In the universe of Myriad Colors Phantom World, the release of an experimental virus a decade ago has permanently altered the way the human brain works. As a result, supernatural beings known as “phantoms” are now visible by the general population. Though they are largely uninterested in actively harming humans, there are some phantoms that actively disrupt daily life, or are otherwise hostile. Luckily, children began developing special abilities in order to combat and seal phantoms, and Myriad Colors follows the adventures of a team of high schoolers seeking to maintain peace and discover the truth behind their strange world.
I’ll say that Myriad Colors earned some points with me right from the start with the utilization of some classic brain-teasers and examples of cognitive dissonance in order to set the stage for their larger universe. Though the introduction was only about 60-90 seconds, it gave a solid foundation as to how a neural disruption could effectively change the world as we know it without the need for an apocalypse-class disaster. The general consensus is that the virus has created a world of inconvenience more than anything; humans aren’t huddled in random caves struggling to survive, they’re going about their day to day lives and happen to put up with a large mechanical duck suddenly appearing out of the walls and disappearing just as quickly.
On that note – the animation is interesting, with the phantoms providing a unique opportunity for the series to shine. Pixelated phantoms gradually sharpen into more traditionally animated figures, and the opening scene implements this technique with the background as well, which piqued my interest from the start. As the series progresses we’ll see how far they’re able to take it, but for now it does provide a slight advantage over some of the other shows this season from a technical perspective.
There’s not much drama in the world of Myriad Colors from the outset, though there’s always the chance it will pull a Charlotte and crank the feels up to 11 without any warning. Still, the debut episode is cheerful and the comedy is executed well. A lot of the comedic elements are a result of its self-awareness. Anime fans familiar with this type of series know that many scenes involving “character development” typically end with an awkward tumble that ends with the protagonist having his hand somewhere it shouldn’t be, and one of his many female companions blushing, physically assaulting him, calling him an idiot, etc. This show is painfully aware of this trope and goes out of its way to avoid it. Though it often ends in a similar result, it’s still effective comedy nonetheless.
The characters aren’t anything out of the ordinary from what I can tell. You have your standard male protagonist, Haruhiko, who seems to be great at drawing and possesses a great deal of general knowledge on phantoms. Accompanying him is the well-endowed Mai, who draws the power of the elements from various parts on her body (I really don’t think this was an accident), and Reina, who consumes phantoms as a food source. The self-awareness may bring more dynamism to their relationship with one another, which is promising, but for now there’s nothing exceptional about the characters themselves.
As they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Myriad Colors has drawn me in with a vibrant and visually appealing universe, coupled with some great laugh-out-loud comedy and tops it off with smooth action scenes. Even though I didn’t think it was possible, I found yet another show that I’ll have to keep an eye on through the season. Really hoping it doesn’t go Charlotte on me.