Isekai is one of the most popular anime genres today. Each season, several new isekai appear that are somehow shockingly similar to the previous season’s lineup. Some are good, some are terrible and most are mediocre. But as popular as the genre is right now, not all of them can find a home.
Some isekai series never quite get the audience they need to continue. These series often end after one or two seasons, but that doesn’t mean the fans forget about them. They turn into cult classics in the years after they air, spreading a legend about their quality.
10 Knight’s & Magic found its way into Super Robot Wars
Today, every isekai gets a second season, even the ones that weren’t so well received. Knights & Magic was overlooked after its release. In a sea of largely identical isekai, Knights & Magic did something new with the genre.
Knight’s & Magic’s protagonist was a former programmer with a penchant for giant robots who is transported to a world where the primary method of military combat is mecha. Although the show never got a sequel, the series recently reappeared Super Robot Wars 30 for the game’s anniversary title. This is one of the best mecha anime of the 2010s and better than anyone expected.
9 Escaflowne’s vision became a worldwide hit
Created by Shoji Kawamori, The vision of Escaflowne went in a different direction from his first creation, the space opera Macros. This series was an isekai before the genre was popular, a story about a high school girl who was sent to another world. There she met Van, a man who would become king.
Escaflowne balanced romance, giant robots and epic action to create a series that was popular with boys and girls alike. But in Japan, the series never achieved such success. Instead, it was the worldwide popularity that made the show a hit.
8 No Game No Life is the anime everyone wants
No game, no life was released in early 2010 as one of the earlier isekai series. It featured a few siblings who had never been beaten in games and were transported to the world of Disboard. Their only way back is to challenge the god of the world, Tet, to a game, something they can only do after defeating all other races.
With beautiful animation and great world building, No game, no life ready after one season. Although the light novel has been going on for years, fans have only been given a prequel movie and no news of a sequel. Years without a new season having arisen No game, no life pass into legend.
7 Cautious Hero is a great parody of the Isekai genre
Every isekai fan has seen a series in which the protagonist constantly “holds back” his true power. but inside careful hero, the main character Seiya never holds back. He always uses his strongest spells and makes sure he is at full strength in every combat encounter, no matter how weak his enemy is.
While the goddess Ristarte is happy that her chosen warrior is taking things seriously, she is also exhausted by how careful he is. careful hero ran for one season in 2020, but White Fox’s beautiful animation and the show’s parody of isekai tropics made it a fan classic.
6 By the grace of the gods shows a fantasy laundromat
While most isekai show how dangerous their worlds are, By the grace of the gods has a comforting world in comparison. Ryoma Takebayashi has been brought into an alternate world where he grows up alone for years.
But when Ryoma helps a group of soldiers, they introduce him to a noble family who take him in. From there, Ryoma learns how to reintegrate himself into society. But by the end of By the grace of the godsRyoma isn’t an unstoppable monster – he’s just a humble business owner who runs a laundry business.
5 Re:Creators lets creations meet their creators
In Re: Makers, one day a collection of different people from different worlds find themselves in the real world. Only one thing connects them all: their worlds are all created by authors who exist in the ‘real’ world. Souta, an aspiring creator, befriends one of these creations and tries to discover what brought them into the real world.
But while Souta learns how fiction and reality have fuzzy lines, many of the creations aren’t too happy to discover that their worlds were created by someone else. Re: Makers asks a number of questions about the fiction that people create. In the process, the series became an isekai that never found the same success as some of its contemporaries.
4 Kemono Michi combines wrestling with Isekai
Kemono Michic begins with a great premise for a story: the main character is a former professional wrestler who wants to run a pet store. In his old life, Genzou was the masked wrestler Animal Mask before being transported to a new world. There he is asked by a princess to help her country cope with the dangerous outbreak of monsters.
But instead of agreeing to help, Genzou curses Princess Altina and escapes to the rest of the world. Freed from his old responsibilities, Genzou teams up with monster girls and begins taking odd jobs to fund the life he’s always wanted. There are not many anime for wrestling fans, but Kemono Michic is one of the better ones.
3 Grimgar shows what teenagers in an Isekai would look like
Grimgar was never able to get another season, but fans are still talking about it half a decade after its premiere. The focus of the series is on a group of teenagers who enter a high fantasy world where they are expected to kill monsters to fund their own lives. But without any skill, they struggle to defeat basic monsters, meaning they’re so broke that they can’t even pay for new clothes and weapons.
Most isekai series have the same idea: a teenager travels to another world where she becomes the most powerful being. The power fantasy inherent in the genre makes it no surprise that a series like Grimgarthat broke away from expectations became popular.
2 Tsukimichi shows that it’s not always the monsters that are the villains
Tsukimichi is a unique isekai to give the viewers a main character who is not identical to all other light novel main characters. Makoto is seen as so ugly that he is thrown out by the goddess of the world. Despite being summoned by the goddess, she sends him to the land of the monsters.
There, Makoto gradually grows in power to become powerful enough to rally an entire village of monsters behind him. But in this world the monsters are not bad; they are just misunderstood and mistreated by people. Tsukimichi is a high point, but the series never found a large audience in the US.
1 Amatsuki opens the door to Japanese fairy tales
Amatsuki was one of the last isekai released in the 2000s, long before the genre had taken over anime pop culture. In the future, high school student Tokidoki is tasked with doing makeup, visiting an advanced history museum. The museum aims to show him a VR version of Edo to help him finish his work.
But while he is at work, Tokidoki is trapped inside where supernatural creatures appear everywhere. This series was launched at the end of 2008 and had only one season. Based on a high-quality Josei series, Amatsuki ran in the manga for 15 years, but never achieved the same success as an anime.
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