In Another World With My Smartphone Episode 10
by Christopher Farris,
How would you rate episode 10 of
In Another World With My Smartphone ?
Being an anime reviewer is generally fun and all, but after the unrelenting storm of calculated failure that was last week's episode of Isekai Smartphone, I felt like I could use a vacation. Luckily, the team behind my favorite summer show must have felt the same, bestowing upon me probably the most decent episode of the series yet! The characters themselves are on vacation as well, stopping by the ocean in preparation for exploring those ruins we've been told are super-important for two episodes now, but given how the show almost succeeds at being entertaining during this detour, I'm not going to complain (much).
Isekai Smartphone reaches a little higher from the get-go, with Touya bringing just about everyone from the extended cast through a portal to enjoy the beach for the day. That initial joke lands shockingly well. Much of what goes on in this episode is dumb stock anime beach humor, but because the show is leaning into it completely, the simple appeal works. Bits like Touya's over-dutiful ninja maids promising to ‘take turns having fun’ are clever snippets that actually work with the characters involved. (The side characters in this series are more quirky and interesting than Touya's main gaggle of gals.)
Being a beach episode, there is fanservice of course, but that works just fine for what it is. Sure, there's a changing scene and some boob-envy gags, and everyone suddenly turns very shiny for some pans up their swimsuited bodies, but it's all pretty benign stuff that even gets mined for some surprisingly effective humor. Between the show actually achieving some simple goals and the fanservice close-ups being the best-animated Isekai Smartphone has been all season, I found myself wondering if this isekai punching-bag wouldn't have worked better as just a straight fanservice comedy series. I hate to say it, but this is all something Smartphone is clearly pretty good at!
Still, that accolade is the cue for this show to “try to make a bit of progress”, in Leen's own words. Progress is something Isekai Smartphone has struggled with for the last ten episodes, but compared to nonstop downers like last episode, this episode's attempts at plot development turn out to be mostly harmless. Touya needs to go underwater, and he'll need magical help to do so. This leads to him summoning another of Kohaku's feng shui compatriots. Hey, remember how they were actually foreshadowed a few episodes beforehand? Subtle, effective world-building with payoff! What show is this?!
The fight with Genb--I mean The Black Emperor is about what you expect from Smartphone at this point, with Touya's auto-targeting infinite-loop powers winning fights in ways the audience can't possibly find interesting. At least it's mildly amusing that Touya hasn't had to learn many new spells beyond Slip, since he can get that one to do all the work for him. At any rate, our unstoppable God-Emperor of Smartphone-land getting just one new massive power-up this episode shows a lot of restraint by this series' standards, so I'm pretty nonplussed about him catching this new Pokémon.
The rest of the episode just kind of peters out after that, neither reaching new heights nor managing to kill the momentous highs of okay-ness that the first half achieved. There's a volleyball scene that's more exciting to watch than Touya's fight with a god. There's a weird scene where the main party-member girls discuss Touya while the camera fixates exclusively on their boobs. There's a downright incongruous scene where Touya's enthusiastic twelve-year-old fiancé (with the rest of the girls) expresses worry that he might be a pedophile. There's even a brief, shining moment where it appears Touya may have drowned to death in the ocean, but alas, that is not to be. It's all pretty harmless after the slightly more effective first half, and if it results in a rare episode of Smartphone that doesn't make me have to restock my liquor cabinet in the middle of the week, I'll take it.
I'll even leave any concerns raised by the cliffhanger for next week. Suffice to say, Touya ventures out to the ocean ruins alone (that's two episodes in a row now where his useless teammates have just been left behind), where he finds a shrine with the Chaos Emeralds that whisks him away to a new location. I barely said “Twenty bucks says he finds a new cute girl in here!” before sure enough, some cute girl not wearing pants appeared. Wait, what? Yes, that's certainly a note to end an episode on. Boy, I just can't wait until next week.
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