Kuru Media's Top Ten Isekai Anime
For this list we ask you to join us in another world, maybe even another dimension as we list our top ten Isekai Anime. So what is Isekai? Isekai is the name given to anime and manga where the story revolves around the main protagonist being plucked from their life and whisked into a new world.
In most cases the protagonist is usually a normal person being summoned to a fantastical world or in some cases our hero may have even been killed only to be resurrected in a new world. There are series where the protagonist may be from a fantastical world that has been summoned or bought into the world as we know it. There are so many different Isekai anime to choose from so with that said, on to our top ten:
10) No Game No Life
Siblings Sora and Shiro are online gamer shut ins, who have become legendary as the unbeatable gamers known only as Blank, the pair one day receive a strange e-mail claiming to know who they are. The strange e-mail is sent by someone claiming to be the god of games Tet, he asks the pair if they are willing to challenge him to a game of Chess. The pair accept the challenge and transported to new world filled with many fantastical races, promising them that if they are able to conquer this world, they will be able to play him in a game.
No Game No Life is a classic, the quintessential Isekai anime if you like, there are certain parts of this series that are just little weird at times and it may make you cringe. However this really is a must watch at least once if your new to anime, the overall story is good and the series is fun as well as being on the comedic side. Also if you are gamer this anime should appeal to you, and although the series was cut short, it is another series that has amassed a cult following.
Based on Light Novel Series Written by Yū Kamiya
9) Saga of Tanya the Evil
When an unknown Japanese salary man is killed by former employee he is confronted by God, not believing in God the salary man openly mocks the being. Angered by this lack of respect the being the salary man would refer to as being X would punish him by reincarnating once and once only in world similar to his own worlds history, only in this world Magic exists. The world would resemble that of War time Europe with the salary man reborn as small girl living in orphanage, to escape her situation she sees only one option to join the military where she would climb the ranks and earn the moniker Tanya the Evil.
I get that the series similarities to that of war time Europe may upset some especially as our protagonist works for a country similar to that of Germany, but you are not meant to like the protagonist. We are meant to revel in and enjoy seeing her suffer through ineptitude of those ranked above and below her. We meant to be on the side of being X to see this salary man/little girl panicked at times as he tries to get her to pray to him for her survival. It is meat to be just a fun a light hearted series which it is, although I do question the choice to make it similar to war time Europe.
Based on Novel Series Written by Carlo Zen
8) How not to Summon a Demon Lord
In online community of the MMORPG Cross Reviere, Takuma Sakamoto is a legend, famously known as the Demon Lord, in the real world he is shy, nervous shut in. One day he is summoned to another world in his video game characters body, by a couple of girls looking to use his power as demon lord. They attempt to place an enslavement spell on him so that they are able to control him, however due to his in game magical abilities, the spell back fires enslaving the two girls to him, nothing he can do now but pretend to be the character he portrays to save face.
This one is definitely a little on the crazy side, a mix of Sci Fi MMORPG and Fantasy, when our protagonist is summoned to new world he appears there not as himself but as his MMORPG character that he had created, so I felt this was unique take. There is plenty of action and comedy throughout the series as well as maybe just a little too much fan service but don’t let that spoil what is great story.
Based on Light Novel Seires Written by Yukiya Murasaki
Studio: Ajia-do Animation Works Inc.
When a popular MMORPG is scheduled to be shut down permanently, veteran player Momonga refuses to log out. As he does so he finds himself trapped in a new world in the body of his character, the NPCs begin to develop personalities and minds of their own, he decides to put his skills to use as the worlds new overlord.
One of the things I really like about this series is our main protagonist is actually Villain and not the hero as with most shows, it does a great job of showing that absolute power corrupts. This is a fresh take on your typical stuck in MMORPG series and it does a great job at building an incredible world with many characters and races.
Based on Light Novel Series Written by Kugane Maruyama
6) Arifeuta from Common Place to Worlds Strongest
Hajime Nagumoe and his entire high school class were mysteriously summoned to a fantastical word of magic and heroes, each student is given powerful abilities to be heroes in this world, some more powerful than others. Hajime is unfortunately on the weaker side when compared to most of class mates abilities, on a mission into the dungeons, Hajime is betrayed and whilst trying to save a class mate he ends up tumbling down into the pits of the dungeon. He’ll have to do what ever he can do to survive the dark abyss and reunite with his class mates and discover what is truly going on.
Another series that I thought put a new twist on the typical isekai series, as rather than one person being summoned an entire class of students and their teacher were and that just added a new dynamic. The series has got a darker tone it, despite the amount of comedy and fan service but the overall story will have you hooked and on the edge of your seat.
Based on Novel Series Written by Ryo Shirakome
Studio: White Fox
School Girl Kagome Higurashi was attacked by centipede demon, whilst looking for her cat, the centipede demon would drag her down the enshrined Bone Eaters Well. Rather than hitting the bottom of the well. Kagome is transported to new a dimension similar to that of Japans feudal sengoku history, when she awakens she learns that the demon had previously been defeated 50 years earlier by the priestess Kikyo using the Shikon jewel. Kikyo has since passed, burning the Jewel so no one could use its power for evil. Now the Demon has returned, Kagaome finds a young boy tied to tree, she learns the young boy is half demon named Inuyasha. It was Kikyo who had tied Inuyasha to the tree when he tried to steal the jewel before she died, in a desperate attempt to save herself and a near by village Kagome frees Inyusasha in hopes he would slay the demon.
This is another true classic series that has everything you could possibly have to make a great series, from great characters, great story and fantastic animation. The series has recently been resurrected with a new sequel series based on children of the original series that so far has great reviews. This is a classic series that should be watched by all those new to anime.
Based on Manga Written by Rumiko Takahashi
Whilst away at summer camp, a freak storm hits and a group of young teens are are mysteriously transported into the Digital world. There they find they must team up with digital monsters known as Digimon, if they are able to survive and save this world..
I will always love the Digimon series, I stand firmly on the side that Digimon was a superior show to Pokemon, and because of my love of this show it was going to make one of my top ten lists at some point. Even now seeing the new Digimon Tri movie series just brought back all the memories of watching the original series and it was awesome to see the original digi-destined all grown up. Now we have one last season recently released which I cannot wait to start watching.
Based on Original work by Toei Animation
Studio: Toei Animation
3) Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World
When Natsuki Subaru is suddenly transported to another world he is dissapointed to discover that he has no special ability that people normally get when they are transported to new world, however he would end up finding the horrific power he actually has. Subaru cannot die, or rather he cannot remain dead, instead every time he dies he experiences a reset. Determined to protect his new friends and woman he loves, he will face any danger that’s in front of him, despite what it does to his mind set having to remember exactly how he died each and every time.
So I am going to say it again here I thought Re Zero was another show that had it’s uniqueness and it was another show that had a distinctively darker tone, our protagonists special skill is not something I would wish for, if was transported to another world. The characters in this show are what makes it a particularly good series, from the protagonists to all his supporting characters, you will want to root for them with all your heart. With the first series released in 2016, the second part of series 2 is finally ready to air this winter and I am so looking forward to it.
Based on Novel Series Written by Tappei Nagatsuki
Studio: White Fox
2) That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime
There is nothing remarkable about Minami Satoru, he is your average 37 year old salary man, whilst protecting his friend from a man with a knife he is unfortunately stabbed and killed. Reincarnated in a new world as nothing more than a slime, things seem pretty grim, until he is able to use his two special abilities “Predator” and “Great Sage” with these abilities he is able gain more power renaming himself Rimuru Tempest, he sets out in this new world to make new friends, but not everyone wants to make new friends in this world.
This one is on a much lighter side than some of the other shows mentioned, it is much more of a fun fantasy, not counting the first few minutes of episode one. The world created for the show is complex with a variety of races each distinctive and unique, there's a nice blend of action and comedy, with some slice of life elements.
Based on Novel Series written by Fuse
Studio: Eight Bit
1) Rising of the Shield Hero
Naoufumi Iwatani is your typical geeky university student, whilst studying in the library he comes upon a strange book, The Shield Hero, but all the pages are blank, that’s when he is suddenly transported to a new world that is somewhat like a computer game. He is one of 4 heroes summoned to save the Kingdom. However he ends up being betrayed and belittled and he does not know why, now he must choose if he is even willing to save this world.
Many shows do not get a second season re-newel, but Rising of the Shield hero managed to do just that, in fact not only were they given 2nd season but 3rd season as well, so you know it has to be good. I would honestly put the story telling of the series akin to the likes of Fullmetal Alchemist, a truly gripping series that has you glued to your seat from the first episode. Again the world and it’s history has been thoroughly thought through and the characters of the show are incredibly fleshed out, in particular the main protagonist and his female companions. This is a great series and if you are looking for an anime that has drama, comedy, action, high stakes and romance, Rising of the Shield Hero has it all, this is series has the makings of a classic.
Based on Novel Series written by Aneko Yusagi
Studio: Kinema Citrus Co.
As you can see I like my Isekai to have a more unique twist to them rather than the basic story line of regular person brought to another world and has an incredible and unbeatable power, as this leaves little room for character development. I also like the mix of action and comedy, but do enjoy a more drama based darker show if the series is story driven and not just edgy for sake of being edgy. So there you have ten great isekai anime that Kuru Media recommends. As always check out as many as you can find. There is no better time to do it, with so many streaming services providing great content you have no excuse as to why your missing out on all this great anime, you can check out most of these series through the Crunchyroll, Funimation, Netflix, HI Dive and Adult Swim.
The Great British Otaku