Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. (In Another World With My Smartphone) Review - Kirito On Steroids

Kirito On Steroids

  • Episodes : 12
  • Genre : Adventure, Harem, Comedy, Magic, Romance, Fantasy, Slice of Life
  • Airing Date : Jul 11, 2017 to Sep 26, 2017
  • Studios : Production Reed

Contains Spoilers


Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. Introduction and Story (Spoilers)

Based on a web novel series written by Patora Fuyuhara and illustrated by Eiji Usatsuka, In Another World With My Smartphone is another isekai anime which sees the main character teleported to a fantastical world. Following in the popular footsteps of recent titles like Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! And Sword Art Online, Touya Mochizuki dies before his time due to a mistake by God. As an apology, the deity resurrects him in a fantasy world and allows the teenager to keep one item. Of all things, Touya picks his smartphone and is granted a few different powers. As this new world includes a range of elemental magic, which can only be used if a person shows an affinity for those type of spells, God makes sure that Touya is able to access pretty much all of them.

With a huge cast, it takes awhile for Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. to really reveal its hand. In the first few episodes, it’s not clear whether it is a straightforward comedy, a harem, or a fantasy action series. While the poster shows Touya taking a picture with many different girls, the series does not really show its harem roots until the second half. If push comes to shove, In Another World With My Smartphone is best described as a slice-of-life set in a fantasy world which eventually becomes a full-blown harem. While the premise suggests it might also be a parody of the isekai genre, it mostly sticks to the cliches and tropes associated with this type of anime until the last two episodes.

What we liked about Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni.

Touya is like Kirito on steroids. While owning a smartphone already puts him at an advantage over the people who exist in this universe, his ability to use any magic spell makes him really overpowered. Like the black swordsman, the highschooler tends to be unmoved by the events around him, often failing to show any emotion or fear. The most we get is a few embarrassing moments when the largely female cast is used for some fan service. There is a very laid back atmosphere to In Another World With My Smartphone, which is a welcome change of pace. There is no end of the world scenario which needs to be stopped, and the characters tend to not overreact to every situation to try and make it feel like everything is of the utmost importance.

Honestly, its easy-going nature is the anime's saving grace. Once in awhile, we appreciate being able to sit through a harem or fantasy series with a complete lack of angst or any real tension. Even the battle for the main character’s affection avoids reducing Touya’s female companions to conniving or obsessed fan-girls who just want to make him their own. The cast might not be the most interesting ever put on the screen, but they are generally likable. The animation is also pleasant and fits the tone In Another World With My Smartphone is going for, although it is far from spectacular.

Discussion Time

In Another World With My Smartphone has one of the worst first episodes we have seen in awhile, as it immediately forces a comparison with the hilarious Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! We never get to see Touya in our normal world, and if the first two minutes were cut, one would be able to believe this 15-year-old teenager is just from a far-off land. During the opening scene, Touya is informed about his accidental death, told about reincarnation and that an item of his choice can be taken for the trip. While this follows KonoSuba in terms of plot, In Another World With My Smartphone distinguishes itself with the way Touya reacts to the situation. Unlike Kazuma’s screaming and declarations of anger, this protagonist calmly drinks tea while taking it in stride.

The series does come across as rather cynical, like the development process consisted of a series of checkpoints chosen simply because they were popular at the time. The first two female characters introduced are the twins Elze and Linze, with matching outfits and are only distinguishable by their hairstyle. This quickly brings to mind Rem and Ram from Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, and even a talking cat is introduced later who is similar to Puck. This feeling of deja vu follows In Another World With My Smartphone throughout the twelve episodes, and it never really does enough to set itself as a worthwhile addition to the isekai genre.

Why You Should Watch Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni.

For those who enjoy this type of premise, where someone from our world ends up exploring a fantastical realm, In Another World With My Smartphone is worth a try. As it takes a rather relaxed approach to things, with the characters themselves being inoffensive, this anime should not be too hard of a sit for most people. There is some fan service, but Production Reed keeps it to a minimum. The most we get is the standard slime scene followed by the female characters’ clothes being disintegrated.

Besides isekai, there is a decent harem hiding beneath all of the fantastical elements. A huge cast of waifus is introduced during the 12 episodes, with each having their own defined personality and small quirks. While not really a hilarious series, there are a handful of funny moments in a few episodes and the last two genuinely ramp up the humor.

1. Overpowered Protagonist

Touya will make or break the show for most people. He is ridiculously overpowered, often coming across as some sort of Messiah. Magic plays a big part in this universe, and while the other characters can only use one or two types, Touya only needs to be able to read the spell to pull it off. God also installed some fighting skills into the teenager, just to make sure he has no weaknesses at all. Whether this type of protagonist is boring or a whole lot of fun, really depends on the viewer.

2. Decent Ending

It takes a lot for a harem to surprise us, as they tend to play it safe. While In Another World With My Smartphone never really pushes the envelope, the way it decides to conclude the romantic side of the story was genuinely surprising and refreshing. We won’t give it away, but the climax set the anime apart from other shows in the genre while still making sense within this particular universe.

Why You Should Skip Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni.

If isekai stories bore you to death, In Another World With My Smartphone is definitely not an anime capable of changing your mind. It wholeheartedly embraces the cliches of the genre while zapping out most of the tension and energy. While it can be refreshing to watch an anime with a slower tempo, most episodes could have used a bit more conflict.

In the end, this is a truly mediocre series which struggled to capture our attention while actively watching it, and seems likely to be forgotten. There are a plethora of fantastical harems available to watch, with quite a few offering something more than Production Reed’s series.

1. Smartphone

We did not forget to mention Touya’s phone, which takes up half the anime’s title, but the device is nothing more than a footnote. He does eventually use it to make spells easier to cast, but his phone is barely brought up for most of the episodes. Due to all of the unique powers bestowed upon him by God, the smartphone feels like an afterthought and the series could have benefited from either removing the device altogether or leaving it as Touya’s only advantage.

2. Cheap Laughs

Considering how often the jokes fall flat, it might have been for the best if In Another World With My Smartphone had not been marketed as a comedy. Anyone who has watched a school-based anime or harem should be able to see every punch-line coming from a mile away. Most of the supposedly hilarious scenes tend to see Touya accidentally walk in a room while a few of the girls are in a precarious position. Despite clearly not being his fault, they react in the usual manner of shouting and hitting. Unfortunately, due to the laid-back nature of the series, these moments lack the explosive punch to really be funny.

3. Generic World

Despite being able to create an entirely new world where anything goes, In Another World With My Smartphone never takes advantage of that freedom. From the medieval villages to the clothes and equipment; everything feels like it is taken from a beginners guide on how to create a fantasy world. There is a distinct lack of personality to the visited locations and the monsters the cast meets throughout their journey.


Final Thoughts

Mediocrity is often more damning than a genuinely terrible series, as they elicit barely any reaction from the audience. In Another World With My Smartphone is not offensive or an abomination, but we still cannot recommend it to anyone other than die-hard isekai supporters. The cast is likable but not all that interesting, while the plot prefers to meander rather than push forward.

Did you agree with our review? Which is your favorite isekai anime? Please let us know in the comments below!

Mark Sammut

Writer

Author: Mark Sammut

Born and raised on a small island in the Mediterranean, my life goal is to experience as many different ways of life as possible. Since time and money are in short supply, anime and film provide the best opportunity to experience far away cultures and worlds. When I'm not watching the latest episode of Gintama, or wondering what series to watch next, you can find me in the corner of the closest coffee shop; writing away on my aging laptop.

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