It’s quite common in the isekai genre, with so many anime coming out each season, for some series to go unnoticed and not get the recognition they deserve.
This is unfortunate, as there could be many hidden gems with exciting elements that end up being underrated.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best underrated isekai anime, based on our personal experience and preferences, to give them the attention they should receive.
If you love niche picks and hidden gems, you are in the right place!
Table of Contents
20. The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat
The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat is a 12-episode series released in 2021 and one of the best isekai anime with an overpowered MC.
Lugh Tuatha Dé, the world’s most legendary assassin, is killed after being betrayed. After being killed, he is given the possibility to be resurrected by a goddess in another world, but with a catch.
The condition is to kill the hero of that world.
This anime is unique because presents the classic isekai story from the perspective of the villain, making for an interesting twist on the genre.
We recommend giving it a chance if you’re looking for something a bit different because it’s one of the few isekai anime with guns.
19. My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! is a lighthearted and entertaining anime released in 2020 with 12 episodes, in one of the best isekai anime with a royal MC.
The story follows Catarina Claes, a young girl who, after being hit by a rock on the head, finds herself reincarnated as the villainess in the videogame she was playing before she passed out.
The problem? Catarina knows that her character dies in every route!
Despite being destined for a bad ending in all possible routes, Catarina sets out to create her own happy ending.
The focus is on comedy and heartwarming moments as Catarina navigates her new life. With its quite innovative plot and lighthearted tone, we consider it an underrated gem in the isekai genre.
18. Restaurant to Another World
The charming anime Restaurant to Another World combines fantasy, slice-of-life, cooking, and monsters into a delightful 12-episode series.
Set in a seemingly ordinary Japanese restaurant, the Yoshoku no Nekoya caters to the everyday salarymen of its neighborhood.
But on Saturdays, something magical occurs. The restaurant transforms and welcomes a diverse array of clients from another dimension, including elves, monsters, and others.
And its fame is well-deserved, as its fantastic menu is adjusted to each customer’s species and cultural background, creating a unique dining experience for all.
Although it may have some vague elements, Restaurant to Another World is a unique take on the isekai genre and has a big focus on food. We consider it one of the best isekai anime with a non-human character and a must for anyone who loves weirdness.
With its relaxed atmosphere and creative concept, this isekai anime deserves more recognition and attention if you ask for our opinion.
17. The Devil is a Part-Timer
The Devil is a Part-Timer is an interesting criminally underrated isekai that goes out of its way to twist the canons of the genre. It was released in 2013 in 13 episodes.
The demon king is finally one step away from conquering his world when he’s suddenly mysteriously transported to Tokyo.
Instead of getting discouraged, he decides to conquer this new world too. But first, he needs to conform to society and make some money. So, he starts working part-time at a fast-food restaurant.
And this is the story of how Satan himself became a part-timer.
This anime is a parody of the classic isekai and a unique anime in the genre. Seeing the incredibly OP king of demons working in a restaurant is definitely something worth watching.
If you want to watch an anime that revolutionizes the classic narrative patterns then this is one of the best recommendations.
16. Ixion Saga DT
Ixion Saga DT is a 2012 isekai anime that blends adventure, action, fantasy, and comedy.
This series is intriguing as it shifts between light moments and others with more serious tones, and even delves into political twists and intrigue.
Its character design and animations also create a unique fusion of styles from the 2000s and 2010s, adding another cool layer.
So it’s unfortunate that the series is relatively niche, right?
The protagonist, Kon Hokaze, embarks on a dimensional journey from our world to an alternate one called Mira.
This new world is home to a mysterious energy source known as Alma, leading Kon to find himself entangled in a big struggle for its possession.
15. The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady
The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady is a different-than-usual isekai anime released in 2023, with an ongoing animated adaptation based on the light novel of the same name.
Anne Sophia is the princess of a magical kingdom, with a dream to learn to fly, inspired by her memories from her previous life on earth.
Despite being considered a foolish dream, Anne Sophia is determined to pursue it, even giving up her throne to study magicology, combining magic and earthling science.
But as always, mysteries and complications will soon arise, making for an intriguing story.
The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady stands out from its peers with a fresh and believable plot that breaks away from the typical isekai genre.
The approach to the protagonist is also interesting, as she has already adapted to her new world’s life, avoiding the overused tropes of the genre.
GATE: Thus the JSDF Fought There is an excellent example of an isekai set in a modern world instead of a fantasy one, providing a breath of fresh air for the genre.
It was released in 2015 with 24 episodes and is perfect for you if you are seeking a fresh isekai experience, coupled with political and diplomatic complexities, along with a touch of action, war and fantasy.
We are in a modern Tokyo, which one day is shocked by the opening of a mysterious portal from which all kinds of entities emerge, from knights to orcs, and even dragons.
As a countermeasure, Japan decided to send a group of elite soldiers led by Youji Itami to the other side of the portal for political negotiation, and in case it failed, the use of force.
Kiba is an underrated isekai that was released in 2006 and divided into 51 episodes.
It’s a remarkable action-oriented isekai with an intriguing power system, a noteworthy dark setting, and a cool character design.
Zed, a 15-year-old boy who is unsatisfied with his life, finds himself transported to a mysterious world after entering a space-time rift brought to him by a mysterious wind.
In this world, Sherd-Casters fight each other using magic drawn from crystals. Zed soon becomes one of these magical warriors and finds the excitement that was missing from his life.
12. Fushigi Yuugi
Fushigi Yuugi is a one of the best ’90s isekai anime and an underrated gem in the genre set in a historical setting.
Miaka Yuuki and her friend Yui Hongo stumble upon a mysterious book at the national library which transports them to a fantasy world set in ancient China.
Upon their arrival, they encounter the emperor, Hotohori, who believes Miaka is the foretold priestess of the kingdom’s protector god, Suzaku.
She is tasked with finding the seven Celestial Warriors to summon Suzaku and have all her wishes granted.
Although the series is now dated, having been released in 1995, it can still offer much and appeal to vintage anime fans.
Fushigi Yuugi features a heavy romance element, reverse harem mechanics and a fantastic ancient China setting.
11. Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits-
Kakuriyo – Bed & Breakfast for Spirits is a captivating isekai that features a unique blend of supernatural and slice-of-life elements. With 26 episodes, the anime was released in 2018 and is based on its light novel of the same name.
Aoi, a college student who is proud of her cooking skills, has the ability to see spirits, which she inherited from her grandfather.
However, one day she is kidnapped by Ayakashi, the manager of the Heavenly Inn, who claims her as a bride as a ransom for her grandfather’s debts.
Instead of accepting the proposal, Aoi decides to work at the inn to clear her grandfather’s debts. And as she becomes an expert in cooking and managing the inn, she starts to develop real feelings for Ayakashi.
With its light story, cute supernatural romance elements, and well-balanced blend of supernatural and isekai elements, Kakuriyo is a must-watch if you’re looking for an enjoyable and different isekai.
10. The Eminence in Shadow
The Eminence in Shadow is a cool dark isekai anime that was released in 2022, with 2 seasons so far.
It’s an isekai that, contrary to appearances, heavily relies on action and comedy, with utterly nonsensical scenes.
This is also one of the isekai anime where the protagonist is OP and you will notice it from his absurd superpowers.
The main character Minoru leads a seemingly ordinary life during the day, but at night, he dedicates himself to rigorous training to become increasingly stronger.
But his life takes an unexpected turn when after a fatal accident he awakens in a mysterious and dark world as Cid, the leader of a clandestine organization dedicated to battling demons.
9. Ascendance of a Bookworm: Stop at Nothing to be a Librarian
Ascendance of a Bookworm: Stop at Nothing to be a Librarian is a 2019 isekai with 36 episodes and one of the best fantasy anime with a female lead.
The protagonist, Urano Motosu, is a young college student with a passion for reading and books.
She reads anything she can get her hands on and has a dream of becoming a librarian. But tragically, she dies in an accident just as she’s close to achieving her dream.
However, her last wish is to be able to read more books in her next life, and she reincarnates as Myne, a five-year-old girl living in a medieval era where books are scarce due to being copied by hand.
Despite the challenges, Myne demonstrates her love for books and her unwavering passion for reading.
It’s quite a unique isekai as it flips the conventions of the genre by putting books and reading at the forefront instead of battles and saving princesses. That’s why we believe it’s highly underrated and worth checking out.
8. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash is a 2016 anime of 12 episodes that takes its inspiration from the light novel of the same name resulting in one of the best isekai anime with experience levels.
The protagonist, Haruhiro, is mysteriously transported to a fantasy world he is unfamiliar with. He only remembers his name, and he soon discovers that others are in the same condition.
However, the arrival of monsters intent on killing them creates a sense of panic. Haruhiro realizes that in order to survive, he must fight and become stronger.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash is a well-executed and underrated fantasy isekai anime. The animators have put a lot of effort into making this anime unique, despite the not innovative premise.
It’s an immersive experience with great settings that sets itself apart from other similar anime, which we recommend checking out.
7. The Boy and the Beast
The Boy and the Beast is a 2015 movie directed by Mamoru Hosoda and one of the best anime about virtual reality.
The story follows the journey of a nine-year-old boy named Ren, who, after facing a lack of love and family, runs away to the streets of Shibuya.
There, he meets Kumatetsu, a beastman, who takes him to the alternate world of Shibuten.
Kumatetsu wants to become the next Lord of Shibuten, but he must prove himself to be a good master and not just a skilled fighter.
In their quest to achieve their goals, Ren and Kumatetsu form a bond and help each other along the way. Ren, now known as Kyuuta, is searching for a place to call home, while Kumatetsu wants recognition as the next Lord.
The animation, plot, and characters of this movie are outstanding. Mamoru Hosoda once again showcases his absolute talent with another pearl. Despite being underrated, it’s a movie that will leave a lasting impression on you.
6. Juuni Kokuki – 12 Kingdoms
The 12 Kingdoms anime, with a total of 45 episodes, was released in 2002. It’s based on the light novel of the same name and we consider it as one of the best isekai anime with politics.
Yoko Nakajima is a high school student who is unhappy with her mundane life.
However, her world is turned upside down when a mysterious man, named Keiki, breaks into her classroom.
He claims to be her servant and guardian, as she is the future queen of his kingdom.
As they flee from attacking monsters, Yoko begins a new and exciting journey in a new world.
Despite its solid plot, excellent character design, and unique animation style, the Juuni Kokuki – 12 Kingdoms anime was not particularly successful during its time of release. It remains an underrated gem that, trusts us, it’s worth checking out.
Drifters is a story about a Sengoku-era samurai named Shimazu Toyohisa who finds himself transported to another world after his death on the battlefield.
In this new world inspired by medieval Europe, Shimazu encounters both humans and fantastical creatures like elves and dragons, as well as famous warriors from other eras who are ready to fight.
We consider this 2016 isekai anime to be criminally underrated. With the manga written by the same author as the masterpiece Hellsing, the quality is guaranteed.
The character designs are excellent, the setting is cool and the action scenes featuring samurais and other warriors are amazing.
This is also one of the best choices if you’re looking for an isekai anime with no romance in it.
4. Sonny Boy
Sonny Boy is an original work released in 2021 in 12 episodes that is criminally underrated.
At the beginning of what was supposed to be an ordinary summer vacation, a school is mysteriously teleported to another world.
And that’s how 36 students will find themself in the dark, unable to contact the outside world as they begin to develop special powers.
A deadly struggle for survival will begin, filled with betrayal, death, and plot twists.
Sonny Boy is an interesting anime, presenting a concept that has been seen before while making it enjoyable. This is especially because of the unique and stunning animation style and some cool action scenes.
It’s also one of the best isekai without ecchi or fanservice if you don’t like them.
3. The Vision of Escaflowne
The Vision of Escaflowne is a highly regarded anime produced by Sunrise.
Produced by Bandai, this ambitious project was given an enormous budget of 30 million yen per episode to bring the story to life.
The story revolves around Hitomi Kanzaki, a high school student with a love for running and tarot cards. After having a strange vision, she finds herself transported to an unknown world where she meets a dragon and a swordsman named Van Fanel.
Together, they are sent to the war-torn planet of Gaia, where they must fight against the Zaibach empire.
The Vision of Escaflowne combines elements of war, fighting, and mechas to create a unique isekai anime that deserves its place as a true milestone in the genre.
Despite being underrated today, it remains a cult classic that any isekai fan should watch.
2. Magic Knight Rayearth
Magic Knight Rayearth, released in 1994, is a fantastic isekai anime with mecha that follows the journey of three girls, Hikaru, Umi, and Fu, who are transported to the fantasy world of Cefiro during a school trip to Tokyo Tower.
The world is in peril and they are tasked with saving it as Magic Knights, using their newfound magical powers. The girls form a magical guild and fight against the evil High Priest Zagato to rescue Princess Emeraude, the key to victory.
We know, Magic Knight Rayearth is a bit old at this point, and that’s why it lost its popularity becoming underrated today.
But although the anime is a bit dated, its writing is solid and the characters are fleshed out, making it a worthy watch for those interested in fantasy, adventure and magical girls.
It’s also undoubtedly one of the best fantasy anime with a female protagonist.
.hack//Sign is a classic anime that is part of the larger multimedia project, the .hack project and one of the best early isekai anime, if not the best.
It’s a vintage Isekai anime set in an MMORPG world and is considered one of the best of its kind.
The main character, Tsukasa, is a mage-class character controlled by a boy of the same name in the real world. However, one day, for unknown reasons, he is unable to log out of the game, causing questions about its true reality.
.hack//Sign was a groundbreaking anime in its time and is considered one of the fathers of the MMORPG Isekai subgenre, inspiring other popular anime such as Log Horizon or Sword Art Online.
Unfortunately though, probably because it’s old, it’s not that popular today.
Although the animation may seem outdated, if you are a fan of the genre and haven’t watched it yet, this is the most important anime on this list and a must.