Worldbuilding is a crucial element in creating a captivating and immersive experience in any form of media, especially in the realm of anime. It is the foundation that sets the tone, the rules, and the parameters of the story’s universe.
It helps to create a sense of realism, depth, and believability that draws the audience into the narrative. This is especially true for isekai anime, where the entire plot revolves around a protagonist being transported to a new world. In these cases, the quality of world-building can make or break the entire series, as it plays a critical role in establishing the setting, characters, and overall plot development.
The 5 Best Isekai Anime of All Time
With that said now Let us take a look at 11 Isekai anime that are known for their rich and immersive World Building.
11 Best World Building Isekai Anime:
1. Jobless Reincarnation
- Studio: Bind
- Episodes: 23 + 1 OVA
Jobless Reincarnation is a story of a hopeless person who is given a second chance in life and decides to make the most of it.
Jobless Reincarnation follows a 34-year-old unemployed, mostly shut-in otaku, who dies while saving some teens from a car accident. When he opens his eyes again, he finds himself reborn as the baby Rudeus Greyrat in a new world filled with magic, demons, and beasts, along with all of his memories.
Before he can even properly move his body, he resolves to never make the same mistakes he made in his first life ever again and instead live a life with no regrets with the new one that was given to him.
Thanks to innate knowledge from his past self, by the age of two, Rudeus has already become a prodigy and possesses magical power unthinkable for anyone his age and even older.
And thus begins the chronicles of Rudeus Greyrat, son of swordsman Paul and healer Zenith, as he ventures into a new world to become the strongest mage known to man, with powers rivalling even the Dragon and Gods themselves.
Now one of the key strengths of Jobless Reincarnation’s world-building is its incredible depth. From the geography and political systems of the various nations to the cultural practices of different races, the world of Jobless Reincarnation feels richly detailed and immersive, and the beautiful anime adaptation by Studio Bind brings it to its full glory.
It also features a well-developed magic system that feels grounded in the rules of the world. Magic is not simply a plot device but instead an integral part of the world and its history.
Another aspect of world-building that stands out in Jobless Reincarnation is the multi-dimensional nature of the characters. The protagonists and supporting characters are not one-dimensional but instead have complex backstories, motivations, and personality traits that make them feel like real people.
2. Re: Zero
- Studio: White Fox
- Episodes: 25 + 25 + 2 OVAs
Re: Zero is a massive isekai franchise created by Tappei Nagatsuki which started as a web novel in 2012 and then was adapted into a light novel series so far has inspired two television anime series by Studio White Fox, two OVA episodes, multiple manga adaptations, five video games, dozens of collaborations and multiple side-story, spin-off, and what-if novels written by Tappei himself.
Re: Zero is praised for the way it builds its world through mystery. As the story progresses, the audience gradually learns more about the world and its history, but there are still many unanswered questions such as the witches, Subaru’s powers, the archbishops, the Dragon who guards the Kingdom of Lugunica and much more.
This approach to world-building creates a sense of intrigue and keeps the audience invested in the story.
The story follows Subaru Natsuki who is suddenly transported to another world on his way home from the convenience store. A mysterious silver-haired girl with a fairy cat saves him from a group of thieves and to return the favour Subaru decides to help them. However, both are attacked and killed by an assassin. Subaru then awakens in the same place he was summoned and notices he has gained the ability “Returns by Death” which allows him to return back in time whenever he dies.
Using his newfound ability Subaru swears to protect Emilia from all the dangers coming her way and help with her ambition to be successfully appointed as the next queen while carrying along all the memories, pain, and sufferings inflicted on him every time he dies.
- Studio: MADHOUSE
- Episodes: 13 + 13 + 13 + 13 + Sequel Movie in Production
The world of Overlord is vast and detailed, featuring a range of different cultures, creatures, and histories that all come together to create a cohesive and immersive setting. The way different races interact with each other, the politics of the different nations, and the history of the world are all carefully crafted to create a sense of depth and realism.
In the final hours of the popular virtual reality game Yggdrasil, Momonga, a powerful wizard and master of the dark guild Ainz Ooal Gown, decides to stay logged in right until the servers go down but to his surprise he finds himself transported into a fantasy world in his skeleton game avatar along with all of his NPCs servants who also have come to life.
Confronted with this abnormal situation, Momonga commands his loyal servants to help him investigate and take control of this new world, with the hopes of figuring out what has caused this development and if there are any other players like him here. Momonga begins exploring the world by taking on various roles such as an adventurer, an overlord and sometimes becoming a villain himself.
The series explores the psychological effects of having almost unlimited power and being beyond the constraints of traditional morality. As Ainz navigates this new world, he grapples with the responsibilities and challenges that come with his immense power.
4. Ascendance of a Bookworm
- Studio: Ajia-do Animation Works
- Episodes: 14 + 12 + 10 + 2 OVAs
“Ascendance of a Bookworm” is a story written for book lovers and bookworms.
Urano Motosu is a university student and soon-to-be librarian who loves to read books, no matter the genre or type. Unfortunately, she ends up crushed to death beneath a pile of books at her house during an earthquake.
Urano wakes up to find herself reborn into another world, in the body of a frail five-year-old girl named Myne. To make matters worse, public literacy is low in this world, and books are scarce and only available to the elites. So, Myne resolves to create and print her own books so that she can live surrounded by them.
What makes Ascendance of a Bookworm’s world so coherent and special is cause the first thing the author, Miya Kazuki, created when writing the story was its “World.”
She didn’t create the character yet or the storyline, she expanded the world from a downtown area where the poor live and gradually expanded it to include the merchant district, the boundary between noble and commoner (the temple), the noble district, and beyond to the large country made up of duchies.
5. That Time I got reincarnated as a Slime
- Studio: Studio 8-bit
- Episodes: 24 + 24 + 5 OVAs + Original Film
The world-building in “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” is notable for its unique races, such as the titular slime protagonist, as well as goblins, dwarves, lizards and dragons. The author has put a lot of effort into fleshing out each race and giving them their distinct characteristics, making the world feel more alive and realistic.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is currently the most popular and highest-selling isekai series in Japan which so far has inspired two television anime series, one original anime film, one spinoff anime along with multiple manga spinoffs. mobile games and more.
The series follows Mikami Satoru who is killed and reincarnates as a weak slime monster in a fantasy world. However, as a slime, he has the ability to absorb other creatures and take their abilities and characteristics. His life takes a turn when he meets the Catastrophe-level monster “Storm Dragon Veldora” who is trapped in the labyrinth and forms an agreement to absorb him.
He uses his new powers to stop the war between the goblins and the wolves and eventually becomes a leader of a group of monsters. Together, with other monsters like the Lizards, Orcs and Demons they work to build a place which they can call home and both monsters and humans can coexist peacefully.
This manga is perfect for those who are looking for a story with an overpowered protagonist, heavy politics and kingdom-building.
6. Log Horizon
- Studio: Statelight, Studio Deen
- Episodes: 25 + 25 + 12
After a mysterious incident, 30,000 Japanese gamers are suddenly trapped in the online game world of “Elder Tale,” a realm of swords and sorcery and can’t log out and death is met with a respawn. Amid the chaos in “Elder Tale” Akihabara, veteran gamer Shiroe locates his old friend Naotsugu and teams up with the beautiful female assassin Akatsuki. Together they embark on an adventure to uncover the mystery and change the world as they know it.
Log Horizon is basically Sword Art Online but with better world-building and a slow-burn experience. The world of “Log Horizon” is filled with political intrigue and power struggles. The author has created a detailed hierarchy of power, with various factions vying for control. This adds another layer of depth to the world and keeps the reader engaged and invested.
7. I am a Spider, So What?
- Studio: Millepensee
- Episodes: 24
The world of I am Spider, So What? is rich and complex, where the gods, aka the administrators of four kinds, are stuck in a power struggle, in which our human friends are also embroiled in a struggle of their own.
When a mysterious explosion kills an entire class full of high school students, the souls of everyone in the class are transported into a fantasy world and reincarnated. While some students are lucky to be reincarnated as nobles, princesses, prodigies, and other backgrounds.
Our main character, however, is not so lucky, as she is reincarnated as a spider, the weakest of all monsters. Now at the bottom of the food chain, surrounded by vicious beasts much stronger than her, she is forced to experience extreme hardship. Discovering that her new world has a system like that of an RPG, she tries her best to hunt prey and defeat monsters to level up and evolve.
This is the story of a spider doing whatever she can to survive!
8. No Game No Life
- Studio: Madhouse
- Episodes: 12 + Sequel Movie
No Game No Life has a unique and intricate world-building that is deeply immersive and engaging. The show revolves around the concept of a world called Disboard, where all conflicts are resolved through games rather than violence. The god Tet, who rules over the world, is a key figure in world-building, as he is responsible for creating the ten pledges that govern the world’s inhabitants.
One of the most impressive aspects of No Game No Life’s world-building is the inclusion of 16 different races, each with its own distinct characteristics and traits. These races range from humans to angels to werebeasts, and each has a unique role to play in the world of Disboard. The show’s world-building is also remarkable for how it presents a detailed system for how the world operates, including the laws of magic and the functioning of the economy.
Stepsiblings Sora and Shiro are two inseparable shut-ins who dominate various online games under the username “BLANK.” While notorious on the internet, the pair believe that life is merely another dull game.
One day, they are challenged to a game of chess by Tet, a god from another reality. The two are victorious and are offered the opportunity to live in a world that revolves around games. They accept, believing it to be a joke, and are summoned to a reality known as Disboard where every conflict is resolved through games.
Sora and Shiro travel to Elkia, the last remaining nation inhabited by humans, and befriend Princess Stephanie. The two decide to participate in a tournament to determine the next ruler, and after winning the crown, they earn the right to challenge the other species in Disboard as humanity’s representative.
Their goal is to conquer all sixteen nations in order to challenge Tet to another game.
9. The Twelve Kingdoms
- Studio: Pierrot
- Episodes: 45
The Twelve Kingdoms is one of the first Isekai anime with a complex rich history and detailed mythology that makes the world feel real and immersive.
In this world, there are a total of thirteen lands. At the centre of the world lies the Koukai (the Yellow Sea) and the Five Mountains where the Gods communicate their will to the Twelve Kingdoms of the world. Each of the Twelve Kingdoms possesses its own ruler and its own Kirin, a divine creature which embodies the will of heaven and is entrusted to choose a kingdom’s ruler by Tentei: the Emperor of Heaven, and serves as the ruler’s aide.
Yoko Nakajima, an unhappy high school student, is one day suddenly faced with a strange man who swears allegiance to her. After a battle with demon-like beasts, he then takes her to another world along with two of her classmates.
There, her appearance has changed and she can understand the language even though her classmates cannot. But their status as “Kaikyaku” (people who come from Earth) makes them hunted fugitives, so they wander the land of the 12 countries, simply trying to survive and figure out the reason why they were brought to this world.
10. The Rising of the Shield Hero
- Studio: Kinema Citrus, DR Movie
- Episodes: 25 + 13 + Season 3 in work
Naofumi Iwatani, a shut-in otaku who spends his days playing games and reading manga, is suddenly summoned to another world. He discovers that he is one of the cardinal heroes who are summoned to fight interdimensional hordes of monsters called Waves.
The four heroes are each bestowed a sword, spear, bow, and shield to vanquish these Waves. Naofumi Iwatani becomes cursed with the fate of being the “Shield Hero.”
Armed with only a measly shield, Naofumi is belittled and ridiculed by his fellow heroes and the kingdom’s people due to his weak offensive capabilities and lackluster personality. On top of that, he is betrayed by his comrade, Princess Malty Melromarc, who steals all his belongings and falsely accuses him of assaulting her.
Discriminated by the populace and hated by his fellow comrades for something he didn’t do, cynical Naofumi is forced to train as a hero alone while working to make ends meet.
One day, he buys a young raccoon demi-human girl named Raphtalia and an egg that hatches into a bird-like monster whom he names “Filo,” both of whom quickly grow into adulthood and become powerful warriors under his care.
Now Naofumi must rise to become the legendary Shield Hero and unravel the mystery of the Waves.
11. The Eminence in Shadow
- Studio: Nexus
- Episodes: 20 + Season 2 in work
The Eminence in Shadow which is also known as ‘Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute‘ in Japanese is a popular comedy-action series. It follows Cid Kagenou who is Chuuni, which is a character trait just like tsundere used in Japanese media used to describe early teens who have delusions of grandeur and have convinced themselves they have hidden knowledge or secret powers.
However, in this story’s case, it is the exact opposite. The main character thinks he’s just playing at being chuunibyou, but actually, it’s all real, and everyone else around knows it’s real, but only he doesn’t know that it’s real. And because he’s pretending like it’s real, nobody knows that he doesn’t know that it’s real so nobody tells him that it’s real.
The story follows a High-schooler in modern-day Japan who desires to be a mastermind who exerts power from the shadows, but in the process of training, gets hit by a truck and dies. He is reborn in a fantasy world as Cid Kagenou, where he maintains a perfectly mediocre appearance so as to not stand out and pursue his dream of manipulating from the shadows. One day, he stumbles upon an elven girl infected by a mysterious disease and cures her. Cid makes up a story, explaining this world is secretly run by the Cult of Diablos, and his secret organization, “Shadow Garden”, are the only ones that can fight them.
The elven girl, now named Alpha, joins this organization and begins recruiting new members. However, the stories Cid made up were actually true, but he believes it to be a total delusion. Cid continues fighting the Cult of Diablos under the alias “Shadow”, completely unaware that he is involved in a complicated power struggle.
What are your thoughts on our list of Best World Building Isekai anime? Did we miss your favourite Isekai anime on this list? Let us know in the comment section below.
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