Now that we’ve settled comfortably into the anthology format for this series, I can say without a doubt that it’s actually a pretty good one. Both of these episodes were quite enjoyable and both had certain moments that truly stood out.
In the case of episode nine, it was the usage of the period drama format. With both the phantom and the entire episode revolving around stage dramas, with a specific focus on period pieces, it was a fun excuse to bring in Shinsengumi references and era specific clothing.
The phantom that they dealt with was also a real blast. Disguised as a student in the same year as Mai, she embodied all of the regret from 10 years of losses in the high school drama club competitions.
Despite the fact that she embodied such negative emotions, the worst thing that she could do was change her surroundings to fit the story being told when she got too into her performance. It was a really charming ability that led to a fun action sequence. It was also nice to see another episode where they didn’t have to seal away the phantom. It makes the series stand out from most others of this format as they usually end up with a very black and white view on the supernatural entities.
The fact that Haruhiko got to be relatively useful, without being turned into a joke, this episode was also a nice surprise. Add in the lack of weird butt centric fanservice that was present in episode eight, and this one turns out to be one of the best episodes that the series has put out. However, it was definitely eclipsed by our first Ruru centric episode.
Focusing on their lively phantom companion, episode 10 went above and beyond to make her a much more likeable character. While a significant improvement on the Navi archetype of character, she hasn’t really had much to do other than chew scenery and set up some of the jokes that have been present throughout the series.
This all changed with this episode, as Ruru takes total control of the story. While it’s a very basic story, with her desiring to be big for a multitude of reasons, one of which includes being able to finish an entire bottle of Ramune on her own, the episode handles it really well.
It also goes well out of its way to make Ruru an engaging character with her own worries and personality beyond what we’ve previously been shown. They also do quite a bit to develop her dynamic with Haruhiko; making them more interesting as a duo, and making me wish that they had spent some more time focused on the two of them earlier in the series.
Overall, both of these episodes sit pretty highly among the overall series, and may just be the best episodes that the series has given us so far. KyoAni’s team has been doing a great job in the latter half of the series, so I’m hoping to see some more fun oneshot episodes in the future.
Episode 9 Rating: 8.5/10
Episode 10 Rating: 8.5/10
Phantom World streams new episodes Wednesdays exclusively on Crunchyroll.