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This Week in Anime - The Isekai Saturation Heightens


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JR-1



Joined: 02 Oct 2012
Posts: 58
Location: Southeast Asia
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:35 pm Reply with quote
I'm pretty sure Isekai will still run like a runaway truck for quite some time because the conceit is just so malleable. I honestly can't hate it too much because it gives a lot of amateur writers a canvas to put their spin while still attracting readers. Like I'm still rather hopeful for the upcoming The Faraway Paladin which is closer to a YA fantasy hero's journey and The Executioner and Her Way of Life which puts the main perspective from the isekai denizen. The real problem is just honestly a lot of the writers are amateurs who may have good ideas but doesn't have the writing ability to make a story still engaging when transcending the fanfic-like mutual camaraderie with readers in webnovels into the collected book and subsequently anime screen. (Those two titles that I mentioned are the ones that are better than most imo)
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
Posts: 13010
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:29 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
"Eternal Virgin" Hiro Shimono gives a pretty good performance as Makoto.


Makoto is voiced by Natsuki Hanae of Tanjiro fame.
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dm
Subscriber



Joined: 24 Sep 2010
Posts: 831
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:09 pm Reply with quote
One of the screen-caps ("sign here, please") made me think of John Rawls' "veil of ignorance" in his A theory of Justice. Basically a gedanken experiment for building a just world: what world would you choose if you did not know where you'd end up in it (prince or pauper).

Now that could be an Isekai worth watching --- you choose a world then land in it in a way that forces you to find out the unpleasant, unintended consequences of your choice.

Instead of respawning in the previous world, you get to try to fix what went wrong in your choice, and learn how that world can be broken.

It would be like one of those looping time-travel stories, where you hop back in time to try to avert one disaster after the next, only this time hopping worlds instead of timelines.
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myskaros



Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Posts: 578
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:45 pm Reply with quote
The thing about isekai is that while some people may be tired of it, sales indicate that those people are in the minority.
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gaunt391



Joined: 29 Jul 2021
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 3:57 pm Reply with quote
the only thing they got wrong was the voice actor of Makoto in Tsukimichi is Natsuki Hanae not Hiro Shimono
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1982
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:08 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, I kind of wish isekai series would go back to the kind that was prevalent in the 90s, like Escaflowne or 12 Kingdoms. Those anime actually put effort into their worldbuilding, stories, and characterizations, and didn't always rely so much on the same tropes over and over again. Even Fushigi Yuugi, which many consider to encapsulate all the worst parts of those particular anime, still had more personality and worldbuilding than half the stuff being churned out now.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3939
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:38 pm Reply with quote
FireChick wrote:
Honestly, I kind of wish isekai series would go back to the kind that was prevalent in the 90s, like Escaflowne or 12 Kingdoms. Those anime actually put effort into their worldbuilding, stories, and characterizations, and didn't always rely so much on the same tropes over and over again. Even Fushigi Yuugi, which many consider to encapsulate all the worst parts of those particular anime, still had more personality and worldbuilding than half the stuff being churned out now.

Seriously. Those were true high fantasy series that happened to take place in another world, and a huge amount of effort was put into the world-building. They felt like true living, breathing places. In contrast a lot of modern isekai seems to conflate world-building with "let's just plop some generic RPG rules down and call it a day." It's an incredibly lazy crutch for bad writing, and it's why I can't take any of these things seriously at all.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9884
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 7:36 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
There are times where Kirio gets weird thinking about his friend's ghost-panties or whatever, which makes him a not-so-nice guy

Hmm, I guess we're all not-so-nice then. Kirio didn't just start thinking about it out of the blue, but because he read the list she gave him. There's no way he could read it and not think about it, that being the nature of words. Just like you were thinking about it when you wrote that and acquired the screen shot (and were thinking about Asuna's lack of pants later). Just like I'm thinking about it while writing this and so is anyone who reads any of this. And then there's Rebecca and her interest in 19th c. women's underwear. Why, in your estimation, she's the not-so-nicest of us all! Razz
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NeverConvex



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 1202
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 8:30 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
FireChick wrote:
Honestly, I kind of wish isekai series would go back to the kind that was prevalent in the 90s, like Escaflowne or 12 Kingdoms.../quote]
Seriously. Those were true high fantasy series that happened to take place in another world, and a huge amount of effort was put into the world-building. They felt like true living, breathing places..


Thirded! I'm not super fond of isekai as a trope -- in most cases, it seems really unnecessary and weirdly convoluted to introduce a fantasy world as something you fell into, rather than just treating it as its own stand-alone reality -- but when I really dig into complaining about it, it isn't about the plot choices that define the genre. It's about how incredibly lazy the storytelling, character writing, and world building often are.

There are exceptions, of course; Re;Zero is pretty great. But for every R;Z, there seems to be 15 budget schlock copy-pastah isekais where all meaningful writing has been replaced with a few especially recognizable RPG references. Or, worse, where they actively invest effort in 'game-ifying' the world, and treat this as a narrative end in itself, not something that should only be done when there's a deeper storytelling purpose to it. Ugh!

I imagine a lot of this is true of any oversaturated genre, though? Anytime a genre takes off so dramatically that every single writer/studio decides they need to make 10 of them, it's probably a foregone conclusion that a large proportion of the output will be low-effort artless dreck. I don't know the 90s genres all that well, but maybe mecha or something similar had this problem at the time? Or maybe there was just much less anime being produced in general, and so the problem of gimmicky oversaturation was never really there?
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Zendervai



Joined: 06 Apr 2012
Posts: 178
PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2021 10:12 pm Reply with quote
The best isekai I've seen in ages are actually Owl House and Amphibia. And both are Disney cartoons, but the big difference is that they're actually creative with their settings and have a strong sense of humor. They're also willing to be really weird with their settings in a way that anime isekai basically doesn't even try. Like, almost all of the isekai of the past like, five years, have been in pseudo-european fantasy worlds that are difficult to distinguish from each other.

There are anime isekai that I like, but it's ones like My Next Life as a Villainess or Ascendance of a Bookworm where they manage to stand out from the crowd for being more about the comedy for the former or the story for the latter.
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Ryusui



Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Posts: 454
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 1:10 am Reply with quote
"Mayonnaise Reese's cup" is an image that will live in my head rent-free for some time, thanks.

Mad props for the Dr. McNinja reference in there, though.
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SaneSavantElla



Joined: 25 Jan 2013
Posts: 123
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:04 am Reply with quote
Clearly there's a market for isekai, and if the concept sells, there's maybe a higher chance for it to get greenlit. And if it keeps anime in general afloat, so be it. Besides, the isekai sub-genre is so recognizable that it helps me automatically filter out shows I know I wouldn't enjoy just from reading the description or watching the first episode.

Maybe I wasn't able to watch enough old anime to tell, but still isekai shows back in the day didn't feel so... uniform. In hindsight, some of the shows I liked as a kid back in the 90s are a variation of "trapped in an unfamiliar world": Rayearth, Escaflowne, and Wataru (also Inuyasha and Time Quest if you count time travel) as a few examples. Beyond the "another world" and "savior/chosen one" tropes, these shows have little in common with each other, and with the type of isekai shows that we have now.

Thus it seems my current gauge for enjoyment of "modern isekai" is if it does not feel like one. From the shows I started watching seasonally 10 years ago, I can count in one hand the members of this sub-genre that I genuinely enjoyed: Saga of Tanya the Evil, Ascendance of a Bookworm, last season's Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent, and perhaps My Next Life as a Villainess for being so damn funny for at least half of the first season (though the novelty eventually wore off). Re: Zero, though unique and engaging enough to not feel like an isekai, I just can't get behind likely because it is full of other tropes that personally are not my cup of tea.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 2579
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 6:30 am Reply with quote
Talking about old isekais, nobody remembers Fushigi Yuugi? Confused
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prime_pm



Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 2150
Location: Your Mother's Bedroom
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 10:51 am Reply with quote
I've been guilty of falling into the isekai route myself. I wrote a story of a thirty-something guy getting transported into another world filled with fantasy tropes and deciding to become a hero. He died three days in and became reincarnated as another person in that world...then died again about ten more times before getting it right as a female elf. After awhile she returns to the real world and begins living her life job to job in the city.

Made about 16 bucks selling to an online magazine. Not bad.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 3113
PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 11:36 am Reply with quote
prime_pm wrote:
I've been guilty of falling into the isekai route myself. I wrote a story of a thirty-something guy getting transported into another world filled with fantasy tropes and deciding to become a hero. He died three days in and became reincarnated as another person in that world...then died again about ten more times before getting it right as a female elf. After awhile she returns to the real world and begins living her life job to job in the city.

Made about 16 bucks selling to an online magazine. Not bad.


That's a more interesting concept than most isekai, I guess since rogue like are all the rage these days in video game land its only fair they start getting adapted in isekai land.
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