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Thread: Could Digimon be considered an isekai?

  1. #1

    Question Could Digimon be considered an isekai?

    Isekai, literally means 'another world', is a LN/VN/anime/manga genre that's popular recently, so popular that some contest has banned such genre. When you heard the term 'isekai', most people would think Sword Art Online, Re:Zero, and Konosuba. And when you ask people what 'isekai' are, probably they would say a neet/hikikomori male teen gets teleported into a parallel world, obtained new abilities, and build harem. But when you think about it, 'isekai' are literally Another World.So, shouldn't Digimon (at least Adventure), being a classic, which predates most of such isekai, with something called Digital World, at leastbeing mentioned as isekai as well?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Theigno's Avatar
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    This is a weird question... the franchise at large obviously cannot be described that way since we got multiple entries that do clearly not conform to the genre by featuring no transported humans (Digimon World X, Appmon Academy, X-Evolution), or featuring the humans mostly in the human world.
    As for individual entries... who knows. Frontier would come closest I guess although Digimon stories in general tend to lack the often used semi-metafictional element of the protagonists using knowledge about the fantasy genre or "advanced" knowledge from their home world to succeed, eliminating one of the primary sources for escapism.

    In general I don't feel it's very wise to retroactively apply those kinds of genre labels to fiction that was created before the genre even emerged.

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    Awesome question! Tamers is interesting to think about in this context -- especially since Takato has both a vast knowledge of Digimon and a certain level of "admin access" in the Digital World that the other kids don't have (creating Guilmon/resonance with DigiGnomes). Interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theigno View Post
    In general I don't feel it's very wise to retroactively apply those kinds of genre labels to fiction that was created before the genre even emerged.
    Genre's just a place to hang your hat but it's pretty easy to argue that stuff like Digimon led to isekai's emergence to begin with.

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    Adventure and Frontier definitely are, and even if it's only been particularly popular and formulaic lately isekai has been around for a while.

  5. #5
    I'm going digital Rohan's Avatar
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    Despite the big boom in the late 2000's, "Isekai" has been around as far back as the 70's in Japanese media.

    While "Digimon" as a franchise is too varied to be confined within a single genre - 01 Adventure, Xros Wars (and maybe Frontier) are definitely examples of Isekai.

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    Maybe. They would fit but just not be based off of a light novel with a name so long it's impossible to remember it. Pokemon however, wouldn't.

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