In Another World with My Smartphone, Vol. 10

By Patora Fuyuhara and Eiji Usatsuka. Released in Japan as “Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni” by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Andrew Hodgson.

Three-fourths of this volume is a fairly typical Smartphone volume, with the added bonus of actually resolving some long-standing plot developments and introducing a “new” character who, while I may not love her, certainly has the ability to put a lot of things in motion. Unfortunately, that leaves one-fourth of Smartphone which is absolute garbage, having all the worst tendencies of this series wrapped up in an awful bow. Touya’s sociopathy, villains who sneer and cackle but are also cowardly and ugly, barely disguised hatred of China. It’s all here, and it sucks. I’ve talked before about how I sometimes wonder if Touya is meant to occasionally be a deconstruction of some sort, but it just doesn’t hold up all that well. The author thinks that having the occasional character remind Touya that he’s in danger of becoming a monster, and Touya essentially going “Oh, OK”, will take the curse off of it. It does not.

The cover features Sakura, whose backstory is finally revealed as Touya, hilariously, realizes he could have cured her amnesia all along with a simple spell. The recovery of memories allows us to be introduced to yet another smothering father type, a running gag in this series (to the point where the girls all admit that Touya will certainly become one of those as well), and also allows Sakura to join the harem, which is now “complete” at nine wives, though some of them girls are a bit wary of accepting that it’s a closed circle now, given Touya is, well, Touya. They’re more concerned about succession than actually jealous, though. The cover also features a young girl who, I’m sad to say, is Professor Regina Babylon, now in the present day and also in the body of a child-sized gynoid because, I think, the author finds it amusing. She’s just as perverse as ever, and when she and Cesca team up it’s bad news for everyone. I could have easily done without the spanking, though.

Touya also finally admits to his wives that he’s not from this world, something which they accept fairly easily. He also starts to show them anime, which may be a mistake, especially with the Professor watching Gundam. We also get a short story developing Ende and the Phrase, and explaining what happened in the past and why the Phrase keep on attacking Touya’s world. It is, at heart, a love story, and I liked Touya admitting that, despite the hideous loss of life, if it were him he may have been the same. (This is not hard to imagine given how much Touya doesn’t care about Yulong or anyone in it, though admittedly he only seems to meet bad guys there due to the whims of the author.) I suspect the majority of the Phrase are still evil, though, which means expect to have more giant robot battles in the near future. Which now include Sue, who is getting into the swing of things very fast.

Despite wanting to punch Touya and the author in the face for the Daydream Believer chapter (which also ruins one of my favorite Monkees songs), I’m still somehow still reading Smartphone. It’s one of the rare series which is at its best when doing dumb harem slice-of-life, as Touya needs to be constantly belittled by near everyone or else he becomes a monstrosity. Oh yes, added points to the illustrator, as the first three black and white illustrations in the book each made me laugh out loud, combining the text and a picture perfectly.

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  1. Blackpowderkun says

    I really don’t understand the hate in the daydream believer it’s basically just a neo-nazi plot talking place on an area where Touya’s eyes or anyone in his Alliance were blocked.

    I don’t think the Phrase are evil, they just want their sovereign, or at-least her power back home.

    As for Touya being a sociopath since I’ve first read the web-novel I always thought he wasn’t just a normal kick pre-resurrection, at this point he is pretty much Rick Sanchez, the whole know things about the multiverse most don’t, not unlike Ende.

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