The isekai genre may be one of the most underrated genres in anime. It’s not as popular as the romance anime shows or sports anime shows. However, there are hidden gems to be discovered in this genre and we’ll list down the best isekai anime series below.
If you’re unfamiliar with the genre, isekai basically refers to another world or parallel word in Japanese. Shows, manga, and light novels that fall under this genre is about the protagonist getting transported to another world. Most of the anime shows we’ll be mentioning are classic ones, or the ones that are worth watching over and over again.
If we’re talking about classic isekai anime series, Inuyasha should be on the top of our list. Not only is Inuyasha a popular isekai anime, it’s a popular anime show over all. In fact, when the new Inuyasha spinoff anime was announced, a lot of fans (and non-fans) welcomed the news with open arms.
Inuyasha follows the story of a student from Tokyo, Kagome, who was transported to another period – the Sengoku period; this happened after she fell in the well in her family shrine. After being transported, a demon tries to steal the jewel inside Kagome. However, the jewel shatters to a million pieces and scatters around Japan. Inuyasha tells her quest to find the pieces of the jewel together with Inuyasha, a half-demon.
Another classic on our list is Fushigi Yuugi. Those who discovered anime back in the ’90s may enjoy rewatching this series as it was first aired in 1995. While the art style and animation are dated compared to today’s anime shows, it’s still a good show to (re)watch.
Fushigi Yuugi is the story of two teenage girls, Miaka and Yui, who gets transported to a world full of magic based on a book called, The Universe of the Four Gods. They soon find themselves as enemies when Miaka becomes the Priestess of Suzaku. The priestess who is destined to gather the seven Celestial Warriors of Suzaku, a god. Meanwhile, Yui becomes Miaka’s enemy as she becomes the Priestess of Seiryuu.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
That Time I Reincarnated as a Slime is probably the most popular anime of the isekai genre today.
Unlike other isekai shows that tackle reincarnation, where the protagonist turns into a demon or another person, this show is the story of Satoru Mikami who gets reincarnated as a slime after a street accident. He takes on the name Rimuru Tempest and quickly becomes one of the most powerful beings in that world. This is due to his unique ability of being able to absorb the skills and powers of what he consumes. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is a great show with a refreshing story and well-written characters that you’d want to watch over and over again.
Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They?
This isekai anime show is quite under the radar compared to its companions on the list. However, while its name may not be as famous as the others, it is still a great show to watch.
Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They? is much more known with its Japanese title, Mondaijitachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?. The show’s protagonists are three bored children (Sakamaki Izayoi, Kudou Asuka, and Kasukabe You) that possess unique powers. One day, they receive an envelope which transports them to a place called Little Garden. The people who live here play a game called Gift Games where they use their gifts (a.k.a powers) to win. By winning, they earn money and prestige for the community they are a part of. Finding this interesting, the three kids soon partake in the games – plus they’re helping the “No Name” community they are a part of to earn prestige once again.
Honorable Mention: Spirited Away
While we did say anime series, we cannot help but mention a Studio Ghibli classic, Spirited Away.
While the protagonist, the 10-year-old Chihiro, didn’t get transported nor reincarnated in another world, she did enter the spirit realm accidentally. On the way to their new home, Chihiro and her parents stumble upon an abandoned amusement park. Soon enough, Chihiro discovers that she’s actually in the world of the spirits and she’s trapped (and her parents turned into pigs by a witch named Yubaba). With the help of a boy named Haku, Chihiro now has to find a way to return her parents back to normal and escape the spirit realm.
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