What makes a proper Isekai anime?

What is it about Mushoku Tensei and Ascendance of a Bookworm that makes an Isekai, amazing? Over the past few years, we’ve seen the rise and fall of many Isekai anime. Some survived criticism and turned out to be actually good, while others failed to become what it set out to be, and were simply forgotten. But what is it about these two anime that make them better than others of its kind?

In the first place, what is it about Isekai that is so very fascinating?

The concept of another world will always be something unbelievably exciting. Let alone, the idea of actually being a part of this other world. Unlike other non-isekai anime, it is this detachment from our known world and its rules that makes life in a new world extremely refreshing. After all, it is a world unlike any we’ve experienced before. A place where anything might just be possible. A realm that turns fiction into reality.

So why isn’t this enough? Why do some Isekai continue to fall short? Why is it that such an alluring idea in anime often receives the criticism it gets?

The beauty of an Isekai is that an isekai could be itself, but it could very easily be anything else just as well. It can be whatever it wants to be. What I mean is that an Isekai anime could be all about this whole new world, but it could also be about anything else, only now it’s in another world.

Because the very nature of Isekai is that it is a setting. Be it a story about romance, action or even just slice of life, all of these could take place in another world. But what makes an Isekai truly an Isekai is when it successfully infuses the aspect of “a different world” into its story, and into the characters’ everyday lives.

Unfortunately, some Isekai just aren’t Isekai enough.

To better understand everything, it is important to know what Isekai truly means. By definition, Isekai means to be transported to another world. Yet some anime fail to realise that an Isekai is just as much about another world as it is about the former world that the character came from.

Otherwise, an Isekai wouldn’t even be an Isekai, would it? It would be just like any other fantasy anime out there. In which case, would the anime even need to have been an Isekai? Why not create a fantasy world from the get-go instead of having a character be transported?

An Isekai isn’t just about existing in this whole other world. There needs to be a comparison between one world and the other. A constant link between the two worlds. Worlds that would keep challenging each other in some way or form. Because isn’t that what an Isekai really is all about?

Knowing what it means to be transported to another world, that’s what makes an Isekai truly an Isekai.

Would you agree? I mean I do still love all my Isekai regardless. After all, what I love about Isekai is mainly its adventure fantasy aspects. Though it wouldn’t hurt for an Isekai to be more Isekai-like, ya know?

But anyway, it’s been nearly 4 long months since my last post! I’m just relieved to have finally written something proper again. At least, I think it’s proper.

Sure did took me long enough though. But as always, thanks for reading!


  1. I think what makes a good isekai is it’s uniqueness. I mean getting transported into a different world is just what makes isekai exciting to watch but at the same time sometimes in most isekai anime they just repeat the same things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is indeed also very true! Although, I would think this applies to all anime and not only Isekai. Many criticise Isekai for being generic, but even non-Isekai anime can be generic.

      With every other isekai anime using the same template, it is easy to see why people complain that isekai aren’t very unique. Which is why it is important for them to quickly establish themselves with their narrative. But I’d say the same thing applies to all other anime, like shounen action etc.

      But yeah, uniqueness is something any anime could definitely benefit from.

      Liked by 2 people

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Anime Hanabi

Anime that pops!

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