「特異能力が使えない!」 (Tokui Nōryoku ga Tsukae nai! )
“I Can’t Use My Special Ability!”

Let’s get some minor quibbles out of the way:

  • The Paroles are still too long.
  • The fourth wall is too thin.
  • After an entire lecture about the power of song, Koito-san goes the whole episode without singing.

The episode itself was the long-awaited Koito episode that finally drags her kicking and screaming into joining the rest of the main cast, as her name-is-in-the-OP status demands. She basically has an X-Men backstory in which one Minase Koito, girl who takes her sugar with milk, has superpowers that alienate her from her peers (even in a school with an actual club for the numerous superpowered) and family (only Mai seems to have escaped a fragmented family life so far, though it’ll probably turn out that way anyway once we learn of it), but eventually opens up to a band of true friends yada yada. In true shounen manga fashion, this involves coming together to fight a common enemy, in this case some Chimera thing. That shoots laserbeams, because why not? Symbolism, schymbolism.

So yeah, maybe there’s not much room for subtlety there, but when has that ever been a concern of Musaigen no Phantom World? This was, above all, a functional episode that aims to both introduce and develop in one stroke a character that we haven’t had much exposure to (and also, tries to make this kid suddenly relevant). There’s a lot to just get done, so maybe we should be forgiving when the story makes predictable turns or when the teacher starts narrating Koito’s very personal history without the concerned’s consent, because the focus is still largely exposition. Thinly disguised exposition, perhaps, but exposition no less. Or at least that’s how I see it; I’m assuming that Koito’s vengeance motive, estrangement with her family, and prickly social attitude will be used again at a later point. I can’t say this with any certainty, though, because Phantom World has shown a propensity for handwaving past a lot of plot without much ado. For example, in this very episode, surprisingly little conflict came out of Koito losing her power. Nobody wonders why Koito’s power was suppressed to the exclusion of any other effect, they’re all sure it’d just come back by itself, and in no time it does. Hadn’t Koito’s life so far been defined by her supernatural ability? Wouldn’t stripping her of it be a prime chance for further character insight? It seemed almost an obligatory kind of development, but the dangled bait hooked nothing. In the same vein, there was some mystery to Reina’s healing abilities from episode 02, if you recall, but nothing comes out of that either. ‘By the way, Reina, you can heal!’ ‘That’s right, I can!’. When did we transition from not knowing what she did to being perfectly comfortable with what she did? Offscreen apparently.

Maybe I’m looking for too much in Phantom World again. I know that’s old by now. Here, admire these unnecessarily detailed chickens instead.

There’s plot to be had elsewhere in Phantom World, I suppose. We’re once again reminded that our mysterious plot coupon still exists; they’re probably going to save it for redemption when the narrative arc starts to climax. And of course, there’s the evil bear. Has there been any indication that it’s evil? No. But if there’s one lesson to hold true to in life, it’s ‘don’t trust bears’. Especially if they grow monstrous at the command of a little girl (a lesson League of Legends players know well, I’m sure). Look, bears and little girls. They’re both no good. I learnt that the hard way. Don’t ask.


    1. The worst offender I can think of on the the top of my head that does that is Seiken Tsukai no World Break, in that scene where the protagonist usually writes ridiculously long spells/chants and the enemy was just waiting there. At least for Koito, her chant is easy to remember and short enough to say. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  1. Koito needs to find shorter magic words. Seriously it’s like a transformation sequence, but at least she only has to do it once for a fight, at least unless she has to modify the attributes of her ability, at least that’s my guess based on episode 2.

    I feel like Koito warmed up to the other mains way too quickly and I agree that “The Kid” can’t even be bothered to remember her name, seems to have just been conveniently thrown in. I was also hoping Koito would be able to hold her own better and not have to be saved. Making her a damsel in distress so casually when she’s spent years fighting Phantoms on her own with little trouble just feels like a setup.

    I think Koito’s back story seems a bit… well like they’re trying too hard to make us feel sorry for her, and just stack everything up. I mean, she and another girl are trapped in a rabbit hutch being attacked by a terrifying monster, Koito saves them by annihilating the monster, and suddenly the girl thinks Koito is even scarier than the monster? Surely by that age these kids should know that people with these abilities show up right? There’s even less of an excuse for her parents who must surely be deadbeats for it to be something to be argued about.

    “even in a school with an actual club for the numerous superpowered”

    Well actually I seem to recall the teacher saying that her previous school didn’t have any kids with Phantom fighting abilities and lacked any kind of Phantom fighting club. It wasn’t their current school. Speaking of though, yeah about the blabby teacher telling another student’s private backstory. It’s an anime trope I’ve gotten so used to it didn’t register to me until you brought it up, but in this show it’s okay because she’s clearly being manipulative.

    Honestly I wish more time had been spent for us to learn more about Minase, and not even about her past, just who she is now. What her hobbies are, what her lifestyle is like, little habits she has. Anything! All we got was that she likes Milk with a lot of Sugar, which is weird and it’s something, but that was it!

    it’s sad because this show had a lot of potential and a lot of cool idea but they it can’t make good on them and it just seems willing to setting for being generic with a gimmick. I still enjoy the show but it’s just not nearly as good as it could be.

    1. Try being a kid with deadbeat parents, my mother was a party hard who didn’t care for children and my father was a 200 year old vampire with a family history of alcohol abuse.

      Giorno Giovanna
      1. Sorry to hear that.

        My main issue with that part of her backstory is that it’s just sort of glossed over and just mentioned in passing so we don’t know what kind of parents she has or what the circumstances were. If they were average parents then maybe there are some reasons for them to be upset or worried about it that hasn’t been revealed in the story yet. It does seem like Reina is the only one that lives with her parents or is even in regular contact with them. Unfortunately we can’t really use that to analyze the world since it’s such a common anime trope.

    2. And it doesn’t help that, with Koito’s ability being hyped as being so strong (to where she herself is described as stronger than the average ability-user), in both more prominent times she is shown fighting Phantoms, BOTH Phantoms just so happened to be ones with an ability that could perfectly counter her own ability (soundwave cancelling and now the smoke/gas).

      Pretty clear that the whole point was to try to force out that quick friendship because if they actually had Koito facing truly stronger Phantoms, then the club wouldn’t be able to help, much less save her because they would be too weak to do anything (without any hax/deus ex machina anyway), but they can’t have Koito face average/weaker Phantoms (without such perfect counters) because she obviously would own them without help.

      Either way, the club members wouldn’t have any chance to get closer in that way, which is why it would have been better if, as mentioned, they got to her outside of Phantom battles and let us learn more about Koito in everyday life.

  2. That was a really boring episode. Koito’s backstory is as generic as it gets, and not in a good sense. Her personality is dull and her powers are weak. I don’t understand why they’re going out of their way to make her look weak after hyping up her abilities so much.

    Next episode doesn’t look much better, but at least it’ll be cute, I guess.

  3. I dunno, none of this is feeling special. I’m quite bored with every episode. The comedy may be okay, but that’s not enough to carry this show. It has a lot of boring parts. This episode was centered around Koito who has herself secluded and doesn’t interact with many people. I didn’t get her reason for being so, or maybe they didn’t tell us straight. Anyway, this episode didn’t feel like anything special. Everything feels so mediocre or below that I find myself wanting to drop it each week. I think I’ll listen to myself now. Goodbye Phantom World.

    Yamada II
  4. Its actually quite terrifying that as this show goes on further the worse it gets. Koito is what you knew she was going to be. Honestly i think if you had Koito and Haruhiko only this entire episode you could’ve done something but Mai’s actions IMO ruined the episode. Her character to me is a bigger problem then Koito.

    5 episodes in and this gives me nothing. I cant tell what masochistic tendency has me still watching this. Honestly this is almost as bad as Charlotte as far as decent potential utterly wasted. Honestly i may give it two more episodes.

    1. You know what you need to do to find that wasted potential? – even when the amount of bad writting and nonsensical plot is incredible – read the LN or try to find the summaries. You’re watching something completely original from the anime, while I think in the same way as you do, I’m sure kyoani is right now getting the backlash of what they did here.

      Sadly thanks to some users hunting me I can’t say too much but for now if you want some cliffhanger that brings something interesting to the story I can only tell you this: that’s probably not going to happen – umm cant remember the magazine but there is already the title and staff of the next episodes leaked –

      1. Thats fine. the plot isnt nonsensical its more the execution is awful. Mai butting in to get the phantom was unnecessary. The fussyness was idiotic. I really hated how Mai had to step in to kill the beast too and lets not get into the water point. Regardless the LN wont help things it will just emphasize how bad it was.

  5. After an entire lecture about the power of song, Koito-san goes the whole episode without singing.

    Maybe it’s because I’m used to anime characters singing well, but I find the fact that she doesn’t even sing–she just yells “Ahhhhhhh”–strangely upsetting.


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