In Another World With My Smartphone – Anime Preview
Synopsis: After dying as a result of God’s mistake, the main character finds himself in a parallel world, where he begins his second life. His only possessions are the body that God gave back to him and a smartphone that works even in this new world. As he meets all kinds of new people and forges new friendships, he ends up learning the secret to this world. He inherits the legacy of an ancient civilization and works together with the kings of some very laid-back countries on his carefree travels through this new world. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: In Another World With My Smartphone is nothing special. It’s yet another show so clearly summed up by its art: Competent, watchable, but bland, generic and unmemorable. It never soars to dizzying and memorable heights, or flounders in awkward, off-model art, but rather meekly wallows in perfect mediocrity.
Linny: In Another World has a very restrained premiere with not only its characters but its story feeling very humdrum and mundane. Events happen with minimum fanfare or pomp setting up a tone that struggles to make itself stand out. The episode never depicts our hero’s death, nor does it make a big entrance scene for him into the new world. Even when he enters combat with villainous men or hunts savage beasts, the incidents either get no screen time or are over so quickly that they do not leave any impact at all.
Tom: A bigger problem, I feel, is Smartphone’s utter lack of comedy, despite having been listed as one. The episode has some humorous elements, but is all too devoted to ‘fleshing out’ its fantasy world and mechanics. Maybe that would be interesting if any of those mechanics were original, but everything feels like standard fantasy anime schlock making for an utterly mundane introduction. None of this is aided by a complete lack of the title’s primary gimmick: The Smartphone. The lead gets to keep his phone as he’s transported to this fantasy world by God, who even powers the phone up. But outside of two incredibly lame instances of usage, the phone barely factors into things. Instead our hero is given a multitude of far more useful, Gary Stu-inspiring powers that drown out any seeming point of having a smartphone and whatever benefits it could possibly have. The title becomes completely misleading as the show should really be called: In Another World With Super Powers That Make Me OP.
Linny: Furthermore, this is the millionth show with this premise of current day hero finding themselves in another magical, fantasy world and unlike super popular ones like Re:Zero and Konosuba, In Another World has no real selling shtick to make itself stand out. Again it’s main gimmick, the much lauded smartphone included in the very title, barely does anything in its premiere, relegated to usage as a form of GPS, to surf the internet at night and lastly to look up a recipe for ice cream. None of these events are that impressive and only serve to make the episode feel all the more mundane.
Tom: It cannot be stressed enough how absolutely generic this feels. It’s much like Konosuba, but without any of the wit, the character, the mocking comedy. It doesn’t poke fun at any of the tropes of the Isekai, trapped in a fantasy world genre– because it is all of them at the exact same time.
Linny: I’ll give credit to In Another World that at the very least our hero isn’t yet another bitter hikikomorori like more recent and popular Isekai heroes. However he doesn’t have much personality byond that either, other than being rather chill about everything that’s happening to him. Of course though, like all good cliche anime heroes, he has super OP powers and ends up on his way to Gary Stu status as his only weakness in this new world so far is that he cannot read the local language but seems to speak it fluently otherwise.
Tom: Our heroes’ Gary Stu status undermines a lot of potential drama, at near every turn. He avoids any trouble his first day in the new world, not just thanks to happenstance but also his powers, and that destroys any tension or conflict. It’s a horribly bland introduction to the series because it feels like there’s nothing that can touch our hero or make him stumble in, well, whatever his goals are. He’s so understated a character that we have no idea what he wants to accomplish. And maybe that could be a worthwhile journey in itself, but the show doesn’t even toy with the idea that he’s truly aimless. Compounding it all are two friendly sister characters, just as bland and uninteresting as our hero, who join up with him at the slightest hint of kindness. Everyone gets along so swimmingly, so wonderfully from the get go you almost have to wonder what the point is in watching any of them.
Linny: If you’re tired of this world switching trope, In Another World with My Smartphone will probably do absolutely nothing to change your mind. Even if you are a fan of the trope, it’s hard to say what this show can offer that others haven’t already done much better, thus leaving this show to be more of a disappointment than anything else. Having an overused and trendy trope as your main theme requires that you add something extra special to stand out and In Another World struggles to do so, failing to utilize even the gimmick included in the title, ultimately dooming itself to be another easily forgotten show this season.
Tom: In Another World With My Smartphone isn’t bad. It never does anything offensive, or suffers bad artwork, or crafts annoying characters that are a pain to watch. That’s mostly because it just doesn’t do anything. There’s no conflict, no sense of danger or struggle and worst of all no comedy. It’s an utterly bland experience, and maybe that’ll work if all you want is some mindless, low key entertainment to unwind from a day. You could probably watch in that regard, like a easy going slice of life. But otherwise? With the likes of Konosuba upping the genre, why bother?
In Another World With My Smartphone is available for streaming via Crunchyroll