Would you survive, die, or thrive if you were trapped in another world? Many heroes in anime find themselves inexplicably pulled from their humdrum lives. They are plopped into a situation where they have to survive the dangers of an unfamiliar world. As expected our heroes often struggle but they do their best. So I figured it’d be fun to answer this little thought experiment for myself. This idea sprang from one of the first panels I did with SuperKayce & NoFace Cosplay wayback at Indy Pop Con in 2015. We led a fan discussion about Sword Art Online/Accel World and the question was asked how we’d adapt to being trapped in a video game world like Kirito.
Spoiler: There will more than likely be a healthy amount of spoilers here as I have to set up the scenario. But I hope that will be more of a selling point to get you interested in these animes about being trapped in another world.
Survive, Die, or Thrive? Overlord
Momonga is logged into the game YGGDRASIL when the servers shut down and he is transmogrified into his avatar, a lich like sorcerer with untold powers. To make matters worse, upon his arrival the game world he knows has been dropped into an unfamiliar world. Now Momonga’s challenge is to assume the persona of an Overlord and lead his followers to success.
Survive – what makes this a survive for me is that while I have plenty of confidence in knowing how to live in a video game world, I do not have the confidence to play the part of the Overlord.
Survive, Die, or Thrive? Re: Zero
Subaru is just living his ordinary, hikikomori life when he is pulled into a fantasy world of magic. He embraces the opportunity easily enough when it puts him in close proximity to a beautiful girl. But pretty soon Subaru confronts the dark magic that keeps him in this world…even if he can’t understand why it keeps bringing him back. Every time he dies the magic brings him back to a “save point”.
Die – I kind of feel like this is an acceptable response. Subaru dies and comes back, I could do that. But I don’t believe my mental fortitude would hold up. I’d definitely crack and break down.
Survive, Die, or Thrive? Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
Ledo is a space pilot in humanity’s fight against a tentacled alien race. During a decisive battle to destroy a dangerous weapon, Ledo is pulled into a wormhole and deposited on a planet covered in water. He is “rescued” by a rag tag group of scavengers on a ship called Gargantia. His life is complicated by all the social protocol he is unaccustomed to.
Survive – I think this one has a major caveat to two. It’d be interesting to learn to about humanity’s compassion and way of life from the outside. But I don’t know that I could stomach space existence or life on the water full time.
Survive, Die, or Thrive? Log Horizon
Unlike all the previous entries, the story of Log Horizon pulls in thousands of people from the real world. It would be nice to have plenty of people who understand the situation. But when we look at a world without established social rules, we can imagine something scary. Shiroe sees the solution before other people see the problem.
Thrive – this might be the #1 pick for me in terms of trapped in another world animes. Elder Tales is very much like World of Warcraft and while I was never a guild master I did spend my fair share of time in a top 100 US guild. I’d do my best to be a leader but even if I failed I could make a pretty good living in this video game world.
So what do you think – what anime worlds could you survive in? Which ones would you possible die in? And what one could you thrive in? Let me know in the comment section below or reach out to me on my social media (Twitter – Instagram)! I’m hopeful to bring this topic to a Wizard World convention soon so maybe you’ll see this discussion live one day.
Featured Image: Aniplex