Never before has a series with such amazing potential, and such a huge animation budget, aimed for nothing more than cotton-candy-like mediocrity, and achieved it so spectacularly. Myriad Colors Phantom World is not a bad show — far from it. It is quite entertaining, it has silly-fun characters, and it is quite impressive to look at, but it's just fluff. There is no meat at all to this fucker.
Myriad Colors Phantom World starts off by telling the viewers about the intriguing background plot that makes this world possible. 16 years prior to the beginning of the story, some shady secret company had an accident occur at one of its Japanese facilities, and an experimental super-virus was released into the atmosphere. This microbe goes on to affect the brains of every living human on the planet, and causes changes in everybody's grey matter which allows them to see and interact with extra-dimensional beings labeled "Phantoms." These Phantoms are typically harmless, and they're usually just fun-loving creatures that enjoy hanging out with humans (taking on the appearance of tiny fairies, cuddly giant teddy bears, and puppies with wings), but a fraction of these newly discovered beings can be unstable, or outright destructive, causing chaos in their trippy wakes.
Luckily, some people born after the virus disaster have the ability to fight and actually seal (or destroy) these renegade Phantoms. These gifted/mutant kids are collected and placed into clubs in their schools in order to use their collective Phantom-battling powers to destroy or lock away the colorful beasts that prove to be a threat to people or property. This is the story of a group of kids in the Hosea Academy Phantom Hunting Club, and their monster hunting adventures. Gotta catch 'em all!
Despite the potential promise of a cool over-arcing plot dealing with the company that caused the issue with visible imaginary creatures in the first place, all we ever get in this show is an assortment of "Phantom of the Week" episodes, and barely any character development for any of our main cast of 5 human players.
You might be saying to yourself, "Rossman, that sounds pretty lame. Why would anybody dedicate any of their time to this fuckin' piece of shit series if it never goes anywhere?!" I would then respond with, "Well, the same can be said for One Piece, Naruto, Sailor Moon, or any other anime that doesn't advance any plot for years and years, but are [some] people not entertained with the outcome anyway?"
Like I said, Phantom World is not bad, it's just fluff. It's supremely well-animated, entertaining fluff. It's essentially Beyond the Boundary, only with no real drama or substance or character development. It sounds bad when I put it like that, but I found that I still had to tune in every week to see what would happen, even though I knew nothing at all would ever happen.
The main characters that we follow are: Haruhiko, the too smart for his own good protagonist who can capture Phantoms if he draws them; Mai, Haruhiko's bosomy senior in high school who can channel elemental forces through her body and cause martial-arts-induced damage to rampaging Phantoms; Reina, the polite princess of the group who can swallow Phantoms whole; Koito, the tough girl who doesn't need anybody, man!... Only she does, and she latches on to the main group and uses her power of Phantom-dissolving vocal attacks to save the day on a number of occasions; Kurumi, the elementary student with the strangest bunny-ears haircut I've ever seen in anime, who uses her teddy bear, Albrecht, to attack Phantoms with; and of course Ruru (whose full name is Rururaruri Rurararirararururirirari Rirararururararururararirari), the 3-inch tall faerie who is the constant companions of Haruhiko, and who loves to fly around her human friends.
Their bubblegum adventures are made surprisingly unironically delightfully compelling by the central cast's interactions with each other. This show is not about drama, or backstory, or insane exploits, it's about seeing the characters get silly with themselves in dealing with the Phantoms of the Week. Now, I'm not saying that Myriad Colors Phantom World is the next Shakespeare play, or the next Angel Beats, or the follow up to Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, but it is the next.... Ummm. What I mean is that it follows in the footsteps of......... Well shit... I honestly can't think of another likable show with no real plot like this that actually kept me as entertained as this series did. I can think of plenty of "monster of the week" series with no forward momentum and cookie cutter characters with absolutely no depth that suck Randy Marsh's irradiated testes (the aforementioned Sailor Moon is a prime example, as is any Power Rangers or Ultraman series), but nothing that's really engrossing or likable.
I liked the characters (even though they never grow), I liked their interactions, I liked the designs and animation quality, and I liked the opening theme song... And honestly, for once, that's all I needed here. You may need more, but I recommend that you at least give Phantom World a try. If the limbo match in the first episode doesn't make you laugh, then fuck it. Just go back to your Naruto wank session and leave me alone.
I seriously sometimes don't know if the Rossman is just trying to piss me off. What the fuck is he thinking, making me watch this shitty little show?! I know that he knows that I have a condition in which I see what other people refer to as "imaginary friends." They talk to me, they used to play with me when I was a kid, and now they just FUCK with me 'cause I don't want them ruining my life anymore!
Mr. Buggle-dee-boo pushed me down the stairs last week in the office, Princess-Princess Pretty Face constantly hovers over me and points and laughs at me whenever I'm taking a leak, and this morning Butterfinger Ears switched my sugar out for cocaine, and my morning has been WHACKO because of it... I have no idea where he even got the coke.
Well now, this show's premise brings back some memories. I remember this one time I took the local neighborhood bully, and mentally and physically messed up his brain.
I switched a couple of synapses around in his ol' grey matter, and convinced him that the visions that he would experience from then on out were actually real, and that he would get inflicted with whatever imagined damage that they dished out to him.
When that jackoff grew up I then started hiding vast amounts of cocaine in his house just to mess him up even more. That little bastard never should have written "Wash Me" on my office hearse! Yes, it needed a wash, but I didn't have time for that kind of thing! There was SCIENCE to do!