Create Your Own Cliche Isekai Anime!
Under the release of sword art online in July 2017, the isekai genre has been massively popularised as is a dominating section of the anime industry.
The premise of isekai a.k.a going to another world from a modern day perspective, had a lot of potential for creativity. After all, it was basically merging knowledge from both a fantasy world and reality. However, over time many anime writers fell into the trap of creating similar stories, just like how songs would follow the same structure and themes - the isekai genre became populated with a heap of cliche-ness.
Yet these cliche anime styles continue to foster popularity since isekai can also be likened to RPG games which can also be seen as cliche.
I will highlight below some areas of creating a typical isekai anime.
Team Main Character:
- The main character (MC) itself must be overpowered - powerful enough to be an anomaly in when compared to the population of the alternate world but weak enough to have some opportunity for growth.
- If the MC is male, then his first companion is almost certainly a female. The best way to introduce the first companion is to create a 'damsel in distress' situation - some arrogant bad guys beat up/hurt a weaker person. They then exchange some trash talk and the mc flaunts his power to save her. He will look back at her and say "are you ok." The girl will then end up following him.
- The majority of isekai anime showcase the mc's adventuring group to be all female with maybe the exception of one male. And they are almost always weaker than him, but end up growing stronger than the average population.
- The typical character roster in a party will be: mc, a tall girl with long hair - swordswoman, a smaller girl - mage, and almost certainly a loli (a very small girl). If there is a boy on the team, he will almost certainly play an attack part, partaking in either melee combat or tanking.
- It is harder to predict what exact enemies the main character will face. But nearly all of them are your typical fantasy monsters: goblins, ogres, orcs, dragons etc...
- The human enemies that the mc faces are normally slave/drug dealers and corrupt officials. I have not yet seen an anime where the mc's personal trusted companions betrays them.
- Most villains either do not appear again after they are defeated or join the mc's team. In this way the animes are very game-like.
Generally, communicating is very easy for the mc and everyone behaves in a logical and predictable manner unlike humans in reality. 2) Plot Step 1) Kill the mc in their modern world - normally done through a truck/car accident. Step 2) Meeting with some god to gain OP powers. Step 3) Spawn in the world, and meet monsters which are weak, to test out powers. Step 4) Introduce Mc's companions, go on quests and repeat. Goal: World conquering, creating a country, repelling an evil demon lord invasion etc... Give the mc hardships but make sure he overcomes every one or gains something through each encounter. 3) Art
- Provide fan service. I don't get how this became prominent in the isekai genre, but every cliche isekai anime seems to do so. So over sexualise all humanoid characters, but not enough to make an X-rated anime.
- Also make the world beautiful - like fantasy game paintings.
- Have forests, mountains, rivers, and small medieval towns. Larger cities have walls and the capital must have a castle.
4) Music This section of the anime, is probably where I see the least effort put in. But being a musician myself, perhaps I am being overly critical. Do not be innovative. In the background put a few strings, pianos and play a few chords. Don't create tailored music like soundtracks from the legend of zelda. This is a cliche anime so any fantasy ost will do. For the openings and endings place a few bright pop songs and introduce the scenes of the characters. It is surprising how many isekais follow this pattern and how new ones continue to be pumped out. I've written the stuff here in the hope that you recognise this pattern and break away from it. It is hard to create something original but not as hard to avoid cliche ideas and adapt them. For example, instead of going to a fantasy world, maybe the mc could go to a futuristic sci fi/magic world. And instead of filling up the friends list with a harem maybe, you could fill them with characters with multiple sides to them, ones that don't agree with the mc all the time - almost like real people. The levelling and gaming concept, is great and has a lot of potential. However, the majority of isekai animes choose to stick with similar plots instead of exploring that potential and that almost motivates myself to write my own isekai novel. Thanks for reading