I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby Ray » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:32 am

The "Portal Fantasy" genre has been a staple of pop culture for years. Narnia and John Carter used it to great effect. But Japan it seems has completely ruined the genre for me. In more ways than one.

Now before I begin let me say that there are some anime in the genre that I DO like. Some unironically, others as guilty pleasures, but after the last one of these things I encountered made me extremely angry. I felt I needed to put my anger At this particular genre into a post.

So, in no particular order. This is why I think I hate the entire Isekai Genre.

1) There are TOO FRIGGIN MANY.

There's genre saturation. And then there's the problem with Isekai anime. The genre has always been with us. But over the past five years we've gotten a whole bunch of this genre of anime, and it's friggin insane.

Re:Zero, Grimgar , Log Horizon, Konosuba, Overlord, Gate The JSDF, and let's not forget the friggin Juggernaut that is Sword Art Online. It's impossible to keep up with! For every one Of these things I look up, anime Studios seem to Krank out 20 more!

I mean, I like Candy. But who wants nothing but candy for the rest of their life?

The problem has gotten so bad, that Light Novel publishers and contests in Japan are rejecting manuscripts for Isekai because there are simply too many. And it's drowning out pretty much every other genre. But it popular! So they keep making more despite that!

2) They're Either Too Friggin Dark, Or Too Lighthearted.

Why is it that so many Isekai anime are either grimdark depressing traumatizing ordeals (Now And Then, 12 Kingdoms, RE:Zero) or saccharine dumb pandering garbage? (Isekai Smartphone)?

I don't know if it's just me but lately it seems the Divide between light and dark anime is only getting wider. We either have pandering fluff or nihilistic hellscapes filled with rape and Suicide . . . Real life is neither, can anybody who makes anime PLEASE for the sanity of the viewer try to find a balance?

3) They're incredibly derivative of each other.

It's well known that when anyone gains any level of success. There are always going to be people ignorant of what made the original successful that create their own version of the story with the serial numbers filed off. It happened before with all the Eva clones in the fallout of that shows success. And now it's happening again with the success of Sword Art Online.

You can see this in a lot of the anime that's coming out this year. Bland borderline Blank Slate protagonist (clear audience proxy), harem setup, bright pastel colors, "Moe" character designs. . . And as with number 1. The audience is starved for variety, when all were getting is the same crap in a new wrapper.

That's what I felt like saying, sorry if it's a bit rambly. Thoughts?
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Phew, I’m not tense anymore… now I’m just miserable.
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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:30 am

I already filter on teenage male MCs from contemporary Japan, which has ruled out the vast bulk of the fad from the get-go.

Have you tried Youjo Senki (aka The Saga of Tanya the Evil)? It's the only isekai that I even felt worth sampling, and it turned out to be rather amusing.

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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby Ray » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:45 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:
Have you tried Youjo Senki (aka The Saga of Tanya the Evil)?


With a title like that how can I go wrong?? (:|

I like the theme song. . . Haven't watched the anime itself as I assumed it was trash with a title like that.
I’ll escape now from this world, from the world of Jean Valjean, Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begin!
Avatar: "There's a Starman, waiting in the sky. He'd like to come and meet me, but he thinks he'd blow my mind."
Phew, I’m not tense anymore… now I’m just miserable.
People say "be yourself" but that's bad advice, if we were all to "be ourselves" many of us would stop wearing clothes. -Chuckman

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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby Stillborn » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:18 am

I assume it's something like Overlord or Re:Monster where protagonist turns evil and overpowered, murdering his way through every one who outlived their usefulness without repercussions?
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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:26 am

There's no "turning evil" involved. Just like Yoshikage Kira in Diamond is not Crash, Tanya Degurechaff is simply seeking a quiet life -- only without the hand fetishism on the side.

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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby pwhodges » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:41 am

The world is full of things that I either dislike or am not interested in. Rather than waste energy getting angry about it (and who am I to judge other people's taste), I simply pass them by and move on to the things that interest me. There's still plenty of options in every area of interest I have.
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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby Ray » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:42 am

View Original PostStillborn wrote:I assume it's something like Overlord or Re:Monster where protagonist turns evil and overpowered, murdering his way through every one who outlived their usefulness without repercussions?


That says a lot about the psych profile of Japanese society actually.
I’ll escape now from this world, from the world of Jean Valjean, Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begin!
Avatar: "There's a Starman, waiting in the sky. He'd like to come and meet me, but he thinks he'd blow my mind."
Phew, I’m not tense anymore… now I’m just miserable.
People say "be yourself" but that's bad advice, if we were all to "be ourselves" many of us would stop wearing clothes. -Chuckman

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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby Joy Evangelion » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:16 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:The problem has gotten so bad, that Light Novel publishers and contests in Japan are rejecting manuscripts for Isekai because there are simply too many. And it's drowning out pretty much every other genre. But it popular! So they keep making more despite that!


Is there something wrong with giving people what they want? It's a business, people want to make money, and people enjoy watching these types of shows. Fantasy isn't even in my top five genres of anime, and I watch more anime than probably 95% of the people on the internet who talk about it, but never have I thought that there are too many of these types of shows.

Ray wrote:2) They're Either Too Friggin Dark, Or Too Lighthearted.


This statement is entirely without basis. Saying series of an entire genre are either one way or another way sells the writers, directors, studios and fans of these shows way too short. You mention RE:Zero being grimdark, but we basically know from the first episode that Subaru can keep redoing anything, so at no point in the series can we take one of his tragic deaths all that seriously. Also, you categorize it as grimdark, yet there is a cute lighthearted squirrel character.

May I ask how many of these types of series you have watched from beginning to end?

Ray wrote: We either have pandering fluff or nihilistic hellscapes filled with rape and Suicide


I must have missed those episodes of Gate, Re:Zero, and Grimgar. And here I have them in my animmay notebook as shows I've finished.

Ray wrote: let's not forget the friggin Juggernaut that is Sword Art Online


I've never watched this series, and god knows if I ever will, but it seems to be a lot of peoples jam and has a made a lot of people happy, so it there anything wrong with that?

Ray wrote:
3) They're incredibly derivative of each other.


You could really say this about any genre, in any medium. Take the mecha genre as an example: Teenage pilot, parents are scientists who worked on title robot, mc goes through periods of wanting/not wanting to pilot robot, almost supernatural bond between pilot and their machine, teen pilots are supported by adult commanders who command from a command post and often clash with the young pilot, young pilot has to juggle trying to save the world and his own teenage feelings, etc.

It seems like a lot of people who don't watch too much anime nowadays like to pick on the medium as a whole, and say things like all we're getting is harem garbage and stuff like that but we've been consistently getting great series from every genre for years now. I'm not crazy about all of this negativity and so I will never stop defending anime.

And as I said, I don't even like the fantasy genre that much.

pwhodges wrote:The world is full of things that I either dislike or am not interested in. Rather than waste energy getting angry about it (and who am I to judge other people's taste), I simply pass them by and move on to the things that interest me. There's still plenty of options in every area of interest I have.


PW is wise. Remember at the end of A Nightmare on Elm Street when Nancy takes away Freddy's powers by ignoring him? But I guess it's easier to say something nasty about things than say something nice.
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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby Mr. Tines » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:50 pm

Related trend-spotting (from June 2015)

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:bubbling under will be adaptations of titles like "I stepped in front of a truck and reincarnated as a slime-girl in a generic JRPG world" (not an actual LN title -- yet -- just a synopsis of the latest sort of niche stuff that has surfaced on /a/ in the same way that the current wave of fashion did a while back).

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Postby Alaska Slim » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:50 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:1) There are TOO FRIGGIN MANY.

There's genre saturation. And then there's the problem with Isekai anime. The genre has always been with us. But over the past five years we've gotten a whole bunch of this genre of anime, and it's friggin insane.

Re:Zero, Grimgar , Log Horizon, Konosuba, Overlord, Gate The JSDF, and let's not forget the friggin Juggernaut that is Sword Art Online. It's impossible to keep up with! For every one Of these things I look up, anime Studios seem to Krank out 20 more!

I mean, I like Candy. But who wants nothing but candy for the rest of their life?


Anime is a pulp-fiction format, with lots of turn over, and limited oversight. Light novels even more so.

The barrier of entry into it is very low, so that means by default 90% of everything in it is crap. But it also means, occasionally, you get creators who want to do something experimental, or "deep", and are able to submit a proposal that pasts muster just enough to get it off the ground.


If having half a dozen things like Gate or Strike the Blood, or Bikini Warriors, and tons of other middling quality shows every season is the price to get one or two of Log Horizon or Drifters, or FMA: Brotherhood, then it's worth it.
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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby imprimatur13 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:18 pm

^
I totally agree. Same could be applied to SF, or pretty much any genre as well.
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Postby Alaska Slim » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:55 pm

View Original Postimprimatur13 wrote:^
I totally agree. Same could be applied to SF, or pretty much any genre as well.

I do mean anime as a whole; genre doesn't typically impact the production cost, other than to specify if there's action or not, so the principle holds for virtually the whole industry.
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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby Cybermat47 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:56 pm

Sounds like a genre that's on the road to suicide to me.
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Postby imprimatur13 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:04 am

Oh, Alaska, I meant print SF. As in, Asimov or somethin'. Sorry I wasn't more clear :).
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Postby Alaska Slim » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:47 am

View Original PostCybermat47 wrote:Sounds like a genre that's on the road to suicide to me.

How so? The number of anime produced per year has only doubled since the 90's.

TV here in the west has become a bit like this thanks to the rise of cable and streaming service-backed series> there's a lot more turn over (at lower cost, chasing after more niche audiences than broadcast TV), so there's more chances to find series that are both experimental and good.
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Postby MuscleRobo » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:03 am

It's weird how El Hazard seems to have become the most influential anime ever based on recent output. It's like how there's at least two dozen virtual on style knock offs polluting every arcade. No one thought at the time right?

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Postby BobBQ » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:26 pm

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Familiar of Zero yet.

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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime B/

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Postby Cybermat47 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:47 pm

View Original PostAlaska Slim wrote:How so? The number of anime produced per year has only doubled since the 90's.

TV here in the west has become a bit like this thanks to the rise of cable and streaming service-backed series> there's a lot more turn over (at lower cost, chasing after more niche audiences than broadcast TV), so there's more chances to find series that are both experimental and good.


Anime is a medium, not a genre. Isekai is the genre I was talking about. And if isekai anime keep getting shat out, people are going to get bored of them and stop watching. It's the same fate that awaits superhero movies.
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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime B/

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Postby Alaska Slim » Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:56 am

View Original PostCybermat47 wrote:Anime is a medium, not a genre.

I know, but you responded under my post, which was referring to the whole of the industry.


Isekai is the genre I was talking about. And if isekai anime keep getting shat out, people are going to get bored of them and stop watching.

Which is the cycle of all fads. Overexposure combined with rising new fad equals pushed to margins. Mecha fell pray to this, as did manga and visual novel adaptations.
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Re: I Think I Hate Isekai (Fantasy World) Anime

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Postby Stillborn » Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:26 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:There's no "turning evil" involved. Just like Yoshikage Kira in Diamond is not Crash, Tanya Degurechaff is simply seeking a quiet life -- only without the hand fetishism on the side.


I decided to give it a check, and you were right. There is no turning evil since she was evil from the start. And a sociopath before reincarnation.

She's still overpowered monster without respect for human life or an ounce of remorse, that gets away with massacring civilians.

What puts it higher on my list above Overlord, is that her lack of empathy, constantly makes her fail to read other people and screws with her long term plan for a cushy position and has her placed in most dangerous spots instead. Her expressions are also hilarious in that moments. I never felt this much amusement from seing protagonist fail before.
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