Tuesday’s Topics: Re:Isekai, and why they are popular

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?

79410l
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, AKA PTSD:The anime, AKA Rem is waifu, need her in your laifu. (Ft. Harem King Matsuoka as Beetlejuice)

Or perhaps, you think more of something like this?

120337l
Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu, AKA trash NEET redeeming himself. (It’s really good btw)

Or maybe, even something simple and staple like this:

74462l
Overlord, AKA it is exactly as the title reads. Season two is coming soon but in the end I would still recommend reading the light novel, as the adaptation misses out on certain things(as all adaptations tend to do).

You could even go for something less serious…

77831l
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!, AKA KonoSuba, AKA EKSEPLOSION!

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.

 


Regrets


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.

erased film
Turning back the film of time and erasing the regrets. (Erased)

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.

 


Reality


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).

subaru's suffering
Wonder…new worlds…ideal…societies? (Re:Zero)

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.

 


Tenacity


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.

Kirito not giving up
Endure…and continue forward. (SAO)(Please don’t flame me)

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.

 


Ending words


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

tanya's determined face
It may be a genre filled with trash, but we can still appreciate its goodness! (Youjo Senki)

3 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Topics: Re:Isekai, and why they are popular”

  1. Re:Isekai, huh? I personally wouldn’t lump both of them together like that, but I can see why you did that. Time travel stories are a pretty old Sci-fi concept and when they go personal, character-based and dramatic the heroes or villians tend to have motivations related to some form of regret and attempting to prevent said regret from happening in the first place. On the other hand, isekai appears to be more about working past old regrets, if they are mentioned at all in the first place. Both time travel and isekai stories are kind of reactions to the real world, regret-focused time travel stories of course would like to change the world, however isekai stories tend to completely forget about their original reality. The idea that re:isekai stories’s protagonist have tenacity is something I also personally would deemphasize, not giving up is generally how most protagonists in fiction work, the protagonist trying to reach some sort of goal (unless they are the protagonists of certain psychological works that is.) However both types of stories do give one thing to the protagonist that they generally don’t have in reality: agency. In both isekai and time travel stories the protagonist is able to actually act, whereas in reality the vast amount of people, especially the young adult demographic light novels aim for, feel they have no agency over their own life. All fiction is wish-fulfillment to a certain extent, after all, especially these novels/manga/anime aimed at young adults.

    またね皆さん〜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome thoughts. I would agree with most protagonists in fiction showing tenacity, but the protagonists in Re:Isekai take this a step further and truly demonstrates what it means to never give up, due to the situations they usually find themselves in. As for agency, I would agree as well, the power to act is one that most people are missing out on in real life currently, and that probably contributes to the mass amounts of series in Re:Isekai, as many people want to write out their life stories in a way.

      Liked by 1 person

I would appreciate any feedback and discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s