(Last Updated On: May 5, 2021)
Have you ever thought of being transferred or being reborn into a parallel universe or in the world of your favorite video game? In a universe where you have some special powers and you can do stuff which is impossible in this world. Well, if not in real life but we can actually experience it in the genre of Isekai Anime, it is a genre that specifically deals with people getting transported to a parallel universe, you get to experience their shock, their wonder with them, as if you have been transferred to that world.
It’s a very interesting premise as we get to discover the world with the characters. After all, it’s not our regular world, there are wonders at every nook and corner, the creatures are different, the behavior of people is different and most of all we get to discover our special powers, which all leads to an exciting journey and makes up for a very interesting anime.
So here we have a list of 13 must-watch Isekai Anime:
13. In another world with my Smartphone
What if God makes a mistake and now as an apology you can ask for a wish, what will you ask for? Well, our main character Touya Mochizuki asks for his smartphone to work in the fantasy world he is going to be reborn into. The anime can’t boast of having the best animation or sound design. But what it can boast of is the good writing and achieving what it intended to do. The show does some fan service and can be watch if you want to watch something simple and not difficult to follow. This is surely a feel-good show, it is fun to watch and it’s so bad that it is actually good. So, watch this show if you want to feel entertained and don’t keep the bar too high.
12. Sword Art Online
This is slightly different from usual ‘stuck in virtual reality’ isekai, in a sense that in this, players are not transported against their will. In 2022 tech has advanced so much that people can now experience MMORPG games in their heads. Kazuto Kirigaya is one such player and has to now win the game in order to come out of it. Although the avatars are playing and are just controlled by the players’ mind, the real players can die if the avatar dies, so it is not all hunky dory.
The art and sound design of the show is the part that amazes the viewers the most. The one aspect where this show lets us down are the weak side characters as compared to main character, especially Asuna. After the few initial episodes, she does nothing much in the show. If you want to watch a guilty pleasure show then this is it.
This is one of the most unique isekai, that I know of. When suddenly a portal, in the shape of a large gate appears in Tokyo, and creatures from the “special region” start coming through it and attacking people in our world, a task force is formed whose mission is to pass through the portal to the “special region” and unravel the mystery of the portal as well as the creatures. We follow the story of Youji Itami, who is the part of the special task force.
The anime just doesn’t discuss the fantasy world, but also the politics, economics, philosophy, and various other aspects of real life. It really does a good work of integrating modern real-life with a fantasy world. The only flaw in an otherwise good show is the lack of powerful villains and the main character’s easy victory over the villains, which can be a turn-off for many. Regardless, this is an isekai that must be on your watchlist.
Ever wondered how it would be like to be trapped in a virtual reality game as your character and not being able to escape from it? Well, Momonga is trapped in the virtual reality game Yggdrasil and now has to find a way to escape from it and the reality of the realm in which he is trapped. Momonga is trapped as the overlord which was his rank, thus he has some unique and great powers to achieve what he wants to. Momonga is superior but he doesn’t mind being ridiculed in favour of getting something that might benefit him, he can manipulate people to make them do what he wants.
But moreover, what makes this show stand out is the story of the game itself which is quite interesting and filled with secrets and adventure. It sometimes feels cliche as the basic story is the same, but it’s the uniqueness and entertainment factor that differentiates it from other isekai in which the character gets trapped in a virtual reality game.
9. Isekai Quartet
This anime is surely the crossover we needed but didn’t deserve. If you love this genre of isekai anime and have watched Re: Zero, Konosuba, Overlord, and The Saga of Tanya the Evil then you are in for a treat. This anime is basically parody and jokes of all fan favorites isekai anime characters from Subaru to Tanya everyone is here. Each character is going through their regular life, suddenly a button appears and out of curiosity they press it and are transported to yet another world, in which they have to lead the normal school life with different characters from different animes.
Even as a crossover it stands out as his own show, with skits in each episode. The main aim of this show is to provide you entertainment, which it does very well. It is interesting to watch how characters who already were in a fantasy world are now in yet another fantasy world. It’s like isekai-ception. The idea in itself is absurd and it is recommended to watch only if you have watched the other four isekai anime.
8. Log Horizon
It is yet another isekai, in which thirty thousand odd people are transported into a world of famous MMORPG game, Elder Tale, after a new update. Shiroe as a veteran of the game, along with his friend Naotsugu and self-claimed student of Shiroe, Akatsuki, has to now lead others from his world to negotiate with the natives to bring stability in the virtual world. Log Horizon doesn’t follow the regular story of an underdog or an overpowered main character, rather he works behind the scenes and strategically approaches each situation and tends to solve it with his wit and lends strength from other people around him.
Every character has their defined roles and unique capabilities. It has heavy political and economic undertones which gives the show mature look. The show sure feels slow and dragged at some places. So, if you are into isekai in which characters are stuck in a virtual reality game, then this is the show for you.
7. The time I got reincarnated as a Slime
When talking about being reborn in a new world, we don’t expect that we will be reborn as a slime, well you got it right, our main character Satoru Mikami gets reincarnated as a slime after he has been stabbed by an assailant. In this isekai Mikami, our main character is transported to another world as a slime with a new power to devour anything and mimic its appearance and abilities. This new world has everything, from dragons to goblins and werewolves. After being reborn Satoru takes on an alias ‘Rimuru’ and begins his journey of exploring the world and has his own motives to do so.
The concept in itself is very unique and interesting, when have you ever seen a magical slime? I think never. The animation in this show is very good as well as the sound design. But sometimes, in certain places, it feels directionless but everything makes sense in the end. So add this interesting anime in your watchlist.
6. The Rising of Shield Hero
Four men are summoned to the kingdom of Melromarc to form the group of Four Cardinal Heroes who are supposed to protect the fate of Melromarc from the waves of catastrophe. The four men are bestowed with a sword, spear, bow, and a shield to vanquish these waves. Mainly the anime follows the story of Naofumi Iwatani who is bestowed with the fate of being the shield hero who is supposed to be the weakest of all the four heroes and has little to no knowledge of this world. It is his journey to prove his worth and become the person he was destined to be.
This is one of the few isekai where the protagonist is not superpowered and in fact, ridiculed for his relative weakness, so it makes the story even more interesting, as we follow the underdog who will become the finest of all. Sometimes the story feels too rushed but apart from that this isekai is a good watch. It has a message behind it and not a regular isekai.
5. Konosuba: God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World
On his way back home Kazuma Satou dies a pathetic and laughable death after which he finds himself sitting in front of Aqua, a goddess. Aqua gives him the choice to be reincarnated in a fantasy real world or continue as it is in heaven, and of course, as every other person, he chooses to be reincarnated in a real fantasy world. But what he doesn’t know is the horrors that await him in that fantasy world, including defeating demons. But this is far from his worries, what he doesn’t expect in a fantasy world is to work to pay his daily expenses.
His misfortunes have just begun. Our main character is not necessarily the strongest but he sure is the wittiest of all, he defeats demons and works out his ways on his wit. The only downside to all of this is that it is very short, just 10 episodes in season 1. The animation is very good as well as the sound design. The show overall is very enjoyable, good and it feels good after watching it.
4. No Game, No Life
No Game, No Life follows the life and adventure of two pro gamer siblings, Sora and Shiro, as they accept an E-mail and are transferred to another world. In this world, everything, from little squabbles to full nationwide wars are fought, not through guns and machines but by high stake games. Now the siblings have found new meaning to their life, which is to unite all the sixteen races of Disboard, defeat Tet, the God, and become gods of this new world.
The show presents the way of playing challenging games instead of waging wars in a very interesting and unique manner. Rules for the game are well defined and at no time the characters are doing something extraordinary for the world they are in. The ending of the anime in no way disappoints you and justifies the whole story. If you are not bothered by fanservice, then this is the show for you.
3. Saga of Tanya the Evil
This isekai has a very interesting premise. A man who once challenged Being X, a self-proclaimed god, to a game of wits- is reincarnated as a little girl, Tanya Degurechaff, in the world of magical warfare. Tanya hellbent on defiance then tries to rise up in the military ranks despite many obstacles, mainly Being X. It is interesting in the sense that the main character is a little girl and moreover she is not the ideal human, she kills many and achieves what she wants through bloodshed.
This anime constantly makes you think, whether you are rooting for the right person or not. Despite being reborn into a little girl’s body, Tanya has immense powers in this alternate universe, as well as her will is strong, she is ruthless and brutal, which makes for a compelling anti-hero. The alternate timeline of World War 1 makes the anime even more interesting and so much more compelling to watch. The character of Tanya overpowers any other character, thus making side characters look weak, which is a downside to this anime.
2. Re: Zero
Re: Zero is one of the best isekai, in my opinion. Re: Zero tries many different things which we don’t find in many isekai animes. Our main character is thrown into an imaginary world where there are checkpoints, if he dies before those checkpoints then he has to start from the previous one. The story is easy to follow yet complex, we are shown how little things can change the whole course of the story. The show keeps you on the edge of your seat and we want the main character to be good.
The world created is also very mysterious and we unravel the secrets with Subaru. There are many aspects to explore in this anime which it does in a very good manner. The supporting cast is not ignored at all, rather the supporting cast even more powerful as well as impressive than the main character, the sound design adds to the plot. If you haven’t watched it already then watch it now.
1. Spirited Away
This is one of the best animes, not just in this genre but overall. Spirited Away was among the very first anime which tried isekai genre and it did that so amazingly. Chihiro and her family come across an abandoned amusement park when they lose their way to their new house. Her parents turn into pigs after having some food at the abandoned food counter and she wanders off in the park as night kicks in and unknowingly cross over to the spirit world. Spirited away doesn’t have an epic adventure story rather it is quiet, it is fantasy yet feels slice of life.
The story of the anime is strong as well as the art and sound design. The characters are not all good or bad, they all have a bit of both and some allow their good side to overpower them and others allow their evil side to overpower them, it’s just the perspective of how you see good or bad. It requires some patience to get into, as there is no high voltage drama or action, it is entertaining, you feel the love and pain of the characters and also the warmth.
That’s all folks, these were the must-watch isekai anime & manga according to us. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Tell us which of these anime have you seen and which according to you is the best? Also check out:-