Although it has been around for a long time, the Isekai anime sub-genre has just recently taken center stage.
The renaissance of anime began with Sword Art Online, a smash blockbuster that paved the way for a slew of subsequent shows to follow suit. It wasn’t the first, but it sure made an impression.
Isekai anime, on the other hand, what is it? For an Isekai anime, the phrase Isekai translates to “another planet,” which is exactly the goal.
NEETs, or those who spend their days playing video games or reading manga, are often the primary protagonists of YA novels. In addition, it could be a simple middle-class worker, a salaried employee who spends most of his time at work. The main characters (or “MCs”) tend to be likeable and relatable to the intended audience.
Transitioning to a new world is a common occurrence because it serves as the starting point for a new experience. There’s the legendary “truck-kun,” in which a negligent truck driver kills the protagonist before resurrecting him in a new universe.
The Isekai book, an ancient tome found in an otherwise unassuming library, is another possibility. If you’re looking for something less obvious, you can become stuck in a video game world or in a portal.
However, the character has a certain area of expertise (or several) that they excel at, and this is what the trope refers to as the character’s “niche.”
Depending on the genre of anime, this character eventually develops into a hero, savior, or something like as a result of this speciality.
Is a wish-fulfillment because the main character is usually an overpowered hero who has little to no competition from the supporting cast, making him or her the show’s major star.
Even while Isekai stories have been resurrected in popularity, a new problem has emerged: the market has become saturated. Every season, a slew of new anime about being transported to another world is released, making it impossible to keep up with them all.
If that’s the case, they’ll either be boring and uninspiring, or they’ll simply be the same thing we’ve previously seen.
Even if they may have some redeeming qualities, it’s terrible when that’s the case, but with so many options available, you have to be exceptional to reach to the top.
Is there a good Isekai anime out there? I’ve put up a list of the best Isekai anime recommendations for you to peruse, and I’d love to hear what you think of them in the comments section below.
Every anime in this list has been given a MAL rating, story summary, mini-review, and runtime.
Best Isekai Anime
1. Re:Zero – Starting Life In Another World (Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu)
What’s Subaru’s problem? To put it another way: Natsuki’s normal life is shattered by an isekai into a horrific fantasy world, where he dies multiple times. To put it another way: He’s given a second chance to modify the situation by returning to a predetermined point in time before he dies.
Reasons for its excellence: Re:Zero explores the pain of Subaru’s anime reincarnation powers (he calls them “Return by Death”), which at first appears to be a conventional Isekai with people expecting a harem and an overpowered MC. It reveals the true cost of his actions as he repeatedly witnesses his own death and the deaths of his own friends while desperately attempting to fix the problem. It’s a real thriller, albeit one that’s a little graphic.
2. No Game No Life
What’s the big deal: Life is nothing more than a game to be won by a brother-sister duo, Sora and Shiro, who conquer any sort of game they can find. A god from the fantasy world called Tet challenges them to a rematch and begs them to reunite the 16 races if they desire to do so again.
This comedy-action anime is an excellent example of what a competent Isekai can do. The tale is original, despite the numerous references to other anime and video games. It’s easy to get sucked into the story because the characters are so well-drawn. As if that weren’t enough, the visual style is so unique and eye-catching that it’s hard to put into words. It’s going to be a hit with you.
3. The Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime (Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken)
Satoru Mikami, a regular office worker, is attacked on the street by an assailant. Following his death, he is reborn as an ordinary slime creature in an extraordinary realm, where his heroics release a dragon and grant him an array of extraordinary powers. In his new identity as Rimuru Tempest, he uses them to help establish bridges between the various races of the world.
TenSura anime’s main character shows through because he acts human on top of being overpowering, unlike most other Isekai protagonists. When he sees someone in distress, Rimuru shows compassion and empathy regardless of their appearance or the circumstances surrounding them. But don’t be fooled: the adorable little slime is still a badass who will not back down from his cause. In addition, he’s got a wicked sense of humor.
4. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! (Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!)
In this story, an average NEET named Kazuma Satou dies in a sad (and hilarious) accident on his way home. Instead of going to heaven, he is given the option of obtaining Isekaid, which he chooses to do, taking the goddess who presented the option along with him. Together, they form a diverse group of characters with varying degrees of sarcasm, seriousness, and comfort.
Despite being a mockery of nearly every common anime stereotype, the characters and their quirks are what make the show stand out. As lovable as Kazuma, Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness may be, they are utterly hopeless, and KonoSuba’s silly humor at their expense just just be what you need to lift the gloom off your face for awhile.
5. The Rising Of The Shield Hero (Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari)
What’s the big deal: In the fantasy world of Melromarc, four regular people from distinct Japanese versions are recruited as heroes of their representative weapons in order to fend off the waves of Catastrophe. Naofumi Iwatani, the Shield Hero, is mocked and derided by those he trusted because of the weapon he was handed.
For those who enjoy watching justice be done, Shield Hero is a must-see for those who enjoy the genre. Naofumi has the normal isekai protag OP skillset, but only when he’s working with people that know him as a hero and his cleverness shines through. That Naofumi’s journey stands out among the best Isekai anime series is due to this departure from the usual hero tropes. That, plus the fact that he regularly stomps on the asses of criminals.
6. Saga Of Tanya The Evil (Youjo Senki)
What’s the big deal: Former Japanese salaryman Tanya Degurechaff, now a young girl child soldier in an alternate reality where magic and technology coexist, was resurrected as Tanya. Being X, the world’s supreme deity, was enraged, and he suffered the consequences. In the empire she serves, she aspires to live a comfortable life by according to the established standards of conduct.
When the MC is reincarnated as a villain rather than a hero, this military anime is one of the few Isekai to offer us that perspective. Unlike the conventional heroic tale, Youjo Senki is able to pull off this twist on the story without sacrificing the plot. Tanya is a classic example of anime villainy at its finest.
When Momonga and his friends finish the game they’ve worked so hard on, they find themselves trapped inside it as lich Ainz Ooal Gown, along with all of the other NPCs they’ve met along the way. With the help of his workers, he plans to make the best of the situation and sustain his burgeoning empire.
Action anime enthusiasts will enjoy this first Isekai to examine what would happen if the main character (MC) became trapped in a computer game as a villain. Aside from the characters beating each other up to seven shades of gray, this power fantasy features a hilarious setting and a formidable antagonist. When it comes to Isekai, Overlord is a must-see for newcomers. And if you consider yourself an Isekai fan but haven’t seen the film, you should slap yourself.
8. Log Horizon
What’s the big deal: Over 30,000 Elder Tale players have reported being unable to log out of their accounts. Shiroe, on the other hand, relishes the prospect and makes the most of the circumstances. With his enormous knowledge of the game and his powers, he helps to bring some order to this universe and discover the root of the problem.
Reasons for its excellence: While drawing inspiration from SAO, the video game isekai managed to find its own niche by focusing on the politics and intrigue of the realm rather than its usual fantasy elements. Additionally, the MC utilizes laws of the world that must be observed in order to win the day, regulations that the MC uses in unique ways to achieve triumph.
9. Ascendance of a Bookworm (Honzuki no Gekokujou)
How it ends: Urano Mototsu’s life is cut short by a tragic accident, and she is reincarnated as a young girl named Myne in a fantasy realm. The absence of technology in the world means that she is unable to enjoy her lifelong passion of reading as much as she would want, so she sets out to get more, even if that means writing her own!
This is a typical fantasy slice of life anime, but with a smattering of realism thrown in for good measure. Myne is the focus of this character-driven novel, and she has no special abilities to help her reach her goal that she is unaware of. It’s not your normal “stuck in another world” story, but if you want a slow-paced, relaxing anime to unwind with at the end of the day, Bookworm should be your first pick.
10. GATE (Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri)
Is this a horror story? Youji Itami, a JSDF soldier and anime fanatic, witnesses a giant gateway opening in Tokyo, which connects it to a fantasy world and unleashes an invasion force. Assisting in repelling an attack, he returns to duty when he’s tasked with entering the building to mediate a peaceful resolution.
GATE was originally designed as an advertisement for the Japanese military, but it turned out to be a fun Isekai. In addition to the MC’s access to modern technology and weapons, the setting features a diverse cast of characters. To add to the intrigue, the idea that one might be in two different eras at once is grounded in fact. It’s good.