Hello there, and welcome to yet another new series of posts that I will be writing from now on on my blog. This time, It is Tuesday’s Topics, where I will be picking out a random topic to talk about in detail and discuss. This will be highly inconsistently coming out since it’s so random, but when it comes out, I will make sure it is an interesting topic to grab your attentions.
On this week’s Tuesday’s Topics, we have: “Re:Isekai, and why they are popular”. Enjoy!
When I say the phrase: “Re:Isekai”, what do you think of?
Was it perhaps something like this?
Or perhaps, you think more of something like this?
Or maybe, even something simple and staple like this:
You could even go for something less serious…
I may have guessed what you thought of, or I may not. The truth is, there are simply too many titles that fit into this category to even count. All I have listed are just several random things I picked off the list of things I have read or watched. And if your personal favourite isn’t here, don’t worry about it too much, I won’t be talking about individual titles today. What I want to talk about today is “Re:Isekai”.
So what do I even mean by “Re:Isekai”?
What I was trying to convey with this phrase is the Isekai genre in general, where we have protagonists somehow finding themselves in another world in one way or another, be it due to dying and resurrection, or just plain teleportation. Other than that, there is also the now not as elusive “Re:” series, which usually focuses on characters being able to travel back in time in some way. Did you guess it?
So, why talk about Re:Isekai?
This is because of their immense popularity. Not only among the readers/watchers, but also among the creators themselves, the light novel authors, the mangakas, and the anime producers. With series such as the ones mentioned above, or others I have yet to mention, we see huge fanbases surrounding these particular series as well as many more being made.
But, have you ever wondered, why is that so?
There are of course, multiple reasons for it. And with this post, I will try to uncover all of them.
Regret. A word that almost everyone knows, an emotion that everyone feels. An emotion that pops up whenever we make a wrong decision, whenever we find out we missed out on a good deal, or even when we watch 17 episodes of a show just to find out it’s garbage, all of these situations all give us regrets.
And it is these regrets that makes us want to redo our past and start over again…Just like the Re:Isekais. Remember what we mentioned? The protagonists either starts of in a new world, hence isekai, or they go back in time, hence re. What we were unable to do, they were able to. They can relive their life and get rid of their regrets.
And that is exactly why we love this particular group of series. By rooting for these protagonists to rid themselves of their regrets and seeing them work towards it, we are able to feel the satisfaction of these people successfully achieving their goals. It’s this sense of achievement that makes us want more and make us more interested, while feeling entertained by the process, as for us, we too are working hard to live life without regrets.
For the creators, they are probably feeling the same as us watchers and readers. After all, they have their own fair share of regrets, and who knows if they are not trying to pass on their regrets to their characters? To some creators, they are probably reliving their life through the characters themselves, and the challenges and problems the characters faced probably originated from real life problems they had.
Whichever side it is, be it the creators or the audience, you cannot deny the satisfaction Re:Isekai brings to us, and the happiness of seeing people actually be relieved from their regrets is one thing we cannot get enough of.
What do you think of reality? Of our harsh societies, of the many problems that we face in real life? Obviously, no one likes problems and no one wants to have to solve these problems. Sometimes, you just want to lie down and forgot all the problems in your life. That feeling of disappointment is not foreign to anyone.
And of course, that is the reason why so many people choose to escape reality and forget about their worries in many different ways. We have games, music, movies and of course anime, manga and light/visual novels to entertain ourselves and therefore give us relaxation, at least in that moment.
So what makes Re:Isekai special?
It’s because of its wish fulfillment. The protagonists are able to fulfill their wishes and get rid of the problems they face in life: be it rewinding time to make sure they do the right things, or being in a whole new world altogether.
And of course, this will be the main reason why isekai as a genre is so popular: It showcases a brand new world that makes our imagination run wild, and our inner desires to be in that world together with the protagonist instead of living our seemingly boring lives in the real world makes us love them. That is why readers and watchers alike enjoy the isekais, although it gets pretty overused.
The same of course can be said for the creators. When they create these new worlds, they are probably thinking of all the things they don’t find in a normal society and using that as a template for the new world. They are essentially trying to create their own ideal society to live in (in some cases probably not).
The harsh realities are written off in these series and it really is very nice to see that. I mean, who wants to accept their sorrows and problems if they can get rid of them? And in this case, while watching and reading these series, we can temporarily shut all these negative things out of our mind and concentrate on these wonderful worlds the creators have made.
Ah…the one thing that is pretty much common with all the protagonists in these series. Tenacity, or in more simpler terms, never giving up. What makes us watch these protagonists? What is so attractive about them? Why can they get through all the problems and challenges they face and come to a good ending in the end?
Of course, it is because of their tenacity.
Be it facing small or big problems, life or death situations, or even when at their absolute worst, these protagonists always demonstrate one thing: the desire to never give up. It might because of their personal goals, their past and present selves, or even out of greed, whatever the cause, they are able to demonstrate the resilience and mental strength to continue moving forward while gritting their teeth.
Isn’t that what we want?
In this harsh reality, we will often find ourselves in the dumps. And it is from these dumps that we have to climb out and become a stronger person. And what we need to be able to do so, is tenacity.
By watching these characters overcome their problems, we realise this, and as a person, we learn from them to become stronger and not get beaten down.
And that’s exactly why we enjoy Re:Isekai so much. They might be repetitive with their stereotyping as such, but every once in a while a gem comes along that makes us go “Woah, this is great”. But rather than the rare gems among others, the normal stuff is also pretty great. We are essentially trying to find ourselves within the characters.
And that concludes our topic for today: Re:Isekai. Hope you enjoyed reading it, since I enjoyed typing it. As always thank you all for the support.
It would be fun to see some discussions down in the comments below however, and I won’t mind if anyone suggestions a fun topic for me to write about next time.
Enjoy your Re:Isekais.
-A stuck in reality Plyasm