There was something to know about this particular show is based on a visual novel game, which was created by NitroPlus (the company Urobuchi worked for) and before this series, there was an OVA of this, which I admit I didn’t watch and I don’t think you need to watch to get into the story of this adaptation since it was made by a different studio and there was no continuation between the OVA and the anime. There is something about the assassin genre in all media that captures my eye, especially in anime since I like shows like Noir but here’s hoping it can surprise me.
A young man with no memories fights to salvage his humanity when he’s forced into a life of murder by a dangerous crime syndicate called Inferno. The organization gives him a new name, Zwei, and molds him into a perfect killing machine, a meticulous instrument of death created to obey his masters’ every deadly command. Zwei’s not the only puppet controlled by Inferno; Ein is a girl as beautiful as she is brutal, as lethal as she is lost. While mafia violence escalates around them, the two assassins grow closer, and Zwei begins the struggle to reclaim his past and save Ein from a blood-soaked future.
The show itself is divided into three arcs, I really expected this show to be more of the smart and challenging assassin series that most people make it out to be, considering the word-of-mouth it got and for a short time, it was. But that’s the problem. It was only like that during the first arc (Episode 1-10 and Ep.11 being a recap) of the series. The second arc (Episodes 12-19) did start out ok but in the middle is where it starts to not make sense with most characters either dead and then suddenly coming back to life and also an addition of one annoying character that I will get to and the third arc (Episodes 20-26) is the most heinous of all for the arcs for being highly inconsistent with story, characters (especially their design), setting (in high school….IN A FUCKING HIGH SCHOOL! I didn’t apparently know they were vital for an assassin show) and the execution of that. The show is can often be pretentious as when it tries to show us how hard it is to be an assassin when it’s quite obvious that the audience already knows that. It’s not telling us anything new by that.
For the characters, the main ones to look out for is Zwei and Ein…..well, those are the names they go by in the show, at least until the end of the first/start of the second art where he know their real names. They are lost, confused people wondering how in the hell they got into this situation. They often sound depressed but then again, you’re hired as an assassin meaning a job of basically killing a lot of people, even if they aren’t the “bad guys”. Claudia McCunnen is actually quite a character in the show, especially in her past about her dead brother Romero and her partner Lizzie is also one of the better side characters as the various bosses, dealers, gangs and other various gangs don’t really draw that much attention from me. Some of them just seem too bland for me to notice and then there’s Cal Devens…..and this is one of the most irritating characters on the show. She may not be when she’s introduced but further down when she becomes a Phantom and the later 2 years changed her as well and speaking of that……..
Animation for the show is provided by BEE TRAIN…..you know, they made those type of shows I like (and you probably hate)……oh, and .hack, too. They are consistent with the animation considering this type of show is their bread and butter, minus a few elements of that but the inconsistency from them comes from the character designs and by that, I mean Cal in the third arc as in she went from a little girl into a full grown-ass woman in the span of 2 years (that’s in show, BTW). It may be the fact of steroids or similar like that but it was never explained well.
For the music, I actually like the first opening theme, “KARMA” by Kokia as I thought the ominous dark tone of the song fits the show as well, although it may sound like a lullaby (a deadly lullaby), it’s still a favorite anime theme song of mine. The ending theme song done by Ali Project was a little more fast paced than the opening but not actually a song that would listen to by itself and the same can be said for the 2nd opening and ending when the third arc comes around and like the third arc itself, it is pretty useless.
For the FUNimation dub, I had some problems with it….such as the voice actor of Zwei is not that good. He is pretty much in Keanu Reeves mode in here and even though Ein’s voice actress is similar to that, at least when she’s acting like a normal person, she tries and does it well. Colleen Clinkenbeard’s performance as Claudia was decent and Shay Moore as Lizzie was plenty great (and good thing FUNi actually hired a black actress to play that role. Points earned).
FINAL VERDICT: This is a beautiful disappointment but more on the latter word as while some elements of the show are kind of interesting, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before and Bee Train has done so many other good shows than this (well, save for Madlax and .hack//sign) and I feel like they could’ve tried harder or got it better but alas, it was only a distance figment of my imagination. I wouldn’t recommend this but I wouldn’t say to avoid it like the plague.
So, how does the Requiem works for the Phantom?
PLANET TYRO RATING: VANILLA (as hell)
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is available to own on DVD and Blu-ray via FUNimation. Streaming options are available on Hulu and FUNimation Elite Subscription Service.
Oh yeah, I forgot to briefly mention that I actually did cover this in audio form AKA Planet Tyro D.R.E.A.Mcast Episode 33:
(At the 37:30 mark)
And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka Blue Hybrid, bringing all the dark elements in one format.
PHANTOM: REQUIEM FOR THE PHANTOM – animation by BEE TRAIN / distributed by FUNimation Entertainment
THE MIND OF THE HYBRID ONE – my Tumblr Page