These OVAs are mostly a compilation of random skits featuring the characters doing silly mundane things…turned up to eleven. Compete in a game show? KILL EVERYTHING! Attempting to work a Blu-ray player to record something? GO INSANE. A simple volleyball game on the beach? DROP THE MOON ON EVERYONE.
Not your typical beach episode…
As you’d expect, Carnival Phantasm has much of the typical Asian over-the-top humor. Face faults, hammy acting, characters going massively overboard on simple tasks. The works. Does it work? Yeah. Sure. Just about as much as every other goofball series I’ve seen. Even then, I’ve seen crazier series out there. Excel Saga, anyone? Though I thought the real charm of the series was exactly who were performing these acts. For anyone that has played/watched Type-Moon’s works, you would be well aware that the series that these OVAs are based on are extremely dark stories.
It’s kind of like that.
As such, it’s both extremely jarring and utterly hilarious to see these characters be in a goofy series like this. Blood? Death? Sex? Let’s have the protagonists talk about pulling a Tenchi Solution and dating all his harem choices! Combine with the stellar animation budget for OVAs, and you get a fun, irreverent series for fans of Type-Moon’s visual novels.
Unfortunately, because of this, I can only give Carnival Phantasm a For Fans Only recommendation.
Many of the jokes in this are ones that requires some prior knowledge of the previous two series, especially the character-based gags. As such, it alienates many newcomers that may want to jump into the franchise. For fans, however, they would absolutely eat this OVA series up.
Plus, Arcueid in a bikini.