Question about isekai and fantasy anime and light novels

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Posted 5 days ago , edited 4 days ago
You know how the majority of isekai and fantasy light novels are based after the authors' experiences playing classic-style JRPGs or Dungeons & Dragons, acting as glorified love letters to the genre in almost the same way Gurren Lagann was a love letter to classic-style combining super robots?

When you read an isekai/fantasy light novel or watch an isekai/fantasy anime it helped spawn, does it give you any nostalgia for playing all these classic-style JRPGs? I mean, in my case, I know it should give me nostalgia, because I watched both seasons of Log Horizon, and in the late 90's and early 2000's played a lot of JRPGs long before that. So in a way, Log Horizon would have given me nostalgia for playing, say, the Dot Hack tetralogy, or the Golden Sun series.
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No. I play a lot of J/RPGs and all it helps me do is understand the references they make. I'd like to say I appreciate it, and that it means they can spend less time on scenario development because it's coming from a common and shared experience.. but all it's ever done is break my immersion since every isekai I've seen only barely follows the conventions of the source material. Generally I just find it an annoying restriction to the plot because, well, fantasy is based on a world where you can do literally anything and all the additional rules do is keep that from growing organically.

Although I will add that I think you're asking the question backwards. I know a lot of people who either got into RPGs, especially D&D, because of their favorite anime or manga, or let it heavily influence their current campaigns. Just since Goblin Slayer came out I've heard an awful lot of stories about grittier, more adult themes in their sessions involving the threat of underpowered horde-type monsters like goblins or kobolds. So while the games might not help the immersion of the stories, the stories help some people immerse themselves in the games.
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Not really, because we're also in this big D&D/ Turn-based RPG resurgence, where these big fantasy things are coming back into things. So whenever a character gets skills and stuff, it's less like "This really takes me back" and more like "Oh, okay, this makes me want to do more D&D."

Like for anyone who watched Goblin Slayer, be real, seeing Goblin Slayer do his thing kind-of made you want to play a cool Fighter, right? And for everyone who checked out the Slime Isekai, Gabiru makes you want to kind-of run a Dragonborne Bard, right? But I don't think many people would really look at those things and think like "I feel nostalgia for these roles" because they're still around and, in some ways, better than ever.
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any one who has faced a variation of Tucker's Kobolds knows not to underestimate the weak monsters
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Posted 4 days ago , edited 4 days ago
The only one I've ever really had that kind of experience with is Goblin Slayer since I don't really play MMORPGs but have played and enjoyed tabletop RPGs before. Since most isekai focused on RPGs seem to be aimed at MMO players I'm kind of on the outside looking in, so there are no experiences for me to get nostalgic about.

I'll tell you what, though: I usually end up feeling pretty nostalgic about secondary school when I watch slice-of-life series. It's a good kind of sadness to feel sometimes, though. Gives you perspective on the hard times you're having now. One day I may look back on today's struggles with misty-eyed nostalgia the same way, so maybe things I think are bad now aren't really all that bad in the long-run.
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Posted 4 days ago , edited 4 days ago
Log Horizon and Sword Art Online do, but the reason they do is because they are both based on two MMORPGs that I basically lived in during my adolescence.

Log Horizon is quite heavily influenced by EverQuest. There's a lot of original stuff put in, but the classes are all blatantly based off EverQuest. Dot Hack though I would actually say is based on Phantasy Star Online. I played a bit of PSO on the Dreamcast back in like 2000ish, it had a very similar structure. So for those who always wanted a Dot Hack MMORPG, it existed in the form of PSO.

SAO on the other hand takes a lot from Ultima Online and expands on it. Kawahara went all 14 year old boy in the midst of puberty with the story, but the world he created did have a proper basis. Ultima Online was unique in that it was a pure sandbox MMO, economy completely player run, no quests or goals just a lot of dangerous areas, dungeons, and cities to explore. Crafting and Housing were quite intricate too. Quite hilarious how the FIRST MMORPG was more open than pretty much all the subsequent ones, save maybe like 3 or 4 in the last 20 years.

That said, nearly every other series out there basically just uses the MMO aspect as flavor so it can appeal to gamers while having a typical isekai plot.

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Actually there are two other series that get me nostalgic. Tower of Druaga (Original Anime) and Danmachi. Both of these series resemble a certain playstation 1 game I poored quite a few hours into (especially Danmachi) : Azure Dreams.

In Azure Dreams you basically were a pokemon trainer that lived in a town at the base of this tower. You would go into the tower (with monster companions) and scale the tower while collecting treasures. You would then occasionally go back to the town and build your relationships with people (potentially girlfriends) while at the same time using the money you earned to help your town grow.
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Posted 4 days ago , edited 4 days ago
The short answer to these questions, no. At least it doesn't apply universally as it's the job of these authors to create a story first, and second tell it in a way they think it works, no JRPG experience factored into the equation. Of course, having it can't hurt, but it's not exactly necessary for these authors to create something amazing. And while I would like to play some of those retro JRPGs, it's not because I read the novels or watched the enemy. It's for other reasons as it's based on reviews, how much I enjoyed playing those that I did play back in the day, and other reasons completely unrelated to watching these isekai shows.
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Posted 4 days ago , edited 4 days ago
For most of them not really, the only exception being Log Horizon since it reminded me quite of bit of my early MMO days and being a guild leader.
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Posted 4 days ago , edited 4 days ago

Commander_PonyShep wrote:

You know how the majority of isekai and fantasy light novels are based after the authors' experiences playing classic-style JRPGs or Dungeons & Dragons, acting as glorified love letters to the genre in almost the same way Gurren Lagann was a love letter to classic-style combining super robots?

When you read an isekai/fantasy light novel or watch an isekai/fantasy anime it helped spawn, does it give you any nostalgia for playing all these classic-style JRPGs? I mean, in my case, I know it should give me nostalgia, because I watched both seasons of Log Horizon, and in the late 90's and early 2000's played a lot of JRPGs long before that. So in a way, Log Horizon would have given me nostalgia for playing, say, the Dot Hack tetralogy, or the Golden Sun series.


It should be noted that the "lost in a video game world" flavor of isekai is a sub-category of what is actually a much broader genre that includes everything from Journey to the Center of the Earth to Buck Rogers to Made in Abyss. It always makes me a little sad when I see people immediately associate the word isekai with some guy being stuck in a game reality.

As for a sense of nostalgia while watching these sorts of shows the only one that produced that was Magical Circle Guru Guru which was a hilarious parody of 90s JRPGs and isekai in general.

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Posted 4 days ago , edited 3 days ago
I never played those games, which is probably why I can't get into those series.

Except for Outbreak Company, because it had a lot of Code Geass references. And I really love the two main seiyuu from idol anime (Hanae Natsuki and Mimori Suzuko).
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