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General isekai & ISOT discussion and resource thread

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Author
(well, the 2 genres do share a number of similarities)

So this thread is to discuss isekai and ISOT genres, whether you love (or love to hate) them. Resources, advice, etc. are all welcome.

Yes, it is weird that someone who kinda dislike more works of the genre is making this thread, but since I'm also a colossal hypocrite and is fishing for advice and research for my next story so here we go.
 

Morphile

Well-known member
You know, I was going to make this as part of a larger general Crossover thread, but I didn't get a notification that the Index had been made. I have a post over on DWW going over the four "types" of crossover in the initial post. Here's the block where I cover these two subsets of crossover from that thread:
Displaced/Isekai:
A Displaced or Isekai 'fic is a type of crossover in which one (or more) character(s) from a setting is directly inserted into a different setting. Some of the same elements as fusion 'fics are present, as both must establish power set interactions between the two settings, but a Displaced/Isekai crossover only requires the interactions of a single character to be covered. For example, a 'fic that sticks a Hollow from Bleach only needs to cover how Hollows interact with the new setting, defining interactions with various magical purifications and spiritual corruptions native to the setting they've been inserted into. If you stuck a Hollow into Kingdom Hearts, you immediately have to ask the question of how Heartless interact with the Hollow, as Bleach declares that Hollows have twisted their hearts into a source of power, destroying their ability to feel emotions normally, and Hollows are composite entities with multiple souls, and thus potentially multiple Hearts.

A bad Displaced/Isekai 'fic entirely ignores the interactions or has the interactions be always and purely favorable to the inserted character. To reuse the above example, the Hollow would not only immune to Heartless screwing with them, but can command Heartless without opposition or risk, convert others into Hollows that share the same properties the exact same way they would in Bleach, be immune to purification via Keyblade and generally just run right over KH without opposition. A good 'fic of this type would mix complications. Keyblade purification working on Hollows just like it does with Heartless, with Heartless fighting the Hollow(s) just like any non-Heartless resident of KH without the hax of Heart-corruption working, the Hollow being able to permanently damage Heartless with soul-damaging attacks but not automatically destroying them outright and so on. Strengths and weaknesses from both Wrong Context Magic and transparency, having middle grounds of partial advantage. As above, just because it's a bad Displaced/Isekai, doesn't make it a bad 'fic overall, it just means it handles that particular part of its categorization badly.

ISOT:
Pretty much the Battle Royal to Displaced's Duels, ISOT takes a region from one setting and places it into another setting. It's rather different from Displaced in how it's handled, as you have to take into account metaphysics at large and everything about the region for how interactions occur. You basically have to account for every mechanic of the settings, but not the whole world of one setting. When you do something like stick Konohagakure from Nartuo/Boruto into, say, Nasuverse, you have to account for every ability shown to be part of "common" access in the village, such as clans who use the same Jutsu and Bloodlines, as well as how the general metaphysics of both settings interact because you've taken an area from one setting to another.

A good ISOT generally focuses on the politics involved and how metaplots are altered, rather than how specific characters interact with the new setting, as the latter usually leads to ignoring or glossing over the setting conflicts in play and reducing the region brought along to a "home base" or source of infrastructure/assets to use for the focus characters. By focusing on the "big picture" rather than specific characters, it makes it more likely that a 'fic will cover the interactions of organizations effectively. Splitting the focus generally results in quality suffering, as single characters have very different forms of interaction from organizations and doing both well is rather difficult. Again, though, this qualifier is about the quality of the ISOT element alone, rather than the 'fic at large.
 

Erwin_Pommel

Kill all fluffy wuffy bunnies
(well, the 2 genres do share a number of similarities)

So this thread is to discuss isekai and ISOT genres, whether you love (or love to hate) them. Resources, advice, etc. are all welcome.

Yes, it is weird that someone who kinda dislike more works of the genre is making this thread, but since I'm also a colossal hypocrite and is fishing for advice and research for my next story so here we go.
What kind of advice my good friend?
 

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Author
What kind of advice my good friend?
Background to my stories/setting* so far:
-generic medieval fantasy world (at least it started out as such, certainly wasn't the case by now)
-mostly usual douchebag isekai protags doing their thing
-some of the isekais, who decided they want no part of that shit, fled from the human lands and to the orc lands, which it turns out that they're not the stereotypical ones
-orcs begin to tech up, defeat humans, and broke away the elves from being a human protectorate
-age of imperialism & colonialism knockoff
-at some point the elves went nazi (damn wehraboo isekai douchebag), it makes sense in context


So at this point the human nation is desperately trying to remain relevant, their modernization efforts have mostly failed (partly due to getting into and losing a war against the nazi elves), and the stereotypical isekais weren't doing them any favors, factions between traditionalists and reformer factions via for the future of the humans in the imperial court, etc. Meanwhile the stereotypical isekais themselves are chafing at how they're also becoming more irrelevant in the new world order. Given how misogynistic and horrid the average stereotypical isekai protags are their attempt at making themselves relevant again will be rather akin to an incel rebellion...

Basically I'm about to write a story that's a crossover between the Boxer Rebellion and an incel rebellion.

So while I'm reasonably well researched** on the Boxer Rebellion I'm not well versed on the average isekai protag mentality (as in I can't stomach reading through most trashy isekai fics, I know it's weird that despite ~72k words in I still haven't actually touched upon actual stereotypical isekais except rumors and speculations from various characters). So I kinda need a little help on understanding their mentalities, especially in context where they're fast becoming irrelevant.


*can be found here: https://www.frozenincarbonite.org/threads/the-lost-bureau-and-other-stories-original-fiction.42/
**a couple of clips from the movie 55 Days in Peking, a ~8 min youtube video by Indy Neidell, a short burb from Victoria: Revolutions on the event, that should be enough right?
 

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Author
So somehow I stumbled upon this thing: 乙女ゲー世界はモブに厳しい世界です (The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs) and all I could say from what little I skimmed through (I'm not exactly a good reader at the best of times) I have to say the protag is even more disgusting than the average, in thee sense as well as generic & bland he also seems to be fueled by hatred, anger, and envy. Really hard to even empathize with such a character, much less sympathize.

Then again, it might be just another revenge fic and I'm reading too much into something that's not intended to be marketed towards more functioning people. It's still decent research material though.
 

Eliar

Well-known member
You do realise that most "isekai light novels" are eastern style power harem wank fanfics right? Or at least they start that way. As original fics written on their version of ff net and such.

Lionheart's stuff is 10 times more well written and makes 10 times more sense than the crap the vast majority of those "writers" crank out.

Yes I know heresy but if he was pretending to translate his stuff from some Chinese or other source he would have been a rich man.
 

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Author
You do realise that most "isekai light novels" are eastern style power harem wank fanfics right? Or at least they start that way. As original fics written on their version of ff net and such.
I do realize that, which is why I love to hate on them, invested quite a few words into those if the word count is any indication...

Everyone has their hobbies after all.
 

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Author
Something else that I just realized, but where the fuck did all those heroes even get the motivation to save a place that they literally just popped into and they have no prior attachment, or even knowledge of? Especially consider the average quality of people that usually get isekaied...
 

Terra Novan

Well-known member
Author
Besides, it's not chattel slavery, or God forbid, Unsullied from ASOIAF. Mamluks were a privileged group even before their takeover, far more than, I daresay, the modern conscripts.

Also, they were freed after completing their training.
 
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Terra Novan

Well-known member
Author
Presumably progress of any kind, technological is the usual go to, but I dare say that social progress is much harder to pull off, mainly because it's almost always the reactionaries who keep on getting isekaied...
I think Korean Isekai have a cliche where the protagonist talking about democracy. Of course, it is more about making the protagonist look good compared to outrageously stereotypical characters instead of making any meaningful progress.
 

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Author
I think Korean Isekai have a cliche where the protagonist talking about democracy. Of course, it is more about making the protagonist look good compared to outrageously stereotypical characters instead of making any meaningful progress.
So just like US foreign policy then? Not all that surprising given the RoK's geopolitical sugardaddy...

Yeah I heard that Korean comics/stories tend to be more toxic than even Japanese manga/stories at times...
 

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Author
I believe we did Isekai and all its cliches before Japanese Isekai became (in)famous, although ours remain local and unknown.
Perhaps it's for the better then, although come to think of it the genre seems to attract the toxic regardless of the country, whether it's the producers or the consumers. The US has all those shitty self insert fan-fics and those who who hates the popular tropes of isekai are just as toxic as what they hate, just in a different direction.
 

Terra Novan

Well-known member
Author
Perhaps it's for the better then, although come to think of it the genre seems to attract the toxic regardless of the country, whether it's the producers or the consumers. The US has all those shitty self insert fan-fics and those who who hates the popular tropes of isekai are just as toxic as what they hate, just in a different direction.
Sadly true. There are good Isekais, but most seems to be about instant (and I mean it - many stories don't bother with actual character development and growth, relying on cheat skills) gratification, and in case of fan fic, rewriting and bashing aspects of original story the author don't like.

And often they also throw Nationalism and Modern Men's Burden into that, rendering it even more toxic.
 
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Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Author
Sadly true. There are good Isekais, but most seems to be about instant (and I mean it - many stories don't bother with actual character development and growth, relying on cheat skills) gratification, and in case of fan fic, rewriting and bashing aspects of original story the author don't like.

And often they also throw Nationalism and Modern Men's Burden into that, rendering it even more toxic.
Almost makes one wonder if the whole genre isn't just a collective cry for help against the feeling of helplessness of contemporary world that some feel... but then again I might be just reading too much into all this...
 

Terra Novan

Well-known member
Author
Almost makes one wonder if the whole genre isn't just a collective cry for help against the feeling of helplessness of contemporary world that some feel... but then again I might be just reading too much into all this...
No, I think you are pretty correct here.
 

Mark Poe

The majestic cock
Author
Hmm... maybe I shouldn't be that harsh then...

... oh well, it's probably 96k words too late for that.
 
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Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
Almost makes one wonder if the whole genre isn't just a collective cry for help against the feeling of helplessness of contemporary world that some feel... but then again I might be just reading too much into all this...
..... dude. This is by the Japanese.

You know.... the guys with a specific word invented to mean 'death from overwork'?
 

Accelerator

Well-known member
Author
I got an idea.

An isekai appears within a stone age hunter gatherer humanity, hunted down and preyed upon by all manner of fair folk, monsters, beasts, and general nasties.

He's got powers, of course. A deep understanding of math and engineering and science, knowledge of alchemy, nanoha style magic, sorcery, youjo senki magic, and all sorts of other shit.

His first step? Protecting a tribe hunted down by a Dark Fair Folk. Killing it by transmuting a hundred likes of iron and then impaling it.

Then he turns to them, and offers them something. Food. Power. Safety. Security. Strength. Home. Respect. Luxury. All they need to do is to follow him. It won't be easy, it'll be scary, but they won't have to worry about being killed like trash ever again.

Some say this is dangerous. Some say this is risky. Some say this is a trick. Some say that this is their only hope. They put it to a vote. They join.

He introduces metalworking, agriculture, and writing. He uses magic to forcibly burn information into one-man mind, and then use him as a teacher. He summons demons, biomechanical constructs, and elementals to forge tons of metal equipment. He uses sorcerous workings to bypass years of selective breeding and genetic engineering, making his own custom plants. Plants to provide medicine, fiber, paint, meat, food, milk, lumber, wrappings, bottles, perfume, lights, waste disposal.... all made.

The first city was built. Then it was attacked. A band of orks, feeling that the pink ones were getting too uppity. They were beaten back. Aura enhanced men clad in plate armour with strength and durability enhancing runes, armed with swords powered with elemental powers, supported by flying mages raining down artillery spells and a radio system. The orks are crushed, and the stragglers sent fleeing. More people come, and the city grows and celebrates, it's population boosted by artificial wombs, modern medicine, working sanitation, and fertility drugs.

This happens again, again, and again. Monsters and beasts attack, are beaten back, more people join, and the city expands. Schools, training barracks, and universities are built, and armies of men are sent out to fight. The flying bird men of omelas are sent crashing from the sky by anti air lascannon and aerial battalions. The iron hard spires of the steel ants were torn down into rubble by the flying battleships of the humanity navy. The underground cities of the mole men were flooded out with thousands of tons of explosives and molten iron. The dream worlds of the fae were destroyed by men who had imagination ripped from them and armed with cold iron.

The war over, the isekai turns to within. Arts and crafts flourish. Consumer goods were made in great factories. Crops were not bred for nutrition, but for taste. If you want to imagine it, think going from stone age Neolithic to 1950 America. In less than 50 years. For the descendants of the tribe, it is like a dream. For the others, too. Of course, it was not perfect.

The isekai was a nice guy. So nice, that he delegated too much. It was sudden. It was said. And he was ousted from power. And he left. His last words were:

"Be well."

The master gone, the usurpers installed a puppet figurehead while they grabbed power for themselves. Money and cash meant for medicine and infrastructure and the public was redirected into private purses. Unrest and conflict was present. Before, the boss had unmatched power and legitimacy. But now... factions within the government, within the military, within the mage schools and within the industries, battled and duked out in shadowed rooms and back alleys. Tempers frayed and shots were fired.

Then, civil war.

Think of it as a combination of the thirty years war, world war 2, world war 1, and the Vietnam war put together. It was long. It was horrific. It was gruesome. The magic and sorcery previously used to preserve human life and free it from the shackles of bondage now ruined it. Razor winds that were powered by ambient mana moved around the wasteland where once stood fields of crops. Silent villages and towns where every living thing was slain by the blue rinse, the only thing left of their former inhabitants now being clothes and piles of dust. Self replicating biological war machines wander the world, serving as hazards and terrors to the survivors. The shining cities of humanity are gutted, sending them down to the level of the dark ages. Once they had plans to fly through the star. Now they struggled to keep the lights on.

The isekai? He disappeared. And in these troubled times, has been deified. Some say his leaving was because mankind was sinful, and will return to bring back the golden age when they have repented. Some say that he left and left them to destroy themselves, because he realized that we were not worth saving, and have decided to finish the job. Some say that he left to test mankind. A test they failed, and so the only way to atone is to restore the glories of the golden age. Some say that he was a demon in disguise, who handed humans the weapons to bring about their own demise. Each sect despises the other. All are very violent.

Of course, you are now the new isekai coincidentally, you are a perfect copy of the previous messiah. Your job is to repair a world ruined by humans and magic. To make sure they no longer self destruct and accept your rule, but not becoming a tyrant nor figurehead.

Have fun.
 

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