The isekai genre is still continuing its endless stream of shows that take loveless losers and place them in far-out fantasy worlds. Many times, the characters' new forms are just as strange as their new lives, making them far from the average hero.
Skeleton Knight In Another World is another entry in this proud -- if now tropey -- tradition. Starring a hero reborn as a low-level bag of bones, Skeleton Knight, while weird, is almost mundane compared to some recent isekai. Here's a look at how the manga and now anime use their surprisingly charming premise.
Skeleton Knight's Unusual Plot
Created by Ennki Hakari and KeG, Skeleton Knight in Another World, like most isekai, began life as a light novel series. The novel, light novel and ensuing manga series are all still running to this day, with Studio Kai and HORNETS handling the anime adaptation. The plot itself also follows many isekai traditions.
It follows an average gamer who falls asleep, only to wake up within the world of the game that he was playing. The only problem is that in this new life he's...undead. This grim reality may hold him back in the popularity department, but as shown in the first teaser trailer, he gets to quick work establishing himself as a knight in shining -- albeit bony -- armor. The trailer also shows that the series, despite its high-fantasy and seemingly optimistic outlook, won't shy away from rather graphic violence.
That Time I Got Reincarnated As... Literally Anything Ever
The isekai genre is a now well-worn path for modern anime, and as more variations on the formula crop up, more trends do as well. The only thing being that, to stand out in an oversaturated genre, it seems that creators are coming up with the most ridiculous concepts to base their books and shows around. Thus, when these stories break through, each one that comes after only gets weirder. One could point to the ever-popular That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime as the watershed moment for "monster isekai." After its hero was reborn as a deceptively powerful slime, more protagonists followed suit, getting reincarnated as everything, from giant spiders to cats.
Lately, the genre has gone full-on self-parody and satire, blatantly poking fun at just how ridiculous their stories can be. Full Dive plays with the idea of a virtual reality RPG that's so realistic, it's no more exciting than real life. Likewise, Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon has a protagonist reborn as a completely stationary vending machine who can't even really talk. This means he's basically trapped in his vending machine body, making the series something of an unintentional horror story. Compared to these, the hero of Skeleton Knight seems to get off a lot more easily. On the other hand, he's still definitely an example of the isekai genre turning people into monsters for a gag.