Chinese Isekai Anime List | The Chinese animation industry has been growing in recent years and anime fans are starting to explore what it has to offer. Everyone once in a while, fans will discover new gems and even new genre out of it, in some cases, we learn about unique plot twist embedded in the generic cliche that we’re quite familiar with. Such is the case when it comes to isekai also known as transmigration or reincarnation cliche in anime.
Let’s talk about the isekai in Chinese anime. There is plenty of isekai donghua out there and they sometimes have many similarities while they also have unique twists in their respective story. For example, among the common isekai cliche from various donghua that I had seen is when the main characters died yet reincarnated in another world and possessed someone else identity. Another example is when the main character simply gets inside an elevator or a door then found himself in another world a few seconds later.
One thing I have noticed though is that almost every isekai donghua shared the same element – CULTIVATION. Thus, I think it is safe to conclude that isekai is most effective to apply in a story set in a cultivation donghua. The isekai cliche is not only popular among the cultivation or xianxia donghua but also in Chinese manhua and web novels. Furthermore, most of the popular Chinese isekai anime are based on these novels.
In this post, I would like to share some of the best Chinese isekai anime that needs more attention.
Chinese Isekai Anime List
First on our list is Soul Land or Douluo Dalu, a Chinese anime that keeps on breaking records and surprise the donghua community. It’s the most popular Chinese anime right now with hundreds of millions of views in every episode. Soul Land follows the story of Tang San who got reincarnated in a new fantasy world after he committed suicide from this previous life. In this new world, he was gifted with the rare ability to wield two spirit souls, he must cultivate his power and skills to fulfill his goal of establishing the Tang Sect (his former sect from his previous life) in this new world while also seeking the truth about his family.
He joined a school where he befriends other gifted individuals, together they help each other strengthen their powers, defeat monsters, and foes, and deepen their friendship. So far, of all the Chinese anime that I have seen, Soul Land is one of the best adventure stories out there.
Adapted from Mo Xiang Tong Xiu’s danmei (boys-love) novel Scum Villain Self-Saving System, the Scumbag System is one of the most popular and unique boys-love donghua that I had seen.
Scumbag System follows the story of an average otaku who keeps on criticizing how the story of the book he is reading ended. Then, he got transported inside that very book that he had been insulting and possessed the body of the villain. Now, knowing how that certain villain ended up, he had to find a way to avoid meeting the same end.
This is a funny story that reminds me of the 2020’s anime My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Leads to Doom! Here, the main character had to win the good side of his student Bing He who is the protagonist of the book, but his action is limited. How will he survive is the focus of this donghua. Aside from the super beautiful character design of the MC, we also get tons of action and cultivation cliche from this donghua.
The Demonic King Who Chases His Wife
Xie Wang Zhui Qi – Next on our list is a shoujo donghua that female viewers will surely enjoy. It’s about a famous assassin who was betrayed and killed by her boyfriend when she woke up she already possessing the body of the useless 4th miss of a noble family in Ancient China.
Her journey of love, drama, and adventure then begins beside the notorious tyrant king whom people feared. It’s romantic, dramatic, and a bit hilarious that our shoujo hearts will always devour any time of the day. The Demonic King Who Chases His Wife is among our top recommend donghua for female viewers and even for shounen fans.
Are You Okay?
You Yao? – Alright, here we have one of the most unique isekai anime ever. Are You Okay? is a Chinese anime where the main characters and the people around them are aware that they are from another world and they openly discuss it even in the public.
Are You Okay? offers a refreshing take on isekai cliche in donghua with elements involving Chinese culture and humor. It feels like I have seen it in other donghua or Chinese drama, even novels or books but it still feels new and entertaining.
Battle Through the Heavens
I am not even aware at first that Battle Through the Heavens is a Chinese isekai anime until I have read the novel. So, Xiao Yan is an average guy from Earth who got transported in a fantasy world where magic doesn’t exist but elements like Dou Qi are abundant and people can cultivate it to become an existence similar to gods.
This is one of my earliest donghua and has been an amazing ride so far. The first season was quite rough but the animation greatly improved starting in its second season, albeit there have been some changes with the character designs due to the change of animation studio. Just like Soul Land, Battle Through the Heavens is an amazing fantasy donghua with lots of action and cultivation stuff.
Adapted from the manhua Demon Spirit Seed Manual, Yao Jing Zhong Zhi Shou Ce or Planting Manual enchanted us in 2020 with its magical opening theme and the unique plot of fairies’ origin. Here, we have our main character who got transmigrated to another world and tries to cultivate his power by collecting seeds on which fairies can be born when its flowers bloom. There’s too much drama going on here where we follow the journey of our main character’s path to cultivation in this new world while also having a glimpse at the backstories of the fairies that joined his journey. For more details, you may check my full review of the donghua here: Planting Manual Donghua Review: On Tales of Fairies, Tragic Past & Conspiracies
Yuang Long – Just like The Demonic King Who Chases His Wife, we have another main character from the modern world who got transported on a fantasy world. Our protagonist is a sniper and in this new world, he must find a way to strengthen himself and increase his cultivation as this new world is only kind to the strong and ruthless to the weak. How will he handle the survival of the fittest in this isekai donghua is a must-watch.
Adorable Food Goddess
Last on our list but definitely not the least is Adorable Food Goddess or Meng Qi Shi Shen, it follows the story of our main character Ye Jiaoyao who got transported back in time and possessed the body of Ye Jinxuan. In this Chinese isekai anime, we had our main character aspires to open the best restaurant in that era but it won’t be an easy task and so many hurdles will come to challenge her. Nonetheless, Adorable Food Goddess features some of the best-animated food sequences from any donghua that I had seen. It is even on par with the animation of Foods Wars and some scenes from Makoto Shinkai’s works.
Where to Watch These Donghua?
To make things easier for you guys, I have linked here each of these donghua to their official page on their respective streaming provider such as Tencent Video, iQiyi, bilibili, and many more as follows:
- Soul Land
- Scumbag System
- The Demonic King Who Chases His Wife
- Are You Okay?
- Battle Through the Heavens
- Planting Manual
- Carp Reborn
- Adorable Food Goddess
Alright, so these are only a few of the best Chinese isekai anime that I would like to recommend to everyone. There’s still plenty out there and I do hope to update this list for more suggestions in the near future as I also take one step deeper into Chinese animation.
Code name: Yu Alexius is an ambiguous entity who loves to talk about anime and Chinese animation in general. An insatiable soul from the Pearl of the Orient, a frustrated writer and a Houtarou Oreki wanna-be. He is a piece of a lunatic and everything crazy.