Musaigen no Phantom World is… not so bad

This show's totally pure

This show’s totally pure

I’m sure you remember when Phantom World’s first episode was aired, everyone was like “KYOANI WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?” Because well… the fanservice is really on another level.

Look at that spectacular bounce. The smoothest boob animation in the business, as expected of KyoAni-one of the anime industry's visual heavyweights.

Look at that spectacular bounce! The smoothest boob animation in the business, as expected of KyoAni-one of the anime industry’s visual heavyweights.

But despite that, Phantom World honestly isn’t all that bad. In fact, I would even go up a notch and say it’s actually pretty good. People had been ranting about the fanservices but it’s kinda overblown. I’m sure most people would notice by now, but the fanservices lasted only as long as two episodes (or three if we were to include the onsen episode in between). Musaigen no Phantom World only truly “begin” at episode 3 – as an episodic character-driven show which gives ample attention for each character, while at the same time also adhering to the “Phantom of the Week” format the show introduced in earlier episodes.

Episode 4-One of Phantom World's best episodes.

Episode 4-One of Phantom World’s best episodes.

This is something KyoAni is especially good at, a “show not tell” approach. Instead of just being a standard Phantom of the Week format, I like how almost each episode are all tied to their own main characters. It lets the show stick to the weekly supernatural format they want, and at the same time, provide very subtle character expositions/developments for each character just in the span of one episode. It gives the show a more contextual purpose rather than just being a “weekly supernatural show”.

Subtle character expositions/developments-again, this is something KyoAni is very good at, the aforementioned “show not tell” approach. Episodes like 4 and 11 are greatest examples of this, and show just how good the anime can be at it’s emotional peaks. Additionally, the best thing about this is that despite during the most emotional scenes, they aren’t overly-dramatic either, successfully maintaining the show’s fun, lighthearted atmosphere; and supernatural format all at the same time.

Schrodinger's pantsu

Schrodinger’s pantsu

Yet, Phantom World suffers from what most LN anime does too-lengthy expositions which I can really do without. I don’t need explanations on Schrodinger cat, quantum mechanics and the likes, and in my opinion, the intros where Haruhiko, the main character of the show who himself is like the walking epitome of “LN-nonsense knowledge and meta awareness”, babbles on things like these just slightly ruins the show. There are also a few moments of lengthy expositions even within the episodes, which honestly isn’t something I can really fault the show with, as this is more of a problem with the source.

[HorribleSubs] Musaigen no Phantom World - 02 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.40_[2016.04.07_21.24.37]

While I applaud the show for also introducing a sort of “big boss” character to the series towards the end, and an overarching plot point which provides a higher stake to the series so that it ends on a more dramatic impact; the anime is really at it’s best during the more slice-of-life, character-driven episodes, where KyoAni was able to showcase their skills with the almost effortless character expositions/developments.

In conclusion, this subtle “show not tell” approach is KyoAni’s greatest strength, and it really shows during episodes like 4 and 11. Unfortunately, Phantom World suffers slightly from adhering to the LN tropes, sometimes a little too faithfully for it’s own good. But despite that, I personally think Phantom World is a good anime-it’s a fun show with some great (but not overly-dramatic) emotional peaks.

If you watched Phantom World as well, what do you think of it?

This entry was posted by Kai.

16 thoughts on “Musaigen no Phantom World is… not so bad

  1. I liked the show, though I found Haruhiko to be incredibly UN-likable. He basically serves as a exposition device for almost the entirety of the show and seems to have very little personality outside of his know-it-all-ism and good at drawing traits.

    • It’s less unlikable for me and more “don’t really care”, lol. Most LN protagonists have very little personality and seeing as how this anime is a LN adaption… But despite that, I can really get behind his character arc, which I chalked it up as KyoAni doing an incredible work. Not sure if I would feel the same if the anime’s done by other studios.

  2. I loved Musaigen for it’s lighthearted fun episodes and lovely girls … ehhh all the likeable characters XD
    The fanservice made me a bit sad at first, exploiting Mai like this when she is actually such a kind girl.
    After episode 2 that surprisingly ended fortunately and less obvious fanservice was used.

    It was nice that they combined subtle characterdevelopment with youthful charm and fantasy elements.
    Even with the lighthearted setting and atmosphere the quite insightful focus on the characters was nice.

    I think the “sexy” villain end boss fight was unnecessary after the joyful episodes before.
    The formula of having a somehow dramatic turn near the end of these 1 cour animes is overused.
    Musaigen just was a kind of show, to watch without worry about sad events
    Overall I totally enjoyed this cute anime and the peaceful atmosphere it always had.. no, in fact I loved it.

    Btw I have a crush on Ruru (´∀`) ♥

    • The fanservices made the show a bit meh for me, but the first two episodes are more of an introductory, introducing the setting, concept and ideas of the show; so thinking back, all those fanservices, expository honestly aren’t too bad… :p

      Yeah, it’s really the perfect mix of character focus and fantasy elements.

      It’s to end the show in a more dramatic impact, but yeah, I’m liking the character-driven episodes more than the last arc myself.
      Indeed indeed :D

  3. While the show is not for everyone, I have to admit that it was very enjoyable to watch. It seems that they want to make up the lack of fanservice from Amagi Brilliant Park and take it up a notch. Aside from Haruhiko, I liked most of the characters and the episodes were very enjoyable.

  4. I can’t get passed the first episode. Personally, the fanservice just turn me off. But even if the anime it’s not for me, it doesn’t me it’s not for other people. ;)

  5. I personally really didn’t like it, but I’ll note: The source was made by Kyo-ani. This is an adaptation of their own L/N. Might help to understand why some things were the way they were

  6. I dropped this one as the fanservice was too silly and unnecessary, and the plot/characters weren’t that amazing….just really nice animation.

  7. Pingback: Kai’s Favorite Anime of 2016 | deluscar

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