In Another World With My Smartphone
Touya Mochizuki is accidentally slain by "God", who atones for this by giving him near-invulnerability ("You shouldn't die unless something crazy happens"- at the risk of looking a gift horse in the mouth, I might have asked the Deity to clarify that), as well as granting him the ability to use ANY kind of magic, including the idiosyncratic personal spells, called "null magic", that most everyone in the world "God" sends him to, possesses. With such abilities, I guess even a boring anime male stereotype like Touya can attract a flock of female admirers from the incessant flood of young women he encounters in his travels, even with the minimal actual effort he has to exert.
Many years ago- SO long ago that even Grandpa had to read it in reprints- there was a comic book hero called Kid Eternity. Kid Eternity also "accidentally" died against the wishes of Heaven, so he was also resurrected with some extraordinary abilities, though his main one was the ability to summon figures from the past, either real or literary, to aid him. Touya, by contrast, doesn't need to summon ANYONE, because he can do almost ANYTHING. As noted in the synopsis, "God" has made him difficult to kill, and given him the ability to use any and all magic, a useful skill in a fantasy kingdom where magic is in common use. And the smartphone? "God" has made Touya's map app work for his new world (he don't need no stinkin' GPS satellites!), and has also allowed Touya to use it to research anything in his previous world- the communication is one-way, though- which is ALSO useful, since his new world is, like most fantasy magical worlds, medieval period in most respects, though women's underwear and swimsuits seem to be of strangely modern materials and design...
Anyway, things are easy- WAY too easy- for Touya. His lack of the local currency is solved within minutes of his arrival in this world, without his even having to ask. His facility with magic wins him acclaim which even HE wonders if he really deserves ("I feel like I'm being praised for cheating"), and to be honest he's mostly a slacker there too- his favorite spell for dealing with his enemies is a simple slip-and-fall curse. I would suspect that a kind of banana-peel spell would rank pretty low in the taxonomy of magical difficulty. He DOES show a bit of cleverness in combining spells with each other, or with his phone; combining things received to create something else is of course a basic gamer's skill in our world, which Touya sometimes requires in his new world to overcome difficult adversaries, such as dragons. (Dragons are hard- see GATE.) Still, that such (usually) minimal effort gets rewarded with the undying devotion of beautiful maidens (I GUESS they are- the character art seemed pretty lazy to me as well) seems not a mere concession, but an utter and complete surrender, to pandering to the vicarious longings of fanboys who would ALSO love to attract hordes of women without putting out much effort.
And Touya's not exactly squeaky clean, you know. At one point Touya and his primary harem of four girls are headed to a castle full of clothes-destroying slimes; the girls are concerned about this, but Touya does his best to cheerfully encourage them on, and the show makes it clear that he's actually hoping that the girls WILL personally encounter these creatures. Like many anime male heroes he's an utter hypocrite about female nudity, inevitably wandering into a shower room without knocking, and just as inevitably REMAINING in there, when he finds the girls in their underwear, for an inordinately long time- but then he'll later lecture another girl about walking around with her panties exposed. (You won't see THOSE panties- they're strategically concealed from our sight by foliage, at least on Crunchyroll.) The bare-panties girl makes a speech DEFENDING Touya's type against PC critics: "If I'm to have someone as my master, I believe a closet pervert who steals glances, controls himself, and feigns disinterest would be safer than someone who's a bit too kind and familiar with women who acts like a feminist." (So March Comes In Like A Lion's Rei Kiriyama would be more likely to molest a woman than someone like Touya? I have my doubts about that.) The show in general becomes more fanservicey in its latter half (and the girls he meets more enamored of sexual innuendo), which at least gives the show more of a spark of life than the opening episodes possess; for the first few episodes the characters seemed so vacuous, and the plotting so simplistic, that I thought the fingerprints of the creators of Sister Princess MUST be on this show somewhere- I even fancied a resemblance between "God" and Jeeves the butler from that show- but at least that did not turn out to be the case.
The girls of the harem are a case study in banality. The first two he encounters are sisters named Elze and Linze; Linze is the demure one with bigger breasts, while Elze is of course the tsundere (though a rather weak-tea sort of one) with the expected smaller breasts. Well, at least the girls are nicely color-coordinated. For a time they and Touya take freelance monster-killing jobs posted on a local bulletin board (a clever idea, but I have no idea if it's at all original to this show.) Eventually they add a girl named Yae Kokone, a "samurai" (were huge red bows standard for female samurai?) whose homeland, "Eashen", looks suspiciously like ancient Japan. She has a big appetite when introduced, but this distinctive feature doesn't seem to return in later episodes. Lastly we have Yumina Urnea Belfast, the King's daughter (every harem needs a Princess, I suppose), whose most distinguishing characteristic is that her eyes are different colors, at least when the colorist remembers to make them that way (green and blue, if you were wondering.) ALL of them are in love with Touya of course, as will be several other girls that he encounters. The show "resolves" the girls' rivalries in a way that fanboys are likely to find both pleasing and frustrating; I shan't say more.
A fellow reviewer deemed the show "harmless and fluffy". I have to agree, but to LIKE a show I have to develop either some emotional attachment to the characters, or at least get caught up in the story, and neither of these things were happening here for me. It's a good candidate for the ultimate "slacker" anime fantasy. The last episode makes clear that a sequel series is planned. Kami-sama help us! — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Underwear and swimsuits, and some breast fondling, mainly by a fairy girl named Leen, who shows up in the show's (slightly) more raunchy latter half. I dunno, we'll go 16 up to be on the safe side.
Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on crunchyroll
Review Status: Full (12/12)
In Another World With My Smartphone © 2017 Patora Fuyuhara, HOBBY JAPAN/Principality of Brunhild
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