Myriad Colors Phantom World – Review
Myriad Colors Phantom World:
Original Air Dates: Jan 7th, 2016 – March 31st, 2016
Synopsis: After a lab experiment goes wrong, people all across the planet begin to see “phantoms”: monsters, creatures, even inanimate objects come to life. With Phantoms as a common problem across the globe, humans have begun to be born with special powers that can be utilized in subduing the phantoms. Haruhiko Ichijo, a student at Hosea Academy, along with his classmates Mai Kawakami, Reina Izumi, and Koito Minase work together to subdue phantoms as part of their school work.
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Phantom World explodes across your screen with the most vivid colours and animation from its season. It’s impressive how consistent the high quality is throughout the show, never dipping even during the most intense battle sequences. The scenery and characters themselves are colourful and lively, injecting the show with energy and vibrancy.
Tom: Honestly? Phantom World puts so many other Winter shows to shame. Phantom’s art and fluid animation rival the much beloved One Punch Man of last year. Its use of vibrant colors ensures that every battle is flashy and memorable. It’s a real treat to watch. In fact, the final episode contains some of the strongest animation across the entire series, making for an amazing visual feast to round out such a strong anime.
Linny: Contrary to the outstanding animation is a cast that feels more stereotypical than unique. You get the awkward male lead, Haruhiko, the shy girl, Reina, the busty chick, Mai, the aloof prodigy, Minase and even a loli. The show still manages to use them to produce respectable and enjoyable material in the form of physical comedy but there’s not much originality to be seen when it comes to their personalities, which may disappoint viewers who are tired of the usual mix of cliches.
Tom: I actually found the core cast fun and lively, despite their cliched origins. Each character gets a whole episode to develop them along the way. It’s nothing amazing and more drama centric shows easily outclass the character work of Phantom, but for the kind of fun action/comedy it is, I found Phantom’s characters to be very enjoyable. Thanks to just how lively the cast can be, every action sequence charges forward with momentum, always flowing, keeping it all fast and fun. Rarely do we spend too much time sitting around, simply waiting for developments to happen.
Linny: The past reveals and personal character development of the cast are often well integrated into the episode, making the dispersion of information a seamless and enjoyable experience all while pushing forward the events currently happening in the episode. If I had any major issues, it is the fact that it gives its busty character, Mai, an extremely suggestive demon exorcising move which both looks and feels gratuitous. She basically wraps her hands around herself, then rubs and moves them along her body such that her breasts are jiggling in a most in-your-face manner. Besides that, her breasts are subjected to comedic physics and focus in the first episode itself. Thankfully, the show starts to downplay this aspect as it moves forward, and even with a fan service swimsuit episode, it starts to play the sexuality as more comedic than sleazy.
Tom: Fanservice is generally relegated to what Linny complained about above, and mostly disappears as the series progresses, but comes back strong for a few suggestive shots in the finale. Also its in the finale that our lead, Haruhiko, gets his character development as Phantom delves into his backstory. It’s at this point that Phantom recenters around him entirely. It’s actually quite nice, the story given proper room to breath over two episodes, unlike the rest of the series which tightly squeezes each tale into a single episode.
Linny: The episodic nature does help make the show an easy watch as it doesn’t feel like a huge investment. Viewers should be able to jump in and out without missing anything crucial until the last two episodes. And yes, it has a fan service episode as mentioned earlier, as well as a strong harem element towards the end, but overall, the show is tame and quickly moves on from anything explicitly vulgar.
Tom: Phantom World is initially a little confusing, choosing to throw the audience into things without any real explanation for what’s going on. They thankfully provide a, rather lengthy, explanation shortly thereafter that satisfies and makes it easy to follow the series from then on. Once past that, Phantom keeps itself simple and each character’s introductory episode works so well that you generally feel attached to the cast very early on.
Linny: At a certain point though, it does start to feel like the show tries too hard to make every Phantom and every episode have a personal attachment or link to the characters. While it makes for good character development and audience bonding, when the episode has a weaker storyline, that weakness is more pronounced and jarring as the audience struggles with the show to see the need or reason for the Phantom personally affecting our group of Phantom hunters.
Tom: Phantom World also unfortunately suffers from the all too common “loser team/worst team trope” meaning that while this group of individuals supposedly sucks, they’re all quite strong and realistically bad asses at Phantom hunting. It’s unfortunate, but only a minor quibble when so much else is fun and entertaining. The show teases a big mystery early on and sporadically throughout the rest of its run. However the big reveal is ultimately a bit lame and doesn’t quite amount to as much as you might suspect. Again though, it’s a minor quibble.
Linny: I think you could liken this show to the Scooby Doo series, in the sense that you know your heroes are going to stumble and fumble but always succeed. Furthermore, you will probably be able to see the Phantom reveals coming from miles away, after you’ve watched a couple of episodes. Nevertheless, it’s always a fun experience following our heroes on their journey to subdue the Phantoms. It also has dashes of meta humour sprinkled throughout for fans of that genre.
Tom: There’s one episode that was actively frustrating, as it became obvious very early that a Phantom was causing everyone to turn into cat people. But our cast just didn’t realize it for nearly half the episode, making it frustrating as they slowly came to that same conclusion we’d all hit ten minutes ago. But, like I’ve said before, it’s just another minor issue. That’s a testament to just how good Phantom World is otherwise.
Linny: Phantom World is a colourful and silly romp. It’s something you put on when you want something fun to watch that’s never going to get too dark. While the show does touch upon emotional topics and subjects, at the end of the day, it’ll always be rainbows and butterflies. There’s just enough character centric plot to make you pick a favourite character and while none of them are original, they’re likely to please the average viewer, as is the show itself.
Tom: Phantom World is based off an ongoing novel series (supposedly proper novel, not light novel) so with Phantom’s popularity there’s a decent chance we’ll be seeing these characters again. I don’t know how far this adaptation got, but my guess is we’ve only just finished adapting the first novel, so there’s potentially room for more next year. Phantom World was exceedingly enjoyable thanks to the wealth of colors and high quality art. The story is fun, and while nowhere as deep as Erased, sure to provide ample entertainment.
Myriad Colors Phantom World is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com