**EDIT: I f*cked up on Asuna’s name because I only had four hours of sleep and played too much duel links lately. I instead put in “Asuka”, Alexis from YGO GX’s actual name.**
Guys, put down those torches and pitchforks. I know that SAO’s a subject that shouldn’t be touched. People either love or hate it, there’s almost no in between (though I consider myself one of the few). However, I watched a video today called “How to (Not) handle an OP Character” that featured Isekai Smartphone. To watch it, click here.
This rant is only focused on anime. I know that both have novels, but I haven’t read either of them. I do read Smarphone’s manga… but this is still only focused on the anime for both. So anything beyond where the first season of Isekei Smartphone (as there’s only one so far) ends will not be included.
Why am I doing this? Simple, people have been complaining about Kirito for years. He’s been called many things, including dense to having a harem. Hell, some people even call Kirito “Jesus-kun”. However, he’s not really at that level in my opinion. Though he does look line a chuuni most of the time due to his all black attire, he doesn’t have too many tricks up his sleeve. He’s just protected by plot armor all of the time.
Now let’s get to Touya from Isekai Smartphone. There’s people who call him “White Kirito” because he looks like Kirito with a white coat. And like Kirito, he’s dense to having a harem. However, similar looks and density to having harems is all they really have in common. Let’s compare them, shall we?
Let’s start of with origins. Kirito as we all know was a gamer who tried the world’s first VRMMO, Sword Art Online. However, it became a death game where no one could log out and the VR headsets would fry your brain if you died in the game. He was stuck in that death game for two years. Mainly, he grinded his way to the top and eventually became the only person who could wield a sword in both hands (despite there being a guy who literally did the same thing with axes in a previous episode). And like all harem anime, he gained a harem without intending to. He’s done many feats in those two years that were not even mentioned in the anime. However, he was the one who miraculously saved everyone… and then the Dancing Fairy arc happened and he had to do it all again.
Touya… he’s easier to relate to Kazuma from Konosuba. Though the methods of death were different with Touya’s being a death due to one of god’s accidents, both were told by a deity that they could bring item with them in their new life in a different world. Unlike Kazuma who made his choice out of anger, Touya picked his smartphone. God made it so the smartphone could be used in the other world, but he couldn’t contact anyone back on Earth with it. However, god gave him many bonuses that he didn’t know about. Like affinity with all magic. And thus Touya started his life in a different world… with a smartphone.
Now, let’s get to ability. Kirito is a master swordsman… in video games. He does have a slight swordsman background IRL due to his grandfather making him study kendo. But most of Kirito’s actual skill came from being trapped in an MMO for two years. It was ingrained into him to the point where he nearly went head to head with his younger sister/cousin/harem member after being out of the hospital for two months. He’s always been good with electronics, building his first computer out of spare parts when he was eight. He also knows some programming and hacking (as demonstrated when he tried to save Yui from SAO’s cardinal system). Overall… he’s a nerd. But, he’s a nerd who saved everyone else who survived SAO… except for those still in there during the Fairy Dance arc. I’m not getting into that right now, most of you already seen it as SAO has 24 episode seasons.
Touya has his smartphone and an affinity with all forms of magic. He’s also very intelligent… compared to most of the people in that world. In reality, most of the stuff he does to impress people when it’s not related to his magic is stuff anyone could do. Like when he figured out who poisoned the king, it was too obvious. And how the king was poisoned was too easy. It was in the glass itself! Ugh… sorry. I lose it during these rants sometimes. Anyway, Touya can use any magic. His white coat has the ability to make the wearer twice as strong when using magic to their affinity, but twice as weak to magic that they’re weak against. Meaning that he doesn’t get the weaknesses due to his affinity. He cured a Duke’s wife’s blindness and the King’s poisoning. He made a monster submit to him by causing it to slip all the time. Naturally, he uses a different form of common sense. And the fact that he uses a smartphone gave him the information to use alchemy to create guns. A smartphone that happens to have Google Maps (or something similar) in a world without cellphones. Sadly, the only person he can call on the damn phone is god.
Now let’s get to development. This my friends… is actually where Kirito is better anime-wise. Kirito was a loner who took on most of everyone’s hate for beta testers on himself. When he finally made a group of friends, he hid his level and most of his abilities. This caused most of them to get massacred in front of his eyes, including his first love. Due to this, he never joined another guild. But overtime, he learned not to hide things. He learned to depend on others, not try to put the whole world on his shoulders. He helped Silica bring her dragon back to life, helped Liz get the material needed to make his second sword, and even opened up to Asuna after he lost that match that made him join the Knights of the Blood Oath to why he didn’t want to join another guild. He even ended up marrying Asuna in-game and learned to take things slower during their honymoon… as in life.
As for Touya… I really shouldn’t compare them because of the difference in genre and the fact that Isekai Smartphone only had one season. However, he didn’t seem to develop at all. Touya is basically the stereo-typical OP Isekai MC. Yeah, he learns to control his magic, but that’s it. He didn’t make any mistakes big enough for him to have to learn from them. The only sense of loss for him is the fact he can’t go back. Most of his development is mainly ways to be more OP.
Now, goals. Kirito actually wins in this department as well. His overall goal was to beat SAO. Like most gamers, he was a grinder. He would grind to get stronger, better skills, good item drops, and of course money to pay for it all. Yeah he had minor goals as things moved on, like getting a sword as good as the one he normally used so he could dual-wield them without much trouble. For that, he had the adventure with Liz. The thing with Silica, was just him being a good guy. However, it became another goal to get her little dragon back. Even if he mainly used her as bait to lure out a murder guild due to his own sense of justice. But she forgave him, so it was okay. And yeah, he had many goals after the Arinecrad arc as well. And some IRL, like making it so Yui could experience the world outside.
Now, let’s get to Touya. Most of his goals… pretty much pop up on him. Rescuing the first girls he meets, random event. Rescuing a Duke’s daughter, random event. Finding that crystal creature from an ancient civilization, random event. Hell, everything’s a random event in that first season. He had no overall goal to work towards. His power, handed to him by god. His first fiance, the princess mainly due to the King’s gratitude and the fact she had a crush on him. Dude had more events than an Otome Game. And just when we thought we’d see the overall goal in the story… the first season ended. It was like the writers were trolling us.
Anime-wise, Kirito’s actually a better MC than Touya. Hell, Touya’s so OP that he should be called “Jesus-kun” instead. He did restore the sight of a blind woman. But Touya’s problem is that he lacks an overall goal. Naruto, Naruto wanted to become the Hokage. One Piece, Luffy wanted to find the One Piece and become Pirate King. Bleach, more random… but it had an actual plot. Dragon Ball (all of them), Goku just wants to fight good opponents.
But my biggest issue with Touya compared to Kirito is actually flaws. With Touya… you couldn’t find any in the anime except for the fact that he wanted to get out of marrying a princess or realizing that he does have a harem. Kirito on the other hand… his flaw is that he’s easier to relate to despite the fact he’s an MC. He couldn’t save everyone. People around him died, making him remember that SAO’s not just a game. He even had three confirmed kills in SAO (though two of them were brought to light in the second season). Yeah Kirito does seem a little surreal. However, it’s because he’s closer to being a normal human than Touya is. With Touya, everyone gets saved. He hadn’t killed another human being. No one around him died. It’s hard to even see Touya as a normal human. Both of them are OP, but in a different sense. Touya’s “Over Powered” while Kirito’s “Over Protected” by plot armor.
In my personal opinion, Kirito’s actually a better MC than Touya. Is Touya the worst MC ever? No, there’s one even worse. Then again, the PSO2 Anime was the worst thing that I’ve ever watched. Trust me, it made SAO look good in the eyes of SAO haters. And I hated the PSO2 anime anyway because it was being officially brought to the west in subs despite the fact that the game’s never coming to the west. I watched that one in hopes that I’d like it… and it let me down to the end.
As a reminder, this was all done based on the anime to both Sword Art Online and Isekai Smartphone. I’ve yet to read the novels for either. So if anyone who reads the novel to Iselai Smartphone complains, I didn’t do this based on the novel. So things left out of anime, I can’t be blamed for as it’s a pure anime rant. And yes, I tried to be fair by mainly basing Kirito on the events before Fairy Dance.