Why Does Mike Find Isekai Stories So Compelling?

I’ll answer the question in the title with another question: Given the current world climate, how would escapism not be a popular genre right now?

Whether you’ve been listening to Unwound for the past three season or you just started listening recently, I think I’ve made my excitement over isekai anime pretty clear. My love affair with the isekai genre began in my childhood because I fell in love with books like the Oz series by L. Frank Baum*, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, and the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. As I got older, I got into stories like Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” and Disney’s Tron.

Isekai stories have been around for over 100 years in terms of literature and anime. Historically, the first isekai anime was the 1918 adaptation of Urashima Tarou, the tale of the fisherman who is taken to an undersea kingdom on the back of a turtle. It was directed by Seitaro Kitayama, who is considered by historians and researchers to be one of the founding fathers of anime.


Mike’s Review of

From the Unwound archives. Suzuka was simply a disappointment all around. One of the most frustrating aspects of reviewing anime for this show is the fact that we cannot just turn it off after two or three episodes; no, we must sit down and take in the whole thing, be it good or bad. And this was plainly bad. At no point did it redeem itself or alter my opinion, or even give me something to point out as the only good thing about it. Suzuka was just a craptacular series from top to bottom and not even the music or subplot could save it from being labeled as ‘run, don’t walk’ away from this pile of steaming horse-dung.