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10 Best Isekai Anime of all time

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If you go onto any anime streaming site, chances are you’ve seen anime with wacky titles like Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon or Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? While the titles make them sound like April Fool’s jokes, these are real anime and are part of a popular subgenre known as isekai.

In isekai, protagonists are transported or reincarnated into another world vastly different than their own. Seeing the protagonist develop confidence, gain strength, and grow into the shoes of a hero makes isekai anime very appealing to fans of all ages.

While I couldn’t tell you why so many isekai have odd titles that reveal the majority of the plot, I can tell you what the 10 best isekai anime of all time are.

10. The Devil is a Part-Timer!

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Maou and chiho the devil is a part timer
Image via Crunchyroll

A light-hearted comedy and reverse isekai, where Satan was forced to retreat through a portal that transported him to modern-day Tokyo. Due to Earth’s lack of magic, Satan and his demon generals lose their powers and are transformed into humans. Satan takes up the name, “Sadao Maou,” and gets a job at MgRonalds (a parody of McDonald’s). Instead of waging war, Sadao and the generals face the struggles of life at minimum wage, while spending their time off figuring out how to return to their world.

The Devil Is A Part-Timer! Is an entertaining take on the isekai genre that provides a unique answer to the question, “What if the overpowered characters were transported to our world instead?” 

9. The Saga of Tanya the Evil

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

tanya the evil sunshine clouds
Image via Crunchyroll

After an unfortunate death and encounter with a mysterious character known as Being X, a Japanese salaryman is reincarnated into a new, war-torn world as a young girl named Tanya. Hoping to eventually live a life of luxury, Tanya enlists in the military with the expectation that the knowledge from her past life could jump-start her career. 

As Tanya proves herself to the Empire and rises in the ranks, she strays further from her original goal of living a life of luxury, as being an overachiever gets her assigned into increasingly dangerous combat roles. Tanya’s power is frequently put on display in large-scale, explosive fight scenes with some of the best action animations to date. 

8. .hack/Sign

Where to watch: Apple TV

.hack//Sign cast
Image via Bee Train

Arguably considered the anime that pioneered the MMORPG setting, .hack/Sign was one of the first anime to explore the psychological and sociological subjects surrounding video games. 

After Tsukasa wakes up in an MMORPG known simply as The World, he struggles to remember who he was and how he got into the game. After realizing that he can’t log out of the game, he begins his search for answers. Eventually, he meets the Crimson Knights and their leader Subaru, who—along with several other players—decide to join his investigation, since Tsukasa’s very existence seems to be the key to The World. 

.hack/Sign paved the way for many popular isekai series, like Sword Art Online and Log Horizon. While the psychological and slow-burning aspect of .hack/Sign may not appeal to everybody, its role in expanding the isekai subgenre and merging the world of video games and anime has secured its spot as one of the best isekai anime of all time.

7. Gate

Where to watch: Hulu

gate elf with rpg
Image via Hulu

Gate is a balanced blend of both a regular isekai and reverse isekai. Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) officer Youji Itami travels through a mysterious gate into a fantasy world ripe with supernatural creatures and medieval warriors after said beings invaded Tokyo. Youji and his team work to create an alliance with the empire on the other side of the gate and add a diverse cast of fantasy characters to their group along the way. 

The humor is, at times, on the mature end of the spectrum, with silly depictions of war between warriors clad in iron armor against attack helicopters, mortar teams, and modern-day assault rifles. But despite its violence, Gate is an appealing isekai that explores a difficult path to coexistence between different worlds. 

6. Overlord

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

overlord ainz and albedo
Image via Crunchyroll

If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to be the last player character in a world filled with NPCs (non-player characters), Overlord is the anime for you. But while every world needs heroes to save it, they also need villains to be saved from. Ainz Ooal Gown, an overpowered elder lich, sets out to conquer the world alongside his loyal cast of followers. 

After experiencing all the world has to offer, his final quest is to put his power to the test and see just how OP he has become. Overlord is packed with non-stop entertainment, with lovable characters and some of the most ridiculous displays of power in all of anime.

5. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! 

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

konosuba kazuma aqua and megumin
Image via Crunchyroll

By far one of the funniest isekai and anime in general, KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World follows ordinary protagonist Kazuma Sato as he finds himself stumbling into increasingly dangerous yet hilarious situations. While his party members include a goddess, an un-killable knight, and a famous magician, their contrasting personalities end up being the fuel for most of the series’ conflicts. 

Despite having the Adventurer job (class) and being much lower level than his companions, Kazuma ends up being the glue that holds everything together. How he does so is what makes KonoSuba one of the most hilarious isekai anime out there. 

4. Eminence in Shadow

Where to watch: Hulu

eminence in shadow cid
Image via Nexus

Minoru has always wanted to rule from the shadows. After being reincarnated into another world, Minoru takes advantage of his new life as Cid Kagenou and becomes the mysterious Shadow, leader of Shadow Garden. 

Cid amasses followers and tasks them with looking into the rise of a fake group known as the Cult of Diabolos, an imaginary enemy that sounds fitting for Shadow Garden. Unbeknownst to Cid, his imagination influences the development of the world around him. The conspiracies and intrigue actually become real.

Cid’s grandiose lines, and the lengths he goes to be the most dramatic character he can be, makes Eminence in Shadow stand out amongst the typical isekai anime of recent years. 

3. Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Re:Zero subaru and emilia holding hands
Image via Crunchyroll

While its cast of bright-haired twin maids and cute creatures make it seem like another cutesy isekai, Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World is quickly filled with death and conflict for protagonist, Subaru Natsuki. 

After being transported to a fantasy world, Subaru is cursed with a power that, at first, doesn’t sound too bad: “Return by Death.” Much like an autosave feature from video games, Subaru’s power becomes a cycle of failure and death, as he learns that this world is anything but a game. Subaru has to learn to make the most out of each resurrection, in order to save the people around him. 

Re:Zero is an isekai that punches above its weight and can hold its own when compared to the most popular anime. While it checks off all of the boxes for what makes a satisfying isekai, it boasts character development and emotional appeal that isn’t always expected from the isekai genre.

2. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

That time i got reincarnated as a slime rimuru
Image via Crunchyroll

Satoru Mikami ends up being reincarnated as a slime after losing his life. While slimes are typically considered a bottom-tier monster in any fantasy world, Mikami is granted a few unique abilities based on his final thoughts before his death. With his built-in AI-like Great Sage assistant, and the Predator ability that makes him a slime version of Kirby, Mikami—now known as Rimuru Tempest—seeks to be a Demon Lord, the pinnacle of all monsters. 

With his newly acquired powers, Rimuru focuses on building a nation of monsters that allows his fellow monsters and followers to have a peaceful place in the world. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime’s Rimuru ends up becoming one of the wisest and most inspirational isekai protagonists of all time.

1. Inuyasha

Where to watch: Netflix

inuyasha and kagome clouds
Image via Viz Media

Since its anime debut in 2000, Inuyasha can be found in nearly every conversation or online debate over what is considered the greatest anime of all time. High school student Kagome Higurashi is sent back in time to the Sengoku period in Japan to help a half-demon, Inuyasha, recover the shards of a powerful jewel. While at first the two are hesitant to trust each other, Inuyasha and Kagome form a slow-building romance that influences their fates.

Whether you’re looking to get into anime for the first time or you’ve been transported into the past and want to experience the classics, Inuyasha is the isekai anime for you. It’s difficult to pin one genre to Inuyasha, since it does everything so well that you’ll often forget that it was an isekai. The animation, though over 20 years old, still holds up wonderfully. The romance between Inuyasha and Kagome rivals that of many other love stories in romance anime, all while treating fans to a decade-long adventure that contains something that every type of anime fan can appreciate. 


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