In Another World With My Smartphone Episode 7
by Christopher Farris,
How would you rate episode 7 of
In Another World With My Smartphone ?
After last week's episode of Isekai Smartphone managed to be almost interesting, I was thinking the series might maintain that increase in quality up to ‘disappointingly average’. This one starts off decently enough, with onlookers actually acknowledging the absurd power level of Touya and his party, and even foreshadowing information on some mysterious characters who assisted in the previous dragon battle: setting up future plot points like a big boy anime! I thought this might be the tolerable light at the end of the tunnel.
Unfortunately for me, Isekai Smartphone's ambitions would never extend that far, and as soon as the escort mission is complete, the series is happy to get back into its infuriating comfort zone: disconnected vignettes that heap game-breaking power-ups on Touya. At least the jealous love-polyhedron plot from the previous episode seems to have mysteriously disappeared for this one.
We first get Touya engaging in an exhibition battle with the Beastman king, and after so many fights in this series that felt stakes-less, it's funny that the series is now trying to show off with a fight that literally has no stakes. I say ‘trying’ to show off, since Isekai Smartphone's animation chops are definitely not up to the cool battle it's trying to sell us. They get one decent laugh as Touya manages to one-shot the King in the first round, but then generic-store-brand Kirito learns about the ruler's agility spell, and we're treated to the world's lamest Dragon Ball Z fight. Next!
One major development that rolls around is finally introducing that goth-looking girl from the intro, who will apparently join Mr. Personality's tour group. She's a fairy named Leen who lives in a back room of the Beastman palace for reasons that aren't adequately explained. The show doesn't bother wasting time on her personality or motives, so it can get right to the much more important task of teaching Touya an absurdly open-ended programming spell. She briefly floats the idea of making him her apprentice, before immediately retracting it since she doesn't like forcing people to do anything. God forbid some semblance of conflict show up in this series.
So yeah, there's your important new character: Touya finds her, she immediately dumps exposition about a new power for him, and then he just leaves. Our unstoppable force of wish-fulfillment actually has the gall to act exhausted afterward, talking about all the things that happened today. Two things, Touya. Two things happened today.
Next we find out that all that magic-programming setup was simply in service of giving Touya the means to craft a magic gun-blade as his new weapon. Look, I'm not even going to think about the wider implications of introducing magic firearms into a previously pseudo-medieval fantasy setting, so instead I'll just marvel at how long the gun-creation scene goes on. There's so many steps of Touya creating, programming, and testing the thing, with every detail of how it works (which all just boil down to ‘magic’ anyway) spelled out. Magic gunblades aren't a new idea in this kind of fiction by any stretch, but the writer seems so proud of themselves for the over-detailed way they came up with how it works. Maybe this kind of thing is fun when you're discussing role-playing game systems and exploits with your friends, but it doesn't make for a compelling story. It's not a complete loss though; Linze and Yumina ask Touya to make guns for them too, and the resulting shot of these fantasy-realm anime girls marveling over their new firearms is so goofy and incongruous that I had to pause to give myself a chance to stop laughing. At least the show can offer unintentional comedy now and again.
The last drop of narrative torture this week is Touya finally investigating those mysterious characters they foreshadowed way back at the beginning, back when I still had hope. (I was so young...) One unceremonious boob-grab reveals the shadowy pair of figures to be the servants from Touya's mansion! They do explain this a little after showing their faces, which is good, because while Touya calls them by name as if we're supposed to remember who these people are, I was hard-pressed to recall the right information for this Scooby-Doo reveal. When you're shockingly revealing someone's true identity, the audience's reaction should never be “…who?”, but that's where we are with Isekai Smartphone.
Anyway, the explanation turns out to be that the servants from the mansion are secret bodyguards charged with protecting Yumina, because the King apparently didn't think she'd be safe only being protected by her demi-god fiancé. They swear Touya to secrecy for more unexplained reasons, and I'm left unsure what the point of their inclusion was, unless ‘secret ninja maid bodyguards’ is a particular fetish from the author's dragon hoard of wish-fulfillment. At least the show's just self-aware enough to point out its fantasy-land's I Can't Believe It's Not Curry at the end of all this. So there were a couple funny bits (intentional or otherwise) in this episode, and I wasn't so much angry at each nonsensical new plot element, but simply baffled. At least I don't have to worry about Isekai Smartphone settling into being too bland to review.
In Another World With My Smartphone is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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