible, magical powers and skills, Tanya performs her responsibility at the frontlines exceptionally, personally chasing her enemies into their own Isekai realms.
Shin Wolford (Wise Man’s Grandchild)
With the legendary wizard Merlin as his trainer, Shin Wolford becomes a talented magician, combatant, and survivalist.
Ainz Ooal Gown (Overlord)
Ainz Ooal Gown is designed by Momonga–a talented gamer and adventurer with exceptional fighting skills–to be the most powerful fighter. Soaring over all adversaries in size and as a powerful leader, Ainz is a powerful overlord.
Now that you already know some of the best Isekai anime works available, you should be able to compile a list of the ones that interest you. You should also be able to choose the ones with strong characters and interesting plots.
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