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Oct 31, 2018 1:41 PM

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In and of itself, isekai is not a terrible idea. However, the big problem is a combination of how prevalent they were and how little variety we got. One or two where the MC is overpowered can be fine, but the problem is 90% of the genre makes the MC overpowered, usually getting a harem immediately after. And yes, I've liked a few like that, but again, with how prevalent it is, it gets overwhelming.

Oh, and it doesn't help that it's getting to a point where all fantasy anime and by extension isekai have basically the same world. Most of them are based pretty directly on D&D to a point where it gets dull. Part of why Made in Abyss felt so good was it was a fantasy series that had it's own unique world to explore.
You have shit taste, and then I have taste so shit it makes your taste look good
 
Nov 1, 2018 5:46 AM

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Overdone concept and you have to work extra hard to actually make it stand out. There are some good ones I like though, like Tensai Slime and Kumo desu ga?




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my dream wanders around
fields of dry grass. ❞
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Nov 1, 2018 6:39 AM

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I think it's a cool concept, too bad most anime don't make good use of it.
 
Nov 1, 2018 9:56 AM

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The concept itself isn't the problem, but the tropes and cliches, that these kinda shows tend to be accompanied with. They're the definition of wasted potential. There are of course some good shows among them, but they are all rather old shows, because they actually use their settings. Dunbine, Escaflowne, Inuyasha (somewhat) and the unparraled masterpiece that is Garzey's Wing.
 
Nov 1, 2018 9:58 AM

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I liked Konosuba... and that's it. Isekai are all very predictable and formulaic, "self-insert neet gets transported to a world where he is suddenly a bad ass with a bunch of hot girls". It's sad too bcz the genre has so much more potential.
 
Nov 1, 2018 10:03 AM

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I like the concept but most shows execute it terribly.
Go read the One Punch Man manga please, this awful adaptation by JC Staff is a disgrace.
 
Nov 1, 2018 11:25 AM

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i don't mind the genre as some are good fun like konosuba
 
Nov 1, 2018 9:18 PM
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I don’t like how isekai anime recently are full of ecchi/harem elements.
And why are do they all have this same medieval european world and RPG elements?
 
Nov 1, 2018 9:49 PM

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Isekai is best genre.

My favorites are: Dog Days, Mondaiji, NGNL, KonoSuba, Death March, Isekai Smartphone, Isekai Maou.

Log Horizon was crap, though.

Haters gonna hate.
Modified by Nyaa, Nov 1, 2018 9:54 PM
 
Nov 1, 2018 11:16 PM

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I enjoy isekai, probably because I dream of being thrown in another world myself. I've dreamed of this before I watched isekai anime. While most isekai are related to games, I prefer those similar to Juuni Kokuki (my favorite isekai).






 
Nov 2, 2018 12:36 AM

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JuliusMP3 said:
Dont go crazy but, i want to know your honest to God opinion on isekai, and the impact it has had on anime recently, especially with some really popular ones, Sword Art Online, love it or hate it, is very popular, and shows like Overlord, Re:Zero, and Log Horizon

- There are some mispelling on your text... but i dont have intention to fix it.
- SAO wasnt isekai... how many we need to tell this shit to you guys to understand it?
- aslong there is no echi harem in it... im fine with isekai.
The MC Guy Dont deserve the best Girl.
 
Nov 2, 2018 1:22 AM

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I really like the fantasy part of isekai in general. It's a bit over-saturated right now but I always wondered what will happen if it was me who was thrown in a another world and what kind of world it would be.



i take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover
my heart's been borrowed and yours has been blue
all's well that ends well to end up with you ✕ swear
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Nov 2, 2018 10:34 AM

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JuliusMP3 said:
Dont go crazy but, i want to know your honest to God opinion on isekai, and the impact it has had on anime recently, especially with some really popular ones, Sword Art Online, love it or hate it, is very popular, and shows like Overlord, Re:Zero, and Log Horizon

Isekai is a quite useful plot device. It allows the author to introduce the setting through the prism of the characters who learn the setting together with the viewers. Some may say that the authors are looking down on viewers too much, but since I'm looking down on people too, I say it's a reasonable position to take.
Surprisingly few isekai stories actually exploit the full potential of modern knowledge in a fantasy world - for example, you'll see Satou from Death March using his awesome powers to slay demons and break economy, but he doesn't even make a gun. Or double-book bookkeeping. That's because isekai really is just a kind of beginning for a story.

It annoys me when people consider isekai a genre, it also annoys me when people consider Sword Art Online to be an isekai. It really annoys me when people start comparing SAO to Log Horizon, because they don't share any genre.

Regarding specific stories, SAO is one of my favorites. But the first book of the LN is still the best, and later arcs don't live up to it. Sure, it has plenty of flaws, but the positive sides overwhelm them.
Log Horizon is another one of my favorites. I love it when smart people are protagonists, and I love it even more when they save the day with their smarts like Shiroe does (unlike Kirito, who is smart, but saves the day with swordsmanship and love). Log Horizon is very flattering for people like me, because Shiroe gets to do awesome things just because he's so smart.
I dislike Overlord. It could have worked, but it's just so damn boring, and the MC is so damn unlikeable. And the author doesn't have enough humor to make it work. You know it was bad because, in half of the arcs I read, I was rooting for the MC's enemies.
I avoided watching Re:Zero. It's too much of a deconstruction, and I hate deconstructions. At the moment I saw a medieval-fantasy road working like a modern highway but without traffic rules, I knew the author doesn't have enough sanity and positivity to entertain me.
 
Nov 2, 2018 11:14 AM

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HopefulNihilist said:
They have the potential to be incredibly creative and original, but for the most part, aren't. The ones I see rely more on a central gimmick, rather than creative ideas. I don't even need to adress how many isekais choose to make their MC's broken, and have the whole show practically sucking up to them.
Not to mention their settings are always the same: Medieval Europe or Feudal Japan, and the tones are mostly light-hearted.

Even something like Re: Zero just adds a reused gimmick (time travel), and acts like it's "subverting" the genre, while having its cake and eating it too.

I want to see an isekai that has the dark, hopeless, mysterious, brutal, Nihilistic atmosphere of Dark Souls.
I want to see an isekai about a character who is flawed and weak as fuck (Subaru doesn't count; he's terribly written and OP as hell).
I want to see an isekai about someone who isn't Japanese or a white American.
I want to see an isekai set in a fantasy world based on the Ottoman era.

But the lack of originality of isekai is no surprise; anime and manga are medias fueled by business first, artistry second.

I have no idea why you would want to see all that stuff. There are reasons why they are made like this.
1) The concept of going to another world is too optimistic for "dark and brutal" atmosphere. People of such worlds cannot expect a savior to come and make things right - they've got to fight on their own. If a person does come from another world, he would either die quickly, or start out near-invincible. Instead, watch a story like Berserk.
That said, I heard that Now and Then, Here and There is a story like that. I never bothered to try watching it.

2) I think you missed KonoSuba. That's definitely what you're asking for. It only works because it's funny.
Without humor, it's going to be just boring and masochistic crap. Don't believe me? Try watching Escaflowne and associating yourself with Hitomi instead of Van.

3) Sure, just open a story written in another country, and you'll have that country's person going to another world. Mine writes them regularly. Isekai is about a person like the reader for a reason. There is no point in making the reader learn two worlds at once when the story is going to be about only one of them.

4) Is ottoman era a time of turbulence, where a strong and lucky guy/girl can have cool adventures and achieve success without the author obviously re-arranging reality to provide that?
Probably not. That's why there are no adventure stories set there. Not every era is suitable for a personal adventure. At most, it would be Dark Ages Europe all over again, but with turbans.
And you can't really make a story about ottoman politics if the MC doesn't start out as some kind of aristocrat. And people who just dropped out of teleport aren't aristocrats.

meatbun_ said:
I like the concept of isekai, the problem is that instead of getting transported to a whole new world they just get transported to your generic JRPG inspired world. Overall it's such a pathetic genre that every instance of it seems like a parody of itself. Even Konosuba got popular as a parody even though it's really only another classic isekai.

I believe in occam's razor. The author should only invent whole new worlds when he is prepared to make use of them. Otherwise, they should use one specific world instead. That way, I would not have to learn all the new names, geography and rules.
And most isekai writers don't want to write about worlds, they plan to write about adventures, harems, cooking or whatever strikes their fancy. So it's perfectly fine for them to send their characters to the same world we more-or-less know already.
 
Nov 2, 2018 11:38 AM

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flannan said:
I believe in occam's razor.


Occam's razor shouldn't be used to justify bad fiction. The simplest solution between two should be the one that simplifies the initial problem for the best, not to worsen it.

flannan said:
The author should only invent whole new worlds when he is prepared to make use of them.


The problem is that usually it's not only the world that feels generic and dull.

flannan said:
And most isekai writers don't want to write about worlds, they plan to write about adventures, harems, cooking or whatever strikes their fancy.


And unfortunately most of them are bad at all of that as well.
 
Nov 2, 2018 11:44 AM

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flannan said:

1) The concept of going to another world is too optimistic for "dark and brutal" atmosphere.


Re: Zero is about a seemingly normal teenager ending up in another world where he's constantly killed in really brutal and gory ways.

flannan said:
People of such worlds cannot expect a savior to come and make things right - they've got to fight on their own.


Again, in Re: Zero, the main character is the one who saves the other characters, because he's given a special power to go back in time.

flannan said:
If a person does come from another world, he would either die quickly, or start out near-invincible.


Not necessarily. You're forgetting that stories are fiction; and thus, your limiting your imagination. Why can't I write a story about a normal person ending up in a world like Berserk, but survives by running, hiding, being careful? Before eventually settling down somewhere and training?

flannan said:

That said, I heard that Now and Then, Here and There is a story like that. I never bothered to try watching it.


I dropped that anime, have no interest in it.

flannan said:
2) I think you missed KonoSuba. That's definitely what you're asking for. It only works because it's funny.


I have watched Konosuba, and it is very original. I never said ALL isekai lack originality, just seemingly most.

flannan said:
Isekai is about a person like the reader for a reason.


So many isekai are based on the Japanese audience; and awkward otaku, that it's cliche at this point. It's only proof that isekai writers care more about profit > artistry.

flannan said:
There is no point in making the reader learn two worlds at once when the story is going to be about only one of them.


What do you mean "2 worlds"? If an isekai starts off taking place in Turkey, they're not in another world; they're in another country. Then if they're transported to a fantasy world based on ancient Greece, THEN they're in another world.

flannan said:
4) Is ottoman era a time of turbulence, where a strong and lucky guy/girl can have cool adventures and achieve success without the author obviously re-arranging reality to provide that?
Probably not. That's why there are no adventure stories set there. Not every era is suitable for a personal adventure. At most, it would be Dark Ages Europe all over again, but with turbans.
And you can't really make a story about ottoman politics if the MC doesn't start out as some kind of aristocrat. And people who just dropped out of teleport aren't aristocrats.


You're completely forgetting that we're talking about fiction. I never said an isekai should be set IN the Ottoman Era, I said it'd be great if an isekai was set in a world BASED on the Ottoman Era; if that means making changes, that's fine; it's fiction.

Besides, anime has never given a shit about historical accuracy. Look at Magi. It's set in a fantasy world clearly based on the Middle East, yet 99.9% of the characters are white.
Yet despite this, Magi's setting STILL feels Middle Eastern; the characters' clothes, names, the governments.

meatbun_ said:
Overall it's such a pathetic genre that every instance of it seems like a parody of itself.


This. Every time I attempt to watch any isekai, it always starts off with some form of self-awareness to its cliches...while embracing those cliches, or as they say, "eating its cake too". I've only seen Konosuba escape this trap, even though yes, it's still a parody.

flannan said:
And most isekai writers don't want to write about worlds, they plan to write about adventures, harems, cooking or whatever strikes their fancy. So it's perfectly fine for them to send their characters to the same world we more-or-less know already.


You summed it up: isekai authors don't actually care about world building.
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Nov 2, 2018 12:27 PM

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meatbun_ said:
flannan said:
I believe in occam's razor.


Occam's razor shouldn't be used to justify bad fiction. The simplest solution between two should be the one that simplifies the initial problem for the best, not to worsen it.

There is nothing particularly bad about generic fantasy anime, compared to anime as a whole.
No part of generic fantasy setting makes the story featuring it inherently worse. It's a quite adventure-ready setting, that's why it's used.
Frankly, most settings invented whole-cloth are a lot more poor as a result. Strange Dawn's setting might be outlandish, but it also quickly becomes dull as the novelty wears out.

meatbun_ said:
flannan said:
The author should only invent whole new worlds when he is prepared to make use of them.


The problem is that usually it's not only the world that feels generic and dull.

flannan said:
And most isekai writers don't want to write about worlds, they plan to write about adventures, harems, cooking or whatever strikes their fancy.


And unfortunately most of them are bad at all of that as well.

That's all up to the author. And up to the viewer liking said genre. Any novelty created by being extra-creative with a new world would wear out soon enough, unless the author is willing to make the world a main character of the story.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
1) The concept of going to another world is too optimistic for "dark and brutal" atmosphere.

Re: Zero is about a seemingly normal teenager ending up in another world where he's constantly killed in really brutal and gory ways.

Does it really make for a dark and brutal atmosphere? hint: Higurashi doesn't have a dark and brutal atmosphere. Berserk does.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
People of such worlds cannot expect a savior to come and make things right - they've got to fight on their own.

Again, in Re: Zero, the main character is the one who saves the other characters, because he's given a special power to go back in time.

That is, he does start actually invincible, wielding the most powerful element of them all: save scumming time. He might not be Neo Ranga, but even an ordinary guy can do a lot with that.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
If a person does come from another world, he would either die quickly, or start out near-invincible.

Not necessarily. You're forgetting that stories are fiction; and thus, your limiting your imagination. Why can't I write a story about a normal person ending up in a world like Berserk, but survives by running, hiding, being careful? Before eventually settling down somewhere and training?

That's exactly what I mean by "start our near-invincible". Superhuman intellect is also a form of strength. Add some combat power (from training or allies), and by the second arc he is already the strongest person in the setting. You can make silly things like powerlevels, but it's only delaying the inevitable.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
Isekai is about a person like the reader for a reason.

So many isekai are based on the Japanese audience; and awkward otaku, that it's cliche at this point. It's only proof that isekai writers care more about profit > artistry.

In practice, most isekai authors seem to write about people like themselves or younger versions of themselves. I think it's not about profits, it's about self-expression.
In any case, the purpose of isekai beginning is to make a MC who is like the target audience. Doing it otherwise is putting the cart before the horse.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
There is no point in making the reader learn two worlds at once when the story is going to be about only one of them.

What do you mean "2 worlds"? If an isekai starts off taking place in Turkey, they're not in another world; they're in another country. Then if they're transported to a fantasy world based on ancient Greece, THEN they're in another world.

Suppose the story stars with a young turk (is it the right word?), and it somehow matters in the story. Suppose also that the audience isn't from Turkey, but from a country that's so different that it matters that the MC is a turk. Now the audience either has to be baffled by MC's actions that stem from his turkishness (it took me a while to get used to Japanese characters doing very Japanese things), or try to learn what young turks are like. In addition to learning what fantasy ancient greece is like.
Did you really think people automatically understand what Turkey is like? Turkey has been our neighbors for centuries, but I still have a very vague idea of what life there is like and what people there are doing when they aren't picking fights with us.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
4) Is ottoman era a time of turbulence, where a strong and lucky guy/girl can have cool adventures and achieve success without the author obviously re-arranging reality to provide that?
Probably not. That's why there are no adventure stories set there. Not every era is suitable for a personal adventure. At most, it would be Dark Ages Europe all over again, but with turbans.
And you can't really make a story about ottoman politics if the MC doesn't start out as some kind of aristocrat. And people who just dropped out of teleport aren't aristocrats.


You're completely forgetting that we're talking about fiction. I never said an isekai should be set IN the Ottoman Era, I said it'd be great if an isekai was set in a world BASED on the Ottoman Era; if that means making changes, that's fine; it's fiction.

Besides, anime has never given a shit about historical accuracy. Look at Magi. It's set in a fantasy world clearly based on the Middle East, yet 99.9% of the characters are white.
Yet despite this, Magi's setting STILL feels Middle Eastern; the characters' clothes, names, the governments.

Sure, Magi is Middle Eastern. It also very much isn't set in the era of powerful centralized government of Ottoman Empire. There is a reason for that. Centralized governments suck.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
And most isekai writers don't want to write about worlds, they plan to write about adventures, harems, cooking or whatever strikes their fancy. So it's perfectly fine for them to send their characters to the same world we more-or-less know already.

You summed it up: isekai authors don't actually care about world building.

And why should they? Worldbuilding is an art, it doesn't really need to be debased by people who don't know what they are doing.
 
Nov 2, 2018 12:32 PM

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So many prejudices here. Some of them are pretty good to awesome and they are not an otaku culture-invention. Again, Narnia, Harry Potter, The Neverending Story, Alice in Wonderland and Oz are also Isekais. They are for a younger audience, but they still are considered as classics.

My favs are Inuyasha, Spirited Away and Juuni Kokuki.
I also really liked Grimgar and Now and Then, Here and There as well.
Modified by Maneki-Mew, Nov 2, 2018 12:37 PM
 
Nov 2, 2018 1:00 PM

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flannan said:

There is nothing particularly bad about generic fantasy anime, compared to anime as a whole.


But that's what I said? I never said the generic setting is enough for it to be bad (though it's usually enough for it not to be very remarkable). The problem is when everything else sucks as well. See Konosuba: generic setting, but some genuinely funny humour and truly entertaining antics between the characters.

flannan said:
Any novelty created by being extra-creative with a new world would wear out soon enough, unless the author is willing to make the world a main character of the story.


I disagree, but my point was that the world isn't the only generic or uninteresting thing about it. The problem with most isekai is that they simply have no redeemable qualities. They can be moderately fun sometimes, but it's something you forget about a week later.

Maneki-Mew said:
So many prejudices here. Some of them are pretty good to awesome and they are not an otaku culture-invention. Again, Narnia, Harry Potter, The Neverending Story, Alice in Wonderland and Oz are also Isekais. They are for a younger audience, but they still are considered as classics.


Harry Potter technically isn't isekai. Hogwarts is contained within the real world, it's not another world.
Also, when talking isekai people usually aren't referring to these ones, not even to old anime like Juuni Kokuki. They are refering to the fever of post-SAO isekai.
 
Nov 2, 2018 1:30 PM

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flannan said:

Does it really make for a dark and brutal atmosphere? hint: Higurashi doesn't have a dark and brutal atmosphere. Berserk does.


No, but it easily COULD have, if Re: Zero was rid of its cutesey artstyle and more light-hearted scenes.

flannan said:

That is, he does start actually invincible, wielding the most powerful element of them all: save scumming time. He might not be Neo Ranga, but even an ordinary guy can do a lot with that.


Fair enough.

flannan said:

That's exactly what I mean by "start our near-invincible". Superhuman intellect is also a form of strength. Add some combat power (from training or allies), and by the second arc he is already the strongest person in the setting. You can make silly things like powerlevels, but it's only delaying the inevitable.


You're adding in elements I never put; what I described wasn't "superhuman intellect" it's called using your brain. You're making it sound as if an isekai protagonist HAS to be OP no matter what. Why? There are plenty of fictional stories set in a fantasy setting where the main character may be strong, but not overpowered. Again, you're limiting your imagination.

flannan said:

In practice, most isekai authors seem to write about people like themselves or younger versions of themselves. I think it's not about profits, it's about self-expression.


What "self-expression"? How are these bland isekai protagonists like Kirito the authors' "self-expression"

flannan said:
In any case, the purpose of isekai beginning is to make a MC who is like the target audience.


Why does an isekai ALWAYS have to make the MC based on the audience? Aside from being a shut-in NEET otaku, Kazuma's personality is as far as the target audience of Konosuba can get: he's selfish, a sexual harassing pervert, a complete asshole.

flannan said:

Suppose the story stars with a young turk (is it the right word?)


It's the right word. The only problem is that you didn't capitalize Turk.

flannan said:
and it somehow matters in the story. Suppose also that the audience isn't from Turkey, but from a country that's so different that it matters that the MC is a turk. Now the audience either has to be baffled by MC's actions that stem from his turkishness (it took me a while to get used to Japanese characters doing very Japanese things), or try to learn what young turks are like. In addition to learning what fantasy ancient greece is like.
Did you really think people automatically understand what Turkey is like?


I hate to admit it, but you actually make a fair point.

flannan said:
Turkey has been our neighbors for centuries, but I still have a very vague idea of what life there is like and what people there are doing when they aren't picking fights with us.


I'm a Turkish American who's been to Turkey almost every year all his life, and I can tell you this: Turks LOVE Americans.

flannan said:

Sure, Magi is Middle Eastern. It also very much isn't set in the era of powerful centralized government of Ottoman Empire. There is a reason for that. Centralized governments suck.


Again, you're not using your imagination; WHY can't a fictional story be set in a centralized government? Many fantasy epics are, in fact, about going against a centralized government.
Going back to the Ottoman example, the fantasy world doesn't HAVE to have a centralized government like the actual Ottoman Empire because, again, it's fiction.

flannan said:

And why should they? Worldbuilding is an art, it doesn't really need to be debased by people who don't know what they are doing.


Because good world building is literally one of the most basic forms of good writing.
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Nov 2, 2018 1:36 PM

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Like any other genre there's some genuine good shows out there and some really awful shit.
 
Nov 2, 2018 1:37 PM

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meatbun_ said:
Also, when talking isekai people usually aren't referring to these ones, not even to old anime like Juuni Kokuki. They are refering to the fever of post-SAO isekai.

More serously, they mean stories written by young and not very professional authors, who started out by self-publishing on sites like sousetsu. And people don't really care if the stories are actually isekai (although a lot of them are). Frankly, I like these, and I'm reading a whole bunch more that aren't adapted to anime yet. There are all kinds of stories. Even though most of them are isekai and generic fantasy, they can be very different.
The guy who keeps in touch with gods that sent him to that world, and spends most of his time taking care of a pair of children he found in that new world (slaying mighty monsters and changing the face of world's cooking in the process).
The guy who had three horrible childhoods, took the side of monsters and scarier types of demi-humans, became a lovecraftian horror in the process of getting stronger, and plans on fighting the god in charge of reincarnation eventually.
The guy who was deceived by the world's inhabitants, and now spends all his time enacting elaborate revenge on them.
The guy who outwitted the summoners from the start, and is now looking for a way to fix their world.
Guy who got reincarnated as a sword and aims for the pinnacle of sworddom, guy who got reincarnated as a vending machine and is kind of like a merchant or cook adventurer, girl who got reincarnated as a giant spider and eventually levelled up to apocalyptic spidery horror...

meatbun_ said:
flannan said:
Any novelty created by being extra-creative with a new world would wear out soon enough, unless the author is willing to make the world a main character of the story.


I disagree, but my point was that the world isn't the only generic or uninteresting thing about it. The problem with most isekai is that they simply have no redeemable qualities. They can be moderately fun sometimes, but it's something you forget about a week later.

It really depends on the story and the watcher. I find Log Horizon particularly memorable, but there are many other worthwhile stories.
 
Nov 2, 2018 1:39 PM

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i find that isekai manga/anime/novel get weirder every year, but usually there are a few good ones every year. isekai mangas are also a guilty pleasure of mine i find that they are usually funny and poke fun at how generic most of them are
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Nov 2, 2018 1:40 PM

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I love it because it's as close to a medieval fantasy as it gets, but I still prefer actual fantasy series though
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Nov 2, 2018 2:08 PM

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HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
That's exactly what I mean by "start our near-invincible". Superhuman intellect is also a form of strength. Add some combat power (from training or allies), and by the second arc he is already the strongest person in the setting. You can make silly things like powerlevels, but it's only delaying the inevitable.

You're adding in elements I never put; what I described wasn't "superhuman intellect" it's called using your brain. You're making it sound as if an isekai protagonist HAS to be OP no matter what. Why? There are plenty of fictional stories set in a fantasy setting where the main character may be strong, but not overpowered. Again, you're limiting your imagination.

Ordinary intellect cannot possibly avoid all the dangers of an alien world described as "dark and brutal". The MC either has unnatural information-gathering ability commonly associated with superhuman AIs and Mary Sue protagonists, or the world is a lot more forgiving than the author is trying to say, and actually suitable for human habitation. Or the MC isn't a human and is in fact stronger/faster/more magical than the average inhabitant of the world.
Now, I've read about plenty of protagonists who had a tough start. Like the guy with three bad childhoods and the giant spider girl in the previous post. It didn't took much time for them to become more powerful than most of their respective worlds' inhabitants.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:

In practice, most isekai authors seem to write about people like themselves or younger versions of themselves. I think it's not about profits, it's about self-expression.


What "self-expression"? How are these bland isekai protagonists like Kirito the authors' "self-expression"

Open your eyes, and see that Kirito isn't that bland. He is a rather specific person, and his personality and actions match that reasonably well.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
In any case, the purpose of isekai beginning is to make a MC who is like the target audience.


Why does an isekai ALWAYS have to make the MC based on the audience? Aside from being a shut-in NEET otaku, Kazuma's personality is as far as the target audience of Konosuba can get: he's selfish, a sexual harassing pervert, a complete asshole.

It doesn't always do that. But that is what makes Konosuba meta: Kazuma is what the author thinks of the target audience, as opposed to what the target audience thinks of themselves.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
Sure, Magi is Middle Eastern. It also very much isn't set in the era of powerful centralized government of Ottoman Empire. There is a reason for that. Centralized governments suck.

Again, you're not using your imagination; WHY can't a fictional story be set in a centralized government? Many fantasy epics are, in fact, about going against a centralized government.
Going back to the Ottoman example, the fantasy world doesn't HAVE to have a centralized government like the actual Ottoman Empire because, again, it's fiction.

An adventure story can be set in a centralized government. I've seen plenty of them. They usually star a young cadet of a military academy, not a random guy who fell out of a teleport. Because it's all about papers and credentials and savoir-faire.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:

And why should they? Worldbuilding is an art, it doesn't really need to be debased by people who don't know what they are doing.


Because good world building is literally one of the most basic forms of good writing.

It's far from being basic. Maybe it's because I do tabletop roleplaying games, but I know that good worldbuilding is hard to come by, and most authors just fake it.
 
Nov 2, 2018 2:25 PM

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flannan said:

Ordinary intellect cannot possibly avoid all the dangers of an alien world described as "dark and brutal".


Not ALL dangers. But even in a dark and brutal world like Berserk, not ALL of the poor, less-off inhabitants die.

flannan said:

Open your eyes, and see that Kirito isn't that bland. He is a rather specific person, and his personality and actions match that reasonably well.


...Then what's his personality? How does his personality reflect the author's?

flannan said:
But that is what makes Konosuba meta: Kazuma is what the author thinks of the target audience, as opposed to what the target audience thinks of themselves.


This is based on a loose interpretation, not facts.

flannan said:

An adventure story can be set in a centralized government. I've seen plenty of them. They usually star a young cadet of a military academy, not a random guy who fell out of a teleport. Because it's all about papers and credentials and savoir-faire.


You are suggesting that in order for a character to exist in a fantasy world based on a centralized government, they HAVE to take part in politics in some shape or form.
That is false.
In a centralized government, not all citizens take part in politics and whatnot.

flannan said:

It's far from being basic. Maybe it's because I do tabletop roleplaying games, but I know that good worldbuilding is hard to come by, and most authors just fake it.


Well, agree to disagree.
"You don't need a reason to live, you just live"
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Nov 2, 2018 2:37 PM

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Isekai is cool as long it isn't kiddy shit.
 
Nov 2, 2018 7:07 PM

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Lets be real, a lot of them are bad...
 
Nov 5, 2018 7:36 AM

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HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:

Ordinary intellect cannot possibly avoid all the dangers of an alien world described as "dark and brutal".


Not ALL dangers. But even in a dark and brutal world like Berserk, not ALL of the poor, less-off inhabitants die.

Indeed. But it takes fantasy world's knowledge to know the difference between a person of a cute humanlike race and an archdemon in humanoid shape, to know which parts of the forest should be avoided, and when you should run like hell. Moreover, regular citizens are protected by laws, clans, guilds and stuff, which do not protect outsiders.
Still, it is possible for a skilled author to manipulate matters in such a way that the MC survives all the dangers, while still making the world look dangerous.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
Open your eyes, and see that Kirito isn't that bland. He is a rather specific person, and his personality and actions match that reasonably well.

...Then what's his personality? How does his personality reflect the author's?

1) Kirito is a geek/nerd - he is good with technology and not good with people. In fact, he has an unhealthy tendency to overvalue virtual things, like lives of NPCs, and act on his own even when he shouldn't have (like in the ALO arc).
For me, this increases his relatability greatly. There aren't many main characters who are actually good at intellectual pursuits, and there were even less of them back when SAO first appeared on screen.

2) Kirito is rather active at exploring his surroundings and doing good things. He doesn't wait until trouble hits him before he starts doing things.
This is not as common as I'd want to. Maybe because I consider this to be the basis of being a likeable MC.

3) Kirito is a prankster. What would you do if you were to get a cute-girl-looking avatar? Kirito acted cute in front of random male crowds.
For me, these moments break immersion, reminding me that Kirito is a different person from me.

I am not familiar with Kawahara Reki, but I assume he is young, a geek/nerd and a gamer. Why? Because after their escape from the death game, the main characters agree that in spite of all the horrors, it was very entertaining, and they don't stop playing games. Stories written by old moralistic dudes would have ended on a different note.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:

An adventure story can be set in a centralized government. I've seen plenty of them. They usually star a young cadet of a military academy, not a random guy who fell out of a teleport. Because it's all about papers and credentials and savoir-faire.


You are suggesting that in order for a character to exist in a fantasy world based on a centralized government, they HAVE to take part in politics in some shape or form.
That is false.
In a centralized government, not all citizens take part in politics and whatnot.

Not in politics. There is not much meaning in politics. What matters is adventure. And healthy organized societies leave adventures to highly qualified people - trained ship crews, military, special societies of monster-slayers, trained spies and so on. Adventures are still dangerous, but at least the people doing them have a reasonable chance of success this way.
If you were a spy, would you really recruit a person who claims he has just fell out of a teleport and doesn't remember anything?
Monster-slayers tend to be more flexible with their recruitment policies, though - usually it's enough to survive an ordeal that has killed everybody else.

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:

It's far from being basic. Maybe it's because I do tabletop roleplaying games, but I know that good worldbuilding is hard to come by, and most authors just fake it.

Well, agree to disagree.

Okay, if you say so. I can't think of a way we can discuss this specific moment.
 
Nov 5, 2018 7:45 AM

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Can potentially be very good (like any other genre duh), but especially isekai seems to serve as a sandbox for fresh, inexperienced (and in many cases simply unimaginative) writers, hence the increasing raise of bad reputation regarding the genre over the past few years.
 
Nov 5, 2018 8:04 AM

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flannan said:

Indeed. But it takes fantasy world's knowledge to know the difference between a person of a cute humanlike race and an archdemon in humanoid shape, to know which parts of the forest should be avoided, and when you should run like hell.


You have a point here.

flannan said:
Moreover, regular citizens are protected by laws, clans, guilds and stuff, which do not protect outsiders.


In fiction, this can be different: the laws can protect outsiders as well.

flannan said:
Still, it is possible for a skilled author to manipulate matters in such a way that the MC survives all the dangers, while still making the world look dangerous.


What if the MC is NOT someone normal? What if they used to be, say, a hunter? A soldier? For example, let's say I wrote a story about a man transported into a corrupt fantasy version of Feudal Japan, which has been turned into a lawless wasteland of monsters. BUT, he used to be a soldier (in the Medieval army), possessing survival skills, and whatnot.

flannan said:

1) Kirito is a geek/nerd - he is good with technology and not good with people. In fact, he has an unhealthy tendency to overvalue virtual things, like lives of NPCs, and act on his own even when he shouldn't have (like in the ALO arc).
For me, this increases his relatability greatly. There aren't many main characters who are actually good at intellectual pursuits, and there were even less of them back when SAO first appeared on screen.

2) Kirito is rather active at exploring his surroundings and doing good things. He doesn't wait until trouble hits him before he starts doing things.
This is not as common as I'd want to. Maybe because I consider this to be the basis of being a likeable MC.

3) Kirito is a prankster. What would you do if you were to get a cute-girl-looking avatar? Kirito acted cute in front of random male crowds.
For me, these moments break immersion, reminding me that Kirito is a different person from me.

I am not familiar with Kawahara Reki, but I assume he is young, a geek/nerd and a gamer. Why? Because after their escape from the death game, the main characters agree that in spite of all the horrors, it was very entertaining, and they don't stop playing games. Stories written by old moralistic dudes would have ended on a different note.


Alright, that's fair. I'm not sure if I agree that Kirito is a true "self-expression" of the author, so much as a "self-insert"; I consider a character who is a "self-expression" of the author to reflect MORE of that author's personality traits, especially their flaws. For example, in the novel I'm working on, my main character represents all the worst parts about me: he is cynical, untrusting of people, and a misogynist.

flannan said:

Not in politics. There is not much meaning in politics. What matters is adventure. And healthy organized societies leave adventures to highly qualified people - trained ship crews, military, special societies of monster-slayers, trained spies and so on. Adventures are still dangerous, but at least the people doing them have a reasonable chance of success this way.
If you were a spy, would you really recruit a person who claims he has just fell out of a teleport and doesn't remember anything?
Monster-slayers tend to be more flexible with their recruitment policies, though - usually it's enough to survive an ordeal that has killed everybody else.


That's also fair. However, an adventure guilt or army unit, can still recruit an outsider with no skills, and train them.
"You don't need a reason to live, you just live"
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Nov 5, 2018 8:06 AM

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Honestly it's not a bad genre.
But like other types of anime, like Moe, it gets a bad rep, because for every good series, you get four lazy series jumping on the band wagon.
 
Nov 5, 2018 8:36 AM

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this thread in a nutshell.................


Feel free to drop a comment on my profile and have a chat! I am always looking to socialize with other users!
 
Nov 5, 2018 8:41 AM

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I enjoy them a lot. KonoSuba is an isekai and it's one of my favourite anime.
 
Nov 5, 2018 10:25 AM

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HopefulNihilist said:
In fiction, this can be different: the laws can protect outsiders as well.

Fictional laws can. Just like real laws. But humans of worlds described as "dark" or "brutal" are required to contain the worst qualities of KKK and ISIS in every peasant, and seek to prove they're the worst monsters around. Sane and thoughtful people don't write dark and brutal settings and stories.


HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:
Still, it is possible for a skilled author to manipulate matters in such a way that the MC survives all the dangers, while still making the world look dangerous.

What if the MC is NOT someone normal? What if they used to be, say, a hunter? A soldier? For example, let's say I wrote a story about a man transported into a corrupt fantasy version of Feudal Japan, which has been turned into a lawless wasteland of monsters. BUT, he used to be a soldier (in the Medieval army), possessing survival skills, and whatnot.

Sure, you can make the MC be someone special. My country's stereotype of badly written fantasy states that the MC is a marine (that is, an elite modern soldier), Japan usually gives awesome powers, and there are probably many other options.
Sending someone from another fantasy or pseudo-medieval world isn't very useful, though. For pseudo-medieval period, being from another country is pretty much the same thing, but easier to believe. Also, making monsters suddenly appear makes more sense then people living side by side with monsters for a long time, yet failing to adapt.

HopefulNihilist said:
Alright, that's fair. I'm not sure if I agree that Kirito is a true "self-expression" of the author, so much as a "self-insert"; I consider a character who is a "self-expression" of the author to reflect MORE of that author's personality traits, especially their flaws. For example, in the novel I'm working on, my main character represents all the worst parts about me: he is cynical, untrusting of people, and a misogynist.

If the main character embodies all the worst parts of the author, would he be worthy of being called a hero? Would anybody want to read about him?

HopefulNihilist said:
flannan said:

Not in politics. There is not much meaning in politics. What matters is adventure. And healthy organized societies leave adventures to highly qualified people - trained ship crews, military, special societies of monster-slayers, trained spies and so on. Adventures are still dangerous, but at least the people doing them have a reasonable chance of success this way.
If you were a spy, would you really recruit a person who claims he has just fell out of a teleport and doesn't remember anything?
Monster-slayers tend to be more flexible with their recruitment policies, though - usually it's enough to survive an ordeal that has killed everybody else.

That's also fair. However, an adventure guilt or army unit, can still recruit an outsider with no skills, and train them.

Indeed, it is not impossible. But stories like these tend to begin with the more fun stuff, like the newly minted soldier getting sent to a remote fort.
 
Nov 5, 2018 12:30 PM
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Absolutely fun. Enjoyed almost every isekai Anime.

Starting from old .hack series (even though some of them I didn't enjoy)

It's fun seeing modern world person entering fantasy setting. And bonus point getting some sort of "welcoming gift" . Powers or such.

Whenever SAO, Log Horizon, Smartphone, Re:Zero, .hack series, Konosuba, overlord etc.... basically isekai type of some normal/modern world character ending up in a game or fantasy world.

Ofc there are different types of isekais as well But I imagine this type is what you meant.
 
Nov 5, 2018 2:18 PM

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flannan said:

Fictional laws can. Just like real laws. But humans of worlds described as "dark" or "brutal" are required to contain the worst qualities of KKK and ISIS in every peasant, and seek to prove they're the worst monsters around. Sane and thoughtful people don't write dark and brutal settings and stories.


Okay, "protecting outsiders under the law" seems to check out.

flannan said:

Sure, you can make the MC be someone special. My country's stereotype of badly written fantasy states that the MC is a marine (that is, an elite modern soldier), Japan usually gives awesome powers, and there are probably many other options.
Sending someone from another fantasy or pseudo-medieval world isn't very useful, though. For pseudo-medieval period, being from another country is pretty much the same thing, but easier to believe. Also, making monsters suddenly appear makes more sense then people living side by side with monsters for a long time, yet failing to adapt.


That makes sense. Okay, then if the MC is a normal person from OUR world, transported into a brutal world like Dark Souls, they get...let's say...guide, that helps them (but not help them too much), and the MC retains their status as a normal human who's not chosen or anything.

flannan said:

If the main character embodies all the worst parts of the author, would he be worthy of being called a hero? Would anybody want to read about him?


Balance the bad qualities with good qualities? Not have the character necessarily represent ALL the author's faults? Have the character develop into a better person over the course of the story?

Going back to your Kazuma example, I should've phrased what I said differently: if we assume that your interpretation of Kazuma is right, then he's not a self-expression of the author, or even a self-insert. Because you said that Kazuma is how the author VIEWS the audience, not how he views himself.

Going back to Kirito, the reason why most people view him as bland is because he doesn't have any particular personality traits that are apparent, nor any apparent flaws. This is how I decide if a character is bland or not: if I can't imagine what a conversation with a character would be like, then they're bland.
With Shirou Emiya from Fate, I can imagine: he'd be polite, humble, friendly, helpful.

flannan said:

Indeed, it is not impossible. But stories like these tend to begin with the more fun stuff, like the newly minted soldier getting sent to a remote fort.


"Tend to"? Well, I haven't seen every isekai.

Okay, how about this: the MC is a normal person from our world with 0 powers or whatever, transported into a dark brutal world like Dark Souls. At the beginning, they are saved by someone, and that someone gives them shelter, allowing the MC room to grow stronger and survive.
"You don't need a reason to live, you just live"
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Nov 5, 2018 2:21 PM
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Depends. The ones made for Japanese highschool girls are pretty good. Think Fushigi Yuugi.

The shows made as a power fantasy for otaku I don't care for.
 
Nov 5, 2018 2:35 PM
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I really, really hate it. Up until this point it has been the most manipulative and repetitive type of anime I have ever watched. I hate it more than any other sub genre.

Yet again, I am glad it exists. For every overdone type of story there are some diamonds that justify the existence of the entirety of the sub genre, even if said sub genre consists mostly of shit

I find maho shoujo very boring usually. Yet I am glad the sub genre exists solely because it created the right circumstances for Madoka magica to be written. That’s enough in my opinion to warrant the whole thing worthy of making.

Same goes for isekai and re:zero.
 
Nov 5, 2018 8:52 PM

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I'm rather fond of most isekai. As a short background, I'm big on the medieval fantasy RPG settings. I've played some D&D, Diablo, Warcraft, Fable, Path of Exile, Legend of Zelda, Dark Souls, etc. One of my favorite movies are of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I've read numerous medieval fantasy books. As such, I am very comfy with the many isekai settings.

That said, I do wish there were also more variety in the types of settings and main characters. For example, I would love to see an isekai where a construction worker gets transported to Ancient Egypt-esque world and starts as a slave laborer (and gradually, perhaps miraculously in viewpoint of that society, works his way to a pyramid construction manager).

Or another isekai idea I had, in which a fisherman with an existential crisis gets transported into a blue world; one of which 95% of the world is covered in water and the biggest landmasses are islands. Once that person gets transported, they turn into a creature that looks like a Zora (from Legend of Zelda). In that world, these creatures are the dominant species, while humans (with neanderthal level advancement) are considered food like seafood is for our society. Ironically, the main character is a humanfisher (couldn't think of a creative term) and he ends up hunting humans for work. Key scenes would be the first time he non-intentionally eats human meat, or when he tries to cook food (to the shock of his fellow creatures since I imagine fire isn't common with seafolk) and is disgusted by how the taste isn't appealing to his new palette. Not sure what the theme of the story will be, but I think that setting would be frighteningly intriguing.

On a side note, I've heard a lot about Sword Art Online and Log Horizon but haven't checked out either series. Perhaps in the future.
 
Nov 5, 2018 8:55 PM
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Graumann said:
I'm rather fond of most isekai. As a short background, I'm big on the medieval fantasy RPG settings. I've played some D&D, Diablo, Warcraft, Fable, Path of Exile, Legend of Zelda, Dark Souls, etc. One of my favorite movies are of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I've read numerous medieval fantasy books. As such, I am very comfy with the many isekai settings.

That said, I do wish there were also more variety in the types of settings and main characters. For example, I would love to see an isekai where a construction worker gets transported to Ancient Egypt-esque world and starts as a slave laborer (and gradually, perhaps miraculously in viewpoint of that society, works his way to a pyramid construction manager).

Or another isekai idea I had, in which a fisherman with an existential crisis gets transported into a blue world; one of which 95% of the world is covered in water and the biggest landmasses are islands. Once that person gets transported, they turn into a creature that looks like a Zora (from Legend of Zelda). In that world, these creatures are the dominant species, while humans (with neanderthal level advancement) are considered food like seafood is for our society. Ironically, the main character is a humanfisher (couldn't think of a creative term) and he ends up hunting humans for work. Key scenes would be the first time he non-intentionally eats human meat, or when he tries to cook food (to the shock of his fellow creatures since I imagine fire isn't common with seafolk) and is disgusted by how the taste isn't appealing to his new palette. Not sure what the theme of the story will be, but I think that setting would be frighteningly intriguing.
More specific scenarios than plain old fish out of water characters (which can be replaced by any clueless character from the new world) definitely sounds more fun. I'd like to see a good Isekai with an established powerful hero in his own world going to another one.



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Nov 5, 2018 9:20 PM

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Lunilah said:
More specific scenarios than plain old fish out of water characters (which can be replaced by any clueless character from the new world) definitely sounds more fun. I'd like to see a good Isekai with an established powerful hero in his own world going to another one.

The occupation of most isekai leads (at least the recent ones I've seen) are usually salarymen (Overlord, Slime, Tanya), gamers (Demon Lord, Death March, Konosuba), or a combination of both. There are oddballs from time to time like the characters in Drifters, or the chefs in Restaurant to Another World and Isekai Izakaya. But yeah, I'd like to see more variations like a construction worker, fisherman, professional athlete, janitor, etc. take the role of isekai lead.

The Devil Is a Part-Timer! is a pretty good (comedy) isekai in which a demon lord, a holy warrior, and a few other powerful entities gets stuck in our world. It's a bit different from regular isekai, in that rather than standing out, the transported characters end up trying to peacefully assimilate into their new society.

Also, I would like to see isekai in which the main character gets transported to a futuristic setting (think Mass Effect, Star Wars, or Star Trek). I don't really see that happening to much. This setting would take away one big advantage from the main character of most isekai; which is having more advanced knowledge than the destination world's inhabitants.
 
Nov 6, 2018 1:03 AM

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some of them are ok and some of them suck.
a lot of the isekai manga are very formulaic and follow a generic setup with an equally generic cast and plot.
there are exceptional ones though they are few and mostly need a bit of work to be truly "great" imo.
judging by manga alone slime ken should be the best so far but the adaptation could still fuck up at this point.
moon lit journey is decent
sheild hero is ok
kumo desu would be great if not for a few bad decisions of late.
ID greatest fusion saga is worth mention i suppose.
there are others i try to keep up with but some are hard to stay into when virtually nothing of significance is going on.
Modified by genzi7, Nov 6, 2018 4:46 AM
 
Nov 6, 2018 1:04 AM
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That most of them are Garbage. It's sad that we get at least 1 isekai for season :(
 
Nov 6, 2018 5:02 AM

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I've pretty much only seen rezero. I didn't like it and my general impressions of other isikei are that I don't like the premise, and I usually don't like the setting or character designs as well. they're of little interest to me.
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Nov 6, 2018 12:03 PM

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It's insane how much hate the genre gets and we all know that's purely because it's mainstream so all the elitists gotta show how cool they are by hating on it (which is pretty ironic considering it doesn't change the fact they're watching anime which is pretty far from being a cool activity). It's definitely an overpopulated genre after the success of Sword Art Online caused like every studio ever to start making their own Isekai shows; but that doesn't change the fact that quite a few of those shows ended up being great. Fantasy has always been an extremely popular genre when it came to books so it's no surprise it does great in the anime scene as well.
 
Dec 18, 2018 10:00 AM
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_Aqua_Sama_ said:
I liked Konosuba... and that's it. Isekai are all very predictable and formulaic, "self-insert neet gets transported to a world where he is suddenly a bad ass with a bunch of hot girls". It's sad too bcz the genre has so much more potential.


you should check out Re:Zero, it is made by a guy who hates "self-insert neet gets transported to a world where he is suddenly a bad ass with a bunch of hot girls" aspect that has become really common in isekai
 
Dec 18, 2018 10:08 AM

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They're all the same. Another case of bad genre fiction where every entry needs to be identical. No deviations allowed. The only good one is KonoSuba.

The world has had it's fill. If 10000 years went by and no more isekai anime were produced, we would still be over saturated.
 
Dec 18, 2018 10:16 AM

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I haven't watched one that I really like yet.. so idk.

EDIT: I did like Brave Story okay. I think that counts.
Modified by Zaffie, Dec 18, 2018 10:22 AM
ロード中です...

 
Dec 18, 2018 10:25 AM
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It has as much potential to be good as any other type of fantasy genre cliche, but I feel like most isekai stories have no idea what makes fantasy good, so it just ends up coming up like a total cashgrab.
 
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