These isekai anime & manga revolve around survival and related themes.
- The survival genre in isekai anime and manga often features characters thrown into dangerous situations in new worlds, forcing them to use their skills and resources to survive.
- These stories often involve protagonists facing constant challenges, setbacks, and terrifying consequences, which help them evolve and become stronger.
- Themes of friendship, teamwork, and growth are common in the survival genre, as characters work together to overcome hardships and navigate through harsh and unforgiving environments.
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The survival genre is an exciting and multifaceted approach to storytelling that covers a wide range of topics and themes. It features dangerous situations where characters are forced to use the skills and resources at their disposal to live for as long as possible. They are also presented with difficult decisions that have terrifying consequences, setting the tone for adventures that engage the audience.
This is no different for both isekai anime and manga, as characters are usually thrown into new worlds without any degree of safety. More often than not, they are granted powers that make it easier for them to cope, but even then, traversing an unknown land will always have its dangers.
10 So I’m a Spider, So What?
Reincarnations in isekai titles have become increasingly unnatural over the years, such that being reborn as an arachnid should not come as that much of a surprise. Unfortunately for the young protagonist, however, not only is she reborn as a spider, but she is also placed in the most dangerous labyrinth in her new world.
This perilous situation forces her to fight her way through powerful monsters on a constant basis. She suffers fatal injuries, setbacks, and struggles while battling through the labyrinth on her own. Fortunately, though, because of these challenges, she is able to evolve and become stronger.
9 Easy Survival Life In The Other World
In a world where mankind has created a teleportation device to explore other worlds, institutions focused on training adventurers have begun to gain increased popularity. This is also the case for Tokyo’s Adventurer Guild Training Grounds, responsible for sending trainees to investigate other worlds and contribute to the progress of humanity.
The protagonist Shinomiya Hokage has recently enrolled in this institution and is an experienced adventurer. Unfortunately, though, on his first trip, the portal back to Earth disappears, and he is trapped in a foreign land with his classmates. This is the story of how Shinomiya uses his pre-acquired skills to fend for both himself and his group members.
8 I’m Standing On A Million Lives
I’m Standing on a Million Lives is another anime that serves as a good example of being dealt a bad hand upon arrival to a new world. The protagonist Yuusuke Yotsuya was a regular high school student, but after being transported to a fantasy world, he was given the class of a farmer. Furthermore, he is accompanied by two others from his school with the classes of a magician and warrior.
The trio is given a set of tasks by a mysterious being called the game master, with time limits for each quest issued. They are also given the ability to respawn, but if the entire group dies at the same time, then it’s game over for them all.
7 Otherside Picnic
Otherside Picnic tells the story of two girls who cross paths in a mysterious world filled with strange and dangerous phenomena. The world, commonly known as the Otherworld, is an eerie realm where urban legends and mythical creatures reside. It can be accessed through different portals scattered across the world and affects the bodies and minds of those who enter it.
The main duo, Sorawo, and Toriko, encounter one another in the Otherworld, and the two form a strong bond soon after. Though they initially have differing motivations, they explore the area together and do their best to survive while in a dangerous realm.
6 Grimgar: Ashes And Illusions
Featuring characters thrown into a foreign land without any memories of their past lives, Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions is an engaging isekai that explores the harsh reality of surviving in a new world. The anime is centered around novice adventurers who presumably arrived from modern-day Japan. They are faced with numerous challenges and struggles while adapting to their new world, and they sustain debilitating losses along the way.
The story depicts the genuine growth and development of these characters as they overcome numerous hardships and deepen their relationships with one another. They work as a team and look out for each other throughout most of the series as they try their best to survive in a harsh, unforgiving world.
5 Dungeon Seeker
Getting transported to another world usually presents a new set of dangers and challenges, but unfortunately for young Junpei Takeda, his past struggles continue to play a part. For most of his high school life, Junpei had been bullied and extorted by Kido Shouta. Even after being transported to a different world, he learns he still has no powers and is tricked by Kido into entering a hopelessly dangerous labyrinth.
This is where things begin to turn around for him, as he discovers he can learn the skills from beings he defeats. Using this knowledge, as well as a bit of luck, Kido progresses further into the labyrinth in hopes that he can find a way out.
4 Human Ranch
As the title implies, Human Ranch is a manga that tells the story of high school students who are transported to another world as a form of livestock. They are delivered by the government in a transactional deal with elves to serve as food and are treated in inhumane ways.
The manga follows the main group of friends in their attempts to escape the facility and save their classmates. This proves to be an extremely difficult task, however, as the elves are supernatural creatures with immense power, with a large number of underlings working for them.
3 Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is one of anime’s biggest franchises spanning multiple seasons with different focuses. Though not a traditional isekai, it features a virtual world with high stakes and significant real-world implications. Players of the virtual MMO, Sword Art Online, were trapped within the game by its creator and given the condition to beat all levels of the dangerous floating castle, Aincrad.
The creator prevented players from logging out and punished any forceful attempts to escape by death. Death within the game was also fatal, as a virtual death would translate to a real one. This created a realistic setting where players had to take on different roles to survive until all the castle floors were cleared.
2 Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
Jobless Reincarnation is a story of rebirth, growth, and second chances. The story’s protagonist, Rudeus Greyrat, was originally a failed shut-in, scorned by his family and friends. After his reincarnation, however, he resolved to do things differently and make the most of his second life. Now living in a world of monsters and magic, Rudeus is surrounded by a loving family and makes precious friends early on in his life.
Unfortunately, disaster strikes, and he is transported to a faraway land referred to as the demon continent. Here Rudeus has to make the most of the skills he has learned so far to navigate the dangerous land, fend off ferocious beasts, and find his family.
1 Now And Then, Here And There
Released in the late 90s, Now and Then, Here and There is an anime with heavy themes, realistically depicting the harrowing impacts of war and the consequences it presents even to an outsider. The protagonist, Shuu, is a boy with his heart in the right place. After trying to save a girl from otherworldy abductors, he is transported to her original world and is immediately faced with the harsh reality of a warring landscape.
On arrival, Shuu is tortured, beaten, and imprisoned on suspicion of being involved with an artifact belonging to the girl he tried to save. This doesn’t stop him, however, as he finds another girl in need of help and devotes himself to protecting her and escaping together.