|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||Japanese: 異世界, lit. "different world"|
|Related:||portal fantasy, self-insert, transmigration|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
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Isekai is a subgenre of Japanese fantasy light novels, manga, anime, and video games revolving around a normal person from Earth being transported to, reborn, or trapped in a parallel universe. Often, this universe already exists in the protagonist's world as a fictional universe, but it may also be unknown to them. In a Reverse Isekai, fantasy characters are transported from their respective worlds and/or are forced to assimilate into modern society. Isekai is often tied to wish fulfillment .
Isekai stories can lead to an abundance of crossover fanfiction because the canon has a vehicle for character transplantation already built-in. In the isekai anime Familiar of Zero, the main character is summoned from the modern world by a witch to become her familiar. This is the perfect set up for crossover writers; the familiar is canonically pulled from another dimension, so simply have the witch summon a character from another fandom and imagine how that would play out instead. This synergy between canonically isekai works and crossovers can be seen in the fact that on FanFiction.net as of 3/10/2019, there are over double the number of Familiar of Zero crossovers as there are non-crossovers.
Although fanfiction (outside of canonical isekai fandoms) rarely uses the term, many fics can be considered isekai. Crossovers often involve characters being transported into other worlds, while self inserts (especially the SI OC subgere) usually involve being either transported or reincarnated into a universe that the self insert thought was fictional, usually with the self insert being able to change notable events thanks to their "fictional knowledge"
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