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Musaigen no Phantom World – 09 »« Musaigen no Phantom World – 07

Musaigen no Phantom World – 08

「猿温泉を突破せよ!」 (Saru Onsen o Toppa Seyo! )
“Break Through the Monkey Hot Spring!”

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of blacks seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The arts have long cast their rods into those unfathomable waters to bait the fish of inspiration, not knowing that what they reeled in was not the touch of a benign muse, but the feverish grip of madness. For by their greed for crude entertainment have they set free a doom that before now we have been blessedly shielded from catching a fleeting glimpse even in our most deranged nightmares. In my research I have collected a trail of scattered clues and the testament of witnesses now confined to asylum that when summated point to an incomprehensible darkness that sets upon man.

My journey started when I a met wild-eyed Oriental who, as desperate as a drowning man for air, sold me an old text for a mere tuppence. It was the ancient Nekonomicon, bound in pure black and disturbingly warm to the touch, and my wiser half was loathe to even open it. Alas, my curiosity took the better of me. I could only decipher some scraps of its writings, for the horrors of its revelations proved too much for my mind and I turned my eyes away. With only that, there was one word that stood out clearly to me from all the pages of that tome: anime. At the time I knew not that name save for the primal fear it stirred in the cold of my spine. Now I know far too much, and can only take pen to warn those who will come after. Even now my hand wavers, for the very thought of my ordeal freezes the marrow in my bones, but while I still hold to my last shreds of sanity I must write, so that no other shall follow to where I have been.

To learn more of this anime I knew that I must track down a sample, and for this I assembled a team for an expedition into the unknown. They were all men good and true, accomplished scholars and renowned adventurers, and in our hubris we thought ourselves prepared for whatever was to come. We would challenge the eighth episode of Musaigen no Phantom World and win for ourselves international acclaim and enough material for a quick blog post. What fools we proved to be, for we lost three men immediately from the outset. The episode began with a lecture on hot springs, and at first we were confused, mistaking it for a tourism commercial and not knowing the episode had actually started. And then those in our number started to fall asleep, one by one in sudden fits. Three we could not rouse; the lull of boredom had taken them into its pacifying embrace, and from there none return. They proved to be the lucky few, for the rest of us determined to struggle on. What we saw shall haunt me in waking dreams. Be they visions of prophecy or delirium, I do not know, but we spied upon what must have been some manner of secret cult, men and women misshapen in both mind and body performing bizarre rituals that seemed witless perversions of our own culture. They prostrated themselves before a great beast, and we concluded that it must have been their object of worship. For the cultists were each masters of blasphemous magicke, and if they but banded together the beast could have been easily defeated. Instead, they approached it few at a time to display their lavish obeisance, and even offered up their womenfolk as sacrifice, valuing them as no more than objects. In time the purpose of their barbaric rites became clear. Their apparent leader, who had refrained from showing his own powers for reasons we could not discern, transmogrified into a hideous creature, twisted and bizarre beyond the words of mortal tongues to describe, and was dragged away to some nameless place for some nameless purpose to the chorus of damned screams. At that point my mind buckled, I fell into unconsciousness, and remembered no more.

When I awoke I learnt that of my expedition only I had survived. Others may have returned, but only in body and not in mind. My poor colleagues could only foam and gibber in their beds, unable to tell me of the final horror from which I was solely spared. Their nurses tell me that on occasion they could make out from them some disjointed and senseless words—’What’, ‘Why’, ‘Stupid stupid stupid’, ‘Yog-Shothoth’—and none but I, who bore the secrets that I had held to my breast until today, could guess at their terrible meaning.

It is clear to me now that the dark rite of anime had but one purpose. It is preparing us. Its toll on the mind is so great that all those who witness it will wish for the sweet liberation of madness instead. Rather to gaze upon the dread creatures from beyond time and space, to lose one’s wits and bowels to the dark outside the dark, than to confront the numbing puerility of anime. And so when the old gods awaken once again, they shall find humanity not unwilling subjects, but grateful servants.

I can hear the call already.

Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!

February 25, 2016 at 9:17 am
54 comments »
  • February 25, 2016 at 9:32 amSarnik

    10/10

    I’m speechless.

    • February 26, 2016 at 11:42 pmSynic

      a perfect 5/7

  • February 25, 2016 at 9:53 amMachon1

    Isn’t my Avatar enough of a response to this magnificent review already?

  • February 25, 2016 at 10:42 amYanDaMan

    Da booty~

  • February 25, 2016 at 10:42 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    Awesome review XD

  • February 25, 2016 at 10:45 amShinmarizu

    Love this review(?).

    Safe to say that this show is not to be taken seriously. Shut your brain off and enjoy the light snack.

  • February 25, 2016 at 11:03 amspikerman87

    I can’t top this, but my thoughts anyway:

    Yeah they should have combined their powers,
    fanservice is so light that it’s in my bottom 10.
    Red butts work on all species of monkeys. I’m sure that’s just monkey law.
    Most the failed attempts were not funny at all, not even the horse one that went no-where.
    I love how the one girl asked “You don’t care if I get assaulted?!” and then they doom the guy to marry the monkey…yeah that’s funny.
    The guy had a squid that he saved to the very end that worked…he didn’t start with that because?
    Instead of killing the Phantom Monkey, like they’ve killed other phantoms, they try to solve it’s problem………why?

    …Infact why everything?

    I’m clicking the Submit Comment button now. click.

  • February 25, 2016 at 11:16 amAika

    THIS REVIEW OHHH MY GOD !!! XD XD XD XD

  • February 25, 2016 at 12:22 pmdark

    there were 2 lol moment in this episode to me
    haru drinking water with fairy flavor without notice it
    haru going be raped for a monkey at the end of episode

  • February 25, 2016 at 12:26 pmBear

    The horror, the horror….

  • February 25, 2016 at 12:47 pmRoguespirit

    The best think about this episode, Koito in a swimsuit and being amazing trying to “Seduce” the monkey. Heh she’s just too awesome. She can’t hide how she feels about someone she hates.

    Yeah, you just have to turn your brain off and forgo any expectations about the show you had near the start. We’re already disappointed that this show isn’t what it could have been, that it is basically struggling just to tread water at this point, but at least if we shut our brains completely off we’re able to enjoy some of the ride or fall asleep at any rate cause I’ve just skimmed through the last few eps. The last decent episode was episode 5 I think, the one focused on Koito.

  • February 25, 2016 at 1:09 pmWorldwidedepp

    So they trow out the Plot, and gone the Fan service route? Infinity Stratos 2 vibes, where they think fan service alone would keep it running…

    it’s sad, and it was very interesting at the beginning, now its just pleasing the Males viewers for Fan service…

    • February 25, 2016 at 1:14 pmWorldwidedepp

      did their story writer took the Money and run off? Perhaps he done a wise decision

    • February 25, 2016 at 5:25 pmLyfe

      Thanks for the headsup, I’ll probably wait until a few more episodes are out and just marathon them or something. I’m catching up on a few other shows at the moment lol

  • February 25, 2016 at 1:43 pmyoloalchemist

    Am I the only one who read this entire blog post out loud in Shakespearian play accent?
    Ever since I saw this episode this morning, I’ve been anxious to see what professor Passerby would write about it.
    This is just epic. You’ve done the impossible professor Passerby. You’ve made me NOT regret watching this episode. Arigatou Gozaimasu!!

    • February 25, 2016 at 4:21 pmDvalinn

      I read it in the voice of the narrator from Darkest Dungeon instead.

      It fits so very well.

      • February 25, 2016 at 7:11 pmyoloalchemist

        Yeah that also fits.
        The voice of Patrick Stewart also fits :P

  • February 25, 2016 at 3:28 pmZhinvu

    So that’s how you counter the Gate of Babylon.

  • February 25, 2016 at 4:06 pmSpike

    I remember when RandomC used to have mildly professional reviewers.

  • February 25, 2016 at 4:35 pmzztop

    I’ve heard this episode is anime original ( together with some of the previous episodes) -Kyoani’s really pandering to its target audience here. The only problem is that there’s no available translation of the source light novel to compare to.

    • February 25, 2016 at 5:20 pmstarss

      Here’s a question. You have 13 episodes to work in a ton more source material that you know you won’t be able to squeeze in. ……………. so spend 3 of those valuable episodes on filler! Because THAT’S worth your time, money, fame, talent, and resources!

  • February 25, 2016 at 4:40 pmDvalinn

    I remember days when the sun shone, and laughter could be heard from the houses of anime-watchers. Once the creations of Kyoani were the envy of this medium. Now, their name, once so well-regarded, is now barely whispered aloud by decent folk.

    In truth, I cannot tell how much time has passed since this show began. Its powers of boredom and stupidity are of such strength that it paints all clocks and calendars as liars. It is twisted and maniacal – a sluddering testament to the power of corruption and greed. One by one, the watchers fall. Reeling, gasping! Taken over the edge into madness! The mind cannot hope to withstand such an assault.

    There can be no hope in this hell…no hope at all.

    • February 25, 2016 at 6:30 pmzztop

      The quality of their stories may be subpar, but their visual and animation quality will always be superb and consistent.

  • February 25, 2016 at 5:17 pmsonicsenryaku

    you know what?….i was actually enjoyed this ep. It threw away all pretense of being a piece of good storytelling, embraced its stupidity, and was slightly better for it…slightly. As for the students going at it one at a time, remember that the phantom clubs are split into teams/one-person for the sake of profit. Even tho they wanted to get rid of the monkey, each individual group or person wanted the credit for themselves. And yet and another great piece of writing passerby. I wouldnt raise the bar any further if i were you; your readers will expect too much :)

    • February 25, 2016 at 7:55 pmLyfe

      Amagi Brilliant Park had the silly, fun, comedy, just plain random, but still managed to give the series a sense of purpose. I’m mentioning as this was another Kyoani series that had many of the same random elements, except it had reason to watch each week ;)

      • February 26, 2016 at 7:34 pmMockman

        I thought that Amagi Park was similarly mediocre, with similarly failed attempts at humour and storytelling. It also looked really good.

        Something for me changed KyoAni around Tomako Market. Other than the second season of Chuunibyou, which was more good than great, I think that the only good show they’ve produced since has been Hibike Euphonium. I dunno what they’re doing differently but I find that the storytelling, dialogue, humour and other aspects of a story all seem stilted and lacking in any recent show.

        Amidst the thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes, I thought that Koito’s come hither glances and version of ‘Kochi, kochi’ were pretty good. Alas that this made up but a tiny fraction of the show and was really a sight gag. Just looking again at all of the 36 screen caps above and other than her brief scene, there isn’t another for which I felt the show did something interesting, or novel, or even executed well. With Koito’s, as it was playing, I was thinking… will they get this pose in? And they did. It was good. But it was a lonely moment.

  • February 25, 2016 at 5:18 pmstarss

    ….. is this channeling Lovecraft? I ask since I never read his work.

    • February 25, 2016 at 7:15 pmyoloalchemist

      That also crossed my mind. I played enough Bloodborne to know that Cthulhu is something out of Lovecraft novels.

  • February 25, 2016 at 5:22 pmsonicsenryaku

    On a side note, i guess the one thing we were suppose to take out of this is that mai is one super attractive girl, so much so that her beauty and assets are appreciated by other species. I did get a chuckle out of haruhiro automatically pegging mai as the person who’s butt was needed to lure the monkey out. He pretty much made it clear that he thinks mai has a nice ass

    • February 25, 2016 at 5:51 pmRoguespirit

      True, and he also confirmed that Koita is pretty damn hot too. heh heh heh. I lolled when I saw “True that” in the subtitles XD.

    • February 25, 2016 at 5:56 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Not to mention that, without hesitation, he openly agreed on Koito being hot while looking at her backside. And then you had the way he was holding onto Mai while in that horse costume, so I think it’s clear which part Haru likes best now, lol.

      • February 25, 2016 at 7:10 pmRoguespirit

        Heh I guess all the girl’s have red asses in his mind XD. And yeah that lack of hesitation was surprising for a typical male lead in these sorts of anime. I’m amazed Mai didn’t punch him, but I suppose marrying him off was her “revenge”. Ugh, that part was just dumb. That would only happen in a pure comedy type anime and make sense.

  • February 25, 2016 at 5:22 pmstarss

    I can imagine the pitch meeting:

    “Here me out now. … you know the 6th episode of Beyond The Boundary that was totally off-the-rails comedic fanservice and in no way tied to the rest of the show?? Imagine an entire anime like that!”

  • February 25, 2016 at 5:54 pmSerjio Dragonis

    In the many, many Years I have followed everyone at Random Curiosity (including when we moved website)

    This is only my 3rd or 4th Post in Literal Years

    But you Sirs, Are masters of giving life to the words many of us are thinking when we watch many an anime. To you I must tip my hat, this review encapsulates exactly what I felt.

    Somewhere in the Abyss, Cthulhu lies crying…

    • February 25, 2016 at 7:04 pmBear

      Somewhere in the Abyss, Cthulhu lies crying…

      Be afraid Japan. The Elder Gods are going to return, and in their wrath destroy you for this.

  • February 25, 2016 at 6:08 pmGouka Ryuu

    Your review brings to mind the Lovecraft-anon over on /a/ that wrote Lovecraftian episode synopses for the Nyarko-chan anime. 10/10 would read again.

  • February 25, 2016 at 6:12 pmET

    This felt more like an OVA episode instead of being part of the main series. Having said that, I really enjoyed it and it’s my favourite episode so far. No drama, just lighthearted fun. Everyone had their equal share of screen time, and the highlight was Mai being the butt monkey of the episode, figuratively and literally.

  • February 25, 2016 at 6:58 pmqwert

    I like the part with the red butt.

  • February 25, 2016 at 7:24 pmIsabel

    Passerby, your talents are wasted on this anime. I so wish I could read your thoughts on Boku Dake.

    Also, you need to write stories!

  • February 25, 2016 at 7:52 pmGinobi47

  • February 25, 2016 at 8:45 pmsetsuna

    the awkward moment, when the review more interesting than the show itself

  • February 25, 2016 at 9:33 pmTrippwire

    I love you so much, Passerby.

    Looks like Kyoani decided to take “Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 6″ to the next level.

  • February 25, 2016 at 10:43 pmAtalla

    First, I’d like to commend you, Passerby. Having read copious amounts of Lovecraft and Lovecraftian-styled shorts that tend to accompany his works in published collections, I was moved by your own rendering. Spot on. Excellent. Your rendition was unexpected but totally captured the style which Lovecraft would approach the episode, I imagine.

    Second, I’m an anime-only viewer for the show and am just loving it. I wouldn’t have known this was a filler episode if it wasn’t for the b****ing up above. Some shows I can tell, but not this one. It’s in my top ten for this winter season, and since I’ve viewing 26 I’m not loafing about. Probably sitting around 7th or 8th for me.

    Third, I had a huge laugh from “Nekonomicon” because I immediately thought of neko-Reina. If that was an intentional reference to the previous episode, nice job! (If not, just pretend it was.)

  • February 25, 2016 at 10:59 pmflap

    Congrats Passerby, and I commend you if you continue to blog this series. Perhaps I shouldn’t. There were only two good things about this episode, Exhibit A,

    http://randomc.net/image/Musaigen%20no%20Phantom%20World/Musaigen%20no%20Phantom%20World%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2015.jpg

    and Exhibit B,

    http://randomc.net/image/Musaigen%20no%20Phantom%20World/Musaigen%20no%20Phantom%20World%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2025.jpg

    but the only reason for the latter was enjoyable is that she actually showed expression for once (and it was thrilling!). It would be very satisfying if they dropped her into a show worth watching. Sadly hoping for another random chance such as that isn’t motivation enough for me to continue to follow you on this journey. Farewell!

  • February 26, 2016 at 4:13 amtheirs

    What a fun review! I guess I’ll brave myself to watch this episode. Just to figure out what’s going on. It’s probably safe to say that having not watched the previous episode would have any effect in the experience, right?

    Yeah, I know I’ve been warned. I’m sure this is one of the few warnings I can stupidly ignore and stay safe. XD

  • February 26, 2016 at 8:12 ammac65

    I’ve always enjoyed a good romantic comedy with a happy ending… :)

  • February 26, 2016 at 11:24 amPetit

    Lol. The female objectification in this episode is too real. And too hilarious.
    Didn’t know how much I needed this episode until I saw it.

  • February 26, 2016 at 5:48 pmStocke

    Tbh i dropped this ages ago but i will continue reading your amazing reviews until the end

  • February 26, 2016 at 11:39 pmsamui

    Then here I am, still dazed on what happened with this week’s Phantom World. I was mentally assaulted. Lol. Well, watch it for the lulz, it works.

  • February 26, 2016 at 11:41 pmSynic

    Soooo…where can i kindly ask that KyoAni stop wasting their energy on this level of show, and put it towards something great. Like say…a second season of Hyouka? It really feels like they set the bar too high and they’re doing all they can to keep it there for eternity. Wait…maybe that’s it. A never ending cycle of cra- *ahem* subpar shows and then once every other millionth NSFL michael cera photo, a great one!

    All that being said,
    http://randomc.net/image/Musaigen%20no%20Phantom%20World/Musaigen%20no%20Phantom%20World%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2025.jpg
    she just became best girl. *throws gauntlet*

    a perfect 5/7, Passerby. Thank you for all you do.

  • February 27, 2016 at 2:11 amZen

    The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of blacks seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The arts have long cast their rods into those unfathomable waters to bait the fish of inspiration, not knowing that what they reeled in was not the touch of a benign muse, but the feverish grip of madness. For by their greed for crude entertainment have they set free a doom that before now we have been blessedly shielded from catching a fleeting glimpse even in our most deranged nightmares. In my research I have collected a trail of scattered clues and the testament of witnesses now confined to asylum that when summated point to an incomprehensible darkness that sets upon man.

    Then I will assume that you have seen it, the infinite, endless dark seas. I will not ask you how, for such visions are invariably precipitated by terrible things. But he who through whatever means, has his connection to physical reality severed while he wakes, such that he exists, if only for a moment, in the realm of the mind alone, shall find himself in a waking dream. Fully lucid, without the fog of sleep obfuscating the true nature of the mind’s domain, as it does during our nightly sojourns. And he will see that he stands on an island. An island, that as you have said, is the manifestation of his ignorance within this dimension. Insofar as his meager understanding and paltry intellect extends, so does the breadth of this island reach.

    And beyond it there is naught but the black, turbulent oceans of the unknown. You have seen it, as have I. Infinite and terrible, unnavigable and unfathomable, infested with eldritch-spawn. He who wades into its depths is irredeemably swept away by madness- and he who dares to eat of its Fruit, the Fell Spawn of the Old Ones, is beset with an incurable, delirium-inducing fever, worsening until he is eternally but a frothing idiot. Such is the doom of fools, who do not know to fear the black seas- for it is within its depths that R’lyeh resides. THEY hast not any true physical forme, yet THEY seek to manifest in our world, embodied by the hands of men, who exist in both realms. THEY scatter THEIR Spawn into the dark waters, THEIR delectable Children, succulent and spiced with piquant flavors that bestow to partakers inspiration in feverish delirium, before being driven utterly insane. And in this delirium, while they wake, the hands of these men give to the denizens of R’lyeh physical forme in the waking world- as Art. See my friend, this anime, this accursed demon-child, this vile Art, begotten through consumption of THEIR vile Spawn. It is not THEIR call, nor a mere preparatory herald of THEIR coming- it is THEIR true physical forme, confined no longer to the mind’s domain, manifested in the physical realm. For as your astute senses have observed…

    Its toll on the mind is so great that all those who witness it will wish for the sweet liberation of madness instead. Rather to gaze upon the dread creatures from beyond time and space, to lose one’s wits and bowels to the dark outside the dark, than to confront the numbing puerility of anime.

    …it is more terrible than Madness itself- and naught is more terrible than Madness than its Sources, its Progenitors, the Old Ones THEMSELVES…

    • February 27, 2016 at 2:26 amZen

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 27, 2016 at 8:24 amFujihita

    You sir made my day. This review is pure gold and so are the Lovecraftian comments it triggered.

    And here, I’m convinced that Musaigen is still limbo dancing: “How low can you go? How low can you go before the season ending?”

    Guess this episode answered that question: “Yes, we’re staring that deep into the abyss. Have a Cthulhu”.