Myriad Colors Phantom World
Episode 11

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 11 of
Myriad Colors Phantom World ?

Last episode Ruru grew to full size for an adventure of being something different. Hence it only seems fitting that Haruhiko goes in the opposite direction this time around.

Haruhiko reads an essay he wrote during his elementary school years before going to bed and then wakes up the next morning as an elementary school student. His mind has regressed too, leaving him with no memory of being a teenager. This causes all sorts of confusion until Kurumi happens across him and eventually realizes that he may be the Haruhiko she knows, at which point she takes him to the rest of the gang. Suspecting that a Phantom might be at work, they decide that someone should be with him at all times, and ultimately the babysitting duty falls to Mai. He winds up staying with her at her small apartment, which soon wears out both her budget and her body, in part because Haruhiko was precocious even at that age. However, she also comes to understand him better. He's always been alone and never really had a normal life as a kid, so she takes it upon herself to help him experience that. Only when a sandbox Phantom attacks and threatens to overwhelm a weakened Mai does Haruhiko finally regain his older form. In the wake of this, Mai deduces that Haruhiko probably did the age regression to himself, in much the same way that Kurumi transported herself to a fantasy world, realizing from his grade school essay that having the simple life of a child was a dream for him more than reality.

Though most of its attempts at humor still come off flat, this episode has something that most of the previous episodes haven't: heart. It gives us more insight into Haruhiko's character than any previous episode by looking into his past. (His mother left him and his father at some point when he was young, which leaves me wondering if his father always being away on overseas business either caused her to leave or is the result of her leaving.) It also gives us some further insight into Mai's character. She has shown signs before that she can be a truly caring individual, and her interactions with Haruhiko suggest that there's a stronger connection between them and, at some point in the future, she will make a pretty good mother. Her realization near the end of the episode that Haruhiko's childhood essay about a pleasant day at the park with his parents was an outright fabrication has a lot of emotional appeal.

On the downside, the sandbox Phantom is every bit as ridiculous as other Phantoms have been. However, that is only a minor drag on what is otherwise one of the series' best episodes. Interestingly, it also shows that the phone found back in the early days of the series has not been completely forgotten, since that's what Haruhiko seemed to be working on before he went to bed at the beginning of the episode. Does that mean we could finally see a follow-up on that for the season finale?

Rating: B+

Myriad Colors Phantom World is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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