That said, isekai is such a popular trope in anime that it's hard to pinpoint its beginning, but it probably became really popular more with titles like Sword Art Online and Konosuba. If you're looking for this site's most beloved gems, check out Best Completed, and for what's hot now, check out Best Ongoing on the homepage. Both things that I ought to do at some point if I ever give "writing FOR Royal Road" rather than "writing on Royal Road" another try...
I'm pretty sure this is where it all began. I've heard murmurs that this site used to be a fan site of that story. It takes place in a game called "Royal Road". It would make sense that the more popular genres have things in common with it.
CrowsCrowCrow Wrote: I've heard murmurs that this site used to be a fan site of that story.RR used to be the official translation site for LMS, but when they lost the rights to continue translating the site's focus shifted into fanfiction and original works. It kept growing and expanding, and now here we are. :)
Love Hina involves normal human beings doing normal human things, where a guy is pursued by women. Furthermore, he wants only one specific girl, but cannot figure out which one of them is her. Typical harem stuff.
And as far as a meta for Royal Roads, I would go with Systems. People here like Systems -- Tables and charts and progressive elements, where skills and items are acquired via experience.
In general, this literature has existed for quite some time in the East. People started making their own versions in Europe and US, and that's how Isekai, especially the apocalypse subgenre, came to be.
"Stories most are familiar with" depends on when you were introduced to this world. Web novels in the West have been mainly exported by Wuxiaworld and a website which name now eludes me (Japanese stories, among which Sword Art Online). Post-2020, many authors were influenced by The Wandering Inn, Randidly Ghosthound, or Defiance of the Fall. If you take a deeper read of Defiance of the Fall, you can see how both Primal Hunter and He Who Fights with Monsters (pillars of the genre) are, in a way, descendant of that novel, taking some its concepts further and advancing the overall scope of the genre.
Asviloka Wrote:LMS means legendary moonlight sculptor a korean web/light novel, for those who don't know and it's influence is one of the main reasons litrpg's are so big on RR. The site being Royal Road is named after the game the novel is set in.CrowsCrowCrow Wrote: I've heard murmurs that this site used to be a fan site of that story.RR used to be the official translation site for LMS, but when they lost the rights to continue translating the site's focus shifted into fanfiction and original works. It kept growing and expanding, and now here we are. :)
A fun fact for isekai enthusiasts, a big precursor to the genre was Terry Brooks' "Magic Kingdom for Sale-- Sold!", written in 1986. The story follows a lawyer from Chigaco, who loses his wife and unborn kid in a car wreck. After seeing an add for a magic kingdom for sale, he gets curious and eventually winds up in another world. I only ever heard of the book because my grandma *loved* it.
All things old are becoming new, I guess.
So now the meta has shifted away from what i'd call "first generation" or direct fanfiction of eastern media, and is now "second" or "third generation".
You can even see if you ever open a patreon and read the names of your patrons (and I've had 4 patreons), it's overwhelmingly white americans/europeans/australians, who have their own cultural values that they expect in a novel.
In regards to roots/original inspirations, for LitRPGs, if you count VRMMOs, hack//SIGN and Sword Art Online both started in 2002. Meanwhile, Log Horizon, which is more of a LitRPG Isekai, started in 2010.
And for a lot of common tropes from Japanese Isekai WNs like chosen heroes and demon lords, I'd point to Dragon Quest which started a long time ago.