Greetings! It’s Winter my fellow readers! It’s finally Winter! If you couldn’t tell, Winter has always been my favourite season, and it’s finally decided to roll around and consider getting colder, because franky it could try harder. Enough about Winter though, welcome back once again as I sit down and decode some of these Tokyo Transmissions straight from Japan! This week I finished off Myriad Colours Phantom World and…well…I guess you’ll have to read it. Wrap up and get some hot chocolate, let’s get right into it.
As the team grows, Haru feels the need to step up his game in order to contribute to the team more than before now that the role of phantom sealer has been taken by Izumi. As he begins to develop his ability to summon phantoms into battle to aid the party, they slowly begin to grow both in size and as a team, as the new members Minase and Kurumi take the group to a full party of five. Meanwhile Ruru finds a broken gadget left behind by the Alayashki Company, those responsible for the virus outbreak several years ago, during one of their missions, deepening the mystery behind the activities of the comapny. As Haru sets about repairing the device in his down time, the group have many different adventures together as they slowly turn from the worst team in the club, to its best. This renewed sense of accomplishment doesn’t protect them from the recent events however, as news soon begins to spread of a phantom attacking and stealing powers from students, all the while it carves a path towards Hosea Academy. The mysterious phantom known as Enigma begins to target Haru specifically, and the team needs to set up to the plate before he loses his powers for good.
Following the events of the first episode, the initial party of Haruhiko, Ruru, Mai and Izumi are eventually joined by a few additions to the team, including the reserved Minase and the younger shy Kurumi. Both of the new characters contribute in their own way, but in terms of story it often feels like all the characters except from Haruhiko are really there just to be there. Other than the traditional story protagonist trait of attracting a large following of girls, Haru is really the only character to be relevant to the plot, and while I’m sure it would be boring to see a story with him alone the whole time, it’s a shame the party never really adds more than their presence and the jokes they bring. Both Mai and Izumi allude to some kind of romantic feelings for Haru, yet it never goes anywhere, nor is it focused on enough to become anything more than just being…there?
This isn’t a harem show though, as Minase and Kurumi never express more than friendship, thankfully in Kurumi’s case. Minase just kind of phases into the group over time because Haru made an effort to be friends with her. While Kurumi is semi-pulled into the circle despite her age because she has a puppet master style ability that causes her bear minion to punch like a damn freight train. It just didn’t feel like the cast as a whole really went anywhere on a character level, the team as a unit was enjoyable to watch and made some great gags, but they didn’t really evolve, or even have much depth beyond just enough backstory to generate some interest in their existence.
To be fair though, Haru at least does have some fairly decent power progression through the season, as he’s really the only person in the show that goes out of his way to research his own powers and develop new techniques to grow stronger for the team. This also leads us to two other semi team members for the cast as Haru begins to develop his abilities beyond just sealing phantoms, and learns how to summon them from his imagination. Which in Haru’s case, as a huge bookworm and mythology buff, means the rather hilarious result of him trying to summon monstrous demons from beyond the nether, only to appears as cute chibi-like characters. This introduces us to the hellhound Marchocias and, I kid you not, Cthulhu. No seriously, one of the main summons Haru uses is…Cthulhu. This alone is the best damn thing in the show. While Cthulhu alone still makes me laugh, it would have been nice to see him experiment beyond two summons for the whole season, but hey, can anything truly top the protagonist summoning god damn Cthulhu into battle.
On a whole the cast is enjoyable to watch, and it’s not like I disliked anyone on screen, but as with much of the show it just could have been a lot more.
I said in my first impressions review that Myriad Colours had the potential to make it itself an interesting tale. With a decent enough concept, a wealth of interesting material it could cover and something of a distinct vibe to its take on the phantoms and various entities in the world, it had good footing to become something really great as it developed. Yet I have to say I finished the season disappointed. The show was always going to go one of two ways, either explore itself with interesting concepts and an engaging story inside its own world, or use what it had as the backdrop to a fun, yet simple, tale as the characters followed a series of adventures in the club. It does sadden me that it quickly became the latter, not because I didn’t enjoy the show for what it was, but because it could have been something quite good.
The story tried to develop itself in the early couple of episodes before being immediately forgotten until the very end. What make it even more disappointing is you can practically see the potential when the story begins trying to explore the company that started the whole viral outbreak and their experiments, on top of a decent enough villain that could had been easily threaded throughout the show and given more purpose, or at least build up. That’s not to say I disliked what I watched exactly, Myriad is a fun watch and had some genuinely funny moments. I don’t think I’ll ever get over Cthulhu, that’s still hilarious, but the fun I had with it personally feels soured by the wasted potential and more often than not, the show would bring up interesting ideas without really…doing anything with it.
Story aside, the show did try to explore concepts of interest, or delve into ideas that further explored the nature of the mind and theories of perception versus reality when involved in the supernatural world of the phantoms. One particular episode is solely based around the concept of Schrodinger’s Box, the paradoxical thought experiment of something existing in two states at once simultaneously. While it didn’t go too far with this kind of thematic approach often, there were enough hints of exploration into certain ideas to give it that interesting touch, even though once again, it failed to really take it anywhere worthwhile. More often it did this for character development as some of characters literally retreated into a different sense of reality until they could deal with personal issues holding them back. The world of Myriad was interesting and fun, with some good laughs to be had, it just pains me that’s as far as it was taken most of the time.
Art and Voice
The art of the show was consistently well animated and good looking, often with smooth and engaging combat scenes or at least some flashy visuals for most episodes. It also had some pretty trippy scenes at times as it dove into some of the more “otherworldly” moments the show touched on. Beyond its overall appearance however, it once again failed to do much with what it had. The initial pixel type theme that Haru woke to in the first episode was interesting, and apparently pointless as it never came back or went anywhere. While some of the phantoms were interesting, I never really felt the same level of interest from the dancing telephone poles in the first episode. Most of the enemies were just sort of alright, lacking anything to really grab your attention past some of the enjoyable action scenes they revolved around. It does look good to be sure, with some pretty good shots giving the show great visuals at the time, but ultimately failed to be anything that memorable beyond looking well animated and colourful.
The voice acting remains as it was before, pretty decent all around, I didn’t find anything particular bad in any of the performances. I watched this in the Japanese sub, but there is an English dub available out there somewhere. Beyond that though there isn’t much else to say, other than the actors often did a good job with a lot of the delivery when it came to the jokes, which is one of the more important aspects to nail in something like Myriad.
Did I like it?
Myriad Colours Phantom World is funny, enjoyable and has an interesting backdrop for the characters to inhabit. For what it was I did enjoy my time with the show, but for what it could have been I feel disappointed it never grew into something more special. If you want some good laughs with a fun and enjoyable show, then by all means Myriad is a solid watch, if you just want to turn off and watch something for a bit of fun, it will hit the spot. If you want anything beyond that though, it might leave you disappointed with the missed opportunity for being a lot more. Maybe give Blue Exorcist a watch instead, it has a very similar vibe, but a much better focus to the story it wants to tell, as well as being a lot more serious overall, yet still hilarious. I just wish it never strayed from the manga.
That’s all the anime from me for some time, but I’ll be back with a real treat in my next Critical Hit, or Miss? As before I’m more socially active now, and you can find me at both www.facebook.com/Drenik74 and twitter.com/Drenik74_Public for more news, updates and streaming info. Personally I was pretty disappointed that Myriad didn’t really live up to what could have been something quite interesting, but what did you guys think? If there was a second season I would watch it, but I don’t think I’d hope for much in terms of real progression. Until next time!