Is there any isekai novel without any antagonist?


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    Ascendance of a Bookworm counts, at least for now. I haven't read the webnovel much past where the light novel is currently translated, but so far the conflict is largely in trying to rise out of poverty to have a better quality of life. No real named antagonists specific to the protagonist, unless you count regular business professional competition.

    My Life As A Villainess (aka Bakarina) has named antagonists per volume, but they're not really the focus, and most of it is just seeing Katarina blunder about being supremely and unintentionally charismatic.

    Me A Genius is also technically isekai, albeit to a near-future (almost contemporary) setting rather than fantasy. No constant antagonists, apart from maybe the (mis) understanding that the protagonist is an amazing genius. Warning that the story appears to be dead, after setting up a plot arc that does hint at a (new) antagonist.

    Outbreak Company does technically have antagonists, but they're of the "ruthless and uncaring society" type, rather than someone to beat down. As in, there are situations where people do need to have violence done against them, but that's just for self-defence, and almost always merely a symptom of a greater issue. The focus is on trying not to be colonialist.


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    @unsynchedcheese said in Is there any isekai novel without any antagonist?:

    Ascendance of a Bookworm counts, at least for now. I haven't read the webnovel much past where the light novel is currently translated, but so far the conflict is largely in trying to rise out of poverty to have a better quality of life. No real named antagonists specific to the protagonist, unless you count regular business professional competition.

    Doesn't High Bishop qualify as an antagonist?


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    @hiroto said in Is there any isekai novel without any antagonist?:

    @unsynchedcheese said in Is there any isekai novel without any antagonist?:

    Ascendance of a Bookworm counts, at least for now. I haven't read the webnovel much past where the light novel is currently translated, but so far the conflict is largely in trying to rise out of poverty to have a better quality of life. No real named antagonists specific to the protagonist, unless you count regular business professional competition.

    Doesn't High Bishop qualify as an antagonist?

    He's more like a representation of systemic issues than a central antagonist. (Similar to the various "enemies" in Outbreak Company.) The plot isn't about conflict with the Bishop, except as far as the Bishop just happens to be in the way of what Myne wants (and is against common decency and kindness, to make him unsympathetic to the reader). But I believe there was a comment in the Bookworm thread that a lot of Myne's story is "Myne vs Feudal System Of Nobility", and the Bishop is merely the immediate representative of the "bad stuff born from systemic issues".

    In other words, to "defeat" someone like the Bishop, Myne would have to change the entire world, rather than just fight against the Bishop specifically. Even if she does and somehow succeeds, it's not a given that the next Bishop, or the one after that, or any one of the future Bishops would be any better. So I wouldn't call him an antagonist, but only just a symptom.

    EDIT: Come to think of it, there's another "antagonist" worthy of the name: the Devouring. Myne has to fight against it all the time, and it hinders her at every turn. So if a "disease" (simplifying) can be counted as an antagonist, then the Devouring is definitely one.


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    @khaos said in Is there any isekai novel without any antagonist?:

    A couple I can think may not have (at least currently)
    Unwanted undead adventure
    Ms. Elf
    Middle-aged businessman
    Could be mis-remembering, someone correct if wrong please.

    Middle-aged Businessman does have opponents that are more than bandits or monsters, though not as "the one true big bad," especially

    Ms. Elf does have one significant opponent in volume 2


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