What is Isekai?

Translated from Japanese, Isekai means “different world”. If you’ve seen an anime where someone is transported to another world, perhaps either due to an untimely death or strange sequence of events, or maybe they’re unsure why they are somewhere with fantasy elements impossible on Earth, then you’ve seen an Isekai anime. It’s one of the most popular genres in anime and manga, and one you are likely familiar with, even if you were not aware of it. How many people could say that they knew Digimon was an Isekai as a child? Yeah, our hands are not raised either!

Isekai allows creators to transport their characters from our world to one you would more likely see in a video game. Fighting creatures, forming bonds with your party, and learning exciting new trades. Many are able to relate to wanting to live in the worlds of heroes, of fantasy worlds, of things that seem magical and fantastical. Of course, the grass is always greener, so be careful what you wish for!

Isekai has its roots in ancient Japanese literature, where the folk tale of Urashima Tarō has existed for centuries. A man saves a turtle and is taken to an undersea kingdom, but stays there for 300 years, believing he was there for less than a week. Sound familiar? There are countless Isekai titles out there, in Japanese, English, and other languages, although you may not know them to be Isekai.

Interested in some Isekai recommendations? Then check here for the top 5 Isekai shows which you can stream on Funimation right now!

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