Myriad Colors Phantom World
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Myriad Colors Phantom World ?
So Phantom World is essentially having its hot springs episode here, much like innumerable fan service-friendly series have. And as it's done all season when it comes to fan service, it's not going to handle it in any ordinary fashion.
That starts with the basic premise of the episode, as instead of Haruhiko and the gang having some lame excuse to go to a hot springs inn, the hot springs instead comes to them. In fact, it just suddenly appears in their school's courtyard one steamy afternoon, complete with numerous small monkeys and one huge boss monkey. All of it is one (or more?) elaborate Phantom(s), so Phantom-hunting students take turns trying to deal with it using their best tricks. None are successful, and some even end up being licked (if a girl) or sent flying into the atmosphere (if a boy) by the boss for their trouble. Haruhiko can't seal it with a drawing unless the boss monkey steps out of the water (so that he can also clearly see the monkey's feet), so he and the girls attempt to entice the boss monkey out of the spring. That meets with limited success until Haruhiko comes up with idea of painting someone's butt red (since the butts of the females of some breeds of monkey turn red during mating season). Between that and an octopus-like creature (which he calls Cthulhu) that Haruhiko summons using a new technique, they eventually succeed. But is Haruhiko doomed to become a monkey bride?
Yeah, it should definitely be interesting to see how they explain Haruhiko getting out of that fix next episode, although the creators might just not bother since the whole thing is clearly supposed to be a (lame) joke. That whole business at the end was the weakest part of the episode though, as the rest of it was a fair amount of fun. This is the first time that we really get to see any of the other student-hunters in action, and some of them definitely have some nifty tricks which doubtless work well against other foes. The whole scenario also gives the series reason to get a passel of girls in swimsuits, but the show stays remarkably conservative in doing so; shot selections and camera angles do not go out of their way to play up the sexuality of the girls, and in keeping with previous efforts to toy with normal fan service situations, the girls are not even all that competent when they are trying to strike sexy poses. Even the licking thing is held to a surprisingly tame level, though the characters certainly react like it was more lascivious than what is actually shown. In fact, the only true fan service comes at the very beginning of the episode, when Ruru is shown toweling off after a bath.
Again, there's no hint to an overarching plot, so I am increasingly locking into my theory from last week that one is never intended and that this is just going to be a series of vignettes with a bit of character development weaved in for good measure. At least Ruru does actually do something at least somewhat useful this time. And while the cast of characters remains likable, I once again have to lament the comic sense of the series. Director Ishihara has shown in the past that he's capable of directing comedy, so I have to wonder why this project differs so much from his others in being off from what it could be.
Myriad Colors Phantom World is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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