“Phantom” Menace

June 21st, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

What if fantasy became real? What if you lived in a world where extra-dimensional creatures of every ilk and caliber, of every temperment and desire, of every size and strength, were made whole? Thus is the intriguing plot idea behind “Myriad Colors Phantom World” (“Musaigen no Fantomu Wārudo”). So, how did this come to be?

In the near future (and we are talking near, like 2020 or so. STILL no hover boards), the accidental release of an experimental virus causes an outbreak that changed the brain chemistry of every person in the world. Wow, even Zika doesn’t move that fast. This allows them to perceive extra-dimensional beings called “phantoms”. In addition, some children born after the outbreak have developed special powers that permit them to battle and seal phantoms. Even though the vast majority of phantoms are harmless, many of these gifted children are placed in clubs and organizations dedicated to dealing with phantoms that prove to be nuisances or threats to humanity.

The story revolves around Haruhiko Ichijo and his friends in the Phantom-hunting club of Hosea Academy, a private school for children with those aforementioned special abilities to deal with and seal those phantoms, and their everyday life and struggles, coping with the troubles that these phantoms generate. Please forgive the M. C. Escher-like, “Relativity”-style splash panel. In this topsy-turvy world, ‘What is reality?’ could be the subtitle for your life in this new context. Let us meet the members of the Hosea Academy Phantom Club, left to right:

Ruru. She is that fairy phantom that acts as a caliber of familiar to Haruhiko. She is rather flirty (and in that outfit, well….)

Mai Kawakami. She can channel elemental powers through parts of her body. Has known Haruhiko since, like, forever, man.

Haruhiko Ichijo. He can summon or seal phantoms by drawing them in his sketchbook. Has a vast library, which gives him a vast knowledge of things.

Reina Izumi. She is a Phantom Eater and she seals them by consuming them. She is also one you do NOT invite to an All-You-Can-Eat place.

Koito Minase. She uses her voice to stun phantoms (you can see headphones just around her neck). A bit of a recluse.

There is one more key player and that is Kurumi Kumamakura. She is a fourth-grader and her ability is Albrecht. That is a teddy bear she can increase in size to do pitched battles, when necessary, and it becomes necessary on numerous occasions. The tales involve the team dealing with troublesome phantoms. Do understand that the bulk of the bothersome phantoms are more of an annoyance than something more life threatening. I mean, having a limbo contest with possessed telephone poles? Really? Even when things turn ‘serious’, you never really feel that things are out of control or our little grouping is going to befall anything disastrous.

This is a more or less frothy series (the last two episodes are the serious ones) and both people and phantoms try to find a common ground where both can live in harmony. You do get a good sense of how this world came to be and the ways people live and interact within it. And, as I said, the bulk of phantoms are benign, they just don’t understand the rules and requirements for living with people who can actually see them. My vote is to give this series a shot. Yes, there are a lot of extra-ability shows out there (“Charlotte” comes to mind as one), but I really got a sense of family with this one, even with the distancing of Koito. I just hope that all this phantom sealing isn’t going to affect their grades at school. Can’t be taking on Math when you’re taking on a Sand Phantom.

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           8 (Strong and pleasant)
Plot                  8 (Another intriguing concept)
Pacing              8 (Brisk without being frantic)
Effectiveness   6 (Lost because of the extended fights)
Conclusion      2 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service     0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)

Overall            6 (Fell apart at the end)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Reveal your secrets to the Book of Thoth!

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