Isekai Anime About Strategists Rather Than Powerhouses

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Most isekai anime are inherently about power fantasies. As such, their protagonists tend to be overpowered everymen (and women) who can take on anything given enough shouting and willpower. Thankfully, some isekai anime are less about being the best but more about using brains rather than brawn.

Arguably, such isekai anime have higher stakes since most of their protagonists are just nerds who think more rationally compared to the typical locals of the world they were whisked into. And for those tired of their isekai protagonists being too overpowered, here are some smart and (relatively) wimpy ones for a change.

9 How A Realist Hero Rebuilt The Kingdom

How A Realist Hero Rebuilt The Kingdom - Souma Sitting On His Throne With Liscia Next To Him

  • Release Year: 2021
  • Other Genre/Themes: Fantasy, Harem, Military

As the title implies, How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom isn’t about the main character fighting off against a demon army. Instead, he took up a different kind of battle, the bureaucratic kind, which sees him strategizing around administrative corruption and incompetence.

The main character, Kazuya, is nothing but a mere human with good administrative skills that make him a valuable asset in getting the kingdom battle-ready for a demon invasion. To spice things up, he’s also surrounded by some harem beauties who also help him with the red tape.

8 High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World

The cast of High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World

  • Release Year: 2019
  • Other Genre/Themes: Fantasy

High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World starts how most isekai anime should, with the deaths of the protagonists in their original world. This time it’s via plane-kun, not truck-kun. They quickly find themselves in a medieval fantasy world called Freyjagard where their knowledge of engineering and machinery makes them seem like powerful wizards.

So, using their knowledge of technology, they created weapons far superior to what any medieval fantasy world could come up with. In doing so, the group eventually started a revolution that would not only help them get back home but also help the people in their new world.

7 Ya Boy Kongming!

Ya Boy Kongming-OP-feature

  • Release Year: 2022
  • Other Genre/Themes: Comedy, Reverse Isekai

Kongming Zhuge, one of the most prominent strategic minds of the Three Kingdoms era in China, is the main star here, and he suddenly found himself reincarnated forward into the modern world. One would think that his strategizing would be outdated in the modern world, but it turns out Kongming acclimatizes fast.

The main character quickly puts his mental skills to the test by…becoming a manager for an unknown aspiring singer. Hence, this anime is about Kongming’s new war against talent agencies and the music industry as he leads his new candidate to a different kind of victory.

6 Farming Life In Another World

Anime that Teaches Basic Life Lessons Farming Life in Another World

  • Release Year: 2023
  • Other Genre/Themes: Fantasy, Slice of Life

Even something as mundane as farm life still requires some strategizing, and while Farming Life in Another World isn’t about massive political dramas or demonic battles, it’s still serious about its presentation. It follows the second life of the main character Hiraku after he asked the god who reincarnated him to be a farmer.

But farming requires a lot of foresight and mechanical thinking, something which Hiraku quickly learns while also attracting all kinds of beautiful servants along the way. To that end, the anime also dips into the harem genre (though it’s still decent enough).

5 Ascendance Of A Bookworm

Creative Anime Ascendance of a Bookworm Myne and Lutz

  • Release Year: 2019
  • Other Genre/Themes: Fantasy

Ascendance of a Bookworm follows the tale of the main character Myne. Back in her original world, she was born into a poor family that didn’t have access to books. This circumstance fueled her life’s goal to become a librarian, but then she died right before achieving that dream.

Thankfully, she got reincarnated into another world where books were also scarce due to a lack of a printing press. So, Myne simply continued her dream. If there were no books around, she would make them! It’s an odd take on isekai for sure, but Myne’s strategic goal of bringing education to all people poor or rich makes it one of a kind.

4 Jobless Reincarnation

Mushoku Tensei Jobless Reincarnation anime rudeus

  • Release Year: 2021
  • Other Genre/Themes: Drama, Fantasy, Ecchi

Combining drama, action, adventure, and ecchi seamlessly is no easy feat, but Jobless Reincarnation pulled it off with flying colors. It’s one of the highest-quality isekai anime available right now and viewers will be pleased to know that its protagonist, Rudeus, is no cookie-cutter overpowered MC.

Some only consider him a genius in his new world because he was formerly a student in his old world. Most of his isekai skills include arithmetic, language proficiency, an aptitude for learning, and a good understanding of magic. Against more physically adept opponents, he’s a sitting duck for most of the anime, but he makes good use of his limited strengths.

3 No Game, No Life

Sora & Shiro- No Game, No Life

  • Release Year: 2014
  • Other Genre/Themes: Comedy, Fantasy, Ecchi

No Game, No Life would be the perfect example here for isekai anime about strategists. That’s because the whole title revolves around a pair of gamer siblings who were transported into another world. They fit right in since the dangerous world is all about games.

Everything is decided through simple games, and since the two main characters were good at game strategies, they made it their goal to become the rulers of their new world. It’s one of the more unique iterations of isekai ever made.

2 Konosuba

konosuba cast, kazuma, aqua, darkness, megumi

  • Release Year: 2016
  • Other Genre/Themes: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Parody

Konosuba is a typical Dungeons and Dragons adventure with friends, except everyone’s drunk while playing. And Kazuma, the main character delivered unto this new world thanks to truck-kun, is the least “drunk” out of all those D&D players. So he’s the brains of the dysfunctional party, which isn’t saying much because while he’s a strategist at heart, he often comedically fumbles around.

It’s mostly the fault of his party members, because when they’re not crying or putting themselves in harm’s way, they’re ruining Kazuma’s plans, whether it’s a get-rich-quick scheme or gaining fame. On rare occasions, however, (like near the endings), the team “sobers up” and gets their act together, but with Kazuma still calling the shots thanks to his real-world street smarts.

1 Dr. Stone

Dr. Stone Senku Ishigami

  • Release Year: 2019
  • Other Genre/Themes: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalypse

Dr. Stone‘s isekai status is still debatable for a lot of anime fans, but it’s too fitting for the list’s title for it to be excluded. Senku is the quintessential nerd in anime and his goal is to restore humanity back to its former glory starting from the Stone Age after a mysterious light reset Earth and its human civilization back to zero.

Equipped with his over-encompassing scientific knowledge in multiple fields, Senku set out to rebuild civilization with each new invention. To that end, he’s no typical isekai powerhouse who just violently learns to save the world. Senku is one of a kind as far as smart protagonists go.

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