In Another World With My Smartphone Episode 11
by Christopher Farris,
How would you rate episode 11 of
In Another World With My Smartphone ?
So it turns out that the girl from the end of last week's episode of Isekai Smartphone was actually wearing panties. That's genuinely the most surprising revelation we get in this episode. We never actually see this important underwear that gets billing in the episode title, as Cesca's nether regions are covered with a big leaf in the foreground, Austin-Powers-style, until she puts a skirt on, but we're assured there are panties present, repeatedly. It's a bizarre choice to say the least. Isekai Smartphone hasn't shied away from explicit fanservice in previous episodes (cheap as it's been), so why leave this to the imagination? Will the offending leaf be removed in the show's surely sought-after Blu-Ray edition?
This is only the opening scene, but I'm opining on it because it's emblematic of this episode's ridiculously skewed priorities. The whole thing takes place in a magnificent floating garden, a high-tech paradise in the skies created by a bygone genius, and the show barely opts to explore it it at all. Instead, almost the entirety of the episode is spent in various conversations, mostly relating to the subject of Touya's unfathomably boring love life.
Once Cesca's revealed to be a robot girl, it's pretty easy to guess that Touya will acquire ownership of her somehow, but the simplicity of the transaction is beyond even Smartphone's previously effortless escapades. If you thought Yumina opting to get hitched to Smartphone Jesus after only knowing him for a few hours couldn't be topped, Cesca pledges herself to him, the first life form she's encountered in over 5,000 years, basically on the spot. Touya also scores control of the flying fortress itself, the explanation being that he gets the free gynoid with purchase, because he's so boring that he reads as pure-of-heart. It underscores the sheer pandering of the ‘nice guy’ fantasy that Touya is selling; he keeps amassing treasure and girlfriends by doing as little as possible.
The other girls join Touya on his mighty flying greenhouse after some more weird fanservice, and around this point it occurred to me that this was the penultimate episode of the series. This should be setting up for some sort of big finale, right? Sure, Isekai Smartphone moves with all the urgency of a line at the DMV most of the time, but it's attempted exciting scenes at least twice before in its run, so surely it's preparing to go out with a bang, right? No, it isn't. It's going to run straight into the brick wall of its stuttering harem plotline with only one episode of content to go.
No sooner does the flock of fangirls fall into the flying forest fortress than they immediately start squabbling over the implications of Touya's new android attachment. The key failing of these scenes is how interchangeable all these girls are. I'd previously thought that Elze was supposed to be the uptight, quick-to-anger one, but here Linze takes that role instead. (Maybe as twins, they switch clothes and hairstyles regularly to mess with people!) It's a yawning void of a chew-out scene that just goes and goes, when they could be exploring this big cool floating garden they have, I don't know just a suggestion.
Instead of a sense of wonder or discovery at this new environment, Yumina just pulls the rest of the fan club aside to casually chat about forming a literal harem with their Boy-Touy. Amazingly, the show actually finds a way to make this sequence even more pointless, by flashing back to a time when they already had the exact same conversation before just having it again. I'm not even sure what the conflict is supposed to be here. I hate to say it, but the twelve-year-old fiancé is right. All these girls like him and each other, there's no in-universe conflict with all of them marrying him, so what's the holdup? The series doesn't even attempt to answer the question; the trivial trio just blush and stammer while Yumina politely asks them questions. It's padding of the highest order, and I have no idea why it's in the second-to-last episode.
That's followed with another rote conversation that technically has more information but is somehow even less interesting. It's just Touya, Leen, and robo-wife going over how there are even more of these giant magic pizza-slices flying around. Presumably, Touya's going to commandeer those as well, gaining access to more robot girls for him to woo with his marvelously mediocre charms. This is also probably content to be set up and covered in future volumes of the source novels, because there's no way that all happens in the last episode, right? And if it does, is that any way to go about a season finale? There are characters in the intro who haven't even appeared in the show yet, what happened?
The one remaining plot twist is that Touya's smartphone doesn't work for once, as he's unable to locate the other sky-castles with it. After that, Cesca seals her contract with him with an extremely predictable kiss, in a weirdly over-animated makeout scene that prompts Linze to declare her love for him and make out with him too. Then the episode just ends. As a piece of storytelling on its own, this episode would be a boring, drawn-out, pointless waste. However, with at least the potential of a cool new vista mocking us in the background, and acting as a poor substitute for what should be the climactic crescendo of a fantasy journey, it becomes a true failure. Once again, Isekai Smartphone's most damning weakness is its startling unwillingness to even try.
In Another World With My Smartphone is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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