We’ve all seen anime characters using their phones. Whether they are flip phones or the more recently prolific smart phones, characters do love their phones. My list today looks at 5 interesting uses of phones in anime (okay, four interesting uses and one use that just worked well with the story). These are the uses that stood out to me and felt like they were fairly integral to the story. Please feel free to add your favourite use of phones in an anime in the comments below.
For patrons, today I’m counting down 5 uses of questionable technology. Be sure to check out my patreon.
Please Note – There will be spoilers below.
Honourable mention to Haganai for having two characters who both owned phones being completely unable to use them.
Number 5: Yuri on Ice
This is the one that I said wasn’t all that interesting but worked well with the story. All the way through Yuri on Ice the characters used their phones to update where they were, take and post pictures and video and generally stay in contact. It was nice to see these characters simply using phones as part of their everyday rather than having them as a gimmick or an add on. Plus, the camera rolls and videos stored on the characters phones were used for a fairly significant plot reveal toward the end of the series which would have seemed really lame if we hadn’t seen the characters using their phones all the way along.
Number 4: Mirai Nikki
Yes, future diary. I still don’t know why anyone would keep a diary on their phone but it is the basis for this anime that sets up a death match between diary users and each diary is given a power based on whatever the person was using the diary for. Our main character was recording everything that happened around him but not a thing about himself so his diary shows him the future for everything around him. Good thing his stalker/girlfriend was recording everything about him.
Number 3: Steins;Gate
Who wants to send a text message and change the past? Well, hopefully no-one after seeing the mess it got these characters into. It probably would have been better if they’d had a clue how they’d managed to accomplish building a time machine that could send text messages but even then they probably would have still gotten into the mess by changing world-lines and then having to essentially undo every single change.
Number 2: Noragami
Alright, the phone aspect isn’t very big in this one but I like that a god has been reduced to spraying his number all over town and that he can teleport to the person who has called him. During the first season at least this was one of the many ways this story was made to feel modern. The second season kind of loses a bit of this and that is probably to the show’s detriment.
Number 1: Eden of the East
It absolutely had to be. Phones given to a group of selected individuals with a large amount of money on it and charged with saving the country. What could possibly go wrong? I think it is the operator on the other end who is more extraordinary given pretty much any request can be answered provided they still have enough money. If it wasn’t for the deadly consequences of participation this would very much be the best phone on this list to have. Aside from the Selecao’s phones though the other characters use their phones to connect and interact. Removing the phones, Eden of the East does not work as a story.
And that’s my list this week. What do you think about phones in anime?
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