Many isekai anime start at the end: the main character is confronted with the end of their old life rather than the beginning of a new one. This theme of death and rebirth is common in isekai anime, but more often than not, the story never really comes to a conclusion. Instead, many isekai conclude with the main character never finding a way back to the world they once knew and accepting their new life.
While the acceptance of their new life can be an interesting conclusion in some cases, it can leave the characters feeling hollow if not handled in a truly human way. Other times, isekai anime starts off with what might have been a great concept, only to end up getting lost.
10/10 It’s not too late for the shield hero to rise again
The Rising Of The Shield Hero
The Rise of the Shield Hero received near universal acclaim upon its initial release. The unique elements of the story, in which the main character went through horrific circumstances in a strange world, made for an intriguing story that kept the viewers interested.
Much of what is made Shield Hero one of the most acclaimed new series of 2019 is not in its second season. The animation, storyline, and overall contradictory character development that made Naofumi so interesting have caused a stir in the fandom. Fans can only hope that the release of a third season in 2023 can heal the direction the show took by the end of the second season.
9/10 Re: Creators need to recreate its ending
Re: Makers is something of a Meta Anime that depicts the story of a young anime fan writing a light novel. He is inevitably dragged into an anime world whose own creator has passed away. In an act of revenge, the antagonist tries to destroy the world using all the powers assigned to her in various fanfiction.
Re: Makers was a great show with a super unique plot that cements it as one of the most interesting new isekai of recent years. Because of the great storyline, it’s a shame there wasn’t a better ending to complete the characters it developed so carefully.
8/10 Sword Art Online is still fun despite the valid reviews
Sword art online
Despite the frequent hatred it receives, Sword art online‘s success is well deserved. Sword art online begins with some really intriguing plot points and emotional character development. The series is entertaining with some great combat and animation.
However, when the story continued through the end of the first season, everything it built on proved fruitless. Kirito herself makes a questionable decision at the end of the show, which seems like the writers were just trying to provide an excuse for future seasons after the main plot had run its course.
7/10 How not to summon a demonic lord who has lost an important plot point?
How not to summon a demon lord?
How not to summon a demon lord?‘s plot isn’t necessarily something that isekai fans haven’t seen before: a lone gamer is dragged into a fantasy world identical to his favorite MMORPG. Where the story in this vein differs from many other series is that, instead of the main character being an overpowered hero, he is a Demon Lord who enslaves the people who summoned him.
The dichotomy between Diablo’s psychological disposition as developed in his old life and the new persona he tries to embody as a Demon Lord makes the show both interesting and humorous. Rather than being ruined by the final episode specifically, it was more like the second season as a whole that was less enjoyable at all than the first.
6/10 Arata The Legend didn’t have the time to bring his potential to life
Arata the legend
Arata the legend has great source material in its original manga, with unique art and character skills that set it apart from other isekai. The character development was also good, although the show ended before it could get anywhere interesting. Since the first twelve episodes were released almost ten years ago without much publicity, it is unlikely that there will be a second season.
While the anime stayed true to the manga, the twelve episodes it received weren’t enough to do justice to the source material. As a result, the ending of the anime left a lot to be desired and didn’t do much to flesh out what it started to build.
5/10 In another world with my smartphone needs more smartphone
In another world with my smartphone
Following the style of strangely specific anime titles, In another world with my smartphone lives up to the promise the title suggests. Because God accidentally killed the protagonist Touyo, he allows Touyo to be reborn in a fantasy world, along with a modified version of his smartphone as an apology.
Where IAWWMS fails in its final is by not giving its unique smartphone dynamic enough airtime. It’s as if the series has almost forgotten what it was about in the second half, and it loses itself to the main character’s isekai-overpowered hype train.
4/10 .hack//sign Logged out before game was over
Tsukasa is a Wavemaster trapped in the virtual reality game ‘The World’. His confusion behind his circumstances leads to an intriguing tale of mystery and discovery in… .hack//sign. Sign has become a well-known and influential series in the isekai genre and has collected many spin-offs in both manga and video games.
The problem with .hack“The ending is that it’s just too open ended, with apparently a lot of the unanswered questions getting their answers in the video game entries. However, for viewers who only watch anime, this ending will seem like a big disappointment after being invested in the characters up to that point.
3/10 Demon Lord, try again! Doesn’t look like it will be tried again anytime soon
Demon Lord, try again!
Demon Lord, try again! is essentially taking the tried and true isekai tropes and trying them again in a way that is sometimes self-conscious and sometimes comical. It knows it’s an isekai harem about an overpowered adventurer in a video game, and it works best as a parody for fans who really enjoy isekai.
Try again actually had a lot of potential, but towards the end it seems like the show just forgot what it wanted to do. Instead of continuing with the interesting plot points of Kunai trying to understand how he got stuck in Infinity Game, he seems to accept his fate. The final episode eventually ends with “to be continued”, and hopefully this is true because the series has a lot to make up for.
2/10 No Game No Life is an amazing anime that was never finished
No game, no life
No game, no life places NEET’s two siblings, Sora and his sister Shiro, in an alternate reality where everything is determined by the outcome of games. Since their lives were already based entirely on playing games, Sora and Shiro are doing extremely well in their new circumstances. The concept itself makes for a humorous and unique experience that isekai fans should not miss.
However, No game, no life is another case of a great isekai anime that ends with an unsatisfactory cliffhanger. The finale itself made for a great fight scene and is exciting in its own right, but the plot ultimately left fans with more questions than answers.
1/10 The aesthetic of the author of a villain hero turned villain
Aesthetics of a villainous hero
Aesthetics of a villainous hero takes a slightly different approach to creating a story about the hero’s return rather than their journey. The whole premise of aesthetics revolves around the fact that the people of his world are often sent to another world and thus use this fact to their advantage. This kind of double inverted isekai gives the show a sense of the best of both worlds.
The Thing That Ruined aesthetics“The ending was the fact that it all ended — or rather, that the show ended before it actually ended and probably never will. Apparently the author of the source material, Tetsuto Uesu, left the project unfinished, making it highly unlikely that the anime will continue.
NEXT: 10 Best Isekai Anime With The Worst Reputation