Phantoms: supernatural entities such as ghosts or youkai that, until recently, were thought to be superstition. However, when a virus that infects the brain spreads throughout society, people's perception of the world changes as the mythical beings are revealed to have been living alongside humanity the entire time. This virus has also affected those of the next generation significantly, allowing them to develop special abilities that they can use to fight against dangerous phantoms.
Haruhiko Ichijou and Mai Kawakami are two of those that were granted such power as Haruhiko wields the ability to summon and seal phantoms through drawings while Mai imbues the power of the elements into martial arts. Together, along with the friendly phantom Ruru, they form Team E of Hosea Academy which is dedicated to dealing with these often mischievous beings. In a world where the real and surreal intertwine, Musaigen no Phantom World follows the adventures of a group of friends as they handle the everyday troubles caused by phantoms.
Over the past few years, I have been a witness to the slow death of KyoAni. First came Chuu2, a middling but otherwise inoffensive rom-com. Then came Kyoukai no Kanata, an absolute disaster of writing, and the creaking of KyoAni's creative efforts could start to be heard. And now, several more mediocre series later, we have Musaigen no Phantom World, a title so vapid and effortless that I believe KyoAni has finally reached the point of being irredeemable. KyoAni is dead. It is dead, and it's not coming back.
If not for the KyoAni name—now worthless— nobody would have cared about what Phantom World has to offer. It is your typical, uninspired rom-com that we get in the dozens every single year. There is nothing you have not seen here before, and nothing to inspire a viewing aside from the fact that it 'looks and sounds nice'. They stayed KyoAni on the outside, but on the inside they are merely a shallow, rotting husk of what they used to be.
It is not even worth the time to discuss the art of Phantom World. Anyone who has seen even a single KyoAni anime knows exactly what they're getting here. Their art no longer impresses me. I am also getting tired of forgiving their shows' terrible plots and characters just because they happen to look pretty. If all they are now capable of is drawing cute characters and flashy OPs and EDs, then perhaps they should leave anime and go work on manga and TV commercials instead?
KyoAni seems to have forgotten what made previous titles like K-ON and Haruhi so successful: characters. There is not a character within the show who is developed in any meaningful way, and only one—Kurumi— is even worth a damn, and that's not just because I love twintails and wish to be surrounded by twintailed beauties for the rest of my days. Kurumi is the only one who actually feels like a person and not just an assortment of tropes slapped together ('cool', 'big boobs', 'tsundere'). She acts remarkably her age; her seiyuu even goes as far as to stutter and poorly enunciate her words, as a girl in primary school would. Minase? I had to look through the character listing to even remember her name.
Phantom World has another one of those 'dumb male friend' characters, similar to Ishiki from Chuu2, but manages to do so little with him that you forget he even exists. Not only is he a waste of space like just about every character in this show, but it is real tiring seeing all these pseudo-harem anime incapable of making a second male character who is actually a competent person and not just background fodder or some dumb, running gag.
Ruru, the show's mascot character, clearly exists only to sell merchandise and figures. Unlike, say, Tamako Market's Dera-chan, who was actually a unique and amusing character, the little fairy here is nothing but an annoyance. Her small size is quite fitting, being little more than a fly buzzing around in the protagonist's and the viewer's faces. It is also quite pathetic how the show attempts to make us care for her suddenly, the protagonist stretching his hand out towards the sky and screaming! Tears! Drama! Give me a break.
Phantom World regularly treats its audience like it is a mass of buffoons who have never been to school. It uses—you guessed it— Schrodinger's Cat in a vain attempt to seem more philosophical and meaningful than it actually is. Yes, we know what Schrodinger's Cat is. We are not idiots. It does not need to be explained to us for the umpteenth time in anime. The show even goes as far as to explain what a trojan horse is, as if we know absolutely nothing about the world and have been sitting on our mommy's lap sucking our thumb since the day we were born.
Not only does Phantom World pull the awful transfer student trope, but the character is literally accepted into the school within hours of attaining their 'human form', and they do so without any form of identification or previous educational experience that would, you know, be necessary in a school transfer? It is true that the series is not attempting to be perfectly realistic, but if it wants to use the high school setting then at the very least it should actually try to have its high school resemble a high school.
Nothing interesting is done with the premise, aside from, say, creating excuses for nonsense like all the characters suddenly turning into cats. I'm sorry, but giving the girls cat ears and tail and making them end all their sentences with "nyan" does not do anything to improve the quality of the show. I enjoy cuteness in anime quite a bit, but the least KyoAni could do is try to make it more natural and less artificial, less like they are writing and structuring the anime by checking off boxes for everything that has ever been considered 'cute'. I half-expected there to be an episode where everyone starts calling the protagonist "onii-chan".
There are regular doses of fanservice, in scenes such as the main heroine, Mai, doing the limbo dance, her boobs jiggling and bouncing all over the place for the viewer's apparent satisfaction. Fanservice as a whole really needs to go away from anime, at least as far as its sexual incarnation is concerned. There exist hentai, doujins, eroge and other forms of pornography for a reason. If I wanted to feel aroused, I would watch or read one of the above-mentioned media—they do it far better. I do not come to anime to see butts and panties and girls being licked by slimy monster tongues as if I am a child who does not know what porn or sex actually is. I love sexy things about as much as I love the story-driven stuff, but the two really need to not mix unless it is absolutely necessary. I can count on one hand the times an anime has been able to pull that off successfully.
At least Kyoukai no Kanata, as poorly-written as it was, could be given the slightest bit of credit for trying. Phantom World doesn't even do that much. It is as if KyoAni has accepted that their best days are forever behind them, and have now resigned themselves solely to producing lifeless, mediocre rubbish that will be forgotten after a month's time. Even producing something completely middling like Chuu2 now seems to be beyond their reach. Their in-house writers are so incompetent that they may as well just go back to adapting visual novels again; they've clearly demonstrated how incapable they are of doing anything themselves.
People will still watch Phantom World because it is made by KyoAni. There are many people who still hold fond memories of the anime KyoAni used to make, and there are those who have only just started watching their more successful titles and do not yet know what the KyoAni of today is like. These fans are being manipulated and lured into watching a bad anime merely because it looks and sounds like a KyoAni title, and not because it is actually a worthwhile story on its own merits. It is a husk. Shiny it may be, but empty it is and will ever be. A sad sight indeed.
But the anime industry is a big place, and it will live on regardless, even if one of its most influential studios has withered away. Anime doesn't need KyoAni anymore. It's time to move on. I already have.read more
If there's something strange
in your neighborhood
Who ya gonna call?
Musaigen no Phantom World is what I like to call the King of Stereotypical! What do I mean by that? Well, let us begin the lecture! Take notes, young lads!
High school setting? ✓
Light novel adaptation? ✓
Main character is a male, and the only male? ✓
Main character is also pretty darn useless? ✓
Harem of girls with different tropes? ✓
One has big boobies? ✓
One is flat? ✓
One is a loli? ✓
Accidental fan service? ✓
By Kyoto Animation? ✓
See what I mean? This show is full of cliches! In fact, it's a bit too cliche. But the thing is, it isn't a bad show! One thing for sure is that it can get very entertaining! The animation and art is incredibly high quality, the soundtrack is also good, and the waifus are adorable! Sure, it's got no substance in terms of plot and whatnot, but really, waifus are the only reason you need to watch this show.
- Beautiful art and animation! A really great show to look at!
- OP is catchy and the soundtrack is good too! A great show to listen to!
- You get a waifu, he gets a waifu, she gets a waifu, everybody gets a waifu!
- Characters, albeit not developed or original in any sense, are still very likable!
- Entertaining action and jokes!
- Fanservice ;)
- What is a story?
- What is character development?
- Generic as balls!
- Pretty boring MC.
- Fanservice ;-;
Hmmm, is this even a story? Musaigen no Phantom World's story is all over the place, and by that, I mean it's absolutely nowhere. It's basically episodic, with each episode dealing with a different phantom or situation that has absolutely nothing to do with any of the other situations the characters faced. Any explanations throughout the story are undetailed or forced, the stakes aren't high at all, characters come and go on a whim, and yeah, it's basically just a really messy story. But some episodes do redeem this story from being a one, as some of them are actually pretty touching or funny! Either way, don't watch this show expecting a Shinsekai Yori tier story. Nah, don't do that.
Take my money, Kyoto Animation, take my damn money, for Musaigen no Phantom World has some really high quality art and animation! In fact, the only reason it isn't a 10 is because it gets lazy sometimes. The action scenes are like borderline ufotable, and the character designs are so damn colorful and crisp to the maximum! Sometimes I feel like I'm watching Pokemon but with Fate/Stay Night UBW budget.
That OP though, so damn catchy! The soundtrack is also really good, although nothing to write home about. In reality, it's the seiyuus that shine in this series, for they definitely capture the characteristics of their characters! All in all, the sound is great, nothing special, but still up there.
WAIFUS!!!! So, besides the generic and boring MC, you got a nice selection of girls to add to your waifu collection. Sure, the waifus are generic as well, but they still have a lot of character and are really likable! You got the hot tempered and big boobied Mai, who can beat anyone at limbo! You got the shy, flat, but incredibly moe Reina, who is one of those filthy bastards who can eat 5000 caloriesa day and gain 0 pounds. (Screw those guys). You have the underaged loli Kurumi, who is just pure moe (and nothing else!!!) You got Koito, the cold and serious one who, you guessed it, opens up to the MC for some reason. And of course, you got the little fairy Ruru, who is just there for comedic relief and midget fan service! Pretty unoriginal? Yes. Still likable? Hell yes!
Musaigen is one of those ups and downs anime. Due to its episodic nature, some episodes will be better than others! While there were some that were kinda boring and a chore to sit through, there were some that were genuinely entertaining or even feels heavy! Those good episodes definitely overshadow the bad ones, and it's worth watching the show for those episodes.
Generic, unoriginal, shit story, but not a bad show overall! It's another one of those entertainment > quality kind of shows, and I'm not a hater of those! Go you, Musaigen!
Nearly every year for the past few years, we’ve been getting a new series by Kyoto Animation. The studio alone invites attention as they are a powerhouse studio for high quality production in terms of technical visuals. But when it comes to storytelling, there’s a mixed bag there. Just ask Kyoukai no Kanata. However, this is Myriad Colors Phantom World, a series about a group of teenagers dealing problems with Phantoms, creatures that comes in forms of all different shape and sizes due to imaginative perception. What I like to describe this show is a festival of fan service and nothing more than a punch in the face to fans who thought they were actually expecting some good.
Adapting from the light novel of the same name, it’s noticeable that the series itself has very limited volumes. Prior to the animation adaptation announcement, there was only 1 volume published until they decided to release another volume around Fall 2015. What does this mean? It basically implies that the show follows a lot of original concepts. Light novel adaptations are usually a big hit or miss and this is no exception. As a matter of fact, it’s far from it. Myraid Colors Phantom World has a lot of potential that can be explored. What does it do instead? It executes a messy story with no coherent plot. Rather, it takes advantage of its female characters like the big boobed Mai and advertise them like a walking billboard of Ms. Fanservice.
The first episode isn’t just merely dumb but also trades its potentials for eye candy fan service. Now, I don’t have a big problem with that as it should be expected from a show like this. The real problem is that the show strives on it and ante so aggressively that you’ll soon find yourself wondering what the hell the show is really about. To paraphrase, the show is about an incident that happened 10 years ago that changed how humans perceive the world. And this incident also granted certain humans with special abilities to fight the Phantoms, mystical beings that pollute the world with their presence. The main male protagonist is Haruhiko, a young boy with the ability to seal Phantoms by drawing them into his sketchbook. Joining him on his quest is Mai Kawakami, a girl who can fight using an ability called 'Spirit of the Five Elements' that allows her to channel elemental energy into her fists. The problem with the duo is that their performance have been dreadful so they recruit new members to their team. In essence, the story is about these characters fighting phantoms although there will be times when you’ll be scratching your head because of how farfetched the show attempts to focus on its gimmicks.
As for the other characters, we got Reina Izumi, a girl with a large appetite and ability to seal Phantoms by eating them. Koito Minase, a loner with the ability to use soundwaves and music to fight off Phantoms also gets involved in their affairs. The four main characters are basically established as crusaders to rid the world of Phantoms. As heroic as this sounds, the show is hard to take seriously with their daily misadventures and shenanigans. Almost all the characters suffers from some generic trait that is easily forgettable. Haruhiko is also a very dull male protagonist as it looks like the girls are often the ones dominating the missions and he is more of the supporting player. The show is also structured more based on individual characters for the first half of the series but Haruhiko gets almost no characterization at all. Even Kurumi, a little girl with a cute teddy bear gets her own spotlight episode while Haruhiko is on the sidelines drawing pictures and being nearly irrelevant.
Despite my issue with the storytelling, the creativity of the series is actually quite fun to get attached to. Phantom World takes advantage knowing that and puts characters into imaginative worlds that seems to be inspired by other fantasy fiction. In addition, the show’s Phantoms are all diverse and nothing seems repetitive with what the characters fight on a weekly basis. It also ties to their interpersonal problems at times so there’s more purpose than trying to increase the team’s performance scores. On the other hand, the comedy is generally a miss. The lewd jokes quickly becomes old and repetitive with no sense of purpose other than being what it is. Then, there’s Ruru, a character that adds nothing more than as a comical foil and often suggestive remarks. Many of the other comedic moments deals with the episodes themselves like cat shenanigans, awkward dialogues, and fan service that’s shoved down our throats.
As with most Kyoto Animation series, the visual quality is solid. Ranging from the artistic backgrounds to the imaginative concepts, the studio puts a fair amount of effort to make the show look gloriously good. Character designs are what people will expect from the studio with a high concentration of colors. Then, there’s of course the fan service. The camera really seems to have a fetish or something for Mai because every episode focuses on her body more than her character. Just watch the infamous limbo scene if you’re wondering why. It also seems like her breasts bounces up and down nearly every episode like it’s denting the laws of physics…
Soundtrack is moderate. Nothing more or nothing less is the easy way to say it. The OP song has some decent choreography while the ED song is very playful with the main girls. Character voice mannerism is also moderate although Ruru acts like she is trying to be as irritating as she can be each time she’s on screen. Koito’s cold personality is reflected in her voice and she has an emo-like voice mannerism that’s easily forgettable. I guess that can be said the same for Haruhiko since he’s about as dull as watching paint dry. The battle OST is another story though. That’s actually quite decent.
It’s a silly series in the end. Really, there’s not much to it besides the show being somewhat self-aware and trying to capitalize on its premise. In the end, what it delivers is a less than average story but more of a generic fest of ridiculousness. And if you ask yourself why, it’s probably because the show isn’t met to be taken seriously in the first place. However, it’s still a foolish show to embrace because almost every episode feels like a lazy grab bag of uncharacteristic ideas that’s executed by the characters. There will be some episodes that have better characterization than the others. But for all it’s worth, the show is a joke of itself. And it’s not really funny at all.read more
Musaigen no Phantom World is a pretty tricky one to examine. It does a lot of things wrong, that’s for sure, but they also do things that make it watchable and actually enjoyable at times. It's very cliché, uninteresting and random to the point of annoying at times. However, its concept and world-building is nice and it is very creative. For most of the time, it goes nowhere and It’s pretty lame, but near the end, it felt like the anime found its track again. However, that doesn’t excuse the fact that more than half of this anime being nothing more than average, and this series overall is a disappointed.
Musaigen no Phantom World takes place in a world where artificial creatures called phantom are found around in the world due to some virus spreading. People who have supernatural powers help in sealing these phantoms for the peace of the world. The story revolves around a group of high school students that work together to seal these phantoms. First of all, the premise is actually pretty interesting. It isn’t anything unique, but it can work. Unfortunately, it failed to deliver. As an episodic anime, not much of its stories are interesting. The first two thirds of this anime felt very pointless and unnecessary. There were too many gimmicks and not enough substance, which is a shame considering its premise. The series adapted the first volume of the light novels. Normally, when an anime rushes its content compared to its original source, it is considered a flaw. However, with Musaigen no Phantom World, it would have benefited so much more if they skipped some of those lame stories they adapted and moved on to the second volume. The reason why I say this is because the second volume is where the real story starts and it starts taking a really twisted and dark tone. It feels like a completely different series and it’s a shame we don’t get to see that. At least the writing in the last third was pretty good.
Musaigen no Phantom World excels in world-building. The world they present, one with phantoms lurking around in the world is really cool and pretty well done. The atmosphere did feel nice. However, everything else about the presentation is lacking. The first and major problem is its structure and its use. Musaigen no Phantom World has an episodic structure. There’s nothing wrong with that as there has been may episodic anime that have excelled very well. The problem is that unlike those other episodic anime, where those tiny stories weaved together to make one larger story, Musaigen no Phantom World feels like a mess. Most of these stories aren’t even remotely interesting and in the end, most of them felt pretty pointless, which is a shame since the anime ended right before it was about to get to the good stuff. If Musaigen no Phantom World did its dark twist in this series, the anime could have been compared to the likes of Madoka Magica in terms of tone, and Steins;Gate in terms of content. But with them sticking to just the first volume Musaigen no Phantom World looks nothing more than your average, cliché fantasy school anime with unnecessarily fanservice.
A part of me really like these characters, but a part of me also hates them too. The characters in Musaigen no Phantom World couldn’t be more cardboard cutouts than they already. The main character, Haruhiko, is nothing but a generic high school teenager who falls behind in his skills, meanwhile his much superior team members outshine him in every way. It is interesting hearing his remarks in the beginning of each episode, but they are pretty pointless. At least we know he’s smart. Then you have Mai, who’s body gets more focus that her face. She’s basically the cliché outgoing character who’s just there to add to the fanservice. Then you have Reina, who is that cliché, quiet, but nice female who’s just there to be waifu material. Then you have Koito, that cliché kuudere because some people get turned on by coldheartedness. Also, there’s a loli too because we can’t forget a loli! Oh yeah, there’s this phantom girl that looks like a fairy that’s annoying as hell. Even though I’ve been negative about these characters for a while, let me get to the good part. Most of these characters get their own centric episode to develop them as characters. The one that stood out the most was Haruhiko’s as it actually leaves an impact and can relate to real world problems. In that same episode, Mai gets some good development too (though the same can’t be said about her own centric episode). Ruru’s was also pretty good too. Reina’s and Kurumi’s were pretty lacking though, mainly because their episodes were way too over-the-top, unfocused and too gimmicky.
Musaigen no Phantom World’s art is fantastic, which is to be expected since KyoAni has a good track record with their production values. The art is really pretty and really well detailed. The colors are really vibrant and eye catching. The backgrounds are very well detailed too. The character designs aren’t anything too special as they are stuff you’ve seen before, but it’s still very neat. Everything looks good and there’s no hiccups in the art. Its art style is also pretty nice too. The color palette only uses vibrant colors and they really add an effect. The phantom designs have this cartoonish look and it’s a nice addition. But even with its cartoony feel, it still doesn’t lack detail. Musaigen no Phantom World proves to be stellar technically.
The animations in Musaigen no Phantom World is top-notch which again was expected because KyoAni always delivers in these categories. The animations are very fluid and very crisp. The character motions are top notch too. During the action scenes, the fluidity is fantastic and the camera view always works. The amount of work put into the animation is very noticeable. Small little details such as the animations of clothes if pressure is given (for example, when Mai is rubbing herself (because god knows why that’s relevant)). However, the most useless things also get too much effort put into. All those breast physics are very distracting and ruin the more realistic feel to the animation, especially since they got a lot of realism going in the animations (such as the clothes physics). Nevertheless, this is where Musaigen no Phantom World shines.
The voice acting in Musaigen no Phantom World is decent, but with such a good cast, more could have been done. Shimono Hiro isn’t anything special as Haruhiko, mainly because his script doesn’t ask for much. Unfortunately, he doesn’t add anything more, he just does what he needs to do. Still, his talent makes him look good. Uesaka Sumire is pretty good as Mai as she the does the senpai character properly. Again, nothing too special, but it gets the job done. Hayami Saori’s a fantastic seiyuu and she has a wide range, but she doesn’t do anything too special with Reina, and at times, he voice for Reina ends up feeling irritating as it feels so cliché. I don’t know what to say about Uchida Maaya, because her character, Koito, barely talk. But from what I’ve heard, she did good. Also Kurumi and Ruru’s seiyuu do a fine job too. In the end, the voice acting works, but none of the seiyuu do more than asked.
Voice Acting: 7/10
The music in Musaigen no Phantom World is pretty good. The OP, “Naked Dive”, is really catchy and fun. Although it’s the first 20 seconds that I really love (it’s too catchy). The rest of the OP is okay, but the vocals aren’t too fascinating. The ED, “Junshin Always”, is alright. It’s not too catchy or memorable, but the vocals are pretty good in that ED. The background music used in Musaigen no Phantom World is great though. There are wide variety in the music. The best ones are those techno beat-ish music they use during the action scenes. They work so well and they make the scenes more fun. The background music is one of the better things about this anime.
It’s hard to say whether or not I enjoyed Musaigen no Phantom World. Roughly 1/3rd of the anime is actually good in terms of plot (no not “plot”, but actual plot), which is pretty much the last couple of episodes. The rest 2/3rd of the anime is content that is more miss than hit. However, the world-building and the animations make this anime much more enjoyable. But the characters were too cliché to be likeable. Stupid characters doing stupid things isn’t very enjoyable at all. And the fact that this ticks every box in the list of anime clichés makes this even less enjoyable. If the second volume was adapted however, oh boy would things be different!
In the end, Musaigen no Phantom World isn’t really something worth your time. It tries to make you enjoy it by using its gimmicks and fantastic animations, but when you only have style, but not enough substance, it’s definitely visible. The characters are just a bunch of overused clichés. At least a couple of the characters got proper development. Most of the episodic stories are uninteresting, but it seems like the anime found its way at the end. But unfortunately it spent too much time on volume 1 of the light novel that we couldn’t get to see the much superior volume 2. Overall, Musaigen no Phantom World is only recommended for those KyoAni fans that love their production values, or those who don’t mind a gimmick-filled anime.
+ Interesting premise with very good world-building
+ Great art with vibrant colors complimented by fantastically fluid animations
+ Last third of the anime is much more focused and enjoyable
- Most of the anime is unorganized and doesn’t go anywhere
- Characters are very cliché-driven and unoriginal and some lack development
- Didn’t cover the second volume and the major plot twist, making the series look even more pointless
Anime hairstyles have evolved throughout the years – from the simplest styles to the downright crazy ones. But admit it, we still love characters who wear those damn cute ponytails! Here are 15 of the cutest anime ponytail hairstyles that we love!