By Patora Fuyuhara and Eiji Usatsuka. Released in Japan as “Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni” by HJ Novels. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Andrew Hodgson.
It’s never a good sign when people keep asking why you’re still reading that series as you tweet about it, but that’s what’s been happening for me with this Smartphone, which seems to have worn out its welcome for everyone but the most hardcore of fans. It’s not a bad question, why do I read it? Especially given the beginning of the book, a reprehensible pile of crap that involves getting a unicorn horn, slutshaming the entire female cast while ALSO having them insist they’re all virgins, and finally ending with a “ha ha, he was gangraped by men and now he’s gay” joke. I recommend just skipping the whole chapter. After this, thankfully, it does improve, and indeed it feels like the author may have been told to wrap this up soon, as we’re resolving one of the remaining storylines, as everyone in the world, including Touya and his fiancees, battle the wicked god and the wicked Phrase that has allied with it.
The fiancees are getting a bit impatient, wanting to actually get married, but Touya has decided not to do that till the whole “evil from another world coming and killing people and destroying their souls” thing is death with. The first half of the book involves preparations for this, including the aforementioned horrible scene. They slowly purify the world with the help of a “puretree” (no worries, fans, this tree is a virgin too) and, unexpectedly, help from Luna Trieste, the Himiko Toga of Smartphone, who thankfully gets locked away for the rest of the book. The second half of the book is the battle against the Mutant Phrases, evil normal Phrases, the evil NEET god, and Yula, the Phrase who set this ball rolling in the first place. Even more unfortunately, Touya gets sealed off in a pocket dimension away from the battle. Can our heroes win without their OP husband-to-be?
Credit where credit is due, the plan that Touya has to counteract this sort of attack is very clever indeed, and I was impressed. It also helps that he tells Yula about the plan with a line that is so cheesy you cannot help but laugh out loud. I like this series when it’s being big dumb. That said, surrounding it is a lot of the same old same old. There are mecha battles, there are guns being fired, there are near misses… and, in the end, Touya does actually save the day. I mean, it’s his series. Aside from the battles, which do take up a good 2/3 of the book, we get Touya becoming more comfortable with being a god (which is why his initial attacks didn’t work well – he was too attached to humanity) and getting more comfortable with actual love and affection (he’s snuggling his fiancees without even turning red!).
So in the end, this is another volume of In Another World with My Smartphone. It has crappy and offensive rape jokes, but on the bright side, Touya doesn’t commit genocide here. If you’re reading it, keep going, you know what you’re getting. If you haven’t read the series but you’re thinking of reading it, Christ, no.