Trapped in trapped in fantasy anime

There are three trapped in fantasyland anime series this season: a boring one, a goofy one with mecha and an actually interesting one.

Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni: every screenshot of this is dull

The boring one is Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni, which I talked about before after having watched the first episode. Seven episodes later, it is still as bland and predictable as it started. Every episode some challenge or problem is solved almost immediately, without any tension, while every other episode or so another girl is added to the harem through some random kindness on protag-kun’s part. At one point in an early episode, he and his starter’s harem were escorting some merchant or other and ran into a bandit ambush. But it was okay, because his smart phone could detect them all through “GPS” and then he sent his sleepy time magic through the phone to knock them out. Dude’s so ridiculously overpowered his phone is just a prop, so nothing is a challenge and he keeps getting rewarded for stupid shit, to then teach his harem to ride a bicycle, as in the last episode.

It’s all pure wishfulfilment, but without any tension or danger whatsoever, yet it’s stupidly popular, if we can believe Crunchyroll. Perhaps, like me, everybody else is using it as a soporific too, moving wallpaper to be mildly diverted by while doing something more interesting? Certainly puts in context the over the top criticisms of Sword Art Online, which if bad, despite its many restaurant infodump scenes, was never anywhere near as dull as this.

Knights & Magic: mecha fan gets to design magical giant robots

The goofy one is Knight’s & Magic, dodgy spelling and all. A salaryman Gundam fan and plastic model builder is reincarnated into a fantasy world courtesy of Truck-kun, then discovers it has magical mecha. He starts training magic at five or something stupid, discovers his past life’s programming experience comes in handy, enrolls in magic school and becomes infamous as a (wannabe) Silhouette Knight designer. All his Gundam/giant robot fanboy knowledge coming in handy for inspiration for increasingly overpowered designs. The first two episodes were a bit of a mess as it skipped/abridged a lot of the source material to move quickly beyond the magic school setting into more serious stuff, but it has settled down quickly as a light hearted adventure series. The whole past life angle is more or less superfluous at this point, but the protagonist is likeable, there’s no harem, just a childhood friend who likes to use him as her hug pillow and the series doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Isekai Shokudou: dwarves like good food too

The actually good isekai series is Isekai Shokudou, in which a Tokyo restaurant has a magic door that opens on a fantasy world once every seven days, for various fantasy types to stumble across and orgasm at its food. It’s a reasonably well done fusion of the isekai and foodgasm genres, with each episode having two short stories about one of the customers coming to visit the restaurant. It’s not just cute elf girls or fairy princesses either; the latest episode has two dwarves visiting for fried fish, beer and whisky. It’s this mixture that keeps the series fresh. Apart from that, it also does what any food based series should do: make you hungry.

Trapped in fantasyland/isekai series have been coming out at a regular clip ever since Sword Art Online, but three in a season is a bit much. Especially when none of them are anywhere near as good as frex KonoSuba was. There really is no need for such low grade fodder as Smartphone.

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