TOP 10 MUST-WATCH ‘OTHER WORLD’ ISEKAI ANIME
We all know that the anime community does not really like the majority of 'other world' or 'Isekai' (異世界) series because of their repetitive story-lines and use of cliché tropes. Generally, Isekai animes fail to bring anything new to the genre because they all follow a somewhat similar premise. But let's not dismiss an entire genre based on popular opinion: there are still some gems hidden in these other worlds, and this list holds the top 10 must-watch Isekai anime that actually have interesting, unpredictable, and unique plots.
10.NO GAME NO LIFE
ノーゲーム・ノーライフ - Nō Gēmu Nō Raifu
No Game No Life is an ecchi-isekai anime with a unique art style and premise. Unlike other ecchi-isekai anime, this one has an actual plot and a realistic cast of relatable characters. While the story can seem a bit too fast-paced at times, it is still pretty enjoyable.
The plot follows the story of two siblings named Sora and Shiro. Both are shut-in NEETs (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) who love playing all kinds of video games. One day, after playing a chess game with some stranger, they both get transported to another world called Disboard. In this world, every single conflict is resolved by playing -sometimes ruthless- games.
9.SWORD ART ONLINE
ソードアート・オンライン -Sōdo Āto Onrain
If you have been a part of the world of anime for a while, then you are probably wondering why Sword Art Online is a part of this list. SAO has a pretty bad reputation in the anime community because of its predictable story and somewhat cliché premise. But I believe that at this point, it's just popular to hate on SAO. Just like it's popular to hate on pineapple pizza. Regardless of what is popular or not, this is still a pretty entertaining watch - and pineapple pizza is tasty (yes, I went there).
Sword Art Online's plot follows the story of Kirito, who gets lucky enough to receive one of the very first copies of a viral Virtual reality Massively Multiplayer Online game titled "Sword Art Online." Upon launching it, Kirito is transported into an incredibly realistic world. After hours go by, he tries to log out and finds himself unable to do so.
Studio + Other Works by Studio: A-1 Pictures
Number of episodes: 96
Number of seasons: 3
ログ・ホライズン - Rogu Horaizun
At first glance, Log Horizon seems like your average Isekai anime with a mediocre and predictable plot. However, the story quickly develops into something extremely exciting after only a few episodes with pretty good characters with dynamic personalities to back up the plot.
Log Horizon follows the story of a guy named Shiroe who loves playing a popular MMORPG called 'Elder Tale.' One day, Shiroe and thousands of other gamers get trapped inside the world of the game. With no way of logging out, Shiroe decides to explore Elder Tale's world and learn all of its hidden secrets. Yes, this does sound like Sword Art Online. Get over it.
Studio + Other Works by Studio: Statelight
Number of episodes: 62
Number of seasons: 3
7.the rising of the shield hero
盾の勇者の成り上がり - Tate no Yūsha no Nariagari
The Rising of the Shield Hero is a pretty dark Isekai with a well-built premise and a fantastic cast of likable characters. This anime is filled with many twists and turns, so you will always find yourself entertained.
The Rising of the Shield Hero follows the story of a young boy named Naofumi Iwatani as he gets summoned, along with three others, to defend the kingdom of Melromarc. Each called hero is granted legendary weapons, and as he sees his future comrades acquire swords, spears, and bows, he eventually finds himself receiving a shield - the only defensive equipment. Naofumi ends up becoming the Shield Hero and gets ridiculed by all the people of the kingdom and his fellow heroes because he is not able to fight.
Studio + Other Works by Studio: Kinema Citrus
Number of episodes: 25
Number of seasons: 1
6.the devil is a part-timer!
はたらく魔王さま! - Hataraku Maō-sama!
This one is an extremely popular reverse-Isekai in which characters from the fantasy world get stuck in the real world. This comedic anime has a pretty light-hearted tone and an amazing story.
The plot follows the story of the demon lord himself (Sat... something). As he plans to take over a continent known as Ente Isla, he gets attacked by the hero Emilia and is forced to use a dimensional portal that takes him to modern-day Tokyo. Since magic does not exist in our world (allegedly), he has no way back and assumes a human form. To financially survive, he takes on a job at a fast-food chain called MgRonald (no, I am not making this up).
オーバーロード - Ōbārōdo
Overlord is one of the most entertaining Isekai anime on this list and has a remarkable story progression throughout its different seasons. The main complaint people have with this one is that the side characters aren't given much importance, which I agree with - but nothings perfect, and certainly not Isekai animes.
Overlord follows the story of someone playing ''Momonga'', a powerful mage character in a once-popular virtual reality game ''Yggdrasil''- yes, this is another gaming anime; no, I'm not tired of this concept. As the game servers are about to be forever shut down due to the lack of active players, Momonga decides to spend his last few hours online. To his surprise (but certainly not ours), he gets stuck, unable to log out, and the NPCs (computer-generated characters) surrounding him suddenly develop human-like personalities.
4.The Saga of Tanya the Evil
幼女戦記 - The Military Chronicles of a Little Girl
The Saga of Tanya the Evil is a unique military-Isekai anime with a pretty dark theme.
The plot follows the story of a cunning and manipulative businessman. After getting pushed to his death, he meets an entity that refers to itself as God. The businessman, a nonbeliever, dismisses this entity while criticizing and mockingly referring to it as 'Being X.' The entity decides to reincarnate him as a small girl named Tanya Degurechaff and make him face circumstances that will eventually (hopefully) turn him into a believer.
3.KONOSUBA:GOD’S BLESSING IN THIS WONDERFUL WORLD!
この素晴らしい世界に祝福を! - Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!
Unlike most of the other Isekai anime on this list, KonoSuba is a parody of the Isekai genre that makes fun of every cliché trope ever created. Its characters are straightforward yet enjoyable, and their quirky humor will get the viewers invested.
The plot of KonoSuba follows the story of a boy named Kazuma Satoru, who dies a pretty miserable death. This shut-in NEET dies from shock as he thinks that he has been hit by a truck (yes, you've read that correctly). After dying, the boy gets presented with two options: Go straight to heaven or get reincarnated in a fantasy world. Kazuma chooses the latter and forces the diety that offered him this option to accompany him on his new journey.
Studio + Other Works by Studio: Studio Deen
Number of episodes: 20
Number of seasons: 2
2.MUSHOKU TENSEI: JOBLESS REINCARNATION
無職転生 〜異世界行ったら本気だす〜 - Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu
Mushoku Tensei is a relatively new anime that aired recently in January of 2021, and it is one of the most beautifully animated Isekai anime of all time.
This one follows the story of a 34-year-old man who used to lead a pretty miserable life. One day, he dies because of an accident and gets reincarnated as a baby in a fantasy world. Now, his name is Rudeus Greyrat, and he has been given a second chance at life.
Studio: Studio Bind
Number of episodes: 11
Number of seasons: 1
1.Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World
Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 - Ri:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
Re:Zero is one of the best Isekai anime of all time as it has a highly compelling and unique story and some of the most brilliantly written characters. This anime starts just like any other anime of the genre but manages to turn into something deeper and more psychological.
The plot of Re:Zero follows the story of a shut-in NEET named Subaru Natsuki. One day, as he is buying groceries, he gets transported to a fantasy world. Subaru falls in love with this new world, but he soon realizes that it is far more dangerous than he initially thought. Subaru’s only special ability in this world is “return-by-death,” which is the worst power that he could’ve ever asked for.