In Another World with my Smartphone review – Oddly watchable

I might go beyond “oddly watchable” and term it “strangely enjoyable” actually. In Another World With My Smartphone (Isekai wa Smartphone to tomo ni) is a “hero in another world” show that plays the trope 100% by the book. The hero is smart, popular, rich, powerful and manages to solve everyone’s problems almost instantly without breaking a sweat.

Normally I would post a blurb from Wiki or something, but it’s even easier this time. When the show opens, Mochizuki Touya has been accidentally killed by “God.” As compensation “God” reincarnates him in a magical world with superpowered stats in every way imaginable. Plus he has his smartphone with Internet (but no e-mail) and mapping functions, which he eventually finds ways to use in increasingly broken ways. For example he can use the camera + magic to look through walls, he can use the map + magic to hit every enemy in an area and so on.

The fun of In Another World with my Smartphone comes from seeing just how much more broken Touya can get. Especially since he can use any spell in the world just by hearing about it – and can use it better and faster and longer than whoever he learned it from. It’s even more interesting once he starts to combine and stack various abilities.

And probably the best part is how he uses the simplest spells, especially Slip and Aports, when you would expect him to burst out something flashy. It’s like “I don’t even have to get serious any more.” Every week it’s like “Okay, what overwhelming challenge is Touya going to trivialize this week and how?”

As I mentioned back in my Konosuba review, the isekai genre became so common that focus turned to subversions of the idea. When it comes to anime adaptations now, it’s rare to find the trope being played straight without some kind of twist.

That’s nice and all, but what are the original lovers of the genre to do? What about those fans who want to see a hapless everyday dude get all the girls and kill all the enemies and have everyone fawn over him for no reason at all? Who thinks of their needs? So I think a show like In Another World with my Smartphone is important once in a while to remind anime watchers of what they’re missing/not missing depending on what side of the fence they’re on.

For my part I enjoyed this show a lot more than I thought I would. The complete lack of tension and threat made for a very easy watch. Around the same time I started In Another World with my Smartphone, I also tried the first episodes of Made in Abyss and Children of the Whales. I thought both animes were excellent, but heavy and stressful. You have to be ready to go in deep with shows like that. Meanwhile Smartphone is like popcorn, light meaningless fluff. You pop one into your mouth and then another and before you know it’s all gone. Simple stuff.

No, it was you and your cheating skills

Not that it doesn’t have its flaws. The worst part is the growing cast of girls – though again this is what genre fans watch the show for. The girls are all generic, forgettable cute girls who immediately fall for Touya and are eternally in awe of his battle prowess. But they’re not above bossing him around either.

It’s all stuff you’ve seen in a million anime series before. You don’t need to watch this show just to get that fix. IMO every second wasted on the antics of these girls and their petty jealousies should have been spent showcasing the further superhuman antics of Touya-sama.

Furthermore, more girls invariably means more opportunities for fanservice. The show can’t decide whether to make Touya a pervert or not so sometimes he’s leering at naked bodies, sometimes he’s anxiously averting his gaze. But while he can look away, the viewer is still forced to watch stuff like a random groping of a randomly introduced character, a very boring and pointless beach episode and a supposed-to-be sexy encounter with some poor misused slimes. We won’t even get into the amount of innuendo, which admittedly isn’t as bad as it could have been.

On the plus side, at least the issue of who Touya will end up with is resolved by the end of the show, which is more than I can say for 90% of all animes, harem or otherwise.

Overall I would rate In Another World with my Smartphone a 6/10. It gets top marks for lightness and easy-of-watchability, a term I just made up but will probably use more often because it’s something I look out for in anime. It also gets high marks for the happy atmosphere and bright visuals. More high marks for the otaku wish fulfillment factor, and I suppose the girls are all cute if that’s your kind of thing. It gets a big fat zero for just about everything else though. If you want an overpowered fantasy protagonist with a harem, this is your show. If not, stay far away.

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