The 10 Best Isekai Anime of All Time

Best Isekai Anime

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Isekai anime, where characters are transported to, reborn, or trapped in a parallel world or fantasy realm, has become incredibly popular over the years. Everyone has their favorites, and while it’s hard to pinpoint which are the absolute best, we’re diving deep into the realm of isekai to bring you a ranked list of the most unforgettable series of all time. Join me on this journey through magical worlds, powerful protagonists, and captivating tales. Here are the ten best isekai anime of all time!

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated on October 9, 2023, to include the latest releases and seasons in isekai anime.

1. ‘Re: Zero – Starting Life in Another World’

Re: Zero Top 10 Main Characters (Ranked)

‘Re: Zero’ begins with Subaru Natsuki, an ordinary young man who suddenly finds himself in a fantasy world. Yet, unlike many isekai protagonists, he doesn’t possess any extraordinary powers — instead, he can return from death, each time retaining the memories of the past loops. This leads to many emotional challenges and intense scenarios where Subaru faces immense suffering trying to correct his mistakes.

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What makes ‘Re: Zero’ a standout in the isekai genre is its unique spin on the ‘respawning’ concept. It delves deep into the psychological toll on Subaru, offering a fresh perspective on the consequences of one’s actions and the weight of the repeated emotional and physical pain.

2. ‘Ascendance of a Bookworm’

Ascendance Of A Bookworm

In ‘Ascendance of a Bookworm,’ a book-loving girl is reborn in a world where books are scarce and only for the elite. Determined, she creates and prints her own, bringing knowledge and stories to the masses. The anime focuses on her journey to bring the joy of reading to this new world.

This series shines in the isekai realm because it deviates from typical power fantasy tales. Instead, it champions the power of knowledge and the written word. It’s an ode to bibliophiles, showing how passion can drive change in even the most foreign environments.

3. ‘Overlord’

Are There Other Players in Overlord Besides Ainz?

‘Overlord’ starts as a tale of a gamer unwilling to log out of his favorite online game as it’s about to shut down. To his surprise, he finds himself in the game, not as a player but as his in-game character, the overpowered skeletal overlord, Ainz Ooal Gown. With no clear purpose, he decides to seek out if there’s anyone like him while dominating the world.

Its brilliance as an isekai is in its role reversal — the protagonist is technically the ‘villain’ in this world. This unique perspective and well-defined world-building make ‘Overlord’ explore power dynamics, challenging typical fantasy tropes.

4. ‘Log Horizon’

Log Horizon

After a new game update, thousands of players are trapped in the massive MMORPG, ‘Elder Tale.’ Among them is Shiroe, a strategist who bands together with other players to adapt to their new reality. Instead of battling to escape, they work to build and stabilize society within the game.

‘Log Horizon’ is lauded in the isekai genre for emphasizing community, politics, and strategy over mere combat. It touches on the complexities of human interactions and society-building in a virtual world, presenting a mature and intricate storyline that goes beyond just battles.

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5. ‘KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!’

KonoSuba

After a laughably tragic end to his life, Kazuma Satou is given a chance to reincarnate in a fantasy world. Armed with one request, he chooses to bring along the goddess Aqua. Instead of grand adventures, they face one comedic misfortune after another.

‘KonoSuba’ breathes fresh air into the isekai genre with its light-heartedness and humor. Instead of focusing on overpowering the protagonist, it revels in their flaws and misadventures. Its comedic approach provides a unique twist, proving that isekai doesn’t always have to be about grand quests or epic battles.

6. ‘No Game No Life’

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‘No Game No Life’ follows the journey of two sibling prodigies, Sora and Shiro, who excel in any game they play. When they defeat a god named Tet in a game, they’re invited to a world where everything is decided through games. Every challenge is resolved with a game, from political to border conflicts.

The appeal of ‘No Game No Life’ in the isekai category lies in its concept that replaces combat with intellectual battles. It celebrates wit and strategy, highlighting the power of intelligence and cunning in a world ruled by games.

7. ‘The Rising of the Shield Hero’

The Rising Of The Shield Hero

In ‘The Rising of the Shield Hero,’ Naofumi Iwatani is summoned to a parallel world as one of four heroes, each with a legendary weapon. Unfortunately for Naofumi, he has bestowed the seemingly weak Shield and is quickly betrayed, turning him cynical. Throughout the series, Naofumi must rise from his fall from grace, clearing his name and protecting the world.

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What sets it apart in the isekai genre is its exploration of betrayal, redemption, and growth. Unlike typical protagonists, Naofumi begins his journey despised and downtrodden, allowing for a deeper character arc and a story of perseverance against all odds.

8. ‘That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime’

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Series & Movies in Order

When corporate worker Satoru Mikami dies, he finds himself reborn in a fantasy world as a slime named Rimuru Tempest. From this unconventional start, Rimuru gradually evolves, gaining unique abilities and building a community of various species.

The charm of this isekai is how it flips the usual formula — starting the protagonist off as a seemingly weak creature. Yet, its focus on community-building, diplomacy, and clever problem-solving makes ‘That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime’ an uplifting tale of unity and leadership in a diverse world.

9. ‘Inuyasha’

Inuyasha

‘Inuyasha’ tells the tale of Kagome, a modern-day schoolgirl who is dragged into a historical, mystical world through a well. There, she meets Inuyasha, a half-demon, and they join forces to collect the shattered pieces of the Shikon Jewel.

The series blends isekai with historical fantasy, making it unique. Its appeal lies in the rich lore, period setting, and the interplay between modern and feudal elements. It’s as much a story about finding one’s place in the world as it is about love, conflict, and magical adventures.

10. ‘Mushoku Tensei’

Mushoku Tensei

‘Mushoku Tensei’ follows Rudeus Greyrat, who reincarnates into a world of magic and swords after a regretful life. With memories of his past life, he vows to lead a fulfilling life this time around, leveraging his newfound magical abilities.

Its strength as an isekai lies in its detailed world-building and genuine character development. Rudeus’ journey from a newborn to adulthood, coupled with his past life’s regrets, makes it a profound exploration of second chances, personal growth, and redemption.

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