Wednesday, March 30, 2016

10 Second Anime - Musaigen no Phantom World - Episode 13 [END]

Haruhiko's team puts all the pieces together to find a way to defeat Enigma. Season Finale.

Episode 13 - "Eternal Phantom World"


And that's how you do a fluffy comedy adaptation! Ruru was the key, as the Jungian archetype lecture from last episode foreshadowed, and all the other elements about Haruhiko were brought into the final episode as well. We hadn't seen him use his memory taking ability since Mai's episode, but that was the method for finding Ruru's phantom abilities which were really his own. Satisfying almost all the way around with just one obvious conventional narrative device.

Enigma, We Hardly Knew Ye.

Enigma was the perfect villain for this sexy phantom hunting comedy. She embodied the secrets of the company responsible for the Neural Errors virus and how they double-downed on taking advantage of the phantoms to continue their research. It's the conventional Frankenstein theme that the Monster would reward Mankind's hubris with violence and domination. I much prefer this one though. Frankenstein's Monster in a miniskirt would be "baaaad!"

Mai, Best Girl.

Because, of course she was! She cares for our hero, might have entertained the idea of "feelings" for him, but at this point in their story is the big sister he obviously needs in his life.

Sure, there's the girls the same age in Reina and Koito, but they're both stuck in the friend zone made by their own personality issues. Reina will toss Haruhiko around at his slightest touch and she's probably more interested in Mai anyway. Koito just needs more time to warm up to people and she's better off making a small group of friends to become a correlative family unit. Mai has a huge head start on both of them.

Ruru, Haruhiko's Other Half.

The revelation of the episode, which was just confirmation from last episode's prologue, is that this is literally true. Ruru sprang from the fun fantastical part of Haruhiko's subconscious after his mother left and she took on the form of the genie from his favorite book that she always read to him. We already know that Haruhiko's special talent is conjuring phantoms from his imagination, so it's no surprise that his first attempt happened in childhood during difficult circumstances.

Some nice hints during this episode of the Shadow dynamic was how Ruru's personality changed after Haruhiko lost his powers. She was just another version of himself without his phantom animating force. I had worried that taking Ruru's powers from her would make her disappear, but they went the route of learning her powers through her memories like Haruhiko did with Mari's martial arts during her episode.

Haruhiko taking on Mai's skills through her memories was only temporary, but they didn't kiss to start up the process. It was hard enough for them just to hold hands. Does kissing make it permanent? This Haruhiko may become the most dangerous harem king phantom hunter!

I'm not sure I like the reaction from Mai and Reina at the new polite Ruru. I guess they were just tolerating the overbearing little genie before.

Dat Mai Action Fanservice One Last Time.

Red. That's all I have to say about that.

Team Haruhiko.

Apparently, Koito is Batman. Dramatic poses. Standing on rooftops. Meeting with the Commisioner, or whoever.

Also, this Device that Ruru found could have been fixed and used so much earlier if he had just shown it to Koito and Kurumi.

Ha! Kurumi said she thought Albrecht could help because he helped fix her dad's computer one time. Was this computer a Cray-2? I loved how Albrecht was all sweaty after his efforts and just ran straight to Kurumi for comfort.


During this sequence, there was an obvious narrative interrupting tactic to leave the revelation of Ruru's origins to a dramatic moment during the confrontation with Enigma. It was the only eye roll moment I had during this entire show, which is saying something considering all the comedic harem action magical conventions this title reveled in.

Dat Ruru Kiss.

Last episode, we had to deal with some Oedipal themes with Haruhiko kissing his mother. This time around, it's Narcissus with Haruhiko having to kiss his other self.

There's going to be some weirdness that Haruhiko's first kiss was with himself.

Last episode, the harem had trouble dealing with Haruhiko's mother's pace, but they barely had any time to deal with the fact that all of them lost their first kiss with Haruhiko to a flying fairy.

When Haruhiko got his powers back, with an upgrade, Ruru's personality came back too.

That was nice to see Marchosias and Cthulhu as Haruhiko always drew them, instead of the fun unserious version that his split personality with Ruru gave them.

This adaptation totally avoided the source material's turn toward darkness for the rest of its story, so I seriously doubt we'll see any more of the larger story. That's fine. KyoAni decided to start with fluffy, introducing Ruru as an anime only charcter and made her the key to the whole finale. There's no way to go from there in trying to adapt the other parts of the story.

Final Thoughts.

Fun! Just fun to watch. The harem conventions were there. The first episode had almost all the outrageous fanservice to hook in viewers, but not much afterwards. But the characters were well developed and each of the girl of the week or phantom of the week episodes introduced ideas and clues necessary to make the final two episodes work.

Admittedly, I was impatient with how it seemed the story wasn't going anywhere, but there were all the external markers of temporal progression in the seasons and the characters' uniforms to let the audience know that things were happening. The only concern I had was whether the fluffy and lighthearted atmosphere punctuated by sentimentality would maintain throughout, or whether we would get the seriousness from the source material. The major clue towards an anime only, and probably only one season ever, type of ending was the inclusion of Ruru. She was a great choice to include as a device for exposition and a character for a final resolution.

The art was great. The character designs were great. There was a cute puppy and a pink octopus. Short skirts, limbo bouncing boobs, and a girl with a big appetite. It was great!

If you're a fan of the story from the light novels, you'll be disappointed. If you're a fan of the characters, you won't be.

I had a lot of fun watching this show and would recommend it to people who like light hearted comedy with magical elements to spice up the story.

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