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Eisennagel

Isekai: New Genre that took over anime by storm

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This video certainly sums up what happened in the last few years, and a summary of its progenitors.  I would add to observe that if you have one hit series of this theme, and follow up successors were not successful enough, you won't have a genre.  A genre is created when the hit show that set the idea first, became followed multiple and strongly successful shows using the same idea, thereby cementing the genre.

 

 

Currently the latest Isekai would be the second season of Overlord.   Probably won't be the only one in 2018, and I don't think the genre would end there.

 

I would agree that as the end of the video suggests, we may see a return of classic fantasy.  Born in Abyss was certainly in my mind what could have been the best anime of 2017, and it would have unanimous if it weren't for Houseki no Kuni (Land of the Lustrous), which was also a straight out but non traditional fantasy.   And then you have the Ancient Magus Bride, which also is a pure fantasy.  Another show that caught my attention for the year is Girls' Last Tour (Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou), though not fantasy, is straight out allegorical science fiction.  These four are in my mind, the best anime of 2017.

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It's just what is hot right now, what happens is a "different" show comes out and is super popular, to cash in on what's popular studios will dig up every possible show they can like it, some are good but most are mediocre. This happens till it goes from "different" to "normal". A good example is magical girl deconstruction that was super popular a few years ago

 

Currently Isekai is peaking out in my opinion and a new meta will be getting popular soon

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Overlord S2 is defo gunna be good, but right now its between Yuru Camp and Koi wa Ameagari no You ni for anime of the season, defo enjoying the latter.

Isekais are also overwhealming in manga right now as well, seen many go past while waiting for the ones im reading to update.

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Overlord s2 was long overdue.

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Great post! An interesting video as well, I've been waiting for that "one" show to really dig into. I'm with you on Born in Abyss great series slow to get going but really developed towards the end of 1st season. The Ancient Magus Bride was one I started  for my late sister. It too is quite captivating and the artwork is great. Grancrest Senki Black Clover and Overlord 2  so far are fun I'll check out Houseki no Kuni too as I wait for Drifters and Berserk's next arc

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I'm waiting for a Fire Emblem to pull it off and another Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Does Persona 3-5 count as one? 

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I didn't notice that about Inuyasha until the video.  Inuyasha, Magic Knight Rayearth and Escaflowne are really grand twists of the Alice in Wonderland theme (female protagonist magically transferred to another world.)  

 

The one show I am particularly going to look forward is the rework of Hoshin Engi or Soul Hunter.   The series is based on a Shenmo novel (Chinese God vs. Demon type literature like The Journey West), which itself is based from Chinese mythology, and part history, during the fall of the Shang Dynasty and the rise of the Chou Dynasty.   The last king of the dynasty was smitten and controlled by Daji, an evil fox spirit temptress, and an Immortal was assigned to capture her and her Yaogai (Yokai) cohorts --- a list of 365 names.

Edited by Eisennagel

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10 hours ago, Yoshiblue said:

I'm waiting for a Fire Emblem to pull it off and another Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Does Persona 3-5 count as one? 

 

Fire Emblem is just crying out loud, needs and is way overdue for its own anime, particularly for Fire Emblem Heroes, which has been a strong solid hit in the mobile games industry.

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1 hour ago, Eisennagel said:

 

Fire Emblem is just crying out loud, needs and is way overdue for its own anime, particularly for Fire Emblem Heroes, which has been a strong solid hit in the mobile games industry.

I'd just be happy if they make another "real" Fire Emblem game.  (by which I mean non-f2p mobile).

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When I asked a friend about Girls Last Tour, he started his description in probably the most brilliant way to describe the anime, and this sentence alone in Kookie's thick New Zealand accent is all the description I needed:

"Well, it's about two f***ing potatoes..."

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Actually, isekai's popularity went way back since Inuyasha & Fushigi Yugi in the 90s. It's just that it was placed in the bus for some times until SAO, No Game No Life, Konosuba, Hataraku Maou-sama etc. came in.

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Difference between Inuyasha, Fushigi Yuugi, Escaflowne, Magic Knight Rayearth, The 12 Kingdoms, to the current Isekai is that the older shows have an Alice in Wonderland format.

 

Protagonist = Girl

Setting = Traditional Fantasy

Theme = Romantic

Audience = for school girls

Art Style = Shojou

 

versus

 

Isekai =  Guy gamer

Setting = RPG based fantasy

Theme = Harem

Audience = Otakus

Art Style = Moe

 

I would say the first real Isekai that was successful, was the .hack series, though it did lack harem qualities.   .hack though, has a degree of seriousness that transcends from just being a fan fantasy coming true, into the reality questioning qualities of cyberpunk.

Edited by Eisennagel

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On ‎17‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 8:46 AM, Eisennagel said:

 

I would say the first real Isekai that was successful, was the .hack series, though it did lack harem qualities.   .hack though, has a degree of seriousness that transcends from just being a fan fantasy coming true, into the reality questioning qualities of cyberpunk.

Heh? Are you sure .hack//G.U. hardly have a tiny bit of harem in it? :Smile_teethhappy:

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53 minutes ago, Xero_Snake said:

Heh? Are you sure .hack//G.U. hardly have a tiny bit of harem in it? :Smile_teethhappy:

 

In broad terms, technically speaking  should include the Alice in Wonderland type tropes, though the current modern one is very much game oriented in terms of another world.  But maybe isekai itself might have subgenres on its own.

 

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash isn't anywhere close to being a harem but RPG like setting makes it an isekai.    

 

What about military oriented ones, like Youjou Senki, Drifters, and GATE?

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Is fantasy on the rise?  One might also consider the Amazon/Netflix disruption effect is on the anime industry.  Both companies can throw good money into an exclusive anime series, that's far bigger in budget than any Japanese TV made for anime.  The result of that is that the Amazon-Netflix financed anime has a higher level of animation and artistry than the typical "commercial" anime, while taking on more sophisticated themes, which also means basically avoiding shounen, isekai, mecha, harem, sports, moe and other common anime tropes for more serious science fiction and fantasy.   The one I am looking right now would be Netflix's Violet Evergarden.  Note this is a Kyoto Animation production, and one that is allowed a good budget.  This one appears to be steampunk-fantasy, and focuses on a girl in a German like European country after a major war has ended, where she, a veteran of the war,  goes to work in a post office.

 

Since its new, this isn't simulcasted and will appear on Netflix as a whole series shortly after its ended.

 

For those looking for a non-isekai anime to watch...

 

 

Edited by Eisennagel

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I've noticed this theme a lot in anime recently, but did not know it was an actual genre. That's actually really interesting! 

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