The world of isekai anime is a great example of escapism, and the genre has really taken off in the last ten years or so. Typically, such series involve an ordinary real-world person ending up in a fantasy realm or the far future, usually either by death or by summoning magic (and it’s not always a nice trip). But the reverse is also possible.
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Some anime characters would love to get transported to modern Earth via isekai magic, but other characters would be deeply uncomfortable here, usually because they are leaving too much behind, or because their goals and careers are impossible to achieve in the real world. These anime characters would much rather remain in their own world than ours.
10 Magma Would Have No Tribe To Rule Here (Dr. Stone)
The thuggish villager Magma is very much a product of his environment, the new stone age. In his world, might makes right, and his immense strength and ambition are key to becoming the chief of the Ishigami village. He was foiled by Senku’s squad, though, and he would really suffer if he went back 3,700 years.
This is the opposite of Senku’s experience, and Magma would be completely out of his element. Modern science, technology, and law would be hopelessly alien to him, and he has no chance of becoming the chief of anything. His one simple goal would become impossible.
9 Thorkell Can’t Fight Medival Battles In Today’s World (Vinland Saga)
Thorkell the Viking is not much different from Magma. He is a brutish warrior who gets all his validation from being the boss and crushing his enemies, and he is certainly a product of his environment. If he became a time-based isekai hero like Senku, he would be in for a rough time.
Thorkell is whimsical and bloodthirsty, taking pleasure in fighting anyone and everyone in Viking Age Europe. He can’t possibly do that here, and not even martial arts clubs would satisfy his bloodlust. He’ll end up arrested and imprisoned before long.
8 Zaheer Can’t Tear Down The System On Earth (The Legend Of Korra)
Zaheer is a member of the anarchist Red Lotus organization, and he is determined to restore humanity to its natural state, free of laws, nations, and tyrants. In his own world, he achieved this goal to an extent by assassinating Earth Queen Hou-Ting. But he’s not getting very far in 21st century Earth.
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Zaheer would lament the extensive rules, laws, and politics of the modern world, and all its artifice such as urban sprawl and abundant technology. He might try to resist, but he can’t tear it all down, and he’ll end up captured by law enforcement agents
7 Sabnock Sabro Would Rather Rule The Demon Realm (Welcome To Demon School, Iruma-Kun!)
Sabnock Sabro is a demon, just like his classmates at the Babyls school (aside from Iruma). Azazel Ameri is curious about human life, mostly in terms of shojo manga, but Sabro doesn’t share that sentiment. He looks down on humans, just like most other demons.
Instead, Sabro is determined to become the new demon king, and he only respects strong and ambitious people like him. He would have nothing to gain from ending up in the human realm via isekai means, and he would long to return home so he can resume his quest to become king.
6 King Would Bitterly Miss His People & Friends (The Seven Deadly Sins)
The fairy king, known simply as King, is most comfortable in his native fairy forest, with all his fairy friends and family. He is a storybook creature through and through, and he would find the real Earth a baffling and strange place.
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King would be terribly lonely here, separated from his friends such as Merlin and Diane, and he would lament the state of pollution in the real world. At least in the kingdom of Liones, there are no fossil fuel factories polluting the land and air.
5 Orochimaru Won’t Willingly Leave The World Of Jutsu (Naruto)
The snake-themed villain Orochimaru doesn’t just want to conquer the world; he wants to learn every single jutsu out there and attain true immortality in the bodies of powerful ninjas, such as those of the Uchiha clan. He can’t do any of that in the real world.
It is true that Orochimaru would find modern technology and science fascinating, but none of it would help him achieve his ruthless ambitions. There are no kekkei genkai traits or jutsu to be had on Earth, and that would fuel Orochimaru’s eternal despair.
4 Shion Won’t Be Anyone’s Secretary Except Rimuru’s (That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime)
Shion is an evolved ogre, a kijin, and she is absolutely dedicated to her boss, Rimuru Tempest the slime. She has since become his secretary and bodyguard, and she wouldn’t leave his side for any reason, not even to witness the marvels of modern Earth.
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Shion would be terribly lonely if she became a reverse-isekai heroine on Earth, and she would long to return to Rimuru’s city where everything is familiar to her (and Rimuru-themed). If Rimuru could somehow come along, though, Shion wouldn’t mind an isekai adventure quite so much.
3 Luffy’s Pirate Career Would Grind To A Halt On Earth (One Piece)
Although piracy is quite real on Earth, Luffy is more used to pirates with wooden ships, not metal ones. If Monkey D. Luffy found himself on Earth, he would struggle to make much headway with his restarted piracy career, and he’d end up arrested before long.
Luffy simply isn’t ready to deal with modern technology and laws, and he would stumble right into the hands of law enforcement agents if he tried to wander the Pacific Ocean as a pirate. Not even his Devil Fruit will save him.
2 Roy Mustang Would Have To Restart His Entire Career & Lose His Alchemy (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Colonel Roy Mustang lives in Amestris, a nation similar to early 20th century Europe, complete with cars, telephones, and radios. Should Roy Mustang end up in the real world, he could adjust to modern tech, but he wouldn’t be happy, since he’s leaving a lot behind.
Roy was highly ambitious and planned to become the new leader of Amestris, having spent years setting up his schemes for the final moment. Roy would lose all of that here, and he wouldn’t want to join any real military as a private. He wouldn’t even have his flame alchemy to back him up.
1 Wendy Marvell Would Get Lost & Overwhelmed (Fairy Tail)
Wendy Marvell, the sky dragon slayer, doesn’t do well on her own. She is used to having Carla the Exceed by her side, and she sees Erza and Lucy as big sisters to guide her. Wendy is used to the fantasy nation of Fiore and its many wonders, and modern Earth would be an unwelcome adventure.
As a lone kid, Wendy would quickly be overwhelmed and lost in the real world, and she doesn’t have Carla or her magic, and certainly not her friends, to help. Wendy’s isekai trip to Earth would be a total disaster.
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About The Author
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Louis Kemner has been a fan of Japanese animation since 1997, when he discovered Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z in elementary school. Now he’s a bigger anime/manga fan than ever, and is ready to share what he knows with readers worldwide. He graduated high school in 2009 and received his Bachelor’s in creative writing from UMKC in 2013, then put his skills to work in 2019 with CBR.com. He’s always looking for a wonderful new anime to watch or manga series to read. You can reach him at [email protected]
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