Our next top 10 list! These will come out once we have completed new lists that actually make it. If you don't know what Isekai is, it means "different world" or "otherworld". It's typically a genre that has a human from Earth being transferred to a digital game with MMORPG attributes. For this reason, I have split this Isekai list from the rest. This list focuses more on the digital game genre of 'otherworld' which will include leveling, skills, overpowered gear, and possible immortality benefits. Again, this list is in no particular order considering they are on our top list for various reasons. For this list, we will also include why we appreciated this direction they took the Isekai game genre.
1. Log Horizon - Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Isekai
"By its eleventh expansion pack, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Elder Tale (エルダー・テイル, Erudā Teiru) has become a global success, with a user base of millions of players. However, during the release of its twelfth expansion pack: Homesteading the Noosphere (ノウアスフィアの開墾, Nōasufia no Kaikon, sometimes mistranslated as Novasphere Pioneers), thirty thousand Japanese gamers who are logged on at the time of the update suddenly find themselves transported into the virtual game world and donning their in-game avatars. In the midst of the event, a socially awkward gamer named Shiroe, along with his friends, Naotsugu and Akatsuki, decide to team up so that they may face this world, which unfortunately has now become their reality, along with the challenges and obstacles ahead of them."
Our Evaluation: This has been one of my favorites since it came out and I have recommended it to at least 5 people by now. It's a great series that can be tough to watch in some spots, but it is heavy and thick with information and well-thought-out world details. It goes more into the government and culture of people as the seasons go on rather than focusing on the game aspect, even though it does excellently in playing it out. The first season shows the familiar playthroughs of MMORPGs while facing the sudden transportation into a video game everyone had enjoyed. Also with this Isekai, hundreds if not thousands had been trapped. Give it time to build the beginning, it pays off and Shiroe is just too cool to pass over.
2. Infinite Dendrogram - Genre: Isekai, Fantasy
"In the year 2043, the virtual reality MMORPG Infinite Dendrogram is released, featuring the ability to perfectly simulate players' five senses. Nearly two years later, Reiji Mukudori enters the world of Infinite Dendrogram and assumes the name "Ray Starling", and upon his arrival, he is joined by his more experienced brother Shuu and his Embryo companion Nemesis. As Ray explores the world of Infinite Dendrogram, he learns to make a life for himself there and meets different kinds of friends and foes."
Our Evaluation: A bit of a mix of many other isekai but still a fun watch. We do like to see how and where creators decide to put their unique spin on the cliche isekai genre. This doesn't stand out too much on its uniqueness but it is a good one to spend a lazy weekend watching.
3. The Rising of the Shield Hero - Genre: Isekai, Fantasy
"Naofumi Iwatani, an easygoing Japanese youth, was summoned into a parallel world along with three other young men from parallel universes to become the world's Cardinal Heroes and fight inter-dimensional hordes of monsters called Waves. Each of the heroes was respectively equipped with their own legendary equipment when summoned. Naofumi happened to receive the Legendary Shield, the sole defensive equipment, while the other heroes received a sword, a spear, and a bow, weapons meant for an attack. Unlike the other heroes who are fully supported by the kingdom and gain several strong allies each, Naofumi's luck turns to the worse after his single companion, revealed to be the kingdom's Princess, betrays him, steals all his belongings, and leaves him devoid of all assistance and supplies after she falsely accuses him of sexually assaulting her.
Mocked by the nobility and shunned by everyone from his fellow Heroes to peasants, a now cynical Naofumi is forced to train as a hero alone while working to make ends meet, until he buys from a slave trader a young tanuki demi-human girl named Raphtalia and an egg that hatches into a bird-like monster whom he names "Filo", both quickly growing into adulthood and becoming powerful warriors under his care. As they little by little gain the trust and gratitude of the people with their heroic actions, Naofumi, and his companions work together to carry out their mission as saviors as they unravel the mystery of the Waves and the reason why they are a threat not only to their world but to other worlds as well."
Our Evaluation: A very well-made and well thought out anime. Takes a deeper and a bit darker look at the times and how people may have acted. Real struggles and tricks that are seen today can be identified here as well. It does have a dark streak, touching on realistic scenarios but it is a must-watch. Love the characters and how the creators decided to take the story.
4. BOFURI - Genre: Isekai
"Urged on by her friend, Kaede Honjō begins playing the VRMMORPGNewWorld Online under the name Maple. Not wanting to get hurt, Maple opts to be a shield user with maxed out defense stats and continues putting every status point she earns in the game into increasing only her defense level. As a result, she is left with slow foot speed and no magic, but her high defense allows her to endure most hits without taking any damage. This, along with her basic-level creative thinking, allows for her to make unexpected accomplishments in the game, its quests, and events. By doing this, she ends up earning all kinds of equally unexpected skills and becomes one of the strongest players in the game."
Our Evaluation: We absolutely adore Maple. She is adorable and hilarious. Innocent and Tyrannical without even meaning to. This is how you want to break games: become OP by doing the weirdest things. One of the few Isekai where the main character can leave the game at any time. This is a must-watch that everyone can watch. A rare find that is entertaining and clean for kids. We can't wait until the next season comes out! HURRY UP PLEASE!
5. Overlord - Genre: Dark fantasy, Isekai
"In the year 2126, a Dive Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game or DMMORPG called YGGDRASIL was released, standing out among all other DMMORPGs due to its unusually high ability for the player to interact with the game. After an intense twelve-year run the game servers are about to be shut down. Within the game exists a guild, Ainz Ooal Gown, once consisting of 41 members and credited as one of the strongest guilds in the game. Now only 4 of the members remain, the other 37 having quit the game, and only one, a skeletal "Overlord" character named Momonga, continues to play as the guild leader, maintaining their headquarters in The Great Tomb of Nazarick. In the minutes before the shutdown he invites the remaining guild members, but of those only one appears and only for a short while before leaving. While saddened by this, he accepts the reality that his friends have their other lives to take care of and decides to stay logged in until the servers shut down.
When the shut-down time arrives, Momonga finds that the game hasn't vanished; instead, it appears as if YGGDRASIL has been recreated as its own reality along with its various NPCs having been brought to life. Momonga has been trapped in the form of his game avatar, leaving him unable to use the normal player functions such as General Message, or even to log out. With no other option, Momonga sets out to learn if anyone from the real world is also in this new world with him. Taking on the name of Ainz Ooal Gown, a message to any other players, Momonga begins exploring the world in an attempt to figure out what has happened while searching for anyone or anything that could help him solve this mystery while ensuring the safety of Nazarick. Ainz Ooal Gown seems to have modifications made to his behavior by in-game mechanics because he demonstrates no moral qualms with killing and other actions that are taboo in the real world. This is a story about the psychology of a creature beyond ethical concerns with near-limitless power."
Our Evaluation: Very well done. One of our first villain Isekai's where the human is turned into the bad guy of this world. Though he starts out with his humanity, you begin to see it chip away as he interacts with a world he only once knew as a game. A bit OP as a character but it's a different challenge to see what story can be woven from these attributes. There is news that Season 4 will be coming out sometime in 2021?
6. I'm Standing on a Million Lives - Genre: Fantasy, Isekai
"Yotsuya Yuusuke along with his classmates Shindou and Hakozaki have been transported to a strange and unknown world inhabited by mythological creatures. As soon as they arrive, they meet somebody calling himself the Game Master who then grants them a time-limited quest. To aid them in this quest, he also bestows Shindou and Hakozaki with the roles of a Magician and a Warrior while Yotsuya is randomly granted the role of... a Farmer!? This is how a hectic life of adventuring began for three students who now have no choice but to complete the quests for several phases in the fantasy world if they want to protect the real world from the demons and monsters they encounter."
Our Evaluation: Fun and unique twist. It's fairly confusing at first but each episode adds another piece to the bigger picture and it's always a surprise. The game master is a little... odd and eccentric to say the least. This one has some really dark moments to give depth to the storyline and it does make you think of what people in those situations may have had to face. We are looking forward to the next season!
7. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime - Genre: Fantasy, Isekai
"Satoru Mikami is an ordinary 37-year-old corporate worker living in Tokyo. He is almost content with his monotonous life, despite the fact that he doesn't have a girlfriend. During a casual encounter with his colleague, an assailant pops out of nowhere and stabs him. While succumbing to his injuries, a mysterious voice echoes in his mind and recites a series of commands which he could not make sense of.
After regaining consciousness, Satoru discovers that he has been reincarnated as a Slime in an unfamiliar world. At the same time, he also acquires new-found skills, particularly the ability called "Predator," which allows him to devour anything and mimic its appearance and skills. He stumbles upon Veldora, a Catastrophe-level 'Storm Dragon', who was sealed for 300 years for reducing a town to ashes. Feeling sorry for him, Satoru befriends the dragon, promising to help him in destroying the seal. In return, Veldora bestows upon him the name Rimuru Tempest, to grant him divine protection.
Now free from his stale past life, Rimuru embarks on a quest to prove his worth. As he starts to get used to his current physique, word of his weird accomplishments start to spread like wildfire across the world, changing his fate completely."
Our Evaluation: Love it. The unique idea, concept, storyline, world rules, characters, and artwork. An isekai that is an enjoyment to watch and imagine what it would be like being in Rimiru's position as a person from our Earth being transported there. We are already in the second season and the intensity is really ramping up! Save a weekend of free time available to binge-watch this! Also there is a filler episode that is just as amazing as the main storyline episodes. You know a series is good when you even want to rewatch the filler!
8. The Bears Bear a Bare Kuma - Genre: Comedy, isekai
"Yuna is a 15-year-old girl who enjoys playing the world's first VRMMO. Having earned billions of yen in stocks, she confines herself to her house to continue playing. After a huge update arrives, she obtains a rare bear outfit, but it is so embarrassing she can't even wear it.
After a survey though, she finds herself in an unknown forest wearing the bear outfit. Where is this? Email from God? Different world? Wearing the bear outfit, she's a cheat but without it she's just a normal girl. As her adventure begins like that, Yuna does what she always does, whatever she likes!"
Our Evaluation: Cute. Adorable. Sweet and heartwarming. Though there are a lot of questions, it's a light and fun storyline with some unique concepts or rules to the isekai world. If you love the Isekai genre, then you will like this one.
9. Konosuba - Genre: Comedy, Isekai, Romance, Sword and sorcery
"Following an untimely and embarrassing death, Kazuma Satō, a Japanese teenager shut-in NEET, meets a goddess named Aqua, who offers to reincarnate him in a parallel world with MMORPG elements, where he can go on adventures and battle monsters. Despite being offered a superpowered item or ability to use in this new world, Kazuma, following some provocation, chooses Aqua herself to accompany him to the town of Axel, quickly finding her absent-mindedness to be less than beneficial.LN 1.P With Aqua unable to return to the afterlife until the Devil King is defeated, the two form a party and recruit two other members; an explosion-obsessed magician named Megumin and a masochistic crusader named Darkness.LN 1.2.4 Due to the party's dysfunctional abilities, Kazuma quickly gives up on the idea of defeating the Devil King and tries to live a comfortable lifestyle, only to find the circumstances of his daily life are forcing him and his party to encounter and battle the Devil King's generals."
Our Evaluation: Hilarious. From the reason for his death to the reason why Aqua is pulled along. I feel a bit bad for the main character but then he does something to take that away. It's a fun story with weird characters. A definite watch.
10. How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord - Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Harem, Isekai
"Takuma Sakamoto is a hikikomori gamer who is mysteriously transported to the virtual world of his favorite MMORPG, Cross Reverie, with the appearance of his own character in the game, the Demon Lord Diablo. The two young girls who summoned him, the pantherian Rem and the elf Shera, attempt to use a spell to make Takuma their servant, but due to his magic ring with the ability "Magic Reflection", the spell rebounds, and both end, up with magic collars stuck on their necks, thus becoming his servants instead. With a serious case of social anxiety, Takuma decides to act like his character while interacting with others and makes use of his high stats and vast knowledge of Cross Reverie's lore to survive in his new environment, traveling along with Rem and Shera to look for a way to remove their slave collars, while helping them with their own personal issues that led them to summon him in the first place.
Our Evaluation: Has a lot of fan service, a LOT. But the characters and storyline are hilarious. It does take a different look at being the villain who acts more like a perverted hero. By the first episode you will get an idea and be able to decide whether you like it or not!
And that's all we got for this month! You have all of March to try these out before our next Anime post is released. Enjoy and feel free to let us know which anime's were your favorite from what we have mentioned here.