List of popular as well as underrated Isekais anime that you should be watching
Welcome to AnimeExpert, and here’s my scrap metal list of popular as well as underrated Isekai anime that you should be watching.
10. The Eminence in Shadow
When you ask someone to describe a show that has the most thrilling plot and deepest character, this anime is not what they were talking about. Eminence in Shadow is the cringiest, edgy, power fantasy anime you will ever watch, and you’ll ask yourself, What am I doing with my life? If the other Isekais on this list were to be described as Michelin-starred meals, this anime is McDonald’s, and I love it. This anime is about Sid Kagenou, a high school student who dreams of becoming the ultimate mastermind of the shadows.
Cid believes that the best way to achieve this goal is to live a double life, pretending to be a normal student by day, aka an NPC, and a shadow mastermind by night. He recruits his childhood friends, Ninomiya and Yasuoka, to be his loyal henchmen and embark on various missions to prove his worth. Cid is a skilled strategist and tactician, as he uses his knowledge of manga and anime to plan out his schemes. However, his plans often involve him bullshitting his way through, which would end up being real and lead him to ridiculous situations. The series is full of over-the-top comedy as well as fully embracing tropes and cliches. It’s the definition of cringe. As the series progresses, Cid’s reputation as a shadow mastermind grows, and he gains the attention of various shadow organizations that see him as a potential threat. Overall, this series is a fun and light-hearted anime that pokes fun at its genre while telling an engaging story. This is something worth checking out.
9. Sonny Boy.
Sonny Boy is a story about 36 high school students who suddenly and mysteriously had their high school building transported into a void-like dimension. Lost and confused, the student council attempted to impose control and order on the students. Though some of them awaken supernatural powers, it would lead to division and conflict within the group. We follow the perspective of the main characters, Mizuho, Nagara, and Nozomi, as they deal with unique challenges and obstacles, traveling to different dimensions and solving conflicts to find their way back home.
Sonny Boy is different compared to most of the Isekai in the genre. Its story and characters are very complex and complicated, which causes a lot of confusion for the viewers. It’s difficult to predict where the plot will take you next, and it might take some of you to sit through it a second time to grasp the tip of the iceberg of what the story is trying to tell you. But don’t let this be the reason to stop you from watching this. Several factors make Sunny Boy an interesting show but I think its main selling point is its characters. It introduces a wide variety of characters with different motives and personalities. Some of these characters provide different perspectives on certain issues and morals, which makes the story very compelling and interesting.
The numerous mysteries and different philosophies of these characters cause drama and conflicts to arise, which is what makes it so intriguing. Every episode is different. It’s messy, complicated, and sometimes pretentious; it requires you to be patient to understand what’s going on. But everyone has a different opinion or take about this anime. Some say this is a masterpiece and others would say this is boring, and neither of them is wrong. Sonny Boy is an anime where you take what you can get and that is how you would perceive it. It gives a unique experience to the viewers, something not many shows can do. This anime is not for everyone, but I strongly recommend giving it a shot.
8. How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom
If you are looking for a more political, city-building isekai, this is the perfect one for you. This anime follows the story of Kazuya Souma, a high school student who gets summoned to a parallel world to become the new king of the Elfrieden Kingdom. Upon his arrival, he discovers that the kingdom is in a state of disarray, plagued by economic problems and political corruption. Using his modern knowledge and management skills, Kazuya implemented various policies and reforms to revitalize the kingdom’s economy and infrastructure, including creating a central bank, establishing new trade routes, and improving agriculture. This anime is Civilization 6.
Along the way, he would face resistance from the nobles and military, who disagreed with his ways, but his persistent attitude and determination would aid him in building alliances and forming new friendships that would make the kingdom a better place. The series explores themes such as leadership, politics, and diplomacy. Kazuya’s pragmatic and rational approach to problem-solving sets him apart from the typical heroic fantasy protagonist, making him an interesting and unique character. This anime has amazing world-building and lovable characters; it steps away from your traditional adventure isekai and does something more unique and interesting, making it a must-watch for both isekai and fantasy fans.
7. Grimgar: Ashe and Illusions
This is a fantasy anime series that follows the story of a group of strangers who find themselves in a strange world with no memories of their past lives. The group consists of roughly 7 people who become members of the “Volunteer Soldier Squad” and work together to survive in this new world. The series explores the themes of survival, friendship, and self-discovery, as the group must overcome various obstacles and fight against dangerous monsters to earn a living. They must also confront the reality that death is a very real possibility in this world, and they must rely on each other to survive.
The anime has a more realistic approach to fantasy, with the characters having to train and learn new skills to improve their chances of survival. The battles are intense and well-choreographed, with the characters having to use strategy and teamwork to defeat their enemies. Due to their inexperience, they would often struggle in the beginning, facing near-death experiences in order to get by. It sets it apart from your typical power fantasy isekai and shows that killing and surviving aren’t as easy as they look. Despite the cruel and gruesome reality of the world, the anime has beautiful animation and a colorful background. It gives the viewers a chance to admire its beauty and connect with every one of its characters. The voice acting is also excellent, with the actors delivering emotional performances that add to the depth of the characters and their relationships.
Drifters is one of those anime that, at first glance, would make every edgy 12-year-old kid scream in excitement. But apparently, they’re not the only ones. Drifters is set in a dark, grim fantasy world of monsters and constant war. The anime follows the story of Toyohisa Shimazu, a powerful and courageous warrior. He was involved in the Battle of Sekigahara but was critically wounded as he was the rearguard for his retreating troops.
When the chance for survival is bleak, he suddenly finds himself in a modern, gleaming white hallway. Faced with a mysterious man named Murasaki and hundreds of doors on both sides, Toyohisa is pulled into the nearest door and a world completely unlike his own. There, he would be known as a drifter. But he isn’t the only one; along the way, he will come into contact with different historical figures from different eras. Such beings would be Oda Nobunaga, a brilliant strategist, and Nasu, a masterful archer.
Together, they would go to war against the End and the Black King, as their goal is to destroy humanity. The anime is full of amazing, bloody action, character enjoyment, and a mix of comedy. It introduces a wide variety of characters and it creates an interesting but engaging dynamic with each other. It also has a unique character design and a catchy soundtrack. Some of the scenes are pure chaos as we get to see the DRIFTERS go against powerful foes that have unique abilities. Overall, this anime is worth a shot for those looking to binge-watch something.
If you ever wondered what would happen if a Roman soldier went against modern guns, look no further than Gate. Gate follows the story of a Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF) officer named Youji Itami. Whoever, at first glance, seems boring, lazy, and a weeb is a talented and hardworking individual. One day, a mysterious gate would appear in the middle of Tokyo, which would connect the earth to a fantasy world filled with magic and mythical creatures. A reverse isekai would happen where monsters started pouring out of the gate and started farming the humans for xp, the JSDF was able to establish control and wipe out the monsters. They would explore the new world and set up a military base, pretty much like modern-day British colonization. Itami would lead a reconnaissance team through the gate to explore the new world.
Throughout the series, the JSDF team becomes involved in various conflicts, including defending civilians from a dragon attack, rescuing hostages from a band of rogue knights, and uncovering a conspiracy involving the Empire, the ruling government of the fantasy world. He would also befriend various lovable characters in his journey, which would aid him as well as build positive relationships with the JSDF. This anime involves a lot of interesting politics and tactical military operations. There were a lot of scenes where the JSDF were able to easily wipe out an army, which would lead to many nations fearing them. The JSDF would also form diplomatic ties with some of these nations to form mutual benefits as well as allies. Overall, “GATE” is a thrilling anime series that combines elements of fantasy, action, and military strategy. The series explores themes of cultural exchange, diplomacy, and the impact of technology on medieval society.
If you want a good laugh and an enjoyable time, this one’s for you. Konosuba follows the story of Kazuma Sato, a shut-in. After dying in one of the most embarrassing ways, he meets a beautiful goddess named Aqua. He turns out to have a few loose screws and is pretty much useless. After being reincarnated into a fantasy world while forcefully bringing the goddess with him, both of them would have to work hard and overcome different obstacles to survive and make ends meet. Along the way, they would meet Megumin, a mage obsessed with explosion magic, and Darkness, a crusader with a masochistic streak, to form a party of adventurers.
One of the key elements of the show is its humor, which ranges from satire comedy to witty banter. The characters are constantly getting into absurd situations and making fun of each other’s flaws, creating a dynamic that is both hilarious and entertaining. Every episode is full of entertaining and chaotic moments, but there are times when, despite its comedic tone, it’s able to show the genuine, heartwarming, and wholesome side of these characters. KonoSuba is an amazing anime to just sit down on a Friday evening and binge-watch. Despite not having an actual story or plot, the anime can keep every episode they throw at you fun and refreshing. With the anime filled with such quirky and sarcastic characters in a vibrant world, it’s an amazing anime to watch for both comedic and anime lovers.
3. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
This is a popular anime series that follows the story of a 37-year-old Japanese man named Satoru Mikami, who is reincarnated as a slime monster in a fantasy world after he dies saving a stranger. He soon discovers that he has unique abilities, including the power to absorb other creatures and their skills, which would result in him leveling up and becoming stronger. As the story goes on, he encounters and befriends many other creatures, such as goblins, dwarves, and humans. Over time, he would create his kingdom and form new alliances.
Being a leader, he would face many obstacles and enemies to protect his kingdom. The abundance of characters in this anime is very interesting and lovable. We get to watch how Rimuru interacts with other creatures and builds trust with each other. This would in turn help grow his kingdom for monsters and solve many complicated political conflicts. The world-building in this anime is unique and exciting. We get to meet many more characters and leaders from other parts of the world. The world feels alive and interconnected. The different creatures and races in the show have their histories and relationships, and the show explores these connections in great detail, making it more immersive. One other element that fans praise this anime for is its action.
As we meet different characters throughout the series, we learn more about their strengths and abilities, as well as the capabilities of Rimuru when trying to protect those around him. The actions not only change the dynamic of the story but also keep you engaged with its amazing animation. Overall, this anime is known for its engaging characters, unique world-building, and creative battle scenes. It has been praised for its blend of humor, action, and drama and has garnered a large following among anime fans.
2. Re: Zero
This anime follows the story of Subaru Natsuki, who was suddenly transported into a fantasy world with an interesting ability. He discovers that he has acquired the ability to return to a “save point” every time he dies. Though it might sound OP at first, it has its downside. He would often have to go through emotional hell to simply survive after dying multiple times. He would befriend and follow a silver-haired half-elf girl named Emilia. Along with other characters, including the loyal maid Rem and the mage Beatrice.
He learns more about Emilia’s past and becomes determined to protect and prevent her tragic fate, leading him to face numerous trials and adversaries. He also learns the true nature of his power and the consequences of abusing it. Subaru dies multiple times, and each time he returns to life, he tries to change the outcome of events to prevent further tragedy. However, his actions often have unintended consequences and lead to even more dire situations. Subaru is forced to confront his flaws and shortcomings, including his tendency to act impulsively and make mistakes. He must learn to confront his faults and improve himself as a whole if he hopes to survive in this new world and protect those he cares about.
Throughout the series, Subaru forms alliances and builds relationships with other characters as they navigate the intricate political landscape and encounter various individuals with their motivations and secrets. The series is known for its complex plot, character development, and emotional depth. It tackles themes such as love, loss, trauma, and redemption. This is why this anime is heavily recommended for Isekai and fantasy fans.
1. Mushoku Tensei.
It is a fun and engaging anime with amazing characters in an immersive world. This anime follows the story of your typical 34-year-old shut-in Discord mod. After being kicked out of his house, he received a visit from Truck-kun and was reincarnated in a new fantasy world as a baby. Formerly living his life with fear and regret, Rudeus Greyrat, now named Rudeus Greyrat, decides to take his second chance in life and redeem himself. The pacing of the show in the beginning is slow. Rudeus would spend most of his time training with Roxy and overcoming his trauma. The anime wanted to take its time to set its foundation for the world. It has a combination of movie-level animation and cinematography, as well as telling an engaging story. This anime will take you on a roller coaster as we get to experience rich character development and intense fighting scenes. However, our main character, Rudeus, has a lot of issues and is the center of controversy.
The anime does not shy away from showing him as an absolute scum. But with the main theme of this anime being redemption and growth, as time goes on, viewers get rewarded with amazing character growth, not only from Rudeus but from everyone around him. This is a character-driven anime, and you might even get attached to some of them, as it does not fail to make every character we meet through his adventure seem so special. Aside from the characters, it has one of the most immersive worlds in anime. From beautifully drawn cities with different cultures to their very own translatable language, it is all you could ask for in a fantasy world. This anime may take some viewers a while to get used to, but I promise it will be worth it.
That’s all I have to say. Although there are plenty more isekai in the genre that I wasn’t able to fit into this list, such as No Game, No Life, Log Horizon, Overlord, Shield Hero, and many more, I just wanted to share with you guys my favorites first.