When Isekai entered the mainstream it immediately oversaturated the market. Most anime fans are familiar with copycat Isekai that utilize the same story beats without introducing anything of substance. While this problem is prevalent with shonen Isekai, that isn't really the case for shojo.
The shojo genre has produced some amazing Isekai series with incredibly well-written characters and unique stories. These series take the generic idea of an Isekai and do something different with it, which makes it a shame that most of these series don't get more attention.
10/10 Katarina Is The Most Interesting Isekai Protagonist
My Next Life As A Villainess
In My Next Life as a Villainess, Katarina finds herself reincarnated into her favorite Otome game as the game's villain. In order to avoid the game's bad ending, Katarina has to change her fate and become friends with the game's protagonist.
Even though Katarina is a loud and boisterous character she's far from annoying. She's well written and it's easy for fans to root for her. Her weird hijinks are incredibly fun to watch, especially when she picks up hobbies that only seem to confuse the people around her. Compared to other Isekai protagonists, Katarina is a breath of fresh air.
9/10 Aileen Is Charming In The Best Way
I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss
I'm the Villainess, So I'm Taming the Final Boss has a similar premise to My Next Life as a Villainess but it takes the story in a completely different direction. Aileen finds herself reincarnated into an Otome game when her engagement with Prince Cedric falls apart.
In order to avoid the fate of the villainess character she decides to court the game's final boss Elmir, which is a lot harder than she thought it would be. I'm the Villainess is incredibly lighthearted with a lot of great comedic moments. Aileen is also a charming protagonist so it's easy for fans to root for her. However, the best part of the series is Aileen's relationship with Elmir. They get into some incredibly awkward moments that are hard to watch yet impossible to look away from.
8/10 GATE Is A Reverse Isekai
Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri
Most Isekai fans have probably never heard of the series GATE, which is a shame considering how great of an Isekai this series is. While traveling to a convention Youji stumbles across a mysterious gate that lets sword-wielding warriors enter the real world.
This series is somewhat of a reverse Isekai that brings the world to the protagonist instead of bringing the protagonist to the world. It's a unique twist of the genre that features fantasy, the military, and history all in one story. GATE blurs the lines between fiction and reality, which creates a really interesting story about two worlds colliding.
7/10 Yuri Finds A New World At The Bottom Of A Toliet
Kyou kara Maou!
Most wouldn't think a toilet would link the real world to another dimension but in Kyou Kara Maou! that's exactly what happens. When Yuri is harassed by a group of bullies and has his head shoved in a toilet, he is transported to another world that largely resembles medieval Europe.
For those who enjoy serious stories with a little comedy sprinkled in, this is the Isekai for them. The characters are also incredibly well-developed and any fan can find someone to fall in love with. While the story is well-written, the interactions between the characters are what makes this anime so good. There is also a little bit of romance for those who like their Isekai with some spice.
6/10 Modern Isekai Exists Because of Fushigi Yuugi
Fushigi Yuugi may be an older series but it's still better than most modern Isekai. When Yui and Miaka visit the national library they find a glowing book that transports them to another world. Fushigi Yuugi is a reverse harem with tons of action, adventure, and romance.
Lovers of classic anime are sure to enjoy this series but it also has story and character development that's just as good as any modern anime. This series may not be well known, but it's one of the first Isekai series and many modern Isekai clichés exist because Fushigi Yuugi did it first.
5/10 Fans Wish They Could Join Hitomi In Gaea
The Vision of Escaflowne
When fans talk about their favorite shojo Isekai anime The Vision of Escaflowne is usually the first series to come to mind. The story follows 15-year-old Hitomi who finds herself transported to a world called Gaea when she gets in the middle of a fight between a powerful dragon and a boy named Van Fanel.
The characters seem like stereotypical shojo characters at first, but they develop into individuals with meaningful stories and personalities. Hitomi has some of the best character development and avoids the generic traits that most Isekai protagonists are plagued with. One thing that Escaflowne does better than any other Isekai is building a realistic world that fans wish they could be transported to.
4/10 Magic Knight Rayearth Has The Most Colorful World
Magic Knight Rayearth
Magic Knight Rayearth is a lesser-known Isekai and perfect for anime fans who enjoy series with strong female protagonists. In this series, three high school girls meet on a high school field trip and find themselves swept away to another world on the back of a giant fish.
Despite the cutesy looks of the main characters, there is enough action to satisfy any anime fan, including those who tend to stick with shonen titles. Even though this is an older series the colors and artwork are spectacular and do an excellent job of capturing the world. The characters are also incredibly likable. They develop as people in a way that most modern Isekai characters tend to lack.
3/10 Yui Finds Friends Not Love In This Reverse Harem
Kamigami no Asobi
Reverse harem anime is hard to find when watching shonen Isekai but for shojo Isekai, reverse harem is a common trope. Kamigami No Asobi is a shojo reverse harem Isekai but it isn't any less interesting for using such a common trope. In this series Yui finds herself transported to another world when she discovers a mysterious sword in a storehouse.
Kamigami No Asobi's art is beautiful and the story of a human attending school with a bunch of gods is fun. What sets this series apart from other reverse harem anime is the lack of romance. The focus is on the character's friendships and close bonds with each other, which is refreshing for those who dislike the common tropes used in reverse harem.
2/10 Books Are A Way Of Life For Myre
Ascendance of a Bookworm
Ascendance of a Bookworm didn't get much attention when it was first released, but it has become a beloved Isekai for its unique take on the genre. After an accident, Urano wishes for her love of reading to extend into her next life. She finds her wish fulfilled when she is reincarnated as a five-year-old girl named Myre in the middle ages. However, Myre needs to make her own books in order to pursue her passion for reading.
For those who share Urano's passion for books, this series is a must-watch. It's not just a copycat of all the Isekai that have come before it but a series that is much more grounded in reality. Urano's reincarnated self Myne is kind and easy to root for and the relationships she forms with other characters feel real and meaningful.
1/10 Inuyasha Is So Good Fans Forgot It's An Isekai
Inuyasha is one of the most popular Isekai in anime but most fans tend to forget it's an Isekai. Like many other Isekai, the protagonist Kagome is sucked into another world but to many, Inuyasha's story encompasses much more than that. Inuyasha is filled with action and adventure but it also has plenty of romance for those who love anime that has both.
The relationships between the characters are the best part of the series, especially when it comes to the banter between Kagome and Inuyasha. For many seasoned anime fans, Inuyasha was their introduction to anime and it stands as one of the best series to this day.
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