The isekai genre has exploded into popularity in recent years, leading to an oversaturation in new adaptations. The idea of the main character restarting life in a new and exciting world of fantasy is appealing to many viewers, and that demand has led to the subgenre developing its own set of tropes.
A popular trope within this subgenre is the process of the protagonist trying to find their way home. However, there are a rare few instances where they actually succeed in doing so. Here are some of the best isekai anime where the main character goes against all odds to return home.
Re:Creators Turns the Tables on Classic Isekai
Starting off with an unconventional and refreshing take on the isekai genre is Re:Creators. This series challenges the conventional trope of the underdog reincarnating into a fantasy world; this time, it’s the characters from fictional worlds who are out of place in the real world. Its unique concept and clever use of the reverse isekai genre make it one of the best isekai where the main characters return home.
The Devil Is a Part-Timer! Is a Gut-Busting Comedy Isekai
Another trailblazer in this new concept of reverse isekai, like Re:Creators, is The Devil Is a Part-Timer. Taking on a more lighthearted and comedic tone, the story follows Satan as he navigates normal life as a part-time fast-food restaurant worker while trying to find his way back to hell. This anime combines comedic relief with epic fight scenes in a way that is not over the top, contributing to its worldwide popularity.
Sword Art Online: The Famous (Or Infamous) Isekai Classic
Hailed as the series that catapulted isekai into popularity -- for better or for worse -- Sword Art Online has made a permanent mark in anime history. It would be a sin to not include this long-time classic. When a virtual reality game becomes a deathtrap for the millions of players logged on, there is only one thought pushing protagonists Kirito and Asuna forward: the hope of returning home.
Dog Days Is the Underdog of the Isekai Genre
Dog Days may not be the best-known isekai among the wider anime community, but it is certainly unique. This story follows the adventures of Cinque Izumi and his friends when they are invited to represent different kingdoms on an alternate Earth. The inhabitants are human-like beings with animal characteristics who fight wars through sporting competitions.
This lighthearted adaptation takes a peaceful approach toward the age-old question about the main character’s home. Protagonists are able to easily cross between both worlds, eliminating the dilemma entirely.
Inuyasha Is the Classic Shoujo Isekai Fantasy
Inuyasha has long since cemented itself as a classic shoujo series within the anime community. It tells of a classic love story across worlds and time periods between Kagome, a girl tasked with saving the world, and Inuyasha, a hybrid dog demon/human tasked with protecting her -- all while weaving a tasteful combination of comedy and romance. At first Kagome is able to easily cross between both worlds, but ultimately she'll have to make a decision between the two.
Digimon Adventure Is a Trip Down Memory Lane
The Digimon franchise has become one of the best-known anime franchises geared toward children along with classics like Pokemon. Taichi Yagami and his friends are suddenly transported to a ‘Digital World’ while at summer camp. Follow their exciting adventures as they journey to find their way home alongside strange creatures known as Digimon.