“Isekai” Enters the Oxford English Dictionary!

"Isekai" literally translates to "another world" in Japanese.

The word “isekai” has been officially introduced into the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in its latest update. This inclusion marks an important milestone. “Isekai” is a genre originating in Japan in which protagonists are transported from their ordinary world to a fantasy world, usually featuring elements such as magic, adventure, and alternate realities.

Oxford defined “Isekai” as: A Japanese genre of science or fantasy fiction featuring a protagonist who is transported to or reincarnated in a different, strange, or unfamiliar world. Also: an anime, manga, video game, etc., in this genre.

Oxford English Dictionary editors collaborated with researchers from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies to incorporate a fresh set of Japanese terms into the dictionary.

The inclusion of “isekai” in the Oxford English Dictionary signifies more than just the recognition of a single word; it symbolizes the intersection of cultures, the evolution of storytelling, and the enduring power of imagination.

Isekai has had a huge explosion in recent years. Which isekai anime are the must-watch? Here are some of our recommendations for isekai anime streaming on Crunchyroll:

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

STORY: Corporate worker Mikami Satoru is stabbed by a random killer, and is reborn to an alternate world. But he turns out to be reborn a slime! Thrown into this new world with the name Rimuru, he begins his quest to create a world that’s welcoming to all races.

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

STORY: When a 34-year-old underachiever gets run over by a truck, his story doesn’t end there. Reincarnated in a new world as an infant, Rudy will seize every opportunity to live the life he’s always wanted. Armed with new friends, some freshly acquired magical abilities, and the courage to do the things he’s always dreamed of, he’s embarking on an epic adventure—with all of his past experience intact!

KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world!

STORY: After a traffic accident, Kazuma Sato’s disappointingly brief life was supposed to be over, but he wakes up to see a beautiful girl before him. She claims to be a goddess, Aqua, and asks if he would like to go to another world and bring only one thing with him. Kazuma decides to bring the goddess herself, and they are transported to a fantasy world filled with adventure, ruled by a demon king. Now Kazuma only wants to live in peace, but Aqua wants to solve many of this world’s problems, and the demon king will only turn a blind eye for so long…

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-

STORY: Natsuki Subaru, an ordinary high school student, is on his way home from the convenience store when he finds himself transported to another world. As he’s lost and confused in a new world where he doesn’t even know left from right, the only person to reach out to him was a beautiful girl with silver hair. Determined to repay her somehow for saving him from his own despair, Subaru agrees to help the girl find something she’s looking for…

Sword Art Online

STORY: In the near future, a Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online has been released where players control their avatars with their bodies using a piece of technology called: Nerve Gear. One day, players discover they cannot log out, as the game creator is holding them captive unless they reach the 100th floor of the game’s tower and defeat the final boss. However, if they die in the game, they die in real life. Their struggle for survival starts now…

Source: Oxford English Dictionary

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