Time travel is a fascinating phenomenon. But, unfortunately, it’s been impossible for us to do it here in reality. Still, as soon as we can see someone doing it on TV or reading about how they did it from their perspective in a book, our imagination goes wild with possibilities. This curiosity has brought forth many anime series that feature time-bending aspects, such as Re:Zero, where protagonist Subaru Natsuki travels back through memories by dying at different points throughout his life until he finally confronts death.
The hit isekai series, Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World, was first introduced on the Shousetsuka ni Narou website and became an instant success. The story follows a NEET named Natsuki Subaru who finds himself transported to another world where he must defeat witches with his new ability to go back into time by using “Return By Death.” Shinichirou Otsuka illustrates this light novel while Tappei Nagatsuki writes it from 2012 onwards. The White Fox studio has licensed the novels, and the anime’s first episode aired in 2016. Since then, this show has consistently been rated by fans as one of the most entertaining isekai anime out there.
The anime takes some dark elements, a parallel world trope, and a pinch of time travel elements and mixes them with a good character design. As a result, they come up with a great isekai anime series. So if you’re looking for a new anime to binge-watch with these elements, check out the list below.
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10. Steins; Gate
Rintarou Okabe, a self-proclaimed mad scientist with an eccentric band of outcast friends, has the perfect recipe for success: colorful characters and a dark yet comedic twist. Steins; Gate is one of the best anime series that will leave you wanting more!
Okabe’s mad scientist lab was spending their time tinkering with the Phone Microwave that turned bananas into piles of green gel. Okabe thought it would never provide him with some concrete scientific breakthroughs. Still, then he is spurred into action by a string of mysterious happenings and stumbles upon an unexpected success: The Phone Microwave can send emails to the past, altering the flow of history.
Steins; Gate is a story of the past, present, and future. Okabe must protect this realm from any changes while trying to change his own fate as well. Still, it never goes smoothly for him because there are always surprises lurking in time-traveling anime series.
When this anime premiered, many people were skeptical about the time-traveling plot and its portrayal. Were they wrong! The team did a fantastic job of showing us what can happen to someone when you mess with their past or future selves.
Satoru Fujinuma had been a normal guy living in Tokyo, but his life was anything but that. When tragedy is about to strike, he finds himself sent back minutes before the accident and uses this power to change things for the better. He has been thrown into chaos when he’s wrongfully accused and was the prime suspect of murdering someone close to him; he was sent into the past again, this time, 18 years ago. He realizes that this murder may be connected with his classmate Kayo Hinazuki: Who was abducted during childhood.
8. Higurashi: When They Cry
She’s tried everything. She’s gone to the root of the problem and found no answers; she has unraveled every mystery that leads her close to an answer, only for it all to come crashing down again. She buried herself in research, trying desperately not to be powerless- but what good does any of this do when there is a countdown until calamity?
The clock ticks as Rika Furude walks through the rural village of Hinamizawa with heavy steps; beneath its mask lies darkness – despair rising within even before tragedy strikes. Every year around this time comes another festival where they celebrate peace despite knowing better than anyone how baseless such hope can really be. This dark fantasy anime has a lot of time looping and psychological elements that provide many constant twists and turns.
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7. Grimgar Of Fantasy And Ashes
They were thrown into a strange land with nothing but hazy memories and the knowledge of their name. They can feel only these three emotions resonating deep within their souls: Fear, survival, instinct. A group of strangers is given no other choice than to accept the only paying job in this game-like world—”the role of a soldier”—and eliminate anything that threatens peace in our new world, Grimgar.
When the strongest of all candidates joined together, those left behind found themselves in a party to survive: Manato, a charismatic leader and priest; Haruhiro, an anxious thief who was nervous about stealing from more people than just himself; Yume, cheerful hunter with her bow in hand. The mage Shihoru is shy, but she can do magic! Mogzo has been kind enough to protect them so far as their warrior. At the same time, Ranta always steals potato chips when he’s not healing or helping fight evil monsters. So they traveled around exploring various dungeons or other places where bad creatures dwelled on killing others for food.
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6. No Game, No Life
“No Game No Life” is a surreal comedy that follows Sora and Shiro, shut-in NEET siblings who live life through their computers. However, the two manage to find themselves in an otherworldly realm after being challenged by Tet with the task of playing a chess match for some really neat prizes.
Sora and Shiro are introduced to the world of Disboard, where they can use their gaming skills for more than just games. The game is simple: if you want something from someone else, then you must wager that same thing while showing your opponent as little as possible about what it could be. If either party loses a bet, they lose all rights to any form of conflict with the other player until one side concedes or wins an even higher-stakes battle by way of high-stake games.
5. Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online, or SAO for short, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game launched in 2022. With the help of “Nerve Gear,” technology players can control their avatars with nothing but their thoughts and memories from when they were alive.
Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed “Kirito,” is among the lucky few enthusiasts. They get their hands on the first shipment of the game. He logs in to find himself with ten thousand others in a world with fantastic medieval weapons and gruesome monsters. However, they soon realize that there’s no way out; its creator has trapped them all here for as long as it takes to beat one hundred levels of his dangerous new virtual reality game!
To escape Sword Art Online, Kirito will now have to interact and cooperate with his fellow players. Some are allies, while others are foes like the beautiful girl Asuna Yuuki who commands the leading group to escape from the ruthless game. To make matters worse: if they die in Aincrad, they’ll also be killed for real life! But don’t worry–Kirito is a fighter through and through, so he won’t go down without a fight!
4. The Rising Of The Shield Hero
The Four Cardinal Heroes are a group of ordinary men from modern-day Japan summoned to the kingdom of Melromarc. They have been given powerful weapons by fate so that they can save their homeland, which has suffered for centuries under waves and waves of catastrophe. Naofumi Iwatani is one such hero who becomes cursed with his role as “Shield Hero.” Naofumi has been ridiculed for his lack of offensive capabilities and lackluster personality. His fellow heroes have called him weak, while the people in the kingdom can’t stand to look at him because he’s so pathetic.
Naofumi became falsely accused of taking advantage of the daughter of his village’s king and was assaulted by her to try and frame him. He then had friendly relations with anyone within Melromarc revoked, including Malty, who he befriended when she showed up at his door unannounced looking for a sparring partner. Finally, with nothing left but an assault on himself and everyone around him, Naofumi set out into some kind of countryside where he could live away from prying eyes while trying not to get killed or framed again.
3. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World!
After dying a laughable and pathetic death on his way back from buying a game, high school student and recluse Kazuma Satou finds himself sitting before the beautiful but obnoxious goddess Aqua. She provides him with two options: continue on to heaven or reincarnate in every gamer’s dream—a real fantasy world! Choosing to start a new life, Kazuma is quickly tasked with defeating Demon King, who terrorizes villages. But before he goes, he can choose one item of any kind as an aid for his quest; choosing Aqua Kazuma has made a grave mistake—Aqua is completely useless!
Sadly, their troubles don’t end there; it turns out that living in such a world is far different from how it plays out in any game. Instead of going on an adventurous journey to find the treasure chest and gold coins, they first have work for food money. Indeed, their misfortunes began! This popular anime takes a lighter side of isekai with cute girls and a panty shot here and there.
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There he was, on his way to a doujin convention in Tokyo, when all of a sudden–pop! A large gate appears. From this gate? Supernatural creatures and warriors clad in medieval armor emerge from it, charging Ginza and killing everyone they can find. Youji jumps into action, saving as many lives as possible. At the same time, Japan’s Self Defense Forces do their best to stop them before they destroy everything else that is dear to them.
Three months after the attack, Youji has been tasked with leading a special recon team on behalf of his nation to discover what lurks in this world beyond their gate. They must travel into unknown territory and attempt to make connections. Still, if they fail, there will be no peaceful ties between them and these invaders—the conquering might who would surely unleash war upon both sides.
It was only 17 years ago that strange beings are known as “Ajin” appeared. They could use their powers for either good or evil and couldn’t be destroyed, so they became a threat to society. Law enforcement officials have been capturing any Ajin found in the population since then because of this risk potential and danger posed by these powerful people who can never die.
Kei Nagai was a high schooler whose grasp of Ajin, only seen in the news from time to time, couldn’t have been more irrelevant when he survived an accident that should’ve killed him. Signaling his rebirth as one and beginning days of torment for himself, Kei is innocently ignorant about what’s going on around him, and he finds himself alone on the run from the entire world. However, Kei soon realizes that more of his species may be a lot closer than he thinks.
We hope this list of anime like Re: Zero was helpful. However, if you’re looking for more, please check out our other lists on other topics related to the world of anime. And if we missed your favorite show with these same themes, let us know in the comments! Enjoy!