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

  1. #21
    Yorha Unit- shinta|hikari's Avatar
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    People are already too helpless IRL, so I guess many want an out. Power fantasies give them that.

    I personally prefer dark struggles like you, but the market is what it is. I for one have no idea how Game of Thrones got so popular. It's definitely not what a typical viewer would like, which is probably why they raged at the ending despite it being similar levels of dark and grim as the rest of the show.

    Spunky.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by MFauli View Post
    That's what an isekai should be like. Imo.
    There's no "should be like", that's why you always set yourself up to fail.

    Nothing wrong with wanting more grimdark like stories, most if not all of us would like that, but there's no reason to pigeonhole the isekai market to it.

    Just like any sub-genre, it should have different flavors, just that the flavor you want is lacking.

  3. #23
    Linerunner MFauli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munsu View Post
    There's no "should be like", that's why you always set yourself up to fail.

    Nothing wrong with wanting more grimdark like stories, most if not all of us would like that, but there's no reason to pigeonhole the isekai market to it.

    Just like any sub-genre, it should have different flavors, just that the flavor you want is lacking.

    Yeah, I'm not saying EVERYTHING needs to be like that
    But as you say, there's a severe lack of 'grimdark' variants.

  4. #24
    AdmiralKage DarthEnderX's Avatar
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    I did really like Drifters because the world travelers were badass historical figures instead of generic Japanese salarymen/NEETs.

  5. #25
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    I feel like some of you are missing the forest for the trees. Don't focus on the shitty ones and why they're terrible. Focus on the good ones and understand why they're good. Isekai, even the power fantasy ones, can be done right. Even brilliantly. Self-awareness is kind of key.

    Look at KonoSuba. You have four heroes, three of which are incredibly powerful, and a third fourth who is comparatively useless but brilliantly talented. But they're all terrible heroes. Arch-priest who is a literal goddess (and she's so OP she actually causes more problems than she solves), incredibly strong caster (who power leveled an ability that has limited use and she's incapable of using strategically), an incredibly talented tank (who will always, always pulls too much aggro because of her personality and is completely useless otherwise), and a weakling who is smart, but all his abilities suck.
    They even have supporting characters who show how much better they are supposed to be.

    Or look at Isekai Seikishi Monogatari. Kenshi is so absurdly overpowered and excessively talented, that he quickly upsets the entire political dynamic of the world. And there was even an implied twist that that was entirely the intended outcome of how Kenshi ended up in another world in the first place. It also has very thorough and detailed worldbuilding that almost never relies on exposition. Sound familiar? That's why Tensura (the slime series), also works.
    Constrast this to the bland power-fantasy series, where the protagonist has some secret edge that gives them an advantage in combat or whatever, when the story requires it, but the effect is still limited only to the immediate interactions that the protagonist has, and never spirals outward.

    The problem is isekai series are so easy to write that they draw in crap writers who don't play with the subgenre's tropes at all. And that results in boring, generic, bland-as-hell shit.
    Last edited by Ryllharu; Fri, 07-12-2019 at 05:07 PM. Reason: english fail

  6. #26
    Linerunner MFauli's Avatar
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    I'm not looking at Konosuba because It's comedy. Comedy has different rules.

    That's btw another problem of the entire anime industry, but isekai in particular: the lack of quality SERIOUS stories. Even the ones that attempt to tell a serious story are sabotaged by low production values/cheap animation.

  7. #27
    Vampiric Minion Kraco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MFauli View Post
    That's btw another problem of the entire anime industry, but isekai in particular: the lack of quality SERIOUS stories. Even the ones that attempt to tell a serious story are sabotaged by low production values/cheap animation.
    I don't know how you can say that. I learned from the Japanese isekai light novel authors that the Japanese are the most gifted, the strongest, the most cultured, the most refined, the most innovative people in the universe. They couldn't possibly choose the wrong series to animate.

  8. #28
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MFauli View Post
    I'm not looking at Konosuba because It's comedy. Comedy has different rules.
    And now you're back to your usual asinine self.

    "The rules are different because if I don't change them I don't have an argument."

    Let's prove you wrong twice in a single post then. Deliberately leaving out the intentional comedy series, because you said they don't count:

    • Magic Knight Rayearth - Shoujo hallmark isekai. Medium production values. 1994-1995. Shoujo classic.
    • Fushigi Yuugi - Dramatic isekai shoujo series. Medium production values. 1995-1996. Considered a cult classic.
    • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World - Serious isekai series. Medium-high production values. 1995-1996. Well received.
    • Escaflowne: Serious parallel world (now called isekai) series. High production value. 1996. Critically acclaimed.
    • Now and Then, Here and There: Serious, grimdark shit you're always begging for. Medium production value. 1999-2000. Critically acclaimed.
    • Digimon Adventure - Standard shonen adventure isekai. Medium-high production values. 1999-2000. Critically acclaimed and now an anime classic.
    • Inuyasha - Parallel word drama shonen/shoujo isekai. Medium/High production values. 2000-2004. Cult classic or reviled depending on the audience.
    • .hack//Sign - Bleak "I'm trapped in a game!" series. High production values. 2002. Cult classic.
    • 12 Kingdoms - Serious, angsty josei isekai series. Medium production values. 2002-2003. Critically acclaimed.
    • Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu - Serious mahou shoujo isekai. Medium production values. 2004-2005. Critically acclaimed.
    • Log Horizon - Serious realistic "We're trapped in a game!" isekai. Medium production values. 2013-2014. Very well received.
    • GATE - Realistic/dramatic blatant propagandist isekai. Medium-high production values. 2015. Generally well received.
    • Drifters - Serious grimdark isekai series. Medium-to-high production values. 2016. Very well received.
    • Overlord - Serious deliberately dark isekai series. High-declining-to-trash production values. 2015, 2017-2018. Mixed reception (novels still highly praised).
    • Grimgar - Gritty realism isekai. Above average production values. 2016. Very well received.
    • Tensura (Slime series) - Comedy/Serious isekai. Medium production values. 2018-2019. Very well received.
    • Shield Hero - Serious grimdark isekai. High production values. 2019. Split reception due to plot elements in contrast to Western cultural sensitivities.


    Not only has the genre shifted to more of exactly what you claim you want (and away from the female audience it started and dominated with), the overall reception of those series has not diminished in the slightest. You're getting more of them, with better budgets, and the genre has shifted to the tone you like.

    I left out the comedies (edit: Fun Fact. There's not that many.). They're the ones that are either extremely highly rated, or extremely low rated. Your "serious" series are consistently well rated.
    Last edited by Ryllharu; Fri, 07-12-2019 at 07:12 PM.

  9. #29
    Linerunner MFauli's Avatar
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    If you count Tate no Yuusha as a quality isekai, I don't know what to say. It was neither serious nor 'grimdark'.

    And I've seen pretty much all of your mentioned anime, so you're agreeing with me that things have ggotten worse? Good to know.

    (and I'm not making up rules, I'm just telling you my opinion. Comedy is just too different to be included with the rest.)

  10. #30
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    I'm not rating any of those in the list personally. They're review ratings from anime sites. 7/10 or above is "well received."

    I also have no idea how you came to the conclusion that I agreed with your bullshit limited-scope claim. The stats show the opposite. If you read the last two paragraphs, that is.

  11. #31
    Linerunner MFauli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryllharu View Post
    I'm not rating any of those in the list personally. They're review ratings from anime sites. 7/10 or above is "well received."
    .
    Wow ... 🤦*♀️

  12. #32
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Yes. Anime database sites. Tate no Yuusha doesn't meet your criteria for quality (which bizarrely enough always seem to move each time you make an easily-disproved generalization). Apparently, at least 300 people disagree with you and thought it was good. None of which are me, because I never finished it and therefore didn't bother rating it.

  13. #33
    Procacious Polymath Ryllharu's Avatar
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    Can confirm, shoujo isekai is definitively better than the male targeted series.

    Both of these are translated novels and each have a manga adaptation.

    Koushaku Reijou no Tashinami (Common Sense of a Duke's Daughter) is incredible. All the right parts of an economics lesson, some fief building, and mixed with the aftermath of a dating sim. Basically, what happens to the villain of a dating sim when she barely avoids exile or being sent to a convent? Features Truck-kun sending a tax assessor into that other body right at the moment of her dating sim defeat. Good drama, great characters, and a healthy dose of reality injected into an early Victorian era otome game setting. One of the best high society mothers in fiction that I can remember too (she even has her own spinoff prequel novel).

    Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei shite shimatta aka Bakarina (and this one already has an anime in the works): Good comedy/drama about another blessed soul sent by Truck-kun into a otome game villainess, but once she hits her head as a child, all of her past life's memories come back. She is determined to avoid her nearly guaranteed death or exile. Silly premise, dense as osmium main character, but it is endearing and there's some stellar plot twists in there that change it substantially as it progresses.

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