If I was going to describe the modern “Isekai” genre in brief, I’d describe it as “Game-based another world fantasy.” It’s not just fantasy where a protagonist is whisked to another fantastic world from ours like with the John Carter of Mars novels, or on the anime front with El-Hazard and Magic Knight Rayearth. This is fantasy where the characters are explicitly in a world that draws inspiration to games from gaming – sometimes by drawing the characters or their psyches into an actual game (ala Sword Art Online or Log Horizon), or a world which uses the language of RPGs like with Konosuba or Grimgar: Ash and Illusions. I would argue that if not the first of these, then one of the first of this particular genre – and was done in the ’70s by a woman.

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This time I’m taking a look at the first published Drizzt Do’Urden novel, and the second Forgotten Realms novel.

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When I last left the Log Horizon series, they’d gone into a political and economic thriller, as Shirou started forming the Akiba Round table with members of all the major guilds, before driving a bunch of the bad actors out of Akihabara through the unified powers of cash and good food. However, the series had also set up a new concept – that the People of the Land – the former NPCs are now fully sentient. Books 3 and 4, with the collective subtitle of “Game’s End,” get into the ramifications of that, along with what’s been going on while Akiba was getting its act together. (more…)