The Isekai genre of fiction in which a human being is transported to another world, back in time, or into another body is in my opinion the ultimate condemnation of life on Earth. Fantasies tell us what we want, what we prefer, and what we would like to happen, and when our fantasies are about impossibilities, that tells us that our realities are unbearable. A child may dream about growing up, but once they are an adult they then begin to dream about going back. The more of reality that we experience, the less of it we want to live.

Perhaps this isn’t true for everyone. There are exceptions to everything, some people are happier older, some people can’t enough of waking up in the morning. But I am not one of those exceptions. I am miserable and I often dream about being given a second chance, or a different chance, at events already played out. If such a thing were to happen would I actually make better choices? Probably not, but the reality of what would happen is irrelevant and that’s the whole point. I want to imagine a world in which I’m not miserable, and in order to imagine such a world I have to start stripping away everything that makes reality real. That includes my own nature. That includes my position in the universe. That includes the laws of cause and effect. I want to be able to go to sleep and wake up somewhere else, somewhere less painful, somewhere more fair. But I’ve gone to sleep a lot of times, and not once has that happened. The Isekai genre would lead me to believe that maybe I need a more permanent form of sleep to really get there, and that’s why I think the Isekai genre is complete dogshit with no redeeming value. At the end of the day it’s a genre which tells you the only thing to do is go get hit by a car and then maybe you can wake up in a world full of big breasted Elf women, and while waking up in such a world would be nice, we all know it’s never going to happen. It’s a genre which gets us to focus on and to overvalue that which we will never experience. It is pure unfiltered suicide fuel that latches like a parasite onto our hopes and dreams and drains us dry. Turning us into nothing more than a husk of a human being.

There is however an antidote. There is however a genre of fiction that can reverse all the detrimental effects of fantasizing about impossibilities. There is a genre of fiction that will teach you to love nothing more than waking up in the morning and drinking a hot cup of tea. That genre is slice of life. Only by replacing our fantasies of being heroes with fantasies of being humans can we average folk escape our misery. K-On is the cure.

2 thoughts on “Isekai

  1. Watching akebi-chan this season has been an unstable nuclear reactor of suicidal fuel for me, more so than any other SoL or isekai. I will never have two beautiful daughters that grow up un-perverted by the internet or modern society.

    1. Joseph H. Stryker March 22, 2022 — 4:09 am

      I haven’t seen that yet, but looking it up, I like the art style. The character designs appear fresh and appealing. I’ve been rewatching Welcome to the NHK and it makes me realize how much I was coping about the Isekai genre being uniquely evil. Every good story is suicide fuel, no matter how realistic or unrealistic it is. Because these stories are never our stories, and the more we enjoy them, the more painful that disconnect becomes. The story taking place in a completely fictional world, or just Earth itself with just a few small alterations, makes little difference in its ability to mog our reality.

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