Trope Workshop:Alternate Realm Boon

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Protagonists in Isekai fiction frequently receive some manner of overwhelming advantage over the inhabitants of the world in which they find themselves. Often this is key to their intended role during their sojourn in that world. This could be (but certainly isn't limited to) one of the following:

  • A specialized skill or class in a world that operates by RPG rules
  • The unexpected ability to use the setting's Functional Magic. When such characters are not simply more powerful than the locals, they will frequently have more than a rudimentary grasp of the scientific method, math, and physics, and can combine them all into some manner of Post-Modern Magik or Magitek that surpasses (or bypasses) what the setting's greatest practitioners are capable of.
  • A legendary weapon or artifact limited to and/or destined for the use of The Chosen One.
  • Rebirth or reincarnation into some stronger form -- often a "monster" or other non-human creature -- upon (or shortly after) arrival.
    • One subvariety has only the traveler's soul or mind sent on to the new world, where it is given an entirely new body complete with special powers or abilities.
  • A flat-out super power like Super Strength or Invisibility.
  • Being assigned to or assisted by a supernatural entity (usually called a "System") that works under RPG rules and that can dispense boons at the command of the character, including, but not limited to, any of the above. Note that this option often comes with the limitation that if the character falls short of the system's expectations it will "terminate the experience of the customer".

How this happens varies wildly by setting -- it may be anything from an "entry requirement" automatically imposed upon visitors to the setting by its natural laws or environmental conditions to a deliberate alteration or augmentation by a deity who likes to mess with travelers coming upon its personal demesne. Regardless, it is likely to be permanent barring extraordinary circumstances, and it is virtually certain to make its recipient(s) stand out in the eyes of the local inhabitants.

While this trope is more common in Eastern works than Western ones (and is frequently seen as an Eastern trope), it is far from rare in the West, as the examples below will demonstrate.

Examples of Alternate Realm Boon include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest, the students and their teacher got a job and magic when they transported to another world. Hajime, the main protagonist, gets stuck with the rare job of Synergist, a non-combat one with the power of transmutation that can act as a craftsman or blacksmith.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero has four people from different worlds summoned with one of the Four Legendary Weapons. The Four Legendary Weapon comes in the form of a sword, a spear, a bow, and a shield. The weapons grant their users different abilities while also having different forms under certain conditions and absorbing materials. The protagonist’s Legendary Shield gives him a high amount of defense but lacks offensive capabilities like the others.
  • Re: Monster has the main character, Tomokui Kanata, reincarnates into a goblin named Rou. He kept his memories and his Esper ability called Absorption. This ability allows him to eat anything from a living creature to material no matter how hard or toxic. The strength of the ability gained depends on the condition of what's eaten.
  • Wise Man's Grandson‍'‍s main character, Shin Wolford, gets reincarnated with vague memories of his previous life. Shin was found as an orphaned newborn who survived a Demon Beast's attack and adopted by the Wise Man, Merlin. He is taught to control his magic power and use magic without a chant from Merlin. He also learned about Enhancement magic from the Guru, Melinda. Shin combines magic with the knowledge of modern science and the Japanese language for powerful effects and new forms of magic; for example, Shin was able to apply the process of combustion to create an explosion that can destroy a mountain. There is also the use of Enhancement magic to modify clothes, weapons, and accessories better than Guru Melinda. This application is made by using Kanji instead of the alphabet used in the world, which can give more options for customization.
  • The protagonist of Knight’s and Magic, Ernesti Kurata, was a genius programmer and mecha otaku while on Earth. He is reincarnated into a world where magic and mecha powered by magic called Silhouette Knights exist. He realizes that magic is like computer programming. Ernersti applies this to use high-level magic at an early age by reprogramming his own internal Magic Circuit with subroutines. He also uses his programming knowledge to reprogram and improve the Magius Engine of a Silhouette Knight. There are also other inventions he has developed, such as a wand that can be used for close combat and improvements to the magical mecha.
  • Parodied in Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!, where a shut-in NEET, Kazuma Sato, dies from shock after mistaking a tractor for a truck while trying to save a girl. He is offered by the goddess, Aqua, the opportunity to reincarnate into a world which is RPG-like and under siege by the Demon Lord. Along with reincarnating, he then is offered a "cheat" to use in the new world. Kazuma then chooses Aqua, who has spent the whole time mocking him, as his bonus. Another goddess recognizes it as official, then the two are teleported to this new world.
  • Konjiki no Word Master has five teenagers summoned, but only four of them are titled as the heroes who are summoned to save the kingdom. Each hero has their own advantages, like affinities for all elements of magic or physically stronger. The fifth is the main character with the title, Innocent Bystander, but he can use the unique Word Magic. The magic has him draw Kanji and apply the meaning of it as an effect.
  • World Strongest Rearguard: Labyrinth Country and Dungeon Seekers have a man named Arihito Atobe is reborn as a Seeker in the world called Labyrinth Country. After getting his Seeker's License, he chooses the Rearguard job that allows him to act as support for his party by reducing damage, increase their attack, and recover from damage automatically.
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody has Suzuki Ichiro, a 30-year-old programmer that died from exhaustion and ended up reincarnated into a younger body. After seeing a game screen, he realizes that he was given the name Satou along with the three use power, "Meteor Shower". He then gets attacked by an army of lizardmen then uses up all of his Meteor Showers against the battalion and levels up to 310.
  • Downplayed in So I'm a Spider, So What?, where people who reincarnate into the world gets the skill n%I=W. The skill transfers their previous life’s fortes, memories, and soul. Without it, the person would be a normal being with no skills or unable to interact with the System in the new world. It can translate the messages from the Divine Voice and screens into Japanese while also giving a small bonus to how fast skills can be acquired and stats increases. It also recovers the person's HP, MP, and SP when they level up.
  • Deconstructed in Re: Zero, where the protagonist, Subaru Natsuki, has the ability he calls Return By Death after being transported to a fantasy world. He can return to a previous time after death. There are different limitation that prevents him from telling anyone about this power. Other than that, he is an average human with no other supernatural abilities.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as A Slime has Satoru Minami reincarnate after getting killed by defending his subordinate from getting stabbed. Due to how he died a virgin, he gained the Unique Skills of Great Sage and Predator along with other skills such as immunity from pain, and resistance from electricity and heat. Satoru is just one example of people called Otherworlds that are people who come from another world through different means. Strays are Otherworlders that come to the world by coincidence. Reincarnated are people who have died and reincarnated into the other world. Summoned are those who are summoned to the world by a magic ritual. Otherworlders tend to have at least one Unique Skill based on their mental state, and those with weaker minds would gain none.
  • In Another World with My Smartphone: the main character, Touya Mochizuki, is accidentally killed by God and reincarnated into another world. He is granted a body with superhuman abilities and affinities to all seven magical elements. He also gifted a smartphone by God that can be charged with magic power and can access the internet from Earth.
  • Overlord has the protagonist, Suzuki Satoru, being transported to the New World while still logged on the final seconds of his MMO, Yggdrasil. The man is now his Yggdrasil max leveled Overlord character, Momonga, along with the guild headquarters and all the loyal NPC subordinates. The New World acts much like the game, along with how his character has been leveled up to 100 with high-class equipment and spells before being teleported.
  • Isekai Cheat Magician has the two protagonists, Taichi and Rin, who are summoned to the new world and gain new powers. Taichi is gifted with a massive amount of magic power, which can be used to gain superhuman physical abilities. Later, it's re he is a Unique Magician who taps into the very elemental forces. His unique magic is being able to summon elemental spirits and use their power. Rin gains her own reservoir of magic power while also showing affinities for earth, wind, fire, and water magic. She does show a lower capability than Taichi but uses her knowledge of physics to enhance her magic.
  • Reincarnated as a Sword has a 30-year old salaryman who was killed by a driver while texting and then reincarnated into a living sword. He can gain new skills by slicing the magic crystals of monsters. These skills can be used by anyone who wields him along with the stats he carries adds to the wielder. One unique feature from other weapons is his Mana Conductivity ranked at A, which means that his weapon sharpness and power can be increased by 200% when coated with mana.
  • Fushigi Yūgi: Every girl who is summoned into the world inside the book The Universe of the Four Gods is given three wishes -- but they are required to be Selfless Wishes.
  • Played with in Saga of Tanya the Evil: an HR manager dies and encounters a god-like being known as Being X. After a conversation on faith in deities that goes south due to the protagonist's staunch atheism, Being X reincarnates him into another world currently going through a war. He is reborn as a girl named Tanya in an imperialistic country surrounded by hostile neighbors; the difference is that magic is involved with warfare. After taking a magical aptitude test, she then becomes a candidate for the Empire's Imperial Armed Forces. She is also the only one who can use the Elenium Type-95 which is an unstable magic core and the only one that can use it without exploding as a 'blessing' from Being X.
  • In The New Gate, Shin managed to defeat the final boss of a VRMMO, The New Gate, a game that trapped people where if they die in the game; they die in real life. Before he could log out, he is sent through a gate and finds himself in an actual fantasy world similar to the game. He then learns the titles he gained after finishing the final boss that can break restriction on all stats, doubles his current ones, and grant immunity from controlling effects.
  • The Ends from Drifters are historical figures from various points in Earth history that are brought to the fantasy world. They are people who suffered trauma from events in their life and have become twisted. They each have unique supernatural abilities such as mind control, necromancy, cyrokinesis, and biokinesis. Averted for the Drifters, who are normal humans but share the trait of acting on their ideals and goals.
  • Tagami Yuseki from World Customize Creator is summoned to another world by the Evil God and granted a Divine Art, a power a person can be blessed with from a god. His Divine Art allows him to customize any objects' attributes where he can even grant powers to them.
  • The Familiar of Zero: when Saito is summoned as a familiar into Louise's world, he gains the magical ability to use any weapon with great skill, from a simple broadsword to a fighter aircraft.
  • Played with in Magic Knight Rayearth: All three of the girls summoned to Cephiro have their magic unlocked and magical armor, but that was done almost as soon as they arrived by a powerful mage, not as a side-effect of the summoning.
  • Tensei Shitara Dragon no Tamago Datta - Saikyou Igai Mezasa Nee has the main protagonist reincarnated as a barely unhatched dragon egg with certain skills. One of those is "God's Voice" that allows him to speak to a god, and the other is "Walking Egg" that gives more experience points from any monster he kills.
  • Parodied in Didn't I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!: the main character, Misato Kurihara, was a girl prodigy who was isolated due to her talent. After saving a girl from a truck, she meets with a deity who gives her a chance to be reborn into a fantasy world with any power she desires. Misato then asks to be given average abilities. She is then reincarnated as a noble girl, Meine, but the god made her 6,800 times physically and magically more than the average human. This misunderstanding happened due to the god taking into account the power of all the creatures in that world. It was calculated from the strongest to weakest, when he determined the average that made her so powerful.
  • How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord has Takuma Sakamoto, the top player in the MMO, Cross Reverie until he is transported into another world and turned into his in-game character Diablo. He was summoned by magic from the two girls as their slave, but the slavery part gets reflected onto them instead. His character was level 150, magic from different elements, and even some of his equipment such as The Distorted Crown that automatically restores HP and The Demon Lord's Ring that can reflect all kinds of magic.
  • Misumi Makoto from Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu is summoned to another world by Tsukiyomi, the Moon Kami, because his parents came from another world and had a contract they signed in order to be on Earth. He is granted powers by the Moon Kami, which Makoto calls Realm that allows him to his strength, detect beings and objects up to 3 km, regeneration, a powerful defensive barrier, and intercept transmissions. The goddess of this other world gives him the ability to understand the language. There is also how the other world has light gravity than Earth's which makes him faster and stronger than the inhabitants.
  • In the manhwa, Dorothy of Oz, Mara Shin came to Oz when she was a child and came home with a glove with a Z in an O emblemed on it. After a few years, she returns to Oz as a teen with her dog, Toto. She has the ability to see the Yellow Brick Road and can even traverse it even through obstacles like walls or trees. The glove turns out to be the magic staff, Thyrsos, which is the same weapon used by the Wizard of Oz (who was an actual wizard that dominated through his magic). The staff can be summoned easily due to Mara Shin having magic power, which is rare for people in Oz.
  • Monster no Goshujin-sama has an entire class somehow transported to another world with their own 'cheat abilities'. The main protagonist, Takahiro, didn't seem to have one until an encounter with a slime revealed that his ability is taming monsters.
  • The Chinese comic, Soul Land, has the protagonist Tang San was an assassin trained under poison and hidden weaponry techniques in the Tang Sect. After learning about the sect's secret knowledge and knowing he committed a crime; he performs suicide by falling off a cliff. He is then reincarnated into a world called Soul Land. In this other world, he kept the knowledge of his past life's training and techniques but faces trouble using them past level 1. On the day of the Spirit Awakening Ceremony, he learns that he not only carries one but two Spirits. The first is a River Grass Spirit that comes in the form of a blade of grass. The other is the Clear Sky Hammer, which is one of the legendary Tool Spirits. It was also revealed that he is a Spirit Master capable of cultivating soul power which can be used to make a Spirit stronger. There is also how soul power is the same energy used by the Tang Sect's techniques and training. If enough soul power is cultivated, the more advanced techniques can be used at higher levels. Another benefit of gaining more soul power is empowering his Tool Spirits, too.
  • All the inhabitants of Earth who are transported to the land of El-Hazard in El-Hazard: The Magnificent World gain a special ability: Mr. Fujisawa gains Super Strength in proportion to how little alcohol and nicotine is in his system, Jinnai can communicate with (and is incredibly charismatic to) the Bugrom, his sister Nanami effortlessly pierces the illusion powers of the Phantom Tribe, and Makoto can activate the Lost Technology of ancient El-Hazard with a touch.
  • Isekai de Saikyou no Tsue ni Tensei shita Ore ga Iyagaru Shoujo wo Muriyari Mahou Shoujo ni P suru!: Niimi Neiji is reincarnated into a magic staff and granted 'omnipotence'. But... he doesn't know how to use it due to not being taught how to use it properly; even so, he manages to do marvelous actions despite it.
  • Gacha wo Mawashite Nakama wo Fuyasu Saikyou no Bishoujo Gundan wo Tsukuriagero has Heihachi Okura transported to a fantasy world but with his smartphone and the app, Girls Corp. The app can summon items, food, and even girls to join his party. It even has a gacha to get more girls and items as long as he has enough magic crystals by hunting monsters.
  • Enforced and Played With in The Death Mage Who Doesn't Want a Fourth Time has the main character, Hiroto Amamiya, and his class dies after their ship got sunk from a terrorist attack. Everyone in his class is gifted a new life, a special power, and luck from the god, Rodcorte, except for Hiroto. This misfortune happened due to another young man that resembled him and had a similar name, which was Hiroto Amemiya. The god after giving his other classmates' blessings while leaving Amamiya as the last one. He had realized his mistake and had already given his blessing to another teen. Hiroto is then reborn with his magic core empty, which means he has higher magic power but can't use other magic except for Death magic. There is also how Hiroto will be met with bad luck due to not being blessed with any good luck.

Film

  • In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy Gale lands in Oz when the house that she crashed on the Wicked Witch of the East and her Ruby Slippers appears on Dorothy's feet. The pair of shoes can't be taken unless by death, and cannot be touched except by the owner lest they get shocked. Later in the movie, Glinda reveals the slippers can be used to take the wearer anywhere by clicking the heels three times while wishing to where they want to go.

Literature

  • In John Carter of Mars, the titular character travels to Mars by having his soul teleport through space and gains a new body. Due to the lower gravity, he gains superhuman agility and strength.
  • Everworld where the teens can bring modern technology and knowledge to Everworld where they give them advantages such as trading a recipe for gunpowder or using conventional weaponry.
  • In The Scum Villain Self-saving System, Shen Yuan was an average sickly person while dying cursing the web novel he was reading, Immortal Demon Way, because of its plot-hole filled narrative and terrible ending. He is then transmigrated into Shen Quinquiu, which is the antagonist of said web novel, while also having all of the latter's knowledge and powers. There is also how the titular system gives him points depending on how much he can improve the original plot as the system took his dying cursing rant as a dare of him being able to do better than the original author. With the system, he can exchange points for certain benefits.
  • In the Chinese web novel Release That Witch! and its web manhua adaptation, the protagonist is a civil engineer that, after dying from overworking, finds himself transmigrated in the body of Roland, a prince from a world that has both a medieval level of technology and the presence of "witches", women with magical abilities that are prosecuted for it. The only boon the character receives is the original prince's fame of being very eccentric and had an already stated admiration for witches. This advantage serves the new Roland perfectly to create plans to uplift this world's technology and recruit witches for his plans without creating suspicions for a long while, as everything he does is written off as yet another eccentricity of the prince.
  • In the Chinese Romance web novel, Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator, the heroine is transmigrated into a novel as the new wife to a man of a powerful family. The setting of this novel is in a very old dynasty that doesn't use modern cooking methods or even ingredients. In her previous life, she was an entrepreneur and amateur chef, so she uses these skills to win people over with her modern and delicious dishes. She also uses that knowledge to create a profitable business by using these unique dishes (compared to the setting's standards), which helps her greatly to get afloat when she is temporarily abandoned by her new husband. Her other real boon is her knowledge of most of the novel's plot, which she uses to prevent terrible events and avoid troublesome characters while enjoying the freedom to do her business at her pace.
  • In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy Gale is sent to Oz thanks to a tornado and farmhouse falling on the Wicked Wick of the East. She is given the Sliver Shoes as a gift by the Munchkins. Later, Glinda reveals that the shoes can take the user anywhere when the heels are clicked three times. They are also implied to have other powers than magical transportation. She also briefly gains ownership of a magic cap that commands the Flying Monkeys.
  • Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon has the main character being reincarnated into a living vending machine in a fantasy world, which he needs assistance being moved. He can give out items as long as he is inserted with money. There is also how he can use the profit from any products sold for upgrades from a broader selection to functions not included in ordinary vending machines.
  • In The Sleeping Dragon, the first book of Joel Rosenberg's The Guardians of the Flame series (published 1983), a group of gamers playing a Dungeons & Dragons-like game are sent into the world on which the game's setting had been based and given their characters' classes and skills by a game master who was more than he seemed.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

Video Games

  • Fantastic Boyfriends: Legends of Midearth, a young man is summoned to another world through a phone app. He is the legendary hero that is the only one that can wield the sword that is the only weapon that can defeat the Demon Lord.
  • Tokyo Afternoon Summoners takes place in an alternate Tokyo where people from 23 different worlds are summoned due to an app and are called Transients. Each Transient has a Role and is summoned with a Sacred Artifact that gives a Rule to their respective wielder. A Rule is a power that correlates to the Role of a Transient. An example would be a person given the Role of Fighter, and their Rule is Infinity.

Web Comics

  • I am the Sorcerer King webtoon has the protagonist, Lee Sunghoon, who awakens to his past memories and magic due to being the reincarnation of The Great Sorcerer, Kurataurus, who is from another world. This event happened when attacked by a monster and become one of the Awakened which connects him to the Akasha system. The Awakened are people who gain a superpower and become connected to the Akasha System, along with fighting monsters that come from portals.
  • Averted in My Wife is the Demon Queen where Xiang Ye is transported due to a ring he bought as the husband of the Demon Queen, Isabella Osa. Later on, it is shown that he can't wield Boundary Force, which means he can't use magic or other arts-related to it. Subverted later, where he learns of the art of Forging. Forging uses magic stones embedded into a pen to drawings from the user's imagination. It requires the user to have a skill with drawing and an understanding of how it works. The material it is drawn on is used to manifest the object. It can also be used to make magic when used with the right stone. Xiang Ye uses his talent with art while also utilizing his knowledge of technology and science to bring innovation to the craft. His forging has helped him make vehicles like cars and trucks, mecha, an exo-suit, a nuke, and even a Dyson sphere.
  • In the webcomic Goddess Creation System, after the protagonist Xiaxi, a formerly bullied otaku who created a goddess-like MMO identity. She commits suicide because of being outed as ugly in real life unlike her game self, she awakes in a fantasy world and gets the mission of making powerful men fall in love with her. The system that assigned her this job gives her access to an alternate dimension where she can train to slim down and study the subjects she needs to know while she is sleeping; also, Xiaxi can get beauty treatments to enhance her appearance in exchange for the points she earns from her missions.
  • In the web manhua Cheating Men Must Die, the protagonist, Su Luxia, is a normal albeit shrewish woman from a futuristic world that works as a quick reincarnator. She specializes in substituting "secondary female characters" that have been wronged somehow and then get revenge on their wrongdoers and fulfill the original person's last wishes. She is assisted by a hamster-like System that can give her any object she needs for her missions, from incriminating photos to magical slimming pills. She is so good at this revenge thing, and she enjoys destroying the lives of assholes bastards and bitches so much that she has millions of hours logged (and several decades worth of untaken vacation time). In consequence, she owns a gigantic haul of accumulated boons and items that she can (and does) pull off in any world as needed.

Western Animation

  • In the opening credits of the 1980s Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series we see Dungeon Master gifting the trapped teenagers with the magic items that grant them the powers (and character classes) they need to survive.

Other Media