Looking For Isekai Anime? Then Don't Miss These 26+ Shows! (2023)

Isekai is an anime genre… that’s not even a genre (according to sites like MAL). So it’s difficult to “narrow down” a specific list of Isekai shows.

So I’ve come up with a list of both old school Isekai. The type of anime that inspired modern-day anime as we know it.

Plus a list of the latest and greatest Isekai shows that have kept the genre alive and kicking.

Let’s get started.

Best Isekai Anime:

1. The Rising Of The Shield Hero

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The Rising Of The Shield Hero is still airing in January 2019. So it’s one of the “new” Isekai anime series worth checking out.

The main character: Noafumi is thrown into another world to “save” it from destruction.

Every month there’s a type of calamity that happens, and this “threat” is why the Shield Hero, alongside 3 other warriors are summoned by the king.

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Diving into the first episode is similar to an anime like Re:Zero. It’s twice as long as your average first episode, and the main character goes through some harsh life lessons.

Like “who” he’s able to trust, and what it means to live the life of a shield hero. A type of hero who can only defend in a battle.

This is what sets the anime in motion, along with the new and improved version of the main characters ambitions and drive to succeed.

2. Magic Knight Rayearth

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If you’re looking for an original Isekai series that gave birth to Isekai as we know it…. Magic Knight Rayearth is one of those anime.

Aired in the early 1990’s, 3 female characters are transported to another world at the top of Tokyo Tower.

Once they arrive, similar to the Rising Of The Shield Hero, the world is in danger. So they turn the 3 girls into the legendary magic knights to make a difference.

It might sound cliche in 2019, but this anime is about as “original” as it gets for Isekai.

Relevant:The REAL Definition Of Isekai That Fans Outside Japan Don’t Understand

3. The Devil Is A Part Timer

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This is what I’d call a “reverse Isekai” but not quite. Because the main characters, a devil and an angel, end up being transported to earth.

Satan himself and his followers are forced to live as citizens in a society they don’t understand. While attempting to learn the language, get passports, and work part time as Mc Ronalds.

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This a comedy series like no other. With fresh concepts and ideas the Isekai genre has never seen before.

If you’re into supernatural shows and comedy, this is the best blend you’ll ever come across.

The anime deserves all the praise it gets.

4. Log Horizon

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Log Horizon is an MMORPG at its core. And unlike SAO, the main characters lives aren’t hanging off the edge of a cliff.

The story is more chilled than that, with the main characters ending up stuck inside a video game called: Elder Tales.

So instead of sitting around doodling, they do something about it and build a new world within Elder Tales. Forming a functioning society for everyone to live peaceful, equal lives.

If you’ve watched Goblin Slayer, imagine a “toned down” version of that anime. Without the sheer violence.

That’s what Log Horizon is like.

5. How Not To Summon A Demon Lord

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The demon lord: Diablo (who’s really an awkward teenager) is transported into his favorite video game. He even becomes the same character he’s used to playing in the game.

What separates this Isekai series from others, is the Ecchi elements that isn’t too far off from being “X rated” or close to it.

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But it’s not all about fan-service, big boobs and sexual references.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord is an enjoyable series for its action, designs, comedy and battle scenes.

It’s one of the decent Ecchi anime I’ve been able to bear with, without wanting to bash my head off the wall in disappointment.

6. Kono Subarashii

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You know the cliche’s by now – the main character, Kazuma, dies a hilarious (not horrible) death. And is given another chance at life by the Goddess: Aqua

I had a strange experience with this anime.

I watched the subbed version because I couldn’t wait for the dub any longer. And It felt too “forced” for its comedy and entertainment.

But my mind changed after diving into the dub and feeling refreshed after hearing it.

The one stand-out trait of Konosuba is the unique designs of each character (especially Megumin).

If you do watch it, keep that in mind.

The dub and the sub will give you drastically different experiences, depending on what your preferences are.

Related:35 Of The Best Quotes From Kono Subarashii That Will Make Your Day

7. That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime

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Tensei Slime has the potential to dominate the Isekai genre for years to come.

The beginning is cliché, sure. Where the main character is transported to another world…. after saving another person’s life and dying.

But once Rimuru wakes up and finds out he’s a slime monster, this is the beginning of what makes Tensei Slime so unique and fresh.

As long as you can get through the first 5-ish episodes, what comes next is why this anime shines as an Isekai series.

And the ratings seem to speak for themselves.

8. Re:Zero – Starting Life In Another World

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I avoided Re:Zero until 2018, because I have a habit of ignoring mainstream shows with too much hype behind them.

But I’m glad I got into Re:Zero.

Like Konosuba, the main character dies a boring death. Only to end up in a random world where nothing makes sense.

But the MAIN difference with Re:Zero as an Isekai series, is the sheer violence, psychological tricks, and dark nature of Subaru Natsuki’s journey.

This anime is produced by White Fox, the same studio behind Akame Ga Kill and Jormungand.

So it’s no surprise why it’s so ruthless carrying tons of depth in the story.

9. Outbreak Company

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This is the second Ecchi with Outbreak Company.

Kano Shinichi is an Otaku from Japan. Who’s eventually transported to another world to fill this new world with Otaku culture.

This element is what separates this Isekai series from any other you’ll watch.

It’s not a personal favorite, but it’s a decent series you shouldn’t miss if you want something different.

10. Sword Art Online

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You knew I had to mention SAO eventually. Sword Art Online is the MOST successful Isekai of all time, after all.

In the first season it’s all about the death survival game. 100’s of players die needlessly.

Some die because of greed. Others because of arrogance. While others is out of fear and not having the strength to keep on living.

The 2nd season changes this. Taking a different approach all together.

No anime does it like SAO. So it’s no surprise why I recommend it.

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11. In Another World With My Smartphone

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Like Konosuba – the main character: Mochizuki Touya dies and appears before a god.

The joke is – after being reborn into a new world, Mochizuki is allowed to keep his smartphone. Which gets upgraded with a “Google Maps” system of the entire world.

Not to mention God gives Touya his phone number to call him whenever he needs something.

This is a harem/adventure series like How Not To Summon A Demon Lord, but for the most part – fan-service isn’t shoved down your throat. And it’s more entertaining than it is bearable.

Related:15 Of The Best Adventure Anime Series

12. Restaurant To Another World

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If you love the anime Food Wars, then you can think of this as “a supernatural” version with Isekai elements.

In this anime, dragons, demons, monsters and creatures travel from their world to the world where restaurants exist.

They have one purpose in mind: and that’s to eat the best, most delicious food these restaurants have to offer.

Some visitors even take some of the food back home with them, to share with others in their “home” world.

13. Inuyasha

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Just like Magic Knight Rayearth, Inuyasha is an absolute classic in the Isekai genre.

It’s easily one of the more famous anime shows on the planet, never mind a famous Isekai.

Kagome Higurashi slips into a well that takes her to another world, 500 years into the past (Sengoku period of Japan).

And that’s where the sweet romance, action, comedy and demons come into play.

It’s a well-rounded series that most fans should have no problem getting into.

14. The Twelve Kingdoms

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The Twelve Kingdoms is about Yoko Nakijima. A weak, naive and clueless young girl… who ends up becoming the king of another world by accident.

What I enjoyed most about The Twelve Kingdoms is the transformation of the main character.

The moment she becomes king and takes on responsibility, Yoko becomes a new person incomparable to her past-self.

And the storytelling in this anime is one of its strongest points.

Keep that in mind if you’re expecting tons of action, because there’s isn’t much.

15. GATE: Thus the JSDF Fought There!

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And then there’s GATE. An anime cantered on Japan, the military, and a mysterious gate that opens up. Connecting Japan to another world.

Yoji Itami is a soldier who takes the lead in “creating peace” between both worlds to minimize violence and bloodshed.

But the story turns out to be more brutal and bloody than the intent suggests.

You can expect “harem” and “Loli” characters in this series.

Post: 15+ Anime Characters Who Are Straight Up Otaku

16. Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average

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Released in late 2019 by Project No.9, this an Isekai series with a familiar trope:an overpowered main character.

She wished foraverageabilities, but that “average” is a lot higher than expected in the world the MC is now part of. And so she’s unusually strong.

Other than the fact that Adele (the MC) has a goal to be completely average, the anime doesn’t have a specific plot.

Most episodes are adventure based with battles, comedy, and a few episodes that get a littledarkas it digs into a character’s past.

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It’s like a female Isekai version of One Punch Man I guess.

17. My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!

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My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! is a 2020 Isekai anime series.

Katarina, the main character is born into the world of a game she used to play. And ends up beingunluckybecause of it.

Knowing the rules of the game and how things will play out, she does everything she can to avoid setting off “death” flags and what not.

This anime is received well and is better than most would expect.

18. Cautious Hero

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Cautious Herois a legit Isekai thatchangesthings up a bit. And tries not to follow the usual cliches and plot.

The main character:Seiyais a literal cautious hero who takes preparation to a new level of insanity.

Even if he’s strong enough to crush an enemy, he’ll overtrain to the point where there’s no room for failure. Even if an opponent gets “lucky” or something out the blue happens.

This is the main theme that stands out in Cautious Hero and makes this Isekai more comedic and sometimesunpredictable.

Plus Seiya is a man who’s all about gender equality, just like Kazuma and Touma.

19. The Ambition Of Oda Nobuna

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The Ambition Of Oda Nobuna is an underrated Isekai series, and one people don’t think of.

It’s made by one of the best anime studios:Madhouse.

The main character Yoshiharu is transported to the era where Nobunaga (a real Japanese historic legend) united Japan. And changed the country going forward.

Here though the male historic figures in real life arechangedinto female characters for the most part.

So it’s not just an Isekai, but a realistic military series that documents the events of Nobunaga’s ambitions in Japanese history.

Read: 12 Of The Greatest Anime About Japanese Culture

20. Ascendance Of A Bookworm

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Ascendance Of A Bookworm is one of the highest quality Isekai I’ve seen in recent years.

The main characters is a girl who’s transported into another world… as a 6-7 year old kid.

The kid’s body is frail and she has to learn to adapt to it (she real self is much older).

As a book lover, her desire is to read books. And so she sets out on a journey of making money and becoming wealthy enough to do it in this new, old-school world she finds herself in.

Spice And Wolf fans will fall in love with this show.

21. I’m standing on 1,000,000 lives

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I’m standing on 1,000,000 lives is an Isekai that dropped in 2020. By the same studio as “If It’s For My Daughter”.

The studio only has a few anime to their name so far.

One thing I appreciate about this Isekai is the protagonist isn’t cliche and doesn’t follow the protagonist blueprint.

He’s different. You could even say he’s a prick at times.

Unlike other Isekai, this anime drags 4 characters into a game-like world where the game master spins a roulette which decides their fate. And the impact it has on their lives.

22. Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear

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Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear might not be greatest title you’ve ever heard, but the anime is enjoyable.

It’s about a girl called Yuna, who like Kirito from SAO, plays virtual reality games and has a headset.

In Yuna’s case, after logging in there’s a special event where she’s offered a choice of random items. And the item she receives is a bear suit.

She’s then transportedinto the gameand has no way to return to the “real world. It’s now her new home.

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It’s a wholesome slice of life (not just Isekai), and has a good mix of comedy, feels, and tons of adventure.

23. Mushoku Tensei

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Mushoku Tensei, or “Jobless Reincarnation” is another Isekai of late.

The anime is about a 40 year old loser (literally) who reincarnates into another world. And he’s a bit of a pervert.

Growing up in his new household with both a mother and father, his father tries to train him in swordsmanship, butmagicis where Rudeus (the MC) excels.

The animation is gorgeous in this anime, and there is a charm to it no other Isekai seems to have.

It comes from a successful light novel series, and the anime is planned to have multiple seasons. Similar to SAO. So expect a lot of adventures and material in the future.

24. I’ve Been Killing Slimes For 300 Years, And Maxed Out My Level

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I’ve Been Killing Slimes For 300 Years is an anime by Revoroot studios. It’s a new studio with only a handful or so of anime.

Adapted from a light novel series, it’s about Asuza. She was a “corporate slave” who died from exhaustion.

She’s given the chance to reincarnate as whatever she wants, and so she becomes powerful a witch.

The anime focuses on her life, the relationships she builds, and the community she supports around her.

It’s a lot better than I would have thought, judging from the title alone.

25. Drugstore In Another World

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Drugstore In Another World is one of the latest Isekai to hit summer 2021. And it’s a wholesome one.

Kirio, the pharmacist owner, died and is reborn in a new world where pharmacy is his talent. A sort ofmagic.

He makes all kinds of items for customers like Moisturizers infused with scents, Perfume, pain relief, and other things.

It’s written in a laid back, comical style alongside characters like Noella who make it more wholesome. And Mina, the blonde Ghost who helps out in the pharmacy business.

26. Spirit Chronicles

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Spirit Chronicles starts out with the main character on the right, a kid,who wakes up in a room with barrels. He’s wearing a brown coat, appears dirty, and in their world ispoor.

Later on after running into royalty by mistake, and after almost being killed for something he didn’t do, be becomes royalty himself.

It’s a way of saying thanks for saving someone from the royal family who’s kidnapped.

Magicis common here, and the MC has a lot of magic potential according to a royal magic user.

Other Isekai Anime:

  • Spirited Away.
  • Overlord.
  • No Game No Life.
  • Youjo Senki.
  • Drifters.
  • Re:Creators.
  • Knights & Magic.
  • Wise mans Grandchild.
  • Isekai Quartlet.

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FAQs

What is the number 1 isekai anime? ›

Sword Art Online is one of the most popular and commercially successful anime in the Isekai subgenre. Unlike the traditional fantasy world, this anime features protagonist Kirito being transported into a virtual realm.

Why do I like isekai so much? ›

People love to be transported to another world while empathizing with the main protagonist, and that is part of why Isekai is so popular. Both the viewers as well as the protagonist are seeing a different world with a fresh perspective.

What is the best reverse isekai? ›

What are the best reverse isekai series? Isekai anime have been near inescapable over the last decade. Sword Art Online, Overlord, Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-, and KonoSuba are just a handful of the shows that cemented the subgenre as a staple in the industry.

Is isekai oversaturated? ›

Isekai is consequently facing somewhat-justified backlash as a genre due to its oversaturation in Japanese culture, as well as by fans of Japanese culture abroad.

Who is the father of isekai? ›

Mushoku Tensei is the father of isekai. The manga was released on November 22, 2012 and it was the cause of the trend of "truck-kun" and the anime adaptation will be released on October 2020 (no exact date yet). Summary: A 34 year old NEET was killed in traffic and he wished for a chance to redo his life.

Are isekai worlds real? ›

Some of the worlds where people end up in these series are just past versions of our own world, while others are video games or fantasy worlds. But several of them have a basis in real-life history, even when they don't necessarily take place in the past. Here are 10 isekai worlds that have a basis in real life.

How many isekai anime are there? ›

It seemed like 2021 had quite a lot to offer in terms of isekai, from the traditional harem stuff to the more unique takes like Shingo Natsume's Sonny Boy. So, we decided to take a look at all of them and compile a list of all the isekai anime that aired in 2021. The number was quite poetic – 21.

Does Netflix have isekai? ›

Isekai anime filmmakers have been successfully feeding the youth that wants an escape into another world. Over the past few years, Netflix has added a variety of content to this fantastical world of surreal drama and emotions.

What anime did a 1 make? ›

Nanatsu no taizai (2014–2021)

Is anime more popular in Japan or America? ›

In the United States, approximately 72 percent of people watch anime regularly. This means that the United States has a greater number of total people who watch anime shows than Japan, but Japan has a higher percentage of its population that watches anime overall.

Who is the strongest character among all anime? ›

Saitama from One Punch Man is the strongest character in anime. Even with new anime launching all the time, no one holds a candle to him yet.

What are the big 3 anime? ›

The Big Three was a term used to describe the three most popular running series during their golden age in Jump - One Piece, Naruto and Bleach. All three series got their common title due to their worldwide popularity and length.

What is the 2 oldest anime? ›

2. Urashima Tarō Urashima Tarō is one of two films discovered in an antique shop in Osaka, Japan in 2008; the other film was Nakamura Gatana (listed above).

What is Japan's #1 anime? ›

The most popular anime in Japan right now are:

Urusei Yatsura (2022) Chainsaw Man. My Hero Academia (season 6) BLEACH: Thousand-Year Blood War.

What is America's favorite anime? ›

Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Sailor Moon, and even Pokemon made the cut stateside! Of course, there are also newer hits fairing well in the United States. Demon Slayer came in second place despite only having a couple of seasons to its name.

What is the opposite of isekai? ›

Reverse isekai is literally the opposite situation of an earthling being transported to another world. In this genre, the main protagonist generally comes from a fantasy world where magic is plentiful but ends up getting teleported to Earth.

Are there any isekai movies? ›

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe might have been an allegory for Christianity, but it still falls within the Isekai category. The sequels also conform to this template but it's mostly the first film that contains that undeniable Isekai charm.

Why do all isekai look the same? ›

So many isekai protagonists look almost exactly alike. The reason is fairly simple: wish fulfillment. When it comes to isekai anime, there's one iconic series that greatly defines the genre and that's Sword Art Online.

Can isekai be Slice of Life? ›

While the more traditional Isekai storylines are crammed full of adventure and action, some series opt to take a more laid-back route, sharing more in common with the slice-of-life style than the fantasy Shonen genre.

Are there any games like isekai? ›

The Kingdom Hearts franchise is very special in the hearts of the most avid gamers. It's an exciting, isekai-esque collaboration between Disney and Square Enix. Sora, the protagonist, is a Keyblade wielder who travels across many worlds from Disney alongside Donald and Goofy.

Which anime is the grandfather of isekai? ›

The Grandfather of Isekai: The Mushoku Tensei Manga and Anime: Sullivan, Henry Martin: 9798485915568: Amazon.com: Books.

How long has isekai been around? ›

Starting with the release of the light novel series, Reki Kawahara's Sword Art Online, in the early 2010s, the modern isekai boom was born.

Has isekai life been released? ›

The series aired from July 4 to September 12, 2022, on AT-X, Tokyo MX, BS NTV, and BS Fuji, with the first two episodes airing back-to-back. The opening theme song is "Mujikaku no Tensai" by Non Stop Rabbit, while the ending theme song is "Gohan da yo!

Is re Zero the best isekai anime? ›

Re:Zero is widely considered the best-made isekai that stems from the adventures of a former nobody.

Which anime broke the Internet? ›

1) Goku becomes the first Super Saiyan in millennia (Dragon Ball Z) Fans were incredibly hyped when Goku successfully transformed into a Super Saiyan for the first time in the Dragon Ball Z anime. Many people rewatched this scene over and over again just to relive the feeling they had when they first watched it.

How many Isekais are there? ›

It seemed like 2021 had quite a lot to offer in terms of isekai, from the traditional harem stuff to the more unique takes like Shingo Natsume's Sonny Boy. So, we decided to take a look at all of them and compile a list of all the isekai anime that aired in 2021. The number was quite poetic – 21.

Why is Re:Zero so popular? ›

Excellent. The storytelling in this anime is just divine. The characters, the visuals, the soundtrack, they are just perfect. Highly recommend this anime- although there isn't as much fighting/action scenes compared to other animes, the main selling point is the story telling, and it has done well.

Is Mushoku tensei the best isekai ever? ›

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation does a lot of things right, standing out as one of the best Isekai released in years. The Isekai genre and its reincarnation themes are quite popular in the anime industry.

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