Trope Workshop:Alternate Realm Boon

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Protagonists in Isekai fiction frequently receive some manner of special advantage over the inhabitants of the world in which they find themselves. Often it is key to their intended role during their sojourn in that world. It could be (but certainly isn't limited to) any 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 or destined (or both) for use by The Chosen One.
  • Rebirth or reincarnation into some stronger form – often a "monster" or other non-human creature – upon or shortly after arrival.
    • One sub-variety has only the traveller's soul or mind sent into the new world, where it is given an entirely new body complete with special powers or abilities.
  • A flat-out super power such as Super Strength or Invisibility, possibly with a limitation of some sort.
  • Being assigned or assisted by a supernatural entity that can dispense boons to the character, including, but not limited to, any of the above.
  • They gain access to an exclusive system that acts like a video game that grants different functions (an example is setting "missions" to ease the character acclimatization in the new world).

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 travellers coming upon its personal demesne. Regardless, it is likely to be permanent barring extraordinary circumstances, and it is virtually certain to make its recipient 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

  • Enforced and downplayed in Arifureta, where the god, Ehit, transported a group of students with their homeroom teacher to the world of Tortus and blessed with combat Jobs, Skills, and Magic except for one. The bullied main protagonist, Hajime, gets stuck with the rare but non-combat Job, Synergist, with the Skill, "Transmute" and no other Magic or Skills.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero has four people from different worlds summoned to a kingdom named Melomarc in a fantasy world filled with monsters and other races besides humans. The four equips one of the Four Legendary Weapons: a sword, a spear, a bow, and a shield. These weapons grant their users different abilities while also having various forms unlocked through conditions and what materials the weaponry can absorb.
  • In Re: Monster, Tomokui Kanata, an assassin with an Esper ability called Absorption (it allows him to eat anything from living creatures to inorganic material -- no matter how hard or toxic -- and gain skills), dies during a mission and reincarnates into a goblin named Rou while keeping his memories and Absorption.
  • Wise Man's Grandson‍'‍s main character was a salaryman who gets hit by a truck. He reincarnates into a fantasy world as Shin Wolford. Shin is an orphaned newborn who survived a Demon Beast's attack, is found and adopted by the Wise Man, Merlin. Shin later recalls vague memories of his modern-day life while also being taught advanced magic. He combines magic with knowledge of modern science to explosive effects figuratively and literally.
  • Knight's & Magic‍'‍s protagonist, Ernesti Kurata, was a genius programmer and mecha otaku while alive on Earth. He reincarnates as a boy noble into a world where both magic and magical mecha called Silhouette Knights exist. He realizes that magic is like computer programming, so he applies his skill by reprogramming his own internal Magic Circuit to use high-level magic.
  • Parodied in KonoSuba. A shut-in NEET, Kazuma Sato, dies from shock after mistaking a tractor for a truck while trying to save a girl. A goddess, Aqua, offers him to reincarnate in a RPGesque world where the Demon Lord spreads chaos. She also gives Kazuma the choice of a 'cheat item.' In a fit of rage, Kazuma chooses Aqua, who has spent the whole time mocking him and his unglorious death, as his bonus. Another goddess recognizes it as official; then, the two are teleported to this new world, only for Aqua to be The Load most of the time when not deliberately antagonizing Kazuma.
  • In Konjiki no Word Master, five teenagers summoned to another world, but only four are summoned as heroes. Each hero has unique magic and powers. At the same time, the fifth is the main character, Hiiro Okamura, who is titled "Innocent Bystander" but can use Word Magic, which allows him to draw Kanji and apply the meaning as an effect.
  • In World Strongest Rearguard, businessman Arihito Atobe dies in a bus accident. He is reborn as a Seeker in a world called Labyrinth Country. After getting his Seeker's License, he chooses the Rearguard job, which gives him the ability to support his party through supportive and defensive skills.
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody has Suzuki Ichiro, a 30-year-old programmer who died from exhaustion and ended up reincarnated into another world in a younger body as a man named Sato. After calling a game window in front of him, he realizes that he has the three use skill "Meteor Shower", then gets attacked by an army of lizardmen. He uses up all of his Meteor Shower against the battalion and levels him up to 310 while gaining many drop items.
  • So I'm a Spider, So What? starts with an entire classroom mysteriously dying from a magical phenomenon - but then they are reincarnated into another world, including our nameless protagonist. She is reborn as a nameless spider monster while preserving her past life's memories, and it is eventually revealed that those who reincarnate into the other world gets the skill "n%I=W".
    • n%I=W transfers their earlier life's fortes, memories, and soul. Without it, the person would be an average being with no powers or unable to interact with the System in the other world. It can translate System notifications into Japanese while also giving a small bonus to how fast skills are 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, gains an ability he calls Return By Death after being transported to a fantasy world. He can return to a previous time after dying while carrying limitations; besides that, he's just an average human.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The middle-aged protagonist, Satoru Minami, gets killed by defending his subordinate from being stabbed. He reincarnates into another world as a slime. Due to how he died a virgin, he gained the Unique Skills of Great Sage along with Predator, and other skills.
    • Said world receive so much people from other worlds that they have an in-universe term to design them, Otherworlders. Otherworlders tend to have at least one Unique Skill based on their mental state, and those with weaker minds would gain none. There are three types which are Strays, Reincarnated, and Summoned:
      • Strays are Otherworlders that come to the world by coincidence.
      • Reincarnated are people who have died and reborn into the other world as natural inhabitants, much like Satoru.
      • Summoned are those who are transported to the world by a magic ritual.
  • The story of In Another World with My Smartphone has Touya Mochizuki, a teenage boy who is accidentally killed by God and reincarnates into another world. He is granted a body with superhuman abilities and affinities to all seven magical elements along with his smartphone that can use the internet from Earth.
  • Overlord begins with a middle-aged salaryman, Suzuki Satoru, being transported to the New World while still logged on the last seconds of the MMO Yggdrasil. He is now Momonga, a max-leveled Overlord character with high-class equipment, a plethora of spells, and the guild headquarters with all the loyal NPC subordinates.
  • Isekai Cheat Magician‍'‍s two protagonists, Taichi and Rin, are summoned to a new world and gain magical powers. Taichi has an immense amount of magic, which he can use for superhuman physical abilities. Rin also has a mammoth reservoir of magic while also showing affinities for earth, wind, fire, and water magic. She shows lower capability than Taichi but uses her knowledge of physics to enhance her magic.
  • Reincarnated as a Sword‍'‍s main character is a 30-year old salaryman killed by a driver who was texting while driving. The man reincarnates into a living sword named Master in an RPG fantasy world. He can gain new skills and improved stats by slicing monsters' magic crystals, while those who wield Master gain his stats and Skills.
  • 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 he dubs as Being X. Due to the protagonist's staunch atheism, Being X reincarnates the manager into another world going through a world war as a girl with a high magic aptitude named Tanya in the country of the Empire. This country is surrounded by hostile neighbors and sorcery involved in warfare, which Tanya first fights as a Warrant Officer; both her current powers and her knowledge and ruthlessness from her previous life proved vital for her survival.
  • Shin defeated the last boss of a VRMMO, The New Gate, a game that trapped people where they die in reality if they die in the MMO. Before he could log out, he is forced through the gate behind the boss and finds himself in an actual fantasy world similar to the game. Shin then learns the titles he gained after beating the game gives him various overpowered bonuses.
  • The Ends from Drifters are historical figures from various points in Earth's history brought to the fantasy world. These people suffered trauma from events in their lives and have become mentally warped, and have unique supernatural abilities related to their past.
    • Averted for the titular Drifters, who are normal humans but are still badass.
  • Tagami Yuseki, from World Customize Creator, is summoned to another world by the Evil God and granted a Divine Art. Divine Arts are superpowers a person received from a god. The power he receives allows him to customize any objects' attributes to giving mystical powers to them.
  • The Familiar of Zero has the male protagonist, Saito, being summoned, into another world as a familiar for a female mage, Louise. 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 where the three girls are summoned to Cephiro. They have their magic unlocked and are granted them magical armor, but that was done almost as soon as they arrived by a powerful mage, they are not able to immediately master their gifts as intended by their summoners, and the reason they got summoned and given their gifts in first place turns out to be more sinister than they expected.
  • In Reincarnated as a Dragon Egg, the main protagonist reincarnated as a barely unhatched dragon egg with exclusive skills that help him survive this RPG-like world.
  • 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 gets killed when she saved a girl from a truck. Her spirit meets with a deity who gives her a chance to reincarnate into a fantasy world with any power she desires, and she states that she wants to have average abilities because her "prodigy" status alienated her from ordinary people. She reincarnates into a girl noble named Meine, who is 6,800 times physically and magically stronger than the average human due to the god's accounting an average of all living creatures in said world when powering her.
  • How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord‍'‍s Takuma Sakamoto, top player of MMO Cross Reverie , is transported into another world by two girls and turned into his in-game level 150 character high-level skills and equipment, Diablo. Takuma was supposed to become their slave, but the slavery part reflects onto them due to his ring reflecting magic
  • From Tsukimichi, Misumi Makoto is summoned to another world by Tsukiyomi, the Moon Kami, because of his parents' contract for living on Earth. The Moon Kami grants him powers, and the goddess of this other world gives him the ability to understand the language. There is also how the lighter gravity of the different world 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 emblem on it. After a few years, she returns to Oz as a teen with her dog, Toto. The glove is the magic staff, Thyrsos, which is the same weapon used by the Wizard of Oz. Mara also obtains magic boots from the Witch of the East that transforms her outfit to resemble a witch and gives her magic powers.
  • Monster Tamer has an entire class of high school students somehow transported to another world with their own 'cheat abilities.' except for Takahiro. He didn't seem to have one until meeting a slime revealed that his ability is taming monsters.
  • Tang San was an assassin trained under the Tang Sect and commits suicide after learning sect secrets. He reincarnates into a blacksmith's son into a world called Soul Land, where he is a Spirit Master that carries two Spirits instead of one. He also has the knowledge and training as an assassin along with cultivating Soul Power.
  • All the three students and their teacher who are transported to the land of El-Hazard in El-Hazard: The Magnificent World gain a unique ability. The teacher, Mr. Fujisawa, gains Super Strength in proportion to how little alcohol and nicotine he has ingested. Jinnai can communicate with the Bugrom. Nanami effortlessly pierces the illusion powers of the Phantom Tribe. 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, a magical girl otaku, who dies by saving his colleague's daughter from a truck. A sorceress magically reincarnates him into a magic wand with the ability known as "Omnipotence." This ability allows him to use any magic, but he doesn't know how to use it.
  • In Gacha Girl Corps, Heihachi Okura transports to a fantasy world with his smartphone installed with the Girls Corp app. It can summon items, food, and even girls to join his party, including a gacha to get more girls and equipment.
  • Enforced and Played With in The Death Mage, where the unlucky main character, Hiroto Amamiya, and his classmates died after their ship capsizes. The god, Rodcorte, blesses every student with a new life in another world, along with extraordinary powers and luck, except Hiroto, due to the god mistaking him for another young man named Hiroto Amemiya. Rodcorte realizes his mistake and reincarnates Hiroto with higher mana and the exclusive ability to use Death Magic, but he still has terrible luck.
  • Iori Yagami is given the boon of reading his enemies' command inputs when he's sent to the fantasy world in King of Fantasy, effectively making him an SNK Boss.
  • Kiba: Zed lived in the mundane world of Calm but came under attack by a warrior with magic powers and escapes through a portal to the magical land of Templer. He learns that he has one of six Key Spirits, Amir Gaoul, the Key Spirit of Wind.
  • The titular uncle from Isekai Ojisan, soon after being transported to another world is magically given the ability of understand and speak the local language, which also allows him to immediately learn how to use magic due to the magic system only working if you can understand the language. Unfortunately, he was also an otaku of Sega games with No Social Skills and extreme Genre Blindness (due to the world working on modern Isekai tropes while he was more accustomed to his -then contemporary- tropes from 1990s games) on top of being ugly for the local standards (him being confused for an orc and hunted down for it being a running gag), which means that his magic abilities and understanding of the local language are not as helpful for him as it could seem at a first glance.

Comic Books

  • David Ellis Norman is a young man who builds a gateway to another world named Neverwhere. When he enters this realm, he becomes a hairless, muscular man that is well endowed and calls himself Den as that is all he remembers of his name. Den becomes an adventurer, fighting evil and bring peace to the land.

Film

  • One anthology from Heavy Metal starts with David Ellis Norman finds a green rock for his collection. When it gets struck by lightning, Davis is transported to the world of Neverwhere. He is turned into a bald, musclebound, and well-endowed man who dubs himself Den. He goes on an adventure to defeat the immortal Ard and save Katherine Wells.

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. These items give them advantages such as trading a recipe for gunpowder or using conventional weaponry. There is also another attribute that the teenagers have is that they don't go crazy, unlike most others who go to Everworld.
  • In The Scum Villain Self-saving System, the protagonist Shen Yuan died while cursing the web novel he was reading, Proud Immortal Demon Way, because of its plot-hole filled narrative and terrible ending. He is then transmigrated into Shen Quinquiu, the antagonist of the aforementioned web novel, and acquired all of the latter's cultivation powers. He also has access to the titular system, where he can earn and use points to improve the plot of the story.
  • In the Chinese web novel Release That Witch! and its web manhua adaptation, the protagonist is a civil engineer that dies after overworking himself and becomes transmigrated into the body of Roland, a prince in a medieval fantasy world. Due to his past knowledge, Roland brings innovation and upgrade the available technology by incorporating "Witches" (who are women prosecuted for their magical powers) into his plans.
  • In the Chinese Romance web novel, Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator, the heroine is transmigrated into the world of a novel set in an ancient dynasty and finds herself married to a man from a powerful family that was wronged by the character she is now inhabiting. She was an entrepreneur and amateur chef that finds herself in a more primitive world where her cooking and entrepreneurial skills win the people over with her delicious (modern) dishes thus allowing her to create a profitable business, along with navigating her path through knowledge of the novel to avoid any possible pitfalls.
  • Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon has the main character is 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, the story has a group of gamers playing a Dungeons & Dragons-like game and is sent into the world of the game's setting. They become their characters' classes and also have access to their skills by a game master who was more than he seemed.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

Video Games

  • In Fantastic Boyfriends: Legends of Midearth, a young man is summoned to another world through a phone app. He then learns that 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 occurs in an alternate Tokyo where people from 23 different worlds are summoned due to an app called SUMMONS and are called Transients. Each Transient has a Role and 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 assigned the Role of Fighter, and their Rule is Infinity.
  • In Persona 1 and onwards from Persona 3 , most of the cast have powers that only work in the alternative realms of Mikage-cho/the Dark Hour/Midnight Channel/Metaverse. While those realms can bleed into our own, the powers the protagonist cast have only work when one is fully within the alternate realms, not in the real world nor the areas affected by the alternate realm's spillage. There are exceptions, but those tend to be beings who have the rare ability to manifest at will in both realms, which the playable cast usually cannot do.
  • In Magi-Nation, Tony falls through a chasm into another world called the Moonlands. He found a crystal that holds a horned bear-like creature named Furok, one of many diverse organisms called Dream Creatures. Tony is then found by a man named Orwin, who acts as a guardian for the region. Orwin trains Tony as a Magi due to summoning a Dream Creature through pure Animite, which was thought impossible.


Web Comics

  • I am the Sorcerer King webtoon with the protagonist, Lee Sunghoon, who awakens to his past incarnation's memories and magic from being The Great Sorcerer, Kurataurus, who is from another world. This event happened when he was attacked by a monster and become one of the Awakened, which connects him to the Akasha system.
  • Averted in My Wife is the Demon Queen, where Xiang Ye, after buying a ring from a street vendor, is summoned by demon sorcerors in another world. He becomes the husband of the Demon Queen, Isabella Osa. Later on, a test reveals that Xiang Ye can't wield Boundary Force, which means he can't use magic or other techniques related to Boundary Force.
    • Subverted later, where he learns of the art of Forging. Forging uses magic stones embedded into a pen and brings to life any drawing made using it. Xiang Ye uses his talent with artistry while also utilizing his knowledge of technology and science to bring innovation to the craft.
  • In the webcomic Goddess Creation System, the main character, Xiaxi, was a bullied female otaku who committed suicide after she was doxxed online and revealed to be nothing like the goddess-like MMO player character she was famous as. Xiaxi then awakens in a fantasy world that resembles ancient China, with the titular system that gives her missions to make powerful men fall in love with her. The system also assists Xiaxi with other functions as an entire dimension for exercise, miraculous beauty products, and accesses to any knowledge she needs to learn. Eventually, after having earned the love of some minor aristocrats and the local Emperor, the system opens up the rest of the fantasy world, which includes western-like kingdoms and supernatural entities to "romance".
  • In the web manhua Cheating Men Must Die, Su Luxia, the main character, is a shrewish woman from a futuristic world whose job is being a quick reincarnator that takes over 'secondary female characters' who have been wronged. Su Luxia posses these women's bodies to get revenge on those who have wronged them while also fulfilling their last wishes, being assisted on these endeavours by a system that usually adopts the form of a bamboo rat that can give her various items for her missions and serve as an investigator; in the rare cases she has to get into a new world but cannot posses a existent character, her system still accompany and assist her there. It's eventually revealed that Su Luxia used to be a secondary female character herself before being extracted from her original world and recruited by the organization she now works for.

Western Animation

  • In Dungeons and Dragons, a group of teenagers is gifted magic equipment and character classes by the Dungeon Master to survive in this fantasy realm.
  • In Magi-Nation, Tony Jones transports to the Moonlands in hopes of summoning the Final Dreamer. He is teleported with a ring given by his grandfather, which contains the Animite for the Dream Creature, Furok.
  • Averted in Amphibia, where three girls; Anne, Sasha, and Marcy transport to the titular land because of a magic music box. They are normal humans who don't gain anything special or bring much that helps them have many advantages.
  • Averted in The Owl House, where a teenage girl named Luz finds a portal to the Demon Realm. Magic is abundant in this realm, but humans lack the sac of magic that Witches are born with to use this mystical art. Later on, when Luz uses her phone to reveal a glyph in a Spell Circle. By copying these glyphs, she can create a Spell Circle thus can use magic through this method.
  • In Captain N: The Game Master, Kevin Keen is summoned from the real world to Videoland by the Ultimate Warp Zone. He is the legendary Game Master, Captain N, that serves as a warrior to defend the Videoland. He uses his knowledge of video games to help protect from any trouble caused in the land and a Power Pad with various powers and an NES Zapper.

Other Media