Anime Title: In Another World With My Smartphone
Production Studio: Production Reed
Director: Takeyuki Yanase
Composer: Natsuko Takahashi
Premiered: Summer 2017
Genres: Adventure, Harem, Comedy, Magic, Romance, Fantasy
There have been a plethora of anime in this particular sub-genre which I like to call “Trapped in another world” genre, where you have the main character being brought into a fantasy world by absolutely no control of their own, in which they explore said world, but along the way they meet a slew cast of female characters, who end up either being a love interest or just taking a back seat to the characters that actually matter Yeah it’s safe to say that this genre has become a bit too excessive, which makes it really difficult for me to decide whether or not I should watch it because chances are I’ve already seen it. Which brings me to today’s series In Another World With My Smartphone. So does this anime manage to stand out from the others or does it need to be pierced with the sharpest blade you can possibly find?
Life doesn’t always turn out the best for everyone, and sometimes the unexpected happens and you just so happen to die because God decides to be careless and accidentally strikes you down with lightning, and well that’s essentially what happens to our main character Mochizuki Touya. Yet not all is lost as God decides to resurrect Touya in a magical fantasy world and grants him any wish that he wants. Yeah I feel like we’ve been here before? But nevertheless, Touya decides that he wants to bring his smartphone, which God allows it because why the fuck not. And because he is God, he also gives Touya special abilities such as being able to handle himself in combat, being able to use any magic spell on the fly, and of course using the smartphone for just about anything he wants. Now that he is thrusted into this fantasy world with no clear motive in mind, he decides to stop at a nearby town to purchase some new clothing and hopefully find a place to stay. But low and behold he hears a call of distress from two dazzling damsels who are in trouble with two thugs, which of course he decides to save them and befriend them thus starting the beginning of his ongoing harem adventures.
I’m going to be honest with you all when I say that I had a hard time investing myself in the story, and no it had nothing to do with the fact that it’s similar to Konosuba’s plot. Rather it’s the fact that there really isn’t much to say about the story. There really is no central plot, our characters just go about and doing various missions for the kingdom and guild, and that’s really it. There is no goal or motivation to be had, which you’d think for a show like this that there would be some form of plot progression like maybe the characters has to stop an evil king from taking over the world, or any major conflict, but no there is no conflict whatsoever. I mean it’s not like you didn’t have enough time to flesh out a good story, I mean for god sake (pun intended) you had 12 episodes to do something, and you decide to do nothing with it. Heck even some the worst shows I’ve watched at least had a set goal in mind when it came storytelling. But this series gives us nothing, oh except for fanservice which by the way nothing against fanservice, but why do you go from showing very little fanservice in the first half then going full on fan service in the 2nd half? That just makes no sense whatsoever.
Now the only interesting thing I did like about the series is how they explained the 7 different types of magic there is water, fire, earth, wind, dark, light, and a personal type of magic called Null magic which I thought that was pretty cool and the direction that they were going to take with this series. Showing us all the different types of null magic, and the various ways of using and learning it, but no they decide to take the laziest route possible by throwing in a monster fight or some obstacle in which the solution is to use the magic spell that they just learned, and that’s how they overcome the monster and obstacle. And yes that’s the only purpose that magic serves in this series. Oh yeah by the way the pacing is awful, everything just moves incredibly fast which makes it difficult to follow and comprehend what exactly is going on, and then it just ends like that so what the fuck.
Another thing I should mention is the comedy, which it feels like it’s trying to be funny without actually being funny. Take for example this scene where the main character walks into the bathroom unbeknownst that the girls are actually in there. Which by the way why didn’t they just lock the door in case somebody walks in on them? Oh that’s right, it’s so that we can make a joke at the main character waltzing in on them being half naked, because that’s funny right? No it’s dumb, and it’s this kinda humor that just irritates me which I know it’s common in most harem series to have this kinda humor, but I just don’t find it funny.
Lastly I should talk about the romance between the characters which it’s what you’d come to expect from this series. All the girls that Touya meets end up falling for him, and for no particular reason except that he is nice to everyone. Really? If that’s all it takes to win a girl’s heart then I guess all us nice guys out there just aren’t nice enough. Not to mention that none of the relationships in this series aren’t given any shred of development. Sure you do get to see some interactions between the girls and Touya, yet it’s very minimal compared to everything else that goes on in the series. Not only that but at the end of the series all the girls decide that they wanna marry Touya, in which they pretty much gave away that this show is going to have a second season. Oh they better not! So overall this series is nothing more than a wish fulfillment series. You have an op main character brought into a fantasy world, he can cast any magic spell by just calling the name, tame any mythical monster he wants, and he can have his own harem because why the fuck not. It’s this lack of conflict and wish fulfillment that just takes me out of the whole experience, and it makes me question my life choices.
Now let’s talk about the characters and oh what characters they are? First let’s talk about Touya Mochizuki. Touya is essentially your wish fulfilling character much like Kirito from Sword Art Online except without the cocky attitude. This guy has the personality of a vacuum cleaner, cause he just sucks up all the enthusiasm and charisma, and instead what we are left with is a void. But nevertheless, this guy is the epitome of a Gary Stu meaning that this guy is perfect at just about everything and that he can overcome every obstacle thrown at him. He is able to cast any spell as long as he knows the name, he is capable of fighting and never losing a single battle, and he is capable of making any girl in the vicinity fall in love with him. Oh and I almost forgot the smartphone which by the way doesn’t play a pivotal role at all, despite being in the freaking title. But nevertheless, the smartphone is only used when convenience demands for it and it’s with his unlimited magic abiltiy, he is able to cast any spell on anyone that the smartphone’s GPS tracks. Yeah you heard me right? And it’s because of this that Touya is seemingly untouchable, because if anyone or anything was going to attack him all he would have to do is track them down on his smartphone, cast a spell and that will stop them. Seriously what the fuck?
Now moving on to the female characters which I’m only going over the main ones. You have the Silhoueska twins Eliza and Linze. Eliza, the older twin who is a blunder head who acts before she thinks and is your typical harem tsundere character. Her most common quirk seems to be berating the main character despite it’s her who doesn’t seem to get the clear picture. At the end of the series she punches Touya for trying to kiss her despite asking him to do so. Seriously that bitch needs to chill, I’m just saying. Then you have Linze, your token nice but shy girl who to be quite honest isn’t really that bad. Sure she has her on insecurities and doubts when it comes to a particular situation, but honestly she is a far more believable character in this series. She isn’t hesitant to ask for help when she needs it and she is a pretty skilled mage. So honestly I don’t have any issues with her as a character, so good on you series for giving me a character to actually like and care about. Moving on to the next female character we have Kokonoe Yae a samurai lady whose only defining characteristic seems to be eating a lot and not having the best manners. Honestly I wanted to get behind her character, because I love samurais more than anyone. But we don’t really get a whole lot from this character. Sure her skills as a samurai definitely exceed, but we don’t really know a whole lot about her. Like in episode 9 we get to see Kokonoe return to her homeland, and yet the episode is barely focused on her nor do we get much of her backstory. Instead make way for Touya and his smartphone magic to kill all the samurai.zombies, because as we all know that’s more important than developing our main characters.Lastly there is Yumina Urnea Belfast who is the daughter of the king, and is by far the worst female character in the series. This girl has the personality of spoiled twelve year old brat. She constantly brings up the fact that Touya is her future husband, and her defining quirk is being an annoying little shit, and no I do not regret having anything but contempt for this character as I just can’t stand her presence at all.
As for the other characters there really isn’t much I can say about them as there are way too many of them, and most of them don’t even get enough screen time with the exception being Leen who I think is the most intriguing out of the side characters. What I admire of her character is how weird and bizarre she comes off as and her flirtatious nature just adds more to her bizarre nature. Especially towards the females. Yeah I guess you could say that makes her uniquely bizarre or uniquely perverted whichever you prefer.
Moving on to art and animation, coming from a veteran studio Production Reed the overall art and character designs are completely generic. Everything is so unbelievably flat, including magic effects which looks like it was done with an early version of Adobe Flash. The backgrounds all look insanely plain and barren of any detail or aesthetics. The character designs are bland and unappealing, which makes me believe that they didn’t really put much thought into their appearances.
As for animation, don’t really expect too much in the fight scenes either, as they aren’t well animated in fact they look awful; and not only that the fight scenes are so short that they just become forgettable.. They also use a lot of visual gag shortcuts that didn’t really serve nothing but inconvenience. But overall everything about the art and animation is just generic and unappealing.
Moving on to sound, I can honestly say for what it’s worth, the OST on its own isn’t actually bad as it plays into the overall adventurous tone that this show tries to set, even though most of the tracks are just forgettable. The OP is the most obnoxious and generic J Pop song I have ever heard in my life, and I’m surprised that it didn’t give me an aneurysm as it’s just boring to listen to. Same applies to the ED to a slightly lesser extent.
Lastly I wanna talk about the dub which was provided by Funimation, and it’s not actually bad. You have a very good casting choice you had Josh Grelle, Leah Clark, Sarah Wiedenheft, and many others, who all delivered stellar performances as usual. Despite the fact that the show has a good dub, it unfortunately doesn’t save the show.
So now I give you my final thoughts on this series, and while it isn’t the worst anime I’ve ever had the displeasure of watching, it is most certainly one of the most boring anime I’ve watched so far. Everything just moves too fast, there is no goal, and the characters are just not that interesting to me with exception being Linze and Leen. While I do give the show for trying something different from Konosuba, it unfortunately fails and instead what we get nothing more than time wasting. If you wanna watch shows that are similar to this that actually do this concept better I would suggest watching Konosuba and Re:Zero which I believe are the only two shows that I believe gets this concept right and they both are alot more enjoyable then this. But if you are curious to check this show out, you can watch it on Funimation’s streaming service in both dub and sub or you can watch it over on Crunchyroll in sub only.
Made In Abyss