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I haven’t actually read any isekai. Not by that modern Japanese definition anyway. Komi Can’t Communicate is what I was most recently reading through, but now I’m caught up and have to wait for more. I don’t have a problem with the concept or anything I just don’t know if there’s a series I want to commit to. I knew I liked Komi because I saw the anime on Netflix and wanted to see the comics. I read One Punch Man, MHA, & One Piece. Sometimes the MHA spinnoff, but I haven’t bought the actual books. Or more accurately bought them again in physical form because when I originally bough them it was digital on the VIZ app, but they discontinued it for IOS so I lost access to them except through the website, which is balls. So I learned a harsh lesson about not buying digital comics. Now I buy a physical copy and steal a digital version so they can’t take it away from me. I actually “own” and entire series digitally on VIZ. Something about the board game GO. I forget the title. Plus a couple of volumes of Inu Yasha. Which I didn’t finish out because somehow VIZ lost the license to Inu Yasha. Which is fine because by that time I was learning that digital is a fucking scam.
What was I talking about?
Whatever, I dunno. All I know is that Japan has a comics culture that’s much more like America’s was before the censors fucked it all up way back in the day. You can read all kinds of slice of life junk & it doesn’t have to be shoe horned into your superhero books because the American industry won’t take the time to actually build the culture. No, you have to go to webcomics for that stuff, where the creators toil for scraps. Although really everybody in a creative job at the actually ground level has to work for scraps in hopes that Hollywod will come and steal their IP for a handful beans.
I was reading some other ones about annoying girls teasing generic protagonists but I forget the names & I haven’t actually bought the books, but I think they are being printed right now. When I remember what they are I probably will. Quirky girls in awkward romances with generic boys is my spirit animal. Truly the most epic of fantasies.


Yu Yu Hakusho might fit the category barely.

Nah, that’s straight-up Shonen

There’s a bit more control over where the story is set, and Japan is definitely a part of it, but given the ghost world elements and the demon world elements and the truck, Yu Yu Hakusho definitely qualifies. Though most of the ghost world stuff was removed for the anime, for some reason, I guess they just wanted to get to the rei gun?

I would argue for it to be “truly” Isekai, it has to be set in a totally different world. Yu Yu Hakusho is basically just the world as we know it with a clearly-defined spiritual/supernatural component thrown in.

Dude, maybe you shouldn’t be praising Isekai if you haven’t read it. Especially since most of the modern shows that utilize the trope are sexist self-insert garbage,which USUALLY have a pro slavery theme to it.

Just wanna say, this comment was meant for the comic, not for the comment above, and apparently I can’t edit nor delete it.

Oh my god, this is so beautiful. I want to print this out and frame it. It’s such a perfect fart sniffing concern troll comment. You actually brought up slavery. It’s magnificent. What an amazing tool you must be.

Certainly being dismissive of all isekai is hyperbolic, there’s definitely some good ones (or at least, amusing ones). I’m reading more than a few of them.

But a ridiculous amount of the worst ones DO use slavery heavily as a way for the protagonist to get a female companion that is forced to deal with them (and often have sex with them). And then they spend a lot of time wanking off about being one of the “nice” slave owners. And they even manage to make it all boring.

There are SOME good ones, but mostly from before the modern era. And if it’s not slavery,it’s an adult man getting an underage wife, the medium is just continuous creep pandering,at least these days.

He did say he’d read some Inuyasha in the comment to the comic, which is a much more proper Isekai than the authors who are just ripping off JRPG and MMO tropes, as well as sketchy “Medieval Europe”isms in order to shill a wish fulfillment list about collecting the full list of fetishes into a harem that an odd amount of the time the MC doesn’t even want (because Kirito from quazi-Isekai Sword Art Online was super popular and sold a ton of books).

Oh to return to the days of actual fantasy settings that weren’t slightly altered cookie cutters of each other, or at least alternate worlds that were more unique if we have to go with Isekai instead of proper fantasy.

The settings for Inuyasha, Fushigi Yuugi, and Vision of Escaflowne were all quite different even if the latter two did share some similarities in the romantic wish fulfilment angle to modern stuff (though the characters actually had to work to make people think they actually deserved the attention and/or their chosen one status instead of just being handed all of it as a reward anyways).

Yeah in those(Inuyash,Escaflowne, the like) they were proper fish out of water stories, where the normal character had to work to adapt to the world they were placed in. Its like, the first two seasons of StarVS are better than the latter two because Star isn’t used to the mundane world of Earth, whereas in seasons 3 and 4 when Marco comes to Mewni, he BARELY doesn’t fit in, almost mastering the fantasy world completely.

Annoying girls teasing generic protagonists could be so many things. The most likely culprits are Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro; Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out; and Yancha Gal no Anjou-san.

I’m sure there’s about to be a deluge of Isekai recommendations, so I’m just going to throw in my favorite, Ascendance of a Bookworm. Rather than your epic quest with epic powers sort of adventure, it focuses more on personal relationships, particularly that of the protagonist’s family. The big bads of the series are poverty and illiteracy. Though it does get more adventury in the back half.

For a straight up comedy isekai, you can’t go wrong with Konosuba, it’s just plain fun.

Ugh, I’m ridiculous, I had light novels on the brain. Both of those isekai do have manga adaptations, though neither is as good as the source material.

I 2nd the recommendation of Ascendance of a Bookworm, as it is a very well written Slice of life story with enough Fantasy to make it not our world. For more action oriented I would say Worlds Strongest Rearguard. And then about 20 more that I regularly read:P:)

‘Teasing Master Takagi-san (Karaki Jouzo no Takagi-san) is an excellent ‘smart girl owns protagonist’ manga and anime, which is also a well told love story,

Escaflowne is the first Isekai anime that comes to mind, but it’s from the 90s so calling it modern feels a bit iffy. Altho I suspect Ed means like Narnia and such

Or “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” by Sam Clemens

Does time-travel count as a isekai? I would argue for TRUE western isekai, you’d need to look towards “Alice in Wonderland” or some such other fine-ass madness…

Connecticut Yankee did beating up medieval era tech enemies with modern tech before Gate did. Just it was near the end of the book instead of basically the entire premise. Also a lot of using modern knowledge to gain an advantage in a medieval tech society, which is a common staple of the isekai genre at this point.

But that doesn’t make it an Isekai, though, it’s a time travel story. Isekai literally means “Otherworld”, meaning if you aren’t going to an explicitly different world it isn’t Isekai, even if it has a lot of tropes in common. There are also a bunch of generic fantasy stories in manga that hit all of the common tropes *except* that the MC is actually native to the setting and not from a different world than the one the main story is set in, those are also not Isekai.

I think someone has mentioned them, but, how about the novels-
“Alice in Wonderland”, and “Alice Through the Looking Glass”?

An excellent point about digital comics. This nonsense is going to spur piracy even harder than it already is.

The optics are awful. They fight the pirates, they scream and beg and cry and cajole to get you to buy digital, only to literally STEAL THE PROPERTY THAT YOU PURCHASED away from you with fine-print trickery.

Small wonder someone wouldn’t run up the black flag after THAT move.

Yes, it’s all in that fine print trickery. You spent your hard-earned money to purchase nothing, only a license — and a very limited one at that.

Yo-ho, Pirate Bay ahoy!

Much of the Isekai comics I’ve been reading have to do with protagonists dying by either car-kun or truck-kun, only to find themselves in the bodies of a villainess who meets a very bad end in stories they’ve read. So instead they hijack said story and make it their own to avoid such deaths/bad endings. Much of it is the same scenario as the next one, however the odd comic can be different just enough to keep my attention on it. I have quite a lot bookmarked, lol.

Lots of isekai are rehashed and bad but you do find some good ones. Some are the popular ones mentioned but others gotta dig through. And you probably owned hikaru no go which u found to be a fun series

I have read so many isekai variants, they are have pretty much mined out the genre. I am now reading parody isekai stories. I even found one that is about the people who drive the van killing people.

I think I found two different ones about people driving truck-kun. Can’t remember the names though.

One of the more recent ones with a bit of a deconstructionist twist that I liked is Isekai Ojisan. It’s set after he’s returned from the other world, so you know he survived, but the other world stuff is told in flashback snippets. It’s a mix of that and him getting used to a world that has moved on without him for 17 years.

Also, he has no social skills and instead of going to another world meaning he gets a happy harem life out of it, he misreads everything constantly which gets him into trouble. And can’t read any of the cues from the people that are interested in him.

I also like The Executioner and Her Way of Life: In a world that is constantly getting isekai protagonists summoned to it, all easy advancements from modern world knowledge have pretty much been done already. Isekai protagonists are now treated by the church as problems to be dealt with.

There was another more comedic take on “Too many isekai protagonists” called The Misfortunes of Local Knight Hans (or Chihou Kishi Hans no Junan), though the manga’s been canceled. Light novel last had a volume published in 2017, so not sure if the manga just hit the end of it or if it got canceled early. It’s about a local knight that has to deal with managing an ever growing cast of overpowered people from Japan.

“Quirky girls in awkward romances with generic boys is my spirit animal.”
First anime I ever watched was Tenchi Muyo. Had a taste for harem anime ever since. Say what you will about me or the genre. I know it’s sort of trash and bland, but I enjoy it. Peak art shenanigans in the genre so far (for me) has been Monster Musume, the answer to the question “what if your sexual awakening was leafing through the D&D Monster Manual?”. Definitely more lewd than some, but damn it is funny. And it isn’t even that all the jokes (albeit most) are pervy or anything, it’s the main protagonist’s reaction faces. Kimihito has some real banger reactions to his situations. I also appreciate that it at least tries to explain WHY he isn’t allowed to just go all-in on all these girls that are clearly giving him landing lights. It’s a fun show. If it were less pervy but kept the characters and humor as-is, I’d still love it to bits. Hell, I might even like it more, because at least then I could show it to more friends without shame.

I haven’t been keeping track, but it seems as though Tenchi Muyo is the example everyone uses for the genre. I take it as an implication that it is one of the best in the genre. No idea how true this is.

Now that I’m married, shows like … Well… Any anime with a halfway cute presentation of …

Listen to me… Like I really think I’m this smart…

Marriage. Hits different. Let me just stay on that side of the discussion.

Marriage has definitely given me the chance to feel what might actually be called “normal”. Before, I felt like some broken guy who never knew that being complete was even possible. Marriage is crazy and weird, too.

Marriage is really easy. Marriage is also absolutely the most challenging and difficult thing in the world. This is kind of where my point with the harem comedy was trying to go.

Tenchi Muyo basically gives you a buffet of sexual… hopefulness? Certainly not gratification. You have a choice, and any choice you make is a win. “How would you like your win, sir?”

With marriage, you have one shot, and you really can’t be sure what you’re getting until you dive in. At the same time, you’re really not even sure what you’re capable of because you’re put into situations you’ve never dreamed of where logic is absolutely the most useless construct of the mind you can possibly conceive. But there’s sex, so it’s okay! It’s not even pervy sex! It’s completely okay!

I’ve been married to one woman for seven and a half years now. There have been plenty of times when I wanted to give up, and she has certainly felt the same way. First, you notice her faults because that’s the easy part. The hard part isn’t even seeing and accepting what your own faults are.

The hard part is accepting her faults, and letting her insult, degrade, belittle, and trash your name until you realize that there’s nothing wrong with her, and that you shouldn’t take yourself so seriously all the time. Of course she doesn’t think like you! That’s why you liked her! When did that become why you can’t stand her?!

For every notion of what love is I’ve seen in media of all kinds, I can’t help but think that, at its most basic, love is vulnerability. They have the rights to rip your heart out, and you have to give up your fear that it will happen, because it absolutely will. You’ll do the same, because they are vulnerable to you. That’s why it hurts.

But, it gets better. You and they do finally start seeing yourselves and each other for who you are, and one of you just decides to be okay with that. Then the other does the same. You didn’t set out to change, though you might think you did. You never saw this coming, though.

You don’t choose how you change. Media gets that wrong. The other person doesn’t choose, either. The actions you need to take to make things work determines how you change. All you have to do is execute the change.

The big disclaimer for me is my version of this is very different than … Well… Everyone’s. I won’t go into my story further right now because that’s not the point.

Harem comedy gives you a choice that you can’t act on. Choosing one woman gives a choice that you must act on. It’s so easy, and yet it’s so hard. Getting married is the easy part. Well, my favorite music artist said it best when he said, “It’s one thing to win ’em. It’s another to keep ’em content, and he knows that he is only just one man.”

So, yeah. The wife called, so I’m cutting this short because I have to pick her up for work. Hope everyone is doing well, and I hope my ranting is at least a little useful to someone. Miss you guys!

Simple stories that are still enjoyable:

* By the Grace of the Gods
* Ascendance of a Bookworm
* The Saint’s Magic Power Is Omnipotent

By the Grace of the Gods provided me a particularly nice and relatable escape as someone who works hard and feels stretched thin, though your experience might differ.

There are others worth recommending, but that might get you started at least, and they don’t tax my brain too heavily with things like action in battles and lots of minor cast members that you need to remember.

And many of the more popular isekai stories take place in Western-style medieval fantasy worlds with magic, monsters, dwarves, and more like you might find in the Dragonlance series, Discworld, The Wheel of Time, etc., so you might not even want to go the isekai route of that’s all you are seeking.

There are American comic book companies other Marvel and DC and you can get slice of life or pretty much any genre that exists from them as well as alternative superhero stuff. Check out Image, Dynamite, Darkhorse, IDW, Boom, AWA, Radical, Aftershock, ect.

One of the last comics I bought was about a serial killer who collected dogs as trophies. You don’t have to read anime to read something different than what Marvel and DC are pushing you just have to look a little.

I like the Hernandez brothers’ Love and Rockets. Started in the 80s, I think, and they’re still at it. (Perhaps a bit soured by old age and experience but still good.)

Isekai in Japan and alt-world stories in Korean manhwa. Like nearly everything popular in web comics is a Korean manhwa about how a person dies and reincarnates, or gets sucked into a tower/video game/alternative world where they are changed significantly. Here’s a list of the most read manhwa that are currently running even with Japanese isekai manga, for example:

= Infinite Leveling: Murim
= Tower of God
= The Advanced Player of the Tutorial Tower
= The Gamer (kinda? he finds out there’s another world under the world we see)
= The World After the Fall
= Limit Breaker

And of course, The Omniscient Reader (it takes place on infinite variant earths, infinite reincarnations).

All of them are basically isekai stories. It’s so popular it’s infected every form of popular web comic/manga/manhwa out there. “I died or changed due to a massive slip in worlds that somehow mimics a video game.”

Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint is really good. I’m having a break at Chapter 100 to let it accumulate more material.

I also like Levelling With The Gods, one more tower tutorial manhwa which I’ve found unexpectedly gripping. Having a break here too for the same reason.

I’m finding that Korean manhwa is taking over manga at this point. I did enjoy long Shonen Jump series comics, but after awhile, I’m more for the short series manga over the long series ones. I just don’t have the budget to pay to read everything like I used to (I have a kid and other hobbies).

Btw, One Piece is such an achievement, not least because you more or less over and over have to go back and re-read the last 50-100 chapters that form the arc you just finished, because of all the characters and details and goings-on and hints forward and backward. I think I’ve read it end to end two or three times by now (more than 1000 chapters!) and also various sub-arcs multiple times. Whew.

That said, for those just starting out you may wonder what be the big deal until 100 chapters or so in. Just roll with it.

Another entirely different manga that is now finishing up is Kaguya-Sama. A nearly flawless run, at least until the last dozen of chapters or so where I think they stumbled. Still good, but not at the level of excellency of the previous two ‘season finales’. Anyway, well worth reading in its entirety. I almost wrote ‘required’.

Kaguya-Sama (Love is War) is pretty good. Just because there’s actual character development along with all the shenanigans going on to get the other to confess. I just wish it was a little SHORTER, since they seemed to be just pushing for a few more dollars at that point.

I do enjoy a good isekai manga, for all I freely admit it’s a thoroughly overtrode genre. My favourite ones at this point are actually the ones that subvert the trope a bit, or at least go in a distinctly different direction.

The part that always drives me crazy in “found selves in a new or previously unknown world” is that way too many of them are all about the character going back home at the end of the story which I freaking hate. Other people hate “it was all a dream” I hate “now back to the real world”

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