Phantoms, a word generally used to describe all the strange creatures of Myth, Lore, and Imagination. Several years ago, a virus broke from containment at a scientific research facility and had an altering effect on all humans in the region; it changed the structure of the human brain to be able to see what our minds would never let us see. The Phantoms of the world were always there but remained hidden from plain sight because it was too strange for humanity to comprehend. With no other adverse effects to the population it has merely changed some people’s way of life, as it also gave some newborn children abilities that turned out to help deal with the Phantoms that cause trouble in the world. Luckily not all phantoms are bad, such as Ruru, a phantom that hangs around Haruhiko Ichijo and Mai Kawakami. The two of them are members of their school’s Phantom Hunting club, an officially recognized public service that pay students with these special abilities to deal with harmful or nuisance Phantoms. Although their payment is mostly in food, services, or supplies, they sustain their lives as high school students. Haruhiko has an ability that allows him to seal or summon Phantoms by drawing them in his book and reciting a simple incantation, while Mai is a specialist in Martial Arts and using element enchantments to deal with phantoms. To aid in the suppression of harmful Phantoms, Haruhiko also tends to read as many books as he can so he is as knowledgeable as possible when encountering the spirits to find ways to seal them. As it may seem, they end up being an odd pairing as Haruhiko ends up going on odd information tangents and Mai is a little bit more rambunctious. This has lead them to be the lowest performing team in the Phantom Hunting Club.
On his way home one day, Haruhiko comes across a strange area changed by some Phantoms and a girl surrounded by them. In an instant she opens her mouth and displays her special ability to suck all Phantoms in and consume them. After an awkward first encounter, Haruhiko introduces himself to Reina Izumi the next day at school and tries to convince her to join their team at the Phantom Club. She’s reluctant at first, but with a bit of bribery at the school’s cafeteria she at least goes along on their next mission to see what hunting Phantoms is like before she settles on a decision. They end up going to attempt to exorcise some Tsukomogami which appear in the form of some dancing powerline poles doing the Limbo. Haruhiko determines that based on the type of spirit they are, they are old spirits that used to be celebrated as trees before they were cut down for tools, but since no one has honoured them, they cannot pass on. So in an attempt to try and earn their own rest but cause trouble for people instead. The team join them in their Limbo dance to set them at rest and peacefully seal the spirits away. After seeing what their overall objective is, Reina ends up deciding to join their team anyway so that she can make some friends and possibly earn more delicious food.
The overall art style of this show reminded me of another show from a couple seasons ago, “When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace” which had a similar sort of style to it despite being from two different studios. I always get fairly intrigued by shows that present with folk tales, lore, mythology, and other such story aspects to them, and this show seems like it’ll be no exception, though it does seem to have the usual amount of fan service as most other shows of it’s genre. I look forward to seeing what other inventive and interesting types of spirits work into the story later this season and seeing if they’ll explain what sort of phantom Ruru is, as she’s persistently pestering Haruhiko and never leaves his side, but has no reason to actually stay by him apparently. Though she looks like she would be some sort of Djinn or Genie by appearance.
Kyoto Animation is the studio behind the series and is currently airing on Crunchyroll.