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 ways characters use 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 anime in the comments below.
Top 5 Use of Phones In Anime
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?
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
30 thoughts on “Top 5: Use of Phones in Anime”
Hey Karandi, Clara here. My opinion is I like phones that are used for calls in anime. My proof can be supported by Ochaco’s crying scene which was caused by an emotional phone call with her dad. All in all, phones are generally used for calls in my case. What about you?
Calls are important when they move the plot along but I love it when phones bring something a bit more into the story. With Yuri on Ice it was the social media aspect, whereas Steins;gate gave us time travel (kind of).
Thanks for your thoughts. I think I want to write more about this in December 🙂
The first thing I thought of when I saw the title of the post was Steins;Gate. That was, to me, a great use of mobile technology.
Absolutely – they just need to get better at naming technology.
I thought of Persona 5 the animation. I loved that show. (am I the only one?)
I haven’t actually watched it.
I’d never really thought about how much phones were used in Noragami, but now that you point it out I can see how much they were used.
I really like how Jun Naruse from ‘The Anthem of The Heart’ uses her phone to communicate with other people because she can’t talk. The way she types on it so fast made me want to buy one of those flip up phones!
Love this unique post.
And I definitely recommend ‘The Anthem of The Heart’ to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. Xx
I actually haven’t heard of that one. I’ll have to look it up at some point. Thanks.
It’s a film, not a series, by Tatsuyuki Nagai – his artwork style is really beautiful Xx
This is a creative post topic. Nice! 🙂
Also, THE BLUSH. <3
You know, I should probably be watching Eden of the East, though the animation of Noragami looks promising. Plot synopsis time! To the internet!
Both are awesome. Noragami is more fun, Eden of the East a bit more thinky (though with a few narrative issues).
Yuri on Ice worked phones and social media into its narrative really well. Future Diary did confuse me a bit as to why anyone would choose to keep phone diaries but at least it was an interesting idea. Yato’s usage of phones was pretty practical, more than you’d expect from an old god.
I’ve yet to watch the other two.
I think you would find Eden of East fairly entertaining. It’s not a perfect anime but it is quite enjoyable.
It’s on my list and pretty close to the top. I’ll get to it soon.
Social media played a huge role in Yuri on Ice.
The entire concept of Mirai Nikki was a bit baffling, but phones were indeed an important part.
I didn’t notice the use of phone in Noragami until you pointed it out lol.
It’s remarkable how a thing as small as a phone can play so much of a role in a story. Thanks for sharing.
I just liked how Yato kept using phone calls as his escape from Hiyori.
Loved this list, especially since for a change I have actually seen a lot of these series lol 😂 Ah, Eden of the East, what a fantastic series that was. Totally agree for that to be the number one. Great idea for a post this one 😀
Thanks. I remembered you enjoyed Eden of the East (I still haven’t got around to the movie).
Absolutely, it was a great series. The movies were somewhat less enjoyable but did provide a satisfying conclusion to the series. Hopefully you will be able to watch them somewhere in the future: looking forward to your thoughts on them 😊
Surprised that Gatchaman Crowds didn’t make the cut. Phones were a central part of the show.
I actually forgot about it. I watched it once and wasn’t really into it.
This is such a cool post. Never would have thought is writing about phone use. But it’s sooo creative to think about that. Great job.
Thanks for that. It was probably watching Yuri last year that got me thinking about phones and how they are integrated or not into anime.
I agree with Oishi, ^^^, that anime has the feeling of being in a different time. I remember reading manga before cell phones became a huge thing, and always being fascinated with how far ahead of the rest of the world they were, haha. I love phones and technology if they’re part of the story or plot. I love science fiction, so if it’s written well, I’m a sucker for it.
I hated Mirai Nikki but Eden of the East had one of the best use of phone and technology, in general. Anime sometimes has this feeling as if its set in a different time(probably because it is, since lot of Manga starts way before smartphone was normal). So, it feels weirdly amazing when I get the assurance, Japan is as infected by social media as rest of the world.
I loved how integrated technology was in the story of Eden of the East. It wasn’t an add on but just a part of the character’s daily lives.
Thanks for your comment.
Mirai Nikki was creepy but I loved it