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MABfan11 from Remnant Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Nov 7th 2018 at 6:54:03 AM

With isekai having become as popular to make as it has in recent years, especially in the light novel and manga industry, with many potential anime adaptations on the horizon in the future, i figured we needed a thread for them. so i made this

Which isekai do you think is the best?

Is there any isekai you hope to be adapted in the future?

Which isekai surprised you?

Why do you like isekai?

is the plural of isekai just isekai or isekais?

Bumbleby is best ship busy spending time on r/RWBY and r/anime
ElfenLiedFan90 Ultimate Best Girl!!! from Jakarta,Indonesia Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Ultimate Best Girl!!!
Nov 7th 2018 at 7:08:11 AM

Oh goodie a thread for Isekais in general. Can I participate? :P

Fitting song for the best girl Current story that I made.
MABfan11 from Remnant Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Nov 7th 2018 at 8:09:46 AM

sure, we are all isekai trash here[lol]

Bumbleby is best ship busy spending time on r/RWBY and r/anime
ElfenLiedFan90 Ultimate Best Girl!!! from Jakarta,Indonesia Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Ultimate Best Girl!!!
Nov 7th 2018 at 8:23:40 AM

Lol true [lol] Gotta be honest that while the genre is rather recycled... I'm actually cool with it.

So far the Isekai shiz that got anime adaptation that I will try to see in later futures are the likes of Kumo Desu Ga, Arifureta, That MILF Isekai, Kenja no Mago and that new Isekai by Whitefox as for now.

Fitting song for the best girl Current story that I made.
Demongodofchaos2 Best Dad from Eldritch Nightmareland Relationship Status: 700 wives and 300 concubines
Best Dad
Nov 7th 2018 at 9:01:53 AM

General threads are not allowed.

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ElfenLiedFan90 Ultimate Best Girl!!! from Jakarta,Indonesia Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Ultimate Best Girl!!!
Jan 7th 2019 at 10:39:08 PM

Nice! Thanks Septimus for unlocking this! I appreciate it

Gotta use this thread for talking about Isekais in general.

Anyways, pertaining my answers regarding cliched Isekais that always takes in Another World, it would actually be nice if there is an Isekai that was set in Cyberpunk world... Buddy Complex is the closest example I can think of but I'm unsure.

Fitting song for the best girl Current story that I made.
ScrewySqrl Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
Jan 10th 2019 at 12:06:11 PM

Back in the winter 19 thread that lead to this getting unlocked, people were asking about reverse isekais.

And no one brought up the 2016-17 Re:CREATORS. Which was a recent, popular reverse isekai.

Jan 10th 2019 at 12:34:39 PM

I mean, Re:CREATORS doesn't really focus on those themes that much - it's more interested in telling a story about authors and the creative process.

gropcbf from France
Jan 10th 2019 at 1:14:26 PM

[up]What exactly are the themes of reverse Isekai that it didn't focus enough on?

Jan 10th 2019 at 9:11:28 PM

I would guess defamiliarization - examining parts of our society that seem like common sense through the eyes of someone who has no experience with them, problematizing them, and offering alternate ideas or at least a new viewpoint. It would ideally be a kind of stranger-in-a-strange-land work, but instead of following a viewpoint character through a world that's strange to us, the character would help reexamine some things that are so common we don't even think about them anymore.

To be blunt, I don't think there's a huge market for that kind of socially critical fiction in Japan, or if there is, it doesn't overlap with the market for light novels that isekai generally inhabits. This is just my personal experience, but it feels like modern isekai is very standardized, and not very subversive at all. Take these with a spoon of salt because I haven't done any kind of actual survey, but broadly:

  • The standard origin story is so worn down that at this very moment someone is submitting a pitch for an isekai where a truck is hit by a runaway teenager and sent to a fantasy world to build a harem. There are various modifiers and parodies, but they all follow the same "you already know how this works, let's just get to it" framework.
  • Many isekai use generic RPG settings, terminology, and concepts as shorthand for their worldbuilding. There's rarely any surprises in the broad strokes, only in the specifics of how this particular isekai will handle elves, magic, the Demon Lord, etc. (This also applies to other fantasy works, too.) The focus is on how well the familiar building blocks are arranged, rather than creating new arrangements or new blocks to examine, to the point where increasingly minute variations on the blocks' arrangements are now selling points spelled out directly in the titles.
  • In general, the protagonist (i.e., a Japanese male) will almost always be in the right. When faced with an unfamiliar situation in the new world, the problem will be with the viewpoints of the natives, not his viewpoint. Similarly, in reverse isekai, the protagonist will adapt to the dominant culture, not the other way around (see: The Devil Is A Part-Timer.) In isekai, this affirms the protagonist's culture and viewpoint instead of questioning it, except for when elements of the native culture are beneficial to the protagonist's desires (slavery and harems seem to be the big ones here). In reverse isekai, it affirms the idea that the way we do things is the right way to do them, so much so that even magic-using demons adapt almost immediately.
  • The ones that don't really do anything creative or are just wish-fulfillment actually carry a strong pro-status quo message, by means of rewarding the protagonist for displaying traits valued in his (which is to say, Japanese) culture. The message is "you're actually awesome as you are, and you don't need to learn anything from people with different viewpoints at all if you don't want to. All you need to do is meet the baseline criteria of decency, be brave, and face pain manfully, and you will be rewarded with multiple hot girls." In shows intended for a Japanese audience, especially of boys and young men, this reinforces societal values they're expected to display, and reinforces woman-as-reward (or "times I respected women punchcard") themes as well.

Those are a few points I've noticed, at least. I get that not every single piece of fiction needs to be an incisive social critique, but every work carries a message regardless of whether it's intended to have one or not. When that message is "you don't need to change for anyone or anything, even if you travel to a completely new world, because they will always adhere to your expectations, and if they don't you're in the right", that's not a good look.

Edited by RedSavant on Jan 10th 2019 at 1:38:58 PM

ElfenLiedFan90 Ultimate Best Girl!!! from Jakarta,Indonesia Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Ultimate Best Girl!!!
Jan 10th 2019 at 10:17:40 PM

@Red Savant The things that I agree with you is that the Isekai genre feels kind of redundant and boring at this rate due to the stagnant story and what's mostly happen in there such as OP characters or most of the story sets in medieval fantasy RP Gs and I understand how you feel. However, I also agree that not every entertainment needs a morals or message or becoming a social critique and can be a fun mindless entertainment that can be enjoyed right if it done right.

Fitting song for the best girl Current story that I made.
ScrewySqrl Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
Jan 11th 2019 at 5:09:18 AM

eh, all art is political in some way.

The standard isekai is very pro-status quo, as pointed out a couple posts ago.

AnotherDuck No, the other one. from Stockholm Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Jan 11th 2019 at 2:59:05 PM

So there's a thread for this...

I've read a ton of isekai manga, which anyone reading the under-the-radar thread might've noticed. However, the best isekai is not under the radar at all. That's Log Horizon. That also sort of shows what I like about them: the worldbuilding. Most of them are, as mentioned, fairly generic in their overall setup, but I tend to like those that explore the differences from that standard and incorporate those differences in the plot.

Although technically, I don't really care about it being isekai, as fantasy can do those things just as well. Quite often, it doesn't really matter that the MC is from "this" world, since often it's just a cheap ploy to try to create a relatable MC. If it's not, it's just, as RedSavant mentioned, a means to affirm the Japanese society.

I also tend to find they're worse if they're building a harem. Or at least focusing on that, since that only brings in clichés from that genre, and detracts from what's actually interesting with isekai. There are of course exceptions, such as My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! (which has a female MC who manages to be funny-dense rather than frustrating-dense).

The good part about harems is that they tend to introduce a lot of semi-important characters with various personalities. And characters is one of the main reasons I read manga in the first place. Which is another reason why I like Log Horizon.

Overpowered MCs isn't a problem as long as the story draw doesn't hinge on tension the MC can solve with those OP powers. Sometimes the story works because it brings in bigger fish, sometimes because it introduces problems the MC can't solve with those OP powers, and sometimes the focus is simply on other stuff.

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MABfan11 from Remnant Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Jan 11th 2019 at 3:56:45 PM

"However, the best isekai is not under the radar at all. That's Log Horizon Re:Zero"

FTFYtongue

"Overpowered M Cs isn't a problem as long as the story draw doesn't hinge on tension the MC can solve with those OP powers. Sometimes the story works because it brings in bigger fish, sometimes because it introduces problems the MC can't solve with those OP powers, and sometimes the focus is simply on other stuff."

that's why One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 are so good, their problems cannot be solved with their overpoweredness. and ONE managed to nail how to write an overpowered protagonist twice, with very different approaches for each of them.

Edited by MABfan11 on Jan 11th 2019 at 7:06:00 PM

Bumbleby is best ship busy spending time on r/RWBY and r/anime
Jan 11th 2019 at 4:00:30 PM

The standard origin story is so worn down that at this very moment someone is submitting a pitch for an isekai where a truck is hit by a runaway teenager and sent to a fantasy world to build a harem.

Okay, I have to ask (and pardon my ignorance), but was this intentional?

ElfenLiedFan90 Ultimate Best Girl!!! from Jakarta,Indonesia Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Ultimate Best Girl!!!
Jan 11th 2019 at 4:03:03 PM

@dragonfire I think Red was a bit joking in that part tongue Haven't seen any Isekai that has the protagonist killed by Truck-kun btw :3

@MAB Fan Don't forget we have Konosuba and Overlord. Then again the former is a parody. And yeah, I'm having a special reservation with Slime too ya know

Edited by ElfenLiedFan90 on Jan 11th 2019 at 7:03:53 PM

Fitting song for the best girl Current story that I made.
KnightofLsama Servant of the Golden Lady of Chaos from The Sea of Chaos Relationship Status: My elf kissing days are over
Servant of the Golden Lady of Chaos
Jan 11th 2019 at 5:06:56 PM

we haven't got any strikethrough command, so i made it a red link instead

Oh really?

It's just the text you want formatted as {{strike:Insert Text Here}} but with square instead of curly brackets

Welcome to the Sea of Chaos
Jan 11th 2019 at 5:19:38 PM

Mushoku Tensei was interesting for how vestigial the isekai parts were. The protagonist enters the new world as a baby and has to grow up before he can do anything, by which point he's basically a native inhabitant. In fact he'll sometimes experience minor Amnesiac Dissonance because his new brain is wired differently and he doesn't always feel the same way about situations as he remembers acting in his past life.

His main advantage is that, due to having an adult-like mind from the time he was born, he was able to learn new things extremely quickly. This includes discovering a textbook on magic and teaching himself the basics before his parents even knew he could read. Because the textbook didn't include all of the shortcuts that formally-schooled mages take, his attempts at unlocking his powers ended up being a form of Training from Hell (which he persisted with because he assumed all mages have to go through it). He's also wily enough to take advantage of his Kid Hero status to make people underestimate him.

Edited by Prime32 on Jan 11th 2019 at 1:21:58 PM

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Jan 11th 2019 at 8:37:23 PM

Maybe the alternative fantasy world could be a little different like based on Victorian or Ancient Rome times. The Fantasy world doesn't always have to take place in a medieval setting, so maybe mix it up. In other words, maybe it would be good to make the fantasy world more original rather than just the generic medieval European ones.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
Jan 11th 2019 at 8:55:42 PM

@Dragonfire: Completely, yup. Though I also think that might be a little too original for the current light novel market.

^Yeah, more variety in the settings would go a long way toward fixing a lot of the problems. If authors have to actually think about their world, instead of the most strenuous thing being picking a level cap for their protagonist to be at, then we might see more involved and memorable worlds.

One thing I like about Grimgar is that it is an isekai, but as far as the anime goes, it doesn't discuss the characters' original lives at all. It's still part of the underlying mystery of how they got there, and they do occasionally remember vocabulary, but not the meaning behind it (in the first episode, one of them mentions a smartphone, then the whole group shares a moment of '...wait, what's that?'). But it focuses on character development and their day-to-day lives trying to survive, rather than the isekai element or meta jokes.

Jan 11th 2019 at 9:14:57 PM

[up]Gotcha. Had a feeling it might've been intentional, but I've seen mix-ups like that on this forum before, so I thought I'd ask.

VeryVileVillian Who did you expect? God? Devil? No, it's just me from Russia Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Who did you expect? God? Devil? No, it's just me
Jan 11th 2019 at 9:27:44 PM

Is "Gate" considered an Isekai?

Lurking in shadow, haunting every step, bringer of chaos: Nyarlathotep.
Jan 11th 2019 at 9:38:15 PM

Yes, I would say so. Though one that takes the 'Japanese culture gets a foothold in the fantasy world' subtext and makes it the only text, from what I hear.

firewriter Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Bulla to Earthlings, Echalote to Saiyans.
Jan 11th 2019 at 9:44:04 PM

I also think it would be interesting if they mixed Isekai with other genres lesser used. Like maybe they could mix it with a fantasy detective setting or a female protagonist could become a Magical Girl.

Shonen Is Not Just For Boys, Even If Literally Means "Boy".
Jan 11th 2019 at 10:02:48 PM

That would be great. An isekai that isn't a power trip tour or a tavern... sounds pretty cool, actually.


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