Too “Smart” By Half

October 29th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

A harem comedy. Wow, I haven’t seen one of those in about 20….minutes. Still, this one brings along a great deal of charm and heart…despite the rather capacious title of Isekai wa Sumātofon to Tomo ni” (“In Another World with My Smartphone”).

While returning from school, 15-year-old Touya Mochizuki (that 70s disco king) is accidentally struck by lightning and killed by God. Hey, I thought God didn’t make mistakes like that! As an apology, God allows him to be resurrected, but since He cannot send him back to his old world or his old body, He instead reincarnates him into a fantasy world along with a single special request.

Touya uses his request in order to bring his smartphone into the new world with him, which God modifies so that the phone will function in the new world. God also amplifies Touya’s physical, magical, and cognitive abilities to a certain degree as a further apology for the inconvenience of killing him. Taking full advantage of his second chance at life, Touya befriends many different people in the new world, especially amazing them with his smartphone, so he comes off as close to being a …dare I say it…a god himself!

He begins to travel from country to country, solving political disputes, minor quests, and nonchalantly enjoying himself with his newfound allies. Some of the friends he makes along the way include: (left to right)

Leen, head of the Fairy Tribe of Mismede. She helps Touya on his quests.
Elze and Linze Silhoueska, twins who are adventurers. He rescues them from street thugs.
Yumina Urnea Belfast. Crown Princess of Belfast, he saved her father, the king.
Yae Kokonoe. She comes from a samurai family in Eashen.
Sushie Urnea Ortlinde. Daughter of the duke and duchess of Belfast, she was saved from a kidnapping.

The problem is that in this world, when you do a good deed, the ladies become your fiancée, so he is betrothed to all of those folks up there and a bunch more. Oh, the bear and the tiger. The bear is Paula, who belongs to Leen and is a caliber of automaton, but does not speak. The tiger is Kohaku, a Four Heavenly Beast that Touya formed a pact with. This version is more convenient to lug around than the full, terrifying version. (“…for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth…”)

These trips eventually leads to the discovery of the lost kingdom of Babylon, a shattered floating citadel that Touya is destined to find the various segments of, to reform the ancient country. Touya also encounters the “Fraze”, mysterious crystalline beasts invading the world through tears in time and space, which are somehow linked to the destruction of Babylon; he also learns that the pieces of Babylon itself hold the key to defeating the resurgent Fraze, a lost robotic weaponry system known as the Frame Gear.

But the whole this is done in a rather toss-off manner. Even when he saves the king from a mysterious malady, it is done with no more trouble as if you wanted the lyrics to the newest Taylor Swift song. This does not mean it’s a bad show. In fact, the rather casual nature of things is its charm and grace. He truly is a super hero, as there is no problem he cannot overcome, but with little to no ego about it. He just wants to help and to be a better person.

Well, since this is a rare commodity, as he could easily become King of His Domain, this is what endears him to everyone about, even God, as he has to kind of report in to see how things are going along. It’s just that since there is no problem he cannot overcome, there’s not much bite in the show. I mean, he really can do it all. We are lucky that he’s such a nice guy; otherwise things could turn dark. Now, that may be something they are holding out for the second season. As John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, said: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men…” We will have to wait and see.

That being said, chain it all together. It helps things play out far better than the wait-and-see approach I am forced to endure. It helps with the overall tenor of the show and we see how this rolling stone gathers up all the moss it can (so to speak). Do I ever want to wait and splurge? I really don’t have that caliber of time, but it is on my agenda (I might do it with ‘SAO’, when I get a solid chance). For now, the deed is done. And my SECOND encounter with an isekai show. I need to update my reviews a bit better….

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           7 (Pretty typical)
Plot                  8 (A good dash of silliness)
Pacing              8 (Moves along strongly)
Effectiveness   7 (Things seem too easy)
Conclusion       7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Bingeability     9 (Helps with the overall plotting of the show and the adventures out there)

Overall            7 (I would have liked deeper conflicts)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. This is no problem.