For a while now, I’ve been on quite the isekai kick. I think it’s the fantasy genre in general, as I’m enjoying several non-isekai fantasy ones also (and just marathoned the Lord of the Rings extended edition, but that’s a different story), but there’s something fun about the idea of being transported to another world that’s enjoyable. Maybe it’s more relatable main characters? Well, either way, I’ve been enjoying the shit out of them.
Having noticed my lack of variety in posts, as all have been anime-focused, I decided now would be a perfect time to talk about the isekai manga I’ve found awesome. I’m going to keep this strictly isekai, rather than fantasy in general, to keep this list from being too long. Also, going to keep it to PG-13 series (or at least what I’d consider okay), so no frontal nudity. Sorry guys.
Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu
Probably my favorite on this list. Normally, I’d save my favorite for last, but as I was just flipping out about it getting an anime in my last post, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. This series has great pacing and a well developed story. And great characters, of course. As is always a big plus for me, it’s got some romantic intrigue as well (potentially multiple, depending on how this love polygon plays out). I’ve heard the light novel is superior, as you’d probably expect, but I still can’t recommend this enough.
Sekai Saikyou no Kouei: Meikyuukoku no Shinjin Tansakusha
A pretty beefy title right there (not sure why I’m just going with the Japanese titles for this post, but it just feels right when talking about manga. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). On topic, it’s an interesting series. The protagonist is a support rather than a frontline hero, though we all know supports win games. Has an RPG feel to it, which may be a pro or a con (or neutral), but it’s not super overt. I like the characters, but there’s not many chapters out at this point so it’s hard to say how they’ll develop. Thus far, though, it’s been a cool series and I hope it continues to get better as they flesh out the series’ plot.
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari
Tate no Yuusha has been pretty well known for a while now, gaining more fame from its very beautiful anime. While I like the story and the characters, I will add a caveat to this one. In my opinion, the series hasn’t been the same since the queen has entered the fray. I’ll leave it to you to see what I mean to avoid any spoilers though. For the record, this lines up with the end of the anime. Regardless, this is a good series.
Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo Dorei Majutsu
Another series that I feel got some notice after its anime release. I really enjoy the humor with this one. The cuts to what Diablo (yep, that name) is thinking behind his demon lord persona are great. I also enjoy watching the story unfold, and I can’t say I’m opposed to the members of his harem, though he’s far too innocent to actually make a move himself (as his inner self reveals time and again). A fun series that’s worth a read if isekai harem are your jam.
Seichou Cheat de Nandemo Dekiru you ni Natta ga, Mushoku dake wa Yamerarenai you desu
(So, yeah, finally stumbled upon a scene they had censored a bit. As this list was intended to be PG-13 or whatever, I should remove it. But it’s still awesome, so fuck it. I’m just going to leave this here…)
If Sekai Saikyou no Kouei’s title wasn’t long enough, enjoy remembering this one. Probably why they tend to have abbreviated names… Well, our poor protagonist Ichinosuke survives almost being hit by a truck only to have the horse that was onboard kick him in the head and send him on his isekai journey. Yep, it’s as weird as it sounds, though I appreciate the play on this super common isekai trope (I wish these protagonists would pay more attention when crossing the road). I like how this series took a different approach, where he wasn’t intentionally blessed with being insanely powerful, but laziness on the side of the goddesses results in a mistake. Its self aware opening, paired with likable characters, and good humor makes this a winner in my book.
Sokushi Cheat ga Saikyou Sugite, Isekai no Yatsura ga Marude Aite ni Naranai n desu ga
Welp, I’m starting to notice a trend with the titles of the isekai series. Honestly, I kind of prefer the English title: The Other World Doesn’t Stand a Chance Against the Power of Instant Death. Pretty much sums up the series. Your male protagonist is apparently some emotionless walking death machine, who kills just by saying “die”. It’s kind of the Saitama approach, where someone is so OP that there’s not really any “action” per se, more of just an initial conflict that ends basically immediately, resulting in a confused and dumbfounded cast. And that’s IF the initial conflict even has a chance to build itself up, if he doesn’t kill them just by sensing their intent to kill. As dull as you’d expect this to be, it’s pretty entertaining. You watch them build up a villain only to have them fall over anticlimactically. If you enjoy that kind of silliness, I’d check it out.
I wanted to include this one to add some variety. This one is more of a long, slow journey. Our protagonist goes from leading and protecting a small group of orphans to a ruling noble, leveraging several technologies from our world. That being said, I wonder what the hell this guy did with his spare time before coming to this new world, as the man’s practically an encyclopedia on manufacturing techniques, military tactics, and just about anything else. Unlike the rest on this list, it has romantic progression and a political element to it. I won’t dwell on it too much (I’ll let the links above take care of the synopsis), but it’s a pretty good series.
Arifureta Shokugyou de Sekai Saikyou
Yet another series with a fairly well known anime (though, that CGI drove me crazy). I guess it’s to be expected that good, long-running isekai series would get anime. Either way, it’s a good series. It takes the weak-to-strong approach for its protagonist, albeit happening very quickly. While the characters are a bit generic, it’s their interactions with each other that I think I enjoy the most. The protagonist can act cold and badass all he wants, but he’s not fooling his supporting cast. More than anything, I’m just excited to see where the series goes with the plot.
Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu
Saving one of my favorite series for last, Tsuki ga Michibiku checks off a lot of things that I like in a series. We have a well-intentioned hero who was outcast by the very goddess who summoned him because she doesn’t like how he looks. But, despite his setbacks, he’s significantly more powerful than the heroes that she summons after him, so joke’s on her. The series boasts a great supporting cast, gripping plot, good story pacing, and a likable protagonist. I think it adds to his character that he’s not fully aware of how powerful he really is, and there’s something enjoyable about seeing the occasional demonstration of this power. This series leaves me craving more chapters more than most, so I’d have to put this near the top of my manga list in general (not just my isekai list). I’d recommend it if you’re a fan of the isekai genre, and I desperately hope the anime this year is as awesome as the manga. Yeah, I’m pumped for it.
So there you go, some isekai manga I’ve been enjoying lately. I also just want to make note of the links to the Baka-Updates site, mangaupdates.com. It’s something I’m not sure all fans are aware of, but it’s a fantastic site to find other series you like, as you can look up series based on either the genre or the tropes. Genres are great and all, but often very general, so two series with the same genre can feel vastly different. Tropes, however, let you pick more specific things you want to see in the series. If you like overpowered protagonists, you can search for that. Enjoy a tragic past? That’s a trope you can search by. It really is a great site for helping you find just what you’re looking for in a manga.
Okay, I think I’ve taken enough of your time. If you have any isekai series you think are awesome, shoot me a message. I’m always looking for new series. Now, go enjoy some manga.