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.
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 good, although nothing to write home about. In reality, it's the seiyuus that shine in this series, for they definitely capture the "characteristics" (cause really, how characteristic can these waifus be?) 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 if thou art a casual. 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 a good reason to go to jail). 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? I guess?
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 overshadowed the bad ones for me, but not everyone is gonna agree on that one.
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.
There are many things I found interesting and not so interesting about Musaigen no Phantom World. Perhaps one of the most notable things about the damn show is that it's entire story, characters, and other plot related things are overused. During my time watching this show, it felt like I have literally seen this type of show with the same concepts, plot and similar characters way too many times.. It was too typical, better yet generic. Now, don't get me wrong the show itself is pretty decent, good amount of fan service, watchable and has its moments of where it stands out sometimes, however I
just didn't think the original creator and KyoAni used their full potential while making the anime adaption.
Now I won't go rambling on too much about how much I was dissatisfied with it. Because as mention earlier I said it was interesting, here is why. While the show may lack creativity the characters and entertainment that occurs during the show is actually at time completely enjoyable. a few of the things I liked most about it was that the episodes were sort of refreshing in a way. The show doesn't spend too much time focusing on many different and unnecessarily convoluted problems for like 2-3 episodes. Just about Every episode you can expect a new phantom to appear, new problems to develop plus you, well I got to enjoy seeing so much craziness occur.
Now, back to characters again, I didn't really care for our main characters. As far as character personalities, appearance, and design the character sort of felt like, or came off as if they being forced to be cute. The guy, our plain, vanilla MC was so generic that I really cannot add any sort of personal opinion on him. I kid you not, and I am so glad many other users have noticed too, but there is a character like him every other anime season. "plain" "generic" "Special power only the MC" and same personality that is shared many other Main characters in shows like this.
Aside from them being boring I noticed that a lot of the characters special abilities were kind of ripped off from the series Date-A-Live. I only noticed this after watching the latest D.A.L. movie. both girls use their voices to attack and repel enemy attacks and Loli's both have an attachment to their animals, although one is a teddy bear and Yoshino's is a puppet.
Now with that said, I cannot delve too much into characters being ripped off of each other. That is because original characters died around the late 90's or at the very latest early 2000s' If I had to guess I would personally say around 2002-2006 was the era in which OC characters died. In a way I do believe it makes since though because after time, the only logical thing to do is take old characters and try to mold them into your own characters. For example many artist and creators, like to take characters from other shows and add their own personal experiences to those characters and things usually take off from there.
Moving on from characters and stuff, which agitated me for some odd reason, the animation was pretty damn fine. Characters were very well animated from their original designs. Lots of the fighting scenes were great, however not too special. There were some exciting moments and some less, overall I'd have to say a fair amount.
In the end I ended up giving the show a 6/10 because there is lots of potential, or unused potential in this show. Overall I felt like it was Musaigen no Phantom World was simple. Nothing too extraordinary or extravagant enough worth mentioning. I personally believe that it will be a title that will soon be forgotten. Lastly, yes, I do have to agree that it is not the best thing to come out of Kyoto animations... Animation was great, music was okay however the overall presentation was mediocre.. or "Fine" at best.
If it was physically possible, and we managed to avoid being put in the friend zone, it would be almost every anime fan's dream come true. Let's take a peek at some characters that would make for the best anime girlfriend!