I'll be talking a bit about the original novel first. Smartphone is a bit of a cross between slice of life and adventure, both well established genres when it comes to fantasy stories starting with the "transported/reincarnated to another world" trope. Although there is no shortage of action, and there is an actual plot (mind you, not a good one), the tone of the story is very, very light, with no tension or real danger to the protagonist's party. As is pretty typical with "isekai" novels these days, the MC brings dishes, games and weapons from his previous world, which gets pretty slice-of-lifey at times. The emphasis is on games, though, rather than food, which is actually kind of unusual.
If you have any intense dislike for over-powered main characters with too many abilities to count, you probably won't enjoy Smartphone. Going along with the isekai genre clichés, Touya, the main character, gains ridiculous powers with his reincarnation, putting him instantly outside the common sense of this world. For me, personally, the saving grace here is that despite becoming something like a demigod, he never lets it go to his head. I do usually like a masculine and even morally dubious MC, but at the same time, I can appreciate a humble and earnest attitude in an OP character. He could use a bit more backbone when dealing with his harem, and his modern Japanese sensibilities make him seem a bit indecisive at times (he's having a hard time adapting to the fact that polygamy, as well as marrying young, is normal in this world), but the situation is somewhat salvaged by the fact that none of the girls are too overbearing or unreasonable. On the plus side, I enjoy how serious he's about his responsibilities, never hesitating when something needs to be done. Putting it in text like this, he probably sounds very bland, but I'm finding it hard to dislike such a good kid, haha.
Oh well. If you go into the show with the right attitude, you can find plenty of amusement in how Touya literally has God on speed dial, solves national crises with a smartphone, and finds himself surrounded by adoring bishoujos within weeks since he appeared into this world. The author of this story brazenly hands him stuff on a silver platter, in a manner that any competent author trying to write a serious story would purposefully avoid. Smartphone is shameless wish-fulfillment fluff and doesn't even pretend to be anything more.
In a way, I think this kind of a story is only possible in a world with no shades of grey. There are good people/creatures and there are bad people/creatures. There's nothing in between. (Well, maybe just one character, who's briefly shown in the end.) Touya gets acquainted with a number of very good people, many of them rulers and other influential people. The way they treat him is amazingly friendly and naïve, they make friends without reservations with a man they know could conquer the world without breaking a sweat. Their attempts to control him are limited to making use of his unique powers to make their own life easier - a bit further into the novels, they often simply give him free hands to deal with any problem as he sees fit, then proceed to the game room for some R&R.
Then there are the bad people, whose brand of evil is often comically stereotypical, in ways that makes dealing with them simple and free of any pesky moral dilemmas. The only antagonists worth mentioning are an extra-dimensional invader race that doesn't make much of an appearance yet.
You won't find much depth to the girls, either, but they make for a pretty lively and fun harem. No one is particularly annoying or bland. Also, I think their character designs are rather nice. Romance elements aren't particularly emphasised (though interestingly, the last episode is almost solely about that), but neither are they too subtle, there are some cute moments to look forward to. BTW, Yumina is the best girl. Not only is she the cutest, she also has a nice personality, and what's best, she's an almost Momo-tier harem builder. (Momo from To Love-ru, in case you're not familiar with it...)
Dialogue is probably the best part. It's pretty entertaining usually, not as amateurish as pretty much everything else about this story. Ironically, while I drone on about the show's flaws in multiple paragraphs in this review, I don't really have much more to say about the show's sole forte.
The overarching plot is actually somewhat interesting, but 12 eps is too little to even get properly started on it. The best we get is a bit of mystery with the Babylon, the hints about a lost civilisation that possessed incredibly advanced magic, and one fight and some general information about the story's main antagonists. The arcs are typically pretty short, a few dozen chapters at most, the early ones even shorter - in the anime, most arcs are done within 1-2 episodes. Plot-wise, they're as straightforward as they get.
Now, finally, about the anime. It looks pretty low-budget, but the animation is passable. The music is quite passable as well, I especially enjoyed the Babylon theme in the last two episodes. The voice actors do a fine enough job, and the dramatisation (particularly the comedic timing with the dialogue) is competent, though nothing to call home about. IMO, the anime does get the atmosphere of the story quite right, as well as the character designs, and I was able to enjoy it without any of the cognitive dissonance that sometimes comes with an adaptation that's too different from your mental impressions based on a text you've read.
I was kind of hoping that they would make some attempt to improve upon the original, add some padding and make the storyflow less jumpy... The anime does fiddle around with the pacing and the sequence of events a little, but only very little, only as much as necessary to make it work as an anime. The biggest change is the addition of some ecchi fanservice, which, though restrained, isn't really something that originally belonged to this story (though on dialogue level, for example Francesca's deadpan perverted teasing of the MC, most of it does exist in the original material). These scenes often make Touya seem more perverted than he should be, IMO. Anyway, the most notable of these changes made for the sake of fanservice is the slime castle mini-arc (the first half of the 5th episode), which is completely original. (Edit:Apparently, it's actually one of the bonus chapters in the published light novel version.) Otherwise, there are only some very minor parts omitted (a few scenes are replaced with brief flashbacks at the start of the next scene, or with amusing transition screens) and little of note added. Generally, this is actually a very faithful adaptation, and as such, unexpectedly successful - I had thought that a bit more padding would be needed to make the storyflow work in this medium.
Lastly, I'd like to touch on the ending a little bit. Interestingly, as I mentioned before, the last episode is almost entirely about romance. It's an unusual way to end this sort of an anime, and some might consoder it anticlimactic. Considering the fairly regular presence of action in the anime, one might expect some battle from the ending. That said, it's a simple fact that around this part of the story, there is no battle, and I can respect the director's choice to remain true to the original material. A very skilled director could have messed with the sequence of events, or even added some significant original material, and achieved a superior result, but I can't fault someone for taking the safe route. I certainly prefer this to shoddily executed screwing with the plotline. Even the supposed anticlimactic...ness (is that a word?) is debatable, as a fan of harem romance should be pretty pleased with this. The whole story can't be called particularly emotionally moving, but in terms of drama, the last episode isn't inferior to any other episode in the series.
I can't in good conscience rate Smartphone higher than 5.5/10. It is, in a word, mediocre. It's nothing but wish-fulfillment fluff, but as such, it's competently executed, particularly the dialogue. Like I said, it's a guilty pleasure for me, I know it's objectively a very weak story, but I also admit to enjoying it despite being twice older that the target age demographic. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking for quality anime, but if the genre is up your alley and you're looking for something light to waste some time on, it might be worth your while to give Smartphone a look.
Holy shit they ripped off everything and I mean ripping off piece by piece of every anime
Firstly kirito from sao (main protagonist) cause the appearance
Emilia tan from rezero (hair style)
btw got triggered "steal' (stealing pansu) from konosuba that Japanese
that Japanese girl from touho.
another "transported to another universe bullshit wwwww majide kusa
This is the anime I have been searching for whereas my ideal anime. And I am only on episode 8. This anime is an adventure like Sword Art Online. It has "feel good" feels to it that makes me just smile in the end. It has of course those moments of danger/peril scenes. Like someone near death for example. This anime is one of those "Good guys always win."
This anime is absolutely amazing because it has everything I look for in the ideal anime:
-Feel Good reactions
-Medieval Weapons and guns
-Video Game MMORPG feel to the anime
I HIGHLY recommend you all to watch this anime if you enjoy any of this. Also the powers that the main character has is extroardinary; kind of overpowered like Ichigo Kurusaki (from Bleach), but balanced like Kirito from Sword Art Online.
It looks pretty good and is executed fairly well but it is filled with so many cliches it is almost hard to bear. Firstly, the very premise is a supercliche and one of many of nearly identical stories released over the last 2 to 3 years or so. As usual, the lead male character is looking rather op in such stories and early on while gathering a harem type of group. I swear this tired old cliche format is so boring by this point, it is hard to give it anything but negative points for being so typical in this respect. The girl characters so far are essentially template models you could find in any number of other anime such as, the recent Akashic records anime. Even if either the god character or the main male character are anything apporaching original, they can not separate from the assembly line ladies around them so overall, characters suck. They may not be bad but neither are they great. The story is not great either despite some novel concepts highlighting it. The way they once again form parties and are once again middle or high school age with seemingly no parents is so very very typical and more so of many of the most recent anime which have nearly the exact same story format. Though I like how the main character is set up and his personality (though it is kind of similar to a couple other anime, it is not exactly standard fair or typical of most anime with similar themes), it just has too too much same ole same ole. I may still watch it to see how the main character progresses but I do not have much hope this will be a great anime based on the lackluster presentation I have seen so far.
Sadly, even the MC, Touya can not think of anything original. Through out the show filled with cliches such as the token "walking in on the bathing girls" scene, his imagination is a pool of cliches because all he can invent are things from the real world as apparently he has no imagination of his own and often it appears he has no mind either since he walked in on the bathroom. He should have known how cliched that is from the real world and avoided it. It is a awkward delimna. On the one hand, I kind of want to watch it and see how things play out but on the other hand: all the cliches; standardiztion; empty unfulfilling lazy characterization; and how things are working out a bit too easily and undramatically for him make it painful to watch at the same time. All the characters he meets are too easily amazed at him and too accepting and his lackluster interest and reaction make it even more dull and annoying to their fawning over him. OH and OMG what a atypical arrogant poorly made harem angle, every new character he meets who look to join his party are female LOL. Of course like all overly indulgment harem shows the world is filled with a ratio of at least 9 women to one man. I only like maybe a few characters which are: the beast king; Leen; the knight in love with Arma; and maybe Arma because all the rest of the characters are too dull, cliched, and lack development and depth.
Usually in these harem mess anime, the main character is either a hopeless clueless idiot or an obnoxious, selfish, and arrogant pervert. He appears to be the former. I still can not see much positive about the anime overall. It has decent enough characters though most are kind of pulled from a mold of cliched template atypical anime characters. The pet summon is a bit atypical too, though not always in a magical harem anime, it is pretty common in one form of fantasy anime or another though usually more kid oriented, so this harem one isn't really suitable for kids especially given much of the humor centers around, big surprise, sexual inuendo, women, and women losing their clothes. The only draws at this point are the unknown of how the main character will progress with respect to: his hot line to god; magic power and diversity of power; nobility entilements and rewards; and whether he becomes a prince or runs. Personality wise though, he is almost like a dead fish. He is just too mellow, clueless (He is specifically clueless about his own misleading suggestions with women), uninteresting, laid back, a push over, and appears lost in his own world even though he is in another world. His character is too detatched from the story and for the most part the other characters. He is literally just a random guy going through the motions of another atypical 'transported to another world' harem fantasy for perverted lonely men.
This is so incredibly bad.
This show drains the life out of me to the point that I can't even stop watching it. I can't even bring myself to hate it. That's how bland and derivative it is.
I think the only saving grace here is that the show itself is completely transparent about being awful.
"Hey, this is going to be a pathetic wish-fulfillment anime for the author. We're letting you know in advance that God himself has literally made the main character infalliable and more or less all powerful - as a plot point. As you can probably guess, everyone else in the universe has a single digit IQ and would be amazed to the point of orgasm just to see someone spell their own name correctly on the first attempt. So that's the entire plot in advance, now here comes 100 seasons of crap. ENJOY!"
And it's delivering on that promise.
I've heard it argued that shows like Re:Zero, Konosuba, and Grimgar were capitalizing on the errors made by SAO by demonstrating how much better a plot could be if it were written with being interesting in mind instead of being so incredibly indulgent. Re:Zero focused on the psychological trauma of invulnerability, Konosuba removed the "chosen one" aspect and made the wortless NEET remain a worthless NEET, and Grimgar was just a more honest (horrifying) approach to the isekai formula.
I think smartphone is sort of taking the opposite route here: it's removed the high-calibur art and visual design and the angsty, edgy nonsense that was designed to make mental cripples think something deep was happening. It's just pure and unapologetic masturbation.
And it's still better than SAO.