If you’d told me a few years ago that I’d be reading a light novel called In Another World With My Smartphone I’m not sure I’d have believed you. However, as it stands, I’ve read ten volumes of this wacky series. Today, I’m here to review the anime adaption of this franchise that I’ve spent so much time with.
One day our protagonist, 15-year-old Touya Mochizuki, is accidentally killed by God. As Touya’s life has come to an untimely end, God offers His apologies and allows Touya to be resurrected (and have his natural abilities slightly boosted) – but not in his original world. Instead he is sent to an unnamed fantasy world. On top of this, God also allows Touya to make one special request for something to aid his life in the new world. Touya asks if he can take his smartphone with him, to which God readily agrees and modifies the device to function in the alternate world (such as the map app displaying the new world and the phone charging through magic). With this decided, God sends Touya on his way to his next life.
When Touya awakens in this new world he finds himself surrounded by lush fields and picturesque mountains, but without a roof over his head, he decides to find a nearby town. Thankfully, a travelling merchant passes by and, fascinated by Touya’s clothes, offers to take him to the local town and buy them all off him! With all his problems solved at once, Touya’s new life is off to a great start – and it’s not long before our hero finds himself some new friends.
While wandering around the town, Touya stumbles across some thugs harassing two young ladies. Touya intervenes and saves them both, who introduce themselves as sisters Elze and Linze Silhoueska. It turns out that the two came to the town looking to become adventurers at the local guild, and hearing this, Touya asks to become a part of their party. The three work together on various quests, meeting new friends (and foes!) alike as they journey on. One thing’s for sure: wild adventures are in store for Touya!
With the boom in isekai stories being adapted into anime, we’re spoiled for choice, and I’m sure In Another World With My Smartphone doesn’t sound like anything unique. Honestly speaking, it isn’t, but what it offers is still fun with a likable cast of characters. It might not be able to compete with shows like Sword Art Online and Re:Zero, but it’s far from the bottom of the barrel.
Touya is an overpowered MC thanks to his boost from God. He has the ability to cast any magic in this world and has strong physical abilities, but that allows the show to pit him against very powerful enemies to make up for it. Never fazed, Touya will take on any opponent – especially if they threaten those close to him.
Elze, Linze and the other girls Touya travels with as the series goes on aren’t just pretty faces, they pack a mighty punch all of their own. This is something I really appreciate about In Another World With My Smartphone, because the story very easily could have just focused on Touya saving the girls and then protecting them forever after. Instead, they want to be involved in his adventurers and challenge their own skills against powerful foes. It’s rewarding to watch them grow.
Characters aside, I also think that this series has a knack for comedy too (even though it’s not inherently a comedy anime). Throughout any given episode there are numerous cuts based on a previous scene showing Touya, or one of the other characters, in a funny situation. For example, when Touya first learns magic, he creates a cascade of water. In the short clip after this scene a chibified version of our hero is shown being swept away. These clips last no more than a few seconds and serve to transition from one scene to the next (much like how KonoSuba has clips of the cast shouting the show’s name between scenes), but they’re charming and add a certain depth to the show.
Animation for In Another World With My Smartphone has been handled by Production Reed (Rainbow Days, Cutie Honey Universe), and sadly most of the time it looks rather low budget with colourful but woefully under-detailed backgrounds. That being said, the characters are always drawn well and the battles are fun to watch, so it’s easy to overlook the rest of the animation issues. It also has to be said that the show looks a lot better now on Blu-ray than when I watched it on Crunchyroll last year.
Music for the show has been handled by Exit Tunes. Helmed by electric guitars and an almost rock-like sound, the selection of music really brings the action scenes to life while being reminiscent of fantasy JRPGs. It’s great fun in the context of the show. The opening theme is “Another World” performed by AOP and the ending theme is “Junjo Emotional” performed by the various female voice actors in the show.
Where voice actors are concerned, this release contains both the Japanese audio and an English dub. Both the Japanese and English cast do a good job in the roles and while no one offers a remarkable performance, I do like the way Katsumi Fukuhara plays Touya. This appears to be his first leading role in an anime and he does a great job, all things considered, giving Touya the likable and laid-back attitude you’d expect if you’d read the original light novels. Likewise, his English voice actor, Josh Grelle (Yuri Katsuki in Yuri on Ice!!, Cartaphilus in The Ancient Magus’ Bride) plays the role well and has great chemistry with the rest of the English cast. While I prefer the Japanese cast, the dub is by no means bad and is worth checking out.
This release comes to the UK thanks to Sony Pictures and is available as a Blu-ray and DVD combo pack. As previously mentioned, this release includes all 12 episodes of In Another World With My Smartphone with both their Japanese and English dub audio. Extras include commentary for Episodes 2 and 8, an eyecatch gallery, clean opening and ending videos and a selection of trailers.
Overall, if you’re a fan of In Another World With My Smartphone’s light novels then this adaption won’t disappoint, and, likewise, fans of the isekai genre will find a lot to like here. The show delivers what it sets out to do and, despite its shortcomings, is a genuinely entertaining watch. It’s not a series for everyone by any means, but I’ve enjoyed my time with Touya and friends.