Welcome back once again as we look into the world of Myriad Colours Phantom World. I heard good things about this fairly new anime, and with the season recently completing I thought it was a good time as any to see what the fuss is about. In this world of false perceptions and hidden phantoms, we examine exactly what’s going on in the first episode as I decode this latest Tokyo Transmission. So let’s open our eyes and see what we can!
Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Supernatural
Blurring the line between illusion and reality, there exist phantoms living amongst us unseen and unknown. That is until people started developing abilities to perceive this previous unknown realm and began adjusting to life with phantoms in the everyday. Haruhiko Ichijo (Hiro Shimono) and his partner Mai Kawakami (Sumire Uesaka) work for the Phantom Hunting Club of Hosea Academy, as they use their special powers to manage unruly phantoms and try to co-exist with this new reality previously known only in myth and legend.
Our story begins as our protagonist, Haruhiko, explains how the human mind is capable of perceiving reality differently, how what we see can be misread in our minds as different perceptions. A waking Haruhiko is met by the sight of a friendly phantom called Ruru (Azusa Tadokoro), as she tries to pull him out of bed before he’s late for school again. As he dashes to the train we see his partner, Mai Kawakami, already engaged in battle with an angry phantom in the school’s field. As he arrives just in time Mai manages to trap the phantom, allowing Haruhiko to use his special power to draw the phantom into his sketch book, sealing it inside, while the on looking crowd seem unimpressed with their victory.
Back in their classroom it’s revealed that Haru and Mai are somewhat infamous for being a rather lackluster duo, and get chided for breaking school property during the fight even though they finally got a win. Desperate for more wins, and thus payment, Mai decides they need to add to the team before they go home for the day to think over their problems. On the way home Haru suddenly grow suspicious as he walks into a cemetery he doesn’t remember existing, only to witness as another girl, named Reina Izumi (Saori Hayami), manages to eat away the illusion and phantoms causing it with her special ability to devour spirits. Excited by the display of her ability, Haru runs over and tries to get her to join their team in the Phantom Hunting Club, only to be turned down initially before he offers to buy her lunch to talk it over with her. Explaining that the club exists to help maintain a co-exist with phantoms, as well as fighting against stray spirits that cause problems. He offers to show her what they do for the club and the two meet with Mai as she’s keen to start on a new mission
Arriving at the scene they find possessed telephone poles known as Tsukumogami, a type of Youkai born from the anger of being discard tools built by humans. The phantoms are doing the limbo over and over, noted by Haru as being a method they might consider a ritual to display their anger of being stuck in limbo so to speak. The three begin to limbo with the Youkai in an attempt to appease their ritual without violence, and manage to win with the help of Mai’s physical ability. After sealing the phantoms, the group sadly reflects on what lead the Tsukumogami to turn violent, and Reina decides to join their team and continue with their efforts in the club.
The first episode introduces us to Haruhiko, Ruru, Mai and Izumi respectively, all being students at Hosea Academy, well except for Ruru I guess. Haru being the primary protagonist is the most relatable character I guess you would say, he’s mostly a normal student who loves books and is often chided by Mai for being rather unfit given his desire to read beyond doing much in the way of physical activities. Mai on the other hand is the more hot-headed fighter, of the team she does most of the physical work and only really needs Haru to finish her fights by sealing phantoms via his power of trapping them in drawings. Which ironically makes Haru almost redundant when he brings Izumi into the team, as she fills the same role as him but without the slow and unwieldly sealing technique. Izumi herself is the shy one of the team, who despite joining at the end of the episode, hinted at more going on behind her initial rejection. Lastly we have Ruru, who is a character made just for the anime so I hear as this was originally a light novel series. Ruru is meant to be the cute mascot type character, and she is exactly that, and at this point not much more.
The characters themselves are all enjoyable enough, Haru even scores some points for the funniest scene in the episode with Izumi, but otherwise it’s too soon to say a great deal more as they’re more or less characters you could expect to find in most of anime’s of the same genres. No one is particularly annoying, so lacking any immediate flaws they all seem decent enough for a watch. Mai does however draw a lot of attention as the anime’s boobs character. You know the type, don’t lie to me, it’s ok. A lot of anime do this and Mai is just the one for Myriad. She’s the anime girl with the large chest that gets a lot of focus at times for that exact reason, to the point of her literally rubbing her chest to prepare a spell pre-fight. It’s not that bad but there are a lot of scenes that make a point of drawing attention to our large chested character when it wasn’t really necessary. So if that kind of thing annoys you, it definitely is around in this, and I don’t really think it will go away in future episodes.
There’s clearly more characters planned for the party in the future, partly because of obvious setup, partly because they’re clearly in the closing credits. So I expect there will be more people to cover in full along with the rest of the cast, I’m curious to see how this changes the dynamic in place now, if at all.
Myriad Colours seems like an interesting idea for a world if not a particularly original one these days, at least from what we’ve seen. I did like how the show opened going into its reasoning for phantoms being part of the world due to this change in people abilities to perceive this new reality of theirs, but I have to admit the story reasons for this did feel kind of “yeah there’s a reason we threw in for it”. I got the feeling, or the hope, that this could become a larger part of the story itself, and that maybe this will be explored more beyond “some chemical spill happened”. That aside though, it’s an interesting enough concept for the world to possess, and it does seem to be putting in some effort to delve into more of the Japanese ghost lore side of things as Haru started talking about Youkai and Tsukumogami and investigating how they came to be. If Myriad stuck to this angle and developed into something more interesting story wise it could turn out pretty good, but at episode one who’s to say how things will end up.
From what I have seen however, it’s hard to say how things will fall. It could turn into something far more interesting, or stick to something more entertaining and less thoughtful over all. That wouldn’t be a bad thing per say, but I do feel disappointed when the bones of an interesting world just never get to see the light of day. While not an entirely original concept, it was interesting to see a world where people just go about their business despite the many supernatural beings. Even as Mia fought a huge beast in the school people only showed mild interest at best, leaving the group to feel less like supernatural hunters, and more caretakers of minor problems. If anything this makes the curious about how more powerful phantoms are handled, or if people simply have little problems outside minor annoyance.
Regardless the show has got something going for it between the ghost lore and the initial set up, and as long as I’m interested it’s done something right. I’ll be curious to see how the story and it’s set up evolve as I continue on.
Art And Voice
Visually Myriad is a nice looking anime, it’s got a colorful art style and decent animation with some of the more action packed scenes looking quite smooth. I did notice some nice touches, more than anything I liked how the world appeared to Haru as a pixelated and blurry mess as he woke up, and the pixel theme seems to be continued with phantoms that aren’t fully perceived or just out of sight in the opening. It’s an interesting touch, it’s not often anime around ghost type creatures carry a pixel theme to them, and it helps give the show a little more identity. Beyond that though, there’s nothing particularly outstanding to mention beyond saying “it all looks fairly nice”, but I rather enjoy the colour and detail put into the telephone pole Tsukumogami at the end. It would be nice to see interesting designs like those going forward into the rest of the season, and see what else they can do with the folklore side of all the phantoms and youkai.
The voice talent for Myriad was all about as good as you’d expect from a more popular anime of this season, last season? It’s pretty new either way. Which is to say the voice acting is all decent so far without any particular issues I felt. Oddly though, for the first time in…maybe forever for me, all the major talent were almost exclusively in things I’ve never watched. While the actors all have a decent number of characters to their name, they only had maybe one or two things I may have known. That’s not to say anything of them…just…I dunno, I found it really odd I guess. I believe there is an English dub out for those who are interested, but I just went with the original Japanese subs for this one.
The intro and outro are both pretty cheerful, with the intro being more your typical anime opening that shows some of the world and introduces each character with a close up and name plate as high energy upbeat music plays over the series pixel type style and juxtaposing scenes. The song itself is pretty nice actually, but it the opening as the whole package didn’t stand out much for most other anime openings really. The closing credits was more of a cutesy thing with the girls dancing on screen over the music and credits, which is fine but I don’t find it that interesting in itself.
Did I Like It?
Myriad Colours Phantom World was an enjoyable watch, and it showed some promise for turning into something more. I did enjoy what was on offer, and had to laugh at one scene in particular that both made fun of itself and similar anime genres. So yeah, I say give it a go, I want to see where the show takes us and it could well turn out quite good if they play their cards right.
Hey there, thanks for sticking around until the end of the review…you know…assuming you did. I’m curious to see what people thought of this show as well, for I’ve heard mostly good things, and also some pretty nasty reviews. Did you agree with my opinion or am I just horribly wrong? Let me know in the comments. On another note I’ve started trying to reach my tendrils out into this…”social media” thing, so it’s easier to find me outside the website now. As ever I’m trying to get back into streaming on my new PC, and can be found at Drenik74 on Twitch. You can also reach me at Drenik74 on Facebook and Drenik74_Public on twitter for my offical updates and various news. Until next week!