Isekai is undoubtedly a term that the average anime fan has encountered before. The word “Isekai” translates to “another world” or “different world,” and it refers to stories about characters who find themselves somewhere completely different from their usual setting.
Isekai is home to some of the greatest storytelling because it enables creators to let their imaginations run wild. Most if not all Isekai anime revolve around main characters being transported from our regular, boring old world into a much more exciting one. It’s not always a pleasant experience for these poor souls. In some cases, it could even be described as a curse rather than a blessing – after all, how would you feel if you were suddenly trapped in an alternate universe?
In this post, we’ll identify and break down the best Isekai anime for you to watch.
What is an Isekai Anime?
Isekai Anime are a subgenre of fantasy in which a protagonist or group of characters are transported from the real world to a fantasy one.
For example, in The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, the show depicts what happens when Satan tries to adjust to life in Tokyo after being teleported to the human world, which involves finding a fast-food job and facing the challenges of everyday life.
Other Isekai anime, such as Sword Art Online and Log Horizon, are set in virtual worlds or massively multiplayer online role-playing games, while others represent real-world settings populated by real people. Because of the thorough world-building, Isekai anime appeals to a wide audience. Lovers of comedy should watch Konosuba, while drama buffs should watch Re Zero.
The Greatest Isekai Anime
Every year, plenty of Isekai Anime are created, some of which go on to become legendary classics. It’s hard to list all of the Isekai gems but we’ve given it our best shot.
Because of the existing saturation of Isekai, there has to be a defining hook. Drifters is the sort of anime that follows through on that promise. Those who are acquainted with Kouta Hirano, the creator of “Hellsing,” will recognise the series’ ‘over the top brutal’ style. Characters in the anime include Oda Nobunaga, Hannibal of Carthage, and other well-known historical figures who are divided into two opposing groups, the Drifters and the Ends. This makes the show a must-see for history buffs.
Aside from the story, the artwork is absolutely stunning. The architecture, settings, and character designs are all superb. You’ll lose yourself in the story’s outstanding pacing as each character develops, having their time to shine.
Drifters, however, only has one season and six ONAs; if you dig the anime and want to know more about the narrative, there is a manga by the same name.
9. The Rising Of The Shield Hero
One of the most popular Iskeai anime series right now is The Rising of the Shield Hero, which aired during the Winter 2019 anime season. It follows Naofumi Iwatani, an otaku who, along with three other renowned heroes, is unexpectedly teleported to the realm of Melromarc to help resist the Waves of Catastrophe that are causing havoc on the planet.
Although far from subtle in terms of the world’s sad reality, the first few episodes of The Rising of the Shield Hero are intentionally frustrating and engrossing, hinting that this will be a more serious and darker Isekai anime than normal. It illustrates racial inequality and slavery plainly.
Many find The Rising of the Shield Hero to be a cult success, and those who love a darker tone will surely appreciate this style of animation.
8. Saga of Tanya The Evil
On odd occasions, an Isekai emerges, shaking things up by including an anti-hero or outright villain as the protagonist. While the English title indicates a far more scary main character than the anime really presents, Tanya Degurechaff’s aloof and chilly demeanour makes for a fascinating watch, especially considering the anime’s desolate setting.
The show does a fantastic job at building a world full of lovable characters. It incorporates all of the elements of a classic Isekai anime, as well as military jargon and spectacular action sequences with a soundtrack fitting to the animation. A great watch for anybody searching for a nice anti-villain narrative.
Overlord is a work of art that must be seen. The concept of this series is universal: a person begins playing a game and then gets sucked in it for unknown reasons. Apart from a few visual and immaterial differences from the others, Overlord appeals to those who love playing as the bad guy in RPG games.
Audiences follow Ainz, the dungeon’s OVERLORD, through his story. His generals help him defend the Dungeon against raids and other NPCs. The show’s unique narrative centers on an evil powerful skeleton rather than a traditional human protagonist.
6. Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
Mushoku Tensei, also known as Jobless Reincarnation, is the story of a destitute 34-year-old man who reincarnates in a mystical Isekai fantasy world. This anime sticks out from the outset by presenting a man at the end of his rope who strives to do one good act before his life comes to an end. This melancholy vibe grabs you and sets the tone for a profoundly introspective performance.
The protagonist is given a second shot at life, and what he does with it is inspirational. Mushoku Tensei, unlike other Isekai anime, lays a great emphasis on character development and world building.
5. Sword Art Online
One of the most well-known anime on this list is Sword Art Online, aka SAO. If you’re new to anime, this is a great starting point for exploring the Isekai subgenre. It combines all of the best characteristics of a superb Isekai with an intriguing storyline. The animation is fantastic, and the sound design is up there with the best.
In SAO, instead of the conventional fantasy world, the protagonist Kirito is transported into a virtual one. He and the other players must either survive in the new virtual world or risk dying in real life after being trapped in an MMORPG with a thousand other players. Although, the series’ pacing and plot have received mixed reviews. Fans, have praised it for its stunning animation and breathtaking action moments.
Sword Art Online is without a doubt one of the finest Isekais ever made, as shown by its massive global following.
4. No Game No Life
For some reason, shows that delve into the minds of Hikikomori or shut-ins are always intriguing. The two main protagonists in No Game No Life are both shut-ins who are both skilled gamers. They are sent into the fictitious world of Disboard after defeating the god Tet in a game of chess.
Disboard’s rules state that no one may harm one another and that all disputes must be resolved via games. This not only displays an incredible vision of combat, but it also illustrates how the important characters deal with this reality.
With its smart storyline, this anime manages to go above and beyond many other Isekai anime by focusing on character rather than stunning battle scenes. No Game No Life demonstrates the sibling duo’s intellect and is an excellent first viewing for anybody new to this subgenre.
3. Re Zero
Re: Zero- Starting Life In Another World is a popular Isekai anime that focuses on a down-and-out regular guy. Re Zero sets itself apart by imparting an incredible skill on a typical human protagonist; nevertheless, the ability must always be triggered by the protagonist dying. Unlike other heroes who can deal with obstacles in the fantasy world, Subaru needs to die many times before he can confront the circumstance.
Re Zero aims for the stars, experiments with new ideas, and pushes the characters to such misery and suffering that the imaginary world they live in resembles hell. They simmer in this agony, seething with fury and guilt, every fragment of pleasure they find swiftly fading to nothing. This is practically the whole narrative, so if this is something you’re interested in, I suggest Re Zero.
2. Kono Suba
KonoSuba oozes joy and rainbows. Whereas other shows tell fantastic stories or investigate ideology, Konosuba focuses solely on entertainment! With incredibly funny but specialised comedy, any faults in this series are merely replicated to keep it enjoyable.
KonoSuba is your lovable screwball anime comedy. It’s silly, but it does it in a way that’s both amusing and pleasant. Rather than pursuing a serious story, it focuses on slice-of-life antics that parody tropes like character stereotypes and MMO features.
KonoSuba is a great anime to chill with. Is the stop/start pace of some shows getting on your nerves? Play an episode of KonoSuba. Feeling down because you just finished an amazing series and have withdrawal symptoms? KonoSuba’s witty wit will brighten your day and get you back into the swing of things in no time!
1. That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime is more than it seems. The show’s protagonist Satoru has been reborn as a slime, and his presence is critical to everyone and everything around him.
Using the alias “Rimuru,” he disguises himself as a slime with a variety of personality traits. Rimuru may be the most endearing of all the protagonists on this list. Early in the story, Rimuru’s charm and ability to guide magical creatures without fear can be seen.
He even names his new pals while showing sympathy. Because of his Predator talent, viewers may criticise him for being overpowered. This is true, but he still gets his fair amount of character development.
The allure of this anime is that it encompasses all of the beautiful genres and subgenres available; it has action, adventure, camaraderie, and really spectacular slapstick comedy; mix that with some excellent animation, and you’ve got a winner.