I probably would have enjoyed Musaigen no Phantom World 9 more if I understood the historical context of the play the gang gets roped into performing, that is, more than a thirty-second peek at “Ikedaya Incident” in Wikipedia. Still, it was fun to watch. I cringe when I see shows that have amateur plays in them, with my own memories and all, but they laid off on the bad acting and stage mishaps, and when they settled into the Phantom’s realistic play setting, we got some of the best sustained action yet, a period dramatic story with a phantom thrown in, exciting action, and, it being KyoAni, it looked fantastic.
Gate‘s story is getting so big, I wonder how they’re going to wrap everything up in the episodes they have left … We start with the brief battle at the Jade Palace where, as expected, Pina’s soldiers and some others drive off the bad guys, but the political fallout has begun, with the PM telling ministers to wait, then later gives in when a bigger bad guy force arrives. I suppose it’s not an issue, but it feels weird to know the ministers are more up on the Jade Palace situation than Youji and his team are. Radios are a good thing, guys.
Elsewhere they plant little seed of future problems with an unpleasant press photographer, and then of course there’s Pina, still a political idiot, who, when summoned to the Palace by Zorzal, in spite of what she knows, ACTUALLY GOES, and is promptly locked up. I’d feel a lot more confident about the good guys’ chances if someone besides Pina was in her position. As for Youji and company, well, that assassin is still after Lelei, but judging from the idiots he hires, this pied piper fellow can’t be that big of a threat. Then again, it’s hard to take anything that happens in Rondel seriously.
Dimension W 9 is good and bad, mostly good. The bad comes with a new villain, Seameyer, who appears to behind just about all of the bad stuff that happens. Shadowy villains are common in anime and elsewhere, but in anime these characters tend to be smug, smirking types that bore me as much as they infuriate me. Seameyer is no different, grinning evilly while Lwai gets gunned down in a flashback, casting images of himself on the wall whenever the good (are they?) characters find a clue, and going nyah nyah nyah a lot.
But there was plenty of good. No surprise that Kyouma has the answers to what happened at Adrastrea, and so, what happened during his wife’s operation, and indeed, Kyouma wants to get to the bottom of it too. But it’s done very well. First Kyouma lapses into a coma, flashback time, but then we get Salva’s flashbacks, too. I was starting to wonder why. Then, Kyouma floats into one of Salva’s memories, to the surprise of both, and the revelation comes that Dimension W is connected to our world by memories, and memories are vital to the formation of possibilities. Nice concept. Don’t know if I buy it, but it’s solid enough to work as a foundation to this world. Speaking of possibilities, the show is loading them on us now. What’s with that weapon the girl found? Is Mira actually Kyouma’s dead wife? Will the other collectors we see actually have anything to do later on? I could go on and on …
As for Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R 9, we waited most of the episode to learn what the misunderstanding was. Kubi (fired) and kubi (neck). While we waited for the inevitable I managed to enjoy one bit, where the enraged Komugi defeated a monster not with her magic powers but by using her wand to bludgeon it into submission.