Anime – Musaigen no Phantom World

Finally got some time off to post more about my little anime marathon! Huzzah! XPP Ok, so this time around we’ll be writing a review/opinion thingamabob on “Musaigen no Phantom World” (or “Myriad Colors Phantom World” if you prefer) – a fantasy/action/slice of life (kind of) anime from Kyoto Animation studios and produced by Pony Canion and Lantis. Also, the second best of the 3 I’ve watched.

As usual I’ll try to avoid any spoilers but, in any case, be warned that there could still be something capable or ruining your experience with the anime – this is nothing more than my opinion but even that could alter the way you’ll see it (if you haven’t yet).

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Of course, story first! Some time in the near future there has been a virus outbreak (not the zombie type we’re used to XD) that severely affected the human brain and its perception of the world. The main consequence? It turns out that ghosts/youkai were actually real and existing alongside us all along and not just the product of hallucinations or imagination (even though one theory states that they’re a product of human imagination materializes… but that’s just too boring and anthropocentric in my opinion), we just weren’t able to see them. The said virus had a deeper impact on the generations born after the outbreak allowing them to develop supernatural abilities that most use to fight against dangerous “phantoms”.

Phantom World revolves around Ichijo Haruhiko, who has the ability to draw and then summon or seal phantoms, and Kawasaki Mai, who possesses the “Spirit of the Five Elements” that allows her to combine elemental powers with her martial arts prowess to fight them as well. They’re both students at Hosea Academy and part of the phantom hunting club (not sure if that’s the name, I don’t remember the exact and official designation XP but which, as the name suggests, it’s dedicated to deal with any rampaging “phantom”) and we follow their ups and downs through high school life as well as their adventures alongside other phantom hunters.

And.. that’s about it I guess! I haven’t read the light novel source but, although the series has its share of originality, I think there wasn’t much of a story/plot going on – almost all of the info that I’ve written is given to us right on the intro and throughout the anime there’s hardly any development or any connection between the greater scheme of things and their everyday life that we follow (attention because I said hardly, not non-existent but you could say it’s too little, too late). The concept is promising, I’ll give them that but rather than the episodic formula we’ve got there needs to be a more elaborate, better explored and coherent second season if Phantom World is to be remembered in the future.

The last two eps – when finally we see some serious antagonists, a plot that connects with the background setting, lots of action and some good character development – showed some of that potential I was just talking about, more of that and this could’ve gone far.

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that’s not the plot I was talking about.. XD

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As for the characters themselves, they’re relatively elaborated and fleshed out to some degree – we’re talking about a 13 ep show and each of them manages to have a dedicated ep, so we can’t complain much – but they all, to some degree, fall on some stereotype and the main male character (and only significant male char around.. noticed the pseudo little harem going on there?) although intelligent was kind of boring and not very useful until he kind of wakes up in the very end.

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With that being said, you could call it the downside of the show, there’s no denying the creativity behind the concept and world building of Phantom World – even if it doesn’t deliver as it could – not to mention that artistic and visually speaking, this one is beautifully done and complemented with strong, fluid animations and a good character design. This is really the strongest point of the anime but the soundtrack doesn’t stay that far behind, with both good op and end and solid music throughout – we could say that technically speaking there’s little that went wrong.

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Wrapping all up, Musaigen no Phantom World isn’t one that will last for the ages in your memory or that you’ll want to re-watch some time into the future but it wasn’t a total let down. Now let’s hope there’s a second season able to improve it.

 

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