OP Sequence

OP: 「Naked Dive」 by SCREEN mode

「ファントムの時代」 (Fantomu no Jidai)
“Age of Phantoms”

It’s a bold move, I think, for any anime to start with a lecture on optical illusions, because that calls into question the legitimacy of the very medium itself. The traditional art of animation is, of course, a giant optical illusion in and of itself. Things are not actually moving on the screen; the sequential frames merely create the illusion of movement. However, our brains’ vulnerability to this visual trickery is not, as Musaigen no Phantom World posits, any particular defect on their part. Rather, it is proof that the human brain is, in fact, extremely good at what it does. Our senses are not keen enough to pick up every detail in our environs, and so our brain actively infers and implies what is missing. This ability to draw instantaneous conclusions based on limited information is part of what gives our brains such incredible efficiency (how much power does your computer draw, by the way?) and prevents them from crashing from the most minor logical leaps. Perfect sensory data is impossible, but instead we have a highly functional system. So when an object seems to have moved we automatically see it as having moved—thus anime was possible. The trade-off is that we can’t always trust everything we see, which opens us to various philosophical discussions, something about Plato, and so on. This is actually fairly interesting territory.

Unfortunately, this is as intellectual as Musaigen no Phantom World gets. Or fortunately, if the idea of reading the musings of dead Greek guys make you nauseous. I can already taste the vomit myself.

Musaigen no Phantom World is Kyoto Animation’s nominal foray into the world of the magical-fantasy-action-harem light novel adaptation, and considering the derivative nature of many of these stories, one should perhaps not peg one’s expectations too high—and keep in mind that there’s nothing particularly wrong with the tried and true. Indeed, we can see the general forms already. The apparent male lead (Shimono Hiro) is just some nerd who likes books (also, incredibly wealthy to have a personal library. Also, from the last century). The apparent female lead (Uesaka Sumire) is infused with both boobs and violence—men’s two favourite things!—which means she’s already a complete character. I’m not even joking; her athletic ability and the jiggle-factor of her breasts (you need to buy a bra, girl) serve as the major plot points that ultimately resolve this episode’s conflict. Yeah, I wish I can make this stuff up. In fact, despite all the praise I gave the human brain at the start of this post, my one couldn’t handle this episode and required a pause in the middle so it could restart. This is after it weathered hairstyles designed to get hair in your eyes, characters forgetting that they can fly, and, er, whatever. No, I’m fine. It was an educational experience. This is what a stroke feels like. Now I know.

To be fair to Musaigen no Phantom World, it probably never intended to be a ‘smart’ show, or else it wouldn’t be about unsupervised children going around getting electrocuted for fun and profit. It’s certainly aware when it’s being dumb, sometimes, like with the whole Catholic!Limbo/drunk-party-game!Limbo/tortuously-mixing-your-mythologies thing. And certainly, there’s no requirement for any show to be smart. We’ll have some fanservice, some silly hijinks, and we can all just enjoy harmless fun. But then Musaigen no Phantom World tries to end on a sentimental note, and suddenly I have no idea what to think of it. It had almost reached parody levels, but suddenly pulls back into the serious. No no no, you can’t do that! It undermines both the silliness and the seriousness. This is one example where trying to have your cake and eat it too ends with nobody getting any cake.

So I’m not sure what Musaigen no Phantom World is trying to do, let alone what it’s trying to say. I still think it’s possible that it’ll pan into something though. Ishihara Tatsuya and Shimo Fumihiko (on direction and series composition) are more or less Kyoto Animation’s A-team, after all (though I could make arguments about Takemoto being better, but that’s neither here nor there). Is there really nothing more here? Is Ishihara looking at what he has to work with and quietly weeping? Actually, if we compare Musaigen no Phantom World to one of his earlier works, Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!, we find some interesting parallels. In Chu2koi, all the magical-fantasy-action fare was all just figments of imagination, just delusions in its character’s heads. In Musaigen no Phantom world, they’re also figments of imagination, but made manifest by brain-virus-plot-device. In Chu2koi, the delusions were deliberately juvenile, embarrassing, but still kinda awesome for it. In Musaigen no Phantom World, it’s played completely straight, without an ounce of shame. Hmm. If we think of Musaigen no Phantom World as a companion piece to Chuuniyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, it becomes fascinating in its own way.

But eh, it’s probably not. Still, I’ll still give Musaigen no Phantom World another episode or two. To its credit, it is quite the visually interesting show. I enjoyed the 16-bit style, especially when it intersected with normalcy (someone on the staff knows this show is silly). I think the phantom designs are neat. And I was disproportionately amused by someone transmogrifying into a Peanuts character to devour them. I could stand for more of that and less of the Gainax bounce. Hopefully with the introduction of the last of the major cast we’ll start to see the main thrust Musaigen no Phantom World. I do believe that it has some potential to show within three episodes. And the idea of Ishihara crying into his sake after work is just too sad.


ED Sequence

ED: 「純真Always」 (Junshin Always) by 田所あずさ (Tadokoro Azusa)


  1. I consider myself a huge KyoAni fan, Hyouka is in my top 5 and I love Tamako…. this was the worst show by KyoAni I have ever seen. If I want bouncy boobs and stupidity I will watch Silverlink, they usually make an interesting show to go with the fan service. This was simply boring and in bad taste.
    I guess KyoAni has to do stuff to pay the bills like the rest of us.

      1. sealouse: This show is being HELMED by the people responsible for that episode. How no one saw THIS coming is beyond me.

        Yes, you got into a show that was gonna be KnK ep 6 all the damn time. And apparently, unknowingly.

    1. I can’t agree with you about the boobs. It was cute enough to be good to see, I mean, I think that this was not really the problem with this anime. The real problem is that all the other stuff sounds silly, especially the part of the little dance with electric poles. I wonder why the design of the creatures have to be so stupid …
      But nothing of this is what I expect of a Kyoani anime. I’ll accompany this series as long as I’m able to endure all the silliness, hoping that this show can have some depth, like chuunibyou did.

  2. Isuzu Sento is back! And with more personality! But really that’s who I was reminded of when I saw Mai. You still gotta give credit though to Kyoani. They still deliver when it comes to production values. I think I’ll be sticking around this series more.

    1. Um, no. Mai’s cute and knows how to kick ass, sure enough, but she’s far and away like the Icarus that’s trying to hew too close to the bright and shining sun that is Sento Isuzu.

      Ryan Ashfyre
  3. Yeah I’m going to stick with the prediction this will fall flat on its face before its over. It’s like one took Chuunibyou, made the characters flatter, and tried going the serious route, all the while forgetting Gainax physics and production values alone do not make for a good show. Of course things can quickly change, but I haven’t seen any indication so far that the story is going to turn into something incredible; Musaigen just looks too much like a light novel. We shall see what the next two episodes bring.

    As an aside though, Musaigen does get credit for mentioning Pliny the Elder, that is not a name I hear referenced often, let alone in Japanese 😛

    1. If they were talking about Pliny the Elder the beer, I’d be all over this show. Though I guess the Roman philosopher is pretty cool too.

      P.S. Don’t believe the hype—the Elder is way better than the Younger. Still talking about beers here.

      1. Pliny the Elder beer eh? So you mean I can now drunkenly philosophize off philosophically-inspired beer?

        Thanks for the recommendation there Stilts, my dad is going to laugh at my drunken philosophy monologues even more now 😛

      1. That’s the thing though, there really is a lot of room for some interesting plot development and characterization if the story, even as we know it now, just takes a few logical steps forward. Phantoms obviously embody anthropomorphic qualities, so why not use that for some exposition about these otherwise flat characters (we still love you, Reina-chwan) and give us something to invest in?

        Phantom World started off interestingly enough in the first half and then just… flat-lined. Why they did that, I have no idea. I would’ve gone all in and used that last half to really hook the audience with a surprise reveal, just like Gakkou Gurashi! did with its first ep.

        Ryan Ashfyre
    2. I feel so strange writing about this show (even though i criticised it earlier) because the whole puzzle and illusion of the brain intro really caught my attention and it not having a harem or ecchi tag (even with its… voluptuous poster girl) on the site i watched it made me think it was going to be deep and thoughtful…

      How wrong i was 🙁
      I really wish more serious seinen shows like Erased were made as that one’s first episode really gave me an “AOTS” feeling.

  4. oh passerby…good god i really love your writing. My view on musaigen is that it’s a fun, visually appealing distraction. The show is very aware that it’s silly but here’s the thing: a show can be nonsensically silly and have heart at the same and that’s what im hoping to get with musaigen. If we are to take anything from the opening is seems that haruhiko actually knew mai when he was a small tyke. Im just reaching for substance at this point but it could lead to something important and meaningful for the show. Bring on more silliness musaigen, as long as it’s smart at being dumb, which is another thing im greatly hoping for in the way that prison school was intelligent about how smutty it was; a little too intelligent even if we consider it’s an unapologetic ecchi series.

  5. Whoever thought that making a somewhat real Chuunibyou series was a good idea should be killed inmediately. After watching Euphonium, MnPW looks way cheap in all senses, like it’s only KyoAni for the character designs.

    1. Hmm…..unintended sexual harassment (both physically & verbally) by the male MC,
      and she has some violent tendencies towards him as comeback….

      Well its Oreimo’s Ayase in some aspects, for sure.

  6. Guess you can love and hate shows other people will call you crazy. For now I?ll ckeck out this series like any other, without thinking if KyoAni still cares about its origins.

    Syaoran Li
  7. i’ll be blunt, there’s not much in for this anime. kyoani doesn’t look very motivated on making it, the only good thing are the animation, other things besides that are average.

  8. Wow… can some of you people not just enjoy a show for what it is without having to drag the entire history and previous shows of the studio into it?

    I get it… you want to marry Hibike Euphonium… how about you wait until the second season comes out to fawn over it and just enjoy what looks to be a nice light hearted fantasy series for a season without feeling the need to decry the degradation of the anime industry into light novel tropes.

      1. I adore Nichijou to some extent because of what anime can do in terms of creativity but those jokes man. They hurt badly when they miss. I am still sulking in this corner as to why there is no Haruhi S3. I get it. There’s Endless Eight but.. The Disappearance movie redeemed that series again.

      2. The reason why there is no S3 of Haruhi has nothing to do with Endless Eight.

        The reason why there is no S3 of Haruhi is that like all light novel adaptions, the Suzumiya Haruhi anime was simply a means of advertisement for the light novel. The light novels have sold well enough (and are still selling reasonably well for an over 10 year old series) and the author hasn’t written a new volume in over 4 years, so there is no reason for them to advertise at all. And despite their popularity, the two seasons of the anime haven’t sold well enough to make a third season look profitable on it’s own.

        So the only ways for Haruhi to get another season is to either force the author to write more books or a 20th anniversary reprint of the novels in 2023.

    1. That’s the problem though. Phantom World doesn’t quite seem to know what it wants to be, or at least it didn’t much of a job of telling us. Most of what we got was light-hearted, yeah, but then at the end it seemed like it was drifting more into a somber, serious kind of series.

      And, I’m sorry, but you can’t go from bewbs sloshing around like gosh darned water balloons into introspective musings on the inner machinations of Phantoms and their anthropomorphic similarities to humans.

      Ryan Ashfyre
      1. @Ryan Ashfyre: “That’s the problem though. Phantom World doesn’t quite seem to know what it wants to be, or at least it didn’t much of a job of telling us. Most of what we got was light-hearted, yeah, but then at the end it seemed like it was drifting more into a somber, serious kind of series.”

        Didn’t get that impression at all. Frankly, I think that description fits the first cour of Utawarerumono – Istsuwari no Kamen much more than this show so far. At least this show made the underlying plot apparent off the bat. Even if it’s “drifting more” into “serious” that’s not the same as going straight from one into the other full speed (i.e. jarring transitions). Besides, arguably you had some “serious” in Amagi Brilliant Park with Latifah’s condition in a show that had more extreme “wacky” comedy styling.

        It is the first episode, so I don’t expect everything to be completely laid out. Again, thought it did a decent job of setting things up as it was, and the consistency of the overall tone just fine. No complaints from me on that end. Perhaps I’m mistaken, but I get the strong impression you just don’t like the fanservice style of this show (which is used for comedy at times as well). Fair enough (to each his/her own, etc.), but that doesn’t mean it fails on the above mentioned aspects.

      2. >] “Perhaps I’m mistaken, but I get the strong impression you just don’t like the fanservice style of this show (which is used for comedy at times as well). Fair enough (to each his/her own, etc.), but that doesn’t mean it fails on the above mentioned aspects.

        Hardly a secret at this point, but I would be remiss if I let some less than stellar fanservice distract me from an otherwise enjoyable show. That wasn’t the case here.

        Now you brought up Amagi Brilliant Park as a comparison, so I’m going to throw that right back in your face and say that Amagi was by far better in its introduction since we knew exactly what the story was, broadly, by the end of the first ep. Tell me, what’s Phantom World‘s story? Seriously. What’s going on here?

        We know the backstory of how Phantoms came to be in this world, yes, but virtually nothing else. As far as the characters go, we know nothing about their motivations, their aspirations, their backstories, nothing. Heck, we don’t even know if Mai and Ichijou are even really friends or if they’re just working together for convenience’s sake.

        Now, in all fairness, you might be tempted to say that I am expecting way too much from an introduction for it to answer all of that in a single episode. To be clear, I am not saying that, by any stretch of the imagination, should Phantom World, or any anime for that matter, answer all those questions right off from the bat, but it should make a decent effort and give us something about the broader plot to latch onto.

        There are any number of examples to give of anime that have done a good job of this: Gakkou Gurashi!, Gurren Lagann, Amagi Brilliant Park, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio, Code Geass, etc, etc, etc.

        To be clear, I’m not saying that Phantom World is a failure or worth dropping at this point. Not at all, but you’re giving it more credit than it deserves and trying to dismiss me just because I took a bit of an issue with its fanservice. That ain’t gonna fly. I sincerely hope this anime does pick itself up, but it needs to define itself quickly if it hopes to avoid the pitfalls that so many other series fall into.

        Ryan Ashfyre
      3. The “problem” is that people have watched a single.fricking.episode.

        There’s a reason people go by the three episode rule. If a series were able to compress everything about itself into a single introductory episode you’re either looking at the best series ever or a complete pile of shit.

      4. @Ryan Ashfyre: Couple things. First, to borrow from qwert, it’s the first fricking episode. Second, the show (Mai I believe) stated around 16:11 mark that “Our club’s ultimate goal is coexistence with Phantoms”. Motivation & plot line right there. As for individual motivation, they gave some of that (money/food), but mostly, see point one about how it’s the first fricking episode. As for Amagi, give me a break. We sure didn’t get Seiya’s motivation until towards the end. After Ep.01, dude wasn’t even on board with saving the park. Didn’t know about Latifah’s condition and her primary motivation/reason for being there either after Ep. 01.

        We can agree to disagree, but IMO this show certainly did a good enough job setting things up.

      5. >] “@Ryan Ashfyre: Couple things. First, to borrow from qwert, it’s the first fricking episode. Second, the show (Mai I believe) stated around 16:11 mark that “Our club’s ultimate goal is coexistence with Phantoms”. Motivation & plot line right there. As for individual motivation, they gave some of that (money/food), but mostly, see point one about how it’s the first fricking episode. As for Amagi, give me a break. We sure didn’t get Seiya’s motivation until towards the end. After Ep.01, dude wasn’t even on board with saving the park. Didn’t know about Latifah’s condition and her primary motivation/reason for being there either after Ep. 01.

        We can agree to disagree, but IMO this show certainly did a good enough job setting things up.”

        I’ve already gone out of my way to say it once, but it bears repeating. Nothing about Phantom World’s first ep means that I’m not going to watch it for at least the requisite three eps or that it’s worth dropping. All I’ve said is that, in a nutshell, this introduction was quite weak and left a lot to be desired.

        As for the supposed motivation of our characters; with all respect, you would seem to be confusing a motivation for an idea. Think of it like a person enjoying the idea of playing the piano and not so much the actual doing it. It’s the same thing here. Unless there’s some internal drive that’s pushing Ichijo and co. towards their supposed “ultimate goal,” their so-called motivation comes across as sturdy as a house of cards.

        That being said, if we find there is something in their pasts that helps to tie everything together and make me believe it, then that’s another matter entirely. However, we were given nothing to infer that anything like that’s happened yet, so it’s still a slight against this opening ep even if that is the case.

        As for Amagi, take things in retrospect for a moment. I’ve never argued that we knew everything there was to know by the end of its first episode. That would be ridiculous. What we did know was the general lay of the story: what the overarching plot was and several of the main characters’ roles in it. You cannot say the same for Phantom World, and no, claiming that they’re in it for “coexistence” is not a satisfying answer. That is an incredibly vague platitude and says nothing of Ichijo and co.’s personal stakes in it, if there are any.

        Ryan Ashfyre
      1. Mhmm, okay. To be sure, no one with an opinion worth listening to would argue that anyone whose opinion differed from their own on what anime to watch had complete and utter shit taste. That being said though…

        There are really, really bad anime out there and there are people, as small and vocal a minority as they may be, who like them. And you’ll pardon me for saying so, but people who like anime like School Days, Boku no freakin’ Pico, Asa Made Jugyou Chu! and others have shit taste in anime.

        I’ll give you a counter example. I don’t particularly care for Free!, but I would never say that anyone who did like it has bad taste. We have different tastes, to be sure, but there’s a certain understanding there that the anime has merit enough for those with eyes to see that one can understand others liking it.

        You don’t make this distinction however. In your world, one would infer, everything is sunshine and rainbows and nobody has bad taste; everyone has their own ‘unique’ views and we should be respectful of that. And while I believe in mutual respect, I also believe in holding people and anime to account, and there are those out there are that do have shit taste in anime, small in number though they may be. Pretending that ain’t the case is sticking one’s head in the proverbial sand.

        Ryan Ashfyre
      2. Um… sounding a little butthurt, are we? XD

        For the record, I only wish I had as much free time as I wanted so I could argue more. And yes I do enjoy it; I make no qualms about it and I’m not going to apologize for it either. If you’re of a mind not to indulge me, then you’re better off not responding to me at all. I can’t very well argue with myself, now can I?

        And yes, I am a nutjob. I can also be a bastard, a sweetheart, a naive sentimentalist, a jerk, a friend, an egoist, and so many, many other things. 🙂

        Ryan Ashfyre
  9. What’s with all the hate? Does “boobs = bad” now? Yes, the fanservice is not subtle at all, but I still think the show is still promising premise-wise. It at least doesn’t seem as stupid as Taimadou from last season.

    It’s still Kyoani, so I’m waiting for the drama-ball to drop.

    PS. For some reason, seeing Ruru reminded me of El Hazard…

    1. There’s nothing particularly ‘bad’ about boobs (other than the lowest common denominator appeal, the blatant objectification of a character, and the tax on suspension of disbelief). Fanservice is as fanservice does. These are plot-ecentric boobs, though. They demanded my critical attention.

    2. I’m a hot-blooded male and I love me some bewbs. That being said, when it comes to my fan service, I want it done tastefully and with a sense of style, like so and so.

      I’m just not getting that impression with Mai. It’s too forced and whether by virtue of her character just not having the time to develop just yet or whatever else, I feel like she’s being give the short end of the stick with this treatment.

      Some here have brought up how they think Mai is like Sentou Isuzu from Amagi Brilliant Park, but Isuzu was treated much more respectfully. She was always beautiful, but we were given time to actually know her character and invest in it before we got hit with delicious pirate booty. There was a fine line to walk there and Amagi nailed it. Phantom World, not so much.

      Ryan Ashfyre
  10. If I understood it correctly, the phantoms are not delusions. Normally in these kind of stories only people with spiritual powers can see youkai, monsters, ghosts etc. But here the virus let everyone see them.

    Anyway, this show is clearly meant to be enjoyed at face value. If you are so uptight that the setting or jiggle triggers you, just don’t watch it and spare the rest of us.

    1. It seemed to me—and I’m just spitballing here—that the act of observation itself shaped reality in MnPW, in a quantum physics sort of way.

      And believe me, I’m totally taking this show at face value. Which means I won’t just ignore the silly breast-jiggling-saves-the-day, which you may well enjoy for or despite the silliness, but let’s call it how it is. To do otherwise would be, ironically, cognitive dissonance.

  11. I really like the show. It was silly in some respects, but not goofy.
    I think the haters missed a lot of the character trolling and subtle
    humor and heart (especially with helping the poles pass on – it made
    you think when the lifeless pieces of wood remained).

    I’d really like to see where they take this concept – it’s a fun watch!

  12. Wow, when they all but lampshaded that the MC is there just to make this Harem, I almost died. The show is self-aware enough for me to give it three episodes, not overly ethusiastic, though. Really would be better with just the girls right now instead of another punching bag shaped like an MC.

  13. I think you may have missed some things about this series. Perhaps several things.

    The trade-off is that we can’t always trust everything we see, which opens us to various philosophical discussions, something about Plato, and so on. This is actually fairly interesting territory.

    Unfortunately, this is as intellectual as Musaigen no Phantom World gets.

    Is it? I assume you couldn’t have missed the deliberate pixelization of the world just after whatshisname woke up? A lot of people have trouble noticing things clearly when they’re just waking up, but was this really just something artistic, or might it indicate something more like the world around him barely even existing until he could wake up enough to perceive it and his brain could define it?

    To be fair to Musaigen no Phantom World, it probably never intended to be a ‘smart’ show, or else it wouldn’t be about unsupervised children going around getting electrocuted for fun and profit.

    Adults can’t get involved. Powers only manifested in children born around or after the the time of the accident, and while everyone can perceive phantoms, only people with powers can do anything about them. The question so many people ask of anime “why are they sending kids to do an adult’s job” is built into the world in this case: it is, explicitly, not an adult’s job. Adults are not capable of doing it. This is a job for the kids.

    I believe there may be more here than you think. I don’t expect it to come out in the open right away, but I do think more depth will become apparent as the series progresses.

    1. There is also the summary on sites about it…

      “In the near future, spirits and monsters are in full sight. A boy leads a group of people with special abilities as they plot against a massive organization that takes advantage of a certain incident and eventually know the truth about their world in the process.”

      …so it sounds like the hijinks and lack of seriousness at the moment is merely a way of setting up the characters and help world build a little before getting into things. Of course, this sounds a lot like Charlotte too (big organization, “certain incident”, special abilities that only manifest in the children, etc.), but I’m hoping it doesn’t just go way off-track and throw convenience every which way like that.

    2. You may or may not have read on to the part where I praised the visual style; I noted the same things as you in my, er, notes. To be clear, it’s the main reason why I think this show has potential, because the visuals imply a lot of interesting things, as opposed to the plot which was, er, dumb.

      Also, job for kids though it may be, adult supervision is still not unreasonable; it’s a handy coincidence (or is it?!) that none of the major cat have parents around. And electrocuting one as a gag still requires a certain level of levity in your show, I think.

  14. The part when the MC is about to make himself a victim of yet another super cliched eroge encounter and the sequences that follow had me cracking up. The rest of the episode was meh though.

    1. Aw hell, I wasn’t paying enough attention to realize that Mai’s last name was Kawakami and now I wish I hadn’t. It’s so obvious now, she’s like a toned down version of Kawakami Momoyo from Majikoi with a brainy, scrawny and ever so slightly perverted little brother-esque sidekick to boot.

      F***! >__<

      Ryan Ashfyre
  15. I don’t really know where the series is heading, I’ll just watch it.

    I give this ep a 3/5.

    Honestly, if it continues to be a fun series then maybe this will turn out ok.

  16. This was a nice watch. While it was nothing special in terms of its plot it does manage to make up for it by being funny which isn’t something I’d usually attribute to these types of shows. At lot of these shows tend to be overly serious and dark and even the more lighthearted ones tend to fail at humor in my opinion so it’s nice to see something that actually pulls it off. Glad I decided to check it out rather than pass it up.

  17. Jeez, this was the last place where I thought I’d see a reference to Pliny the Elder. I wonder if he’s rolling in his grave (if he had one, anyways).

    Anyways, this was definitely a pretty weak start for a Kyoani series. It doesn’t help that it feels like your generic magical-action series with an extra lick of paint – I’m hoping it has some more tricks up its sleeve. The fact that their previous attempt at this genre, Kyoukai no Kanata, was the worst series they’d made in the last five years doesn’t help matters either.

    I”ll still probably end up watching this though; it’ll either get better or turn into a trainwreck, and either will serve to amuse me.

  18. I have been giving a lot of shows this season a shot. My entire day today was basically just watching the first episodes of a ton of anime. 90% of the shows this season are of course garbage. That is to be expected. And perhaps it is because after watching so many shows my brain needed a show it could just go numb to and enjoy. But whatever the reason. I found myself really enjoying this show where as other higher rated offerings left me wondering when they would end.

  19. This has the potential to be my fav of the season as long as it doesn’t pull too many lame punches. Ex- I see NO REASON why the female lead had to fondle her body and bounce her breasts every single time she powered up her shots. I can take fanservice, but only as long as there’s a good reason for it to be in a show! So far though, this has a ton of comedy, action, lively bright colors, things I really enjoy in animation. I also dig how the male lead uses his power through his impressive artistic ability, since I am also an artist! Some may say this is the worst KyoAni pilot they seen yet (not SHOW, as we only seen one episode so far! >: TERMINOLOGY!), but I disagree. I’ll follow this, but I can’t guarantee I will through the entire thing.

    1. . Ex- I see NO REASON why the female lead had to fondle her body and bounce her breasts every single time she powered up her shots.

      This, in fact, has a very specific reason. Her powers correspond to the five elements of Chinese mysticism. Each of those elements corresponds to specific internal organs in the body. A little research gives me – Water = Kidney, Bladder; Metal = Lungs, Large Intestines; Wood = Liver, Gallbladder; Fire = Heart, Small intestine; Earth = Spleen, Stomach.

      So, while there is certainly fanservice involved, she is, in fact, stimulating meridians in Chinese medicine that would call out the element she is attempting to use. The part of her body that she massages for each power will be very deliberate. This is something that has a basis in the real world. It is not just fanservice.

      1. …. I have to rewatch the ep to see if they said anything about Chinese mysticism because I do not remember anything like that. Regardless, there isn’t a ton of Americans who know about that, which is one annoyance when we try to watch anime here.

      2. Not very many elemental systems have metal as an element. Also, her incantations indicated the organs she was calling the power from, which match what I stated above.

        PS: This series wasn’t made for Americans. It’s expected that if we want to watch it and things like it we either already have the knowledge to figure this stuff out, or are interested enough in foreign cultures and the like to do the research.

      3. It ain’t just ‘Western’ people who won’t get the idea, even ordinary folks from the ‘Far East’ won’t even know about them that well. Lemme tell ya, as if most of us ‘Asians’ get any of that esoteric mystical mumbo-jumbo stuff either man… Think of the ordinary Asian folk, you put us all on pedestals way too much…

        Nishizawa Mihashi
  20. pre-show (aka. read the summary and reactions): a great concept (multi-man-made dimensions overlapping with magic?!) with typical characterizations… might be a 3-ep drop…


    post-show: I stand by my original comment, though at least it’s only the male lead that’s physically hopeless. This series might actually be tolerable.

    1. Show’s ok so far. Not every show display their best in the beginning. So the three episodes till drop rules still applies. Hopefully show improves when the whole cast assembles.

    1. So Ruru (the genie-type fairy. Didn’t bother to remember her name) is anime only? Didn’t know that. Personally, I thought she was the most fun character so far (there’s not much to the others at this point), but to each his/her own I suppose.

  21. Kind of surprised at the fervor regarding the “intellectual” aspect (or supposed lack there of). Was this show ever billed as “smart anime” where the mysteries of life will be explored through deep philosophical discussion? A friend mentioned that he got an Amagi Brilliant Park vibe watching this, and while so far this isn’t as good IMO as Amagi (which I also wouldn’t consider “smart anime” either. Not like it got deep into the analytics of theme park management), I can kind of see that.

    Maybe there’s more to this and I’m mistaken, but so far to me this seems like a light-hearted, fun, comedy romp type anime… and that’s fine with me. Frankly, I liked Amagi Brilliant Park so if this is something similar in terms of comedy (and the comedy works), I’m good. Right now, the genie fairy character is my favorite. She’s baka fun (again in the good way). Frankly, the comedy was better than I expected. Points there. Ecchi parts didn’t bother me either. Pretty tame compared to some shows, and often played for laughs. One exception was FL fondling herself for a power up at the end (reminded me of something Shinmai Maou might do… except in Shinmai she’d be topless). That… was kind of odd to watch, but Wanderer’s explanation above explained the reasoning behind it. Fair enough.

    I had NO idea what to expect other than the usual “Magic + HS + LN (or is it novel?) + Ecchi” formula. So expectations were low (especially after last season). Is it AOTY stuff? Highly doubful, but I was, for a change, pleasantly surprised. Definitely in for 3 Episode Rule.

    1. Oh, but Musaigen no Phantom World did open as a ‘smart’ anime. See the lecture on optical illusions and the fallibility of human perception. I was expecting that to colour the rest of the episode. And indeed, there a few fairly interesting things that crop up when viewed from this angle. Why does the protagonist’s room only take proper form when observed? Why does he need to sketch the likeness of the monster before he can seal it?

      I mostly wanted to contrast an interesting enough first half and the second, which got dumb rather quickly. It made for some tonal confusion, which I noted in the post.

      1. The sketching part doesn’t really need an explicit explanation. Consider some societies where taking a photograph is thought to capture the soul of the photograph’s subject or the magical concept of equivalence. Either one works in this case. I’m more curious about how people with these types of powers realize that they have them.

      2. @Passerby: Oh, but it’s not. They have less than a minute of RL examples of optical illusions (your “show” with some “tell”) to illustrate the concept that human perception isn’t always accurate. That sets up the world-building/setting of “why fictitious creatures (“phantoms”) exist in our story.” If a story opens up with with “Alien life forms, once the stuff of science fiction, are now among us thanks to the ABC Wormhole”, that doesn’t make me automatically assume the anime will revolve around discussions of astrophysics and general relativity. Especially if part of the lecture is conducted by a small, kawaii mascot.

        I think we can (and should) apply Occam’s Razor here. Intro was simply to help set-up the background/world-setting explanation. Oh, youkai, fictitious creatures and such? Just couldn’t perceive (see) them until our brains got altered. What about the part about when the show channels its inner Seikon no Qwaser with “Further, breast-feeding infants manifested super powers.” Should the audience then expect the anime to explore the evolutionary advantages mammals have over birds, reptiles and such? Not a great explanation (did mammary glands also mutate with the virus or something?), but whatever. Show/series felt it needed a reason for people having super powers and that’s what it went with.

        “Why does he need to sketch the likeness of the monster before he can seal it?”

        I thought that was pretty obvious. It’s symbolic. He’s “capturing it” on paper as Bear explained.

        “Why does the protagonist’s room only take proper form when observed?” Now that is good question because the “building blocks” or pixels (not sure the best term) visual wasn’t consistently applied. After that, the visual is mostly (only?) used when new perceivable things such as phantoms show up (e.g. around 13:48 when you see the duck phantom come out of the wall while the couple are watching TV/reading a newspaper). In that sense, it could be viewed (no pun intended) as a visual effect to highlight newly perceivable things. However, that doesn’t cover the ML’s room. That may or may not mean something significant (including ML specific), but yes, the show wasn’t entirely consistent on that front nor did it yet provide a clear explanation.

        “I mostly wanted to contrast an interesting enough first half and the second, which got dumb rather quickly. It made for some tonal confusion, which I noted in the post.”

        There’s only “tonal confusion” if one makes an apparently incorrect assumption based on the first minute or so. If one views it as I did, then there’s no “tonal confusion/dissonance/whatever”. Well, unless I suppose considers the first half “interesting”, the second half “not interesting”, and “interesting” a component of “tone”.

        Lastly, the above should not be extrapolated and exacerbated to suggest that I consider the show to be perfect/AOTY/etc. It’s not the best animu ever (and again, it’s only one episode), but I did think it was a pretty good start for a HS + Magic + Fantasy LN (novel?) adaptation. Sure watched worse.

      3. @daikama
        Respectfully, Occam’s Razor does not work that way. The fact remains that the prologue does not bear on the actual plot. They could easily have jumped to ‘brain virus now everyone see youkai things’. Or even ‘there are youkai things’. But they didn’t. Let’s build on one of your points: what if they did do a prologue on the superiority of mammalian biology? Suddenly, the ‘breast-feeding made superbabies’ is not just a throwaway line. I think the audience should rightfully conclude that this is something the show wants them to think about, even if just on a thematic level.

        Hence why I felt there was an inconsistent tone. And even if you don’t see if you don’t see it that way, I would argue that ‘relatively normal development’ to ‘is this self-parody?’ to ‘sentimental reflection’ warrants some questioning on the kind of show Musaigen no Phantom World intends to be. If it’s meant to be this way, so be it. But we should question.

      4. @Passerby:

        Re. Occam’s Razor: I’m using here as “the simplest explanation is usually the right one” type of reasoning which at least according to one website is correct usage. Wiki states “The principle can be interpreted as: Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.” So I feel confident I’m using it correctly in that my point is what I consider the simplest, fewest assumptions (or perhaps “taking it at face value” as another poster mentioned) approach. Stuff at the beginning was simply RL examples to help explain the world-setting. That is exactly what I thought when watching this and nothing more.

        As for the rest (in spoiler below for length), summary is this. Honestly, I think you’re over-analyzing this. Seems a pretty straightforward show to me – at least at this point. Maybe the whole expanded perception thing becomes a plot point later down the road. If so, fine with me, but it’s been all of one episode. I’m willing see how things play out.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      5. I think you’re oversimplifying the rule of parsimony (the irony!), but let’s not get too deep into that. In any case, I don’t think your ‘hypothesis’, if you really want to stick to this technical rhetoric, is satisfyingly explanatory in the first, so we should not even begin to apply the razor. I would argue that what you would call taking the prologue at ‘face value’ in fact renders it meaningless and unnecessary, which does less credit to the show than anything I’ve said.

        Obviously, though, we’ll have to disagree on this. One of us sees the jiggle power of mammaries as major plot device to be in line with the rest of the pilot, while the other doesn’t. I don’t think our positions can be compromised.

  22. my head go painful as i watch this anime… took me 3 replays in order for me to understand episode 1. and what’s with erotic boob massage to cast skills? LOL and also, using hayami-san to voice a beautiful izumi reina… wait beautiful? isnt it should be big mouth izumi reina? oh whatever. that contrast made me like her character plus it was voice by AYASE-TAN~~~

      1. oh i see… but it is undeniable that it is a clear fan service because they focused the boobs as she does the casting.

        anyway, the story plot is plenty interesting for me. but that way of casting abilities/skills would surely become annoying one of this days…

    1. Surprisingly, it doesn’t remind me of it at all. Mostly because while Highschool of the Dead and similar anime are doing it out of sexuality and objectification, this one seems to be doing it out of self-parody. Not to mention the quality of animation is much better in the limbo scene.

      Goodwill Wright
  23. Am I the only one who actually liked the limbo scene? I thought it was probably the best part in the episode (although that first fight scene was pretty cool). Yes, the concept has been done to death, but I think the execution was quite good. It was short, quick to the point, and also involved all 3 characters who participated to varying results. I think this show’s dynamics work well.

    Goodwill Wright
  24. The Fall of Kyoani has begun. Actually Kyoani had already fallen after season 1 of Haruhi but I digress. By the way I like your writing style Passerby, I feel like it had O’l Omni and Divine’s writing style.

  25. The idea of the show seemed very intriguing, though the beginning of the show didn’t really hook me in, and it felt a little flat with its exposition, but boy did that limbo scene really reel me it with its spirit/phantom wackiness.

    Bamboo Blade Cat
  26. The fact that people are talk badly about the show is sad and shows how they spend their time, which is just “Ugh” and come on now; 95% of the people talking about the show will sit and watch the whole thing through till the end. Plus most of these reasons are shi* and are just things they don’t like because they assume the show is suppose to be how they want it, etc. Long story short, stop bashing anime/show, because you really don’t have the right since you can’t do anything better or anything at all for the most part and its quite sad that you’d take time out to bash something that’s meant to entertain a different group of people. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it, don’t make a whole long ass reason to why you don’t like it; because that really shows how sad you are as a person who thinks people cares about what you have to say. I like the show, its good for the most part and if I didn’t like it, I’d keep it to myself and watch something else. Good Day to y’all, and I’m 100% positive that someone will reply to this, but I won’t be around to read it 😀 cause I really don’t care,

    Some Guy You'll Never See Again
  27. ep 02:


    The Fanservice is turned town to an normal point, where it do not hurt. The only one you get to show is the Stretchings from this little Genie and the two Girls in the Classroom. But all is “Green!”

    2 of 3 passed

  28. This anime is just Haruhiko’s dream, the real story on LN vol 2 is the real story about Phantom War, all waifu deads, Haruhiko give his soul to Demon etc thr vol 3 of LN is Haruhiko time travel to save all waifus ftom dead


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