When it comes to anime, there are few genres as popular as isekai. The booming field has put out hit series like Sword Art Online, Overlord, Log Horizon, and more. Of course, it is hard to talk about the genre without paying homage to Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World. The show is one of the top performers of the genre nowadays, and one of its producers is owning up to the reason why isekai shows are so popular.
The message comes from Sho Tanaka, one of the producers working on Re:Zero. In light of the anime's second season, Tanaka spoke with Crunchyroll about their work on the show, and it was there they discussed the overall popularity of isekai series.
"I think it's because the protagonists are so relatable. In standard fantasy stories, living in another world is already the protagonist's "everyday life," but in isekai stories, the protagonist is flung into some new world from modern-day Japan, and that world is completely out of the ordinary for them," the producer shared.
Of course, it is easy to see why Tanaka is right. There is nothing like seeing yourself in a TV show or book. Isekai stories have capitalized on that fact and made it easy for audiences to relate with its main characters. After all, it is every person's dream to escape their everyday life for a bit of adventure, and the isekai genre provides such an escape.
"Even when a fantasy story depicts a world that's out of the ordinary for us, the protagonist still perceives that world as ordinary, so those of us who don't live in that world can't really relate. But just giving a protagonist the background of being from modern-day Japan makes it possible for us to sympathize with what they're thinking and feeling. Making it easier to become immersed in such a story in this way is what the isekai genre does best, and I think that's why it's grown so popular as a genre that offers instant enjoyment."
As it always is, this trend will come and go in the industry, but anime fans still flock to the isekai genre with each season. That is why Re:Zero is such a hit and why so many are looking forward to its second season. After being delayed earlier this year, the show will debut season two this month, so fans can look forward to visiting Rem and everyone else in a matter of days.
Do you agree with the producer here? Does the Isekai genre still have you charmed? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.