Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 13

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It’s finally over. As Myriad Colors Phantom World comes to a close, so does my first ever episodic review series…I probably should’ve picked a better show. That being said, I had a fun time, and I hope you did too. This show definitely had its ups and downs, now all that’s left is to determine what side Phantom World decided to end on.

No intro sequence this time, due to the urgency of picking up from a cliffhanger. If you don’t remember from the last episode, here’s a quick wrap up: Haruhiko kissed his mom and then they passed out and so did Ruru for some reason. That’s really all that’s important here. What’s concerning is that although Ruru losing consciousness was the very last thing to happen in that episode, it wasn’t the first thing address in the following episode. Instead we see that Haruhiko’s mom is in a coma and Haruhiko is fine but doesn’t have his powers anymore. Then Ruru’s part is put into play and it’s just this odd role reversal thing that leads to the revelation that Ruru and Haruhiko are intrinsically tied for some reason and they kiss and are officially shipped and I’m getting ahead of myself.

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Back to Haruhiko, I’d like to point out that we’ve learned more about him and his backstory in the last three episodes than the rest of the series combined. That’s kinda odd, considering he’s the supposed main character, but clearly it’s just meant to create a sense of emotion and meaning for the finale, albeit a needless sense at that. Phantom World has spent so much time creating an ensemble, so it seems counterintuitive to focus on one character for the series final moments, and to spend that time on Haruhiko no less! He’s by far the most unlikeable character in the show and isn’t really deserving of a three episode spotlight. But I digress.

Now onto other details, that thingy from the second episode is back. And it turns out to be just a convenient tool for the gang to hack into the evil corporation’s servers. Who is this evil corporation? No idea. Where did they come from? Absolutely no clue. But we need some sort of super bad guy and a final fighting ground, so here it is. Apparently this evil company has been conducting experiments on Phantoms and the one that possessed Haruhiko’s mom the other day escaped from there. And so the Phantom returns there with all her new powers to destroy the place.

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Let’s take a look the generic plot-points checklist so far, shall we? Evil corporation: check. Evil research facility (check). Test subject escapes (check). Test subject wreaks havoc in search of power (check). Test subject comes back with power to have revenge (check). We’re at four now! Let’s see how many we can get before the show ends!

The group makes it to the company in order to confront Enigma (test subject). Haruhiko says he’ll go in by himself because he’s a man and that’s what men do (check). Girls call him out on his bullshit and go in instead (minus check). When in their fighting poses, villain reveals her backstory and her plan (check and check). When the girls get nowhere in the fight, Haruhiko jumps in because a man always has to save the day (check). Villain shapeshifts into his mother so Haruhiko now can’t fight her (check). Haruhiko gets his powers back for some reason and releases his summons, now in their final form (check). Happy ending and everything returns to normal (check).

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I felt like the series as a whole tended to walk the line between generic and self-aware generic, making it somewhat not generic, but this ending was as generic as they come, and I can’t say I’m not a little disappointed. Myriad Colors Phantom World definitely ends on a downside, but what’s my final overall judgement? Find out in my next weekend post: The Myriad Colors Phantom World Review (working title).

+ Nice visuals

+ Teddy bear hacker

– Generic climax

– Generic villain

– Shoehorned emotional material

– Shoehorned villain

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Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 12

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Well, the intro is back. *sigh*

But I kinda liked it this time. They started getting into Phantoms and aspects of our personalities and shadows (personas) and stuff and it was super enlightening and then they ended on a joke that seemed to foreshadow what was coming next. The last line of the intro: “Folktales aren’t copyrighted, so we’re in the clear!” A comedic nod at using folktales because they’re easy and free, only to be completely ignored. Well, I guess that lady was a vampire-thingy, so that’s kind of a folktale? Or perhaps there’s some sort of Japanese folktale that’s gone completely over my head, and if that’s the case please tell me in the comments below.

So we move on from the intro to find our spunky protagonists once again fighting some Phantoms on school property, just like the very first episode. Except now there are more members, and apparently they are on the top of the school hierarchy. Yes, they started from the bottom and now they are here, and everyone admires them and life is great and even Minase has a fan club, for some reason. Then there was a call back to the device thingy in episode two that was never explained, only to not be used in this episode either.

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Now onto a tie in from a previous episode that actually means something: The Human Encyclopedia’s mother who abandoned him is suddenly back! That’s not suspicious at all! Haruhiko gets all emotional and they start to mend their relationship and Haruhiko doesn’t have to be alone anymore and they have a blast spending time together and going shopping together and doing mother and son things TOGETHER and it’s great. Then they have this moment where all the girls come to the table and it’s brilliant/awful/whatever you want to call it.

Now, I’m of the belief that just because there’s one male protagonist and a group of female protagonists, a harem isn’t a forgone conclusion. I’m not saying I don’t like harems or that this show would necessarily suffer just by having one…but *deep breathe* WHAT THE F@#$! I really don’t know how to feel about this. On one hand, there is a reason for each of these girls to like him, as realized by all of the characters in that awkward dinner conversation when Momma drops the “which one of you is going to f@#$ my son?” bomb. Okay, I may be paraphrasing. But on the other hand, Haruhiko sucks! He plain sucks, specifically, the life out of the room whenever he goes full encyclopedia and explains something everyone already knows. And by everyone, I mean the characters. Obviously he is an exposition device and exists to inform less educated viewers, which in it’s own right is perfectly fine. But damn does it feel patronizing to more informed viewers, as well as the other characters. And this, plus his almost complete lack of any other defining characteristics beside “kind of nice” and “good at drawing” makes him not a suitable partner for my Izumi. Back off my waifu, Haruhiko! You don’t deserve her! You don’t even deserve Minase.

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Erhm, also there’s this convenient phone call that pops up and provides the shocking revelation as to what’s really going on. Then the villain reveals herself and her plan doesn’t really make sense at all considering her end goal but whatever just go with it and Haruhiko kisses his mom in the moonlight and Ruru steals the attention even though there are currently three people unconscious right now. And then the predictable cliffhanger to lead into the final episode.

So come back next week to find out what I think about that.

I really should tweet my predictions or something, because I totally knew the last two episodes would be connected through a conflict that just appears to serve what will probably be a big, action-y and emotional climax. Or something.

Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 11

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It happened. IT FINALLY HAPPENED! No more terrible intros where The Human Encyclopedia tries to teach us fairly commonly known concepts that loosely relate to the episode at hand while Ruru grasps for any joke she can because Haruhiko is just too boring without it. Instead, we get this ^ sick shot and awesome line that leaves me excited and wanting more. “Phantom-Hunting Mom”? What could be cooler? Nothing.

But before we get to the good stuff, let’s take a moment to highlight the bad. Koito Minase. I still feel like this character hasn’t been properly established, at least not well enough to be part of the gang. Like zoinks, did I miss something? Cause they’re all apparently good friends now, and I’m not entirely sure why. I know they had their run-ins and worked together multiple times to take down the Phantom of the Week, but what actually made her decide to stop being a loner? (Comment below if you know why)

So the whole story really begins when Haruhiko heads home and finds a little piece of his past: A letter that he wrote for his class as an elementary school student. This triggers a flashback of him reading it to the class with melancholy music to accompany. There is, however, no dialogue in this scene and so what really happens here is left ambiguous…for now.

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Haruhiko then wakes up the next morning as a child. Young, confused, and running late, he gets dressed and heads for school. What’s interesting here is that he has the mindset of his young self and does not remember anything from his older years. Now here’s the clumsy part of the setup. Kurumi finds Haruhiko sitting outside, baffled by the fact that he didn’t recognize anyone in his class and that they didn’t seem to know him either. The worst part of this is that it takes way longer than it should have for Kurumi to put two and two together. This boy looks like Haruhiko. This boy talks like Haruhiko. This boy then introduces himself as “Ichijou, Haruhiko”. Come on, Kurumi! You’re not this dumb, and this shouldn’t be something so difficult to grasp considering the reality they live in. It would’ve been simpler to just notice what was up right off the bat and bring him to the clubroom. But I digress.

While the group considers how to approach this new development, The Little Human Encyclopedia shows just how annoying he can be. But this time it’s different, because he’s not being annoying to the audience like he usually is. Now he’s being annoying to the others, in the way that children often are. Then Ruru does the funniest thing I’ve ever seen throughout the entire series.

After that, Mai is decided to be his caretaker, for some reason, and she has to suddenly learn how to be a single mother. And it’s adorable. She takes him shopping and he does the cliché child thing where he fills up the shopping cart with whatever he wants. Time passes and now Mai has a part-time job to support Haruhiko and is under an incredible amount of stress due to just making ends meet. They have their sweet bonding moments, like Mai comforting him during a thunderstorm, or playing at the park the next day.

Then a cat pisses on a Phantom sandbox and ruins everything. Mai is suddenly in trouble and Haruhiko conveniently reverts back because the situation calls for it. He saves the day and everything returns to normal. They go back to his place and Mai reads Haruhiko’s letter from the beginning of the episode, revealing what was actually written and bringing the whole episode full circle, wrapped up with a neat little bow.

A truly fantastic episode, arguably the best in the series so far, Myriad Colors Phantom Worlds delivered something I didn’t think it was capable of, and I loved it. I wish the whole series was just watching Mai stepping into the role of a single mother, as it’s been more compelling than anything else shown so far.

+ Hilarious, off the wall moments

+ Heartwarming, down to earth moments

+ Mai is best mom

+ No lame intro!

– Little clumsy in setup

Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 10

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A Ruru episode.

…Okay. Look, I’m not saying Ruru’s a terrible character…

…but she kinda sucks, and I’m really disappointed that they dedicated an episode to her. But I’m not surprised, as every other character seemed to have their own up until this point. So I guess it’s only fair for Ruru to have her time to shine.

Starting with the plot, well, it was even dumber than I expected. Ruru is small, but she wants to drink a full bottle of Ramune. To fully ingest this Ramune, she needs to become the size of a human. Luckily, a benevolent witch phantom just happens to be passing by, and grants her wish so she can drink Ramune at the festival. Then shit happens where she can’t reveal who she is to her friends because of an arbitrary set of rules, and then breaks those at the end of the episode because apparently she’s the only one that can save Haruhiko from the firework phantom. And they’re all sad because they actually think for a moment that Ruru is dead from the explosion, and crying because she never got to drink that Ramune soda. But it’s okay because she’s alive, the end.

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Thought I said “Ramune” too many times in that last paragraph? Well that’s not even half the amount of times they mentioned Ramune in the show. Product placement or does the writer just really like Ramune? I don’t know, but tune in next time for when Izumi becomes addicted to the Pocky phantom!

Back to the witch that I briefly mentioned earlier, I thought she was a cool addition and would like to see her in more episodes. This is of course, based almost solely off of looks, but what can I say, I like characters with cool designs. And it would be nice to see her character be developed a little more.

One thing I’ve noticed throughout the show is that Izumi’s powers have been tragically underused. Apparently, she can’t eat everything for random reasons like “it’ll make her tummy feel bad” and “they need to be weakened first”. I’m paraphrasing by the way. Her powers are completely situational and most the time useless. Remember that time she revealed she had healing powers, then never used them again? I do, because I keep blogging about this stupid show no matter how little substance it actually gives me.

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I feel when the show focuses on comedy, and especially on Ruru, I don’t laugh. The show was funnier when it was organic, or at least felt that way. But now I only find myself laughing because of how incredibly stupid this show is. It’s still very pretty though, so there’s that.

+ Visually pretty

– Ruru episode

– Rampant product placement?

– Reina tragically underused

Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 9

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Man, this show is really reaching for straws when it comes to giving this group something to do week after week. Anything and everything that goes even remotely wrong at this school or in this town is automatically relegated to this team of high schoolers. But in this episode, there’s nothing going on to begin with. A random character is introduced and she asks the group to be part of her play. Apparently no one else in the entire school can or wants to do this. Okay. So now our protagonists are now staring in a period piece put on by the drama club, and it’s all fun and games until a phantom inevitably shows up.

Turns out that the Phantom is the girl who asked them to do this in the first place. What a twist! Then comes the all too cliché breaking in the middle of the play. Quite frankly, this is one of my least favorite tropes to ever exist. The actors break character but still say everything out loud for the audience to hear, and then they’re all like “wow, this is meta” or some crap.

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It was at that point that I checked the time left in the show, thinking it was all but over, because that moment is usually used as a climax. But the show goes on and they finish the play, in the coolest most immersive way possible. The Phantom changes the stage and the cast is transported to Edo period Japan, where they are to complete the story. This makes for some sweet action and stunning visuals, otherwise known as “The KyoAni Special”. I’m coining that, right now.

Two very important things I noticed, or rather didn’t notice, was the chanting and exposition. Minase’s chanting is really annoying. The Human Encyclopedia needs to shut up. These are facts. And as far as I can tell, they were non-existent in this episode.

Now onto a new issue: Haruhiko needs to stop clumsily falling into Izumi. It was funny the first time, only because they did it in a comical and self-aware way. Now it is just getting routine and uninspired. Basically what I’m saying is: Step off my waifu.

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In the end, this felt like a fun, contained adventure with stunning visuals but not much else. I like these characters (with the exclusion of Haruhiko), but I feel this show has strayed too far from them since each of their respective episodes. There’s almost no way this show can be anything more than an action comedy show at this point, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But we’ll see where this show decides to go, as it seems to do whatever the hell it wants to.

+ No Minase chanting

+ No Haruhiko exposition dumps

+ Pretty show, pretty colors

+ Kurumi holds a gun!

– Kurumi holds a gun?

– Awkward stage break

Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 8

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This was a weird episode. Yes, even for its own standards. I won’t knock it for being fanservice-y, but I will laugh at it. A lot. But first, let’s start from the beginning.

One minute and forty-five seconds. That’s how long this week’s intro took. I’m getting really tired of these classroom lectures at the beginning of every show. And I learn almost nothing from them. But I’ve rambled on about these intros before, so all I’ll say is that they suck and I’d be happier if they just cut down the runtime of the show altogether rather than include these wastes of time.

So they introduced the Phantom through a supernatural occurrence at school. Again. But this time’s a little better because they get right into the problem. There’s a monkey hot springs that’s overheating the entire school, and nothing can be done for some reason until the Phantom is gone. I actually like this setup because it leads the entire student body to try and fight it, one at a time with hilarious results.

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Then our protagonists step up to the challenge, and in the best way that I never thought possible. The plan is to seduce the monkey and make it come out of the water so the Human Encyclopedia can fully see it and capture the image onto his sealing book thing. Of course, due to a number of mishaps, that doesn’t work out, and so he summons a Phantom to save the day. And although he probably could’ve just did that in the first place, I’ll ignore it because I got to see Mai’s ass get painted.

All in all, it was a fun episode, but it severely lacked in any sense of importance or meaning. And perhaps that’s just exactly where Myriad Colors Phantom World wants to go. I’ll be baffled if this show decides to end a note that’s anything but silly and hopeful.

Oh, and I was completely satisfied with this end, in hopes that the Human Encyclopedia actually does marry Mr. Monkey and never returns. All I’m saying is, it better be canon.

+ Not the hot springs episode I was expecting

+ Reina swimsuit!

+ The ultimate canvas, Mai’s ass

– Intro

Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 7

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Okay, I can’t go another week without saying how awful the chanting is. Specifically, Minase’s chanting. It’s terrible, I hate it, and I never want to hear it again. Mai’s chanting I can usually deal with, but this time it doesn’t even show the fanservice to go with it. How am I supposed to enjoy this show without needless self-boob-groping? How am I supposed to appreciate this art without little moments of indulgence spaced evenly throughout, keeping my interests piqued and my blood out of my head?

In all seriousness, I do kinda miss the fanservicey bits. They never actually did much for me in terms of arousal, but the cute and creative ways they went about it were worth a good laugh. Also, I can’t unsee Mai-oneesama, which is also worth another good laugh. Even Ruru is getting a bit funnier, outside of those abysmal opening segments. Oh, and cat puns! There was a bear pun in the last episode and now there were cat puns in this episode. How delightful! So that’s cat puns, Mayonaise-sama, and sometimes Ruru…yeah, I kinda wish the show had more going for it in terms of comedy this episode. Sure, there’s some slapstick, but I feel like I’m not laughing as much anymore.

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As for the other good stuff this episode had to offer…cat girls (and guys)! If you’re into that, have at it. Personally, I think they’re just alright. What I really enjoyed about this episode was the mansion they entered and what happened when they entered said mansion. There were a lot of cool effects and scenery going on as they wandered through this phantom fun house, or “phun house”. Okay, that was bad…but I’m keeping it. Lots of really cool shots could be taken away from this episode, with plenty Izumi. But other than looking pretty, this episode felt pretty needless, adding nothing to the overall plot of the show or characterization to our protagonists. Of course, if this is just going to be a feel good, phantom of the week show all the way to the very end, then I guess that’s fine. You do you, Myriad Colors Phantom World.

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