An eye on Isekai
#1
I'm sure everyone that clicks on this thread already has at least a cursory knowledge of anime genres and even if you aren't particularly fond of anime, you should still be familiar with the terms via internet culture osmosis. 
So I'll be as brief with the introduction as my daemon(autism) allows me. 
 
Isekai (Chinese for "another world") is a genre in Japanese pop culture, where the main character, hailing from our modern world, is transported to a fictional fantasy land. Usually one containing standard tropes from Japanese video games based on classic western medieval fantasy, such as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. A style derivated from a derivative style. Though one would struggle to call it a "sub" genre, since the explosion of popularity has made the breadth of works utilizing this genre is quite expansive. Often derivative works will develop a will of their own if given enough attention.
  In the 90s, most FPS games were called "Doom clones". 

Savvy readers will be quick to point out that this is not a "new" concept anyway, C.S. Lewis and Edgar Rice wrote similar stories a hundred years ago as of time of writing. The malaise of our modern world being shaken up by a wild paradigm shift that forces a common man into an adventure is the standard premise for a fictional story. Only the most jaded cynics would deny that the monomyth is a powerful thing, calling into the subconscious of any free-souled man. The twist of isekai, which inches it closer to the science fiction "new wave" genre than classical fantasy, is the framing of the tale. The main character, more often than not a modern young man, is more often than not killed, more often than not, via being run over by a truck. He then finds himself reincarnated in a fantasy land and the adventure ensues (Or not, as the genre also often lends itself to self-aware affectionate parody)
This is where the hopeful inspiring monomyth hailing to times unknown might become muddy, and a touch of modern nihilism can be felt. There is no shire to return to at the end of the adventure, the main character is completely uprooted. The old world might as well have been destroyed, and the main character the last refugee of an unknown alien race. Rather than the idea that you can still do something with your life. Isekai says something akin to "You could have". Your only hope for adventure is another life, starting over completely. The deal is sweetened by having all your memories from your present self to aid you on your second journey. But I don't see this premise quite as all despair. Yes, it is easy to picture and the genre often steers the ship into the imagery of a surrendering to the world and an escape into irreality. Nietzsche's letzter mensch, hooked up to a vr headset as heroin shoots up into his veins as he rots away in a bombed out post apocalyptic wasteland. Imagining himself a hero in a far off land, his brain producing pure seratonin until the life support systems give out, and then he truly was the last man...
Yes, that image is projected here, but something else too. One might view nihilism as a giant boulder suspended over your head, that once you're aware of it, gravity springs into action and it falls, though it was always going to fall, things only exist as you're aware of them. A boulder so large that it will crush you into a red paste instantly, maybe truly reduce you into nothing. Some people cling to hope that the boulder is not there above their heads, and lash out in anger when it is pointed out to them, either by those trying to drag them down to their level psychologically, themselves angry that someone could get crushed with the ignorant mercy of not knowing they are about to get crushed. Or by those with the will to power. That is, the ones that want to try one last thing before they go, to push the boulder back, to struggle against it. Maybe punch it out of the sky in a heroic fashion. Even if they are physically powerless, even if their limbs are skinny and wilted against the might of the boulder, at least they tried. 

Fire and viruses are not considered forms of life. This statement seems quite obvious when read aloud, but do ask yourself "why?", maybe you already know that the explanation for this is more of a semantic trick of language, than a proper scientific explanation. I view the purpose of man in our reality in much the same way, man is an innefficient primer for something greater than man. Some men are rocket fuel, some men are wet gunpowder, and some men are nothing but muddy dirt. Evidently most belong in the latter groups.

Back to the main topic, Isekai Anime then can be see as either of two things. Mindless entertainment to pacify the doomed wretched slaves of darkness that mindlessly shamble in our world, the automata of flesh who's entire life amounts only to the pitiful energy they give back to the soil when they are buried that worms and bugs may feast on their remains.
It can also be a reminder. A breath of oxygen kindling dying flames.
In 2021 the Taliban insurgents became the de-facto rulers of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Recently, reports have surfaced that the fighters of the group, which one can only imagine have been through dire circumstances for most of their lives up to this point, are "fed up with office culture".  One Afghani interviewed by Time Magazine is quoted as saying:

"I sometimes miss the jihad life for all the good things it had".

How can this be? The comforts of modern life are not enough to dissuade the simple longing for adventure? It makes it seem as if our peaceful easy life is not exactly a result of advancement, but of decay. The fuel-man becoming stale. Maybe then some sort of media can be inspiration, rather than appeasement. An open door, rather than a barred window in a jail cell, through which prisoners may bask in the sunlight as a crumb of stimuli. The monomyth's voice gets louder than the nihilistic horror earlier imposed. Calling. Awaiting your response. Yes, the world is a jail. You are an explosive. The world is trying to contain you. The monomyth is calling.  

Then you ask yourself: "So, watching Isekai anime will turn me into a free-willed ubermensch? This can't be possible, how am I to trudge through endless garbage that is released every anime season? No, this can't be a productive behavior."
In the manner that war can be quite dysgenic, with the bravest and boldest of society being sent to die, for little gain. But can also be eugenic, often evolutionarily pressure-cooking great men into place... 
Despair not, because the purpose of this text was not to enlighten you, I've already put forth that if you are a free-souled man at all, then the knowledge is already implanted inside. There's not much else to be explained that you don't already subconsciously know. The true purpose of this thread was advertisement. And the product I am advertising is this:

[Image: Mushoku_Tensei_1.png]


Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation ( 無職転生 〜異世界行ったら本気だす〜) is one of the greatest works of fiction put to screen in our time. A product so perfectly calculated that one ponders if it was not divinely inspired, the amount of coincidental elements needed to fall into place to produce it in our gynocraticniggercommunist hell world could not come togheter if not via the guiding hand of some greater intelligent design, divine providence. I posit that any heterosexual white teenager that happens to watch Mushoku Tensei, will be heiling Hitler by the end of episode 4.

Free-souled men will look logingly into a fire and wish to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick...  
#2
Quote:Savvy readers will be quick to point out that this is not a "new" concept anyway, C.S. Lewis and Edgar Rice wrote similar stories a hundred years ago as of time of writing.

I’m glad that you mentioned this because it highlights Isekai’s literature origins. The Isekai genre is intimately connected to light-novels and novels. Light-novels are very similar to pulp fiction except in the fundamental fact that pulp fiction was phased out by increasingly lethargic forms of entertainment while light-novels were an attempt to reinstate literature’s place in the rising tumult cause by anime, manga, and video games ascension to prominence within the Japanese otakus’ media-consumption preferences. 

Literature had made its counter attack— in a bout to stay relevant—and it succeeded. But at what cost?—the cost was at the expense of the Isekai genre, which seemed exhausted and confused. The literary and anime worlds move at different speeds leading to a full rotation of Isekai—from sincere, to ironic, to post-ironic cynical dark-twist, to sincere again in the literary realm—while in the anime medium the general mood is sporadicly inexplicable. It always felt unnatural watching 2005-2017(provisionally set)  Isekai anime without this missing puzzle piece. Additionally, poor quality manga drawing inspiration and cultural flow from either of the two only furthered this confusion.

I don’t want to give that thought anymore of my time at the moment so let’s talk about how Isekai and self-insert fiction raped the orient. Japanese, Chinese, and Korean(arranged in racial hierarchy) fiction have all been deeply influenced by both video-gamification and the self-insert quality, which have their origins in Isekai. 

In Chinese fiction we see this manifest with reincarnation and cheat-systems. The cheat-system usually gives the user cheat abilities(golden-finger) as rewards for doing some kind of task that the system prompts in the form of a mission. Moreover, The reincarnation element has a self-insert quaility, allowing the user to imagine that random chinaman as themselves.

In Korean fiction we see the common troupe of an extra-dimensional invasion of Seoul through various portals. The main character(a random resident of Seoul)usually gets a cheat-system as well. However, It’s a reverse Isekai that turn the world into a video game instead of bringing you to one.

Seeing the profound effects Isekai has had on Chinese and Korean media consumption predilections piques the question: what effect has isekai(Japanese(current)) had on the west? Ostensible, there has been none, because unlike in free nations(like China and Korea) America’s entertainment apparatus is controlled by communist who hate young white men. Young Japanese, Chinese, and Korean men can all have entertainment created specifically for them, but for young white males this same opportunity is not afforded to them in hell-scape America.
#3
The Chinese obsession with "cheat items" and cheating in video games is a topic worthy of discussion in itself. Go to any game with a Steam workshop and you will find an endless supply of items in chinkrunes, all of which completely break the game. Cities Skylines is an especially strange case: The vanilla game ships with an infinite cash cheat mod and many mods exist that allow you to turn off certain gameplay elements, but for some reason they don't use these. Instead, they insist on flooding the workshop with "vanilla hospital that sends out 50000 ambulances and costs $1 upkeep" type items. They don't simply search the workshop to see if someone's done it already, they don't install cheat mods, they just make their own version of every single service building and add them to the workshop all at the same time to an audience of 0 people. (Note that uploading to the workshop is not necessary to use the item in game and is extra work.) Why do they do this?
#4
Kyou kara Maou! the light-novel came out in 2000.

Sword art online the novel came out in 2002.

Overlord the novel came out in 2010.

Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero the light-novel came out in 2010.

Log Horizon the novel came out in 2010.

Ready Player One the book came out in 2011. 

The Devil Is a Part-Timer! the light-novel came out in 2011.

Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World the novel came out in 2012.

Tsukimichi Moonlit Fantasy the light-novel came out in 2012.

The Rising of the Shield Hero the novel came out in 2012.

Konosuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World the novel came out in 2012.

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash the light-novel came out in 2013.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime the novel came out in 2013.

So I'm a Spider, So What? the novel came out in 2015.

Redo of Healer the novel came out in 2016.

The Eminence in Shadow The light-novel came out in 2018.
#5
[Image: mars-in-full.jpg]
Imagine if this series was animated.



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