• In isekai anime, some protagonists lead armies in war, providing a fresh take on the genre’s typical hero trajectory.
  • Characters like Walm from Record of Highserk War depict a more realistic side of war, diving into the mental toll it takes.
  • From Ainz Oown Gown in Overlord to Rimuru in Slime, isekai heroes with armies show varied leadership styles and outcomes.

There are a lot of unrealistic aspects in isekai anime, manga, manhwa, webtoons, and more. The very idea of getting ‘whisked away’ to a new magical world where you get to do things over again and have cheat-like abilities is already unrealistic, but there are also a lot of smaller things that are unrealistic as well. The fact that these protagonists get so much done with just a few people is pretty absurd, for example, even with their overpowered abilities.


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Thankfully, not every isekai hero relies solely on themselves or a tight-knit band of comrades. Some of them either enter the military of their new world and rise through the ranks or some create armies of their own to face off against their enemies and/or the forces of evil. So, let’s take a look at some of the most well-known isekai anime and manga where the protagonists themselves are at the head of the army in a war.

10 Record Of Wortenia War

Ryoma Mikoshiba is Basically a Genius Commander

Record of Wortenia War - Main Character Struggling With His Men

  • Author: Ryota Hori
  • Illustrator: Bob

When it comes to anime/manga as a whole, there are quite a few where the main character is a leading figure in a war. But, for isekai stories specifically, having a protagonist like this is a lot less common. Wortenia Senki, or Record of Wortenia War, for example, is one of the few manga where the protagonist (Ryoma Mikoshiba, in this case) directly enters the military and leads thousands of troops on his own.

In fact, after helping a certain princess win a civil war for her country, Ryoma actually becomes a Baron instead of a mercenary and builds his own military force. From this point on, Ryoma both acts as the leader of his land and as the commander in the battles they participate in. And, Ryoma doesn’t even use magic (at least so far in the manga), making him an even more ‘realistic’ depiction of an isekai hero leading an army, at least for how realistic an isekai hero could possibly be.

9 Drifters

Toyohisa Shimazu Would Rather Fight One-on-One, But He’ll Command Armies Too

Drifers - Toyohisa Commanding Men And Drawing Sword To Fight Himself

  • Author: Kouta Hirano
  • Illustrator: Kouta Hirano
  • Anime Adaptation Studio: Hoods Drifters Studio

This next series is a very unique isekai in that it’s not just some random ‘made-up’ characters who are brought to another world. Instead, actual legendary figures from history are all brought to a magical world (when they’re on death’s door) to fight a war against a group of other historical figures known as the ‘Ends’. The story is mostly centered around three characters, Shimazu Toyohisa, Oda Nobunaga, and Nasu Suketaka Yoichi as they work together with other ‘Drifters’ like them as well as fantasy races like elves and dwarves to build an army in the fight against the Ends.

While Oda Nobunaga mostly manages the actual army of the Drifters and their troops, Toyohisa is sort of the figurehead ‘leader’ for them. Even in life, Toyohisa was a military leader, so he has plenty of experience. And, when they’re going into battle, it’s almost always Toyohisa at the vanguard looking absolutely thrilled about the upcoming battle.

8 Record Of Highserk War

Walm is the Very Definition of a Soldier Who Doesn’t Want to Be a Soldier

Sample Panel of Walm In Record of Highserk War

  • Author: Torutonen
  • Illustrator: Sou-taro

The first two entries on this list are manga/anime that, while depicting the horrors of war, generally show it as this ‘grand act’ that’s only for the most skilled and courageous people. However, Record of Highserk War continually paints a more realistic depiction of war and the state of mind for those at war (even if the series has things like skills and magic in it). In Record of Highserk War, the main character, previously Raizou Takakura, was a typical salaryman who got reincarnated in another world instead of being transported. He was born as ‘Walm’ to a common farming family who was barely making it year after year. Eventually, Walm joined the Highserk Military as a way to support his family, and from there he’s participated in deadly and chaotic battles almost daily.


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Walm’s state of mind, the conflicts between his modern way of thinking and the way of thinking for people of this world, and his general sentiment towards others are all so well thought-out. And, it doesn’t hurt that the action and worldbuilding of this manga are also fantastic. That said, while Walm is almost always part of an army, he’s very rarely in ‘command’ of it, though he has led his own squadron as well as an elite team that was put together for a specific mission.

7 As A Reincarnated Aristocrat I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill To Rise In The World

Ars Louvent Literally Grows Into Being A Capable Leader

Reincarnated As A Noble's Son - Ars and Rietz and the Army Ars Controls

  • Author: Miraijin A.
  • Illustrator: Natsumi Inoue
  • Anime Adaptation Studio: Studio Mother

The next recommendation here is one that fans of war games where the player collects legendary warriors of all kinds (such as Fire Emblem or Dynasty Warriors) will enjoy. It’s called As A Reincarnated Aristocrat I’ll Use My Appraisal Skill To Rise In The World (having an absurdly long title is basically an isekai trope, at this point) and it has one Ars Louvent as its main character. Again, Ars was just a regular salaryman in his original life, but in his new life, he was born into the Louvent noble family.

And that’s not all, Ars was also born with the ‘Appraisal’ ability that allows him to look at a person and see all of their current skill proficiency levels as well as the absolute max proficiency level they have for each skill. Essentially, he can look at a person and immediately know what they’re good at, what role they’d be best in, and what to train/teach them. With this ability, Ars quickly builds a sort of ‘family’ around him of truly overpowered people whether it’s a butler with god-like combat skills, an older sister-like mage with absurd innate talent, or even a cautious little boy who happens to be an incredibly military strategist. While Ars doesn’t exactly have a ton of combat power himself, his role as the head of the Luovent family does lead him into battles at times, putting him in charge of the entire army behind him.

6 How A Realist Hero Rebuilt The Kingdom

Souma Just Can’t Lose & That Includes a Battle of War Tactics

How A Realist Hero Rebuilt The Kingdom - Souma Leaving The Country And Souma Commanding Soldiers

  • Author: Dojyomaru
  • Illustrator: Satoshi Ueda
  • Anime Adaptation Studio: J.C. Staff

Here’s another series where an isekai hero is saddled with way too much power way too quickly. Though to be honest, Kazuya Souma wins the hypothetical prize for ‘fastest hero to lead a country’ speedrun as the king of the Elfreiden Kingdom abdicates the throne to him almost as soon as he enters this new world. From here, Souma has to not only figure out how to run a country but also how to dig it out of the hole that it’s in both politically and financially.

And, while Souma does improve Elfreiden in a lot of non-violent ways (such as introducing new food, new entertainment, and so on), he does eventually go to war with Amidonia in a battle labeled as the ‘One Week War’ and in that time he is in charge of the entirety of the Elfreiden military. And, while Souma isn’t exactly ‘leading the charge’ in battle, he actively participates in these battles way more than anyone would expect the sovereign leader of a kingdom to participate.

5 The Rising Of The Shield Hero

Naofumi Iwatani Does Finally Get Recognition From Melromarc

Rising Of the Shield Hero - Naofumi Being Cheered On By Army

  • Author: Aneko Yusagi
  • Illustrator: Aiya Kyu
  • Anime Adaptation Studio: Kinema Citrus

Rising of the Shield Hero is not a story that, at first, seems like its characters will one day be in charge of a military force. The heroes (excluding Naofumi) are all stuck up and content with their parties of members who all seemingly worship them, and Naofumi, the Shield Hero, takes a long time to build any trusted relationships with anyone due to his past trauma. However, the Waves of Calamity don’t leave much room for people to be particular, and Naofumi does take charge of the Melromarc military during these Waves (though not at first).


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His command initially started as leading a small band of soldiers during the Waves who originally saw how Naofumi acted for the sake of the people around him and joined him as a result. But, as Naofumi’s team got bigger and bigger, and the Matriarch of Melromarc returned, more and more responsibility was put onto Naofumi’s shoulders.

4 Overlord

Ainz Ooal Gown Does Have an Army, Not That He Needs One

Overlord - Ainz PNG Over Image Of His Army Of Death Knights

  • Author: Kugane Maruyama
  • Illustrator: Satoshi Oshio
  • Anime Adaptation Studio: Madhouse

Overlord is probably the most ‘unique’ example of a protagonist who is in charge of an army, as Ainz Oown Gown (also known as Momonga) is a gigantic skeleton in charge of an army of devoted monsters who could easily destroy the world ten times over. Ainz was originally just a player of a VRMMORPG called Yggdrasil and was one of the few who ran a guild called Ainz Oown Gown (Momonga took on the guild’s name as his own after entering this New World).

While waiting in the game on its final day for the servers to shut down, when the timer finally ran out things didn’t ‘turn off’, rather, Momonga was now actually his player character, and all of the NPCs had suddenly become sentient. A lot happens after this but eventually, Momonga comes to terms with his new body and new role as the leader of Nazarick. And, as anyone who has seen the end of season 4 of the anime can attest, Ainz does lead an army, and they do easily accomplish whatever Ainz desires.

3 The Saga Of Tanya The Evil

Tanya von Degurechaff Commands the Imperial Army 203rd Air Mage Battalion

Tanya The Evil Talking To Her Battalion

  • Author: Carlo Zen
  • Illustrator: Chika Tojo
  • Anime Adaptation Studio: NUT

Probably the most well-known military isekai, The Saga of Tanya the Evil is an obvious inclusion on this list, as it’s almost entirely centered on war and Tanya’s choices during said war. At first, when she was reincarnated in this new world, Tanya spent all her time learning the new rules of this world. Then, at age nine, she entered the War College of the Empire to be a part of the Mage Troops.

Tanya was quickly promoted to Second Lieutenant as a result of her cold, calculating, efficient, and honestly ruthless strategies. After graduating from the War College, Tanya was accomplished enough to earn the title of ‘von’ in her name, basically denoting her as nobility. From here, Tanya establishes her own battalion, the Imperial Army 203rd Air Mage Battalion, and with this battalion Tanya and her soldiers go on all sorts of missions, participate in many battles, and rack up even more achievements.

2 That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime

Rimuru Leads Multiple Armies With His Typical Casual Attitude

Reincarnated As a Slime Sample Images Of Rimuru Armies

  • Author: Fuse
  • Illustrator: Taiki Kawakami
  • Anime Adaptation Studio: Eight Bit

That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime is probably the most popular anime on here, though it’s a close competition overall. In any case, Rimuru Tempest is a little slime monster who eventually becomes the leader of a great city (also called Tempest). Starting from nothing, Rimuru quickly gains a whole host of overpowered abilities, becomes best friends with an ancient dragon, subdues a village of goblins, and begins his new life as their leader.

From there, Rimuru steadily makes a bunch of new friends of all different races and species. And, multiple times during this journey, Rimuru finds himself leading armies, whether this is when they went up against Charybdis, when they fought against the Western Holy Church, or when they fought back against Clayman.

1 The Conquest Of The World Starts With The Civilization Of Ruin

Ira Takuto Seems Innocent, But That’s Obviously Not All There is to Him

World Conquest By Civilization of Ruin Sample Images

  • Author: Kazuno Fefu
  • Illustrator: Jun

This manga seems relatively harmless at first, but the gore in this series can be very shocking, so be aware of this before going into it.

And last up is a series that’s not all too commonly known, it’s called The Conquest of the World Starts With the Civilization of Ruin. Contrary to its long name, the setup for this series is rather short. A kid spends his life in the hospital due to a terminal illness and all of this time goes into playing a game called Eternal Nations where players are put in charge of their own civilizations. Ira Takuto (the name of this kid) would always play as the evil civilization and was incredibly good at the game overall. Now, after passing away from his illness, he wakes up in a mysterious forest only to find that his favorite hero from the game, Atou, is also here and ready to work by his side.

From here, Ira basically starts his new life running his beloved ‘evil’ civilization, Mynoghra, all while somehow maintaining himself as a pure-hearted individual. And, in an even more interesting twist, to everyone else, Ira Takuto doesn’t look like a ‘human’ but rather appears like a human-shaped ball of darkness that could only be described as the manifestation of evil itself. This contrast makes the moments where Takuto talks about hating war or politely smiles even funnier, as it’s almost always shown both from Takuto’s point of view and from the person he’s talking to.



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