Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom Season 1 ReviewElizabeth Williams
He never asked for this to happen.
He was not a killer.
He was a traveler from Japan who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and his whole life was about to change. That is, if you can call it a life.
He wakes up in a bare room with nothing but a memory of a dark pair of eyes. He can't remember who he is, where he is, or what is even going on. Suddenly, a woman appears around the corner, holding a gun. On her face, she wears a mask. Two dark eyes look back at him.
It's kill or be killed.
The young man's instincts are awakened, and he manages to fight off the woman. The woman refers to herself as Ein, and says that he is to be her partner, Zwei. Because of his instinct to live and protect himself, he has been given a second chance at life. This life is one of an assassin for a criminal group, Inferno.
Inferno, as described by one member, is trying to be to the various criminal organizations across the globe what the United Nations organization is to the nations of the world. They want to organize all of the gangs and mafias so that they can be in charge of them. While Zwei does not want to work for such people, it is not up to him. Ein also seems to have little interest in the growth of Inferno, however, she never protests aloud.
There's something not quite right about Ein. She is emotionless and only thinks of her missions. As she trains Zwei, she tells him that his sole purpose for living is to kill others. She refers to both herself and Zwei as tools that don't need to ask questions, only to operate. Zwei continues his training, but questions keep coming to mind. Who was he before all of this? Zwei uses the hard work and training to keep his mind off of such subjects, and he quickly learns that this is also what Ein does.
Unlike most action anime, Phantom does not glamorize killing and violence. Rather, it focuses on the emotional burdens of taking another life. Even after Zwei takes his first victim, he is still disgusted by the thought of killing others, and he sees himself as nothing more than a murderer. However, if he stops killing, then Inferno will kill Zwei. In a similar manner, Ein can kill others with no emotion, but when she sees Zwei in action, she is terrified of him.
Another theme of this anime is the will to survive. Both Ein and Zwei are able to accomplish what they do because to them, nothing is worse than not existing. Scythe Master, the doctor responsible for "creating" Ein and Zwei, uses their will to survive to manipulate them into doing whatever he wants.
In all, Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom surprised me a little. I am personally not a fan of the genre. However, the emotional aspects of killing and bearing that burden made the show intriguing to me. I look forward to the next season to see what it has to offer.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.
I started playing games from a young age, but really got into it when Santa left a SNES in the fireplace. My other hobbies include reading, writing, gardening, and playing with my two cats.
About the Author: Elizabeth Williams
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