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Old 2017-12-05, 12:51   Link #1
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Recommendations: Isekai/Other World Fantasy

Provide your recommendations for anime, manga, light novels, web novels, visual novels, games, and other media within the genre: Isekai/Other World Fantasy!

These should be works that you've experienced personally and would like to recommend to others. No "troll" recommendations, or non-recommendations in this thread. For longer series, you don't necessarily need to wait until the whole work is finished before recommending it, but please at least wait until you've at least experienced enough of it to make a good judgement.

Please don't just post a list! You don't need to do a full review, but for each title you suggest, please also consider providing:
  • The full title
  • The author, studio, or other information that will help identify the work
  • A brief explanation of the setting and premise (no spoilers!)
  • A brief summary of why you like it and/or why you think others might like it
  • How much of it you've experienced (particularly for longer series)
  • Other works that it reminds you of, if applicable
  • A link to a review you wrote on our site, if applicable
  • Any other information that might help someone know if they should give it a shot
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Please DO NOT post links on where to illegally download/stream/view the work you're recommending.

Again, for the purposes of this thread, please avoid all spoilers or hints that may ruin surprises in the plot, and absolutely no flaming another person's recommendations. If you see any problematic post, please report it so the moderators can review and take any needed action.
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Old 2017-12-06, 03:30   Link #2
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The dog gossips too much.
There are so many isekai series out there I don't know where to start... I'll name a few older ones to begin with.

The Vision of Escaflowne (Sunrise, 1996) - The series follows a teenage high school girl named Hitomi, who finds herself pulled from Earth to the planet Gaea when a boy named Van appears on the high school track while battling a dragon. In Gaea, she is caught in the middle of a war as the Zaibach Empire attempts to take over Gaea.

Recommended because: I watched it for the first time a few years ago and it wasn't very impressive. But it was very popular about 15 years ago and a big part of older anime fans' psyches. You've probably heard of it, so you might as well try it and see what the fuss is about.
Unlike most recent isekai, the main character is female and not overpowered at all, so it's also good to try if you're tired of the standard formula.

El-Hazard (AIC, 1995) - An anime franchise that focuses on three high school students and their history teacher who are mysteriously transported to the fantastical world of El-Hazard. El-Hazard is threatened by a possible war between the human nations and the insectoid Bugrom tribe.

Recommended because: It's a long franchise with several installments, so it's good if you want to immerse yourself fully in another world. It's also good if you like retro anime art. I've only watched one episode so I can't comment on the quality, but by all accounts it's quite watchable.

Now and Then, Here and There (AIC, 1999) - Follows a young boy named Shuzo "Shu" Matsutani who, in an attempt to save an unknown girl, is transported to another world which is implied to be the Earth in the far future. The world is desolate and militarized, and water is a scarce commodity.

Recommended because: It's a grittier, more realistic take on the usual "plucky boy goes to another world." What would really happen if an ordinary boy was dropped in the middle of a war in a civilization that uses child soldiers like they were tissue paper? The results are extremely grim and some would say over-the-top, but it's a good watch if you want something completely different from the usual idealistic isekai. It's also short at 13 episodes and a complete experience so there's no need to read any mangas or light novels to get the full story.

Twelve Kingdoms (Juuni Kokki) (Studio Pierrot, 2002) - The Twelve Kingdoms is a series of novels that focus on a world inspired by Chinese mythology, where twelve different kingdoms exist under the rule of an individual chosen by the Tians. One of the major stories of the series centers around a red-haired girl named Youko Nakajima from Japan who is suddenly transported to the world of the Twelve Kingdoms and searches for her destiny.

Recommended because - Twelve Kingdoms has very interesting world-building. It's good if you like to learn about other-world politics, society, economics, etc. Youko's growth from shrinking violet to powerful character is frustrating to watch but satisfying in the end. The show also deals with the struggles normal characters would have with things like language and acceptance, it's not all roses and wine. The anime series completes Youko's arc but some other threads remain unresolved.

Fushigi Yuugi (Studio Pierrot, 1995) - Tells the story of two teenaged girls, Miaka and Yui, who are pulled into The Universe of the Four Gods, a mysterious book at the National Library. Main character Miaka is destined to gather the seven Celestial Warriors of the god Suzaku in order to summon Suzaku and obtain three wishes.

Recommended because: Like Escaflowne it's part of the anime consciousness, especially for shoujo fans. There aren't that many shoujo isekai anime and certainly none this popular so it might be worth a watch if you're a shoujo fan. The main caution is that the girls are really annoying. Like, really. Seriously. Miaka! Tamahome! Miaka! Tamahome! I only read the manga and I was sick of them by the end.

Magic Knight Rayearth (Tokyo Movie Shinsha, 1994) The series follows three eighth-grade girls who find themselves transported from modern-day Japan into a magical world, where they are tasked with rescuing a princess.

Recommended because: I don't know of many isekai magical girl shows, so this might be your only option if you like those two genres. As with El-Hazard I've only tried one episode but it has its fair share of fans and apparently sold 200,000 copies for the US version of the manga. The manga is only 6 volumes long but the anime has 49 episodes so expect a fair bit of filling and padding.
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Old 2018-03-10, 07:59   Link #3
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The dog gossips too much.
Isekai manga I've tried recently

WN = web novel
LN = light novel

Dungeon Seeker (Sakamoto 666, 2015) – Main character Junpei Takeda is thrown into another world with his crush as well as some bullies. He soon finds himself trapped in a dungeon after being betrayed by the one he trusted most. After somehow avoiding a gory death at the hands of a skeleton, he instead eats the monster and acquires news skills! And so it happens that Junpei goes around defeating and devouring various enemies while living for the day he can get his revenge. (WN, LN, manga)

My comment: Tries a little hard to be "edgy" but is otherwise quite enjoyable.

Rising of the Shield Hero /Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari (Aneko Yusagi, 2012) – It’s about Iwatani Naofumi, a hero summoned to another world who becomes bitter and angry after being betrayed by someone he trusted. He gets better though, and he has to work with other heroes to defend the world against a series of monster attacks. (WN, LN, manga)

My comment: Rather whiny with infuriating characters. I didn't enjoy it but it has its fans.

Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou (Suki Chuuni, 2013) – This one is about Hajime Nagumo, who is summoned to another world with his friends but is abandoned and betrayed by one of his companions (we don’t know which one), which leaves him injured and bitter. Eventually he picks up some good skills and an adoring but not-too-competent sidekick and makes his way out of the dungeon. And that’s as far as I read before I dropped it. (WN, LN, manga, anime coming soon)

My comment: Meh manga. Bad art and rushed action, not recommended.

Kumo desu ga, nani ka? (Okina Baba, 2015) – I love this one. It’s about a nameless heroine who dies in the real world and gets reincarnated as… a spider?! Yup, a tiny little monster spider in another world. And when you’re a tiny spider, everything’s out to either squish or eat you. How will she ever survive? (WN, LN, manga)

My comment: The spider is cuter and funnier than you would expect a monster spider to be. Might disappoint people interested in world-building and character interaction but a fun read otherwise.

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken (Fuse, 2013) – A 37-year old man is stabbed to death and reincarnated in another world as a lowly slime. And he may very well have stayed a lowly slime for life if he hadn’t befriended and absorbed the most powerful dragon on the continent. Now renamed Rimuru, he’s a force to contend with as he goes about creating the world he’s always dreamed of. (WN, LN, manga, anime coming soon)

My comment: If you like the "everyone loves the almighty main character" kind of series, this is for you.

Jaryuu Tensei (Meguru Seto, 2016) – The main character is run over by a car and dies. Then he’s reincarnated as a powerful dragon. An allegedly evil one, which has adventurers clamoring to defeat him. Still he’s so mighty that he doesn’t need to worry about puny little humans… until he accidentally eats a magical item and gets reduced to a human being himself! (manga)

My comment: Was interesting when the main character was a dragon. Became ordinary afterwards. Not worth reading unless you like cute elf waifus.

Kenja no Mago (Tsuyoshi Yoshioka, 2105)– A normal guy from this world is reincarnated as a baby in another world. He grows up as Shin, a magical prodigy and the adopted grandson of the most powerful sage in the whole world. Eventually he goes off to magical high school just in time to foil a plot to destroy the country with a demon. Now it’s up to Shin and his band of high school buddies to save the world from the evil demon wizard Oliver Strom. (LN, manga, anime coming soon)

My comment: Not a harem, which is a plus for me and a minus for others. Unremarkable otherwise.

Isekai Tensei Soudouki (Ryousen Takami, 2013) – Strictly speaking, this is not isekai. Rather a baby in another world, Balud Cornelius, is possessed by the souls of an ancient Japanese warlord and a perverted high school boy. This makes him a powerful fighter who knows a lot about business and making money. He quickly catches the eye – and ire – of the rich and powerful as he revolutionizes the world with inventions like gold-plating, water pumps and… hair conditioner? The sky’s the limit for this unlikely trio! (LN, manga)

My comment: Premise somewhat wasted. Manga dashes all over the place before finally settling on political intrigue. Nothing special but not bad.

Mushoku Tensei -Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu (Rifujin na Magonote, 2012) – A jobless NEET is thrown out by his family and dies a pitiful death. After being reincarnated as a baby named Rudeus, he vows to work harder and treat others better. As he grows up, Rudeus becomes a tutor and picks up some fans, but then the whole country is split by an earth-shattering disaster… (LN, manga)

My comment: Likeable main character and unexpected twist but not particularly memorable otherwise.

Tensei Shichatta yo. Iya, gomen (Headphone Samurai, 2012)– A self-loathing high school boy with an unhappy family life is accidentally killed by “god” and reincarnated as Will, a ridiculously cute baby with all of the high schooler’s memories. By a lucky chance, all magic in that world is powered by kanji – and Will knows all of them already. Blessed prodigious magical talent, a supportive family and a loving group of buddies, Will is living the dream. Now if only those pesky assassins would stop attacking… (WN, manga)

My comment: Main character looks adorable. Manga is in early days so not much has happened yet.

Kuro no Souzou Shoukanshi – Tenseisha no Hangyaku (Sora Ikui, 2015) – High school boy Tsuguna is accidentally killed by a “god” and reincarnated in another world. On the plus side he can summon otherworldly helpers through a special book. On the minus side, he’s born with black hair and black eyes, a curse and a calamity in that world. After years of ill-treatment, Tsuguna escapes from his family and takes on the challenges of the new world. But of course someone as special as him could never hope for an ordinary life. (LN, manga)

My comment: Story is blah, art is blah. Don't go out of your way to read it.

Manuke na FPS Player ga Isekai e Ochita Baai (Jiraigen, 2015)– An online FPS player nicknamed Schwarz Powder falls off the edge of the game-world and lands in another world. He can’t log out or go back, but for some reason he can still make in-game purchases. In-game purchases that include guns and advanced armor in a medieval world. Some guys have all the luck. (WN, LN, manga)

My comment: Much-despised series, but I enjoyed the focus on guns instead of magic. Only 11 chapters of the manga exist so there's no real story yet. I have not read the WN or LN.

Tenseisha wa Cheat o Nozomanai (Aoi Natsuki, 2015) – Protagonist Mira is a normal 6-year old in a fantasy world. Until she hits her head one day and recovers memories from her past life in our world. She doesn’t remember everything, but she does remember enough to know that isekai protagonists always end up in a world of trouble. That’s the last thing Mira wants. “Please let me be normal, please let me be normal,” is her plea. Unfortunately fate has other plans. (WN, LN, manga)

My comment: Very cute series, and it's nice to see a shoujo version of the usual isekai trope. Unfortunately this manga was cancelled after one volume. However the web novel and light novel are ongoing.
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