10 Lesser-Known Isekai Anime That Are Actually Good

Whether we like it or not, isekai has become one of the most successful themes, dominating both the manga and anime worlds. Since it’s so versatile, it can be mixed with any genre and will still make sense. Obviously, finding some lesser-known isekai anime shows or movies is more than challenging nowadays.

We usually associate isekai with an OP protagonist in a fantasy setting. This trope has become a staple in isekai and it rarely diverges from this well-trodden path. While it might seem boring to some, it generally works like a charm.

As previously mentioned, isekai has become so sought-after among the masses that it’s almost impossible to find an isekai that’s UNPOPULAR by usual standards. I had to dive deep into the never-ending sea of isekai to find some lesser-known (but still valuable and highly rated) pieces. Some of them are older while others are relatively new so it should be easy to pick one according to your taste buds.

Without further ado, let’s look at 10 lesser-known isekai anime worth considering!

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1. The Boy and the Beast

  • Japanese title: Bakemono no Ko
  • Studio: Studio Chizu
  • Aired: 2015
  • Stream on: Amazon Prime Video

Isekai is not usually associated with crying—unless it’s from laughter. Well, The Boy and The Beast disproves this theory. The series can—and probably will—make you cry because of its touching and impactful story.

The movie is about a boy whose mother dies in a car crash and his only remaining family is his father who hasn’t shown up in the last 4 years. He is living on the streets of Shibuya until he meets “The Beast” from another realm.

2. The Twelve Kingdoms

  • Japanese title: Juuni Kokuki
  • Studio: Studio Pierrot
  • Aired: 2003
  • Stream on: Amazon Prime Video

This series is one of a few isekai with a well-developed female protagonist, good worldbuilding, and an unordinary story that takes place in a beautiful, magical world. It is quite unfortunate that it is also a lesser-known isekai.

The main character is a high schooler Youko Nakajima whose only wish is to be ‘normal’. Despite her attempts to fit in high school, she has never blended in because of her fiery red hair.

One day, Yoko is accosted at school by a handsome blonde man called Keiki who wants to swear allegiance to her. Before she knows it, monsters are attacking her, she’s being defended by Keiki, and then Yoko and her 2 friends are transported to another world. Thus begins her journey in the magical land of the 12 kingdoms!

3. Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy

  • Japanese title: Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu
  • Studio: C2C
  • Aired: 2021
  • Stream on: Crunchyroll

Do you like KonoSuba? Then I would be surprised if you didn’t know about this show since it has a similar comedy.

Tsukimichi is a solid isekai parody that adopts the best elements from Overlord, KonoSuba, Re:Zero, Slime, and even Shield Hero and still manages to create something new.

The anime starts with a young boy who is forcefully transported to another world but instead of becoming a hero from the start, the crappy goddess strips him of the role of a hero and drops him at the edge of her world!

It will make sure to keep you entertained with its chill and relatively simple story.

4. The Vision of Escaflowne

  • Japanese title: Tenkuu no Escaflowne
  • Studio: Sunrise
  • Aired: 1996
  • Stream on: Amazon Prime Video

Part of the 90s legacy, Escaflowne is a beautiful and memorable fantasy adventure. It’s an isekai that was done before it became mainstream. This anime is a mix of mecha, romance, and action topped off with marvelous music.

The protagonist is a schoolgirl, Hitomi, who gets transported to another world that is on the brink of war. This is due to an emperor who plans to change fate to his whim. Now it’s up to Hitomi and her new allies to defeat the evil forces.

5. God? Save Our King

  • Japanese title: Kyou kara Maou!
  • Studio: Studio Deen
  • Aired: 2004
  • Stream on: Crunchyroll

Don’t look for a truck-kun here, you won’t find it here. God? Save Our King starts hilariously and creatively with the MC being flushed down a toilet and ending up in another world. There, he is told that he is destined to be the Demon King because of his black eyes and hair, the traits only demon royalty has.

The series does a great job at balancing lightheartedness with seriousness and won’t fail to put a smile on your face. Just be aware that it goes into shounen-ai waters.

6. Now and Then, Here and There

You might have thought that isekai can’t tackle mature themes like war, trauma, abu*e, ra*e, and exp*oitation, but Now and Then, Here and There would prove you wrong.

The MC is a young boy who gets accidentally transported to an alternate world after trying to save a strange girl from kidnappers. Unfortunately, this new world is extremely hostile, impoverished, and cruel. Even towards children.

It’s a haunting and chilling anti-war series that’s worth watching.

7. Mysterious Play

  • Japanese title: Fushigi Yuugi
  • Studio: Studio Pierrot
  • Aired: 1996
  • Stream on: Amazon Prime Video

How many shoujo isekai have you seen? It shouldn’t baffle me that it’s among the lesser-known isekai anime since it’s older, but I really hope that more people, and mainly shoujo fans will get their hands on it.

Mysterious Play is one of a kind. It’s a shoujo isekai filled with all the usual tropes that you would expect from a typical isekai but with a girl as a protagonist. This changes things a little because the MC is isekai’d as a priestess who is expected to save the world by summoning the kingdom’s protector god. To do so, she has to gather the god’s seven Celestial Warriors. And, of course, she has her reverse harem with bishies.

If you love shoujo as much as I do, there is a high chance that this will become one of your faves.

8. Magic Knight Rayearth

  • Japanese title: Mahou Kishi Rayearth
  • Studio: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
  • Aired: 1994
  • Stream on: Amazon Prime Video

Is it just me or does the majority of underrated isekai have female protagonists?

Magic Knight Rayearth follows three high school girls who get sucked into an alternate dimension, and need to defeat the main enemy oppressing the land, and then make it safely home.

Immerse yourself in the mysterious world of Cephiro as you follow these quirky girls on their journey of saving it.

9. So I’m a Spider, So What?

  • Japanese title: Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka?
  • Studio: Millepensee
  • Aired: 2021
  • Stream on: Crunchyroll

One would think that getting isekai’d is an exciting thing, right? Well, that might be true but not if you are as unlucky as Kumoko.

Another unfortunate thing about Kumoko is that she comes from a lesser-known isekai despite the fact that the show is executed very well.

She is not reincarnated as a heroine, cute elf, an OP princess, or anything like that. While the rest of her class is lucky with their reincarnations, she reincarnates as a spider. And bad luck follows because she is also stuck in a dungeon where all sorts of dangerous creatures reside. There, she has to rely on the skills she learns and her human knowledge.

This show is a story of survival in an RPG setting with everything that belongs to it.

Kumoko is an absolute fan-favorite character praised for both her sarcastic personality and ‘never give up’ attitude.

10. Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs

  • Japanese title: Otomege Sekai wa Mob ni Kibishii Sekai desu
  • Studio: ENGI
  • Aired: 2022
  • Stream on: Crunchyroll

Trapped in a Dating Sim is one of my favorite isekai anime right now and I am surprised it didn’t get more hype. I would say that this series is the male equivalent of My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!

The MC dies from exhaustion after playing a dating sim game for too long with no proper sleep or nutrition and ends up reincarnated in that exact game… as a MOB character!

This anime is satisfying to watch because the smug MC uses his wits to make it to the top in a world dominated by females, and watching him pwn some ‘main characters’ made me have a good laugh each time. 

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Mia Milanová
Mia Milanová

For years, I've been writing about anime & digital marketing, fusing my academic background (psychology) with my love for writing and anime (200+ shows devoured!). At 9 Tailed Kitsune, I share my love for anime and create a space for fans to connect. ✨

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