The boom of the isekai genre of anime is still very much in full swing and seems like it will remain this way for quite some time. The isekai corner of anime has been flourishing for more than a few years now with many titles under its belt, and seemingly without any shortage of angles to play with.
That all being said, the sheer number of isekai titles, along with the use of many tropes and not-so-great additions, has worn some viewers out and given the genre something of a reputation. This fatigue has even given some of its better entries a bad rap, though maybe unfairly so. There are several isekai gems out there that don’t deserve the hate they get from the anime community.
10 Log Horizon Takes Being Trapped In A Video Game To A Whole New Level
While many isekai premises see the protagonist being whisked away to another world, there are some that see its characters trapped in a virtual reality video game. While this angle is nothing new, when done right it can be enjoyable. A good example of this trend is Log Horizon.
Set in an MMORPG where none of its players can log out, Log Horizon sees protagonist Shiroe and the other players essentially try to make the digital space their new home as they still play it, with all the game mechanics and NPCs still intact. For fans looking for an isekai that truly knows online games, Log Horizon is sure to be satisfactory.
9 When It’s At Its Best, Cautious Hero Knows How Ridiculous It Is
So many isekai have come and gone to the point where there’s practically a subgenre for those that parody them, many of which end up being hilarious critiques on the tropes and formula. In the case of Cautious HeroRistarte, a goddess, summons a powerful yet pathologically cautious hero to save another world.
This turns the normal beats of an isekai adventure and the trope of the overpowered protagonist and flips them on their heads by going as over-the-top ridiculous as possible, especially in the animation and the wild expressions seen on its characters in reaction to Seiya’s antiques.
8 That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Succeeds Through The Charm Of Its Characters
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has a unique premise from the start. In this anime, a normal salaryman is killed and reborn in a new world as a cute little slime monster that slowly but surely becomes one of the most powerful beings on the planet and builds up his own nation.
While the tension of whether Rimuru can make it out of a jam can be iffy, given what he ends up being capable of, there is still fun to be had with this title through its wit and humor. On top of all that, the cast can be rather charming, making it enjoyable to see just how far Rimuru’s city will go.
7 The Saga Of Tanya The Evil Is Distinct From Other Isekai
Several isekai have been guilty of falling into similar patterns, especially in the style of the fantasy world the characters inhabit, causing some to blend together. One that bucks that trend is The Saga of Tanya the Evil, which sees a salaryman reborn on an alternate Earth in the body of a little girl, where she becomes a ruthless high-ranking military officer seeking revenge on the god-like being that did this to her.
Not only does The Saga of Tanya the Evil have an interesting villain protagonist who’s both dark and twisted, but the new world Tanya lives in is so distinct from other isekai worlds. It’s similar to the era of World War I in Europe — though with magic weaponry.
6 A Wrestler Who Wants To Open A Pet Shop Appears In Kemono Michi: Rise Up!
While there are many isekai that take themselves seriously and try to play close to the book, there are just as many that use a humorous tone to tackle the setup from different angles. Such is the case for Kemono Michi: Rise Up!which sees pro wrestler Genzo being summoned to another world to slay monsters.
However, being an animal lover, Genzo refuses and decides to use his new situation to fulfill his dream to open his own pet shop. Following Genzo’s quest to befriend as many monsters and magical creatures as possible, Kemono Michi: Rise Up! thrives off knowing just how ridiculous it is and never taking itself too seriously.
5 Ascendance Of A Bookworm Sees One Girl’s Quest To Make Her Own Books
While many isekai go for the action/adventure category, some decide to take a different approach. In Ascendance Of A Bookworm, Myne, a book-loving girl, is accidentally crushed to death and reawakens in the body of a sickly commoner child. Unable to live in a world where she can’t read her beloved books ever again, Myne sets out to make her own.
On top of Ascendance Of A Bookworm’s slice-of-life tone, Myne’s quest isn’t just for her own satisfaction, but to educate the people around her in reading and writing, as such things are usually reserved for the wealthy. It’s a unique concept not often seen in isekai or even fantasy anime, and Myne’s plucky attitude makes fans want to see her succeed.
4 KonoSuba Is Proof That Being Isekai’d Is Not All Fun & Games
Fans of isekai anime know all the tropes and clichés that are often used in these stories, but KonoSuba struck gold by throwing that rule book out of the window. After an embarrassing death, Kazuma is tasked with defeating a Demon King, but his party ends up being made up of the most incompetent and bizarre characters who his quest less than easy.
KonoSuba isn’t short of memorable and hilarious characters and situations. KonoSuba is a prime example of why being isekai’d wouldn’t be as fun as it looks.
3 Mushoku Tensei Can Be A Hard Watch, But Still A Rewarding One
Mushoku Tensei starts with a not-so-great first impression of its protagonist, as a selfish loner shut-in whose only act of selflessness ends up getting him killed. But, as fate would have it, he’s reborn as the infant Rudeus Greyrat, who grows up and discovers he has the ability to learn magic. Deciding to not squander his second chance, Rudeus strives to live his next life to the fullest.
At times, given the protagonist’s background and initial attitude, Mushoku Tensei can be a bit of a hard watch. However, the protagonist’s flaws provide some interesting introspection that leads to growth and even redemption, and that’s the heart of Rudeus’ journey, finally becoming the kind of person he never thought he could be.
2 The Sorcerer King Has Come To Conquer In Overlord
After staying up to watch the final moments of the game of YGGDRASIL, Momonga (aka Ainz Ooal Gown) finds that he, along with the entire Tomb of Nazarick, has been transported to a new world. Along with all his powerful NPCs, who have now sprung to life, Ainz sets his sights on understanding his new surroundings, as well as conquering them.
With an interesting cast of monster characters, both figuratively and literally, overlord pits a world already in flux against an overpowered villain. With that in mind, this anime goes to some dark and brutal places as Ainz slowly but surely loses his humanity.
1 Re:Zero Is A Story Of Love, Death & Redemption
At first, Subaru Natsuki was excited to suddenly be summoned to a new world, but he soon comes to realize his dream come true is actually a nightmare, as he suffers and dies only to come back every time. Despite such a cruel fate, Subaru will do his best to give himself and those he comes to befriend the best possible future.
bye, Re:Zero features a cringy protagonist and glorifies its violence, but there’s more to it than that. Full of layered characters with their own developments, and complicated with a rich history, Re:Zero is both an interesting dark fantasy/psychological thriller and a story of redemption worth seeing through.
NEXT: 10 Isekai Anime That Are So Bad They’re Good