What exactly is isekai anime? (2023)

If you've been watching anime regularly for the past decade or so -- andspecialIf you've watched in the past five years - then you've done iti may have heard the wordDifferent world in one place or another. In 2021 and 2022 alone, 47 different world series will be released, many of which are popular series in recent years, such asRise of the Shield Hero,Subject: Zero,Kouno Kouha, andOverlordfall into this category.

However, you rarely hear positive things about Another World. There's no shortage of articles and YouTube videos flagging the genre as trash or titled "Why I Hate Another World" and "Why Another World Sucks." You can throw a stone and find people who are tired of watching Isekai anime. Social media has been flooded with posts decrying the genre's lack of creativity and oversaturation, as well as making fun of some series' long, silly titlesI was reborn as a vending machine and now I'm wandering in the labyrinth(Yes, this is a real series, I promise.)


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But when there are series both old and new that are popular with audiences, it can't be a bad genre, can it? What causes people to have bad taste in other worlds, and does it really make sense?

What is another world?

What exactly is isekai anime? (1)

To answer these questions, it's important to first understand what an isekai really is.Different worldTranslated as "another world" or "another world," covers a genre of fiction in which characters are transported to an unknown world and must learn to survive. Typically, characters are placed in fantasy or virtual worlds, or some sort of parallel universe, as chosen heroes or subdued warriors, although many recent series have twisted them by turning characters into villains, inanimate objects This image, or similar unimportant characters. This type can also be divided into two subtypes:world animal swallow(teleport to another world) andreincarnation(Reborn in a different world.)

Isekai can be paired with manyandere anime genre, including comedy (Ya Boy Kongming!,devil is part time), theater (now and then, here and there,Rise of the Shield Hero), action (homeless,twelve countries) and even romance (I'm a villain so I tamed the boss,Escafney's vision).

While the different world genre has been getting a lot of talk lately, the anime and manga have been around for a long time. 1983sHalo Fighter DunpinOften considered one of the first otherworldly anime, it tells the story of a young man named Shou who is drawn to the medieval world of Byston Well after a serious car accident. 1986sSuper Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!As such, it was one of the first ways to enter the world of video games of this genre.

and the 1996sInuyasha, the series remains popular and acclaimed to this day, and is considered one of the early examples of Another World, as it tells the story of Kagome falling into a well and finding himself in the Sengoku period. until the 2000snow and then, here and thereThe 1999 series follows a young boy named Shu as he tries to protect a girl from a mech and ends up being transported to a dystopian world ravaged by war.

In addition to the 2000sSword Art OnlineAs web novels in 2002 and 2004Familiarity from scratch, in the 2010s we saw light novels like thisThe Saga of Tanya the Wicked(2010),Takeshi Reincarnation(2012) andSubject: Zero(2012)—all of which got animated adaptations in the late 2010s—andSword Art OnlineIt received an animated adaptation in 2012, securing the genre's place on the map for seasons to come.

Which brings us to today! Honestly, in the past five years or so, there have been too many other world series to be covered here, but in terms of numbers, there are about 80 other world series premieres from 2018 to 2022, And 2023 shows no signs of slowing down. Which actually brings us to the first installment of this genre.

related:The 25 Best Anime Movies of All Time, Ranked

saturation of genre

What exactly is isekai anime? (2)

At first glance, 80 doesn't seem like a very large number, does it?about 16 times a year, hundreds of anime series are released every year! However, once you start really getting into it, the numbers can get pretty massive. For example, in 2022 there will be around 26 different world series premiering. It was part of 186 anime TV series that year, excluding ONAs (Original-Net-Animation). This means that about 14% of all anime released that year were different worlds.

This is a very powerful block! Because of this, many people get tired of the genre. Too many of them came too soon, and not all of them were winners. It can be frustrating to see a seasonal schedule full of "In Another World" and "Reincarnation" that feel like unoriginal copies of the genre's biggest shows:Kouno Kouha,Subject: Zero,Takeshi ReincarnationEtc., etc

However, a large part of this oversaturation is due to Isekai's formula in action. In essence, Another World explores concepts people love, such as the connection between past and present, feeling overwhelmed in a new place, and the idea of ​​getting a second chance at life. Like most fiction, the Otherworld genre offers an escape from the ordinary. Heroes of the New World are nobody on their home world. The weak are now the strong. These are the ideas that make the genre interesting, but watching it the same way over and over loses its luster. When you started adding common tropes of the genre? Well, it goes down faster.

Give Tropics, Take Tropics

What exactly is isekai anime? (3)

Anime in general is full of dodgy tropes. Over time, you will learn what you will endure and where your footprints will land in the sand. Isekai as a genre is very similar! However, some metaphors are bad and hard to avoid.

isekai is a bad type for several common reasons. One of them is the all-around hero. Typically, in the Isekai series, the protagonists arrive in their new world with frankly uncanny abilities and powers. They are able to overwhelm enemies with ease from the start. So what's the point of watching? This power ensures that they win and basically ensures that the supporting characters who travel with them never experience any evolution. This particular trope gave most of the otherworld a very one-dimensional feel, and many viewers were put off by the lack of development and build-up it resulted in.

Another is the harem metaphor. Many isekai use this instead ofstandard romanticismConspiracy; there are some good exampleseighth son? Are you kidding me?,Familiarity from scratch,in another world with my smartphone, andbe king from now on, but really, there are so many people using that metaphor that you can have years of content if you like it. While this isn't bothersome to some viewers, others find it annoying to see the main character almost immediately begging to be swarmed by people who (among other things) want to marry them, with no development or real romance . Like the overwhelmed protagonists, the series' harem tropes often leave little room for development and actual exploration of the characters and their relationships, taking a simplistic approach.


And, of course, the medieval setting. Much of Isekai is set in a generic medieval European setting (if not, then some kind of generic virtual reality). This trope leads to the biggest criticism of the genre: a lack of originality. Another world does a really good job with anime adaptationsSword Art OnlineIn 2012, we've gotten more and more over the years. If it's not broken, don't fix it, right?

This idea leads to these very generic series that do nothing more than saturate the market for a genre that started out as a fun form of escapism but still manages to have unique stories, characters and ideas, Unfortunately, even these copies aren't copied from the best. They brought back aspects of the genre that audiences were tired of.


What exactly is isekai anime? (4)

No matter how bad things are, nobody can't help but make fun of it. Another World has brought us many popular anime memes, most notably "Truck-kun", which refers to a common scene in Another World where the main character is hit by a truck and dies, then goes to another world to find something . However, there are plenty of memes that make fun of how much the series resemble each other, how boring main characters manage to get a harem, and how Isekai's titles are often very long and give away the entire plot.

What is it about Isekai that bothers people? Well, that's mostly because the genre is crowding out the entire anime industry right now. People get annoyed at the way there seem to be two isekai series for each different genre. It doesn't help that many of the upcoming Isekai series are poorly made, relying on well-worn tropes and doing nothing to differentiate them from one another. Does this mean we should drop entire types? No! There are many very interesting, exciting and interesting alternate worlds that are worth checking out. We just sincerely wish we had less time to see another world. Just to give us a break.

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