In Another World With My Smartphone
by Christopher Farris,
How would you rate episode 5 of
In Another World With My Smartphone ?
At least In Another World With My Smartphone doesn't make empty threats. After several episodes floating the concept as a cutaway gag, the dreaded slime-fighting mission arrives, and the outfit-obliterating fanservice-fest that follows is maybe more than you'd expect given the show's history. Aside from those quick imaginary scenes, Isekai Smartphone's been surprisingly light on cheesecake so far, so the drawn-out sequence of salaciousness that makes up this episode's entire first half is a bit jarring.
The various erotically-engineered monsters aren't even the key feature of this portion; the weirdness begins and ends with Touya himself. He's been kind of benign in his actions so far (like mostly being put off by his engagement to Yumina), but all of a sudden, he shifts into full-on creeper territory for this mission. He insists the girls go along on the mission despite their clear discomfort, and gets internally excited about the idea of them being slimed and seeing their clothes melt off. It's just odd that a guy who was sort of blandly decent before this is suddenly all-in on endangering his comrades for the chance to see their boobies. I'd say Touya's better than this, but I guess he's never really been anything until now.
So then the fanservice shows up. Clothes-destroying slimes and ‘lotion’ slimes conspire for some slow pans across the girls' stripped, embarrassed bodies, and it all comes across as incongruous for a show that had barely flirted with fanservice before. This is something that you'd expect from an isekai episode of High School DxD or something, except that would probably be better-animated. It's even polished off by a ‘classic’ bit with Elze punching Touya out for looking at her, though I guess we should be grateful he doesn't whip out his smartphone and start snapping pictures. Thankfully, the boob-statues and their boob-expanding slime (yes, this is a thing) are denied that particular spectacle when they start heading straight for the 12-year old Yumina.
Admittedly, the gag of cutting to the team immediately burning down the castle once they stumble upon its ultimate sexy-slime experiment is a pretty good gag. It's a humorous, well-done payoff to the whole sequence that was built up effectively, and it actually got a laugh out of me. If Smartphone could mine this sort of irreverence and timing consistently, it could probably be a decently amusing show.
The rest of the episode unfolds with Isekai Smartphone's now-standard short, disconnected vignettes, and there's nothing I can't say about the nonsensical pacing of these that I haven't already repeated to the point that even I'm sick of it. They mainly seem to concern Touya interacting with his lady-brigade and them finding new reasons to develop feelings for him. Yae reveals that she has a brother she's never mentioned who resembles Touya, which dovetails into being the reason she's in love with him. (Well, that's a whole lot of weedy issues I don't want to get into.) He helps Linze learn a new spell and creates at least two new deus ex machina abilities in the process, and he tells Elze she looks good in a dress. Maybe these segments would be moderately interesting if the characters in them were distinct somehow, but they just aren't. All three girls used in these bits have the same personality flavor of ‘chipper but gets embarrassed easily’, to the point that they could star Touya hanging out with just one girl three separate times and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
It's all peppered with the relentless power-ups that Touya just hands himself on a silver platter to the point of absurdity. Between a new unlimited-range Search function for his smartphone, an x-ray vision camera, instant-read translator glasses, and a mana-replenishment transfer spell, the way the series piles these things on is almost like a parody, except there's no sense of humor to any of it. Touya just gets stuff because it's cool or useful in the moment. This also leads to more incongruous fanservice, as he uses the x-ray camera for an extended spy session on Linze getting dressed. This stuff is especially odd because it's way more voyeuristic than the show's previous light, generic tone would prime you to expect.
Honestly, I don't really know what to do with this episode. On the one hand, the first-half fanservice focus is out-of-place and makes Touya come across as unpleasant, but at least it's focused and ends on a good gag. The following vignettes are classic Isekai Smartphone dumbness with added generic romcom flavor, but they do actually half-ass more explanation of the world's magic system, and there's kind of a theme running through the skits this time at least. Is it better or worse than the previous episodes? I'm not sure, but it's still definitely not good.
In Another World With My Smartphone is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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