Myriad Colours Phantom World

Myriad Colours Phantom World

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In the near future, monstrous creatures called ‘phantoms’ descend upon the world. Haruhiko Ichijo is a student at Hosea Academy, along with his energetic senpai Mai Kawakami, rich girl Reina Izumi, and the cooly distant Koito Minase, three girls who have the ability to fight these creatures. High school life proceeds as normal until a certain incident reveals the truth of their world to them.

d3c105e7-3ef3-4a30-ba95-225ce39d0049.jpegThis new-yet-familiar tale is set in a world so like our own, but with some supernatural quirks – phantoms can often appear out of objects to cause trouble, attack or possess people. Although some might think that this is a story to be placed in the fighting genre, it actually plays out as a soft-action high school story. It’s almost like a slice-of-life anime with some supernatural powers thrown in with the addition of a ‘monster-of-the-day’ element. If you were expecting some fast-paced action or some intriguing supernatural tension, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Where Myriad Colours Phantom World falls down is where quite a few anime series make a common error: straddling many different genres and not being able to commit to one. Its genre dilemma means that we get a smattering of school relationships, short focuses on certain magical powers and talents and not a lot of time to enjoy a really good battle against some of these phantoms. I guess the feeling of urgency has been somewhat removed due to the fact that the world is generally aware of these phantoms and then leaves them for schoolchildren to deal with during school time.

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And Kurumi’s hair. This is another thing that I particularly dislike (whilst we’re on the subject). She’s a young girl with a teddy bear that can transform into a terrifying beast and yet the most distracting thing about her is her physics-defying back-to-front pigtails. I’ve seen plenty of outrageous anime hairstyles yet this one infuriates me every time I see it.

img_7974.jpegAt times this anime has a certain RPG feel to it, especially during the fight scenes where things feel a little stinted and turn-based at times, which is a shame as the animation itself is pretty impressive and could have really showcased itself with some fast-paced attacks, scintillating magical technique and some off-the-wall action. However, what we have is still pretty good, making for some unusual and fascinating scenes – in particular Reina’s attack when she practically unhinges her jaw to swallow phantoms and Haruhiko is starting to get pretty impressive with his range of summoning attacks. A key element for me is when I see a good sense of motion, and this anime seems to have that down as, when things get good, everything flows with a natural look and attention to detail. There are no vague backgrounds, or pan and scans either. The bright colours used are vivid without being in-your-face and obnoxious. The little touches in the surroundings and backgrounds are very pleasing.

The characters are where this anime really stands out, though. Very distinguishable in their own ways (really like the idiosyncratic styles of the characters even though they are technically all wearing the same school uniform) as well as being entertaining with their own quirks that deftly walk the fine line between being amusing and being irritating.

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There’s a good sense of comedy that certainly helps things along in the absence of plot (it’s not exactly the strongest thing in this anime, but other factors more than make up for this when plot is at its flimsiest). The clever ways that the team defeat the phantoms and how they manipulate their powers to save the day. From what I have seen at this point, I can tell that Myriad Colours Phantom World is still evolving and finding itself, and I am looking forward to the things that it might offer further down the line. It’s a tell-tale sign when the main character (especially when it’s a male lead in a harem anime) is still his usual weak and downtrodden self that things have yet to reach their peak in the storyline.

If you can come to accept that you’re not going to get full-on action from this one and enjoy it for what it is – a fun-and-funky supernatural high school story set in an interesting world – it can be very enjoyable. It certainly brings some fresh ideas to the genres it ties into.