Isekai has something for every anime fan. While the genre is overloaded with titles trying to come out on top, there are plenty of great shows in the mix. From oldies to goldies, these are some of the best isekai anime you can watch.
Inuyasha is one of the biggest original isekai, though it follows a bit of a different pattern than others in the genre. Kagome, a teenage girl, falls down a well located at her family’s shrine and ends up in ancient Japan. There, she’s discovered to be the reincarnation of a revered priestess, and she goes on a journey with a half-demon named Inuyasha.
Inuyasha includes romance and adventure, and there are even episodes set in modern-day Japan. Kagome travels between time in order to continue her regular life while having her own feudal fairy tale where she shows incredible character growth before the end. Even among anime like Inuyasha, it stands out because of its place in the isekai genre.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
When it comes to standard isekai, The Rising of the Shield Hero is a great example. The main character, Naofumi, gets transported to a new world with a few other young men who are supposed to be heroes. The heroes are given Legendary Weapons, and Naofumi ends up receiving the Legendary Shield.
Naofumi is wrongfully accused of a crime at the beginning and shunned, which leads to him trying to save the world with the help of others he meets along the way. The beginning of the show is stronger than the end, but a lot of the criticism of the anime applies to the majority of isekai in general.
The Devil is a Part-Timer
While most isekai features a protagonist that’s transported to a fantasy world, there are a few that bring the main character to a modern, realistic setting. That’s the case for The Devil is a Part-Timer, a show that features Satan getting to sent to modern-day Tokyo with a few of his generals. In order to survive and look for a way back out of Earth, Satan, now Sadao Maou, works at a fast food restaurant.
The show is funny and includes a bit of romance, and its a breath of fresh air compared to even the best isekai out there.
Restaurant to Another World
If you’re looking for a cozy title to tide you over while getting through your favorite shonen anime, then look no further. Restaurant to Another World is the perfect calming title, letting viewers relax and just watch a restaurant serve customers from other worlds once a week.
There’s no heart-pounding action or high-stakes dilemmas that a lot of isekai has. However, it makes up for that with a relaxing story and delicious food. Plus, it’s anime food — it’s incredibly comforting and delicious looking.
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime
It’s hard to ignore That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime. It’s one of the biggest modern isekai, and it was released before every other isekai release was a long, sentence-form title. It grabbed people’s attention and arguably marked the start of modern isekai.
The story follows Rimuru, a corporate worker turned slime after dying and waking up in a new world. Rimuru’s unique ability lets him take the appearance of anything he ingests, which is why the main character of the show is hardly ever shown as an actual slime.
Sword Art Online
While some consider That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime to be the launching point of modern isekai, others will point back to Sword Art Online. The anime started with a group of people who used a VR system and ended up trapped in an online world. Despite getting out of the game later and probably being very traumatized, many of the characters end up playing other VR games.
Each season of the anime feels like an entirely new show, which everyone has different opinions about. However, most people agree that Season One of Sword Art Online is pretty incredible. It was released before many of the other shows on this list, and it deviates from many of the tropes commonly seen with isekai.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is a pretty standard isekai: the main character gets hit by a truck and wakes up in a different world. However, this main character wakes up as a brand-new baby and experiences childhood again with the mind of a 34-year-old.
The show is often praised for its animation and plot. The premise of it also stands out — after all, most isekai’s don’t include the main character becoming a baby. Though its first few episodes are presented in a fairly light-hearted manner, it begins to unravel more complex issues such as trauma and coping with loss.
Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World
Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World is a fan-favorite isekai, and it’s easy to understand why. After mysteriously appearing in a new world, the main character (Subaru) discovers that he has the power to manipulate time when he dies. The show follows his time in this new world, dying over and over again to help the people he meets.
A lot of isekai focuses on the positive side of being able to restart in a new world. However, Re:Zero took a darker turn that set it apart from other isekai anime when it was released in 2016.
Ya Boy Kongming!
One of the most charming isekai out there is Ya Boy Kongming!. The show follows Kongming, a war general that dies and comes back to present-day Japan. There, he meets a rising pop star who he vows to help succeed with his brilliant tactical mind.
The isekai model is reversed, which isn’t unique in and of itself but the wholesome and general concept made the anime feel nothing less than perfect. The characters are brilliant, funny, and sincere, and the music is pretty great, too. It was considered one of the best anime out when it was released in 2022.
Campfire Cooking In Another World With My Absurd Skill
More cooking magic awaits in Campfire Cooking In Another World With My Absurd Skill. This isekai follows Mukouda, a hero summoned to a new world to fight enemies. However, while the rest of the heroes summoned gained battle-related powers, Mukouda’s power can bring food and food products from Japan.
This leads him to cook for animals and beasts while traveling and attempting to make a new life. This simple take on the isekai genre brings food front and center while delivering a solid experience that’s less complicated than so many other titles in the genre.