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Someone in SciFi exchange Which was the first isekai tensei story mentioned Yojo Senki could be the first Isekai Tensei anime (not counting non anime stories, where the first "reincarnated into another world" story could be the american Barsoom books). Is this really the case?

Which was the first isekai tensei anime?

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By matters of technicality, Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato, from 1989, could be considered the first isekai reincarnation (転生) anime (in terms of Japanese anime). While the series starts out as a transmigration (転移) series, the protagonist finds out that he is a reincarnation of an ancient king (of the same name first name) that ruled this otherworld.

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Excluding anime about people being trapped in video games (not really reincarnation), the following titles predating Youjo Senki come to mind.

2002, Haibane Renmei
The previous life of the characters is a bit fuzzy, though.

2007, Yawaraka Sangokushi Tsukisase!! Ryofuko-chan
It's fairly similar to Youjo Senki in that adult men reincarnate into the bodies of little girls, but the world they arrive in is ours and they come from the past. Probably the warring states period.

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  • Haibabe Renmei is a bit ambiguous as it's implied to be a purgatory of sorts for ppl that died in their childhood, waiting to reincarnate into the next life... The other one reems like a same world transmigration (I guess time travel?), was they are technically themselves, but genderbent.
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 0:55
  • In Ryofuko-chan it's unclear whether they come from the past or a fantasy world based on that past and as far as I remember they died and became little girls in our world. Would need to rewatch to say for sure.
    – Ocean
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 14:25

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