Myriad Colors Phantom World
Winter 2015’s Anime about a group of school children with super powers, leaving in a world where all kind of ghost and other supernatural phenomenon are commonplace. Haruhiko our MC wakes up, and this world takes form as if everything was setup just for him, girls adventures, everything is there to make his life exciting. He’ll eventually meet his harem of girls, you’ll get your fair share of waifus, and supernatural shenanigans.
Some people derided the show, as nothing but trash, offended by either “the lack of consistent plot”, “the quality of the writing” or the “amount of fan service”.
I’d dare say the show is not all bad, and if you happen to be an experience viewer, that know that not every show is a masterpiece, you can enjoy it for 12 episodes, maybe even have a laugh or two.
Production values. As always the guys at Kyoto Animation didn’t mess around with the quality of the animation, first episode introduces us, into this weird world, with a great battle against a belligerent phantom, resolved by our knucklehead waifu Mai. later followed by some the infamous limbo dancing scene. Animation wise, this is on par with the best of Kyoani, full of little details that brings this world to life.
Self Awareness. The show is superbly self aware, or more accurately, the creators are absolutely aware of what they are making, they know it’s junk, and have the most fun with it. You can see this self awareness in several scenes across the show, where things become so random, you’d think this script was from an improvisational troupe.
Structure. The show is structured as a series of episodic adventures, without real weight or intent, its just there for the animators to have fun, drawing things they might want to draw. As a comedy the show is quite funny, but if you go in expecting a dramatic epic, you’ll be disappointed.
Most people will come in expecting some of the depth found in the LN, that’s sadly missing from this adaptation. The episodes are at its best when self awareness, take the edge from the usually by the numbers plot. My favorite and the one that best captures, the essence is episode 8, which is the hot springs episode, yes the episode that most shows use for filler, is the best example of the tone this is going for.
Fanservice. From the first episode onward, you’ll have to deal with it, it must be said, the show does love to show you some skin, while it’s not on the level of for example “Highschool of the Dead”, it’s way more than other more serious Kyoani productions, so fans of previous works might find it unsettling, personally i found it cheeky and inoffensive.
There is virtually no story in this show, there is no progression, there are no character arcs, nothing happens. Every week feels like a dream, a delusion of the main character, bending situation and characters to his convenience, as such, don’t come in here expecting a fulfilling story arc, this is just candy, empty calories of animation.
Myriad Colors Phantom World, was a fun little show, doesn’t take itself seriously, and that helps taking the edge off some of it multiple flaws.
If you just want to have fun, and don’t have any other better shows on your backlog this is a fun show to munch. Good for watching while on the elliptical runner or gym bike.
It is ultimately pointless and hollow, a cheap thrill of a show, but it’s really well made at that.
My verdict, somehow endorsed by the collective amoeba that is Anitay, reads as follows.