You know what is on top of some of the weirdest content I’ve seen? Isekai manga. Isekai manga and anime, by extension, happen to have some entries that are just so bizarre, that you can’t help but wonder what was going on in the mangaka’s head. But hey, they also end up making for some of the most interesting reads, so not like the fans are going to complain. Some of my favorite manga happen to be pretty out-there, even for Isekai standards.
But like, there are some genuinely good series, even if they happen to be the weirdest Isekai manga you have ever read. And no, I’m not talking about your usual fare with a few weird settings. Those are just weak Reverse-Isekai that are satirical at best, and downright trashy at worst. I want a story that is zany enough to be unbelievable, but carries the actual plot right alongside it. Having just one or the other does not make for a compelling read. And really, what’s the point of a weird Isekai if you’re not enjoying it?
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? Isekai is meant to be a little weird in its very conception. It’s characters from our very real, very normal world suddenly being transported to a fantastical land. It’s magical, sometimes whimsical and sometimes horrifying. But at the heart of it, it’s about how our character survives in a setting that is so unlike any they had experienced before. However, because of how popular even the weirdest of Isekai manga and anime have been, there has been an oversaturation.
The oversaturation means we are getting a lot of the same tropes and stereotypes, repeated ad nauseum. So, it’s hard to stand out, even with stellar settings. But there are a few Isekai manga out there that are not only absolutely unique, but also sell their weirdness with great characters and a storyline worth investing in. So, in today’s Get Ranked, let’s list down the top weirdest Isekai manga we’ve had the pleasure of reading through.
It’s That Reincarnated as a Virus Story
Have you ever looked at the Resident Evil franchise and thought ‘man, what if the T-Virus was sentient? And also, mildly cute?’? No? Well, here is an Isekai recommendation regardless.
It’s That Reincarnated As A Virus Story is exactly what it sounds like. Our main character is a researcher who specializes in virology, or the study of viruses. And he is reincarnated into the very virus he was looking into at the time. Now, he knows exactly what his circumstances are and how much power he holds. So, he tries taking over the world, using his viral properties to infect and control different races and gain their powers.
Honestly, it’s got that Made In Abyss vibe where it’s illustrated with a lot of cutesy characters, but the setting itself is pretty dark. Also, the novelty of being a virus is just so bizarre that I couldn’t help but mention it here.
I Was Reincarnated As The Scumbag From a Netorare Manga, But The Heroine is Coming On To Me
Lord, forgive me for putting this entry here, but listen: This series is absolutely not what it seems. And I mean that in the best way possible.
I Was Reincarnated As The Scumbag From a Netorare Manga, But The Heroine is Coming On To Me is a mouthful of a title, which we’ve gotten used to in Isekai anyways. But that title is self explanatory. Our protagonist is just reading some trashy manga in the story, thinking about how awful it would be to be the hero in such a terribly trope-y setting when he suddenly finds himself in the very universe he was criticizing. Worse part, when he tries doing things differently to not be as disrespectful and scummy, the setting keeps trying to reward him?
Listen, this isn’t for everyone and I completely understand that. However, as someone who has grown weary of harem subplots in Isekai manga, this is a great role-reversal.
Hataage! Kemono Michi – Kemono Michi: Rise Up
Did you enjoy anime growing up? Well, what about professional wrestling? Well, then there is an Isekai tailor made for those fans that used to watch Dragon Ball Z alongside WWE reruns. Like me.
While the setting for Kemono Michi: Rise Up is definitely out there, rest assured it works. Genzou Shibata is our protagonist, a professional wrestler who looks intimidating, but actually sports a soft spot for animals of all types. So, when he is Isekai’d away by an anime princess who needs help with curbing a monster infestation, he responds exactly like you’d think he would. Which is by suplexing the princess, and running out into the world to become a Beast hunter, befriending the monsters instead. Because his goal now isn’t to be the world wrestling champion anymore, but to run an ethical pet shop instead.
I have no words to sum up how absolutely endearing some moments in this manga are. It’s also created by the mangaka for KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!, so you know it’s going to be good.
Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon
Lately, it feels like the anime industry took one of those Wheel Of Fortunes that you’d see in game shows, loaded it up with the randomest options, and went with wherever the dart blindly landed. Because vending machines? Really?
Apparently, yes. Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon is, again, exactly what it sounds like. Our protagonist was a vending machine fanatic in his old life, and he dies as he loves: By being crushed to death by a vending machine. So, of course, he gets reincarnated into a vending machine lovingly termed ‘Boxxo’. And Boxxo needs to keep himself stocked and ready if he wants to survive. Luckily, Lammis rescues him and brings him to a settlement, where he now supplies the adventurers that come across him, helping them with pre-recorded vending machine phrases and special items.
Now, does this make any sense? No, but that’s also the beauty of it. This is genuinely one of the strangest ideas I’ve seen in Isekai, and the fact that it’s executed well enough speaks volumes about its appeal.
The Ride-On King
Hey real quick, who the hell decided we needed an Isekai that starred Vladimir Putin, dictator extraordinaire? Genuinely, was there a need? What was the demand here?
Well, I mean, he’s not called Vladimir Putin here. Nope, The Ride-On King is about one Alexander Purchinov, who is the self-declared President For Life of a nation known as Pursia. He is a master martial artist, tamer of all things wild and beloved to his people. So naturally, he gets attacked by a terrorist faction and is transported to a new world in the aftermath. Except this world is nothing like his own, filled with orcs and wyverns, all sorts of monsters one can imagine. So, of course, Alexander simply needs to start conquering things again, embarking on a new adventure.
I don’t know what you want me to tell you. Is this a 4Chan thread coming to life? Is it the accumulation of every meme on Reddit? Nobody knows, but it’s entertaining. The Ride-On King is a wild ride so might as well strap on in.
The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World
Again, remember that Wheel Of Fortune thing I talked about earlier? Well, this time the dart landed on ‘beloved childhood franchise in Isekai format’. And well, who didn’t love the Power Rangers growing up?
The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World is literally about the Red Ranger from Power Rangers sacrificing himself, only to wake up in a completely new world with wizards and magic galore. Now Tougo Asagaki must don a new identity of Kizuna Red, and do what he does best: save lives of the innocent folks he comes across. As an adventurer, he sets off and traverses this new realm, coming across monsters and miscreants alike. But it is here that he also meets Idola, a young witch who becomes his companion. And together, they embark on a new journey of helping those in need!
What is not to love here? I mean, it’s the Power Rangers, and we know that the Red Ranger is always the coolest one. If anyone can work in an Isekai, it’s the natural born leader. And this combo of Isekai with nostalgia simply works.
Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World
Finally, some good nourishment for my tired soul. You know you have something great going on when a manga has a simple setting, but makes you want to re-read it out of pure comfort.
And Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World certainly delivers on that. A cooking manga with Isekai roots, Isekai Izakaya follows ‘Nobu’, a bar that serves tasty menu items and drinks. However, its real secret is that Nobu goes from traditional Japanese Isekai to a restaurant and pub combo in Aetheria, a fantastical city in a parallel dimension. Spearheaded by the head chef Nobuyuki Yazawa and kind waitress Shinobu Senke, they make Nobu into the talk of the town with delicious and exotic offerings.
Beautifully illustrated and genuinely informative, Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World is a treat for anyone who enjoys anime food as much as I do. The setting doesn’t feel like a traditional Isekai, with no monster slaying or harem in sight. But it’s so much more wholesome.
I don’t know if people would count Thermae Romae as specifically Isekai, since it’s more based in history. But it has time travel and magical Isekai teleportation, so I’m taking that as a yes.
Thermae Romae starts off in the Roman Empire of old, with gladiators, emperors and, of course, bathhouses galore. And our main character, Lucius, is trying to keep the art of the bathhouse alive. However, his architectural designs are pretty dated. So, when he slips in a bath one time and finds himself instantly transported to modern day Japan, well, it’s a bit of a culture shock. But from there, Lucius continues to gain inspiration and helps revive the love of hygiene amongst his own folks back home.
Look, I genuinely can’t explain to you how brilliant this series is. It’s informative, fun and the setting just never gets stale. Kudos to the mangaka for Thermae Romae, because it is endlessly entertaining.
Ya Boy Kongming!
Don’t even bother lying, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang was such an earworm when Ya Boy Kongming! had its anime adaptation come out. And I’m happy to report that the manga is just as good!
Another Isekai set in more of a historical setting, Ya Boy Kongming! revolves around Zhuge Liang Kongming, a very real military strategist who, as he lay dying on the battlefield, asked to be reborn in a more peaceful time. And he woke up in Shibuya which, well, I wish that was me but moving on. Kongming, who is obviously not used to the glitz and glamor of the modern world, gets swept into a club where he meets our second protagonist, Eiko Tsukimi. And now, Kongming wants to use his tactical genius to help Eiko realize her dreams of becoming a popular singer-songwriter.
Aside from having absolute bangers in its soundtrack, Ya Boy Kongming! is surprisingly wholesome, with an approach that makes you feel for every character. Kongming trying to assimilate into the entertainment world using military tactics is both ingenious and intriguing to read through.
Isekai Ojisan – Uncle from Another World
A lot of these manga I picked up on pure whim, and Isekai Ojisan: Uncle From Another World was probably the most well executed. Honestly, Uncle From Another World is exactly as zany as you’d expect it.
Takaoka Takafumi recently had his uncle wake up from a coma that spanned 17 years. In that time, the world has gone through significant technological advancements. But it turns out, Ojisan was doing some evolving himself, considering that he was Isekai’d away in his coma, becoming a hero with magical powers. You know what he doesn’t have? An idea of how his own world works anymore. And so, Takafumi is left trying to help his uncle adjust to what he considers is the biggest loss of all – the console wars of the 90s.
No, I’m serious. That is genuinely one of the major plot points of the manga, alongside how absurd it must feel to be a middle-aged man that went through a fantastical adventure, only to return to the mundane. It’s hilarious and clever, I can not recommend it enough.
So, those were some of our picks for the top 10 weirdest Isekai manga we have come across. Of course, the world of Isekai is wild and ever expanding, so maybe there are some we missed out on. If so, sound off below with your recommendations!