Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: REQUIEM FOR THE PHANTOM #1

A new show! Should I watch it through?

 She's really got nowhere to hide the piece.
 She's really got nowhere to hide the piece.

I just recently received a ton of anime from the fine folks of Funimation and the title that came first out of all the offerings was an entire 26-episode set of PHANTOM: REQUIEM FOR THE PHANTOM (watch for it on sale next week.) Watching this first episode was a rare experience for me, because I knew absolutely nothing about it going in - - a state that’s probably akin to that of a functional amnesiac. And, wouldn’t you know it? Zwei, the enigmatic lead of this show, is a highly functional amnesiac.

Usually, I’m rolling my eyes a lot when your hero’s lost his convenient memories. It always leads to on-the-nose questions of “Where am I? Who am I?” and Zwei certainly goes through the usual round of those here. That kind of thing put me off of EDEN OF THE EAST with the first episode and I’ve only really liked it in something like THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, specifically, where the return of the past is sort-of like a fading hangover. Truthfully, this show seems a lot more somber, serious and maybe even sullen than any long-form anime I’ve watched so far. That isn’t always a bad thing, but when the intro’s a far-out world music track about weighty topics like Karma, I can’t help feeling like I’m in store for something maybe a little too dreary to be enjoyed.

While the chit-chat between the rich, mysterious lady and her bodyguard kind of fell a little flat, once deadly little Ein (not the Bebop’s korgi, though!) started kicking ass in a French maid’s outfit, things started getting more fun for me. The dub work’s great, as is becoming the standard, although I suspect a lot of time the voice cast had to make the best out of material that was already locked down in place. 

Now, that we’ve gotten all the exposition out of the way, I’m curious to see where this tale of secret organizations, uber-espionage and assassins named after German numbers goes. The real question is… would you Anime Vice lunatics want to continue the journey with me? Should this be the next show to watch and learn from?

Oh, and the composer of this must’ve been absolutely enchanted by Don Davis’ MATRIX trilogy score. The mix of big beats and swirling, tense strings got me half-expecting somebody to ask Zwei about his preference of color in pills.

Watch this episode, “Awakening,” below and decide for yourself. It’s TV-MA, though, so viewer discretion is advised.     

  

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  &   here .  Follow him on Twitter:  @tompinchuk

vergiliuson Jan. 15, 2011 at 1:38 a.m.
 Oh man, that's awesome about Funi hooking you up.  It would be cool at some point if you maybe told us about a handful that looked interesting to you and let us weigh in...maybe do a few more reviews of the first episodes, and then post a poll?
 
In any case, I haven't seen this show but I have heard mostly positive things.  If Funi has the whole thing on YouTube, I would certainly be interested in watching along with you!
EquitasInvictuson Jan. 15, 2011 at 2:13 a.m.
Ah man, I'm not sure how this series ended up under my radar back in 2009 but it looks awesome! I'd be interested in watching this as well. I'm appreciating a lot about this anime judging from the first episode alone.  
 
For example, I appreciated the influences from American crime films in setting as demonstrated by the opening sequence in the mansion that very much resembled the conclusion of Scarface. They even had a long shot with someone's body floating on a pool with an overhanging globe bearing the words "the world is mine." Two very minor changes about that last sentence would have exactly replicated the end of that film. 
 
Speaking of film influences, that one track they repeated twice in this episode definitely sounded like it came out of the "Burly Brawl" scene from the Matrix, as you hinted. 'xD
 
I haven't seen an anime quite like this before so I'm definitely looking forward to more.
sotyfan16on Jan. 15, 2011 at 3:49 a.m.

Yes!! Thank you Tom for picking this one up. FUNi is really good about sending their products out to people who post content of said products. 

Now, I saw this series when it first came out and FUNi picked it up about half way through the series I think but they never put much press behind it. The same also goes for how they have finally dubbed the show. Even when it was fansubbed the show didn't make waves. So much so that my anime buddies haven't watched it!  I liked the sub so I'm curious as to what the dub sounds like. 

I was hooked from there very start of the show. The animation is pretty good if you ask me. There are some fast eps and some slow eps but the ending is worth every second you put into watching Phantom

Also, Tom, I support just about every FUNimation title and I bet everything you got is just being released so any of them for this segment would be great but Phantom is definitely something different for Watch & Learn and I really like the series.

WarlordPayneon Jan. 15, 2011 at 4:25 a.m.
The first episode didn't really do anything for me, but it wasn't bad.  I'd be curious to know what the other options are but I don't see anything wrong with using this show for Watch & Learn.
FatesGambleron Jan. 15, 2011 at 5:15 a.m.

The episode was ok and can tell its going to get better as the show goes on, but the only character that interest me so far was Scythe Master
metalsnakezeroon Jan. 15, 2011 at 5:27 a.m.
You'll like this show including when things start to get strange with later portions of their assassinations and dating scenes. 
Also give Eden of the East another chance when you have the time for it.
DocHauson Jan. 15, 2011 at 8:06 a.m.
I kinda watched it up to Ep #6 and then just...forgot about it. They made the assassination jobs look too damned easy, though I did find the training montages a little more interesting that they should have been. It's always been on my "to finish" list with a shitload of other shows.
ninjadude853on Jan. 15, 2011 at 8:16 a.m.
Funimation sent you free anime?
 
You lucky son of a bitch!!!!
sora_thekey moderator on Jan. 15, 2011 at 8:47 a.m.
Consider my interest certainly peeked.
Lurkeroon Jan. 15, 2011 at 9:10 a.m.
Amnesia is too much of a turnoff for me these days. I've played too many JRPGs, watched too many anime, and read too many stories that made convenient use of the trope and I am done. I'll try and give this a shot just to give an opinion on the first ep though. Judging from the first few minutes I probably won't enjoy it.
 
- "In order to live...I kill"
- "His ability to access is 074, awakening rate is 087. That he's reached these rates after only a few minutes awake is staggering"
 
I think I see where this is going. Let us know what else you got Tom. Just in case there's something with more potential.
RecSpecon Jan. 15, 2011 at 10:09 a.m.
Can't wait to watch along with you. This should be fun.
sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 15, 2011 at 11:35 a.m.
Pretty good show.  It gets better as it goes on, although the very very very very end (I think it's even post final credits) is a big wtf moment. 
 
Also, I think the big beats thing is more of a Rob Dougan thing than Don Davis.  Don is pretty much strictly orchestral while Rob Dougan is responsible for stuff like this from the series: 
 
 
    
sotyfan16on Jan. 15, 2011 at 1:10 p.m.

@sickVisionz said:

"Pretty good show.  It gets better as it goes on, although the very very very very end (I think it's even post final credits) is a big wtf moment."
You're right but that is what I love (and hate) about it despite having the feeling that I knew what was going to happen.
Bigheart711on Jan. 15, 2011 at 6:21 p.m.
I've already seen this anime and I just ended up enjoying it. Thinking of seeing it again, though. :)
@Tom_Pinchuk: FUNi sent you that stuff for free? Congrats, dude! :D
sagara187on Jan. 15, 2011 at 7:18 p.m.

From the way it sound it will be like Noir in alot of good ways.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 15, 2011 at 7:57 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: 

" I just recently received a ton of anime from the fine folks of Funimation and the title that came first out of all the offerings was an entire 26-episode set of PHANTOM: REQUIEM FOR THE PHANTOM (watch for it on sale next week.) "

Oh, on one level I'm so happy for you, and on another I hate you on a level (jokingly, of course). You see, I so envy that position the staff of Whiskey Media is in. Comic Vine gets comics and DVDs for reviews and Giant Bomb gets advanced copies of games. Now, as a staff member of Anime Vice,you're getting animes from FUNimation.

I love to experience new stories and writing reviews. My options are just so limited. More so since I've tried to swear off fansubs and scanlations on everything but VIZMedia series. It just feels good to experience a new story and write a review for something to let people know what it's like. To get people excited and anticipate a new release.
 
One of the reasons I'm looking forward to the first volume of Highschool of the Deadto be released later this month. I really want to try and pick that up on it's release day so I can write a special review for Anime Vice.
 
I've never heard of this series either before this article. I'm working on some of the FMA: Brotherhood pages then I have to update the One Piece episode page that airs tonight. After that, I'll want this episode.
zaldaron Jan. 15, 2011 at 8:27 p.m.
If you don't like sullen shows than a lot of anime you won't like.  I mean eva was pretty sullen...
No_name_here staff on Jan. 17, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
@vergilius said:
"  Oh man, that's awesome about Funi hooking you up.  It would be cool at some point if you maybe told us about a handful that looked interesting to you and let us weigh in...maybe do a few more reviews of the first episodes, and then post a poll?  
Brilliant idea. I'll do just that.
gla55jAwon Jan. 17, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
Seems like an interesting show. I'll follow and watch this one.
No_name_here staff on Jan. 18, 2011 at midnight
@EquitasInvictus said:

For example, I appreciated the influences from American crime films in setting as demonstrated by the opening sequence in the mansion that very much resembled the conclusion of Scarface. They even had a long shot with someone's body floating on a pool with an overhanging globe bearing the words "the world is mine."   
I noticed that too! Forgot to bring it up. I almost thought this was supposed to be some veiled spin-off, like they were assigned to kill Tony Montana.

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