Carnival Phantasm Review: Type-Moon Ridiculousness Galore


Once again I’ve been distracted from my plans to get to visual novels, but I suppose it was worth it.  Happened to have free time and I decided to watch a couple episodes of Carnival Phantasm with my friend.  I decided to watch the rest, and as expected, lots of hilarity ensued and all sorts of over the top craziness took place throughout the anime.

So Carnival Phantasm is an OVA that revolves around the many Type-Moon characters, but primarily those of the Fate/stay night and Tsukihime series.  While both of these are originally much more serious stories, Carnival Phantasm opts instead to create a number of outrageous scenarios that parody many aspects of the characters and their interactions with each other.  Ever wondered what the Holy Grail War would be like as a game show or a racing competition?  Imagined the chaos that would take place if Berserker went to go buy batteries for Ilya at the store?  Or perhaps the insanity of Shiro and Shiki trying to sort out dates with the numerous female heroines in what seems like a harem fashion?  Well, if any of those sound promising, then Carnival Phantasm is the anime to watch.

It’s important to note that this isn’t an anime just anybody can watch.  If you have no knowledge on anything Type-Moon, then it’s very likely you will get very little out of watching this series.  There is some amusement in the sheer randomness that takes place, but it’s a lot less enjoyable when you aren’t familiar with the characters and their personalities as you watch what happens.  As a fan of the Fate series, I can certainly say that I enjoyed the anime thoroughly and found great amusement in the jokes and references made.  However, I still have yet to explore any part of the Tsukihime series and was thus at a loss of understanding for most of the insiders there.  This in mind, it is certainly best to watch Carnival Phantasm with the most knowledge of Type-Moon series as possible.  While people like me who have only seen Fate will still greatly enjoy it, it is ideal if you’ve played through the visual novels and the spin offs for both series (which, to be honest, is something I don’t have time for right now).  Of course, once I’ve actually tried out those and know much more about Type-Moon, I’ll be sure to rewatch the anime and see just how much more I get out of it the second time.


It’s probably already quite obvious, but the primary reason to watch this is for the laughs and sheer enjoyment.  For the most part you won’t be getting any deep, dark, meaningful scenes that correlate to the much more serious stories of Fate or Tsukihime.  The above picture (which comes from the opening sequence) quite simply displays the type of series you should be expecting: a silly crossover to please the diehard Type-Moon fans.  Seeing the wide range of characters dancing to a lighthearted, catchy song is but the start to the madness that lies ahead.

Having finished this short but pleasant anime, I can say that I had a very good time.  I know that there is more to it and that I would be even more amused upon familiarizing myself with the vast world of Type-Moon.  At the moment, however, I’m satisfied with giving it an 8/10.  If you’ve seen the Type-Moon series and want some fun comedy, this is definitely a must-see.  If not, then I’d recommend you give those a try.  I’m not sure about Tsukihime, but the Fate series was wonderful and Carnival Phantasm aside, it’s one I would recommend in general just because of the style and potential it exhibits.  Of course, having a great parody anime to go along with that doesn’t hurt either.

And so I leave a picture that should give you an idea of just how crazy this anime can be:


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