I decided upon this fun little review after seeing the 11th episode of this series because it left a fun little line in it from a gynoid that shows exactly what the creator thinks of the concept of feminism, namely that they think its shit! That line? “If I’m going to have someone as my master, I believe a closet pervert who steals glances, controls himself, and feigns disinterest would be safer than someone who is a bit too kind and familiar with women, who acts like a feminist.” This is an obvious call-out on the toxic nature of particularly male feminists. Like Aho-Girl, which I reviewed before this, we are having here a set of shows that give us a sense of hope for the embattled country of Japan. The fact that they would be so bold with such series goes to show us that at its core there is some healing occurring in its culture. They are sick of feminism and mangaka seem to be starting to fight back. So shall we take a stroll in the gardens of a hopeful future?
This show, To Another World with My Smartphone.\, is another in a slew of series that have been coming around in the past few years such as Re:Zero, Saga of Tanya the Evil, and Knight’s & Magic, that are known as ‘isekai’ or literally ‘another world.’ This one, though, I’d put closer to Re:Zero than I would Knight’s & Magic, due to the fact that in this one the main character gets to keep his original body. Now that we have a basis to go upon, Let’s Hammer This In!
To begin we meet our generic everyboy Touya Mochizuki, though the series states his name in the traditional Japanese fashion of family name first: Mochizuki Touya. A point is even made to mention that difference in Western and Far Eastern culture, since this is set in a Western Fantasy world this touches upon a surprising amount of cultural differences. This would likely drive the ‘cultural appropriation’ lot nuts! However we meet dear Touya right after he died, sitting at a table with God who is apologizing for ‘accidentally’ letting the teenage boy die. As such, God offers to immediately reincarnate him but there is a catch, he can’t be revived into his original world. Touya is surprisingly accepting of this turn of events and understanding of his circumstances, his view being that it can’t be helped, but he does make one small request, to take his smartphone with him to whatever world he ends up in. God agrees to this condition and sends our unlikely hero upon his way.
We are suddenly dropped into the middle of the Kingdom of Belfast. There are some real world names and false names in this fantasy world. Touya keeps his age and clothes and gains two very unique abilities: enhanced physical strength and speed as well as affinity with all forms of magic. This ,combined with his smartphone working as a magical artifact fueled now by mana instead of electricity, and the ability to enchant it with various perks, makes Touya extremely overpowered. However, like my own beliefs state, nothing is perfect. He has no money and no way to get around, as he doesn’t have any spell knowledge at first. What he does have is an uncanny amount of luck, another bit that God has given him to make up for his mistake, about which we get to hear from God a surprising amount because he calls our hero while he is alone on a regular basis. Must be nice being besties with any deity.
So his luck nets him a ride from a tailor who finds his school uniform absolutely fascinating and buys it off of him. This nets Touya some money to start with, and because the tailor isn’t a fool, he gives our now world-accurate hero some new clothes. We then get a new issue for Touya to get past – he can’t read this world’s words. This is where we meet the first of this show’s harem, did I mention this was a harem show? It’s a harem comedy, to be more specific. Meet twins Elze and Linze. One is a small chested enchanted brawler and the other is a busty mage. They seem like standard joke fodder. He helps them find where they’ll all be going to stay for the night, an inn of course. Then in the morning he gets a katana and we find out that this world’s version of Japan is like the Sengoku (Warring States) Period of Japan named Eashen.
After joining a guild and performing a few successful missions, he decides to test himself with magic and finds out that he can not only cast any element but can cast any of what this show calls null magic, unique spells that usually only one person can cast that don’t carry an element. Most of this is effect magic like Boost which increases all buffs, or Accel which gives supernatural levels of speed. Then there are enchants like Multiple, which multiplies the spells cast by the user’s denotation, and Program which give items set commands without re-casting. Then we get some motion spells like Aports which transports a small item across a short distance, or Gate which lets you go back to any place you have already been. If you think this is overpowered keep in mind he also has his smartphone.
What his smartphone gives him is extremely crazy. In addition to his connection to God, it also gives him full map functions, the ability to access OUR world’s internet still, take pictures, PRINT pictures and can be enchanted with various other abilities on the fly. For example, after they meet the Eashen swordswoman Yae, who joins their party, and they decide to take a trip to her home of Oedo (A nod to Tokyo’s pre-Meiji name) they then learn that her father and brother are in trouble as vassals to Tokugawa Ieyasu. This is interesting if you know Japan’s history. First Touya targets all the injured soldiers using Multiple and his Phone to cast the light spell CureHeal. Then he targets all the enemies they are facing and attacking them with Holy Javelins, all while barely breaking a sweat. Other bits of overpowered nonsense I’ll not spoil, because frankly its hilarious to watch.
So where is the struggle in our little world here? A mysterious set of crystalline monsters and studies of an ancient 5000 year old civilization known as Babylon which has merged magic and technology. It has not been told if there are any connections between these two things, but it is my semi-professional opinion that they are likely heavily connected. They eventually consider Touya’s smartphone an ‘artifact,’ namely because he decided it was best to NOT tell them he was reincarnated and given ‘special treatment’ from their creator, likely because he just wants to have fun, not go overboard and rule the world, which with his abilities, he likely could… particularly when he started ‘inventing’ new foods and things for the denizens of this realm to enjoy.
So what does this show have to do with Men’s Rights or anti-feminism? It has to do with the fact that overall, this series is a feminist’s worst nightmare! Sure, Touya is extremely overpowered. However, he is both naive, and out of his element in the beginning. The girls, while not up to his level of stamina and ability, are infinitely more knowledgeable about the world they are in, and get him up to speed. They also are balanced aids in combat especially after he gives a couple of them self-reloading guns. Yeah, that’s a thing he does, though his is a gunblade. Also there is the joke earlier about fake as fuck male feminists. I even heard in the original Japanese where the gynoid sounded out the word ‘feminist,’ hinting that feminists as a whole are swindlers and liars. Pretty accurate observation I’d say.
This series hasn’t ended yet and is likely to be a 12 episode vehicle with an opening for a second season. Many seem to find it mediocre but I think their problem is they are taking this show seriously. If you go into this show with the mindset that this is likely a parody of both harem and other world shows then you can really enjoy it, especially when looking at Victorian styled nobles riding basket bikes and the running joke about green slimes, a being that specifically eats through clothing. The joke here should be obvious. Their adventures are mostly lighthearted they eventually gained importance in their worlds political structure. One of the girls who decided to join up is the crown princess of Belfast, who decided to make herself Touya’s fiance…at the age of 12.
“Alex! You hate the idea of pedophilia! What the fuck man?” You are right, but this goes to show the childishness of how women view and use marriage as well. This is because Touya decides to have the bright idea of mentioning age of consent laws, stating their importance where he comes from. In Tokyo, the age of consent is 18 for men and 16 for women. This goes to call out how gynocentric many cultures are deep down. The King of Belfast has no issue with his daughter choosing a man four years her senior as her mate and says “Oh well, give it two years and I’m sure you’ll marry her on the spot! Touya then laments to himself that she would still be underaged and views himself as far from ready to get married, even if polygamy is legal in that country.
So here we now have, even though he is a Gary Stu, a mentally balanced male lead who is trying his damnedest to not get trapped in some gynocentric insanity. He gets stuck in positions he isn’t fully comfortable with, and is stuck rolling with it. So while most would give this an average score I would give it an above average due to its comedic approach to some over used tropes and even its own mockery of overpowered characters with too much luck for their own good. It’s definitely worth a watch, and I’d be fine with it getting a second or even third season. It also has, as of this article, 10 volumes of light novels.
This was a fun thing to cover for the sake of getting something that doesn’t depict women as infallible beings meant for reverence and spoiling. They get hurt, they get embarrassed, they lose things and they most importantly make mistakes! So next time around I’ll see if there is something equally as fun to tackle. Now if you’ll excuse me I have a holiday to get ready for. Là Fhèill Mìcheil, or the Autumn Equinox. Some even choose to call it Mabon because the old Gaelic can be harder to pronounce language if you are more used to Latin based languages. Though I have a whole week if you go by the actual Gaelic calendar for the year rather than the Gregorian. But that’s something for another time, if there is interest in it. Until then Please Remember to Game Freely!
Latest posts by Alex Tinsley (see all)
- Breaking the Narrative Episode 70: Another Series Overview? Mega Man, Addressing Male Disposability and Dehumanization 30 Years and Counting! - December 11, 2017
- Breaking the Narrative Episode 69: Fucked if We Do, Fucked if We Don’t? Did We Ever Really Have Net Neutrality? - December 6, 2017
- Breaking the Narrative Episode 68: Silly Card Trolls, You Aren’t Stopping the Wall! - November 20, 2017