7 Saddest Isekai Anime & Manga


  • Isekai genre explores second chances and better lives, but protagonists can still face sadness and trauma in their new worlds.
  • Some characters like Shuu in Now And Then Here And There face unfortunate circumstances despite seeking friendship.
  • Stories like Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest delve into themes of bullying and seeking revenge in isekai worlds.

Some fans cannot seem to get enough of the Isekai genre. This popular genre unsurprisingly holds a special place in viewers’ and readers’ hearts because of its imaginative nature. This genre gives the protagonist a second chance to live with or without their memories from their previous life. As the protagonist reincarnates or is transported to another world, they experience a better life than what their previous life was, but there are exceptions.


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Most of these protagonists have a sad life before they either transport or reincarnate to another world, but sometimes, even in their new world, events and circumstances dampen their mood. Isekai is usually not sad as it focuses more on survival and the protagonist living in the fantasy world, but sometimes events happen that cause the genre to take a sad route.

7 Now And Then Here And There

Showcases The Protagonist In Unfortunate Circumstances

Now and Then, Here and There

Now and Then, Here and There

Japanese Title
Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku


Number of Episodes

Kids should just be kids, and Shuu is an average kid with no serious problems until he meets Lala-Ru. Shuu is such a kind and nice boy that he cannot bear to see Lala-Ru alone, and he goes up to meet her in hopes of being her friend. This harmless act will eventually cause him to go through so much pain and trauma.

This anime takes viewers on an emotional journey as Shuu transports to a dystopian world, leaving the ordinary life that he loves so much, all because he is trying to save Lala-Ru. He faces physical torture from the soldiers of Hamdo, and he even ends up being a child soldier. Fans might find this anime sad because all Shuu wanted to do was befriend Lala-Ru, and even through all of the unfortunate events, he is still adamant about saving Lala-Ru from the individuals who are after her.

6 The Undead Lord Of The Palace Of Darkness

Lack Of Free Will

The Undead Lord Of The Palace Of Darkness cover image

  • Japanese Title: Kuraki Kyuuden no Shisha no Ou
  • Genre: Action, Fantasy
  • Number Of Chapters: 13

The protagonist of this manga had a sickness that subjected him to endless pain until he finally died. It seems like his pain has finally come to an end when he dies, but it is only the beginning as he reincarnates into the world of necromancy. Although he is not necessarily in physical pain, he finds himself under the control of an evil necromancer.

This manga tells the sad story of a boy who has had no free will in his life, previous and current. His current life as End, the necromancer, is better than his life as a sick boy, but all he wants is his freedom. As he carries out his necromancer duties, he is secretly planning to escape.

5 The Rising Of The Shield Hero

Betrayal And Isolation

An image of Naofumi, Filo, and Raphtalia

The Rising of The Shield Hero

Kinema Citrus, DR Movie

Aneko Yusagi

Number of Episodes

Naofumi comes into the world of Melromarc as the Sheid Hero, one of the four cardinal heroes. New to this world, he meets the princess of Melromarc, Malty, who welcomes him with open arms, and he feels comfort because having a friend in an unfamiliar world is just what he needs. But what he did not need was for this newfound friend of his to accuse him of sexually assaulting her.

Not only did she falsely accuse him and make the people of Melromarc blacklist him, but she also stole all his money. This encounter changes Naofumi, and as he journeys through Melromarc and trains to become stronger, fans cannot ignore the mental trauma he battles with. He lost his trust and faith in individuals, and this affects his goals as he needs support from people to learn and grow.

4 The Weakest Tamer Started A Garbage-Picking Journey

Lack Of Parental Love And Support

The Weakest Tamer Started a Garbage-Picking Journey  manga cover

  • Japanese Title: Saijaku Tamer wa Gomi Hiroi no Tabi wo Hajimemashita
  • Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
  • Number of Chapters: Still Publishing

At the young age of five, Ivy was already a disappointment and a source of shame to her parents. Ivy’s only crime is not having a high-level skill like others, as she is stuck with a low-level taming skill that allows her to tame extremely weak creatures. Her parents eventually send her away from the house, and she ends up living in the forest. Luckily, an old woman takes Ivy in and treats her like her child, but her luck quickly turns sour when this old woman dies, and people start pointing fingers at Ivy, accusing her of killing the woman. Ivy runs away, and this time, she starts picking up trash and selling whatever is good enough.

In this series, Ivy’s story is sad, but it focuses more on her survival and making the best of a bad situation. Ivy regains her memories from her past life, telling readers that she had a past life and reincarnated as Ivy.

3 Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World

Repeated And Brutal Deaths


Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-

White Fox

Tappei Nagatsuki

Number of Episodes

Most individuals do not look forward to dying, and they especially do not look forward to reliving the moment they die over and over again. This is the unfortunate struggle of Subaru as he finds himself in a fantasy world. Shortly after getting into this world, he faces a brutal death at the hands of some thugs.

Instead of dying, Subaru has the ability to rewind time, and he unknowingly reverses time to moments before he dies. He is constantly avoiding death but always ends up dying. This loop causes Subaru to suffer physically and mentally. He is unable to fully enjoy and explore this fantasy world as other Isekai protagonists do, and some viewers may find it sad to watch.

2 Dungeon Seeker

Abandoned In A Labyrinth

Dungeon Seeker manga

  • Japanese Title: Dungeon Seeker
  • Genre: Action, Fantasy
  • Number of Chapters: 33

For most characters who find themselves in an isekai world, it is usually a form of escape from their previous world. These characters are usually overpowered and blessed with special abilities, making their existence in this new world very convenient and giving them an advantage. Junpei is one of those unlucky characters who has the opposite experience. This high school student had a bad to worse situation after a ‘God’ transported him and his classmates to a fantasy world.


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In his previous world, he was weak and a constant target for bullies, and in this new world, it is the same as he does not have any special abilities or powers, making him weak and at a disadvantage. Knowing he is weak and powerless, his bullies trick him into entering a labyrinth filled with monsters. This act pushes Junpei to a dark place, and he wants revenge.

1 Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest

Unending Bullying

Arifureta Feature

Arifureta: From Commonplace To World’s Strongest

Asread, White Fox, Studio Mother

Ryo Shirakome

Number of Episodes

This anime tells the story of Hajime, a constant victim of bullying. He and his class find themselves in a fantasy world where everyone has magical abilities except Hajime. He has basic alchemy skills, and this once again puts him below his peers.

Hajime’s classmates betray him early in the plot by abandoning him at the bottom of a dungeon, which emotionally breaks him. He goes through hardship as he tries to survive, and this betrayal pushes him into a dark space as he is now hungry for revenge.


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