In Another World with My Smartphone, Vol. 12

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.

It’s actually been a while since I’ve had a volume of Smartphone that didn’t irritate me in some way. Touya does not take the time to wipe out and entire country full of evil cliches here, which helps a lot. Instead, we get what are essentially a bunch of short stories, as always – Smartphone has an ongoing plot, but it sort of judders along, and gets abandoned whenever the author feels like it. Here Touya investigates the hidden island discussed in prior volumes and makes contact with them; deals with a return of the creepy soul eating monster, which he now knows is being controlled by the rogue God (the one bit of ongoing plot here); travels to another dimension to help a group of phantom thieves; and tries to resolve a political romance. In between there’s time for a forest that’s being taken over by bad guys (and fanservice), and a puppet show. A very leisurely Smartphone, in other words.

The art is… mostly good, except for that cover, which has creeped me out ever since I first saw it in the original Japanese. Yae and Leen’s expressions are just deeply wrong. In any case, the fiancee horde actually gets a fair bit to do here, with each of Touya’s missions except the third one involving him traveling with one or more of the girls. The third, the one in the alternate world, honestly reads sort of like a backdoor pilot for a different series, and given most of the thieves are cute young girls, it’s likely for the best that the fiancees didn’t come along. They’re still not married, having a couple years of waiting to go, though after a fertility device works as planned (Sue’s getting a little sibling), Touya does take the time to ponder having children with his wives, and the wisdom of perhaps staggering them out a bit so he doesn’t have 8 kids at once. And, let’s face it, Linze’s puppet making ability, and the show that follows, runs on pure adorable. I won’t even complain about the forest of monsters that involves licking the heroine’s butts, though I will roll my eyes a bit.

As for Touya, the author has found a nice balance between him doing ludicrous things and his getting called out on doing ludicrous things. Given Touya’s lack of emotional range (he’s the sort to say “that makes me mad” in the same vaguely cheery voice he uses for everything), everyone around him has to pick up the slack a bit. This is shown off best in the final story, where he is forced by circumstances to fight a 10-year-old girl who is very strong in both fighting and magic and has grown rather proud and arrogant as a result. He’s asked to teach her humility… and he does, literally saying “it’s time to dunk on a 10-year-old”. Leaving aside how weary I am of terrified girls wetting themselves in Japanese series, the fight is hilarious, as is the reaction of everyone else, which is basically “I know we told you do to this, but eeeeeehhhh.” Poor Touya, once again history’s greatest monster.

If you’ve been avoiding Smartphone because it’s been leaning a bit too hard on the genocide sort of thing recently, this is an excellent volume ot pick up. It’s relaxed, fun, and features Touya being ludicrous.

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Comments

  1. Blackpowderkun says

    The reverse world is actually the setting for the author’s other series Chrono Crown, which this statements,‘The Gears of Time and the Gate of Dimensions, information from
    the adjacent world.’, hints the relevance of the title for what Touya is looking for.


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