Isekai manga (“isekai” meaning “other world”), are usually told from a first person perspective and involve the narrator getting trapped in a different universe or dimension, which usually looks like a fantasy or game world, usually being reincarnated there after dying.
Every title in this list is originally a Light Novel, so if you’re into those, definitely check them out too. Here are the best 4 manga about reincarnation/being trapped in a new world, in no particular order.
1) The Rising of the Shield Hero
By Aneko Yusagi & Aiya Kyu
One of the most popular Light Novels ever made, its manga adaptation, usually called “Shieldbro” by fans, began serializing in 2014 and it definitely stands up to the original material.
Shieldbro stars Iwatani Naofumi, a Japanese college student and self-proclaimed otaku, gets suddenly teleported into a fantasy world, literally in front of a king and the entire royal court. He’s told that he’s destined to be one of four legendary heroes (the other three also Japanese people from our reality) that will save the kingdom.
Each hero gets a weapon. Naofumi gets the shield, which everyone in this new world looks down upon, calling him useless as he can’t deal any damage with it. In fact, he gets betrayed very early on, a few days into his new adventure, and develops a bitterness toward the world he’s been put in.
He promises to get his revenge, and the manga follows his adventures as he creatively works with the little that he has, learns new skills and slowly turns himself into the most powerful of the four heroes. Shieldbro is interesting because the main character is not a typical “excited” isekai main character, but instead he’s disillusioned with the world and his intentions aren’t always necessarily the most noble.
2) Kumo desu ga, nani ka?
By Kakashi Asahiro & Baba Okina
The English name for this manga is “So I’m a spider, what about it?”. The main character is a high school girl who, as you could expect, suddenly finds herself in an unknown fantasy world. Thing is, she seems to have transformed into a spider!
This isn’t a very well known isekai at all but I feel like it’s heavily underappreciated. The main character is actually extremely weak at the start and she is at a heavy disadvantage from the get-go, as she was spawned in the depths of a cave surrounded by monsters much stronger than her.
However, with smart, creative thinking, she’s able to pull herself through tough situations and she becomes more and more powerful over time. Seems like being a spider isn’t so bad after all.
Like most Isekai, there’s a “game system” in the world that lets the main character (and the reader) know when she levels up in a certain skill, for example, after getting poisoned by a frog, her Poison Resistance skill levels up. It’s quite fun! The Light Novel is way ahead of the manga, so I recommend reading that too if you enjoyed it.
By Kobayakawa Haruyoshi & Kanekiru Kogitsune
I reckon Re:Monster might’ve been the first isekai manga I read, so I wanted to put it on the list, even if it isn’t as good as Kumo Desu Ga or this list’s fourth manga. It’s most certainly fun: The main character dies in the real world and is reborn in a fantasy setting (same old same old) as the weakest creature there: A goblin.
Most goblins are pathetically weak, but this MC is a bit of a Mary Sue, so he very quickly becomes the leader of his tribe and begins a quest to conquer the world. He wasn’t reborn as a regular goblin, either. He was given an ability that makes him earn a quality or skill from anything he eats, so he very quickly becomes incredibly versatile and powerful. Once he reaches certain benchmarks, he “evolves” into a stronger version of his current self.
Reading this manga is fun because it’s basically a rags-to-riches story, showing from a first person perspective how he gets more followers and slowly takes over the world. Definitely not a bad isekai to kill time with. Once again, the Light Novel is way ahead of the manga, so read that if you want.
4) In Regards to my Reincarnation as a Slime
By Fuse & Kawakami Taiki
I just love this manga’s title! Slime is my favorite isekai hands down. It has the same formula as Re:Monster and Kumo Desu Ga, with the main character being reborn as the weakest creature imaginable. In this case he’s a blind slime that relies on echolocation to figure out what’s around him. He spawns in a cave and, similarly to Re:Monster’s MC, is able to absorb certain skills from his environment.
The main difference between Slimebro and the previously mentioned isekais is that there is an actually interesting side cast in this one! The focus is still almost purely on the main character, but at the very least there is more to the side characters than just being tools for the MC to use, or girls to add to his harem.
There’s not much to say about this one that I haven’t already said in the previous entries. Most isekai titles have fairly similar stories, but if you haven’t read any of them, I would definitely recommend starting out with this one.
If you know any more good manga about reincarnation I could add to this list, feel free to leave a comment!