Most isekai are based on video game tropes, but the Magic User: Reborn in Another World light novel series does the same with tabletop RPGs.
Isekai and the word “trope” are pretty much synonymous, and the fact that the genre has so many recurring archetypes is one of its biggest criticisms. Perhaps the most prominent of these tropes is the familiar fantasy world into which the characters are usually reincarnated, which is usually based on fantasy video games. One isekai, however, took inspiration from the same source that influenced most of those games.
Magic User: Reborn in another world as a max level wizard is a series of light novels that features a character reincarnated in their favorite tabletop RPG, putting them in the action of the game they love so much. While it might sound pretty similar to most isekai, this change of scenery is much deeper than expected. Here’s why the tabletop isekai series is a must-read for those looking for their next reincarnated fantasy fix.
Magic User is an Isekai that replaces video games with tabletop gaming
Magic User: Reborn in another world as a max level wizard follows a normal worker whose main pastime on weekends is board games. His game of choice is Dungeons & Bravesa rather thinly veiled touch of the popular Dungeons & Dragons franchise. This means that the story is similar to the classic one Dungeons & Dragons cartoon series. His character in this game is an incredibly powerful wizard named Geo Margilus, who possesses all possible magical skills. Unfortunately, as isekai protagonists are known to do, the hero dies, only to be given a second life in a fantasy setting.
Said world is that of Dungeons & Braves, with the man now in the form of Geo Margilus. Although this was quite a shock to him at first, it means that he now has all the magical abilities, power and resources he has acquired over the years of playing the game at his disposal. Of course, the downside is that he has to use it all just to survive in his harrowing new environment, which is full of threats of human and monstrous proportions.
What puts a Magic user ahead of most other Isekai?
Obviously, the basic premise of being in a tabletop RPG world instead of an online video game world is something that separates Magic User: Reborn in another world as a max level wizard than many of its competitors. This means that the tropes of fantasy video game worlds can’t be brought back as easily, which helps make their story more unique amidst the many would-be fantasy anime. Dragon Quest. By using tabletop RPG concepts instead, it makes the story fun for those familiar with these games and fresh for those who have never played them.
Likewise, the show’s protagonist is far more fitting than many overpowered isekai heroes; he’s an average Joe whose only real break from his boring job is playing RPGs on the weekends. It also helps that he’s grown up, as it prevents replicating a lot of the nonsense of the younger isekai protagonists and makes the main character feel more realistic. Unfortunately, there are only a few volumes in the light novel series, and the lack of new entries in Japan probably means it’s been cancelled. While this is unfortunate, it means that the books avoid another isekai pitfall: running too long. However short it lasts, Magic User: Reborn in another world as a max level wizard was definitely a breath of fresh air for isekai, with books currently available on Amazon and many booksellers.