Wednesday, February 17, 2016

10 Second Anime - Musaigen no Phantom World - Episode 7

Haruhiko's phantom hunting club investigates why everyone at school is slowly turning into cats.

Episode 7 - "Shrödinger's Cat Mansion"


It looks like we're not ready to get into the overall plot yet. I figure the writers wanted to have one fun episode with the entire Scooby gang before things get serious.

That's not a housecat! That's a mansion cat! I did like how the front of the old dorm really does look like a cat's face.

How nice for the producers to let the fan artists know the official color palette for the cat girl versions of the harem.

Since it was up to the real girls to handle all the nekomimi fanservice, Ruru had to step up for the generic fanservice and sight gags.

Schrödinger's Pantsu

Hilarious! The otaku version of the dead/alive cat superposition is haitenai - not wearing (panties). It's always been a titillating trick to use angles and thigh cleavage to make horny nerds almost believe a girl just might not be wearing any underwear. That was the real theme of the episode. It's real, if you believe!

Myriad Colors of a Cat World

I really liked how Haruhiko's prologue device was used not just to introduce the pop culture understanding of the Schrödinger's Cat paradox (in real quantum mechanics, superposition isn't that big a deal since it's just a description of a state equation before any measurements take place), but then the episode ran full tilt with the whole cat theme. I posit it also ran haitenai jokes throughout the episode too, but horny bast..., er, observant people were sure to pick those up.

I liked how slowly people were turning into cats, starting with overall laziness and napping to full-blown meow talk from Kurumi. Thankfully, there was no licking or hairball scenes. We just got the fun side of neko cosplay.

I also liked writers' choices for what color cats the girls turned out to be. Reina's white matched her sophisticated, gentle air. Koito's black matched her cool, sleek and aloof attitude. Mai's orange pattern fit her messy wild nature.

But let's not forget the gags and the pretty tightly told cat story.

When these cat-like symptoms showed up, I asked myself, why now? There was a lost kitten side plot, but I thought, at first sight, it was just an excuse to get the kids going cat crazy in a pet store. But no, they were interwoven threads of the same plot. Even using Koito to find the abandoned cat dorm built on her established characteristics of good hearing and being sensitive to sounds.

I had several laugh out loud moments with all the cat jokes. The pet store scene where the kids got caught up in looking at cat snacks and then Haruhiko's sheepish "nyaahaha" laugh got me. Koito's deadpan "I want to pounce," rolled me too.

We hadn't spent much time with Mai as the recent episodes dealt with completing the harem, but I remembered the baby girl prologue with baby Mai trying not to share her stuffed toy with baby Koito. Mai was friends with Haruhiko first and it's nice to see her show a little possessiveness and a little bit of her attraction to him. Of course, as the useless version of a harem king, Haruhiko is oblivious to the "uncertainties inside people too."

I mentioned earlier how tightly written this episode was. When I saw these film strips in the above scenes, I wondered what they meant. Part of it was just KyoAni showing off their animation style, but with the resolution of embracing the Mansion Cat Phantom (even he had to blush from Reina's hug), we learned that it was trying to protect the happy memories within the dorm and trying to make new ones by turning the students into cats to live there. It was one of two nagging questions in mind that were answered before the episode ended. The film strips represented memories to be protected.

The other question I had was "why did the Mansion Cat start doing this now?" And the answer, of course, was the lost kitten side plot. Little Rudolph had wandered into the cat dorm and gave the big phantom guy an idea to bring more cats back into the dorm. All neatly tied up.

And now, the Scooby gang has their own club house, instead of hanging out in an empty seminar room. They're always left behind, except Koito, because they don't get a lot of requests to do anything, but with their own place, it won't be such a reminder that they suck. Well, they're getting some requests now, like finding little lost Rudolph, so their reputation is improving. Maybe they won't be doing so much tea drinking there after all.

Next time, who knows? This show doesn't do previews. It's episode 8, so it's got to be the beach episode, right? The kids are wearing their warm weather uniforms now, so it should be about that time. Come on, beach swimsuit hot springs training camp episode! Conventional harem show dynamics demand it. Let's go!

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