In isekai stories, the protagonist is transported to another world, perhaps by being summoned, or perhaps by dying and reincarnating. The former is very common when the protagonist is an Ordinary Japanese High School Student, and the latter is a more common when the protagonist is an Ordinary Overworked Japanese Salaryman (who probably works for a black company). These two types cover the vast majority of isekai protagonists.

A notable subgenre of this is the villainess noble girl genre, in which the protagonist is often a schoolgirl or young working woman who played an otome game or read a romance novel, into which world they find themselves reborn.

Non-human protagonist

A large group of these has the protagonist reborn as something other than a human; many of them seem to have little more thought put into them than picking something wacky and then churning out a standard-isekai-plot-but-the-protagonist-is-a-talking-potato.

  • Skeleton
    • Skeleton Knight in Another World (2014-10-19 web novel)
  • Slime
    • That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime (2013-02-20)
  • Spider

Game world

In many cases, the other world has game-like mechanics. Sometimes, it's literally the world of a game the protagonist has played (typically an (MMO)RPG), occasionally even including bugs and exploits from the game in the supposedly real world the protagonist is reincarnated into.

It's common for villainess noble girl stories to have the setting be one of an otome game, but this usually does not extend to mechanics.

  • Villainess Level 99: I May Be the Hidden Boss but I'm Not the Demon Lord (2018-06-15 web novel)
  • Her Majesty's Swarm (2017-12-20 web novel)
    Unusually, in this story the game was an RTS. The protagonist was an expert player of the Arachnea, an evil faction of insect-like creatures, and she is reborn as their (still human) queen.
  • Moto-Sekai Ichii Sub-chara Ikusei Nikki klzzwxh:0015 (2018 manga)
    The protagonist is reincarnated into the world of a game he played. Moreover, he is recincarnated into the body of a character he owned, and with an absurd amount of money.


It's common for the protagonist to gain an appraisal skill, which may turn out to be very powerful when used correctly.

  • So I'm a Spider, So What? (2015-05-27 web novel)
    The protagonist, upon being reincarnated as a magical spider, spends all of her skill points on the Appraisal skill… which proceeds to inform her that the rocks around her are, indeed, rocks. Eventually, the skill levels up and becomes much more useful, and she grows quite attached to it.
  • Reincarnated as an Aristocrat with an Appraisal Skill (2019-10-31 web novel)
    In this (terrible) manga, the gimmick is that the protagonist can see peoples' potential, so he's able to hire only the best.
Title Type Date Platform Names Characters Series
The Dirty Way to Destroy the Goddess's Heroes, Vol. 1 Book 2019-07-30 Asagi Tohsaka, Jordan Taylor, Sakuma Sasaki