REVIEW: ‘In Another World with My Smartphone (Manga),’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In Another World with My Smartphone Volume 1

Isekai series are a dime a dozen nowadays, so each new series really has to do something to make itself stand out. In Another World with My Smartphone certainly tries its hardest to make an impression but fails to stand out within its first volume. In Another World with My Smartphone Volume 1 is based on the original light novel series by Patora Fuyuhara, with art by Soto and character design by Eiji Usatsuka. The volume is published in English by Yen Press, with translation by Alexander Keller-Nelson and lettering by Chiho Christie.

In Another World with My Smartphone Volume 1 follows Touya Mochizuki, a 15-year-old boy who is accidentally killed by a stray bolt of God’s lightning. Upon realizing his mistake, God gives Mochizuki the chance to be reborn in another world with special enhanced abilities and will grant any one wish. Mochizuki’s request? That he can continue using his smartphone in this new world.

While In Another World with My Smartphone Volume 1 may begin to make interesting use of its premise in future volumes, its manga debut mostly feels like another uninspired isekai. Sure, Mochizuka has a working smartphone and a knowledge of the modern world, he doesn’t really utilize them – outside of looking up a recipe for ice cream — within the first four chapters.

The majority of this volume (which, I should note, is much shorter than most manga volumes I’m used to reading) sees Mochizuka take advantage of the enhanced abilities God grants him in his new life. This means he is unusually strong and proficient in all types of magic, making him an unstoppable force. While the series may present an interesting take of this all-too-common trope, volume 1 doesn’t present anything that makes the series stand out from the rest.

In Another World with My Smartphone Volume 1 does have some saving graces, however. Something about the volume is undeniably charming, from Mochizuka’s likable personality to the series’ “cute old man” version of God. Though we’ve yet to see much of Mochizuka’s party, they all seem to be fun characters, even if they are lacking depth.

The series’ art by Soto is passable but doesn’t really blow you away. Usatuska’s character design is undeniably cute but, like much of the rest of the first volume, tends to just blend in with the fantasy/isekai crowd.

In Another World with My Smartphone Volume 1 has some good aspects, but just doesn’t do enough to make itself stand out from its contemporaries. Instead of putting a fun spin on the genre like Bofuri or parodying it like Konosuba, In Another World with My Smartphone Volume 1 simply rests on its laurels and falls into tropes I’ve seen a million times before. The first volume barely does anything with the “smartphone” angle, really making me question when (or if) the smartphone will even come into significant play.

If you’re brand new to the world of isekai, In Another World with My Smartphone Volume 1 might impress, but if you’ve seen even one or two other series in the genre, it will fail to grab your attention. It isn’t a complete waste of your time, but there are probably a few other series that warrant picking up before this one.

In Another World with My Smartphone Volume 1 is available now wherever books are sold.

In Another World with My Smartphone (Manga) Volume 1 
2.5

TL;DR

If you’re brand new to the world of isekai, In Another World with My Smartphone Volume 1 might impress, but if you’ve seen even one or two other series in the genre, it will fail to grab your attention. It isn’t a complete waste of your time, but there are probably a few other series that warrant picking up before this one.