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Thread: The Season that killed Isekai - Can the genre return to Glory?

  1. #1
    Linerunner MFauli's Avatar
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    The Season that killed Isekai - Can the genre return to Glory?

    I'll make this quick: This season has finale hit rock bottom trash tier with it's new isekai- and almost isekai-shows. If you truly think these anime are 'great', ignore this thread, It's not for you then.

    I watched:

    - Maou Retry
    - Arifurete
    - Cheat Magician
    - That 'I'm now your dad' anime (not technically isekai, but come on)
    - stuff I'm forgetting
    - oh, milf Isekai most likely will be trash, too, outside of BIG TITTY MILF :/

    It's all trash and you know it. I must admit that I'm severely sick in the head, because despite all that, I'm wtill watching them. Yeah, there's something nice about Maou slapping a 16 yo holy maid's butt - but the rest is such cheap trash!

    My question to all of us:
    Do you think the isekai genre will be able to produce meaningful, quality entries in the future again or is it too far gone and we're trapped in shitty light novel adaptations until the genre dies commercially?

    REZero, Tanya, KonoSuba, SAO (at least the beginning), Log Horizon, the first season of Overlord, Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, even GATE to some point, were so much better than the trash we get now. But there's no light at the end of the dark tunnel we're currently in, or is there?

    I feel like there's still SO MUCH meaningful scenarios you could do with isekais, especially if studios finally choose to go darker routes instead of all those shallow moe scenarios. But I'm not sure we'll reach that point ...

    The first fictional loli that made me fall for her

  2. #2
    Burning out, no really... David75's Avatar
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    Slime OAD2, not bound by the main arc story, was pretty funny

    All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral, or fattening. And then: Golf.

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    Yorha Unit- shinta|hikari's Avatar
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    SAO and Log Horizon are not isekai.

    This and the last few seasons' isekai entries are pretty shit. I stopped watching them a while back after giving a one episode check.

    The more recent good isekai stories have not been adapted yet, such as Annals of Veight and Defeating the Demon Lord is a Cinch (if you've got a ringer). Cooking with Wild Game is great if you like serious food/cooking and tanned women.

    Spunky.

  4. #4
    I'll add So I'm a Spider, So What?... but I also see it as one that'll be difficult to adapt, and I also fear how they'll animate the monsters. There's a lot of grinding, so it depends if you're into that or not.



    And as Arifureta shows, how it's adapted matters.

    Many isekai stories I've seen so far are written by people that are more interested in their fetishes than anything else.
    Last edited by Munsu; Thu, 07-11-2019 at 10:34 AM.

  5. #5
    Linerunner MFauli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munsu View Post

    Many isekai stories I've seen so far are written by people that are more interested in their fetishes than anything else.
    Yeah, that's a big problem. These author just think about isekai and adding ONE "special" detail - instead of actually using the fascinating strength of the concept: 'WHAT IF a normal guy stumbled into another world?"

    I mean, that's the great premise, right? But instead of exploring the SEVERE, and SERIOUS consequences (most of us would be terrified by being teleported to an unknown land. Isekai anime, instead, completely ignores that shock and the hero feels insta-comfortable more or less), it's all about shallow bs.

    Ffs, why haven't we seen any scifi-isekai yet? Where are the time travel-isekais? And what about some good old fashioned body/mind swap isekai exploring classism?

    So much potential, but it's all sacrificed for ... loli moe bs. And now milf bs, too. Sigh

  6. #6
    Yorha Unit- shinta|hikari's Avatar
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    Loli moe is important, but they should really add more things to make a good story. The ones Munsu and I mentioned are far better in that regard, at least compared to the shit this season and in recent memory. No harems, no fanservice, good world building and unusual characters, and overall different from most isekai.

    Spunky.

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    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    You say this is peak isekai, and they haven't even really tapped the shoujo isekai series. They even have their own in-subgrene trope: villainess of a dating sim! Like the demon lord trope of the shonen/seinen kind.

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    Linerunner MFauli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryllharu View Post
    You say this is peak isekai, and they haven't even really tapped the shoujo isekai series. They even have their own in-subgrene trope: villainess of a dating sim! Like the demon lord trope of the shonen/seinen kind.
    B-but the goal is to have *less* trash. 🙈

  9. #9
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Several of the shoujo "Oh no I'm the villainess!" isekais are actually very highly rated.

    Don't hate the genre, hate the poorly written trash that gets picked up for an anime because their publisher wants to promote the trash novels. This same cycle happened to Magic-Meets-Science series, and magical harem series, and space series, and even high school romance series. Isekai persists because they're easy to write when they're shitty.

    Relatable protagonist for the readers to connect with or insert themselves. Being transported to a new world, exposition is required so the author doesn't have to show anything when they can simply explain it all, secret powers or rule breaking powers remove the need to write intelligent conflict. And so on.

    The good series either don't do that.

    UchiMusume is also definitely NOT an isekai. By saying that, you're conflating all light fantasy with isekai.

    @shinta: SAO isn't isekai, but Log Horizon 100% is one, unless it changes genres more than halfway through its current run.

  10. #10
    ANBU Captain neflight86's Avatar
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    Isekai is the other side of the "god among us" power fantasy genre that also spews out battle high school shows in my mind. Its lowest common denominator dreck that sells because younger audiences less experienced with story telling find it compelling, and some Otaku have retrofitted the tropes into a twisted game and enjoy splitting the minutiae in 'comic book guy' style internet forums (ironically, of course).

    Easy to make plus easy to sell to people with disposable income = some bad anime. It doesn't always have to be bad, though. It is possible for a production team to be motivated, well staffed and managed to create something better, like Slime a couple seasons back. Its just not the norm, and supposedly, the industry doesn't incentivize creativity because blu-ray sales turn out to be more or less random.

    Isekai has been so derivative for so long that I can't remember back when it was an interesting concept.

  11. #11
    Up until the recent volumes, I was quite high on Arifureta, mainly because it had a cool asshole as an MC and it had some dark arcs to go with with it, so that the first introduction to that series has been poorly handled, it's a shame. But it goes more the harem route as it goes on, so I've had more trouble with it as of late, but it had potential to be a cool series to animate.

    There's still a chance that it can get into it, but I just feel that they're going to rush through the aspects that I liked and jumping into the story the way they did, they already cut much of what made the introduction into this world somewhat interesting.

    The others I've been reading are, aside from the ones mentioned by shinta:

    Faraway Paladin - Just the first volume and a half for now, but I think this could be a very good series to animate.

    The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! - Has some harem aspects to it, but they haven't overdone it so far. MC is strong, but hides his strength and refuses to participate in the war. It has enough political drama behind it to keep it interesting, and battles could be cool to animate, demons can get quite violent as well. But if they emphasize the silly portions, then there's nothing to see here.

    Defeating the Demon Lord's a Cinch (If You've Got a Ringer) - Already mentioned, but I want to emphasize how much I've liked what I've ready from it so far, very interesting MC.

    Skeleton Knight in Another World - This one could potentially be very good if animated, it has quite a bit of focus on political drama and can get violent, no harem to speak of right now, but I'm smelling that may change.

    Reincarnated as a Sword - Another series in the same idea of Slime and Spider with reincarnating as a weird monster/object. What I like about this one is that there's zero chance for a harem, and we have a 12-year old badass slave that wields our reincarnated Sword and it's been just pleasant and charming with some decent fights to go with it.

    So that's a few we can keep an eye out for to see if they get animated and how they're handled, not necessarily high literature, far from it, but all could be good to see. But I honestly don't trust the studios to properly animate them, and they'll all certainly suffer from poorly animated monsters, which in turn will make them lame.

  12. #12
    Linerunner MFauli's Avatar
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    Sorry, but all of these sound like more trash :/

    Why can't there be isekai anime with the quality and seriousness of Lodoss War, Monster or Knights of Shidonia?

    I'm so sick of these shallow moe blob anime :/

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by MFauli View Post
    Sorry, but all of these sound like more trash :/

    Why can't there be isekai anime with the quality and seriousness of Lodoss War, Monster or Knights of Shidonia?

    I'm so sick of these shallow moe blob anime :/
    And yet you put ReZero, Konosuba, Sao, etc. as your examples of series that were up to your standards... but yeah, these are all light novel adaptations, it's what we have.

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    Yorha Unit- shinta|hikari's Avatar
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    Literally all Mfauli's examples are adapted from light novels.

    Spunky.

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    AdmiralKage DarthEnderX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MFauli View Post
    Why can't there be isekai anime with the quality and seriousness of Lodoss War, Monster or Knights of Shidonia?
    Or better yet, why can't we just have fucking fantasy anime where the protagonist isn't from fucking modern Japan?

    Do you have so little faith the the viewer, anime industry, that you can't write a story that doesn't literally have the viewer as the main character?

  16. #16
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarthEnderX View Post
    Do you have so little faith the the viewer, anime industry, that you can't write a story that doesn't literally have the viewer as the main character?
    That's the lazy shitty writing part I wrote about early.

    Isekai gives the author an excuse to use exposition everywhere instead of actual proper worldbuilding.

  17. #17
    Linerunner MFauli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinta|hikari View Post
    Literally all Mfauli's examples are adapted from light novels.
    I never said light novels are per se shit. Just the one's he mentioned sound like the exact same trash.

    There's different tiers of what I'd consider good isekai:

    Tier #1: Does it even exist? It'd be a story with the quality of Lodoss War, but as an isekai. The only actual show I'd put in here is, surprisingly, an US-cartoon, 'Dungeons and Dragons'. Super old series, but really captured the 'other world' feeling combined with serious, tangible danger.

    https://youtu.be/3JjhQ1Oi_3k

    Tier #2: ReZero, Log Horizon, SAO. Produced with high quality presentation. Have a strong element of interest that makes for an exciting story. Still suffers from moe elements and stereotypes.

    Tier #3: Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, Tanya the Evil. Interesting, even hype at times, but you often think 'this could be so much better' and 'wtf that's so silly'.

    Tier #4: Tate no Yuusha, Kenja no Mago. Shows glimpses of goodness, but can't escape the creeping feeling of genericness. Lacks any ambitious world building, non-sensical shallow story, character tropes en mass.

    Tier #5: Trash. Here's a derivative isekai that's already been used in other anime, filled with harem girls and an edgy protagonist. Cheap production values, no coherent world building, relies on manufactured, forced bursts of 'pls be excited!' inbetween lots of 'cute/hot girls acting out their tropes'.

    I'd like to see more of #2 or even #1, but nowadays we're not even getting #3

  18. #18
    not over yet Death BOO Z's Avatar
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    not that much of an isekai expert, but making good stories would probably require straying away from the power fantasy elements and focusing on the feeling of being alone in a new situation that everyone takes as granted.

    and i can't think of a better way to alienate the (generally) weebo viewing audience than saying 'you, the hero, are less equipped than anyone else to deal with the adventure of being an adult, and you're clueless about how people act and behave in real world'.

  19. #19
    Yorha Unit- shinta|hikari's Avatar
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    @Mfauli - Most of the ones Munsu mentioned probably belong to tier 3. The ones I mentioned beforehand and Munsu also likes is tier 2. No harem, no fanservice.

    The main issue is isekai stories will always lack the aspect of tangible danger because they are intentionally power fantasies. The only exception to this is Grimgar, where deaths happen all the time (yes, Manato isn't an exception).

    Spunky.

  20. #20
    Linerunner MFauli's Avatar
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    I truly don't get the power fantasy-necessity though. Actually I dislike that part about many isekai. When you're thrown in an unknown world, you naturally are weak, helpless and desperate. Slowly pulling yourself out of that situation is part of the appeal.

    That's what non-isekai fantasy-anime actually do. See Berserk, Lodoss, and actually most anime. Guck, most STORIES are like that. It's just isekai that likes to completely ignore it. Well, not completely, it's what made ReZero interesting - although you could say they downplayed the act of dying over the course of the show.

    Anyway, I for one don't watch anime or play games for a power fantasy. I play and warch for a 'what if' fantasy. Seems like the west/hollywood is better at that. Stuff like Harry Potter or Narnia do a good job at introducing another world where the heroes start out helpless, but then slowly find their place. That's what an isekai should be like. Imo.

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