A kid's imagination is a strange thing.
- I shall admit that, at this stage of this post, that this episode was so bright and colorful and silly that it nearly gave me a headache. But then that’s precisely what I would picture a lot of childrens’ imaginations are like. With the humor by the characters, Myriad Colors Phantom World occasionally dips into topics that are, in all essence, very relevant to a show that concerns what we perceive in everyday life. Right from the get-go, we’re shown how young children get attached to tiny things like stuffed toys and blankets, as means of comfort or an escape from the dark and dangerous life they don’t quite understand yet.
- It’s not uncommon for a child to have imaginary friends, and new girl Kurumi has one of her own, in the form of the Phantom-transforming teddy Albrecht. This week focuses on just her and Haruhiko (who just so happens to be around). She already has a long history of low self-esteem and low self-confidence; finding friends and finding a purpose in life is too much of a struggle for her, so this escape to a forest world filled with mushrooms and a teddy bear prince sworn to protect Kurumi from the evil king at the other end of the world is just something that she can play along with. In her eyes, it could well be better than the world she was born in. Reminds me of Reina’s introductory episode, where she is extremely unhappy with the fact that her parents reject her life (something which is an unavoidable part of her)…Reina meets a bunny family who is genuinely happy to see her, welcomes her home from school, cooks home-made food, etc…all things her parents decide not to do for her.
- After these last episodes seeing Kurumi watching Mai, Haruhiko, Reina and Koito kicking butt, she feels envious and a little bewildered at how such a rag-tag bunch of people can all get along…”If only I could be like them.” she thinks. I would think that, her own Phantom power (if she has one – it wasn’t really revealed this week) would be summoning Prince Albrecht to kick some Phantom butt. If not, she could always just be their cheerleader instead…
- However saying all of this deep and philosophical stuff, I think this episode had a couple of faults. Not because only Kurumi and Haruhiko were the focus; far from it, in fact. And not the mass of colors either. The actual story itself just seemed to be very short. The moment they land on the grass, we realise that they aren’t in some Phantom lair, but in a manifest of Kurumi’s imaginary world. We go from Prince Albrecht, to hiding in his honey house, to Kurumi whipping out her magic rake to defeat the evil king, to escaping the realm. Sure, it looked all pretty and everything but it just felt a little rushed. And not just that either; I personally don’t find Kurumi a solid enough character for the show. We might find her cute with her lilac strange twin-tails and her pink teddy bear, but that’s the only thing we will know and remember her by. Like Mai really; once this show is over she won’t be remembered for her martial arts or her pushing around Haruhiko, but for her chest instead.
- Myriad Colors Phantom World has gotten so much better than the show I remember from episode 1 – that limbo scene will be something I will never ever forget. KyoAni haven’t done a masterpiece though; their upcoming A Silent Voice movie, as well as the potential return of Hibike! Euphonium, are tipped to be their highlights for this year. Well at the very least we have all of our characters in place now we’re at the halfway stage; what remains are a few more fillers and then whatever that thing that Haruhiko uncovered is about. It’ll most likely be some top-secret thing telling us the real truth who Phantoms really are. Maybe they are the real people on Earth, and we are nothing but people in pods like The Matrix. If so, perhaps Haruhiko can do more than summon silly things, do a better job at sealing Phantoms and be, in general, not such a woeful loser.
- The preview for next week promised us cat girls. I’m not one for cat girls; how treacherous for an anime fan like me to say. So no promises that I will say I’ll like it.