The isekai genre has become a staple in the anime industry, becoming as synonymous with the medium as bombastic fight scenes, gratuitous fan service, and cute girls doing cute things. Isekai anime are easily identified by their use of reincarnation, a concept in which people are reborn into new bodies and new identities after death.
They typically have their protagonists reincarnate into distant fantasy worlds filled with swords and sorcery, so some odd rebirths are bound to happen. Before the genre surged in popularity, the soon-to-be hero would simply become another human, but now with new writers in the game, the reincarnations are only getting more and more unique, such as common mobs and even inanimate objects.
10 Visual Novel Antagonist
My Next Life As A Villainess: All Routes Lead To Doom!
After hitting her head one fateful day, Katarina Claes was seized by the memories of her past life as a normal high school student who loved to play the romantic visual novel game Fortune Lover. The game follows Maria Campbell, a commoner student at the Magic Academy whose noble heart grabs the attention of four potential love interests. Katarina may be the protagonist of My Next Life as a Villainess, but she’s the game’s antagonist.
Realizing she’s become the villain of her favorite game, Katarina makes it her goal to avoid the routes that lead to her bad endings. Reincarnating as a fictional character is odd, but many fans have fantasized about being a character from a piece of media.
9 Imperial Child Soldier
The Saga Of Tanya The Evil
When an irate laid-off employee murders the relatively unknown salaryman who fired him, the latter encounters the entity that created the universe: Being X. Unsatisfied with the state of humanity, he criticizes Being X, who in turn reincarnates him into the body of a European infant from an alternate universe, one Tanya Degurechaff.
The Saga Of Tanya The Evil is set during a time analogous to World War I. The protagonist is now a highly decorated officer of The Empire at the wise and grizzled age of nine. Reincarnating as a child isn’t too bizarre — in fact, it’s expected — but one with such power at their disposal is unusual.
Heat the Pig Liver: The Story Of A Man Turned Into A Pig
Reincarnating into an animal isn’t a new concept. For centuries, certain cultures believed it to be a punishment for evildoers in the afterlife. So it should be no surprise that an isekai protagonist would find himself waking up as a pig, especially after eating raw meat. In his new body, the protagonist of Heat the Pig Liver: The Story Of A Man Turned Into A Pig finds himself in the company of Jess Yesma, a mind-reader who, despite accepting his slovenly nature, plans to eventually eat him.
A dark fate awaits Jess, one that the pig plans to save her from at all costs. Whether it comes to pass or not, anime fans will have to wait and see when the anime comes out later this year.
So I’m A Spider, So What?
When a tragedy strikes a typical high school, one protagonist finds herself in the body of a spider in a fantasy world. Even though she’s born as one of the most pathetic mobs ever, young Kumoko refuses to let her weaknesses stop her from climbing the monster hierarchy, both for respect and survival.
In cultures and religions that believe in reincarnation, an insect was easily one of the worst outcomes imaginable, and So I’m a Spider, So What? showcases exactly why. Kumoko spawns into a world that wants her dead on arrival, and the series follows her exploits as she hunts other monsters to level up and live a fortunate life despite her circumstances.
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime
In most RPGs, slimes are at the bottom of the monster food chain. They have squishy bodies that make them resistant to physical attacks but melt from even the most basic magic spells. One day, middle-aged salaryman Satoru Mikami dies at the hands of some random criminal with a knife.
Satoru dies while hearing a strange voice in his head, using his words as the catalyst that reincarnates him into such a pathetic creature. Fortunately for Satoru, his dying thoughts are also what saves him from becoming adventurer fodder, as he’s now saddled with abilities that, if used creatively, can turn him into one of the world’s strongest monsters in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime.
Reincarnated As A Sword
In Reincarnated as a Sword, a nameless individual wakes up as a nameless weapon in a nameless forest. With his powers of telekinesis, he places himself in the hands of a weak but determined catgirl named Fran, who dubs him Shishou (which roughly translates to “Teacher”).
Fran is a member of the Black Cat Tribe, a clan of puny Beastkin who’ve never been able to evolve into stronger mobs. Fran aims to achieve her parents’ dream of becoming the first in her tribe to evolve; Shishou promises to stay by her side until she accomplishes her goal.
4 Magical Girl Stick
Reincarnated As The Strongest Wand In Another World, I’m Forcing A Girl To Be A Magical Girl Against Her Will!
Niimi Reiji was a fan of a popular magical girl show called Magical Girl Charming Luluna before he died saving his friend’s daughter. Now, he’s a magic wand in a fantasy world with the ability to transform girls of his choice into a magical girl who coincidentally looks like his favorite character from his favorite TV show.
Walpurga was an average village girl before she found herself fleeing in terror from an attacking monster. Now, she’s Reiji’s wielder and a reluctant magical girl whose power knows no bounds, thanks to Reiji’s sheer magical power. Unfortunately, the outfit is much more skimpy for her liking, and so antics ensue.
3 Vending Machine
Reborn As A Vending Machine, Now I Wander The Dungeon
One fateful day, a vending machine fanatic is ironically killed by a vending machine when it falls on him. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a forest alone and running out of sustenance — the sustenance in question being coins.
Incapable of moving and unable to speak outside pre-recorded voice recordings, luck shines on the newly born Boxxo when young adventurer Lammis finds and takes him back to her settlement. Despite his newfound handicaps, Boxxo befriends his new neighbors and slowly but surely adjusts to his new life as a snack-dispensing machine.
It’s That Reincarnated-As-A-Virus Story
Only a special sort of chaotic mind would think of such a fate as reincarnating as a sentient viral infection that can leech skills and power off its hosts. For Walker Parazeet, there was no choosing involved but rather the spinning of a roulette wheel.
Now in a fantasy going by the pseudonym Hobgoblin, Parazeet is making his way from body to body, possessing everything and everyone he can to become a pandemic that will turn him into a legend. Partnered with a girl named Elena, Parazeet’s quest to obtain every skill begins.
I Was A Reincarnated As A Hot Spring In An Alternate World, And I’m Way Too Effective!
Just when the reincarnation ideas don’t get any stranger, Sou Nanaumi decided to shake up the genre by reincarnating their lead character, Atami Kusatsu, into a geological phenomenon. The high school student’s story begins when he dies en route to an onsen, only to find himself as an onsen in a fantasy world, one with potent medicinal properties at that.
What would have been an uneventful existence for Atami is remedied by the beauties who visit to soak in himself. A short series, the story of a teenager turned hot spring will surely leave an impression on its readers, if only for the premise alone.
NEXT:20 Best Isekai Manga Of All Time
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