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Isekai General Discussion Thread


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Just wanted to make a general thread about this topic.  For posting your thoughts of the isekai genre in anime.  Love it?  Hate it?  Love to hate it?  Hate to love it?  Feel free to speak your mind!

 

In response to Isekai I'd watched/read:

I'm pretty sure I watched SAO back when it first came out, but the abridged series sticks out in my mind way more.  I've also seen "No Game No Life", "Konosuba" (at my brother's recommendation) and "Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious" (these titles, lol).

In terms of manga, I don't think I've read any "true" isekai, but I've read a couple ones that are isekai-like.  The characters aren't "transported", they just heavily engage with their in-game rpg worlds.  I can't remember the manga names, but I think I have some physical copies around...  Still, I enjoyed 'em and I might reread 'em.

 

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Sorry if I got too carried away by the Isekai thingy back there, I wanted to socialize a little with the OP of that thread as well >_<''

Anywho, copy-pasting what I said there, Isekai I'm following: 

Kugo Desu Ga, Nani Ka?
I've been killing Slimes for 300 years and maxed my level (lol)
Honzuki no Gekokujou
Mushoku Tensei (it's been a while since I read one manga, tho)

I haven't watched Konosuba or Re:Zero, but i'm interested in this:

Nota-Isekai-Quartet-review-03.jpg

Isekai Quartet xD

I never got too far in SAO, because:

Spoilers ahead 👇

That third chapter when the the whole little guild of Kirito gets suddenly killed by the trap, and the poor girl who was so scared to die is disintegrated... then the guild's boss returns from buying a house and finds out all of them except Kirito are dead and commits suicide...and the song she left to Kirito... T_T Holy crap, man, I could never get over that.

End of spoiler xD

I've tried and dropped some stuff over time. For instance, I didn't like that manga where the protagonist is a slime. It's not the only one I've dropped, but can't remember the names (and we all know why I can't remember the names xD).

In that last part you mentioned about characters being too engaged in a fantasy gaming world, I also have one I love: Bofuri!

81LSmSv8l0L._RI_.jpg

What I love about this is that it's good for the health xD. A sweet adventure in which no life is at risk... it's nice for a change when you just want an innocuous and innocent fun instead of psychological drama.

@Mr. HyzyYou might want to post in this thread n.n

Edited by Rayfield Lumina
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I found the ones I read!

iD_eNTITY (or "Yureka") - This is a manhwa rather than a manga.  It's a dynamic read: a lot more shonen-like.  It takes a while for the real plot to begin, but it's fun just seeing the main characters interact with the world.  Unlike isekai, the protagonists already seem to know the world very well and are elite players rather than newbies.  I think I've already read this one twice.

1/2 Prince - The protagonist is the very first player to get the MMO and start the game.  To reward her, she gets 1 wish... and she wishes to be a super handsome/bishie guy!  Hilarity ensues as almost every girl falls in love with her avatar.  A more lighthearted manhua (not a manga or manhwa xD) that starts silly and moves into a deeper storyline down the line.  I don't really remember this one as much (I only read it once), but I remember loving it.

@Rayfield Lumina From what I heard about Bofuri, I think you'd actually really enjoy 1/2 Prince.

 

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9 hours ago, Mr Melon said:

@Rayfield Lumina From what I heard about Bofuri, I think you'd actually really enjoy 1/2 Prince

I'll keep this in mind. I gotta say, I simply can't get into manhua. Every time I try, it all starts too vague and somewhat unalluring. The overall art style isn't particularly my taste, either BUT, I haven't tried too many times and I might have had bad luck in the choosing xD. I dislike harem as well, but that's another story >_<''.

Right now, my favourite is Kumo Desu Ga, Nani Ka? Main character is a girl who reincarnated as a spider, lol. She's got to survive in an extremely harsh environment. Soon, though, you find out it's got this trending stuff about video game system. Stats, Skill lists, Titles, etc. Not really original, but they make good use of it. Plus the MC is hilarious. Looks like in many cases it's about MC being the weakest of the weak or the (sometimes by cheat) strongest of the strong. This is a case of the former, overused, but which I like more than the guy who's blessed with the power and the looks and goes around followed by the tsundere and the shy girl, so annoying xP.

Wanna share your thoughts on Isekai, @Sleepy?

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Let's see.... stuff I've seen or heard of regarding Isekai:

SAO
I've got a pretty good idea of what happens at almost every bit of the story despite only having actually seen one episode. Looks pretty but I've heard too many flaws so a decade later and I still mostly don't feel like watching it. My brother got into it a few months ago and said it's not so bad so at least I'm a little bit curious to see it first hand. The second game they enter is universally considered the worst of the series, but speaking present day I heard Alicization was pretty good. If I were to check again the franchise I'm more tempted on checking out the spinoff with girls with guns where Kirito doesn't appear. Oh, and I heard Accelworld is by the same creator and in the same universe... but tbh I did not get hooked enough to really keep going when I found it...

Overlord
The fact it has more than 2 seasons and the bad guy is the main guy... I saw a scene of him killing off a team of adventurers that snuck into his castle. It seems like it is good but I just don't like those crude tragedy kind of shows. Maybe if I watched it there'd be some sort of reason for being like that? IDK....

Log Horizon
Not sure, it looks interesting but it is a little more on the realistic side.... actually, I forget if this is an actual isekai or I'm just putting it up here for the fantasy aesthetic xD 

Is it wrong to pick up girls on a Dungeon? (Danamachi)
You know, the "Hestia with white dress and a blue ribbon for some reason squeezing her boobs" anime.... have not seen enough of it. I think I only read a couple manga chapters and it seems kinda light hearted?

Re:Zero
If there was one anime in this list I wanna check out first out of the ones I haven't watched, it is this one. The respawn mechanic must be quite a horror show at first but I imagine he'd get used to it and eventually take advantage. IDK seems interesting, and I'm curious to see what the deal is that makes so many cosplayers gravitate towards the 3 main girls xD (blue and pink hair sisters(?) and IIRC the white hair girl was named Emilia).

Cautious Hero
Coming back from watching Konosuba, I expected good things from this, and I enjoyed it for a little bit but did not feel compelled to keep going. Main guy trains until he's overpowered, the goddess lusts over him, aaaaand I think that's it? rinse and repeat. 

That time I got reincarnated as a slime
Sounds to me like it'd be a little bit like the above one.... although can't be all that sure... I haven't watched one bit of it except for some youtube clip of it being immune to an enemy and it is the same clip in any video I see so I'm under the impression there's like one good scene in that anime and that's it. It also follows the pattern of "it gets good later but that's in the light novel that's hundreds of chapters ahead of the manga, and the manga is like 3 times the size of the anime season that's going on right now"....

Who remembers stuff like Zero No Tsukaima btw? one of the first Isekai I ever checked out..... hate it, easily bottom of the list. Back then I forced myself to watch at least some amount of episodes of any anime I found but ugh....

Isekai Quartet
I'm under the impression this is gonna have very low budget animation full of chibis that don't do anything but talk to each other and looks like it'd be a 5 min episodes kind of deal xD
but I'm still super curious because of the crossover aspect. Maple, Naofumi and Kazuma in the same picture along with Re-Zero and Overlord sounds fun so I kinda wanna gravitate to it xD

So I'm a Spider, So What?
I'm torn on it. The manga is easily one of my favs here, but the anime is so ugly-looking and is skipping all the good details of the combat system and speedrunning past the MC's progress of the first bits, and that's pretty bad.... although the anime is showing the other characters' progress as well, which the manga heavily ignores (and are apparently present in the light novel). I wish the anime was better though... but I do recommend the manga xD

Rising of the Shield Hero
I might be lacking in experience.... it might be the same quality as SAO for all I know xD 
but honestly I like it. I'm up to date with the manga and waiting for the season to come. The anime I have issues with though, making the queen more of a sissy and the main guy a little more of a good guy than he actually is in the manga. The manga Naofumi is not "bad" but is not a goodie two shoes either (more of a rough man) and the anime IMO doesn't quite get there..... Also the last bit with Raphtalia in the anime feels rushed AF. I get the feeling the anime was planned in a way that didn't expect to go on any further... a "I didn't think I'd get this far" fashion if you will.

Konosuba
I love this one. So far everything above going at comedy strikes me as "lesser attempts at Konosuba" even when they don't really have all that much in common xD
If I were to recommend any Isekai in this list, this would probably be my first pick haha....

Bofuri
I found this unexpected gem when it was airing. It isn't probably entirely a real isekai as there's no transportation into another world.... unless you consider the world of the MMORPG game which they access via VR to be it. It's like the initial concept of SAO's game if the SAO developers were actually just making a game and not a death trap. Just watching the progress and how the MC Maple breaks the mechanics is super fun. This is like, my favorite one behind Konosuba xD
 

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11 hours ago, Mr Melon said:

Does Digimon count as isekai?

I think it does, it doesn't cover the typical isekai aesthetic (which is like being an MMORPG in a fantasy setting.. probably with medieval vibes in it) but it DOES cover up the definition of "main character transported into another world". 

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On 1/30/2021 at 11:51 AM, Mr Melon said:

Does Digimon count as isekai?

On 1/30/2021 at 11:17 PM, Sleepy said:

I think it does, it doesn't cover the typical isekai aesthetic (which is like being an MMORPG in a fantasy setting.. probably with medieval vibes in it) but it DOES cover up the definition of "main character transported into another world". 

I agree with Sleepie. As per definition, Isekai means "Another world" or "otherworld". Some people consider that to be an Isekai, a reborn's got to be involved somehow, but that's not the case, you just need to be transported/displaced or whatever to another world to be part of the genre.

As for why the reborn trope is so common, I'd say it's no mystery at all. Our world isn't precisely nice to a lot of people. Also, I'd say that certain individuals think, either sporadically or continuously, that they have lead their lives in a wrong way, and wish to return in time to make things better now with the knowledge of how to, or be someone else entirely (I'll sincere myself with you and admit that kind of thought happens to me at times). Evidently, people is projecting on the MCs of these novels, but I would consider that's also kind of painful, as you're aware that all of that if just fiction and you can't aspire for the same... yet the fantasy and the freedom is too alluring to ignore.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Godbrand said:

The strongest villian in majority of isekais 

 

images.jpg

 

avtd7q5vy1j31.jpg

This is........ exactly right.

In truth, I have plans for an Isekai themed archetype (or should I say, it's been like 6 months since I have that intent?) that's 100% drawn by me, and one of the cards, a Trap, depicts precisely the star monster of the archetype about to be run over by a truck xD

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2 hours ago, Godbrand said:

Using the old tired trope of truck-kun us getting old. At least in slime, he was stab by some rando and kazuma had a major heart attack.... 

Yep, me using an old-tired trope is absolutely on purpose. My intent with the archetype is to make use of the common tropes in isekai and embrace them deliberately.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Everyone is allowed to have their own opinions and things they like, so if someone likes isekai, that's fine. However, I personally think that it has stifled a lot of creativity in the fantasy genre, and a lot of times, is thrown into the plot for seemingly no reason. It's a crutch that allows the writer to write things they know about from our world into fantasy, and make really bad referential "jokes", as well as essentially make a Gary Stu insert character.

I love fantasy. It's my favorite genre. I don't want to be essentially talked down to, though, by having the author be like "Hehe bet you wish this was you huh? What if?" If someone wants to imagine themselves in such a scenario... they can use their imagination to do so. They don't need an analogue character to do so. Some fantasy, like I mentioned earlier, doesn't even need the isekai element for the story to make sense. Such as Grimgar, where at least in the parts of the anime up until then, their being from another world has 0 impact on the story. They could have just lived there and been born in that world, and the story would remain just as grueling.

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3 hours ago, Zeppeli Gyro Supreme said:

Everyone is allowed to have their own opinions and things they like, so if someone likes isekai, that's fine. However, I personally think that it has stifled a lot of creativity in the fantasy genre, and a lot of times, is thrown into the plot for seemingly no reason. It's a crutch that allows the writer to write things they know about from our world into fantasy, and make really bad referential "jokes", as well as essentially make a Gary Stu insert character.

I love fantasy. It's my favorite genre. I don't want to be essentially talked down to, though, by having the author be like "Hehe bet you wish this was you huh? What if?" If someone wants to imagine themselves in such a scenario... they can use their imagination to do so. They don't need an analogue character to do so. Some fantasy, like I mentioned earlier, doesn't even need the isekai element for the story to make sense.

I agree with most of what I'm quoting, but... do you truly think it "stifles the creativity of the genre? I suppose it does, in a sense, when it's the case you're the kind of person who's interested in sales. People will just jump in the trend. If Isekai and its common tropes is what flies off the shelves, then...
"Welcome to Insert Another World's name here, young, handsome man with a broken power and tons of cute girls following you as harem!

But in essence the Isekai genre is not "stiffing" the fantasy genre per se, imo... it's a matter of choice, after all. Fantasy is a favourite of mine as well, and you're free to create your story within the genre as you see fit. It's like you say... imagination. Get hold of that, and there's nothing that can stop you, not the trends, or the money, or the likes or dislikes of other people... it's just you and your story n.n

4 hours ago, Zeppeli Gyro Supreme said:

Such as Grimgar, where at least in the parts of the anime up until then, their being from another world has 0 impact on the story. They could have just lived there and been born in that world, and the story would remain just as grueling.

Oh, this sounds pretty interesting. Grimgar, eh? I'm gonna have a look.

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1 hour ago, Rayfield Lumina said:

I agree with most of what I'm quoting, but... do you truly think it "stifles the creativity of the genre? I suppose it does, in a sense, when it's the case you're the kind of person who's interested in sales. People will just jump in the trend. If Isekai and its common tropes is what flies off the shelves, then...
"Welcome to Insert Another World's name here, young, handsome man with a broken power and tons of cute girls following you as harem!

But in essence the Isekai genre is not "stiffing" the fantasy genre per se, imo... it's a matter of choice, after all. Fantasy is a favourite of mine as well, and you're free to create your story within the genre as you see fit. It's like you say... imagination. Get hold of that, and there's nothing that can stop you, not the trends, or the money, or the likes or dislikes of other people... it's just you and your story n.n

Oh, this sounds pretty interesting. Grimgar, eh? I'm gonna have a look.

Some people liked Grimgar, but it had a lot of problems, thus why there is no second season. One of the major problems being the animation quality at times, and how they will sit on a still frame for multiple minutes on occasion. One example of the obvious budget limitations can be seen below.
df93c5927ea732453da80f3549edb52b313c0ec7

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  • 2 weeks later...

The only thing I'm very familiar with in this 'genre' (more like a single trope if you ask me) is Spirited Away and I'm not even sure that would count. But I do like how S.A. kind of does this 'overlapping' of the space between the physical and spirit worlds (it's not like there's a portal or a reincarnation or any of that) and I think utilization of that idea could lead to some cool ideas.

Another thing I'd like to see in a story (kinda similar to the above) is a fantasy character or group of characters being transported to our world, and how they would react to how different ours is from theirs. Anyone know any? (doesn't have to be A&M)

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On 3/9/2021 at 1:27 PM, cr47t said:

The only thing I'm very familiar with in this 'genre' (more like a single trope if you ask me) is Spirited Away and I'm not even sure that would count. But I do like how S.A. kind of does this 'overlapping' of the space between the physical and spirit worlds (it's not like there's a portal or a reincarnation or any of that) and I think utilization of that idea could lead to some cool ideas.

Another thing I'd like to see in a story (kinda similar to the above) is a fantasy character or group of characters being transported to our world, and how they would react to how different ours is from theirs. Anyone know any? (doesn't have to be A&M)

That inversion of the trope exists actually. There's this manga called "The Demon Lord is a Part Timer" where in some epic fantasy world, all involved in the final stretch of the final battle between the good side and demon lord, get transported to Earth and although the goal is to get back, for the mean time they adjust themselves to society. The demon lord gets hired at McDonalds, the heroine of the legend winds up working at a call center for customer service, and oddly enough both sides are forced to become less hostile with one another.

Also, I've never seen this one but there's a Disney movie where a 2D prince and princess get to Earth thanks to an evil witch's doing, where their tropes clash with everyday life. How was it called? huh.... ah, "Enchanted".

As a random extra note: Peter Pan is technically an Isekai xD
Hmm come to think of it, maybe also Wizard of Oz, depending on whether they play it off as "could have just been a dream" or not..... What else? Dante's Inferno? hehe....

Edited by Sleepy
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On 3/9/2021 at 3:27 PM, cr47t said:

Another thing I'd like to see in a story (kinda similar to the above) is a fantasy character or group of characters being transported to our world, and how they would react to how different ours is from theirs. Anyone know any?

Well... this is a bit of a stretch, but wouldn't Miss Kobayashi's Dragonmaid count as reverse Isekai? The dragons came from another world and now they're trying to adapt to society over here xD.

I also remember dropping a manga named Goodbye! Isekai Tensei. I didn't get far, but the story had a... huh.... decent twist:

The MC was an average guy who was supposed to reincarnate as the Hero of another world. Up that that point, it's the same as always, yeah. One day, a girl arrived at our world by teleportation and informed the MC of this fact. Evidently, the problem here is that the guy's got to reincarnate, so this seemingly sweet girl starts trying to kill the MC in order for him to become her Hero, but is stopped by the daughter of the demon lord and her ace monsters. Thus, the story is about the conflict between the two, held on Earth, with the MC trapped in the middle.

Why I dropped it? Harem-ish themes (MC also got a friend who's obviously in love with him and the ever annoying trope of the MC being too dense to realize) and a bothersome ecchi focus. They have this irritating (for me at least) custom of unnecessarily show the girl's panties as much as possible/focusing on the butt, or character models with ridiculous bust sizes, bathroom scenes, females groping other female's breasts, etc... in short, an sleazy attitude towards women which I truly dislike. I mean, I often talk about waifus and I'm never against the drawing of a beautiful lady, but it's evident they have no respect, it's just using exaggeratedly developed women as bait.

But I remember it kinda well because the premise wasn't that bad, and it was a pity it turned the way I mention above, because the ace monsters of the demon lord's daughter promised to be relatively appealing characters.

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11 hours ago, Rayfield Lumina said:

Why I dropped it? ... in short, an sleazy attitude towards women which I truly dislike.

Wouldn't blame you, i'm really tired of seeing this attitude in stories half of everywhere I step. I know people say that 'sex sells' but I'd rather get a good story well told and I expect a lot of people would prefer that too

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I might have mentioned before that I have a story in mind that piggybacks off of the isekai genre to start the plot and deconstructs certain elements to deliver some important plot points.
 

Here's a summary of the story in my mind:

The story starts after the MC is isekai'd and saves another world from its respective demon lord.

Upon saving that world, the MC is brought back to the realm of deities and is given a wish.  They wish to remain a Hero.  This (apparently) isn't too uncommon a wish, and is granted.  The MC is transported to this "Planet of Champions" where they get to interact with other Heroes who saved other planets.  The "Planet of Champions" is a veritable utopia and every now and then fighting tournaments are hosted by the deities in order to ascend some Heroes to deity status.

The true plot begins when MC overhears a deity talking to someone.  The MC peeks into the room and to their surprise they see a deity conversing with a demon.  It turns out the deities and the demons are in cahoots.

Demon executives send low-level demon lords to planets at a certain schedule (why do you think demon lords get resurrected every 5,000 years?  They're quite punctual!).  The demon lords extract souls and physical material from the planet.  Then after a set amount of time, the deities send in a Hero to defeat the demon lord and so the populace of the planet begin to worship the deities; this gives the deities "holy power" in order to perform miracles and other things.  This cycle happens en masse for many planets in the universe and can happen as often as every 1000 years.  Both the deities and the demons get what they want at the expanse of the lives of the mortals in the universe.

The plot moves forward with the MC gathering Heroes together to try to fight against both the deities and demons to free their entire universe from this vicious cycle.

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On 3/16/2021 at 12:34 PM, Mr Melon said:

I might have mentioned before that I have a story in mind that piggybacks off of the isekai genre to start the plot and deconstructs certain elements to deliver some important plot points.
 

Here's a summary of the story in my mind:

*see original post*

I find it interesting that you plan on using fantasy elements to deconstruct a sub-genre. That's something I'd like to see more of myself.

I think that's because I've been writing a story myself and I hope to deconstruct a genre myself using at least some fantasy elements (except in my case, the genre I'm deconstructing isn't on a fixed position to the realism-fantasy scale), but I'm not sure what tools I have at my disposal since so many notable deconstructions are based on the "______ but in real life" kind of approach. Do you know any articles or existing stories I can learn from? Or should I ask the forum? 

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1 hour ago, cr47t said:

I find it interesting that you plan on using fantasy elements to deconstruct a sub-genre. That's something I'd like to see more of myself.

I think that's because I've been writing a story myself and I hope to deconstruct a genre myself using at least some fantasy elements (except in my case, the genre I'm deconstructing isn't on a fixed position to the realism-fantasy scale), but I'm not sure what tools I have at my disposal since so many notable deconstructions are based on the "______ but in real life" kind of approach. Do you know any articles or existing stories I can learn from? Or should I ask the forum? 

I'm not sure.  My story deconstructs the sub-genre by necessity, not because I was actively looking to do so.

 

I was just talking with an English professor about this and they seemed to agree that you don't start at a point of deconstruction; tropes aren't necessarily bad after all.  I assume you have a story premise in mind, right?

 

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On 3/17/2021 at 6:16 PM, Mr Melon said:

I'm not sure.  My story deconstructs the sub-genre by necessity, not because I was actively looking to do so.

 

I was just talking with an English professor about this and they seemed to agree that you don't start at a point of deconstruction; tropes aren't necessarily bad after all.  I assume you have a story premise in mind, right?

 

Yeah I have a premise in mind. But this is a thread with a different topic so should I start my own thread? Or just do message or something?

Now to try and shift the focus back to the original thread, my last writing project was a kind of isekai-style thing. It fell through because I gradually felt that that project was to some extent me writing about what I wished could happen - on a thematic level, not plot or world based. But still, I didn't want to write wish fulfillment, especially since that seems to be a big problem in the explosion of isekai projects. Am I wrong about that or is it a real problem, and if so, how can I spot it before I get in too deep?

Edited by cr47t
added things to hopefully avoid thread derailment
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I love Isekai, particularly the stories that have a special twist (there was one where this man being trained to be a martial artist really wanted t be a gardener). I really want to see one focused on a really intelligent receptionist from another world!

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On 3/24/2021 at 12:30 PM, ITSUKOSOADO said:

I love Isekai, particularly the stories that have a special twist (there was one where this man being trained to be a martial artist really wanted t be a gardener). I really want to see one focused on a really intelligent receptionist from another world!

Although I think I know what you're referring to, the above statement is a bit ambiguous. You want the MC to be a receptionist in our world, who then is transported to another, or someone with X job from our world that becomes a receptionist in the other world?

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