On Fantasy Anime

Something that I’ve noticed about myself is that recently, I’ve watched nothing but fantasy anime. I think I’ve only watched a couple anime that weren’t fantasy over the last year or more, and even those still had some elements of fantasy.

Before Japan, I watched all sorts of anime across pretty much any genre. While I was in Japan, I didn’t watch nearly as much anime, and would sometimes go weeks or months without watching anything. But then I started re-watching a lot of fantasy / isekai types, and kept that up until now.

So I guess the question is, why fantasy anime?

I wanted to write something for the blog, and after watching this latest season’s fantasy offerings, started to write a review. And in that review, I started the post off writing something like “It’s time to take a look at the latest season’s fantasy anime…”, which is when I realized – there are more than just fantasy anime in a season!

When did me reviewing fantasy anime just become the instinctual given?

Well, I guess it just happened from when I started reviewing fantasy anime exclusively over the past year or however long it’s been. Honestly, I’m fine with just watching fantasy anime at the moment. I’m sure I could break out of it and watch other types if I tried, but right now the fantasy genre, even the mediocre types, are just what interest me.

If I had to say why, I guess I can try and come up with some reasons, although as I write this I’m still thinking up my own reasons. Let’s see what I can do.

1. Escapism

I guess this is the first reason – escapism. While pretty much any genre can be a form of escapism, for me, fantasy delivers the best form of escapism, as most fantasy anime create new worlds separate from our own. Even if there are many similarities between the various fantasy stories out there, the important point is that they are often unlike our current modern world.

Other genres, from slice of life to sci-fi don’t feel like they offer the same level of escapism.
For me anyways.

And why is it that I value this kind of escapism?

It’s not that I’m unhappy and am trying to distract myself.
I am very content with my life, and very excited for my future.

I guess it’s more that I don’t like many things about this world itself and the direction it’s heading in. I won’t get political, but that’s about all it is. Fantasy worlds are completely disconnected from this world, it’s politics, and everything else. A blank slate.

2. Blank Slate

While most fantasy worlds are similar, and more often than not borrow / share ideas, to me they feel like a blank slate. And what I mean by that is simply that they have the potential to be completely different, even if they aren’t. Magic and how it works, kingdoms / nations and their politics, the world’s various races and their relationships with one another, power dynamics, and so on.

The potential is always there for something very novel and exciting. That’s one of the factors that gets me excited about watching a fantasy anime I haven’t seen before. Even if most fantasy anime share ideas, like being isekai, the medieval setting, magic, character types, and so on, there are still often minute differences and sometimes new ideas that I haven’t seen before. Which is why I even enjoy mediocre fantasy anime.

3. Imagination

Finally, carrying on from the last point, one of the things I like about fantasy anime is simply imagining myself in those worlds. Possibly as a character from the story, or as a new character inserted in, or even in made-up settings completely separate from the story but still in that world.

It’s something you can do with any story, really.

I’m sure there are others out there that like to do this, imagine themselves in the story, from a high school slice of life, to a mecha, to a harem anime… Whatever it is, self-inserting into a story, another world, can be fun to imagine.

And for me this is something I often do in order to help myself fall asleep. I started doing it many years ago, and it’s still working today. I simply take a world, story, or both, and imagine all sorts of situations. Like how I would do things compared to the protagonist, or if I were a side character, or a villain, or if X happened, or whatever. I just take an idea and try and build a story off of it in my mind. It’s a fun mind exercise that often doesn’t even get very far before I fall asleep.

So basically, since I do this to help myself sleep, and fantasy stories are my favourite setting to use (it doesn’t have to be from an anime), I find myself excited to watch fantasy anime and get a fantasy world fresh in my mind.

Sunset Tokisaki Kurumi

And so, I guess those are the reasons for why I’ve been pretty much fantasy-only for a while now. I can’t say when it’ll change, but I’ll continue to watch anime going forward and perhaps there’ll be some non-fantasy titles that I become interested in watching (or re-watching).

For now though, I’ll just keep on losing myself in the fantasy genre.

Do you have any genres or kinds of stories that you enjoy this way?
And do you ever imagine yourself in the stories you read or watch, or try to imagine new stories from them?

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

6 thoughts on “On Fantasy Anime

  1. Yes! Recently I’ve been really into isekai manga, usually with the female lead transmigrated into the body of the villain. Needless to say, as the villainess, their story line is very difficult with lots of other characters that don’t like them, and characters sabotaging their plans and stuff. And I often try to figure out a way for the FL to navigate through the different obstacles to a good ending while I’m starting to doze off at night. Sometimes I think of what side characters could help them or how they could have handled a conflict better. It’s really fun to write my own version of the story in my head!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Is that “all routes lead to doom” anime the same as the manga you are referring to?

      And yeah that story seems like a great platform to build off! Also makes me think that visual novels would probably work well for this sort of thing, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. To be honest, I used to want to see myself in magical girl stories and then I kept adding things I liked until I had a whole different world with its own magic system – that was my version of the trying-to-sleep thing. That, and thinking up “what if [series] was [completely unexpected genre]?” (for example, “what if Detective Conan was fantasy?” was the premise if my very first fanfic).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve done similar in terms of adding things and tinkering with a story and it’s world. But I’ve never thought of moving a story into a different genre, that’s an interesting idea there.

      Liked by 1 person

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