Myriad Colors Phantom World
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Myriad Colors Phantom World ?
Is that another new cast member being featured in the screenshot? No, it's actually Ruru in human-sized form, which means that it's finally time for her to get a feature episode.
The theme this time is fireworks, with a firework Phantom showing up late to serve as the episode's “monster of the week,” and dreams of a festival capped with fireworks serving as the partial impetus for the episode's events. Ruru is upset about her size, both because she accidentally gets stepped on by Haruhiko and because she's so small that she cannot drink a whole bottle of ramune, which is apparently one of her favorite things. So when she encounters a Phantom Witch, who claims to exist merely to grant wishes to Phantoms, Ruru's wish is to be human-sized. Sure, she can't fly that way (and forgetting that brings her grief more than once), and she loses the spell if she's discovered or loses a special pendant, but it gives her a chance to finally walk eye-to-eye with Haruhiko. Part of the spell allows her to pass as a transfer student into Haruhiko's class, try out all of the clubs, and eventually hang around with him and the gang. That leads to an opportunity to go to the festival with Haruhiko and crew and learn the unvarnished truth about what Haruhiko actually thinks about her. When the Phantom Witch unwittingly sets a fireworks Phantom on a path for chaos by granting its wish, and said flying firework carries off Haruhiko, Ruru is the only one who can ultimately come to his rescue by regaining her small, flying form.
All-in-all, this is a pretty simple, straightforward tale that firms up the Haruhiko/Ruru relationship, though it still doesn't explain how they came to be together in the first place. It finds humor in the absurdly over-the-top story of woe that Ruru spins when she has to come up with a background on the spot, but it's much funnier that Koito, who is normally the group's most insightful member, is utterly taken in by the ridiculous story; surprisingly, she's a sucker for tragic tales. (In fact, when Ruru reverts to her natural form, Koito is more offended by Ruru's story being a lie than by the fact that she was successfully deceived about the new girl being a Phantom.) The Phantom Witch also turning out to be exactly what she says she is – perhaps careless in granting wishes but definitely not possessing villainous intent – is also a nice touch, as the reverse is so common it's cliché. Hopefully this will not be the last we see of her. The artwork is also handled well, with several skillfully-executed perspective shifts and neat little touches. Seeing the whole gang dressed up in kimonos can also be a treat.
If the episode can be faulted for anything, it's for being too transparent and deliberate about crafting a situation where Ruru has to revert back to normal size in order to save the day. Otherwise, it serves its purpose pretty well of making Ruru more than just a chirpy accessory, even if only for an episode.
Myriad Colors Phantom World is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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