Isekai anime is a subgenre of anime fantasy that tells the story of a protagonist getting transported (usually unwillingly) to a different reality or getting reborn in this new reality. It is a subgenre that gained popularity in recent years but its entire concept is quite old. Older Western stories like Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, and even J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.
The stories usually follow the protagonist who is usually facing some sort of challenge with their personality, mostly struggles with self-esteem and self-identity. When they reappear in this alternate reality they are usually introduced with newfound abilities in worlds of fantasy and magic.
In these new realities, they are meant to be some sort of savior for the world and most go on quests and gain strength so they can achieve some sort of goal and return to their original reality.
Through their struggles and quests, the protagonist gains confidence and emotional strength that they didn’t have before. These character arcs(the evolution of characters as the story progresses) are one of the main things that make Isekai anime worth watching.
Today’s list will give a rundown of an Isekai Anime list you should add to your watch list.
#15 Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered But Overly Cautious
This great story makes it to our Isekai anime list, it follows the adventures of a goddess Ristarte and a human, Seiya Ryuuguuin. The world of the goddess Ristarte is under threat and she must summon a human hero to protect it.
She chooses to summon Seiya who apparently has really good stats in strength and magic but to her surprise on his arrival, she discovers he is overly cautious and doesn’t enter battles until he is certain of victory.
The story will follow our two heroes as they improve themselves and their relationship with each other on their journey to save Ristarte’s world.
#14 The Rising Of The Shield Hero
Next, on our list of Isekai anime stands one of the more recent stories, it follows the classic Isekai anime storyline, Hero summoned to save a magical world.
Naofumi Iwatani is a young 20-year-old with a particular interest in video games and manga. After a peculiar encounter with a book in the library, he gets pulled into an unknown world.
Very early on in the series, Naofumi is met with adversity in this new reality. He gets implicated in a crime which ruins his reputation and makes people see him as the villain. He must fight to fix his reputation and save this new reality so he can return home.
This story is an entertaining mashup of historical figures. Drifters is a bloody and bizarre story that produces a wonderful anime sequence that is one of the greatest Isekai anime. What happens is, that important figures from history are dropped into a fantasy world to battle either Drifters or Ends.
Drifters act as a resistance force against the Ends’ oppressive regime, leading to several great fights such as Toyohisa Shimazu facing off against an insane Jeanne d’Arc. Drifters’ is a relatively short anime and arguably incomplete but it makes up for this in amazing moments of action.
#12 Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is a Japanese manga adapted to anime, written by Reki Kawahara. The series takes place in the near future and focuses on Kazuto Kirito Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki as they play through various virtual reality MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) worlds.
A genius, Akihiko Kayaba, invents a helmet that stimulates the user’s five senses via their brain, the NerveGear. With it, players can experience and control their in-game characters with their minds. One day, 10,000 players log into the game for the first time, only to discover that they are unable to log out. Here they are told that they must beat the game if they wish to be free.
They also find out that those who suffer in-game deaths or forcibly remove the NerveGear out-of-game will suffer real-life deaths. It is definitely an Isekai anime worth watching.
Scoring sweet ratings across the board from several critics, ‘Ya Boy Kongming!’ takes a different turn from classic Isekai anime.
The famous military strategist Zhuge Liang Kongming falls to death in a Battle. In his death, he wishes that his next life was in a peaceful place. He is reborn as a young man in modern Japan, appearing in the middle of a costume party for Halloween in Tokyo.
The partygoers of Shibuya bring him to a nightclub where he meets Eiko Tsukimi, an aspiring singer, and his second life begins. It is mostly slice of life but it holds its place as one of the greatest Isekai anime.
#10 Welcome To Demon School! Iruma-kun
Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun is an anime television series adaptation by Bandai Namco Pictures, the Japanese manga series by Osamu Nishi. It aired between October 2019 and March 2020, and a second season aired from April to September 2021. A third season is set to premiere in October 2022.
The protagonist is Iruma Suzuki, a human boy who was sold to a demon by his parents. The demon, Sullivan, brings Iruma to the Demon World and adopts him as his grandson. He enrolls Iruma in the School for Demons where he is the headmaster and where Iruma meets some demons Valac and makes friends.
Sullivan warns Iruma to never reveal that he is human since that will put him in danger. Iruma then accepts to blend in during his time in the demon world. The story has a great balance of action, drama and comedy, and it earns its place on our Isekai Anime List.
Scoring an impressive 8.4/10 on IMDb, this is quite possibly one of the greatest Isekai Anime of all time. The protagonist is a jobless unnamed middle-aged man who meets death at the end of his rope.
He finds he was reincarnated in a realm of swords and sorcery after awakening in a baby’s body, and he makes the decision to succeed in his new existence as Rudeus Greyrat while letting go of his previous identity and beginning a new life full of adventure.
#8 Saga Of Tanya The Evil
Young soldier Tanya Degurechaff has earned the moniker “Devil of the Rhine” for her predatorial-like ferocity and amazing tactical prowess. Underneath her innocent exterior, however, is the spirit of a man who challenged Being X, the self-declared God, to a match of wits, leading to his reincarnation as a young girl into a realm of magical conflict. It really is one for our Isekai Anime list.
Tanya decides to rise through the ranks of her nation’s military with only Being X standing in her way of returning to the tranquil existence she once knew.
Overlord’s Fantasy world creation and Ainz, the game’s dominant character, must be its key selling points. The hitch is that only Ainz enters this realm; the other NPCs (non-playable characters) merely take on life. As a result, he also has no genuine interest in the outcome.
He does intend to rule the entire planet. But simply as a way to learn more about other gamers and find them. His role is the foundation of this Isekai Anime since, despite the fact that he is just an obsessive gamer, people always view him as a god, forcing him to improvise every scene.
It is maybe one of the best Isekai anime of all time.
#6 Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!
Nobody ever inquires as to how the overpowered protagonist is doing; instead, they invariably say, “It’s another overpowered protagonist.”. In this anime, the main character spends her entire life by herself and in solitude while others are envious of her abilities.
She therefore begs the gods to make her entirely ordinary when the chance to be born again into a different world presents itself. However, she is transformed into a daughter of a noble with exceptional magical skills.
She therefore tries to hide her skills in order to lead a normal life, but this proves to be difficult.
It’s common to hear how a particular author “brought their art to life.”. Re:Creators, on the other hand, took that literally and personally. Yes, ladies and gents, fictitious characters with fully developed personalities and supernatural abilities are beginning to emerge in the actual world.
And initially, they were all adored, nice guys. Our heroes then need to figure out how to stop a certain top-hat-wearing lady from killing characters in their own programs because she has been doing so.
You know how the main character in Isekai generally gets struck by a truck, dies, and then comes back to life—or how their VR headset just takes their soul? In InuYasha, the heroine is merely pulled by a demon into a well.
Early 2000s: A more imaginative decade.
A strong wish-granting jewel is reborn inside of her body, but it is accidentally crushed, dragging her down. In order to collect the shards and ensure that they aren’t utilized in a way that could end the world, she enlists the aid of a man-dog demon.
#3 Digimon Adventure
Keeping with the original series, Digimon Adventure has held up quite well over time. The anime skillfully combines drama, humor, action, and character development to create an epic journey that is still remembered and loved more than two decades after it ended. Although Digimon Tamers is likewise excellent, Tai and the company’s primary characters spend much less time in the digital world.
#2 Log Horizon
In this story, an increasingly popular video game, Elder Tale has amassed millions of players. However, after one update, 30,000 Japanese players who are logged into the game are transported into the game as the characters they were playing. The story follows the protagonist and his friends as they attempt to face the challenges of this new world.
This program is clever and well-paced, making the most of the action while avoiding utilizing it as an escape in slower parts of the story. Even with a slower pacing, Log Horizon is one of the cleverest and most fascinating Isekai ever created. There are presently two seasons available, and a third is forthcoming.
#1 No Game No life
No Game No Life takes the top spot on our Isekai Anime list. The two main characters in No Game No Life are both Hikikomoris (A Hikikomoris is a person who shows an extreme psychological detachment from the social world.) and are also accomplished gamers.
They are thrown into the imaginary world of Disboard after defeating the deity Tet in a game of chess.
No one can hurt anyone else in Disboard, and all problems must be resolved through gaming. That not only paints an intriguing image of the battle but also shows very intriguing interactions between the primary characters and the outside world.