The Spring 2023 Anime Preview Guide
In Another World With My Smartphone Season 2
How would you rate episode 1 of
In Another World With My Smartphone (TV 2) ?
Community score: 3.7
How would you rate episode 2 of
In Another World With My Smartphone (TV 2) ?
Community score: 3.9
What is this?
Touya Mochizuki is the unfortunate victim of a bolt of lightning thrown carelessly by God. Because he really wasn't supposed to die at fifteen, God is willing to cut him a deal – Touya can be reborn, or rather, re-placed, at his present age in a new world in order to continue living. To sweeten things, the world will have magic, which Touya will be able to use, his physical abilities will get a boost, and he can bring any one thing with him. Touya opts to take his smartphone, which God kindly equips with the appropriate maps and translation functions for his new life. And that life looks like it's going to go pretty well – within moments of awakening, Touya has been paid for his other-world clothes, formed a party with twins Elze and Linze, learned he can use all seven forms of magic, and introduced his new world to ice cream – and this is only the first day.
In Another World With My Smartphone Season 2 is based on Patora Fuyuhara's light novel series and streams on Crunchyroll on Mondays.
How was the first episode?
Somehow, Touya returned. I can't imagine the surely fervent In Another World With My Smartphone fanbase is set to see Touya and the gang's next slate of stories animated since that would require things to, you know, actually happen in this series. Sure, Smartphone S2 initially tries to lull you into a false sense of security, showing off with a decent little battle against some golems. However, it's clear that six years have yet to help this show's production values. Why bother? Once that fight is over after a minute or two, Smartphone can settle back into having its characters just hanging around, blankly staring at the camera, talking to us about the plot points allegedly being covered here.
That's the most galling if expected aspect of Smartphone's improbable return: Not only does nothing continue to happen in the show, it's the same nothing as the first season! This premiere's central refrain continues the first season finale's half-assed attempts at being an actual harem show but still runs headfirst into the central issue of none of these people having any personality to facilitate that. So we wind up with two(!) separate bath time scenes of Yumina trying to coax explanations out of Touya's other fiancées about what they even see in the guy, all of them circling the same "He is nice, and he was nice to me" platitudes.
It's impressive how long Smartphone can drag these scenes out, with a side-order of the bizarre fanservice framing. The second instance taking up the last chunk of this episode, is the standout, as Yumina's meandering marriage counseling of everyone is continuously accompanied by them all having their shirts open or taken off. It's like the anime figured even the Smartphone hardcore in the audience would have their minds wander through all this talk of dumb stuff like feelings and is working to keep their attention by going "Look, boobs!"
This is an anime that couldn't even show us the supposedly romantic scene of Touya getting the engagement rings for his head-empty harem, and that "just telling us what the plot is supposed to be" approach persists through this whole thing. Is it funny that everyone in Touya's orbit recognizes that he's an ineffectual good-natured dumbass who those in power could manipulate? Yeah, but it might be more interesting to see some actual scheming somewhere in the background toward that instead of his wives wandering around speaking in hypotheticals.
I also give the show credit for being a smidge more self-aware as Touya remarks that he doesn't want to do anything right now while recognizing that his pending royal engagement necessitates that he should accomplish something. But again, that only manifests in the characters talking about nothing happening while nothing continues to happen. I got a couple of moments of amusement from this one, mostly related to Cesca's occasionally out-of-place-feeling antics. And I could feel my own Stockholm Syndrome for the series creeping in to make me think it had leveled up to "tolerable". But just because Smartphone has downgraded its offenses from War Crime to Regular Crime doesn't mean I will give it the benefit of commuting its sentence.
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