Isekai anime is one of the major genres when it comes to anime shows and you are going to find tons of shows, both good and bad, within minutes. Since there are hundreds of titles to go through, it become a bit tedious if you want to find the best ones and not waste your time watching literal trash. This is the reason why I created this list featuring only the best isekai anime titles!
The anime medium gives an exaggerated perspective on things that we would otherwise consider normal. The reason for this is to resonate with audiences and provide them with a fresh take on things we’re all used to seeing, like basketball, martial arts, and even cooking. Religion is no different. One of Japan’s primary religions is Buddhism, and one of its central teachings is reincarnation. The possibility of having a second chance at life is something many people dream of, and those clever folk in Japan made sure to capitalize on this.
Isekai translates to “another world” and is the most versatile genre in anime. It perfectly captures the majesty of being whisked away on an adventure, with new opportunities awaiting you at every turn, at the cost of a fateful encounter with truck-kun. Whether a fantasy world with magic and creatures of legend or a cyberpunk dystopia that’s on the brink of collapse, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy. And in this list, we’ll be going through only the best of the best.
Best Isekai Anime of 2021
20. In Another World With My Smartphone
Through a moment of clumsiness, God accidentally strikes our lovable protagonist Touya Mochizuki with a stray bolt of lightning, killing him on the spot! Usually, this is where the end credits would roll. However, this benevolent deity decides to give Touya a second chance at life in a brand new world filled with magic and monsters one would only see in fairy tales. As a bonus, Touya can bring one item with him, and he chooses … his smartphone!
In Another World With My Smartphone is an upbeat isekai adventure of a boy gifted in the mystic arts with nothing to survive in his new environment but his trusty touchscreen companion and a merry band of women who can’t seem to let go of him.
19. The Vision of Escaflowne
Picture this; you’re taking a merry stroll through your school’s track field when all of a sudden, a boy wielding a sword appears out of nowhere fighting a dragon. Sounds crazy, right? Well, for Hitomi, this event marked the beginning of the journey of a lifetime.
The Vision of Escaflowne takes us to the planet Gaea, where our swashbuckling soon-to-be king Van is protecting the kingdom of Fanelia from the evil empire, Zaibach. Even after boarding his family’s prized possession, the mechanized suit of armor: Escaflowne, Van, and Hitomi, barely escape alive, as Fanelia is destroyed. With Hitomi’s newly found powers of divination and a ragtag group of allies, join Van and the gang as they strive forward to stop the Zabaich empire from awakening a dangerous force.
18. Restaurant to Another World
Residing in the ever-bustling Tokyo shopping district is the renowned Western Restaurant Nekoya, famous for its wide varieties of worldwide cuisine. Tokyo residents have come to love this eatery and visit it often, except on Saturdays when the owner closes its doors. However, as the doors are closed to humanity, a new variety of guests find their way inside.
Author Junpei Inuzaka’s work comes to life on the big screen, as we get a first-hand experience at isekai beings having their appetites satiated by the most refined gourmet meals, tailored for their supernatural tastebuds. Dragons, elves, fairies, you name it. These mysterious customers will find themselves coming back for more, and so will you.
17. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Some may have noticed by now that your run-of-the-mill isekai anime tends to be very convenient for the characters involved. Grimgar of Fantasy And Ash destroys this notion right from its first episode.
Our protagonists find themselves in the mystical world of Grimgar, with nothing but their names and the will to live. There are no do-overs here. With all the strong individuals teaming up together, Grimgar follows the tale of a party of weaklings who can do nothing but fight for not only their survival but that of their new home. A priest, a thief, a hunter, a mage, a warrior, and a dark knight struggle to stake their claim in this bleak world of fantasy and ashes.
16. Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They?
You Kasukabe, Izayoi Sakamaki, and Asuka Kudou are your everyday angsty teenagers who are bored of life. They also happen to have insanely powerful psychic abilities! One day, they are summoned to the fantastical world of Little Garden. Here, they are allowed to let loose and participate in a series of high-stakes games on behalf of their benefactor, the lovable pink-haired rabbit girl Kurousagi.
But before they can partake in these games, they need to join a group called a “Community”. With Kurousagi’s Community having lost everything it had, it’s up to these problem children to return this once prosperous land to its former glory.
15. GATE: Thus The JSDF Fought There!
What’s better than being an otaku? An otaku with military training! Youji Itami is an off-duty Japanese Self-Defense Force or JSDF officer on his way to attend an anime convention. Upon arriving for the convention, Youji is welcomed by a portal that spawns out of thin air. A hoard of beasts clad in armor break through this “gate” and begin a rampage of destruction and death. Youji springs to action and saves what lives he can as the rest of the JSDF attempts to push back this invasion.
Months later, he’s made the captain of a special recon team tasked with crossing to this other world to discover if the residents on the other side are indeed friend or foe; and try to establish friendly relations with them!
The common trend in most of the top isekai anime is the protagonist being whisked away to another world. But what happens when that world comes to you? Re:Creators explores a fresh take on the genre in a world where the characters of popular stories, whether video games, light novels, or even manga, mysteriously come to life.
Our timid MC Shouta Mizushino is a fledgling writer who hopes to create a story of his own but is instead entangled in the web of these fictional entities. However, one of these characters seems to know a bit too much about the real world, despite nobody knowing who she is. Re:Creators blurs the line between the imaginary and reality by bringing the creations face-to-face with their creators.
The legends of old come out to play in this bloody and dark fantasy anime. The tale follows the war hero Toyohisa Shimazu’s exploits while knocking on death’s door. Toyohisa then finds himself within a white hallway surrounded by hundreds of passages and a peculiar man named Murasaki in front of him.
Before he knows it, Toyohisa is once again whisked away into a mysterious land to fight as a drifter, warriors of a time long gone that this world needs to repel the evil known as the End. Other notable historical figures join him, such as Oda Nobunaga, to free this corrupted land from the End and announce to these unwelcome guests that the continent is off-limits.
12. How NOT To Summon A Demon Lord
How NOT To Summon A Demon Lord starts in the MMORPG World of Cross Reverie. Takuma Sakamoto is the protagonist of this story and the most renowned player in Cross Reverie, Diablo. But he is simply a shut-in gaming addict with no social skills in real life.
One day, Takuma is forcefully summoned to another world by the demi-human Rem and bodacious Elf Shera. But he realizes he is in the body of his gaming avatar Diablo! After a failed attempt at enslaving him backfires, the two women accompany Diablo to find a way to unbind their self-inflicted suffering. The tale of the strongest and most timid demon lord is born in this awesome ecchi anime!
11. The Saga of Tanya The Evil
What happens when you cross a sweet little girl with a raging battlefield? I wouldn’t be able to tell you because there’s nothing sweet about our protagonist, Tanya Degurechaff. Formerly a resident of earth, a man challenged a God called Being X in defiance, as he did not believe in a higher power. Being X, however, had other plans.
Reincarnated into the body of a little girl, Tanya must overcome all sorts of trials as a prodigious young soldier in this world of magic and machine. Through her actions that she meticulously and brilliantly executes to get the better of Being X, she unknowingly leads her country to be one of the strongest in history. So starts an isekai anime of world domination.
10. The Hero is Overpowered But Overly Cautious
Seiya Ryuuguuin is probably the most prepared isekai MC you will ever meet. Suddenly summoned to the world Gaeabrande by the goddess Ristarte, Seiya has one task; to save this world. And this hero intends to do things his way.
The phrase “better safe than sorry” does not even begin to describe this wacky epic of heroism, as we follow the overly prepared, overly cautious hero drag the lecherous goddess Ristarte across the land, unleashing his mightiest magic on … level 1 slimes? This story is sure to capture the hearts of those that want funny and upbeat anime, with surprisingly delicate twists that are sure to keep you interested.
9. The Devil is a Part Timer
The Demon Lord Satan is the most notorious figure in the land of Ente Isla, striking fear into the hearts of all those who would dare oppose him. The Devil Is A Part-Timer is a jolly rendition of the isekai genre that sees us accompanying Satan on his quest to conquer the land. Unfortunately, he is beaten by the hero Emilia and forced to make a hasty retreat through a dimensional portal. However, he soon finds himself in the human world!
Taking on the guise of fast-food worker Sadao Maou, Satan is determined to find his way back until he realizes that conquering Ente Isla is not enough to satiate his desires. This fable of laughter and simplicity chronicles the lord of the underworld’s adventures, taking over humanity, one happy customer at a time.
The infamous PK (player killer) guild Ainz Ooal Gown is one of the most dangerous guilds in the MMORPG Yggdrasil. However, Yggdrasil has reached the end of its lifespan. The guild leader Momonga, an Overlord class wizard, is the last member of the guild to log out before complete termination.
Just as the countdown to the end strikes 0, Momonga discovers that he can’t log out. Now trapped in the mighty wizard body, he also realizes that his NPCs (Non-Player Characters) are no longer pieces of data but sentient beings with thoughts of their own! Thrust into an unknown new world, Momonga decides to take on the name Ainz Ooal Gown for himself, to challenge this new land he has found himself in, and make it his own.
7. Sword Art Online
Reiki Kawahara’s mega-hit series is often regarded as the father of modern isekai anime shows. Sword Art Online takes place within the MMORPG virtual reality space of Aincrad. On launch, hundreds of thousands of users are loaded into the game and soon meet a nightmare they can’t imagine. The game has transformed from a straightforward fantasy adventure game into a dance with life and death. Each player now has one life, and when they die in the game, they die in real life as well.
SAO revolves around our main character Kirigaya Kazuto, aka Kirito, a beta tester for the game trapped within it. In this tragic turn of events, we watch our incredibly talented hero attempt to unravel the madness these innocent people have unwillingly taken part in.
6. Re:ZERO – Starting Life In Another World
For most, starting life in a fantasy world would be a dream come true. Incredible abilities, fame, fortune, and even a cute heroine are the trademark package granted to the protagonist of the popular isekai anime. However, none of these rules apply to Natsuki Subaru.
Re:ZERO revitalized the isekai genre by giving its MC only one ability; the power to restart at a fixed point in time whenever he dies. The catch? He remembers and experiences all the pain that comes with dying and can’t tell anybody about it. This masterfully crafted tale involves many races such as elves, demons, and even a witch cult. It is perfect for those who wish to experience a fresh take on isekai and a new interpretation for the entire anime medium.
5. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World
The story begins with a professional neet (a shut-in essentially) that believes he’s risked his life to save a random passerby but instead has died a truly laughable and truly humiliating death. Our hero, Satou Kazuma, should be showered with respect and praise, but rather, he’s mocked by the goddess in charge of his reincarnation, Aqua.
When tasked with saving the world he’s going to be reincarnated in, he is given the option of choosing one power to take along with him. Seeking revenge, Kazuma chooses Aqua as his wish, and the two face some of the craziest and hilarious situations a fantasy setting has to offer. KonoSuba is an anime that will have you smiling from ear-to-ear at all times!
4. Log Horizon
The players of MMORPG “Elder Tale” soon find themselves trapped within the world of the game they’ve been playing for years, inside the body of their avatars. We experience the narrative through the eyes of Shiroe, a master tactician and veteran of the game.
Though initially confused, Shiroe soon finds his long-time friends Naotsugu and Akatsuki, and the trio seek out to make sense of their situation. Log Horizon is a grounded isekai anime filled with a vast cast, a broad range of politics, and a unique approach to the “death game” idea.
3. No Game No Life
“In every world, in every time, the strong polish their fangs, while the weak polish their wisdom.” No Game No Life is a beautifully written adventure of a brother-sister duo codenamed “Blank.”
They are the best gamers globally, yet they can’t seem to fit into it. After unknowingly beating a God at a chess game, Sora and Shiro are welcomed into the world of Disboard. Games govern this place’s very laws, and with the best gamers set free into this playground, even the sky is no limit for these two prodigies.
2. The Rising Of The Shield Hero
One day our protagonist, Naofumi Iwatani, discovers a book that will change his life forever. This book details the adventure of a hero who wields a shield as his only weapon. Before he can think any further, Naofumi finds himself transported to a palace surrounded by three other heroes and a people who seem like royalty. He also notices there’s a shield stuck to his arm!
The Rising of The Shield Hero is a woeful tale of a misunderstood man, betrayed, and admonished from society. Despite all this, however, he is still a hero and is keen to remind the world of this. Indeed, this is a tale of a hero’s rise.
1. That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime
Satoru Mikami is your average single 30-year-old. While out with his subordinates from the office, he is stabbed by a mugger and dies on the spot. However, he soon hears a voice reciting a bunch of commands that he can’t make sense of and telling him he’s acquired many skills. The moment he regains consciousness, Satoru confirms that he’s alive, but also… he’s a slime!
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime is a superb blend of comedy, action, slice-of-life, and adventure, as we follow the newly reborn Rimuru on his quest to build a kingdom of monsters where he can have no worries and be at ease surrounded by those he loves.
What Are Your Favorite Isekai Anime Shows?
The isekai genre is as saturated as it is versatile, and so there are some really good isekai anime along with total trash that you don’t want to waste your time on. Despite this, I hope any who stumbles upon this genre can appreciate this behemoth within the industry and see every episode for what it is; an experience in another world.
And before you leave, don’t forget to share the article with your friends if you liked it, and also share your feedback and let me know which isekai anime is your favorite!