The Rising of the Shield Hero is a popular isekai anime starring the down-on-his-luck protagonist Iwatani Naofumi, who was summoned to the kingdom of Melromarc as the legendary Shield Hero. Unfortunately for him, the king and elder princess are conspiring against him so he'll have to continue his adventure all on his own.
The creative and resourceful Naofumi soon recruits his own party and makes good use of his magical shields in the upcoming Wave events, and by now, as the Spring 2022 anime season approaches, Season 2 of Shield Hero is set to begin in April 2022. While waiting, fans of the popular isekai can try a handful of similar series to get pumped for the new season.
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Is Isekai Gold
Although That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime does relatively little to reinvent the isekai wheel, this famed series does almost everything right and may be considered the quintessential isekai anime of the modern era. Like Shield Hero, it's a high fantasy adventure where the hero Rimuru Tempest starts with practically nothing and is surrounded by feuding nations and monsters.
Bit by bit, Rimuru gains new powers, allies and more, and he soon builds a benevolent nation of monsters where everyone is welcome to live in peace. TenSura has a more optimistic and light-hearted tone than the gritty Shield Hero, but the series hits all the right isekai notes and has a richly detailed geography to rival anything found in Shield Hero.
Re:Zero Is A Gripping Isekai Underdog Tale
Re:Zero is another mega-popular isekai that, like many others, is based on an original and ongoing light novel series. In some ways, the hero Natsuki Subaru is even more unfortunate than Naofumi, having been reincarnated with no powers or abilities except for coming back to life anytime he is killed. Like in a video game, Subaru can revert to a checkpoint to start over if something goes wrong -- but the pain and distress of constant death wears down on his psyche, and no one else must know he can do all this.
Meanwhile, Subaru must also step into the world of politics and help Emilia take the throne while contending with the schemes of Roswaal Mathers, the seven witches and much more. Subaru would give anything to have a few of Naofumi's shields in Re:Zero's fantasy realm.
The Saga Of Tanya The Evil Is a Dark & Gripping Isekai
The Saga of Tanya the Evil is another isekai anime that, like Shield Hero, features a protagonist who will do whatever they must to survive and prove the world wrong about them. This series' star is even darker than Naofumi; rather than being jaded by events beyond his control, he is a ruthless antihero who makes for a compelling watch.
Tanya Degurechaff is a Japanese businessman reborn as a young, blonde girl named Tanya, who was summoned into an alternate world by the mysterious Being X. This realm is gripped by an extended World War I, with the battles augmented by advanced steampunk technology and even magic, and it's up to Tanya to help lead her new home nation to victory at any cost. She will need all of her wits and creativity to survive the front lines and find a way home.
Vinland Saga Features A Bitter Underdog, Thorfinn
Fans of Shield Hero will find plenty to like about similar isekai anime, but they can also expand into the world of medieval history anime series such as the famed Vinland Saga, based on Makoto Yukimura's ongoing seinen manga of the same name. Viewers will feel like they've been transported to another world as they watch Viking warriors raid and pillage on the high seas and wage war across England, and at the center of the adventure is the antihero Thorfinn Karlsefni.
The young Thorfinn goes from cheerful to angry after witnessing the demise of his father Thors in battle, and is now on a quest for revenge. Like Naofumi, Thorfinn has been wronged by the world -- but there's not much he can do about it at first, so he must embark on a difficult quest to seek his own justice. But what's waiting for him at the end of his quest may not be what he truly wanted after all.