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.