First thing, I’m quite sorry about the lateness to this. Now that that’s out of the way, Myriad Colors Phantom World managed to be a much better series than its rough start implied, and finally gave us a solid multipart story for the finale.
With a new phantom, known only as Enigma, loose in the city, multiple power bearers are attacked and lose their abilities to this mysterious phantom. At the same time, Haruhiko, whose powers have progressed quite far even from episode 11, is approached by his mother; who wishes to reconnect with him years after leaving.
It’s a simple premise, and is not really the two part story arc I was hoping for after certain events involving Mai in episode 11, but works really well to end the series on a high note.
Haruhiko has his character arc come full circle, revealing a large portion of what his abilities can do, and new discoveries are made about Ruru as well – specifically that she’s a manifestation of Haruhiko’s repressed “freewheeling” side.
Actually, everything about this two part story arc is focused on Haruhiko, both to its benefit and detriment. While the girls all manage to prove effective – to an extent – in their fights against Engima (due completely to the increased level of teamwork that apparently cropped up somewhere along the line), they are also purely focused on progressing Haruhiko’s story at this point.
It’s a little weird after how ensemble the rest of the series felt – and how Haruhiko was essentially the one moving all of their stories along – but it does lead to some amusing moments and a pretty spectacular final battle.
Actually, all of the buildup to the final battle in episode 13 was pretty good. There were a few rough spots – brought out by the frequently awkward sense of humour this series has had throughout – but it was pretty awesome to be vindicated in discovering the connection between Haruhiko and Ruru and being presented with a return of his ability copying ability from episode three (wow, we last saw that a long while ago…).
As has been consistent throughout the series, KyoAni has presented some spectacular animation that is most definitely up there on the same level as anything else they’ve done. It’s awesome to see this sort of consistency, and it makes the series stand out in ways that the relatively cliché setting would have prevented on its own.
That being said, these two episodes suffer from some of the same mistakes that have plagued the rest of the series.
Primarily the fact that many of these stories have required some form of deus ex machina, or a usage of a “stupid stick” to justify some of the events going on. While amusing, having Albrecht fix up the access device, and subsequently hack into Alayashiki’s network, felt cheap – as if the series realized that they had wasted a lot of time getting to this point.
It also felt off how Koito knew that the company was covering something up about Enigma after the sequence where they had her searching the elusive phantom out. It was out of place and seemed like an awkward leap of logic.
Finally, there was the dinner sequence that capped off the end of episode 12. This sequence could have been amusing in any other situation, but it felt like a futile attempt to remind the viewer that all of these girls are invested romantically in Haruhiko – this is harem series after all.
This moment just felt completely forced and just didn’t work with the rest of what had been done over the series.
Overall, however, this season finale was pretty good. It didn’t have the same impact as it would have if the series had spent more time on telling a consistent story, but it was interesting to watch, and nice to get the shout-outs to earlier adventures. In total, this series has been decent. It’s most definitely not in the upper-tier of KyoAni’s works, but it was fun nonetheless. If they do decide to go ahead and adapt the next novels, there’s going to be some serious tonal change though. Whatever they decide to do, this was a worthwhile watch.
Episodes 12 & 13 Rating: 7.5/10
Phantom World streams exclusively on Crunchyroll.