The hero, Subaru Natsuki, a hikikomori (shut-in), starts out his day (night actually as this is when he comes out with fewer people around) by going to a convenience store and gets transported to a fantasy world in between eye blinks. He is rescued from muggers by Emilia, a half-elven wizard, whom he falls in love with. The gimmick to this show is that Subaru dies a lot, but due to his ability called "Return by Death," he gets to try again like restarting from the last checkpoint in a video game. He loops until he solves why he dies or how to survive the events that kill him. Sounds a little lame, but there are good characters and story arcs which kept me very entertained. There are many forces at work in the background and I look forward to seeing how it all works out.
Konosuba: Gods Blessing on This Wonderful World!
Kazuma Sato, another shut-in, has an untimely death by automobile. He gets an offer from a goddess named Aqua to be reincarnated into another world that has definite fantasy role-playing game elements. Aqua teases Kazuma for being who he is, but Kazuma uses a one-time wish to drag Aqua along with him. They both become an adventurers to make a living. They meet Megumin, an explosion magic obsessed wizard, and Darkness, a masochistic crusader (aka Tank). Aqua turns out to be a powerful cleric type, but flighty, and not all that competent despite her abilities. All four are flawed characters, but they have many pretty funny adventures together. The level of fan service is pretty high in this one, but it is entertaining if you can get over that.
In Another World With My Smartphone
Touya Mochizuki is struck by lightning and killed by God. This turns out to be a horrible accident and God allows him to be reborn into a fantasy world where he can help out. God buffs his stats though, enabling him to be stronger and use all types of magic. Best of all, he gets to keep his smartphone which is now magically powered and connects to a magical internet that can do real-time mapping and even retrieve information from our world. God also has him on his contact list too.
This show is kind of cheesy, as Touya is pretty overpowered, and he has a bit of a female following built-up around him as time goes on. He also becomes involved in the kingdom by helping out key figures in the nobility, including the king. Also, entertaining, but not very serious.
Knight's and Magic
Tsubasa Kurata is a mecha otaku who dies in a an auto accident. He is reincarnated as a young boy named Ernesti Echevalier who enters the knight academy to learn to pilot magically powered mechs called Silhouette Knights. These giant mechas fight demon beast that threaten the kingdom.
Ernesti was a programmer in his previous life and uses that ability and his love of mecha to improve the basic design and capabilities of the mechs as the show progresses. The mecha design is quite good, and is a high point for the show. Ernesti is a pretty flat character, who doesn't really get personal relationships, but is a good guy and a mecha designer genius. All kinds of demon beast battles and conflict with other kingdoms ensue. Worth watching if you like mecha.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
This is a more serious anime with people being reborn/transported into an alternate fantasy world. All the heroes arrive from our world without memories and are assigned to protect the border areas from monsters. They are unsuccessful as adventurers at first but develop over time into a successful band despite losses. Lots of melee combat, and it is the most "real" of the anime so far Worth a watch if you like fantasy and darker fare.
No Game No Life
Our hero Sora and his stepsister Shiro are two shut-ins who are undefeated gamers. One day, the god of games, challenges them and summons them to another universe where the rules are run by different games. Here they must save humans from more powerful magical species by using their superior gaming skills, their tablets that can tap information from our world, and their cunning intellects.
I didn't think I'd like this as much as I did, but the world building was pretty fun and the stories were really entertaining. Ultimately they're going to have a show down with god so that has gotta be good, but it isn't happening in the first season.
Saga of Tanya the Evil
This is another more serious anime. It is set in an alternate European world with a WWI technology level, but with combat mages, and magically powered gear and weapons. The mages even have flying gear so they have aerial dogfights with each other and conventional aircraft (watch the awesome Izetta the Last Witch for more witches in combat).
Our hero is a salaryman who just wants to have a successful life, but is killed by an employee he lays off, as he seriously lacks empathy. He is given a second chance by Being X who chides him for not believing in God and is reborn as a little girl named Tanya von Degurechaff. Tanya retains all of her memories and ends up joining the army as a child to to rise in the world. She does very well in combat and rises in rank due to her superior tactical and strategic thinking. Does Tanya develop more compassion while dueling with the will of Being X, and fighting all the enemies of the Empire? It was fun to find out.
More Stuff . . .
That was six shows about people from our world being reborn or cast into another world. Who knew there were so many. There are also many other light novels too such as Blue Steel Blasphemer, etc. Also, other shows of note with an alternate fantasy world:
- Gate: Jieitai Kano Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri. This is one of my favourite anime from last year. The Japanese Self-Defence Forces fight back an army of medieval warriors from Tokyo and our hero, Yoji Itami, goes to save people from dragons and evil emperors.
- Restaurant to Another world. It's a Japanese cooking show with fantasy characters eating at a restaurant from our world that opens once every seven days in the magical world.
- Familiar of Zero. Our hero is summoned into a magical world as a familiar and turns into a mighty warrior to help our hapless female wizard.
- Outbreak Company. The Japanese government finds a gateway to a fantasy world and decides to culturally colonize it with otaku culture. Kind of disturbing and kind of fun with an otaku hero to save the day.
- Drifters. Heroes from our world, from all time periods, are sent to fight against an evil in a fantasy world.
Six Fantasy Anime With a Modern Hero
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