Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 10

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A Ruru episode.

…Okay. Look, I’m not saying Ruru’s a terrible character…

…but she kinda sucks, and I’m really disappointed that they dedicated an episode to her. But I’m not surprised, as every other character seemed to have their own up until this point. So I guess it’s only fair for Ruru to have her time to shine.

Starting with the plot, well, it was even dumber than I expected. Ruru is small, but she wants to drink a full bottle of Ramune. To fully ingest this Ramune, she needs to become the size of a human. Luckily, a benevolent witch phantom just happens to be passing by, and grants her wish so she can drink Ramune at the festival. Then shit happens where she can’t reveal who she is to her friends because of an arbitrary set of rules, and then breaks those at the end of the episode because apparently she’s the only one that can save Haruhiko from the firework phantom. And they’re all sad because they actually think for a moment that Ruru is dead from the explosion, and crying because she never got to drink that Ramune soda. But it’s okay because she’s alive, the end.

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Thought I said “Ramune” too many times in that last paragraph? Well that’s not even half the amount of times they mentioned Ramune in the show. Product placement or does the writer just really like Ramune? I don’t know, but tune in next time for when Izumi becomes addicted to the Pocky phantom!

Back to the witch that I briefly mentioned earlier, I thought she was a cool addition and would like to see her in more episodes. This is of course, based almost solely off of looks, but what can I say, I like characters with cool designs. And it would be nice to see her character be developed a little more.

One thing I’ve noticed throughout the show is that Izumi’s powers have been tragically underused. Apparently, she can’t eat everything for random reasons like “it’ll make her tummy feel bad” and “they need to be weakened first”. I’m paraphrasing by the way. Her powers are completely situational and most the time useless. Remember that time she revealed she had healing powers, then never used them again? I do, because I keep blogging about this stupid show no matter how little substance it actually gives me.

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I feel when the show focuses on comedy, and especially on Ruru, I don’t laugh. The show was funnier when it was organic, or at least felt that way. But now I only find myself laughing because of how incredibly stupid this show is. It’s still very pretty though, so there’s that.

+ Visually pretty

– Ruru episode

– Rampant product placement?

– Reina tragically underused

Problems With Erased, Episode 9

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I’ll first start this off with a simple *SPOILER ALERT*. I don’t know why you’re even here if you didn’t want to be spoiled before watching, but I figured I should give the common courtesy of a warning. Now, as to why I’m reviewing this episode, I just found the latest episode worthy of a review. That’s all. It’s not like I’m running out of ideas for weekly posts or anything. Heheh…

In all seriousness, I found episode 9 of Erased to be quite lackluster, and possibly the lowest point in the entire series. It came as quite a disappointment too, as I was having such an enjoyable time with the show prior to this point. But that’s not to say that this episode ruined it. The episode just didn’t shine as brightly in almost any aspect.

Starting with the beginning, we pick up where we left off from last episode, in front of Hinazuki’s house. Kayo, Satoru and his mother confront the abusive parent at her doorstep. The thing is, she’s fucking crazy. Kayo’s mom shoves Kayo to the ground and swings a shovel at Satoru’s mom. She dodges it, then the action stops as the teacher and the child protection agency (or whatever they’re called). But then they don’t do anything and Kayo’s mom threatens to go to the police. Finally Kayo’s grandmother inexplicably shows up and defuses the situation.

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This. Was. Awful. There’s a number of reasons why this scene is terrible, like how their plan to confront the mother could’ve completely back fired. She could’ve put a shovel through Kayo’s head and that would’ve been the end of it. I don’t understand why these characters thought this approach would be safe? Kayo got shoved and Sachiko was nearly decapitated, not to mention the only back up they had was a protection agency that ultimately did nothing.

Then they brought in this grandma in some sort of an empty to make Kayo’s mom seem more human, more understandable. Flashbacks show of her getting beaten by her old husband or boyfriend or whoever, and that’s what caused her to beat her child. Makes sense. Wait, no it doesn’t. I still don’t empathize with this horrible character at all. What’s worse is that Kayo’s being separated from her anyway, so what was the point of the flashbacks? The show had already established her as this villain without a reason, and she served her purpose well. But then they gave her a reason after the fact, and it just wasn’t good enough to be worth anything.

The worst thing that comes from this is that Kayo is being taken away. From her mother, from Satoru and friends, from the town, from the story and from us. Kayo’s gone now, and that’s a bit of a letdown considering the amount of time the show focused on her, making us get to know and eventually care for her. Of course I wanted a happy end for Kayo, but was this really it? Would she really be happy away from Satoru? I’m just disappointed because the show spent so much time developing this character, and the bonds between the characters. I like Kayo, and her being taken from the plot is basically the same her being dead. This might’ve been fine had this been the actual end, but there’s still a mystery to be solved. Wouldn’t Kayo be better kept still in the story? She’s the most well established character by far, and also the most beloved. But perhaps this isn’t the last we see of Kayo, as there are still 3 episodes left.

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In fact, it feels almost impossible for this to be the last of Kayo. She was the first of three murder victims, and it took three quarters of the show just to save her. With that much time dedicated to one character, it seems almost counter intuitive not to use her. Or maybe I just don’t want Kayo to leave. ;-;

After that beginning, the show doesn’t really go anywhere. There’s a nice moment shared with Satoru and his teacher in the car, but not much else really happens. And then the episode ends with a pathetically weak cliffhanger. Like, it’s just that one girl from class looking like she’s about to pull something. Is she the killer? Unlikely, but who really knows? You’ll have to tune back in next week to find out!

Oh, and I will say that up until this point, I was really having a blast. Erased did so many things right, and looked so very good through and through, but this episode has left me a little skeptical. There were even noticeable dips in the animation this time, mainly a conversation in the bus with no cuts for what felt like a whole minute (I’m exaggerating, but it was long, and two characters had their back turned so they only had to animate one mouth). I was really loving the show up until this point, but now I’m feeling uneasy. I’ve watched through at least one poorly ending mystery show for each of the last two seasons, please don’t make it three.

If you want to know what those shitty mystery shows I watched were, please leave me a comment. Also, tell me what you think about Erased so far. Feel free to follow me here or on Twitter @crispyn64, and thanks for reading!

Myriad Colors Phantom World, Episode 9

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Man, this show is really reaching for straws when it comes to giving this group something to do week after week. Anything and everything that goes even remotely wrong at this school or in this town is automatically relegated to this team of high schoolers. But in this episode, there’s nothing going on to begin with. A random character is introduced and she asks the group to be part of her play. Apparently no one else in the entire school can or wants to do this. Okay. So now our protagonists are now staring in a period piece put on by the drama club, and it’s all fun and games until a phantom inevitably shows up.

Turns out that the Phantom is the girl who asked them to do this in the first place. What a twist! Then comes the all too cliché breaking in the middle of the play. Quite frankly, this is one of my least favorite tropes to ever exist. The actors break character but still say everything out loud for the audience to hear, and then they’re all like “wow, this is meta” or some crap.

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It was at that point that I checked the time left in the show, thinking it was all but over, because that moment is usually used as a climax. But the show goes on and they finish the play, in the coolest most immersive way possible. The Phantom changes the stage and the cast is transported to Edo period Japan, where they are to complete the story. This makes for some sweet action and stunning visuals, otherwise known as “The KyoAni Special”. I’m coining that, right now.

Two very important things I noticed, or rather didn’t notice, was the chanting and exposition. Minase’s chanting is really annoying. The Human Encyclopedia needs to shut up. These are facts. And as far as I can tell, they were non-existent in this episode.

Now onto a new issue: Haruhiko needs to stop clumsily falling into Izumi. It was funny the first time, only because they did it in a comical and self-aware way. Now it is just getting routine and uninspired. Basically what I’m saying is: Step off my waifu.

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In the end, this felt like a fun, contained adventure with stunning visuals but not much else. I like these characters (with the exclusion of Haruhiko), but I feel this show has strayed too far from them since each of their respective episodes. There’s almost no way this show can be anything more than an action comedy show at this point, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But we’ll see where this show decides to go, as it seems to do whatever the hell it wants to.

+ No Minase chanting

+ No Haruhiko exposition dumps

+ Pretty show, pretty colors

+ Kurumi holds a gun!

– Kurumi holds a gun?

– Awkward stage break