OP: 「Another World」 by AOP
「目覚め、そして異世界。」 (Mezame, Soshite Isekai.)
“Awakening, and Another World.”
I’m writing about a lot of these “Boy mysteriously gets transported to a different world.”-type stories. This time with a smartphone though! And boy, does that smartphone ever make things super interesting… If you were given anything to take with you in the afterlife, what would it be? Memories of your past? A chance to talk to your family and friends one last time? Your cell phone? Well, the latter is what Mochizuki Touya (Fukuhara Katsumi) wants. After dying young, God (Tachiki Fumihiko) gives Touya one wish, and he chooses to take his smartphone with him into his next life. God sends Touya (with clothes and memories and all) to another world to be “reborn” and he arrives – true to God’s promise – with his phone. However, like all wishes, comes restrictions which puts limitations on the usage of Touya’s phone. For one, he can’t contact his old family and friends with phone but he is allowed to still keep up with what’s happening and making internet searches. For another, it also magically recharges! Woot! Who doesn’t want that? In this first episode, Touya is introduced to the new world which he calls home now. He meets a variety of different people; most of them very nice and helpful people. Two of first females he meets include Silhoueska Linze (Fukuo Yui) and Silhoueska Elze (Uchida Maaya). They show him how to make money by completing quests and they’re the first (of many) to join Touya’s harem this series.
Overall, the impression that Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. left was a fairly predictable one. It’s one of many anime stereotypes which we’ve seen before but more lighthearted and definitely more comedic and manga-like in nature. There’s a ton of exposition in this first episode that explains the situations which Touya may or may not use his cell phone in and even explains a bit of the rules of engagement in this new world – from how to make money, to the “strange” clothes that Touya was wearing. It’s definitely an introductory episode (to be expected), but it also doesn’t provide a point of differentiation that grips me and pulls me in. Similar to a lot of other harems and manga, there’s the one catch about Touya (which is his smartphone) that’s the focal point of this anime and everything else surrounding it is formulaic. We’re introduced to his harem, and Touya also has a lot of the typical MC-syndrome (which somehow gives Touya heightened abilities to survive plus all magical abilities!). I wouldn’t say anything about this so far is surprising, but it’s not boring by any means if these are the stories you’d like to see.
I was probably hoping for more beef to the overarching story but we haven’t gotten there yet (if there even is one). All we know is that Touya has passed in his existing life and now he’s living in this world which resembles the average RPG video game. You can wield a sword, learn some magic, pick an “occupation”, make some friends, do some quests, you name it. Since magic does exist in the world and Touya seems to be able to create portals, maybe he does have a way to find “home” eventually – but we haven’t gotten there. The clear basis for this story isn’t the plot though, but mainly the comedy and the character interactions. Being based off a manga, there’s a lot of clean scenes that look like they’ve been plucked straight from the manga panels. They’re cute, and some cuts breakup the scenes, but also seems like a lazy way to transition from scene to scene. For the most part it doesn’t bother me, but I am interested to see if the story gets any deeper or if it’ll continue down this line of female introductions for half the season. Judging by the intro though, it seems like there’s quite a few that we may be acquainted with. I just hope that there’s more to the plot than that.
ED: 「純情エモーショナル」 (Junjou Emotional by Uchida Maaya (内田真礼) / Fukuo Yui (福緒唯) / Akasaki Chinatsu (赤﨑千夏) / Kouno Marika (山下七海) / Yamashita Nanami (高野麻里佳) / Uesaka Sumire (上坂すみれ)