Ever since the isekai premise rose to prominence in the anime world, the same tropes have been used and recycled consistently. Most isekai shows see their protagonist die before being reincarnated in an entirely new world. While some become overpowered in their new selves, there are those who must work from the bottom up and aim for an overall goal.
Having dreams of a better life or achieving a specific thing helps add to an isekai character’s personality. Most isekai protagonists and recurring characters are there primarily to focus on survival or helping others, but a few have a compelling reason to keep going.
ten Kazuma wants to make his mark as an adventurer (KonoSuba)
Konosuba is one of the most beloved isekai anime and its parodies of isekai tropes provide endless comedy and entertainment. The main group consists of Megumin, Aqua, Darkness, and Kazuma. They’re a bizarre mix of flawed personalities that make for a hilarious team dynamic.
Kazuma is the typical isekai protagonist who gets killed in his past life and is reincarnated in this new world. He finds himself constantly optimistic about his chances of gaining wealth and a happy life before his team smashes those dreams. Although he gets a few victories, ultimate happiness and fulfillment of his quest to defeat the Demon King seems like a distant dream.
9 Katarina wants to change her destiny (My next villain life)
My next life as a villain does well to find its place in the isekai genre with a unique premise. The anime’s protagonist finds herself reborn in a game she knows as the villain, Katarina Claes. His knowledge of fortune lover means that she is aware of her own inevitable loss.
Most isekai protagonists who have dreams and aspirations hope to achieve something new, but Katarina hopes to fight fate. This makes for an interesting concept as she applies her knowledge of this world while trying to avoid its demise.
8 Myne wants her new world to love books as much as she does (Ascendance Of A Bookworm)
The love of reading has never been such a driving force for an anime protagonist before Ancestry of a bookwormIt’s Myna. As with other isekai protagonists, Urano Motosu dies before being reincarnated in a new world. Yet, in her case, it’s her obsession with books that gets her killed, as she’s crushed by her treasure.
Reincarnated as Myne, her love for books persists and fuels her goals and ambitions despite finding herself in a new and unfamiliar world. Myne is a sickly child who defies expectations as she sets out to reinvent the books in this world. His ambition is laudable and inspiring throughout.
seven Genzo wants to befriend animals for his pet shop instead of performing heroic tasks (Kemono Michi: Rise Up)
Kemono Michi: Get up doesn’t deserve all the hate he gets. It’s a silly but hilarious isekai with a professional wrestler named Genzo summoned to another world. Genzo is confronted with classic isekai tropes and, refreshingly, does not conform to their responses or actions. He is asked to kill many beasts that threaten the land. He refuses because of his love for animals.
Genzo pursues these beasts in an effort to befriend them. His ultimate goal is to own a bustling pet shop teeming with all his new friends. Not everyone will understand Genzo’s big goal, but he just doesn’t care.
6 Eiko wants to sing on the biggest stages possible (Ya Boy Kongming!)
Ya Boy Kongming! drives the bizarre but wonderful concept of Three Kingdoms military strategist Zhuge Kongming Liang is reincarnated in modern Japan. He quickly applies his wit and knowledge to this new world, helping support a budding singer named Eiko Tsukimi. Eiko has been devoid of motivation and hope both in her singing and in her life in general.
After seeing Maria Diezel perform, Eiko vowed to become a famous singer with little success. Meeting Kongming changes everything. Kongming’s strategies and general know-how allow Eiko to think big. She aims to perform at popular events and festivals that she has always wanted to attend, but has never been to a proper level.
5 Rimuru is a super-powered slime with an overriding goal of a peaceful life (that time I got reincarnated as a slime)
Rimuru Tempest is the reincarnation of Satoru Mikami in This time I got reincarnated as a slime. As the title suggests, Rimuru starts out as a seemingly useless slime, but his power and form change significantly as the anime progresses.
This slime has the ultimate goal of creating a practical world similar to his old life on Earth, where he can sit back and relax. It may seem like a lazy dream with a lack of ambition, but actually getting there will take a lot of hard work and effort. Rimuru has a long way to go to make this dream a reality.
4 Rudeus helps Ruijerd imagine a world where the Superd are no longer to be feared (Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation)
Mushoku Tensei: Unemployed Reincarnation quickly became one of the best isekai anime of all time. It has an intriguing and gripping story, but the compelling characters piece it all together. The protagonist is reincarnated as a baby named Rudeus Greyrat. Despite his unfortunate evil tendencies, he becomes an interesting character.
Rudeus continues to defy expectations as he ages, learning magic that surpasses those more experienced than himself. He ultimately dreams of becoming a better person than he was, which means helping this world however he can. He aids Ruijerd, a feared Superd warrior, by inspiring Ruijerd to travel the world to clear his race’s tarnished name.
3 Farma wants to improve his new world with modernized medicine (parallel world pharmacy)
Parallel World PharmacyThe main character proves that dreaming big doesn’t always have to have selfish implications in isekai anime. Kanji Yakutani is a skilled pharmacologist who dies and is reincarnated as a 10-year-old child named Farma de Medici. In this unknown medieval world, he realizes that the state of medicine is terrible and seeks to improve the general situation.
Armed with the traumatic past experience of losing his younger sister to an incurable brain tumor, Farma doesn’t want anyone else to suffer such a loss. His goals of revolutionizing the medical state of this world are overly optimistic but come from a well-meaning place.
2 Sora and Shiro want to see how far their success can go (No Game No Life)
Sora and Shiro are the brother-sister protagonists of No game no life. They’re both shut-ins who pride themselves on being incredibly skilled when it comes to playing video games. When they are transported to another world, their ability to play takes on more meaning and meaning.
Their ultimate goals are to help Stephanie and the world they’ve arrived in, and they can do that by doing what they do best. By constantly beating others and gaining a reputation, they can feel untouchable and even less despise life.
1 The devil wants to climb the corporate ladder and gain influence on Earth (the devil is part-time)
The devil is part time is a beloved reverse isekai that sees Satan flee to Earth and create new life there. Taking on the identity of Sadao Maou, he takes a job as a fast food clerk. He gradually learned to appreciate this lifestyle and set out to climb the corporate ladder at MgRonald’s.
Sadao fits it into a larger scheme of gaining power and influence on Earth. It’s a much more sophisticated twist on a villain who wants to take over the world. His personality may seem to soften on Earth, but he still has his evil impulses and ambitions.
NEXT: 10 Most Anticipated Anime Of Summer 2022, Ranked