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.
This is not the final volume of In Another World with My Smartphone – the 22nd volume is out in Japan, and no doubt there are limitless numbers of stories that could be told about Touya and company in the upcoming years. But I had decided a while back that this, the volume where Touya marries his wives and they go on their honeymoon – would be my final volume of the series. I definitely had a lot of fun with the early books, but as the series has gone on I’ve been exposed to a few too many of the author’s awful choices and toxic characterization. Fortunately, this is an excellent volume to end with, featuring a minimum of poor taste (though the girl who gets aroused by good deeds becoming a teacher reminds us it’s still there) and a nice victory lap for Touya and his companions, showing them finally tying the knot, having their first times (except for too-young Sue), and bopping around Earth. Yes, Touya’s honeymoon is back in Japan.
As noted, the first half of the book deals with Touya and company preparing for the wedding. As you can imagine, this features the brief cameos of three-quarters of the regular cast, which has ballooned out so much that I barely remembered which one was which. Most of the wedding day jitters are on Touya’s end – his relationship with his spouses that are of age may go all the way this time around (offscreen), but it’s very on point that even during his actual wedding he kisses each of them on the cheek. This is one shy boy. And I mean that literally for the second half of the book, where God allows Touya and company to go to Japan… but since he’s dead there, he goes in disguise as a five-year-old boy. This, as you might imagine, leads to some wacky hijinx. He also drops in on his parents, who have a newly born daughter, in a dream and reassures them as best he can that he’s happy “in the afterlife”.
His parents take this better than you’d expect, as it turns out God has been sending Touya’s adventures as dreams to his parents and his best friend from school – who is now drawing it as a manga. I’d say this beggars belief, but hey, Smartphone. It was amusing to find out that it was not power that went to Touya’s head – he’s always seemed to be a bit sociopathic, and we see him dealing with delinquents before he was killed in much the same way he dealt with bandits in his new world. But really, most of this book is watching the wives shop. And shop. And shop. Oh, and go to the zoo. They get piles of food, they get accessories, they see zebras and hippos, they even go to a school festival and watch a high school production of Beauty and the Beast. It’s a full, rich two weeks.
And in the end, they go back home and life goes on. In the meantime, if, like me, you have been looking for an excuse to not read Smartphone anymore, this is an excellent one, as it could easily also service as a final volume, and leaves few to no loose ends that might niggle at you. Thanks, Smartphone. You drove me crazy, but you were never boring… OK, that’s not, true, you were boring a lot. But I’ll see you off with a smile.