The anime world comes with different genres. However, the isekai genre takes its storyline to another level. This is because it manages to introduce us to two or more words with different characters. Not only this, but this genre has inspired many games that people can play, like Genshin Impact, which lets us roam around the world constructed in the game. When it comes to anime, Sword Art Online is one of the most famous isekai anime out there. It has an interesting storyline but what is even more interesting about the anime is how close real life is getting to the storyline of Sword Art Online. Since this anime is something that takes us on a cool adventure with its characters, below are ten anime like Sword Art Online.
Sword Art Online, or SAO, is an anime adapted from a novel series written by Reki Kawahara. In 2012, A-1 Pictures began adapting the novel into an anime series. It tells us the story set in the near future, where technology is very advanced. Because of this, people can now enter games using a helmet that connects the five senses of the user, allowing them to control their characters in the game Sword Art Online. This is called the NerveGear. Among the 10,000 players that log into the game is the main character Kazuto Kirigaya. Mid-game, the players realize that they cannot log out, and the only way to do so is to play all the levels in the game while defeating powerful beings. Not only this, but these players have to watch out for traitors among the players too.
10 Anime like Sword Art Online:
The first anime on the list is Overlord. Overlord is adapted from a light novel series written and illustrated by Kugane Maruyam and Sobin, respectively. Madhouse studio adapted the light novel series into an anime and released it in the year 2015. The anime has three seasons so far, with the 4th season coming out soon.
Overlord brings us an interesting isekai story. In this year 2016, YGGDRASIL, a highly intellectual game, was released, gaining immediate popularity for its ability to let people interact with characters on another level. However, 12 years later, the game is about to be shut down. Since it is about the shutdown, the leader of the strongest guild in the game, Momonga, invites the party, now consisting of only four members, to their headquarters for the last time. However, he is left disappointed and decides to stay logged in till the game shuts down. When the time comes, he realizes that instead of disappearing, the game is transported to some other realm. This traps Momonga in the new world that does not allow him to use human player options, including “log out”.
The King’s Avatar
The next anime on the list is the King’s Avatar. This anime, or donghua, is based on a Chinese web novel written by Hu Dielan. The anime was created by Tencent, an internet company. What makes this anime interesting is that instead of only focusing on the in-game characters, it also focuses on the lives of their respective players.
The donghua introduces us to the e-sport player Ye Xiu who is the best player in the game called “Glory”. He used to participate in huge e-sports tournaments as the leader of the group Excellent Era. However, since he disliked indulging in marketing the team through extra means, he was forced to resign and give up his player account. With this, he also decides to stop gaming and works as a night-shift manager. Things change when he meets Chen Guo, a big fan of his character. This is when he begins to play the game from the start building his character while gaining new companies.
The third anime on this list does not get the main character isekai’d through any head-gear or login ID. Re:Zero: Starting Life in Another World is an anime adapted from a novel series written by Tappei Nagatsuki. The anime first created by White Fox studio, was released in 2016. Before this, a light novel series, as well as a manga adaptation, was released.
We are introduced to Subaru Natsuki, who is teleported to another world while rubbing his eye out of tiredness. Being a gamer and having nothing much to do in the real world, he thinks of this as something cool and begins exploring his new world. This is when he befriends Emilia, a half-elf girl. Things get serious when he gets killed while trying to help her. Fortunately, and unfortunately, he “respawns” every time he is killed. He then tries to figure out what exactly is going on while coming across many peculiar characters.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
Another isekai anime based on a light novel series is The Rising of the Shield Hero. The light novel is written and illustrated by Aneko Yusagi and Seira Minami, respectively. This anime, which was released in 2019, is currently the most-watched isekai anime as it gives us an interesting story of an underdog hero.
This anime introduces us to Naofumi Iwatani, who is summoned into a magical world through a book. He, along with three other characters, are summoned to become Cardinal Heroes and fight off the Waves, which are monster-like creatures. These heroes are given legendary weapons that help them get through the world. Among these weapons, which include a shield, sword, spear, and bow, Naofumi gets the shield. Thus begins his story of rising to the top using only a shield.
No Game No Life
The next anime introduces us to genius gamer siblings that are pulled into an interesting world. No Game No Life is a light novel written by Yuu Kamiya. In 2014, Madhouse studio adapted this light novel into an anime. An interesting aspect of this anime is that it does not involve any weapons but a pure battle of the mind, as players compete through board games.
No Game No Life introduces us to the main characters Sora and Shiro, who are pro-gamers under the name “Blank”. These siblings are one day challenged to play a game of chess by someone known as “Tet”. When they win, they are sent an invitation to live their lives in another world. Taking it as a joke, they accept the invitation. However, they did not know that “Tet” was a god from another reality. They are then sucked into another world full of games called Disboard. In this world, instead of fighting and solving matters, the citizens gamble their way into dealing with problems, thanks to the Ten Pledges spell.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
The next anime is again adapted from a light novel series written and illustrated by Fuse and Mitz Vah, respectively. The anime series was adapted by the studio Eight Bit, and it was released in 2018.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime introduces us to a peculiar story just like its title. The main character of the anime, Mikami Satoru, lives his life in the most normal way. He goes to home-work-home routine was something he was content with. However, one day he was stabbed to death. During this incident, he could hear some weird voices in his head. Things get interesting when he wakes up in a new magical world as a slime. Not only this, but he also manages to get a superpower called Predator that allows him to shapeshift into the thing he eats.
In Another World with My Smartphone
Another anime with an interesting name is In Another World with My Smartphone. This anime is adapted from a light novel series written and illustrated by Patora Fuyuhara and Eiji Usatsuka, respectively. The series was adapted into an anime by the studio Production Reed in 2017.
The story of this novel/anime is as interesting as its title. It tells us the story of Mochizuki Touya, who is accidentally killed by God. Because of this inconvenience, he resurrects him in a new world full of magic. Not only this, but as an apology for killing him, he also grants Touya’s wish of bringing his smartphone to his new world. After modifying his phone to fit well in the new world, Touya is all set to start another life. He then meets many people and travels around the new world.
The next anime is adapted from a manga written and illustrated by Inoue Junya. The anime was produced by Madhouse studio and was released in 2012.
BTOOM! introduces us to a world where the characters’ lives are constantly in danger. What makes everything more interesting is that every character is only allowed to use bombs as their weapons. We are introduced to the character Sakamoto Ryouta who is very skilled at playing the game Btoom!. One fine day, he wakes up on an island, unaware of how he got there. He calls out for help, and in response, the person throws a bomb at him. While trying to escape, he realizes that he is now in the real-life version of Btoom! and has to survive by any means as he discovers many dark secrets.
The next anime is the second closest anime to Sword Art Online as it is created as a light novel by the same creator of SAO, Reki Kawahara. The anime was produced by Sunrise studio in 2012.
It introduces us to Arita Haruyuki, or Haru, who is constantly being bullied at school. To escape his sad life, he plays video games, especially virtual ones. He is one day noticed by the popular girl in school, Kuroyukihime, who acknowledges his skills in playing games. She then introduces him to a new program called Brain Burst that takes gaming to a very realistic level.
Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
Lastly, on the list, we have the spin-off of Sword Art Online, making it an anime very similar to Sword Art Online. Titled Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, the light novel series is created and illustrated by Keiichi Sigsawa and Kouhaku Kuroboshi. The anime was adapted by the studio 3Hz and was released in the year 2018.
This anime focuses on the events after the incident in Sword Art Online. Since about 10,000 people were not able to log out using the NerveGear, VR games lost their popularity and were feared. However, another game called AmuSphere was released with a package called “Seed”. This brought the VR set once again in trend. The main character of the series is Kohiruimaki Karen, who has low confidence because of her height. Since the game allows her to slip into a more comfortable body that she always wanted, she decides to buy and play the game.