Musaigen no Phantom World Impressions


Phantom World is probably the clearest example of what the otaku fanbase has done to anime. It's an anime with a relatively novel concept and a great way of explaining it, but falls prey to having to adhere to classic "ecchi" tropes and situations. The series takes place in a world where a virus infects the entire human race, fundamentally altering our brainwaves to allow us to view the supernatural inhabitants that share the world with us. These inhabitants, called Phantoms, can be anything from cute mini-sized fairies to giant, malevolent demons. Humans try their best to live in harmony with the Phantoms, but when that's impossible, intervention is required.

Enter our main characters, part of a school club that deals with sealing phantoms. Haruhiko, a young boy with the ability to seal phantoms after sketching them, whose intellect offers Intel on the various Phantoms they encounter. Also, his friend Ruru, a Phantom herself who happens to be a little pixie girl. Then there's Mai, the muscle of the team who uses incantation to battle the Phantoms...by vigorously feeling herself up. Finally, there's Reina, the new girl who has the ability to seal Phantoms...by eating them.

It's an eclectic mix of characters that just narrowly avoids being your typical harem, and combining that with the premise WOULD make this a neat new series. Unfortunately it runs into idiotic issues to help pander to fans of ecchi. For instance:

The group's first mission is against some haunted, dancing electric poles. Through some hilariously convoluted logic, the team decides the only way to get rid of THESE troublesome spirits is by limboing them into the afterlife. One by one, they're eliminated...leaving only ----. She's their most athletic member, but there's a problem: her boobs are too huge to make it under the last bar!

....That's actually pretty hysterical, but it's also mind-numbingly stupid. What's actually a good concept is wasted with "accidental falls" and boob groping.  I gave the second episode a try, but with very little noticeable improvement, I had to drop it.   (There's an issue when you make the most interesting character on the show simultaneously the character everyone else calls the most useless.)  One down, nine to go.

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