You know, when the main Japanese demographic your anime markets towards ends up hating your anime, then you know it blows chunks. Not even pretty girls can remedy that fact. I should’ve listened to OtaKing. Well, rationality is incomprehensible to anyone involved with this show's existence. If you don't want to see a rant on this crappy piece of work that is the cheap bootleg equivalent to Konosuba and an insult to harems, isekai, and entertainment, leave immediately. The gloves come off and the spell of death is cast.
Creative bankruptcy. It's something that any artist of any medium worth his or her salt should dread when creating a work. It's when the art has no soul of any kind, no artistic purpose behind it, meant only for the money. That brings us to our target: Isekai wa Smartphone. This pile of insufferable, bland, incompetent dreck can fuck off for giving harem and isekai shows a bad name (more so than they already have), and for not caring about being a show for people to watch. It has no soul, no drive, and is just an example of corporate greed and a lack of care by literally everyone involved in every aspect of production, outside of the voice actors. It is the antithesis of spellbinding, as it half-heartedly casts the spell of boredom and hatred.
This anime can't establish anything properly. It can't establish magic until way after it was used and even then the system, especially concerning null, is stupid. It doesn't establish the idea of guilds properly at all. The gauntlets, the currency, none of it! Part of it is because its worldbuilding is beyond atrocious, and there are gigantic leaps and lies, so yeah. Oh, here’s an example! When a butler got hit with an arrow offscreen, how? Apparently he and the guys he was with were surrounded by lizards with swords and shields, so that can't work, and apparently part of it broke off and... yeah. Also, inconsistent magic since they say the only way to use magic (except maybe null) was with special designated crystals yet they violate that multiple times. Oh, and the protagonist knows literally every magic ever, including the personal null ones, which are already a bad system due to being contradictory (since they're supposed to be unique but they're recorded in ways that imply more people can use these null spells, but they're each limited to a few people at a time), and heck, the magic system as a while had its own tuned violated constantly with people constantly using elemental magic without a magical fragment catalyst, so fuck this anime’s own rules, amirite?! Oh, and they just randomly and haphazardly insert us into a bunch of scenarios for the characters to quickly solve and have no remote emotional effect on the audience or even have any meaningful things for the characters aside from them interacting and constantly blushing. God, this piece.
Do I even need to mention that this is a generic piece of work with so many of the worst clichés of a typical LN and that it has some of the worst variations on them I have ever seen? Do I need to mention that this is basically an off-brand of Konosuba that actually went beyond an expiration date before airing? No? Well, too bad! What about the setting and story beats? Well, here’s something interesting: we don't know how MC-kun died! Think back to any Isekai you've seen. Re:Zero? Subaru blinked and somehow fake into a fantasy world, unsure how it happened but he was summoned by Satela. Knight's & Magic? Kurata (who we know as Ernesti in the fantasy world) got ran over, though we don't know how he got to his fantasy world. Konosuba? Kazuma died of shock and tricked a stupid cunt “goddess” into coming with him into a fantasy world. Here, well, God tells him that he was stuck by a bolt and then is willing to send him somewhere, we don't actually see what happened to him. It wouldn't have taken long to do something so basic, but look at what I'm reviewing. It can't have a good sweet moment either since it ruins those, even though they don't even work in the first place, but way to ruin your theoretical chance, anime! Oh, and pacing is fucked with this one, especially in the first half. I know I'm just sort of ranting and raving but damn, my brain is trying to scrape this show off of it and none of my friends want to kill this anime, so I have to now. This show has no effort put into anything at all; why should I bother? I would say because I care and because I try to put effort by honestly, my brain is committing genocide against any specifics I can bring up about this nightmare of a show.
I don't think this anime had heard of this term I'm about to say: it's called “characterization”! No character has a real defined personality, especially not the main character, who at best can be defined as the stereotypical boring and weak yet OP AF protagonist, like Ayato from The Asterisk War. By far this show's most disturbing and avant-garde offense is that I actually believe that all of the main women in the show are largely the exact same character with the most minor of different traits. No show to my knowledge has ever done that before. Obviously, these bitches are all trash, especially the tsundere one for being a typical tsundere. I can't remember any real traits from anyone else for this show has staged a coup on my brain!
The other characters are bland and without personality and do stuff you expect, so that leaves us with MC-kun. Oh wait, I said everything about him other than the fact they he gets so OP without any actual progression that it constantly feels like he’s pulling powers out of his ass, and yes, he does get a harem, to the point where all of the members can even travel with him, it's their crowded a harem, and for next to no reason beyond “Dude is nice enough to help and can do crazy things” and not due to anything about his personality or even looks... ugh. His name is Touya, and I learned that over time but it's obviously not worth remembering. Actually, why should you remember a single character's name? Aside from weakling OP MC-kun, I certainly don't! There is nothing standout or remotely interesting about any of them. They also constantly blush and get embarrassed for no adequate reason. They're also all idiots as displayed by the crime-solving scene in episode 4. I only remember something about the blonde 12 year old princess and it's that she acts like a 6 year old half the time. Just...wow. I could go on and on about the character and especially the narrative problems, but honestly, this anime tries so little in any department that it's honestly not worth it.
Veteran studio, Production Reed took the reigns for this and boy did they not do a good job, to put it lightly. The character art and overall animation are both so unbelievably flat, and so is the magic. It's not a pleasant view at any point, it all looks insanely plain, life-draining in fact! The character designs are pretty terrible overall, to add insult to injury. They can even get walking right as it looks like they're often moving both forward and backward in some walking scenes, like the beginning of episode 3. In fact, they always mess it up somehow, and it's just walking! How?! Why?! Oh, and when you see debris in a fight scene, it looks so poorly drawn and it doesn't fit well with any of the rest of the art at all.
Don't expect much animation in the fight scenes either, especially in the episode 7 duel with the awful looking wooden swords; and I thought Akashic Records was bad in that department. You can also see some rather noticeable errors here, like faces being off, the fact that one of the characters who has a sword suddenly had two swords with hilts on her sleeve and not her waist, and yeah, it’s pretty bad and lazy. They also use a lot of visual gag shortcuts that I thought only long-running shounens were allowed to get away with (since no other kind of show uses them and those shows have an insane amount of episodes to have to spread their budget and staff and time etc. on). It's a visual bore with blunders, though thankfully there really isn't any CGI to speak of, since I'm sure that probably would've been handled poorly, just like every there aspect of this show. You know, except it contains some atrocious CGI stairs that have a gigantic frame rate drop and get repeated verbatim later on with a different color and some abysmal fire effects that last for a while in episode 5! You know, because this anime also has to compete for the worst visuals of 2017 too!
The main uniform the girls wear looks awful, especially with those lines in the white part. One of the character designs is blatantly ripped from the princess from Knight's & Magic, whose anime adaptation just so happens to be airing at the same time as this, only she has been aged down by comparison to a 12-year-old. Why are we sexualizing 12-year-olds again? Also, expect some shitty digital close-ups. Lastly, for God knows what reason, they have it so that the eyebrows and eyelashes always overlap with the hair rather than being obstructed by it. This is basic anime shit and they constantly mess that up. Then again, they didn't really try here either, did they? Oh, and there’s a fair amount of reused animation, so that's a sin, especially since unlike Knight's & Magic, this isn't a mecha show (not that I really excuse that show for it either). C’mon, it's 2017! This shit shouldn't be happening anymore! And.. .that's everything for this one. Sadly, this is somehow the show’s best, or rather, its least worst aspect, it only barely.
For what it's worth, the OST on its own isn't actually that abysmal, though some tracks are especially bad and wrong. Sure, none of it works or can even be considered memorable, but what's worse is the fact that almost none of it ever fits with the scenes at all. Oh, and while I'll talk about those cancerous scene transitions a bit later and how pointless and aggravating they are in every way possible, let’s just say that the music makes matters worse in those moments. The OP is the most obnoxious and generic JPop song I have ever heard in my life, especially the techno aspects. Fuck this song, it's not worth naming since it's one of the worst OP songs I have ever heard. Same applies to the ED to a slightly lesser extent; it's also awful and I don't care which of the characters sings it. There is nothing of merit to the music in this show whatsoever, and that almost never happens. If that isn't sad, I don't know what is.
You know, I have to ask: for those out there who actually enjoyed this anime, how? What is the appeal of this? Is it the fact that the main character is OP? Is it the fact that this is a world with magic? Is it the admittedly out there premise? Because... I don't see this as a show that really wants to entertain, like at all. I see no semblance of soul from this anime, no spirit or any enthusiasm from it or anything. It's not even just super bland to the point of feeling like it was meant for passive entertainment like some other perfunctory works out there. It's not like it even really attempts to have interesting, consistent, or involved fight scenes either. At best, it tries to pander with the whole slime nonsense, in ways that should probably be seen as an insult to the intelligence, or at the very least, ways that should be met with shrugs and groans. And as for the OP MC part, why? Isn't it boring to see some guy plow through anything, especially if he doesn't really do anything fancy or especially crazy and flashy, or have any personality to latch into while doing it? Wouldn't you want that kind of MC to have some actual personality or actually show off some crazy epic shit to cheese fights instead of cheering fights without any effort? Wouldn't you want someone like Izayoi from Problem Children over this main character?
So it has come to this: the transitions! Fuck these things! They are nothing but obnoxious time-wasters with blaring and equally obnoxious music, either showing the results of a scene for 5 seconds or what happened already, with these stupid and obnoxious characters and voices doing stupid and aggravating things! You see anywhere from 6-8 of these an episode too! You can no doubt tell this got irritating fast! Why was this included? Why?! For comedy? I doubt it succeeded with many viewers.
So, yeah, this show was boring and vexing as all hell. Not a single moment to enjoy. It doesn't even try so of course I feel unamused to the nth degree. Not to mention that there were a few specific moments (boob grab scene in episode 9 being chief among them) that were especially maddening, so that didn’t help one bit. Some of you might say “Why not just turn your brain off and enjoy the ride?” Because it's so fucking boring and stupid, that's why! If I didn't keep my brain permanently on thinking mode when watching anime, I’d have dropped so many more by now since I would've quit the moment I got really angry bored from watching, hence more of my time would've been wasted! I actually heard people say this was a parody of these kinds of shows: it is not. It image then completely straight and pretends to be mildly self-aware, so that blows. So yeah, this show fails on both levels! Fuck this show, I hate it! I hate it so much!
This might prime some of you to ask: “Why did you watch this obviously bad show in the first place?” Well, some people probably watched it out of interest of the admittedly out there premise. Maybe some wanted a trashy anime to chill to (and likely found themselves still disappointed). And of course, some of us came here just to join hands with a chunk of the community always ready to see a truly and obviously terrible burn and revel in the flames together (I mean, usually the anime suffering that fate deserves it), often coming one by one to see if it is as bad as the reputation hypes it up to be. Not gonna lie, that was part of it for me. The other part was that for all intents and purposes, this did catch my eye as something I thought would just be a below-average at best isekai title for me to watch and feel little towards, at least after I was initially put off by the cover picture. However, I can definitely say that it did deserve the fate I mentioned in the third reason because as I have been saying over and over again, this anime is the very definition of laziness when it comes to this medium.
Anime is a very intensive and passion-filled medium. There are so many titles out there, good and bad, that obviously show a ton of passion and effort in at least some regard. So, when I see an anime as lazy as this get a sizeable viewership while better and more passionate (if not always good) shows like Knight’s & Magic, ACCA 13, and so on and so forth get at best a much lower viewership and at worst the absolute shaft, I get royally angry. People had to slave over this, and no passion feels like it’s coming out, no care put into anything regarding this show. I am so thankful that this show is getting quite a thrashing, and honestly, it needs all the hate it can get. Honestly, unless you really want to watch something without a soul, you should avoid this anime entirely, as this anime is an affront to the medium as a whole. Is it the absolute worst anime out there? No, there are some worse ones out there for their own reasons, but this anime really has no right to exist, and honestly, it is still very, very high up there, both in an all-time perspective and in the perspective of this season alone. It manages to be an affront to the concept of entertainment, on top of the concepts of a harem and isekai show.