For most people, Isekai is a polarizing topic. It’s a genre filled with some of the worst anime trends, which can turn off a sizable chunk of the fan base. But some people like the power fantasy element, or the fact that they can watch someone explore a fantasy universe with little consequence.
However, with so many people wanting to dislike the genre, one thing is certain: there are plenty of shows in this genre that don’t get a fair chance. In addition, a new anime comes out every season, so some series never get the second chance they deserve.
10 Knight’s & Magic is the ultimate isekai for mecha lovers
Not enough credit is given Knights & Magic to avoid many of the common problems of Isekai anime. The series tells the story of the protagonist Ernesti Echevalier, a programmer who loved giant robots in his past.
Reborn in a world where giant robots are the order of the day, Ernie begins designing and improving mechas until he constructs his dream robot. Knights & Magic doesn’t focus on harems or Ernie as the Edgelord. Instead, he’s just a guy who loves mecha. With lots of huge robot fights and little fan service, this is a solid Isekai series.
9 The Faraway Paladin does classic fantasy in a new way
Today, Isekai series try to feign originality by changing something fundamental about the core premise, like reincarnating the character as something inhuman. Also Paladin decides to make the character behaved from non-humans. The main character, Will, is raised by a skeleton, a ghost, and a mummy.
Each teaches Will various special skills before he ventures out into the world on his own. The world of Also Paladin may feel cliche at first, but the Creator knows how to approach them differently to make the universe feel unique. Better still, the series focuses on characters outside of the main protagonist.
8th The 8th son? Are you kidding me shows the strains that come with nobility
The 8th son has an unfairly bad rap, but there’s much to love for those who take a closer look. The protagonist comes from a poor noble family and as the 8th son is not guaranteed an heir. But he can read and learns magic, which he uses to perform various feats for his nation.
The stronger he gets, the more limitations there are in his life. This is because so many parts of the series are about how gaining power in a nobility system increases responsibilities, not freedoms. This is also one of the few series that takes an overtly positive view of polyamory, rather than just toying with the idea of the protagonist having a “harem.”
7 Standing On A Million Lives focuses on character development rather than action
Standing on a million lives At first it might feel like your average Isekai with an Edge Lord protagonist, a disturbingly common setup. But where most series would have an overwhelming lead, the protagonists here are all weak. Your mage can hardly do magic and the main character can only use pickaxes.
Instead of talking about how cool everyone is, the series focuses on challenging the protagonists to see if they can overcome the trauma of their past. It’s a welcome change from the power fantasies everyone is used to.
6 Didn’t I say I should make my skills average in the next life? is a light-hearted comedy
For people looking for a solid Isekai comedy, Didn’t I say to make my skills average? is great. The leading lady, Adele von Ascham, was originally a popular, talented girl on her home world, but this alienated her from everyone. She wanted to be reincarnated as a normal person, but was reincarnated with the “average” of the new world instead power and social position. It’s a bit of a confusing premise, but in the anime itself it makes sense.
With the “average” ranging from harmless insects to older dragons, she comes out with far more significant powers than most humans and must figure out how to make friends in a world where she is even more powerful than before.
5 By the Grace of the Gods shows that not every isekai has to be a power fantasy
Considering how likeable the main character and the world are, By the grace of the gods deserves to be as popular as Rise of a Bookworm. The protagonist, Ryoma Takebayashi, is a guy reincarnated in a new world by a group of gods who thought he had a bad hand in his previous life.
Despite coming to the new world with incredible powers and having tamed hundreds of slimes, Ryoma isn’t focused on being cool or saving the world. Instead, he wants to run a business and treat his workers fairly; all adventures are secondary to his primary goal. Although the series wasn’t popular when it aired, it’s getting a second season in the summer, which will hopefully make people change their minds about its quality.
4 The wise man’s grandchild has a streak that wants to uplift those around him
The sage’s grandchild has the makings of an annoying Isekai story. The protagonist is trained by the two strongest mages in his country, but he still blows them out of the water in terms of strength. The show could easily be about him being the best character ever, like a Magic High school irregular, but he’s not.
The protagonist spends most of the series training his friends to have the same powers as he faces a new threat to their nation. Meanwhile, harem elements are almost non-existent, the big protagonists are in solid relationships early on. The series has a single season and is rarely talked about, so the manga is worth reading even after people finish the anime.
3 Arata: The Legend shows a unique world of a legendary author
Arata: The Legend is another fantasy isekai from legendary creator Yuu Watase. The series focuses on two boys named Arata. One hails from a fantasy world where he is set to become the country’s next princess, thanks to his family who haven’t given birth to young girls in years.
Pretending to be a woman, Arata travels to the castle and sees someone trying to kill the princess, leaving him on the run. The other, Arata Hinohara, is from Japan but would rather be somewhere else to avoid the bullying he faces. As the two swap universes, Hinohara must figure out why someone tried to assassinate the princess and how to save the nation.
2 Dog Days features children vacationing in a fantasy universe
dog days is an isekai that came out just before the boom, freeing it from many expectations of a modern isekai. The series follows Cinque, who is called to another world because of his athleticism. Cinque is initially led to believe he is in the New World to help with a war, only to learn that this country has eliminated war and prefers friendly sports competitions.
This series was successful in Japan and ran for three seasons and 39 episodes. In the west, however, where hardly anyone had heard of it, it was far less popular. While the series does have fanservice moments, it’s also packed with incredible fight scenes and beautiful character designs.
1 I’ve been killing slimes for 300 years and my max level is about not overexerting
One thing is for sure: there are too many slime-based isekai out there at this point. but I’ve been killing slimes for 300 years does something different than other isekai anime. Its protagonist, Azusa, is a former office lady who overworked herself and was reincarnated by a goddess who wanted to help her.
Azusa is granted immortality in the new world and only wants to lead a peaceful life. She spends centuries living alone, but gradually learns the importance of family while teaching her family the importance of not overworking yourself, but improving a little bit every day.
NEXT: The 10 Most Cliched Characters From Isekai Anime, Ranked