If there is one thing that Myriad Colors Phantom World has proven, eight episodes in, it is that it has a very awkward, and oftentimes overly juvenile, sense of humour.
With this episode taking place in a hot springs setting, one conveniently located on school grounds due to the presence of a group of monkey phantoms, this episode was shockingly enjoyable, right up until the ending ruined it.
With the heat from the hot springs making it impossible for classes to continue, all of the phantom hunting students are tasked with getting rid of the hot spring, or otherwise having classes scheduled into their summer break.
It’s an effective set up that gives us our first look at other students and their abilities, outside of our core cast, and makes the overall episode far more engaging.
It also manages to put the girls into swimsuits without feeling creepy about it, as the director shows a deft handling of fanservice once again, and even manages to make the boss monkey’s tendency to lick the female students who attack him seem a lot less uncomfortable than it would have been.
This all leads up to the girls in our main cast having to attempt to seduce the boss monkey out of the water, to various degrees of failure, so that Haruhiko could draw him and seal him away.
It all works surprisingly well to create a fun episode that, in contradiction to what I stated at the top of the review, was even funny in parts. However, many of the jokes did fall quite flat, and the ending comes out of nowhere and drags down the entire episode with it.
After all their attempts to seal the monkeys and the hot springs away, it turns out that the solution was to throw Haruhiko into a female monkey costume and send him off as the bride of the boss monkey.
With some genuinely impressive moments from him earlier this episode, such as the imageless summoning of “Cthulu” and a sequence that seems to hit home that Mai has some sort of affection for him, and possibly even feels attracted to him, they seemed to somehow remember that he’s, apparently, supposed to be the butt (no pun intended) of all the jokes. So, they ended the episode with him being carted off into the heavens as the boss monkey’s wife.
It was an extremely awkward, and to borrow the ANN’s term, lame joke. After having some genuine fun with the episode, it seemed to fall back into old habits when it came to our male lead, and it was honestly pretty pathetic.
Overall, ending aside, this episode was pretty good. The team at Kyoto Animation has actually been putting together a pretty enjoyable series here that people are missing out on if they were turned off by the, definitely cliché, initial setting. Although, it would definitely be nice if we could get some more info on that device Haruhiko picked up.
Episode 8 Rating: 7/10
Phantom World streams new episodes Wednesdays exclusively on Crunchyroll.