Isekai, directly translates as another world. This trope is when a character generally from our plain old boring world is transported to another world or is reborn there. I am usually a fan of this trope, I love Saga Of Tanya The Evil, Knights And Magic but the series In Another World With My Smartphone brings out the ugliness and self indulgences of this trope to a degree that disgust me to the very core and it’s all thanks to the side characters, god, the world, the tone but most of all our main character.
How our MC acts when meeting god and finding out he was killed by him is completely unbelivable. If god told me he killed me by accident, my first reaction would not be gentley accepting that I died, I would be screaming and crying while begging god to bring me back to life while also berating him for being an idiot for killing me in the first place. Going ‘oh well I’m dead’ is not a normal human reaction, it might’ve been if he had gone through something like this before or that he knew someone who has gone through a similar experience but he gives no indication he has, heck he isn’t even in shock from all of this because I see him afterwards and he’s completely fine, just lying in bed on his phone reading the news. He’s a well adjusted guy and there’s nothing indicating a dark underbelly or other motives to his character, though that’s because this guy has none.
He just arrived in this new world so it’s understandable he doesn’t know what to do but he should at least have basic motives like understanding the poltics of this place so he doesn’t accidently become engaged or offend a high class royal, instead he remains ignorant to the world around him learning as he goes which is a bad idea. Who knows this could be a place where your everyday actions like shaking a persons hand may come off as a challenge to the death, but when your overpowered like the MC is diplomacy doesn’t really matter when you can just make your enemy’s cower in shit plopping fear, which brings me to my next point. For a story that supposedly revolves mostly around a iphone it has been relegated to the spot of a side character due to gods blessing which gave him a ridiculous affinity for magic, matrix level reflexes and eidetic memory. When he’s become that over powered why would he need a smartphone that has limits when he doesn’t, it’s truly backwards in terms of OP story telling where a character’s opness is offset by a flaw or limit.
Saitama from One Punch Man is the perfect over powered character, while he does have immense power he has flaws, his emotions are basically gone, he can’t get recognized for his work and is putting up with the same shit of a hierarchy when he was a business man. He has problems that can’t be fixed by fighting, he is despite his opness a flawed character who is living in a world that doesn’t recognise his greatness. Another way to ground a character like this is to put limitations on how many times they can use the powers he has, like All Might and his time limit. But this guy is flawless as they come….well he is a bit of a pervert not like Mineta it’s more of a standard see’s chicks half naked gets a nose bleed just a standard reaction nothing special, meaning this character has no traits that define him, no goals to motivate him and our only knowledge of him is that he comes from our world chalking him up to a bland boring character, if I may quote Louise from Bob’s Burgers to describe this character, “if he were a spice he would be flour, if he were a color it would be beige, if he were a music piece it would be a triangle.” This character is boring, over powered and apparently attracts girls like fly’s which makes sense because he’s a piece of shit character.
Honstley I would prefer a Shinji Ikari type character to this sack of wet flour. And no I am not on drugs or have been watching Evangalion, but put it in perceptive and think about his character type. A reluctant hero type thrust into a new world whining about how this is all so unfair, ignoring calls from god because he’s mad at him, not wanting to be an adventurer, just hiding in a dark room watching anime on his smartphone all the time while other’s beg him to help them with there problems, he would still be OP but flawed. That type of character would be perfect instead of this guy who just roles with everything and has amazing luck. I have no money what will I do, oh this pervert wants to buy my clothes for an outrageous amount of money, need a job no problem these hot girls will help after I defended them in a ridiculous situation that never should have happened because these chicks aren’t idiots, defeating wolves no problem, life threatening injuries just let me use a bit of magic and your fine.
This character needs to be bricked extremely hard and I don’t mean the “Edgar Allen Poe” story “The Cask of Amontillado.” For those who don’t know what bricking is, it’s when you keep throwing problems at your character they have to overcome for an example Izuku doesn’t have a quirk, he gets a quirk but can’t use it properly, he then faces a myriad of other obstacles which he gradually overcomes it’s hard to do as a writer but it’s great cartathisis for the reader when they defeat the monster that has been plaguing them for so long or overcoming a obstacle. Though when talking about the characters and the world we must also accommodate the tone of the show and so we must ask the question is it happy, dark, maudlin, light. Unfortunalltey the tone and theme is neutral in all aspects.
It’s light hearted and a bit goofy, not taking itself to seriously yet at the same time it isn’t a full out comedy, the story is going through the motions with some very obvious tropes we have all seen before and isn’t trying to subvert them or apologies for them, it just wants to tell a story which isn’t bad but I have seen this all before and it makes me want to tear my eyes out because it’s been played to death. To some people it could be funny to watch a character be OP for the sake of being OP but for a lot of people it is tiring to watch and all the tension along with possible funny moments is drained away because you know he will save the day and be the ever present nice guy while doing it.
In episode two our MC is using a spell that can steal items out of peoples pockets and he steals a ribbon off of bland swords girl, from her reaction I thought he stole her panties by accident but no he stole her ribbon, this is classic misdirection you think your characters going to be doing one thing but he does another but this is reverse misdirection. By the first episode I have this guy pegged, he’s nice, helpful and is open to new ideas, the kind of guy you want to take home to your mother. So I expected him to take something of this nature it would have actually been misdirection if he stole her panties because I would not have expected that and as low as it is I would have laughed just like when they played that joke in Konosuba. In actuality this series starts of quite similarly, guy dies, meets a god, is sent to another world with an object he chooses, but unlike with that show I’m wondering why I’m watching this crap, heck even when Konosuba went into the common harem anime trope it was hilarious because the girls were just so insane and over the top. I still loved it because I didn’t care if they would get together with him, they had personal goals and motivations outside of the main guy that stopped them from falling into the category of chicks in a harem I don’t really care about which is why many despise the harem anime trope and there is no better show to put on display of the common harem anime trope.
Just like the MC all the female harem babes suffer the same fate, watered down personalities giving a luke warm taste to the meal prepared before us, if you asked me what character types or goal these girls were I would be left fumbling and all I would be able say about them is, she a little louder than her sister, she louder than that chick, she has a sword, they all want money and that’s it. I would talk about the other girl characters but honestly they don’t stick out even though they have more personality than the MC but not by much which is extremely bad, the reason so many harem shows fail is because the girls don’t have any other goals outside of our main guy making them flat, bland and boring to watch and each victory they obtain with the guy makes it feel rather pointless, who cares if a piece of toast get’s together with a brillo pad, I don’t care do you.
This show I must point out is not bad but is bland and that is one of the greater sins in story telling as with even bad movies or shows you can enjoy them to a certain degree, I don’t know how many times I’ve watched Stephen Kings ‘Night Walkers’ and just laughed at the ridcliousness of everything, things can become it’s so bad it’s good, but bland cannot transform into this because it lacks substances much like a rice cake.