5 underrated Isekai anime to watch on Crunchyroll

These anime are hidden gems about adventures in other worlds.
Fluffy Paradise
Fluffy Paradise /

Isekai anime seem to be everywhere these days. There's been a constant stream of new anime series about characters adventuring through other worlds — being transported in video games, or books, or called into new worlds by magic, or being reincarnated in a new body in a strange new world. The genre is undeniably versatile and the premise of adventuring in a new world allows for a lot of different storytelling approaches.

In addition to being the streaming home of some of the most popular Isekai series, Crunchyroll also has some real hidden gems of the genre. While these series have been overshadowed by more popular Isekai series if given a chance by fans, these underrated Isekai anime are definitely worth watching.

1. The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated!

In this reverse Isekai series, Jahy, the former second-in-command of the Dark Realm, finds herself trapped on Earth after the Dark Realm is destroyed by a heroic Magical Girl. Now, Jahy is faced with the same everyday problems as most typical humans: stuck working a job she hates to make rent for a small, dingy apartment, though even after being banished from the Dark Realm, she still approaches most of her problems with the mindset of a typical fantasy-genre villain.

However, true to the series's title, Jahy refuses to be daunted by circumstance. The series is absolutely hilarious in depicting all the ways Jahy's plans invariably backfire or fail in spectacular fashion. Even so, there are also a surprising amount of heartwarming moments. It's impossible not to emphasize with Jahy because she just tries so hard, and it becomes clear throughout the series that Jahy's friends — especially her landlady Ryou and her boss Chisa — genuinely care about her and will go to great lengths to help her.

2. Magic Knight Rayearth

A mid-'90s contemporary of Sailor Moon, Magic Knight Rayearth can best be summed up as "Sailor Moon if it were an Isekai." Like Sailor Moon, the three heroines Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are normal high school students who become tasked with fighting evil as Magical Girls, with the additional complication of being summoned to the world of Cephiro.

As both a Magical Girl series and an Isekai, Magic Knight Rayearth is a fairly standard story, though it does have a few notably dark moments. Magic Knight Rayearth's greatest strength is its fantastic art direction. Additionally, it's one of the best examples of the mid-90s anime art and animation style that doesn't really exist anymore and has a lot of hand-drawn charm and soul that modern digital animation lacks. In addition to streaming on Crunchyroll, full episodes of Magic Knight Rayearth have also been uploaded to the official YouTube channel of TMS, the studio that produced the anime.

3. Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon

Probably the most hilariously preposterous example of an Isekai where the main protagonist is reincarnated in a fantasy world in a new body, Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon is exactly what it sounds like. After meeting an untimely end in the real world, a vending machine nerd is reincarnated in a fantasy world as a vending machine the other characters promptly give the name Boxxo.

For a series with such a ridiculous premise, Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon is actually a very intelligent series. The series explores the premise of how characters in a fantasy world with no similar technology would react to the sudden appearance of a vending machine. Similarly, because Boxxo is unable to move, he has to use some impressive lateral thinking to make himself useful to his companions. Thanks to Boxxo's encyclopedic knowledge, you'll also learn more about Japanese vending machines than you ever thought possible.

4. Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits-

Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- is sort of a cross between Spirited Away and Beauty and the Beast. Aoi is a college student with the ability to supernatural beings known as Ayakashi, which leads her to crossing over the Hidden Realm, the home of the Ayakashi. She quickly discovers that not only did her grandfather previously spend time in the Hidden Realm, but he also ran up a colossal debt with the Ayakashi innkeeper Odanna, who calls on Aoi to pay off the debt, leading to Aoi taking a job at Tenjin-ya, the Ayakashi inn run by Odanna.

Like Spirited Away, Kakuriyo follows a human heroine working a rather mundane job in a supernatural setting. For the most part, Kakuriyo follows supernatural, folklore-inspired beings going about their day-to-day lives and demonstrating that, on the whole, they're not that different from humans. Kakuriyo also focuses the blossoming romantic relationship between Aoi and Odanna.

5. Fluffy Paradise

As with more than a few Isekai series, our story in Fluffy Paradise begins with the protagonist dying. Office worker Midori dies suddenly of work-related exhaustion, receiving an offer from God to be reincarnated in the world of Asdyllon with the innate ability to be exceptionally good with animals. Midori is then reborn as Néma, the youngest daughter of the noble Osphe family.

Despite the series' initial premise of a cute little girl hanging out with cute animals, Fluffy Paradise does gradually turn more serious and complicated. While the series never goes completely dark or subversive, it does deal with the non-human inhabitants of Asdyllon having discrimination at the hands of humans, so there is a fairly serious core beneath the series's cute exterior. At the same time, Fluffy Paradise never completely abandons the cute elements.

These hidden gems of the Isekai genre may be overshadowed by more popular series, but giving them a chance will be sure to make for a memorable watching experience. Each of these series can be streamed on-demand on Crunchyroll.

5 most underrated Studio Ghibli movies. dark. Next. Underrated Ghibli Movies