When Subaru Natsuki goes out for a midnight snack run, he suddenly finds himself transported to another world. As a bewildered teen in a land of swords and magic, he wanders around and ends up attacked by thugs. After being saved by a mysterious woman, he agrees to help her get back something that was stolen. Unfortunately, it ends in both their deaths. With his dying breath, he finds that he possesses the power of revival, escaping his death by the repeating the last few hours.
New to summer 2016, Re:Zero has become a season favorite, and not just as a way to tide people over until Attack on Titan season 2. It takes elements from past season favorites like Erased and Grimgar, turning them into something new and interesting. Need something like Re:Zero to fulfill your thirst? Try these anime recommendations.
For Fans of Traveling Through Space or Time
In a rickety old building in Akihabara, mad scientist Rintarou Okabe and his lab assistants work on so-called future gadgets. However, their most successful contraption to date, the Phone Microwave, a machine that can turn bananas into gel, also has the added function of sending emails into the past, thus altering the flow of history.
Although at a glance the two seem very different, with Re:Zero being more fantasy and Steins;Gate being more realistic science fiction. The concept is essentially the same. Both feature time travel that centers around saving people from death as well as the main characters being the only ones to recall things post-time travel. While Steins;Gate is a little slow at the beginning, it gets progressively darker, but Re:Zero wears its innate darkness on its cuff, lacing it with a good bit of comedy.
Higurashi: When They Cry
After moving to the small village of Hinamizawa from Tokyo, Keiichi Maebara spends his peaceful days playing games with his four other classmates in their rural school. However, as the village approaches its annual festival, Keiichi learns of the horrific local legend that surrounds it, one where each year someone dies on the festival eve. When he asks his friends about it, they are all suspiciously silent.
The stories of these two anime series could not be more different, but they share a crucial similarity – time travel. Or rather, not so much time travel, but repetition. Whereas Re:Zero just repeats the same events so he can change the outcome, Higurashi tells the different timelines of the story based on the main characters choices. Both series have tsunderes and crazy women, but Higurashi is firmly planted in the horror genre.
Gate: Thus the SDF Fought
Japanese Self-Defense Force solider and otaku Youji Itami is in the Ginza district of Tokyo feeding his hobby one afternoon when a gate to another world opens and medieval soldiers flood modern day Japan. While Itami, in conjunction with the local police, manage to save many civilian lives, his hero status forces him to go beyond the gate with his fellow soldiers to explore a mysterious new world filled with swords, magic, elves, and dragons.
Like in Re:Zero, Gate features a main character that goes from the modern world to a completely foreign fantasy world. However, while in Gate they can go back and forth between worlds, in both series, the main character ends up kind of disrupting the flow of their new fantasy locale, ultimately learning to adapt to the world around them. They also both sport light-hearted, comedic tones.
No Game No Life
In the real world, siblings Shiro and Sora are NEET shut-ins. However, in the virtual world, they are the legendary gaming duo. One day, after a strange email, they find their reality taken away as they are transported to the realm of Tet, God of Games. Here, Shiro and Sora must play games to defeat the sixteen races of this world as well as Tet in order to become the new gods.
In both series, the main characters find themselves transported to a new world where they have a hard time at first, but then begin to get used to their new surroundings. Naturally, they also draw in a harem as they go through their various battles. However, Re:Zero, while looking a bit like a game world, plays out more like a real world scenario than No Game No life.
For Fans of RPG Settings
KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!
On his way back from buying a new game, Kazuma Satou died a pathetic death. However, he awakens before the Goddess Aqua who gives him two choices: go to heaven or reincarnate into a actual fantasy world. Naturally, the gamer picks the fantasy world. Now Kazuma must deal with defeating an evil demon king, useless party members, and paying living expenses.
Out of every series on this list, KonaSuba and Re:Zero are probably the most similar. Both main characters are taken to a new fantasy world, however the reason in KonaSuba is addressed right away. In each, the main characters gather allies to fight powerful enemies, but they themselves have minimal skill in combat. While KonaSuba stays pretty comedic with harem themes, Re:Zero has moments of drama.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Thrown into a fantasy land with no memories of their previous life, the strong among this new group of people bind together, while the weak are left to fend for themselves. Grimgar tells the tale of the struggles of the weak as they pick up combat skills and fight the creatures of the world in order to earn a living.
Both Re:Zero and Grimgar add a refreshing spin on an increasingly crowded “new world/virtual reality” genre that anime is thrilled with these days. While never specifically mentioned, Grimgar features people from the modern world placed in the new world, and in each series, the characters must adapt and grow or die, although in Re:Zero it is not quite so permanent. Both fantasy worlds feel distinctly real with non-forced drama and genuine reactions to the experiences.
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
In the fantasy city of Orario, there is a massive labyrinth underneath it. For brave adventurers, glory and fortune can be found within. In order to tackle the challenging monsters inside, adventures join guilds of strong gods and goddesses. However, for newbie adventurer Bell Cranel, no good guild will have him, except for Hestia, a goddess with no followers. Together they team up to grow strong and find glory.
To be honest, the only thing that Dungeon and Re:Zero have in common is the medieval setting and a string of powerful women. However, both series are light-hearted, feature the main characters getting more skilled in combat, and ultimately gain the admiration of ladies. However, while both feature some comedy, Dungeon leans heavily on fan service.
For Fans of Swords and Magic Action
Fate / Stay Night
The Holy Grail War is a battle royale among the seven magi who can use their command seals to enter battle and command Heroic Spirits of historic and mythical heroes past. In the Fifth Holy Grail War, Rin Toosaka is among the magi entering the competition. With her Servant, Archer, she hopes to obtain the ultimate prize—the Holy Grail, a magical artifact capable of granting its wielder any wish. However, when Rin’s classmate Emiya Shirou accidentally enters too, things get much more interesting.
Not unlike Higurashi, Fate / Stay and Re:Zero’s big similarity to each other is repetition. While the Fate/ Stay series explores different paths of the light novel, Re:Zero repeats a bit of its story line after the previous death. However, both worlds feature swords and magic, but Fate / Stay still maintains its setting in modern day Japan.
Sword Art Online
Virtual reality has progressed so far that it is now a fully immersive experience. For Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed Kirito, he was one of the lucky few to be able to beta test the MMO Sword Art Online. However, during its official launch, players soon realize that they cannot log out and are now trapped in the game where death in-game means death for real. Now they must learn to cooperate with other players in order to survive and escape.
In Re:Zero and Sword Art Online, both heroes escape (or are taken from) a reality they find boring to a fantasy world where they are somehow special. Both worlds are a medieval fantasy setting in which you need to quest and earn money to survive. However, Re:Zero is reality while Sword Art Online is virtual reality.
Have your own recommendations for anime series like Re:Zero? Tell us about it in the comments section below.