It’s been a while since I was tagged in anything like this. In fact it feels like blog tags have gone out of fashion a little in the particular corner of the internet I exist in. Not to take a jab at the extremely cool and fashionable Roki/Mallow of Solitarycubbyhole.wordpress, who has been gracious enough to tag me in one of his top four lists.
Something I’m very flattered about. Even if it’s talking about Isekai. Oof.
So yeah, I’m not massive into Isekai. There are just so, so many of them coming out these days, and so many of them feel super uninventive. Even the popular ones that rise above the crowd like Slime and Log Horizon kind of just don’t do anything for me. Which isn’t to say there aren’t Isekai out there I do enjoy.
But in regard to me talking about four examples of the genre I do like, let’s say I had to ponder for a while to come up with some examples that genuinely do speak to me. Which I eventually did. Maybe with a little cheating? You decide.
1: Digimon Adventure
My personal first exposure to Isekai as a genre. Digimon Adventure is about seven kids being dragged from their summer camp and into a Digital world, where each of them is given a Digimon partner and they fight off the evils of said Digital world. Evils that eventually threaten to spill over back into their real world.
Digimon is unique as far as Isekai go because there are a whole collection of characters drawn to “another world” and each of them have their own stories to tell and adversity to overcome, becoming stronger for it out of the other end.
I’ve gotten back into Digimon quite a bit this year, having cooled a bit on the Pokémon franchise. Something had to fill that void and the ever present franchise of Digital Monsters was there. While I’m mostly talking about the original anime here, the new, remade version of it from last year was pretty good too. A show I feel like I need to get back to.
2: Dr. Stone
I’m planting my flag in this mountain once again. Dr. Stone is an Isekai. It’s about a guy suddenly waking up in another world and using his gifts to alter the course of the world’s development. Sure, this “other world” in question just so happens to be the distant future, but it still tracks.
I enjoy Dr. Stone for the same reasons I enjoy Transcendence of a Bookworm; it’s about an intelligent character finding themselves in less development world and using their knowledge of science and technology to improve the lives of everyone around them. That is, of course, as long as you don’t count Sherlock Holmes level of memory and recall as a superpower.
Dr. Stone is just so much fun, because all of the characters are dumbasses, despite their intelligence, and the main source of adversity to overcome isn’t a “demon king” or some great evil, it’s just the situation they find themselves in. And overcoming that using their wits is the whole point of the show. Which ends up being way ore interesting that it might initially sound on paper.
Oh, spoilers I guess.
Yeah, the whole reveal at the end of the first Gridman series is that the series villain Akane Shinjō, is the character from the real world who has been isekaied into a parallel world and is using their power to create Kaiju to just fuck things up. Out of both boredom and frustration.
Our main character has become possessed by this multiverse jumping hero Gridman and fights her off in a fantastic throwback to the Ultraman series of the past.
I really loved this series, something I spoke bout a while back after watching it. And yeah, the whole reveal at the ending that our main characters are on the receiving end of an Isekai’d character rather than the focus of an Isekaing is a very cool twist in the end.
This series whips, and both it and it’s sequel series; SSSS.Dynazenon are both worth your time.
4: Fantasy Bishōjo Juniku Ojisan to
So yeah, this might be the most straight laced Isekai-ass Iseki on my list. But it’s also genuinely one I really enjoy. The anime for this one has been announced is due in 2022, but I’ve been getting my enjoyment from the manga of this one.
The premise is that two, middle aged salarymen (I think they’re actually in their early 30s, but this is anime middle aged, so yeah. Feels bad) are transported to another world, Tsukasa Jinguuji; the taller and more serious of the two remains relatively unchanged, except for gaining Saitama-like levels of strength and endurance.
Hinata Tachibana, on the other hand, who was the smaller and less self confident of the best friend duo ends up turning into a small, shark toothed waifu, much to his own distain and that of his best friend. My favourite thing about this series is how self aware it is about the ridiculousness of its own premise.
Both Jinguuji and Tachibana are 100% done with the world they find themselves in right from the beginning and hardly have the time or patience for any of the dumbass characters they find themselves forced to interact with, including the goddess of love who transported them there in the first place.
While It follows the tropes of the classic, overpowered protagonist isekai, the bulk of the series focuses on the comedy of the situation and the fact that Tachibana’s new powers of charm and luck, and now being a girl, cause the pair to start falling for one another, much to their mutual disgust.
It’s a ridiculous manga and I’m super looking forward to the anime next year.
And that’s me talking about 4 Isekai I like. Four series I would also high recommend. Sorry about spoiling Gridman, but it’s still super good regardless and worth watching anyway.
I’m going to thank Roki for his tag and the opportunity to turn my brain off and just let something like this just pour out of me for a little while as I am swamped with critical evaluation of video games and anime for my end of the year lists. Again, check out his blog at: https://solitarycubbyhole.wordpress.com/
I’m not going to tag anyone else, because I have been pretty bad at keeping up with other blogs on my feed. I’m just so busy.