In my previous Phantom World posts, I’ve been breaking down the episodes bit by bit and complaining about whatever strikes my fancy, but I’d like to take a moment to talk more broadly about why exactly Phantom World is failing so hard for me.
First of all, I suppose I should answer one important question: why do I care? Why bother tearing a show apart like this? Why get riled up about a show that, overall, is just “on the bad side” rather than “irredeemably awful?” I think it largely comes down to betrayal. I was expecting good things from the series before it was airing, and KyoAni has a pretty good track record. So when it ended up being bad, I got angry. The things you have high expectations for or that become popular are always the ones that are most infuriating.
After the first four episodes, there wasn’t a lot to talk about in Phantom World. I’d covered the setup and worldbuilding, I covered the lazy writing, I covered the characters by not covering them because there’s nothing there, but after that initial surge of terrible, there wasn’t a lot to talk about. It just went back to being generically bad. You know, the type of bad where the fact that the show looks pretty is actually able to keep the show relatively enjoyable.
Nichijou is a series that it’s easy to write off as a screwball comedy with beautiful animation and a few touching moments. However, it has a dedicated cult following that seems to have been legitimately impacted by it, and I don’t think it’s for those reasons. I’ve personally found myself going back to clips and episodes of Nichijou on a regular basis. There’s something captivating about it that’s lying below the surface. It’s a bunch of wild, reflective, cute, emotional, silly scenes that don’t seem to have anything to do with each other, but there’s actually a common theme connecting most of it.
Sometimes you set out to mock a terrible show on an episode-by-episode basis and end up getting an episode that’s not actually terrible. You find yourself faced with a decision: mock the show in a more condensed way, or spare yourself the effort of the write-up by skipping a week and simply apologizing for not having anything for the episode.
Clearly, I’m doing the former.
Yes, Phantom World episode 4 is actually not terrible. I won’t go as far as to say it’s good, and there will still be plenty to nitpick, but this episode is actually a relatively solid one. So this will be more nitpicks and snark, but will hopefully (for my sake) be a bit shorter. Continue reading “It Bugs Me: Phantom World Episode 4”
And we’re back, with more Phantom World. Just a reminder to check out the It Bugs Me for episodes one and two as well!
So let me tell you, I’ve had people around me dropping this show left and right, and after watching this third episode, I had people ask me why. “I started blogging about it,” I said. “Now I’m stuck with it.” So if you’re reading this…thank you. I’m doing this for you. You’d better appreciate it.
Let me just get this little confession out of the way up front first, though…this episode wasn’t as bad. I mean, it wasn’t good, but it didn’t send me into a rage again. You’ll get to see a little praise from me alongside all the hatred! So with that, let’s launch right into the episode. Continue reading “It Bugs Me: Phantom World Episode 3”
So we’re back with episode 2 of Phantom World. Oh boy. Make sure you’ve checked out my post for episode 1 before you continue. Everyone ready? Then let’s go.
Now, how exactly will this one start?
Oh, we’re going back to this thing again. I’d call KyoAni out for using recycled animation, but then again, they’re the ones who animated every episode of Endless Eight separately, so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s just the same thing animated differently. Instead,let’s focus on what’s being said. What’s being said is “blah blah smart-sounding words, KANT, hey did you hear what we just said Kant is a philosopher guys look at how smart we are.” Continue reading “It Bugs Me: Phantom World Episode 2”
You know, after a while you start to expect certain things from certain animation studios. You can expect Studio Deen to mostly make shit, for example, or for Trigger to put out really quirky shows. Kyoto Animation has become synonymous with well-animated shows, and have had a run of very well-received shows over the past decade. So when I saw they were putting out an action show called Musaigen no Phantom World, or Myriad Colors Phantom World, I expected it would be the best show of the season. On paper, it looked really good. In practice…well…welcome to the first installment of “It Bugs Me,” where I rant about stuff I really don’t like. Continue reading “It Bugs Me: Phantom World Episode 1”