Isekai Anime & Manga Set in a Post-Apocalyptic World

Isekai is a tried-and-true genre of manga and anime. It sees the protagonists transported to a world totally unlike their own. Not only does this premise pave the way for “fish out of water” comedy, but it creates a relatable entry point for audiences into the most fantastical of realms. Many fans wish they were the ones getting transported. That said, some protagonists draw the short straw.

Certain isekai works drop their heroes into post-apocalyptic settings. These stories are eye-opening experiences, to say the least. In most cases, the future serves as a cautionary tale. As for the characters, they must adapt quickly to their new homes. Any moment might be their last. Other isekai can also have that quality, but post-apocalyptic plots heighten the danger tenfold. One can’t help but pity the displaced protagonists, especially given the relative paradise they come from. A normal day for them has turned into the worst scenario imaginable.


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5 Now And Then, Here And There

Child labor laws are nonexistent in this dystopia.

Child soldiers in Now and Then, Here and There

How ironic that a simple act of heroism can usher in utter disaster. Now And Then, Here And There begins with the teenage Shu defending a girl from unscrupulous individuals piloting draconian mech suits. However, these robotic weapons are not of this world.

They’re actually from a dystopia where resources are scarce and cruelty is rampant. The planet barely has any water due to the red sun’s intense heat. Thus, survival becomes an intense battle fought every day. The victors are usually the militarized oppressors who regularly persecute the desperate refugees. Said persecution comes in the form of slavery. The army forces girls to breed, and sends boys to be child soldiers. Shu finds himself press-ganged into the latter service upon landing in this world. That’s what he gets for defending the downtrodden.

4 Dr. Stone

A twisted scientist tries to reshape humanity in his own image.

Ishigami and the others in Dr. Stone

Unlike most apocalypse tales, Dr. Stone doesn’t involve the extinction of humans. Instead, it freezes them in place. A worldwide surge of mysterious energy petrifies the population, which results in dilapidated structures and other aspects of human culture slowly decaying. No one is around to maintain them, after all.


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That changes when boy genius Senku Ishigami suddenly awakens from suspended animation. Though obviously shocked at the state of the world, he views it as an opportunity, and soon discovers a cure to the aforementioned petrification. He then resolves to awaken the best and brightest individuals to serve as pillars for a new Kingdom of Science. Sadly, artificially engineering society and nature never works out, so he predictably runs into those opposed to his plans. So much for progress.

3 Made In Abyss

The deepest depths house a world that’s downright alien.

Riko in Made in Abyss

Sometimes, another world lies right beneath one’s feet. Such is the case with Made in Abyss. In the far future, orphan girl Riko finds a robotic boy named Reg. He hails from the mysterious “Abyss,” a sinkhole leading to the Earth’s deepest depths. Down here are remnants of past civilizations, as well as other foreboding mysteries. It’s why raiders regularly explore it in search of treasure. That’s not what Riko seeks, though.

She descends into the Abyss to find her mother, who vanished years prior. Here, she encounters countless creatures and settlements, each stranger than the last. The modern (and primitive) aesthetics stand in stark contrast to the heroine’s fantastical steampunk roots. Each layer seems to further defy the laws of nature. The ordeal makes Journey to the Center of the Earth look tame by comparison.

2 The Drifting Classroom

Kids and adults turn on each other in this unfortunate school.

The children and a hoarder in The Drifting Classroom

An apocalypse is scary enough for adults, but even more so for children. Fans see that in The Drifting Classroom. It’s so named because it depicts a school spontaneously transported to a futuristic wasteland. What starts as a mundane day of learning swiftly evolves into a hopeless fight for survival.


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This story throws everything at its unsuspecting students. Environmental catastrophes have made the simple act of going outside into a safety hazard. Lethal pathogens, monstrous wildlife, and low resources are all daily hurdles. However, these are somehow less of a threat than one’s fellow survivors.

In true Lord of the Flies fashion, the kids eventually turn on each other. A post-apocalyptic setting would put a psychological strain on anyone, and these guys cope with the pressure in different ways. Some exploit the situation to grab power; others hoard resources in paranoid frenzies. Danger exists both outside the school and within. Any survivors are scarred for life, unable to look their classmates in the eye again.

1 7 Seeds

Evolution leaves humanity behind on this Earth.

An evolved plant in 7 Seeds

Here’s a rare case in which the people know an apocalypse is coming. In 7 Seeds, a meteorite is heading toward Earth. Sensing that the end is coming, the world leaders select a handful of people from each country and put them into suspended animation. A computer then monitors the environment and determines when it can sustain human life again. At this point, it rouses the survivors to restart the species. That’s a daunting task, especially in this setting.

It’s challenging enough just navigating this wild world. Not only are there few traces of civilization, but the shifting climate has produced entirely new ecosystems. The resulting evolution births unknown species of plants and animals. Worse, many of them rival their prehistoric ancestors in size, making them lethal to any poor people in their territory. The once-familiar planet is now downright alien. Despite that sad state, the sleeping people must either build a new life or go extinct.


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