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: 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 two 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 == 7
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.
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.
I can imagine many people bashing their heads against the wall trying to write a review for this anime without revealing spoilers; so I'm going to do this as best as possible...
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom. One thing for sure is that this is one masterfully written and awesomely portrayed bit of story telling. In the twenty six episodes you'll find that you keep saying to yourself: "just one more episode", since it is almost impossible to watch just one episode at a time. (I gave the story a solid 10/10).
The art and sound department did a superb job (the opening theme "Karma" in
particular is amazing, I'm ordering the OST that's for sure). English Dub fans will recognize most voices too.
The characters are like none other. Character development is amazing, all are brilliantly depicted and each has their own unique 'aura'. The relationships between characters, the twists & turns; it's all is part of this awesome bit of story telling. Character design was without a doubt engineered towards stirring emotions, you will unknowingly become immersed in their world(s) and be eager to find out what happens next (going back to what I said earlier).
The way it throws you around with plot twists, action, betrayals and emotions... it truly is one awesome roller coaster... to carry on with that analogy: just imagine this superb roller coaster, a few aches and pains from the ride, you're left feeling euphoric, only to realise it's still not quite over.
I'll leave it at that. sorry, but that's just one of the ways this anime really does it's magic.
It's hard to nit-pick but there are a few minor things here & there, but they're all easily forgotten. For example it's fairly evident who the real 'baddy' is early on (it would involve spoilers too so please excuse if I don't elaborate). loose ends are definitely my only main grievance with this anime. Believe me you will say: "did I just hear that!?" at one point...
So if you're a fan of action, hit-man/criminal syndicate, psychological thrillers; or if you just needed convincing, you will not regret picking up this anime.
This show is a classic case of: Good Idea, Bad Execution
It starts off simply enough with an intriguing (if all-too-common) storyline and interesting, shadowy characters. The first few episodes are pretty strong, focusing mainly on the development of the main protagonist and his interactions with his new employers and colleagues. I was eager to find out what would happen next, and in my eagerness, I ignored all the signs of what would come.
Very quickly the story takes a very cliched turn, and the characters become little more than billboards of irrationality. The motivations of the protagonists, antagonists, and pretty much everyone in the show,
suddenly become contradictory to their earlier actions, thoughts, and reactions. The plot develops, rather quickly, from a biting psychological-thriller, into a predictable and unrealistic drama.
Not to spoil anything, but the hardened and brutal criminals of the first few episodes suddenly become weak and ineffectual, the anonymous, silent killers suddenly become flashy and all-too-eager to shout their names and identities from the rooftops. And of course, the calculating villains seem utterly incapable of understanding even the simplest of human motivations. It becomes all too easy to predict what will happen by simply having watched a multitude of bad television and feature films. If it's a cliche, it's probably used. If it makes little sense considering the setting, it probably occurs. Some people may think I'm being too harsh here, but the unrealized potential of the story makes the decisions of the writers and directors all the more questionable.
As the story begins to reach it's climax, one is forced to question the relevance of some major characters and earlier plot-developments. Little attention is payed to developing the rationale behind the decisions that the characters make; villain and "hero" (there are no real heroes here) alike simply act so that the plot can be advanced. Unfortunately, the plot advances in the least interesting and most predictable ways, and is itself full of holes. For example, a time-skip of two years leaves us with some people who look like they've not grown either physically or emotionally, and other characters who don't even closely resemble their earlier selves.
The result of the bad decisions made by the writing and directing teams is that some viewers lose interest in the outcome of the story, or the fate of the characters. Indeed, it is difficult in some ways to find the energy to care about the development of the plot and characters, when 90% of the time, your first guess is the right one. Actions are taken that seem to have no inner meaning or relevance to the actual story. Motivations which seemed ludicrous are revealed to be just that: ludicrous. Any hints that this may all be the design of some mastermind are left forgotten and we come to find out that the villains and "heroes" are all just that dumb.
To be honest, I find it difficult to rate this series as anything above mediocre. The art and music are all perfectly fine, though one particular theme is overplayed. The story is intriguing, if one is not looking for complexity or depth, and is not expecting something "new" or very creative. The characters are often interesting on the surface, but upon closer inspection, they become one-dimensional and sometimes, very contradictory. The drama is contrived and the plot-holes begin to weigh down any emotional value the events may be trying to convey. The ending was, in my opinion, fitting for such a series: cliche and not very well-executed. What started off great was, sadly, doomed to failure.
Overall, I give it a 5/10. In some ways this is too harsh, but in others it is far too lenient. Stories that don't take risks are usually boring and not enjoyable, but stories that take risks have to deliver. In my humble opinion, Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom took plenty of risks, but almost none of them payed off in the end. The higher one flies, the harder one falls.
In closing, I will put a quote from my brother about the show that I think summarizes it perfectly:
"It was like someone wanted to make a hard, biting, psychological show about assassins, but wanted to make it for an audience of fifteen year old girls."
((((After Edit: Upon further reflection, I have decided that this is perhaps the worst anime ever made, and have appropriately given it a 1 score. I have left the original review intact however.))))
Personally the idea of a secret organization hidden in the underground has always sent a small chill down the spine. One of thrill and a small yearn of wanting to join in on the fun. Grunge, guns, passion, hate, emptiness, lust, power, suits, death, and fancy cars; these are some of things that is offered in this forbidden and hidden world. At first glance it looks like a life worth trying out, but the void that can be created within one’s mind can become the very undoing of their life. Zwei is one of the most detailed
characters I have experienced thus far that exhibits this trait.
What happens when you take a person, someone of a certain "innocence", chase them down, try to kill them and then brain wash them into doing the bidding of this underground world, with the reward of just their life? I for one have never experienced anything like that from the external or an internal source of the material world, so my input on a realistic level is incorrect. Although, one thing that I can speculate on is the psychological formula of one's thought process and emotional response, thus understanding the turn that could occur and stir inside the heart of this character.
This one minute characteristic of the show was the selling point that instant. Being a sucker for cute boys is a weakness of mine, but the devoid Zwei captivated the "poor lost soul" gap within me. The artist nature of his hollow eyes, blank expression, and puppet like movements coincide with the response that would be fitting for the overall effect in the story. The choice of when to have Zwei react in an emotional ran state or “phantom” state was right on the mark. There has never been a point in time that the “internal drama” lingered for too long, another winning aspect of Phantom.
The amount of conflict, emotional response and actions taken all fit together perfectly with no leftovers. The feelings of dissatisfaction, confusion, bewilderment, or boredom have not occurred yet while watching this animation. Waiting for the main climax to take shape tickles with excitement as the story unfolds and the characters become enveloped in the mix. Seeing all of this from a non living organism makes me want to experience it even more, maybe not personally, but from a third person perspective. To see this type of behavior develop in a real person would be something that someone faint of heart would not be able to accomplish; the absolute demise of a once innocent and “living” person. Do you want to see what happens when someone lives so close to death?
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.
Reading through the reviews on here I'm left wondering if i downloaded the wrong show, i went into this show with high levels of optimism, low popularity, but highly rated, definitely a potential gem.
I liked 'Similar shows' such as Gungrave and Black Lagoon, and this show is not on the same level as those shows.
The premise is solid, and potentially very interesting, people being emotionally scrubbed and programmed as assassins, and the relationships that develop under these circumstances, almost certainly going to be dark and tragic, should be great.
The art and sound are both solid, i liked the character models, they were well realised and
the sound seemed to better convey emotion than the actual content of the show at times.
Character and enjoyment are what destroyed this show for me, i stuck this show out for 13 episodes, before i finally decided it was not going to turn the corner.
The characters as mentioned before are emotionally scrubbed, and now while this often works well when done with a single cast member, basing a show on the developing relationship between two emotionally scrubbed characters is a long tedious and drawn out process.
Long Tedious and drawn out really does go a long way to summarising my feelings towards the whole show, there are constant glimpses of potential as the protagonist slowly descends further into the murky criminal underworld, but it all seemed ultimately hollow and predictable.
The 10 or so episodes prior to the time skip would have seemed more appropriate in a 15 minute flash back in some sort of back story episode, not the content for the first half of a series.
In conclusion this show has low popularity for a reason, it's a niche show, and that niche seems to involve rock solid patients and very low expectations. If your not into and loving this show after the early episodes, drop it, because that's as good as it's going to get, it doesn't turn the corner and will continue as more of the same.
What's our reason for existence? We all have one, but often, those reasons were given to us before we were even born. Most of us have the luxury of being surrounded by friends, family, siblings, etc. But what happens when we're completely stripped of all of those, and are thrown out to find a new existence on our own?
Story - 9:
The core plot of Requiem for the Phantom centers around one's pursuit of one's reason to exist. To find one's place in the world. And as the viewer quickly discovers, successfully accomplishing this is quite an ambitious task. This is due to the fact
that the environment itself forbids such concepts. In the dark, chaotic underworld, assassins are trained to be ghosts, empty beings that only do, never question. Deviation from this is frowned upon, and only guilt and regret awaits those who even try to stray from this rule.
The plot therefore quickly spirals into a tug of war between the will of the characters, and the environment they're in. As such, the events themselves revolve much around a single decision. Which is better? Being a ghost of non existence doing only as ordered so, but as a result feeling no guilt or sin, or having an existence, but feeling the regret of all the sins one has committed?
How the plot progresses, is through changes in each character's perspective on the above question. As each episode goes by, you'll feel as if they're "growing", gaining new intuition through their interactions with each other. They begin to see new beauty in the world that they've never seen before, eventually, reach their own respective decisions to "the question". The anime's definition of "at least at peace."
The brilliance of the plot itself lies in how well weaved together everything is. Each action has an implication, and each implication has an effect. Each effect creates an emotion, and each emotion affects how the characters perceive the world, and themselves. Nothing is wasted. Every minute of each episode had a reason for being there, and taking any of them away would harm the overall experience. In fact, you'll be surprised how many times you'll ask yourself "what would I have done?".
However, as sentimental and philosophical as the plot is, it isn't perfect. Along the path of ambition that the creators have taken, there are definitely a few hiccups. There are two points within the plot that suffer from what I call, "time lapse syndrome". A point in the story of which a character has a certain personality and attitude/behaviour, and then after a screen caption of "x months later...", their personality completely changes. Because we're not shown the events inbetween, only the before and afters, it makes the viewer feel as if the creators simply ran out of time, and decided to leave the rest up to our imaginations. Nothing wrong with using the imagination of the viewer to develop the plot of course, but the fact that we're not shown the complete picture does hurt the progression of the plot.
Art - 10
To be honest, I think the L.A. skyscrapers looked better in this anime than in real life. The artistic style used not only compliments incredibly well with the dark atmosphere of the anime, but also in bring out L.A's "true colours" if you will. All in all, it's evident that the creators took the time in creating a world that was thoroughly believable visually.
Sound - 10
Again, like with the art, the OSTs compliment the anime quite well. The falsettos compound the experience during dramatic situations, and the epic beats make those fights seem even more badass. Both the opening and the ending songs are quite catchy as well.
Characters - 9
For the most part, each character in the series existed to provide different perspectives on the same environment. They also act as the messengers that pass on the morals and consequences of events of the anime onto the viewer. It is also because of this diversity of personalities represented through each character that makes the series so compelling and enjoyable. It's consistently interesting to see how each character addresses their own issues based upon their own morals and goals, and how their different decisions bring upon them different consequences later on. For example, the behaviour of one character might show that too much ambition eventually backfires, while another may show that intense love could quickly turn into intense hate.
The choice for the two main characters were also excellent. The personalities of Zwei and Ein compliment each other perfectly. While Zwei eventually develops his own will, Ein remains trapped, without her own will, and therefore unable to act on her own unless ordered to. The journey that the two take together to reclaim Ein's past is so emotional because you understand very early on, that both of them, were just innocent bystanders tossed into a world that doesn't make sense. Yet it is because of this, that each of their achievements feel so much more worthy. And it is also the reason why this series does so well in delivering the emotion of losing oneself completely, and then slowly reclaiming what you have lost.
However, the series does also trip slightly over it's own ambition. The large character base meant that some characters didn't get the development that they deserved, while others didn't even get to contribute to the plot because they were introduced so late. But in light of everything that's going on, these were very small errors that will hardly be noticeable.
Overall - 9
Requiem for the Phantom is one of those animes that will suck you in from episode one, and take you on a journey of deception, deceit and a slight hint of hope, of which you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat until the very end. It's one of those animes that will make you think and relate to the characters, and perhaps even change your own perspective on life...for better or for worse.
But above all, it's an anime that shows that even the darkest of worlds aren't completely devoid of light, and after you've finished watching it, it'll have left an impact that you'll never forget.
In my opinion, Phantom Requiem will may be figure in the top10 anime of the year 2009.
Phantom Requiem is firstly an anime where you need to be attentive, in fact, mafia members in that anime often discuss about plans,strategies which are quite difficult to understand.However, the most fascinating side of that anime resides in the relationship between Reiji/zwei and Elen/Ein.I would say that the main theme of this anime is FREEDOM.
Phantom Requiem is an anime for those who mostly love drama since the story of Elen and Reiji is very touching.Therefore, if you are searching for impressive scenes of actions and suspense, I suggest that
you don't expect more from this anime.
Strength of this anime:
1) Drama is very good- following how Reiji becomes more and more close to Ein is the main strength of this anime.In fact,Reiji and Ein share the same suffering and this creates a strong bond between them.
2) Art is extremely good- main characters and even side characters are well drawn.
3) The music is good- Opening(Karma) is damn good and background music(which are mainly gothic type) are perfectly adapted to a given situation
4) Many many many moral values which i'm sure will teach you many things.E.g Once you killed someone, killing again will become easier
1) You will probably hate 85% characters of this series since they are always looking for power.This is a real weakness since those characters will have consequent screen time.
2) Too many discussions among characters which is harsh to understand but hopefully, you can understand what is going on even he you didn't understand what was being said.( It's like politics XD)
3) Probably, this anime in my opinion had a very slow start but things will become more and more interesting around ep12 ( however, it was interesting to follow ep1-11)
4) Lack of suspense at the end of most episodes which I think is quite unfortunate.
Basically,this anime is great and you should definitely gave it a try.
This anime is disgustingly underrated. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is an adaption of the visual novel, Phantom of the Inferno by Gen Urobuchi. The show contains much of Gen’s dark and twisted depiction of reality. Characters are subjected to cruel fates, true despair, and most importantly the anime shows that "hope" is merely an elusive and fleeting illusion in our (in)humane world. The main focus of the anime is the idea of the perfect assassin. It is about crafting the mindset an assassin needs; how assassins are mere inhumane tools for psychopathic people. Requiem for the Phantom crafts a palpable sense of despair and
anguish in people.
In our world, there are a plethora of gangs, mafias, and terrorist organizations. At the center of the story, the mysterious uprising organization, Inferno assassinates targets mercilessly with their invincible secret weapon, "Phantom". Inferno's goal? Bring forth a new era. What does that even mean?
The main character, Reiji Azuma (though it's never revealed if that's even his true name) wakes up in an unknown building in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no memory of anything, and out of nowhere gets attacked by an assassin. That's when his killer survival instinct kicks in, and he flashes potential as a legendary assassin. The mysterious assassin who's later revealed as "Ein", a emotionless teenage girl, and her mad scientist master, "Master Scythe", decide to brainwash and train Reiji into an assassin for their organization, Inferno. Given the name "Zwei," this once peaceful boy is now a puppet of Inferno. Drawn into a world of darkness, 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. As the plot thickens and darkens, Zwei and Ein seem to build a bond of love/friendship as they yearn for the truth of reality.
The character development in this anime started with unlimited potential, but later it became rather barren. At first, the shadows behind Inferno were interesting to look out for. What is their motif for murder? What's this "new era" that they envision? Then our main characters, Zwei and Ein... They are 2 of the greatest, ambiguous characters in all anime. What's their identity? Nobody remembers who they are, so do they truly exist? If they are killing others in order to survive, doesn't that make them evil? Throughout the entire anime, the dilemma presented here for Zwei and Ein, was intriguing and deep. They have absolutely no attachments to anything in the world but their own lives. If they do not comply with Inferno’s orders, they will be killed. If they fail at their duty, they will be killed. Their own survival instincts prevent them even from attempting suicide. So, it truly becomes a struggle for maintaining one’s humanity in the face of impossible odds. Unfortunately, not all characters got the development they should of gotten, and some VERY stupid "character" things happened. Lizzie (Reiji's boss) and Claudia, two members of Inferno, show up quite frequently in the anime, playing a role in Reiji's decisions on how to live. But, the anime never shows us their motif, what they personally want, and how they became who they are. In fact, Lizzie was completely dropped after a few episodes, she just disappears... Scythe Master shows up at the beginning of the anime as the main psychopathic antagonist of the anime. He is behind the creation of phantoms, and plotting of the ruthless murders other people. But, why is he doing this? We don't know. That is the biggest flaw. The main antagonist should have a back story and a motif, but nope; completely random. Another flaw that I really was upset about was the coming of age for Cal Devins, the 3rd main character in the anime. Cal was a little girl (looks like 8) that tried to hire Zwei thinking he was a killer for justice, by using money she had unknowingly stolen from Inferno. When Inferno tried to kill Cal, Zwei hid and protected her (humanistic side), but through tragic events, they were separated. Then there was a 3 year time-skip and suddenly Cal, who was a little innocent girl turned into a super smoking hot 18-year old chick that is the new Phantom of Inferno, after Zwei and Ein run away from the organization to live in peace and find their real identity. Furthermore, Cal got no background development, such a disappointment. Really in general, until the last about third of the anime, the main characters really didn't get much development at all, they could have done MUCH better.
The soundtrack in the anime was mediocre, BUT it fit the anime perfectly. All the soundtracks were sinister, and mysterious fitting in perfectly with the overall dark mood of the anime. Unfortunately for the lack of a variety of soundtracks, the anime seems to repeat the same soundtracks over and over... and over again, so it gets kind of repetitive and it loses it's suspense. I think in one episode, Canzone of Death (best soundtrack in anime) was repeated 4 times in a span of 15 minutes; that's how you ware out a song. Anyways, the opening and endings for Requiem for the Phantom were certainly unique and once again, fit in perfectly with the mood of the anime. The opening, Karma is such a neat piece of opening. The lyrics described the start and repetition of life, the aimless wanderings in search for the truth, bringing forth inner peace, and finally reaching the end. The art is same as any other dark anime really... Nothing special, but nothing bad about the art. I will mention that I liked the portayal of the precise, keen movements and senses of the Phantoms.
So, is Requiem for the Phantom worth watching? Look at the score; YES! Requiem for the Phantom stays true to itself until the very end the end. It does not opt out for any easy answers, or simplify the darkness of reality, and it manages to maintain a sense of class. The ending is truly of the saddest, most well-planned ending of all time. The ending was ambiguous, yet still had sense of finality to the work as a whole. I enjoyed it, I cried throughout, I felt a pinches of pain, and I learned a life lesson. Requiem for the Phantom is a meaningful anime, and certainly an anime that I'd recommend to anyone that can withstand watching an anime with no comedy relief, just pure darkness.
At the time of writing, I've just finished this. At first I was in doubt if I should watch this or not, because of a rather vague description.
I completed this series in two days, the fastest I've ever finished an anime! For anyone deciding whether or not to watch this, that should tell you everything you need to know.
Here's the good versus the bad in my opinion:
- Doesn't lay all the cards on the table right away. Starts off mysteriously.
- Some of the best sound effects for guns I've ever heard in an anime.
- Dynamic, meaningful characters. Especially the main characters show good
development throughout the series.
- The male main character's theme song is awesome!
- At times very good and fitting background music!
- Draws you in to keep on watching :). ( okay, one more episode! ) Not by using huge cliffhangers, but the endings that make you curious.
- Good amount of action, but enough cleverness and bitterness sprinkled throughout the series to keep it intelligent and mature.
- It had a very good first half of the season because it had just the right tempo....
- ... but in my opinion they lost that for the second half by slowing down a little too much.
- Art: the male main character's design seems kinda generic. They could've replaced him halfway by Light Yagami (from Death Note)... and I wouldn't have noticed :-).
- The series is not always clear and consistent with how much power some of the characters really have. One moment the series veers toward realism, and the other moment near the extreme (and impossible).
- I listened twice to the opening and ending songs... after that I skipped it each time. Not really memorable.
- First let me say I expected a bitter ending. Something sugar sweet would be quite of place in this series. I would be much more content if they kept the same end-result, but used a different way to reach it. It felt like they were going mainly for shock value. If the ending would've been better, I'd give this a 9. For now it's an 8, meaning 'very good' overall!
Don't be mistaken however by some of my critique however. It is worth your viewing! For me it's on the same level as Steins;Gate... but not quite there yet on the level of Death Note.
'' I can not escape from those darkened black eyes''
Phantom: Requiem of the Phantom.
If you have been captured alive and pushed to the brink of death, and as reward for survival would be your life, what would you do? If the serious question was made if you were worthy to live or should just die, what would you do?In most situations panic would break out within a normal human being. But there are some that release a kind of instinct;the power to survive.
Phantom: Requiem of the Phantom is one of a kind; a series that takes their own story trough a fly staircase of
serious issue's and problems, involving survival in the extremest situations in the dark world of crimes, maffia and more. The containing tenacity leaves no room for humor or plain fan service people already get sick of nowadays, but explainsthe story the creators ment to show it to the public. And i can't deny; the story IS so completely different from the main streams onto this day. Yet, This is one of the best stories i've seen put together, keeping it still as oneof the greatest put down into an anime.
Initially the artwork seems a bit undetailed, but that changed quickly as soon as the backgrounds and outer looks of the characters begon to roll in.
It's obviously professional work, and nothing is left in vain speaking of details and clearly recognizable emotions in facial expressions.
There is one particulair detail that couldn't escape my eyes: the fact that the characteristics in artwork change from the characters once the mood changes. This includes the eye shades and colors, as well the hair colors and shades used. this form of symbolism isn't used much and therefore a dare to use in an already ''different'' sort of anime than the mainstream.
I personally liked this alot, and i'm one of those people who can admire what other people would call ''trainwrecks''. (this is ofcourse in a limit. let's not speak about School days ever again.)
the action scenes and smooth movements also add ontop of the already praisen artwork section. The only pinch in the artwork, is that it's a bit different than, as i said, usual anime's and might be a bit hard for the eye to get used to. Nontheless, the art definitely adds up to the realistic feel it already eradicates.
Although not expected, the story came out of a brilliant corner. It's quite unusual in the start, but is explained in an outstanding matter later on.
(we've had this with Steins;gate as well) Once you reach the amount of 9 episodes, you will still have the image of misunderstanding and uncertainty if you would continue to watch; and at these folks i'd like to say: Yes, keep watching. Because i tell you now; there are some anime out there which truely change something inside of your mind, or atleast influence your vision on certain subjects. This anime, is one of those, going in the groups of ''clannad: afterstory'', ''Steins;gate'' and ''Fate/zero''. The story is very serious and doesn't leave out any time and space for humor or nonsense; Build up in chaos, continues in a covered romantic relation in fear, and ends in an emotional break down. What this animation makes so brilliant, is that they used every ending as a semi-cliffhanger. and once you start to get into the story it only gets better. This series isn't ment for people who are just looking for some time to waiste on humor or action; The writers have put all their effort in showing their anime; their story, Which they succeed in dignity and grace.
The pinching comes at this part; the sound, music and intro's.
Let's move straight to the point: The intro is something i can't, couldn't and will never understand. it's quite offsetting on what you're trying to watch,
and ruins cliffhangers from the last episode. However the ending theme gives the slight effect for you to come into the chaos the story initially was dugged in. The second opening is also a mood breaker, and just can't come into my mind as the opening theme of this series. The BMG's and sound effects were brilliant, amazingly well placed and no sense of playbacks. The voice acting was splendid, couldn't recognize their voiced untill i read it up who they voiced over as well, leading me to praise this part.
The unique vibe already gives reason to the watcher to reconsider watching this anime, and to top it off the characters are just that extra punch who scare away watchers. It depends, what kind of watchers you're searching for. As i mentioned before, the creators wanted to put down a story on their own; not filled with ''how are we going to make them watch our show''.
This is a technique which can come out so well but also so destructive. In this situation, the main ''force'' of action fans dropped after having the bitter and/or sour bite of Phantom; Requiem Phantom.
In other words; The characters are very deep engraved with detail and story, even though the protagonists are brainwashed (this will be resolved later).
The characters are unique, have their own ''punch'' in the characteristics and deal with situations on their own way. This also is a factor of the realism the anime carries along troughout the story. I'll have to apologize for now since revealing the unique passives they carry are all related to the plot. As last; the characters communication and respondation to eachother feel really natural and make you connect with them as well. This only as a argument; the creators do lose interest from watchers, since it envolves in something you can eventually not make a relation with. Otherwords; The story moves to a moment that you can't relate yourself to the characters at all, creating a distance, and ending in a distance between watcher and character, which isn't what it was ment to do.
Initially the goal of watching this anime with Forever Exiled, was to analize the differences in types of themes revolving anime,
and ended up in watching the anime in shorter than 24 hours. Following the story of two assassins trapped in a life they never asked for,
pushed forward to do the tasks they are given, and gave up on any sort of retribution to a free life. From the idea of watching an anime with a good plot,
we bumped upon an anime that stroke our minds and hearts. I've seen quite some anime around, i've experienced quite some titles.
But this beats the theme this anime is resided in; a drama thriller which doesn't give a **** about the opinions of the watchers, concluding in a pure story told, a story that changes something within your way of thinking, and your way of seeing things on a free life most of us have.
Because there is one thing that none keeps a thought about; The most precious things.... are the most obvious ones.
Some stories are made for entertainment, some are made for drama; but some are made to bring you something that isn't always expected initially; it changes you and influences you.
That is, what ''Phantom: Requiem of the Phantom'' is. If you decide to watch a thriller, it is this one i recommend to anyone who's interested.
Phantom explores a scenario of teenage Zwei brainwashed, wiped of his memories and forced into becoming an assassin for the crime syndicate known as Inferno. The series starts off exploring the "what if" scenario of a teen being conditioned into an emotionless tool with the harsh training that he is subjected to by another brainwashed teen assassin named Ein. As the series progresses and Zwei becomes immersed in the criminal underworld of Inferno, he finds himself dealing with deception, rival crime syndicates, morality and coming to learn of his lost past. There is a good amount of focus on Zwei's character in his situation as
he finds himself increasingly coming into conflict with his morality and the situation he is forced into due to Inferno's influence. Ein also gets her focus as the influence of Zwei leads her to have doubts over the loyalty programmed into her by her "creator", Scythe Master, and the bond between the two becomes a major focus in later episodes as both come to rely on one another in the dark world they were forced into and it is these developments that are the major strength of the series.
Another solid element was during the middle of the show's run when Zwei befriends and raises an orphaned girl named Cal in a scenario similar to the 1994 crime thriller film, The Professional. Some shocking events that develop during the later points of this arc lead to a surprising plot twist that develops into the final episodes of the series that further complicate Zwei and Ein's situation with Inferno. The ending that results in the end of the series is bittersweet, but fitting considering the dark path that the two leads were seemingly forced on tragically.
Outside of Zwei, Ein and Cal though, depth and development on other characters in Phantom are a bit of a mixed bag. Claudia and Lizzie are given some background with their characters that reveal the former's motives for her involvement in Inferno, but not enough was explored with them for me to care for their characters. Several gangs focused on at certain points in the series with some prominent figures of them get solid focus on their personalities and motives, one of which has an influential role that can be seen throughout Phantom's second half. Others like Scythe Master, Wisemal and Phantom's leader Raymond McGuire don't get much in the way of development or depth with Wisemal and McGuire existing only to explore Inferno's power structure and Scythe Master being the cliched grandeur and corrupted scientist.
Another weakness of the series for me was that there are occasions where Phantom can get a bit overbearing in showing off the dark elements of its storytelling. The series likes to be quite blatant at points in depicting the thoughts of its characters as they are reflected in spoken monologues and blatant onscreen symbols of the characters such as Scythe Master taking nude pictures of Ein while she is surrounded and embraced by mannequins to show how she is nothing but a thing to him. Also while the soundtrack to the series is pleasing on the ears with its dramatic and tense pieces, some choices of insert musical tracks are occasional mood killers during the title's dramatic scenes with their overbearing melodies.
Visually, Phantom is artistically pleasing with vast and highly detailed scenic shots of various landscapes like cities and deserts, with similar efforts also being applied to the designs of characters. Action scenes are clearly the highlight of Phantom's visual presentation with many instances of fluid movement and great choreography displayed during battles with knives, firearms and hand-to-hand. Vehicles within the series are animated in CG which move as fluidly as characters in battle scenes, yet isn't smoothly integrated with the regular animation.
While having some issues, Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is still a solid action-drama worth looking into that delves into the developments faced by Zwei and Ein as they come to grips with the moral implications of their deeds and defy the criminal syndicate that forced them onto their dark and tragic struggles.
The Phantom returns. What you didn't know that there was a Phantom series before this? Phantom the Animation moved in and out from the anime conscious like a ghost. Phantom: Requiem for a Phantom [Phantom] is supposed to be a remake for that tragic three part OVA, as well as extending the story. It greatly improves upon the original, but does it succeed on its own?
Phantom welcomes you to the underworld, where gang families trade dollar bills and bullets, the players run the game and the game plays with their lives. Inferno, an upstart organization, backed by mysterious Mr.Mcguire,
has only one objective: to unite the underworld. It's an interesting premise but not the focus of Phantom. It's sniper scope focuses on two character's Ein and Zwei, the brainwashed assassins of Scythe Master, a scientist for Inferno.
The story is interesting at first, as Zwei try to come to terms with his existence and amnesia. He struggles with the idea of killing a person against surviving himself, afraid of losing his true nature in a bloodbath. It's hard for him accept the assassin credo: Kill or be killed. Ein is a desolate voice, a melancholic mentor to Zwei in the shadowy world. She has a resigned view of the world, death being the only thing defining her life.
The plot is compelling , the character interaction fascinating on many levels, from the understated to romance between the leads to the slave/master relationship between Ein and her creator Scythe. It is up until the halfway point that its when the tight seams start to loosen and the edges begin to fray. The action is pushed forward with jarring plot twists and a piles of grating melodrama. Around Episode sixteen, I was concerned that the show hadn't ended after Episode 10. But I am glad I continued, as the ending was deeply satisfying, giving closure to the characters I had fallen in love with in the first half of the series.
There are two halves to the art in Phantom, as excellence soon becomes underwhelming. The dark and muted palette is abandoned for brighter colors. The excellent cinematography, which contained dynamic cuts, camera angles, and used liberal shot framing from compelling viewpoints to push the unearthly atmosphere, is regrettably simplified in the second half. The character models were well made, each actor being unique, designed interestingly, and their clothes personifying their identities. That's how models should be, a reflection of the person's soul.
The music was hit or miss. The first opening was perfect, dark and brooding, the vocals strong and filled with yearning. The second one was upbeat, almost frantic in it's execution. The best piece was the second ending theme, "Transparent", a haunting tune that sent chills down the spine. The voice acting was sharp, though many of the seiyuu performances are strained in the second half, as the script aims to be overly dramatic.
Watchability and Enjoyment
As I said before, the show is split into two halves. The first 10 episodes are engaging and will keep you hooked. From there, the show's quality decides to drive off a cliff. Its surprising to see how noticeable it is, the craftsmanship is compromised after the time lapse. But I kept watching, consumed with the desire to know how it all ended. I fell in love with Ein and Zwei and the nuggets of their interaction threaded throughout the other half pulled me along. Sticking with it, rewarded me with a great ending that returned to the style of the first few episodes, the use of atmosphere and interaction to create an emotional effect.
Phantom is a mixed bag. It has a good start, but the trail becomes rough. At times I felt the series was too long, and would have been better off had it run a shorter schedule like Jyu-oh-sei or Shingetsutan Tsukihime, both of which paced out beautiful stories in a small amount of time. Overall, I can recommend it because of a strong beginning and finale.
This show presents the darkness of reality, a violent world filled with betrayal, madness, deceit and sacrifices. It shows coruption at its finest and the mafia way of living and dying.
It is the story of a man who’s very essence and existence is changed through brute force. It presents the protagonist’s path that leads to the man he will become as well as his struggle to find the man he once was.
The premise of Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is truly original, with well done plot details and carefully thought actions, it keeps you on the edge of your seat, craving for more
of this fine anime. The story starts in America, with one man in his early twenties that can not remember his past nor his identity but has a natural talent for surviving and killing people. He is given a choice, to be killed or to kill in order to live, and with this choice starts our journey along side Ein and Zwei, in the contemporan world of corruption, crime and violence, a world ruled by the crime syndicate called Inferno.
The plot is masterfully written, it has few to no holes, it is almost perfectly paced, it is mostly reality-like and following a rational path. Love is also portayed because the protagonists know they have feelings for each other but their status as assasins makes it hard for them to follow those feelings.
The two protagonists are standing under a constant dilemma.
"What is freedom if you have to kill for it” is one of the questions brought up by the protagonists. If they kill others in order to assure their survival, does that not make them evil? If they do not follow and comply with Inferno’s orders, they will be killed. If they fail at their task, they will be killed. The only way to salvation from their hell is death but their own survival instincts prevent them even from attempting suicide. Thus, their life becomes a constant struggle for maintainig their hummanity in the face of impossible odds.
The characters are very well built, solid but at the same time lacking any real information about their past. Zwei and Ein are two of the greatest ambiguous characters in anime. Ein and Zwei do not care for anything in the world but their own lives.
Ein, the female lead, has no past, she is an incredibly apathetic girl of age between 18 and 22 (my educated guess). Although she may look innocent she is a trained and experimented assasin that blindly follows Scythe Master’s orders. She is described by Scythe Master as having no original thoughts, no ego, no descernable personality, but she later develops a certain degree of free will and a definetly stronger personality that comes with her new name, Ellen, given by Zwei.
Zwei, the male protagonist, is a man, of Japanese origins that is traveling in America. Through Scythe Master’s assasin-processing treatment he becomes a ruthless killer. Zwei later finds his true identity and birth name, Reiji Azuma, and with finding his true identity he remembers his past but decides he can not go back to his fammily after the many murders he commited. Although he is an assasin, he is very diffrent from Ein, Zwei has a strong sense of free will.
Cal is a character that is not very well done, she has no background development. The whole story and execution of Cal, seem out of place and out of pace. She is about 8 years old when Zwei takes her under his care and after the 3 years time-skip, the little girl is portrayed as an 18 years old smoking-hot lady who is the new Pahntom of Inferno and looking to kill Zwei. As soon as Cal is revealed to be the new Phantom she is portrayed as an one man army, which has not happened before in this show. In my oppinion Cal is just a weak character, arrogant and cocky for no reason. In the end, Cal only sought approval and Zwei’s friendship. After Zwei’s and Cal’s gun fight, as she was dying, Zwei said to her, "we made a little mistake that changed our lives forever" and that is so very true.
Another character worth mentioning is Claudia McCunnen, a highly intelligent and cunning female with an important position in Inferno. She will stop at nothing to achieve her goals, unfurtunately, her character is not developed properly.
Someone else worth mentioning worth mentioning is Helmut von Giusepe also known as Skythe Master, he is a doctor of psyhology and neurology that uses his knowledge in his quest to create the perfect assasin. He is the main antagonist of the show and yet his character is not developed well.
The animation is fluid and the action scenes are well coreographed. The character design and overall art is beautfiul being displayed using a sober color palette that perfectly fits the tone of the show.
The sound was nice as well, containing great songs, sort of opera songs during the dramatic and fight scenes. The opening theme was good as well, the ending theme was mediocre.
A 10/10 rating is obvious, I loved the show and there is no need for further explanations.
About the end of the series: it is one of the most well-planned and saddest endings of all anime. The end was ambiguous and opened to speculations and yet it still added finallity to the series as a whole.
Although it is hard to digest and meaningful, the ending is beautiful. In the end, Zwei and Ein are looking up at the sky from a hayfield somewhere in Mongolia, the birth place of Ein, also the place where Zwei will be assasinated moments later.
"I lived a life leaving nothing behind but shuttered dreams and broken promises", "I want to fulfill a promise. That is to make you smile. To find your true smile. One day I will..." is what Zwei said moments before his death.
In the leadup to Zwei’s death it is hinted that he saw his end coming and accepted it, seeing Ein smiling, his final task and promise fulfilled. When Ein sees Zwei’s silent collapse after being shot, she poisons herself by eating the pedal of a flower named Geramium. "I have memories of me being with you/These memories are enough for me" is what Ein said before she fainted away from the screen.
Phantom is a truly amazing show that kept me on the edge of my seat for its duration, having a complex yet solid plot accompanied by delicate yet firm characters and coming in a package with very good animation that works in tandem with the sound.
It's a fairly common trend in just about most action mediums, whether it be anime or not, to focus more on the action than the story. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is part of that minority which focuses more on the story, and I have to say that it does a really good job of doing so without taking away from what makes an action medium well... an action medium.
The story follows the twisted and tragic life of Zwei, a teenage boy who has no recollection of his past, and is forced to become an assassin under the guidance of Ein, also known as
"Phantom", who, like Zwei, has no recollection of her past, and is a highly trained assassin, or more like a near-invincible human weapon. This is all done under the supervision of "Scythe Master", a maniacal scientist with a calm demeanour, whose only goal in life is seemingly to create near-invincible human weapons or "Phantoms" just like Ein. He is contracted by a growing mafia organisation called Inferno who wishes to use his "Phantoms" to help seize ultimate control of the mafia underworld.
Now that's quite a load of information to take on before starting this anime and the entire premise of the story regarding Inferno takes time to develop and be fully explained. When things have been established and the story starts to take shape is when this anime really starts to get good. What this information fails to tell you though is that there are essentially three parts to the story, each being separated by a time skip of considerable length. Each part has its own merits and can be somewhat different to each other, and some people are sure to like one part more than the other two.
Each part explores different themes and develops the characters in different ways. The first part explores the growing relationship between Ein and Zwei, and follows their interactions with Inferno. The second part introduces Cal Devens, a young girl, who is taken in by Zwei in his attempt to find something or someone worth protecting and giving his life for. And the third part takes elements from the previous two parts and concludes the story in a tragic and bittersweet way.
There is very little I can actually fault the story with. There are a few plot holes, both major and minor. However, I feel as though the effect they had on how I viewed the story was extremely minimal. Unlike other plot holes in other anime that I viewed recently, I was able to overlook them with ease and continue immersing myself in this gripping tale.
On the other hand, some of the decisions the characters made throughout this anime really pissed me off. Like REALLY. There were few times during which I couldn't comprehend exactly what was going on in the minds of the characters, especially given how smart and cunning most of them are. If they made stupid decisions that had minor consequences, then I would've overlooked them like I did with the plot holes. However, considering the potential impact that most of these decisions had and the fact that characters were later going to contradict an earlier decision they already made, it really pissed me off that they decided to make such a decision. It's almost as though the creators wanted to forward the story by making the characters complete retards when they needed a calm head the most. There were arguably much better ways for the story to progress and much better ways in which such ways could be achieved. (Sorry for the mild profanity but this was really something I needed to get off my chest)
The characters in this anime are where it shines most. There are three main characters, being Ein, Zwei, and Cal, alongside an interesting supporting cast, consisting mainly of members of Inferno and "uncooperative" mafia groups.
Ein, Zwei, and Cal are developed almost perfectly. Each character has to live through events which change them, and their personality and attitude. For example, Zwei may be a cold hearted assassin yet he has a sense of morality which is continually explored throughout the anime, and through the exploration of this single trait, he changes and becomes a different person by the end of the anime.
The supporting cast is not explored very much at all. While there were somewhat interesting, they weren't interesting enough for us to really want to get to want to know more about. I personally believe that this is how a supporting cast is meant to be. They aren't meant to outshine the main characters. However, the anime gives us backstory about Lizzie and Claudia, a female duo who works in the higher ranks of Inferno's hierarchy. And I'm going to be honest, I didn't care about their backstory. While they do play somewhat major roles in the anime, their backstory is not needed at all. I cared very little for them because I was already engrossed with the main characters and their development.
I've never ventured to say I hate an opening or closing from an anime. And I was extremely tempted to say it regarding the openings and closing of this anime. I'm sure there are people who like it but I dislike the style of music used and I never ever bothered to watch any of the openings or closings following listening to them my first time.
On the other hand, the background music in this anime is superb. From the gangster music which was constantly played throughout the first and second parts to the music used during the more tear-jerking moments, particularly in the third part, I loved it all. It constantly helped emphasise the atmosphere and really immerse myself in this anime. I want to specifically point out some of the music in the third part. Without spoiling too much, I'd like to say that the distorted sound and the groaning of a woman really emphasised how messed up everything eventually got in the anime.
I watched Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom with english dubs. Now, I always feel like there is a rule which states that if an anime is set in an English speaking country, then the dubs are decent, if not better than decent. I can safely say that the statement still holds true in this anime. Ein and Zwei are bland due to their cold-hearted demeanours but showed their colourful side when needed. Cal's voice throughout the second part was that of pure innocence and young excitement, something which this anime was certainly lacking. The voice acting of the supporting cast was also really well done. Cunning and sly characters like Claudia always spoke in a suggestive and calm tone, while brutish and large characters always spoke with authority and confidence.
Art & Animation: 9/10
The art was great. The colours used mostly seemed darker in tone, and many scenes were in the dark which always added to the mafia underworld premise which the anime is set in.
The animation was even greater. Everything from the fight scenes, to the firing of bullets, to the splatters of blood, to what I like to call the "Phantom eyes", to driving cars were all animated extremely well. Everything felt smooth and flowed nicely.
I could've also give this category a 5/10 because things didn't go the way I wanted and the decisions some characters made just pissed me off big time. I'm going to be honest and say that it really hurt my heart to see things didn't end up the way I wanted but that's the beauty of a good anime. Things shouldn't be predictable nor should they go the way that the fans want it to. (But please let there be a remake where things end up the way I want them to)
I love Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom. It contained great action scenes, an immersive story, and a strong cast of characters. After every episode, I had the feeling I normally get when I watch a good anime; one where I let out a huge breath because I was so immersed in it that it feels as though I forget to breathe or one where I kick my legs in frustration because I want to really know what happens next. I recommend this anime to just about anyone because it has great action for the action anime fans but also a great story for those who aren't exactly into action.
Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed! Any feedback is much appreciated.
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
Deception is what describes this anime for me, i was so hooked since the first ep. and on ep. 13 or 14 i was thinking this was an 8 and before ep. 11 a 9 but in every ep. after 14 i felt that the quality of not only the story but everything was dropping and i ended feeling frustration because of the direction this was taking, also it reminded me of Noir and what i found out was that Bee Train was behind both animes, that's why Ein is really similar to Kirika, just like the lack of bullet holes,
big organizations behind things and ''winning'', and both endings are similar; I saw people were pointing out that the ending was changed from the VN game and that it had different endings, so why Bee Train likes tragic endings? and this should be labeled as supernatural too.
I don't know how to make a review for this story without spoiling but i will do my best. A story about puppets, betrayal, and nonsense, a lot of nonsensical crap; At first it begins really strong, i was hooked even from the first 5 min, it was developing well with a serious tone and a very good story, everything alright until ep. 10 where things that couldn't make sense happens, plot holes happens, it was stupid that one person took a bullet to save someone that should obviously die and then reappear later as an ''enemy'' but turns out that this person is there to be with this other person because of the promise and that was really stupid, it would have been like that since the beginning if ''it'' didn't put in front of the bullet to save the bad dude, it makes no sense, and at the same time the story was a mess or was dropped, and it was more focused on destroying the good character development to what they were before, i don't understand why Zwei promised to advenge a random woman he didn't know and why would he bring flowers to the crime scene, he didn't knew her; And then in ep. 17 to 19 there was a scene that didn't match, please pay attention to those eps. the ending on 17 and the other side point of view of the same event in ep. 19 (like if it was an alternate happening, but is not, because it wouldn't make sense) this was one of the things that frustrated me the most and ep. 20 just killed the story, how come a girl almost 11 or 12 in two years becomes a biker model with big magumbos and bubble butt? it's ridiculous, that was really stupid, i wanted to drop this right there and i never drop an anime but i was glad it had 5 eps. left; It felt like Zwei was dumb, he could try to fully explain the things, but he never tried to talk to Drei, it doesn't hurt to try you know; Ep. 26 wasn't that bad, good action, the ending was bad tho and not because it wasn't happy because i have seen more tragic animes with dark, hopeless ending but because it was bad, the story was a mess filled with gap holes without explanation, plot holes and more to consider it good ending. The story was fine till ep. 17. I can go on on pointing out the plot holes, gap holes, things that didn't make sense, the bad decisions made etc. but that would take too long.
Art & Animation
The best asset from the anime, the animation, it was very good for the year it was released but it could be better, sometimes it wasn't smooth, i don't have complaints about the animation other than the lack of bullet holes on the enemies and only appeared on important enemies and that takes away my enjoyment, not seeing more ''realistic'' deaths was bothering, just like with Noir.
It was good, sometimes repetitive and not fitting and some other sounds were absurd, like the sex moaning track and others, the first OP is great, the second one is awful, really bad, just why? and both EDs were very good with interesting videoclips. VA was good.
The characters were doing great until everything went backwards in the 2nd arc, Zwei was growing to be my fav. on this anime but he was going downhill for what i stated, and i didn't care what happened to him from there on, i was disappointed how well the characters developed after the events despite the plot holes of ep. 10, i'm not going to go deep on the characters because i feel too disappointed to do it, the thing is that at the end the characters were fine.
I was having a big time at the beginning but i was getting bored and pissed with the story decision, the bad directing, the all kind of holes, the disappointment with this anime is big, i don't know but from a 9 to a 6.5 from me shows how at the beginning to half the eps. i was enjoying it to how disappointed i was at the end.
This is my first review, doing my best to avoid spoilers. Hope this helps someone decide if they want to watch the series :)
The highlight of the story was the relationships that develop between the main cast, mainly the relationships that occur from both the female leads towards the male lead, I found this to be very interesting as they were both complex yet quite different relationships.
Unfortunately, likely due to the strength of the main relationships, the interactions regarding the remaining characters were simply underwhelming.
The story was quite dark and confronting at times, touching on strong themes such as struggling with personal identity and
some decisions that really did shock me morally.
A time skip also occurs which adds another level of depth to the series, seeing the changes that occurred with each character was another highlight of the series. As the changes were quite significant, and came about not only by each characters individual choices, but also due to the combined effect of the surrounding cast choices.
Overall the story was great, with its numerous plot twists, even though I didn't fully agree with the scenarios that occurred towards the end of the series, it still kept me hooked till the very end.
This is also one of the few series that I have looked back on after finishing, and thought about how significant a minor change of events would have altered the entire series.
Firstly let me say this series has probably the best cinematography I have ever seen in Anime to date, resulting in some really great looking scenes.
Some low quality/errors in the animation do occur, but they are very rare and weren't enough to distract me from enjoying the series.
The lighting was very good, and considering the tone of the anime this was quite important, also the colour scheme and art style was very crisp and clean.
The art style for each of the characters, had both their clothing and appearance reflect their personality well.
Voice acting was solid all-round, but was exceptional from the two lead females of the series.
The music was very well done, including quite a wide range, from dramatic opera pieces to new age techno beats, which seem to kick in at just the right moments during action/dramatic scenes.
Both the opening/ending themes are well made, and even reflect the journey of the main cast throughout the series of trying to escape to a brighter life but still being trapped by their past.
The main cast was outstanding, with each character grabbing my attention, in particular one of the female leads, who would have to be one of the best female characters I have seen in Anime so far.
Unfortunately the side cast simply are not fleshed out enough, and I found it hard to care about their own personal ideals.
Most of anime I have seen so far tend to have slow starts, this on the other hand grabbed my attention from the very first episode. Unfortunately I didn't quite enjoy the series as much towards the end of the time skip, mainly due to some choices and scenarios I found hard to believe, as previously mentioned. However overall I really enjoyed the series, and am very glad I decided to watch it.
An exceptional series, something a bit different from anything I have watched so far. I recommend anyone who is considering watching this series to just do it! You won't regret it!
Every now and then, while watching an anime, you take a step back and realize how much of an effect that the work is truly having on you. I’m sure that anyone reading this review is familiar with the feeling: You couldn’t be more engrossed the story, you couldn’t be more emotionally attached to the characters, and you couldn’t look away from the screen even if you wanted to. Adrenaline courses through your veins at every subtle movement as you shift even further to the edge of your seat, demanding to know what happens next. Your heart sinks and rises in complete dissonance
as you are praying for your desired result, desperately hoping that nothing will go wrong for your beloved characters. These are the experiences that I live for. These sensations are the reason I am a fan of the medium in the first place. For me, Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom will always be one of the first anime I think of when I reminisce on my very fondest anime-watching memories because it provided that experience for me. Everything from its interesting and unique plot, to its magnificent characters, to its near flawless use of sound and music, to its realistic art style create a finished product that that is more than worthy of praise. Simply put, I LOVE this anime. Here’s why:
Synopsis: A mysterious crime syndicate known as “Inferno” has developed a monopoly on the black market through the use of their near-invincible human weapon referred to as only “The Phantom." One day, a Japanese tourist accidentally witnesses The Phantom committing a murder, prompting it to hunt him down and eliminate him. Desperate to escape, the tourist hides in a secluded building. However, Phantom is instructed by the leader of Inferno, "Scythe Master", to capture the tourist and turn him into yet another human weapon for Inferno to utilize. Completely brainwashed and given the name "Zwei” (2 in German), the man is now a puppet of Inferno with no memories of his past what so ever.
I think the reason that RftP is such a great anime is because it can be enjoyed on so many different levels; it is completely saturated with well-written and well-executed themes. Want to take the story at face value, as a tale of a man trying to escape the clutches of an evil organization? You may. Maybe you want to take it is as a story about identity and what individuality truly is? Go ahead. Even still, you might want to consider the story to be an exploration into the ability to escape your own past and if past sins can ever truly be forgiven. That works too. Is it an action show? A Drama? A Romance? A Thriller? Eventually, I stopped trying to figure out which one of these themes/genres the show truly was focusing on and I realized that this is a story about all of those things. Unlike the vast majority of other media, this isn’t a story that focuses on a single, overarching message. Much like our real lives, the problems that the characters face are multifaceted and complex. We see them experience many different conflicted emotions and having to learn many different lessons at the same time; this is what makes the anime so effective and so believable. It captures a realistic sense of emotional turmoil, including the concepts of identity crisis and self-loathing, amazingly well.
The downside to this is that such a large number of themes can sometimes alienate viewers and give the illusion that the show doesn’t know what it is trying to be, even though it does. For example, juxtaposition is a device that is frequently used in the anime for a variety of purposes, particularly during the 2nd half (the 1st OP vs. the 2nd OP is a good example of this). Some people notice these strange, sudden shifts from the norm and dismiss them as problems with tone, bad writing, or even plotholes. If you ask me, the exact opposite is true; this show is very cleverly written. That being said, I don’t mean to imply that RftP is perfect, because it certainly isn’t. For example, the beginning of the 2nd half makes some strange writing decisions and slows its pacing down far too much, creating a bit of a disconnect. Additionally, some of the action scenes are directed in an overly theatrical way and not-so-realistic manner that occasionally conflicts with the otherwise serious atmosphere of the show. In fact, the show’s taste in drama is overall a bit too melodramatic for me. There are several tiny flaws such as these throughout the plot, but when it comes down too it, the pros drastically outweigh the cons. The story has the uncanny ability to get the viewer very emotionally invested in its progression and its characters. As a side note, this is one of the saddest, yet most beautiful shows you will ever watch; it absolutely slayed me by the end. Fantastic plot.
While the plot is likely what will tune you in to RftP, the reason you will stay until the end will be for the characters. RftP has one of the best and most fleshed out casts in anime history if you ask me. This show should be used as a guidebook for character development: we see the characters go through not just one major change over the course of the show, but two or three. They couldn’t possibly have better conveyed the inner conflict and emotional suffering of the main characters if they tried. I got very, VERY emotionally invested in many of these characters simply because they are so relatable and genuinely human. Zwei serves as a fantastic protagonist because of how his emotions ebb and flow just like a real person; I can't talk a whole lot about what I love about his character without spoilers, but I must stress that I love every single thing about him. “The Phantom” is a bit personality-less in the beginning of the anime (understandably), but she is far from some cliché, emotionless doll stereotype. In fact, her internal struggle between remaining loyal to her master and defying her master along with her identity crisis is arguably the driving force of the show. Her complex dynamic with Zwei is one of the best character relationships I’ve ever seen in my life. The viewer is able to so systematically feel and/or understand whatever these two are feeling, and that is the pinnacle of successful character writing. There are tons of interesting side characters as well, but due to the dynamic nature of the plot, I won’t risk discussing them due to spoilers. Let’s just say that they are utilized to absolute perfection in order to not only receive stories and development of their own, but to bring out different sides in our two main characters. I could gush for hours about how effective and well written I believe this cast truly is, but I think you get the point by now.
Top off this stellar writing with the best sound effects I’ve ever heard in an anime, a realistic/stylized art style that serves the narrative, and a beautiful OP that juxtaposes with the, well, *cough, “different” 2nd OP, and you have described one of my all time favorite anime. If Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is not a masterpiece, it’s damn close to it. To anyone who hasn’t seen this show yet: clear your schedule. The anime not perfect, sure, but it kept me in suspense for its entire duration and wrapped itself up with a beautiful ending that is more than worthy of the series it’s attached too. Needless to say, I highly, HIGHLY recommend it.