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This Week in Anime - Are This Season's Isekai Anime Any Good?


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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 466
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 9:14 am Reply with quote
"Editor's Note: No" made me laugh far more than it probably should have. I blame my own sleep deprivation.

Also, and sorry for being pedantic, but "complexation" should probably be "complexion". Unless I'm missing the joke- which is very possible (see the aforementioned sleep deprivation.)
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Terraziel



Joined: 01 Jul 2023
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 9:38 am Reply with quote
I think I've run out of the energy needed to be bothered by the low imagination isekai dross that comes out each season. Actually legitimately "Good" isekai was always rare, but even the "Alright" ones used to have at least some sense of identity. By the Grace of the Gods is about a old man turned child opening a chain of launderettes and it still has more going for it than the stuff of late.

Is it simply that they have run through all the isekai with even the barest minimum of charm?
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Eilavel



Joined: 16 Apr 2024
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 9:49 am Reply with quote
Re:Monster is exploitative garbage, but at least it knows that. Really, the best you can say for most of these is they aren't pretending to be anything other than basic wish fulfillment fantasies. At least none of them are going to generate reams of text suggesting the unpleasant MC is actually a deep character study.

Really, I think the question is what isekai shows actually took advantage of the format? Which shows benefit from being isekai as opposed to just fantasy (or just not made...)?

Escaflowne keeps the lead firmly an outsider the whole time, and this seems the logical way to go. Log Horizon doesn't really go anywhere with it, but it at least tries to take seriously what "transformed to the game world" would mean on a social level.

On the other end of the scale, theres stuff like Slime or Faraway Paladin where the isekai element is so irrelevant you could essentially forget it for episodes at a time. Although these are also better than when they refer to it constantly just to make clear how very special they are.

Not that theres anything wrong with light entertainment- I'm not saying I've never watched any Isekai- but is the set up so interesting we need 9 shows in it this season, none of which will hold a candle to the straightforward fantasies of Frieren and Dungeon Meshi?
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Blood-
Bargain Hunter



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 23850
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 9:52 am Reply with quote
Out of the 20 newly premiered shows I'm currently following, only three are isekai-themed.

KonoSuba 3 is an isekai, but one that is intended to parody the isekai genre so not sure if that counts. It's good.

A Salad Bowl of Eccentrics is a reverse isekai in that it's about characters from another world who come to ours. Assuming it counts, it's decent.

New Gate starts off as a "trapped in a VR game" fantasy setting but then seems to morph into an isekai. I am far from wowed but willing to give it an episode or two more.

Personally, I think it's a bit early to be doing a feature on whether or not this season's isekai are good or not. Eh, maybe wait for three episodes or so? Otherwise this basically becomes an isekai preview guide.
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Andrew Cunningham



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 449
Location: Seattle
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 9:57 am Reply with quote
I'd argue 7th Prince is a parody of OP protagonist shows, but I didn't actually work that out until the second episode because serious OP protagonist shows are so unflinchingly ridiculous it didn't actually succeed in being substantially sillier. Then he made an extra mouth in his hand so he could cast twice as hard.

It's also not isekai at all (he's reincarnated in the same world), and easily the best narou-kei show since...well, Mushoku Tensei. A protagonist with an actual personality! Both girls have been a ton of fun! The second one doughtnuted an orc with her face, what more do you want in life? And the third girl you object to here is just a blatant copy of Arakiya from Re: Zero.
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Saeryen



Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 905
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 9:59 am Reply with quote
Yeah, I’m not watching any isekai this season. No shoujo stuff and not even an iyashikei sort of thing like By the Grace of the Gods.

I might take the opportunity to watch last season’s 7th Time Loop, but I would want to finish my Yumeiro Patissiere rewatch first.

Also, Himitsu no AiPri (which isn’t licensed, boo) is sort of isekai? She goes to another world to do idol singing, but she does come back every time, so I don’t know? I am of course watching that one, and on that note since Idol Time PriPara is on CR there could hopefully be talk of if that one counts as isekai, similar concept to AiPri and that one even has a struggle for the other world’s future.
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 1010
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 10:05 am Reply with quote
7th Prince is fun. Protagonist is deeply unhinged but in a cute and funny way and not a "let's enslave these cute catgirls" kind of way.

One detail in regards to his death that the anime left out is that he deliberately provoked a noble specifically so he could feel the rush of being executed by magical means. Actual psychopath behavior and I love it
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Dr. Wily



Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Posts: 286
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 10:10 am Reply with quote
Quote:
"Frankly, I think it's pretty brave for a show to let women be sex criminals instead of just the Mushoku Tensei protagonist. Truly, we're blazing new trails in tepid anime fanservice. "
Quote:
Feminism means supporting women's rights and women's wrongs!!!
Editor's note: No.


This may be the hardest I've laughed at one of these columns, or indeed, this whole site, so bravo, guys. And if I had to describe the style on that 7th Prince character style I would say "Made In Abyss but with the "generic" dial turned up a few notches". Does definitely make me feel like I'd be on a list for downloading a pic, sorry Lucas.

But yeah, this year's crop feels pretty disappointing. Usually I can enjoy a few isekai like I do popcorn with extra butter (I like it even if I know it's bad for me ultimately) but nothing really stands out. Maybe later in the season, one of these will get a ton of praise and I'll revisit it but for now, I definitely won't be checking any isekai out. ...Well, except for my beloved Konosuba but that's a returning show and a totally different breed than anything else here.


Last edited by Dr. Wily on Thu Apr 18, 2024 11:28 am; edited 2 times in total
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Jabootu



Joined: 17 Jan 2024
Posts: 90
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 10:19 am Reply with quote
I realize that objectively it's not up there with Mushoku Tensei, Slime or Konasuba, and also that it's a continuation from last season. However, I feel obliged to at least mention Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy is still playing. It's solidly in the second tier of Isekais and a show that greatly entertains me every week. Amazing what fun, likable characters and a bit of sharp writing can do.
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Minos_Kurumada



Joined: 04 Nov 2015
Posts: 1049
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 10:43 am Reply with quote
I always found hilarious how the best isekai are the ones that either parody the genera or reject every trope an isekai should have.

I mean, HeroAca its distilled action shounen to its purest core and its awesome, Skip and Loafer is slice of life distilled and its awesome, Blue Lock its sports distilled ... you get the idea.

But, in order to get the good isekai you need to go to the ones that either make fun of the genera like Konosuba or reject everything the genera its about like Re:0.

Anyway, I am of the opinion that iseka its on its last legs and its going to be replaced with the "spelled from the hero's party" genera.
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Blood-
Bargain Hunter



Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 23850
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 10:47 am Reply with quote
You are using the word genera wrong. When describing a single type of show, such as isekai, you do not use a plural. Genre is correct.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 3458
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 11:19 am Reply with quote
Quote:
And the gag where he changes his character model to the fem settings is also playing around with video game mechanics and makes me hopeful that the harem elements of this isekai won't be as painfully vanilla and heteronormative as most of its contemporaries.

I've said it before in the preview thread, but Chillin' isn't a harem.
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invalidname
Contributor



Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 2453
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 11:23 am Reply with quote
“I am once again asking light novel authors to have a life experience more profound than playing a lengthy JRPG.”
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NeverConvex
Subscriber



Joined: 08 Jun 2013
Posts: 2327
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 11:31 am Reply with quote
LT wrote:
Isekai and all the various circumstances that have led to its proliferation in the past decade feel like a pig being repeatedly fed its poop, struggling to wring nutrients from its increasingly recycled list of tropes until it starves to death. There is still room for creative things within the trend, but they feel increasingly anomalous.


This somehow had me imagining that poor pig frantically crawling around in a stack of isekai, desperately looking for the next big reincarnated thing.. Crying or Very sad
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Hal14



Joined: 01 Apr 2018
Posts: 674
Location: Heart of africa
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 11:32 am Reply with quote
Minos_Kurumada wrote:


Anyway, I am of the opinion that iseka its on its last legs and its going to be replaced with the "spelled from the hero's party" genera.


Even the "kicked out of the hero's party" stories are usually confused with isekai*. How often in the announcement articles for these are the second or third posts explaining that "this is not an isekai". Even here it's happening.
Currently the fantasy anime genre could be divided into: isekai vs. non-isekai, and even the non-isekai get confused for isekai. This stuff isn't going away anytime soon.

*Several actual isekai like Shield hero, Arifureta, Wordsmith, even Wrong way to use Healing magic, all have elements of "kicked out of the hero's party".
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