Oshi no Ko is one of the most popular new-generation anime series, based on an equally sensational manga of the same name, written by Aka Akasaka and illustrated by Mengo Yokoyari. Due to the nature and plot of the series, one common debate among fans is about whether it qualifies as an Isekai anime. However, it must be noted that Oshi no Ko is not an Isekai anime.

While the isekai genre typically involves characters being transported to a parallel world, this series takes a slightly different approach.

Even though the drama mystery series has a lot of elements that can make viewers perceive it as an Isekai series, it does not check all the boxes for the same.

Oshi no Ko seamlessly blends the work of fiction with hard reality and real-life elements to present a unique narrative under the drama, mystery, and supernatural genres, while having elements of a Tensei series.

Why Oshi No Ko is not an isekai anime

The fact that reincarnation holds a crucial place in the series’ narrative often leads readers to mislabel Oshi no Ko as an Isekai anime. While it is true that the main characters die and are reincarnated, they are not taken to a parallel world. Instead, they are reincarnated with new identities, but within the same world and timeline, making it different from the typical Isekai series.

In the popular subgenre, Isekai, the protagonist generally wakes up in a fantasy land with an entirely different reality or timeline than he was in before, typically presenting a place filled with unique creatures and magic. The new life also offers a fresh start for the character, where they could adjust to their new surroundings and strive to live a happy and prosperous life without being burdened by their past.

Baby Aqua and Ruby watching Ai’s performance (Image via Doaga Kobo)

The main focus in the anime is on the idol and entertainment industry, portraying some harsh realities of society, and it remains deeply rooted in the world the characters were originally in before reincarnation. Unlike a typical Isekai series, it does not remove the existing crises by introducing a fantasy setting free from the burdens of past lives.

Oshi No Ko is one of the few series that, despite being a work of fiction, is heavily based on real-world issues. The intense story carries significant weight and presents an authentic depiction of the exploitation, complexities, and challenges faced in show business, which again is a topic that does not contain Isekai elements in any possible way.

What genre is Oshi no Ko?

Even though it might not be considered an Isekai series, Oshi No Ko resembles another anime subgenre called Tensei. Characters in Tensei anime are reborn or reincarnated into the same world they previously lived in, but with a new identity or body. The character’s past life influences their actions and decisions in their new life, which is very much what happens in Oshi No Ko.

One of the most significant and appealing aspects of the series is how two characters, Gorou and Sarina, in a past life, were a doctor and a young patient who developed immense adoration for a popular teenage idol named Ai Hoshino. However, when they both passed away tragically, fate reincarnated them as twins of that same idol.

Aqua is determined to find Ai’s murderer. (Image via Doga Kobo)

After finding happiness with Ai, their world falls apart when she is brutally murdered in broad daylight. Previously, just fans but now also her children, Gorou and Sarina who are now named Aqua and Ruby, respectively, face a drastic and major shift in life. Sarina, now Ruby, resolves to follow in her mother’s footsteps, wanting to be just like her.

Meanwhile, Aqua, once Gorou, resolves to devote his life to bringing justice by finding and killing their mother’s murderer. This selection of paths sets the stage for a complex and dark narrative that is greatly impacted by the characters’ previous lives, making it a perfect Tensei series.

Stay tuned for more Oshi no Ko manga and anime news as 2023 progresses.

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