Episode 08 – “Break Through the Monkey Spring”
It’s time to take a dip in the hot springs, as this episode is perhaps the most risque we’ve seen thus far, and that’s most definitely saying something considering that the last episode was all about cat ears and all of the goofiness that happened in the first episode. While I’m not really a huge fan of such overt fan service, it’s fitting for an episode that’s largely irreverent and a departure from the relatively more serious episodes of late. In a lot of ways this episode reminds me of episode 6 of Kyoukai no Kanata, in which the main characters literally band together to defeat a youmu with the power of song and dance, though that felt more inventive than simply plopping an onsen in the middle of the school for the sake of swimsuits.
There are two big takeaways from this episode, the first being the showcase of a bunch of different students with powers. Our main heroes have hogged the spotlight for 7 episodes now, and while their powers are always cool to watch, it’s exciting to see what other abilities exist in this world, namely a sweet hawk familiar and water manipulation. I haven’t seen water powers this cool since Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S, wherein boogie boards were involved, and in Phantome World, KyoAni ensures that all of the fight scenes in the water are as flashy as they are splashy.
But the real star of the show is the summoning of Cthulu, praise be unto him. The best part is that when Haruhiko calls upon him there’s no surprise like there was with the dog, only squiddy confidence, and Cthulu actually proves to be an incredibly competent fighter, handily (tentaclely?) beats down the hot spring-loving monkey. I was looking forward to the introduction of this squishy, pink creature, and I can’t think of a better debut for the mighty Cthulu.
“Do you like hot springs, everyone?” ~ Haruhiko Ichijou