In Another World with My Smartphone, Vol. 15

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.

Readers of Smartphone will be delighted to hear that absolutely fuck all happens in this volume. I say “delighted” because readers of Smartphone have by now realized the inverse quality ratio: the books get worse the more that there is actual plot in them. For an example, I point to the 14th volume, or any of the others where Touya commits genocide and then says “la di da”. (He says that here as well, but it’s for the running gag.) But when Touya spends the whole time wandering around the world seeing what’s going on, helping out a country or two for the heck of it, and continuing to be the blandest light novel protagonist to ever get nine wives to want to marry him… it’s surprisingly decent. I will ignore the Native American stereotypes we get towards the start, mostly as they don’t get nearly as bad as Realist Hero. No, this is just Touya chilling.

I mean, obviously SOME things happen. We continue to see that there are people in this world who do not like Touya or his nation in it. They try to use a magical wood that causes beasts to go insane, but are discovered and stopped almost immediately, because that’s the kind of light novel you are reading. Touya helps another country (with the aforementioned Native American types) from attacks by giant squid, and shows them how delicious squid can be when cooked. There is a second beach party, which reminds the reader how frigging big this cast has gotten. (Honestly, even WITH the cast list at the start, I’m still trying to recall names much of the time.) And the reverse world is still fighting the Phrase… or rather the new Golden Mutant Zombie Phrase, thanks to that annoying God. The actual Phrase are (try to contain your shock) holed up in Touya’s castle eating snacks. That said, Ende wants to get stronger, and so the God of Punching Things, who looks remarkably like Ryu from Street Fighter, something that is lampshaded, is there to help him (and Elze) get stronger.

Again, this book is never going to actually be good, but when it’s not jokingly having Touya be callous as fuck, it can be fun. It’s like walking through your favorite trashy dollar mart. I was amused at how there’s a suggestion that Touya may have been seduced and the fiancees’ reaction is essentially “we know you don’t have the guts”. We keep swapping out fiancees to try to give them equal screen time, which works better when there’s character development, but I’ve given up on that. Everyone is what they are. We also meet the Mikado of Eashen, who turns out to be a gorgeous young woman but thankfully does not appear to end up in Touya’s orbit. Oh, and Yae’s brother gets to prove he is manly enough to have a fiancee.

As I said, there’s nothing that really happens here. It’s a bunch of normal, boring old Smartphone antics. Which makes it one of the safer ones to read. I admit I’d kind of like to see the wedding soon, though, but I suspect I have a few more volumes to go.

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