Mafia is rife in America where assassinations are a regular occurrence on the streets. Inferno, a mysterious company, is behind most of these dealings through the use of their near-invincible human weapon, "Phantom."
One day, a Japanese tourist accidentally witnesses Phantom's latest murder. Desperate to escape, the tourist hides in a secluded building. However, Phantom, revealed to be a young woman named Ein, and the leader of Inferno "Scythe Master" captures the tourist and brainwashes him.
Given the name "Zwei," this once peaceful tourist is now a puppet of Inferno with no memories. Drawn into a world of lies, deceit, and violence, Zwei must fight to survive, hopefully to one day regain his memories and escape from this world where he is constantly on the brink of death.
Regret always comes last. People realize that they are doing wrong deeds when everything is over. They may try to go after a new life and start again but the fact that they messed up before will haunt them forever.
Prepare yourselves as you will be taken into a world full of violence, betrayal, deceit, and madness. You will be in the edge of your seats as every episode is an action packed episode. Everyone has the ability to kill or will kill when they think that their survival is being threatened. The protagonist chose a path that will change his life drastically. Not like
he wanted to go to that path, more like they forced him to. Love is also portrayed because both of the protagonist know that they have feelings for each other but their status makes it hard for them. Also, time skips made this series more interesting as it will suprise the viewers since everything and everyone had change after it.
The art was great. They were some animation errors but you will forget them as you will be satisfied with the great and magnificent sceneries. The fighting and the shooting scenes were great too.
The sound was very nice. You'll be feeling like you're inside an opera room. Those falcetto notes during fights and dramatic events really helped. It deepened the impact on the viewers which makes it more awesome.
When interraction is made, relationship starts to form. As our main assassins work together since they are partners in crime, they realize that they have feelings for each other. Add another girl, in which you wouldn't expect what would happen to her,and you get a love triangle. The organization, Inferno, also plays an important rolw because they are the ones who control and manipulate the strings of everyone. Organization so big that everyone in the underworld fears them.
Superb. It was very exciting. After seeing an episode, you'll just keep longing for more and more because every episode leaves you hanging. There are also a lot of sudden turn of events, ohh the irony. I really enjoyed it more after the time skip. The settings and the roles changed drastically that it'll make you be like "OHH YEAA ."
Great series, I recommend it to everyone. You will not feel regret.
Phantom is simply a mess. It's a mesh of fine ideas that ultimately is not executed well and ends up with a lot of wasted potential. Let's dive down deeper to see how Phantom ended up.
This review contains minor spoilers after the "Read More" mark.
Phantom consists of 3 main arcs, each separated by a recap episode, and each focusing on 3 different characters, Ein, Zwei and Drei, although with Zwei being an important character throughout. The story starts of with an interesting premise of an amnesiac man being manipulated by a shady organization.
However this thread is very quickly resolved when he learns of his
identity 3 episodes in. And Zwei, oh Zwei isn't known for making rational or even normal decisions. I mean, how else did he get himself stuck in this situation am I right? Several times in the series I really question his true motivations or even reasons for carrying out certain actions, not because of some mysterious plot thread or engaging character behavior, but because of shoddy character writing.
The other main characters aren't any better in this regard. Ein is your standard emotionless girl who finds emotion through main protagonist stereotype and is absolutely dependent on someone else, be it Zwei or Evil Doctor person to live. Her character development is cliche as all hell, and ultimately she isn't much likable as a result.
Drei on the other hand is more entertaining. She is a lot more enjoyable than the other 2 characters when it comes to her scenes, although her character motivations are just terrible. I won't go much into her reasons for being in the plot, but it feels so shoved in and terribly written that I couldn't garner any sympathy for her plight.
The other side characters are pretty forgettable. The main antagonist is an evil doctor whose name I forgot and is always one step ahead of the protagonists but has nothing substantial about him. He's evil and depraved and that pretty much sums up his entire character. Near the end he becomes a lot more theatrical and a lot more entertaining but that still doesn't redeem any of the previous moments involving his character.
There's also the issue of the overall plot. The plot is competent enough, but the characters and the pacing drag it down significantly. The pacing in particular ratchets up so quickly near each arc's end that the audience would be left confused and tired by it's conclusion. The third arc manages it all best, where Zwei and Ein are more likable/less dumb and Drei always makes for interesting encounters.
The series has very bad problems managing its themes/messages. One of the main themes the series attempts to showcase is that a name isn't everything and one should live to be oneself. This theme is delivered in the first arc when Zwei told Ein to ditch her old name and live anew, saying that she shouldn't be retrained by a name. Ironically afterwards he starts calling her Eren and expects her to abide by and live by that arbitrary name he gave her. Ein even calls him out on this but the show just ignores this and thinks it has written something profound or meaningful or something. It's ridiculous.
There's also the ending which is just terrible. It differs from the original visual novel by purposely altering it slightly to make it a bad ending but doing so completely defeats the purpose of the protagonists' journey and is also inconsistent with the previous parts of the anime where they could eat up bullets without needing too much medical attention. It's just bad.
There's a lot more I could go on about but I should just stop here. Phantom isn't worth your time.
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is a prime example of a show that is too overrated by fans, who easily overlook some gaping plot holes, and downgraded into oblivion by haters, who cannot see anything but those plot holes. I think this show sits somewhere in between: it is a fine show to watch, nothing exeptionally great, but not bad either. If you're trying to decide on watching this, let this be your decision after 1/2 episodes: do you like the character relationship of Ein and Zwei? Go on. If you do not, don't bother with the show. I will try to provide my arguments
with as few spoilers as possible, but I cannot completely guarantee a spoiler-free review. Here goes.
== Story == 7
There are essentially two layers to this Anime. On the superficial level, you have your standard mafia-esque corporations trying to gain more power, with the main corperation being Inferno. The distributions in power are a little vague in the beginning, but as the show goes on, one can see that higher-ups in the corperation are allowed a great deal of freedom when it comes to handling problems. Bosses will frequently go behind each other's back to solve personal problems. This would make for quite an interesting story of intrigue, but is a little dulled by the second layer of the show.
The second layers revolves around our two main protagonists, Ein and Zwei. The complex relationship that these to characters have makes for quite an interesting main character cast, but I felt its relationship overshadows the story of Inferno and its attempt at gaining more power in the underworld.
I found myself a little disappointed when the show shifted from the intriguing development of the main characters to highlight the structure and plans of Inferno. I understand that this is necessary for the plot to advance and therefore for the characters to even develop, but hope you also get what I mean by this. The story also suffers from an insanely large plothole, which I could not overlook and I will talk about in the Characters section.
== Characters == 7
The main characters is where the show truly shines, but is also a big downfall. Ein, being completely brainwashed now has to work together with Zwei, who is in the process of being completely brainwashed, but deep down is heavily conflicted. I loved how their relationship was set up, being purely platonic and bland at first, but slowly turning into something deeper that I will not explain to avoid spoilers. There were times that I completely loathed the decisions they made, which was proof for me that I was quite heavily invested in the main characters.
As with the story, the main characters overshadow the supporting characters, who are in this case mostly Inferno members. This ties into the more 'boring' superficial layer of the story. It was also nice to see that the show pulls off quite a few risky plot-twists, some of which work out greatly, while others fail horribly.
This leads me to a plot hole, so gapingly large that it almost swallows the entire show. This is also why many people are so put off by this show. About 75% in, there is a time skip of two years. Some characters haven't aged a day, while another turned from a child to an adolescent in a mere two years. Not only is this completely illogical, it was also not even necessary to keep the story going. The story and characters suffer immensely from this. Until the end of the show, I could not get over this. Your opinion on the show will most likely hinge on this specific time skip. I was really put off by this, but continued to watch anyway. The opening and ending also change after this time skip, which made this plot hole even more terribly obvious. Judge this how you will, but you cannot deny the irregularities that this time skip brought.
== Animation == 7
The animation is good. There is nothing wrong with it, but it isn't amazing either. Some characters, often ladies, are sometimes irregularly shaped (scenes with weirdly long legs or unevenly sized breasts), but the rest looks good. Characters look great, are nicely animated and some painting-like scenery fleshes them out well, while giving you that artsy feeling.
One thing bothered me though, and that has to do with the fan service. In the first minute of the first episode you will see a half-naked lady lying on the beach. BAM! Two tits in your face. While there is nothing wrong with that, I immediately thought: 'Oh it's going to be like that, huh?' But it wasn't. During the rest of the show, the animators went out of their way to not fully show nudity, to the point of unrealistic, nippleless, naked girls, which makes me wonder what the use of that very first scene was to begin with. You have the R+ rating already, so just show nudity when it is appropriate, or fully go out of your way to show nudity, and avoid naked ladies without nipples altogether.
== Sound == 8
The sound is great. The opening song sets the mood nicely, while tracks in the Anime always fit the scenes. Some soundtracks are so great or are so obviously made to make you feel a particular emotion, that it can even feel out-of-place in some scenes. It is just too present and obvious sometimes, but most of the time augments the show perfectly. The second opening and ending songs are used after the time skip for the last few episodes, which made me feel weird, almost insulted. For me there was no reason why they should change the songs to make the time skip even more obnoxious.
== Enjoyment == 6
There were times when I was heavily invested in the main characters, only to be pulled out again by a dull side-story or hateful decisions some characters make. I still cannot fathom some of the plot twist inducing decisions that were being made and can ultimately also not say that I always enjoyed this show. A few times I just sat there, looking at my screen and asking: 'Why the fuck did you have to do that?' Sometimes the show dragged on for a bit too long on a specific subject or side-story, making me wonder if it had been better for the show if it had a few less episodes.
People have been comparing this show to Black Lagoon a lot, but I must warn you that apart from the mafia groups and the conflicts of the main protagonist, the mood, setting and goal of the shows are completely different. Black Lagoon is much more action-oriented, while Phantom focuses more on character development.
Ultimately, this is not a bad show. It is not amazing either. It's just decent. You will probably like it if you like the relationship of the main characters, but do not try to sell this as the greatest Anime ever made, as its flaws are too obvious to ignore.
My thirst for gun action animes had grown after watching Hellsing Ultimate and Black Lagoon, and somehow, this particular anime showed up in my recommendations quite frequently. So I gave it a try.
It started off with a Japanese young man where he founds himself in a room. Having completely no idea about his reasons for being there and his identity, he tried to explore where he was. It was only then he was "attacked" by a girl named Ein. It was then shown that he was experimented in an abandoned outlet in the States to test his abilities and skills. Next, he realized that his
memories were lost and he was ultimately forced to work for a large mafia company known as Inferno. He was also given a new name called Zwei. Throughout his jobs, psychological thoughts were tested, manipulated and toyed. I liked how it deals with the mind, about how life feels being abandoned and trapped but you're still urging for an escape. That was how the plot goes. Slowly as the plot progressed, we could see Inferno's goals, the aristocrats' battle for power in the group, the struggle for freedom and of course, betrayal. Ein and Zwei also got closer in their relationship to fight for an escape but was hesitated by doubt and premonitions. I really liked how they played with your mind honestly speaking. But that was how it all started. There were risky but nicely planned plot twists albeit some parts were blurry in terms of where the plot wanted to go. It started off slow, but managed to pick up. The first part was a bumpy ride of despair and hope basically speaking. The second part was the separating point between Ein and Zwei. After Zwei acknowledged his true identity, a tragic incident transpired that caused him to switch paths which ultimately he met a young girl by a chance encounter. A new hope was revived and a new progress was revealed. Although there were more depth relating to power, escape and evil, the psychology was dealt greatly. But after another turning point of a tragic misunderstanding, everything that continued right after that was underwhelming. The third part of the plot became unclear due to a huge gap of time. The psychological aspects were suddenly forgotten, and everything was solely for the sake of a longer, useless plot that felt silly. It's an anime that progressed simply when something hopeful comes up, it's ultimately thrown away by another stupid tragedy only to be compensated by another flicker of hope that's fated to be destroyed once more. The reason for that? I'm guessing it's for masochism. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind multiple tragedies to prolong the story, but when you run out of fresh ideas, it's better not to add another twist that doesn't seem like a fine deal, I don't buy it. With the plot getting unsteady towards the end, the authors perhaps decided to add some more bitter icing to their distasteful cake that not only made it taste worse, but it became inedible. The aforementioned ending obliterated the plot's whole progression, the characters' motives and basically makes you feel horrible. Not only that, it served up as an obviously huge plot hole. I won't tell what but you could probably tell how bad it was coming from me. It was messed up so bad that ultimately, it only tells you this: Nothing in this show, including goals and dignity and essence, actually matters. There's no reason why you need to accomplish something. Which is why the plot was, as I said, wrecked terribly.
This anime was made in 2009, but it wouldn't mean that I'll give it some leniency for this. I do have reasons. First off, this anime had considerable amounts of fanservice, even at the second minute of the first episode you already get two "you know what" right in your face. However, nudity was, thankfully, not exaggeratedly conspicuous, but still, I can't seem to find reasons for these occurrences, which means that they were unnecessary. The character designs were pretty much bland and lackluster and not consistent all of the time but the backgrounds of the show were brilliant. Action scenes were great though. However, it was awkward seeing different contrasts that didn't compliment each other which felt somewhat incomplete. On the other hand, this anime had two opening and ending animations. As for the first opening and ending, I'll admit it was pretty damn good. It portrayed the mood of the songs perfectly and it was one of the few animes that seem really artistic. Truly, very well done. But, as for the second opening and ending, it burned my eyes. The second opening looked as if it came from a regular slice-of-life show which absolutely couldn't click with the pessimistic song that was playing along with it. The second ending was very lacking in animation compared to the first one and wasn't much to see. In conclusion, the animation is noticeably inconsistent and occasionally lackadaisical.
The soundtrack was actually really good in my opinion. Every track that played in a particular scenario fitted well. Some were good while others were actually really great. I did notice that there were two or more tracks that were remixed in terms of genre to fit the mood of a scene which I have to admit it was pretty ingenious. Repetitiveness may be an issue but the tracks still complimented every scene, and that's more important. The singular genres were diverse ranging from chant, violin, progressive rock, folk, orchestral and even music box while the fusion ones were pretty unique like techno chant, ambient folk with contemporary piano concerto and happy trance mixed with music box and drum 'n' bass. I'm loving the fusion ones more than the singular ones actually, but there's still room for the soundtrack to reach a top-tier level. As for the two opening and ending themes, they were all fantastic. Ali Project and Kokia done a beautiful job in conveying the anime's theme with neoclassical genres to give it an authentic feel to it. The soundtrack's great, but it's such a shame that the animation couldn't keep up with some of the intense or chaotic tracks.
The characters were probably the anime's strongest point, but it was also its greatest downfall. The development for the main characters were great and thorough as the plot progressed slowly -- showing the bonding between them as they attempt to escape from the relentless struggle of acquiring freedom. Psychological standpoints from the characters (normally the mains) were dealt in a way that seemed realistic enough to be almost ingenious when it comes to decision making. But secondary characters were a bit lacking and unclear in character development. There were glimpses of their past, probably it gave them the drive of persistence, but it was still insufficient enough to determine their motives, which sometimes made their decisions seemed unappeasable towards me despite the actual plot had a major impact on it. But I felt that some characters were probably, no offense, dumb in making decisions. Most of the time during the last five episodes I was saying: "Why the heck do you do that?!" or "How in the world could you even have that sort of mentality?!" Basically, the characters' decisions and motives were disappointingly shallow which gave off to cliche, silly and predictable drama. But at least the anime gave us an advice: Always check your building even if it's blown up.
It started off slow, but managed to pick up its pace just fine in which the show was narrated in an initially unclear form to a clear and transparent understanding of every party striving for their own goal. My only problem with the progression was the third part, and it's always that! It felt tedious and long-winded because it's predictable and not suspenseful. Because of that, the final battle of the show was rushed and didn't seemed to give off a sense of finality that it felt somewhat illogical for it to be rushed due to the plot holes. Even when the main villain was defeated, it didn't feel decisive at all, as if something was lacking. Some major plot holes were obvious enough to be seen with the naked eye that it felt unsatisfactory when it ended, because it wasn't complete. No, it didn't even receive closure. It stopped right before the closure and credits just rolled and that was it. The finale was never shown because something bad was added that was never explained -- which created the biggest plot hole ever.
I had been criticising lots of points of Phantom: Requiem of the Phantom, mainly it was because of the third part of the plot that messed up its original brilliance, which I felt biased already. It was initially enjoyable, I'll admit that. I really enjoyed the music as well. But what creates satisfaction is not how it started, but how it ended. It's the show's ending that's more important than its beginning. And since there isn't a sequel, the plot holes will forever remain in your interpretation. Phantom: Requiem of the Phantom started off strongly and interestingly, but gradually loses its grounds and topples.
And deliberating over the ten traits of the anime: plot, characters, music, animation, artwork, progression, voice acting, setting, opening/ending and my personal enjoyment, my verdict for this is a 6.3/10.