In recent years, isekai has been an extremely common anime genre. Isekai series can range from comedic offerings such as KonoSuba, to darker shows such as Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World.

With so many isekai anime shows out there, it can be hard to know which ones are worth watching. Fortunately, this guide can help.

Isekai Anime Series Watchlist

1- KonoSuba

KonoSuba promotional art (Natsume Akatsuki / Kurone Mishima / KADOKAWA / Konosuba Production Committee)

If you’ve never watched isekai before, KonoSuba is a good place to start.

The first two seasons ran in 2016-2017, and a film came out in 2019. In July 2021, the creators announced that there will be more in the future. (It’s unclear if they meant a third season of KonoSuba, or another movie).

The comedy features deadpan snarker Kazuma, who dies and finds himself in an RPG-like universe. As such, Kazuma quickly gains teammates: Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness.

At first, Kazuma thinks he’s being clever by taking the water goddess Aqua with him. But once the actual adventure starts, Aqua seems prone to being eaten by monster frogs, or otherwise being generally useless.

Then there’s Megumin, a wizard obsessed with giant explosions. Darkness is a crusader with a masochistic fetish. Yes, they are all basically idiots.

KonoSuba is available at Crunchyroll and at HBOmax.

2- That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

This series flips the usual adventure template by making its hero the lowest possible monster in a typical RPG setting.

Not only is Rimuru Tempest a slime, but the nation that Rimuru slowly builds is made up almost entirely of “villain” races.  There are hobgoblins, ogres/oni, lizardmen, and orcs. Many villains in the series are human.

The series has a lot of fun with shonen tropes, such as Gobta, the plucky young Naruto-style comic relief hero. Rimuru himself is cute and cheerful in both slime and humanoid forms.

At the moment, the series is in the second cour of its second season. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is available at Crunchyroll; as is the funny/ touching spin-off series, The Slime Diaries.

3- I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level

I've Been Killing Slimes For 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level (Kisetsu Morita/ SB Creative/ the Witch of the Highlands House)

Speaking of slime, I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level finished a wonderful first season in June.

This clever series features a hero who doesn’t want to be a typical isekai anime hero. She attempts to live a quiet life out in the middle of nowhere.

However, she’s also immortal with eternal youth, which allows her to accidentally level grind up to a ridiculous level.

The series is a cute one, and it’s fun to watch Azusa “defeat” potential rivals with the power of friendship. By the end of the first season, she has gained a large family/ nakama through this method.

The series is available at Crunchyroll.

4- My Next Life as a Villainess

Lots of isekai anime series apply RPG-style video game logic to the protagonist’s situation. However, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! takes the relatively unique angle of sending an ordinary human teen into a romantic visual novel.

Fortunately for her, she is familiar with the game in question. Unfortunately, she has been cast in the role of Catarina Claes, the main villainess in the game. And as the subtitle implies, there are no happy endings for Catarina (also translated as Katarina).

Or rather, there would be no happy ending, except that she’s clever enough to figure out some loopholes in the game. And she’s more charming and kind than the “real” Catarina, so that characters who should hate her fall in love with her. She also turns Catarina into a tomboy, which is hilariously inappropriate.

In the first season, she completely derails the game. She also accidentally creates a reverse harem. (She’s too innocent and oblivious to realize it.) In the second season, she has to deal with the lingering romantic complications in the aftermath. The second season began in July 2021.

You can find the series at Crunchyroll.

5- So I’m A Spider, So What?

Kumoko and her parallel minds from So I'm A Spider, So What? (Okina BABA,Tsukasa KIRYU/PUBLISHED BY KADOKAWA/So I'm a Spider, So What? PARTNERS)

So I’m A Spider, So What? features a wonderfully cynical and sarcastic heroine, Kumoko. Kumoko translates as “spider girl,” which is what she reincarnated as.

In the first season, the story bounced back and forth between Kumoko’s underground adventures, and her (less interesting) classmates, who had also been reincarnated.

As the series goes on, a few mysteries slowly reveal themselves. First of all, Kumoko somehow arrived ahead of anybody else (which explains why the plotline seems disjointed at times). Secondly, there’s a mysterious admin plotting behind the scenes. Kumoko herself seems to have influenced isekai history, and not always for the better.

There are quite a few spoilers online, based on the light novel. There clearly needs to be a second season.

The series is a Crunchyroll Original, so naturally it’s at Crunchyroll.

6- Ascendance of a Bookworm

An avid reader ironically finds herself in a world where books are rare and valuable in Ascendance of a Bookworm.

Unlike some isekai heroes, Myne needs to learn to read and write. She then attempts to create her own books, but every step is a struggle. Her single-minded determination makes this series a joy to watch.

Along the way, she also invents numerous things which existed back in her old world. She does all this despite being stuck in the body of a sickly little girl.

A third season will arrive in 2022. You can find the series at Crunchyroll.

7- Drugstore in Another World

Reiji from Drugstore in Another World (Kennoji/Hifumi Shobo, Cheat Yakushi Production Committee)

This cute series is pretty simple. A salaryman opens a drugstore in a world where magic and potions are more common than science and medicine.

Reiji creates modern-day solutions to fantasy world problems. For example, he can’t brew a love potion, but he invents perfume. He’s assisted by the naive werewolf Noella; and the polite (but secretly dark) ghost girl Mina.

The series is also known as The Slow Life of a Cheat Pharmacist. It is currently in the middle of its first season at Crunchyroll.

2 thoughts on “7 Best Isekai Anime Series To Watch in 2021

  1. I agree. Good list. I’ve seen most of these, and they’re pretty good. I wish people would stop judging Isekai so harshly. I agree that many feel generic, but it’s not the genre’s fault. You can do a ton with it.

    1. Totally agree! I’ve seen really interesting things done with it in “In Another World with my Smartphone”, Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, and more

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