Magical schools are probably the most overused setting in anime right now. Any given season usually has at least 2 (winter had 2 and spring has 2 as well) and often these add harems as well as battles and usually become very similar to each other due to falling back on the same tropes over and over. Kyoto Animation generally stays away from what everyone else is doing so going in I thought we might get something similar to Charlotte that uses some tropes in a way to tell a different kind of story. I’d say we got that but I didn’t like Charlotte’s story. How did I feel about Myraid Colors Phantom World?
The story follows a boy named Haruhiko Ichijou who is a fairly typical protagonist for shows of this style, having brains but often doing dumb things. His power is the ability to seal and summon any “phantoms” he sketches in his book. He is in a phantom hunting club and his only team member at the start is a girl named Mai Kawakami. Mai has the ability to channel the 5 elements through her hands by rubbing different parts of her body (water from kidneys for example). Haruhiko also has a Navi type phantom named Ruru who is pretty much the opposite of Haruhiko. Later on 3 more members join Haruhiko and Mai’s team including Reina Izumi who has a huge appetite which is fitting because her ability is to seal phantoms by eating them. Her parents are really strict and don’t want her near phantoms, however. Next is Koito Minase who can produce sound waves to attack and prefers being alone and lastly is an elementary student (who is allowed to join the high school club because reasons!) Kurumi Kumamakura who is obsessed with bears (kuma in her name means bear) and always carries a teddy bear named Albrecht. Her power allows her to make him grow and fight for her.
In this world phantoms exist and are constantly referred to as beings that “blur the line between illusions and reality” which actually is my main issue. It never properly explains what phantoms are exactly and if they are just illusions are do the cause actual damage? It’s also not properly explained why they exist now or even how they work. The series follows an episodic format which works quite well as there is still character development but the disadvantage is some of the phantoms are interesting such as the one that pulls Kurumi and Haruhiko into Kurumi’s dream bear world or the one that forces the to put on a play and their stories are solved within 15 minutes even if there was more content. There’s others such as the monkeys or cat that felt like they took too long on the other hand.
Another issue I had is something I’ve complained about before, excessive fan service without being ecchi. To me this is like going to a fancy restaurant and ordering spaghetti and meatballs without anything special done to it. It’s fine but why go part way? Either don’t have it or go all the way.
Watching a Kyoani show you expect good visuals and Myraid Colors delivers. One thing I found a little weird was the constant pixel motif. I wasn’t bothered and I’d guess it’s because of “blurring the line” but I would have preferred if it wasn’t there. Sound was also pretty good with a pretty good soundtrack and good voice acting.