I believe this’ll be the last full spring anime impression post that I’ll do; there’s a few series that I’ve watched but don’t feel like writing whole posts about. Expect these along with more thoughts about the season as a whole soon.
I’ve been holding off on this title because while I’ve never watched a Bee Train series before, I’m aware of them through the anime blogosphere and wanted to be sure in what I wrote before writing what I thought.
Rating: episode 1 – 7/12B
Rating: episode 2 – 8/12B+
Rating: episode 3 – 8/12B+
Rating: episode 4 – 10/12 A
Anticipation Level: medium
The story to Phantom ~Requiem of Phantom~ revolves around a super assassin known as Phantom and what happens after a guy watches her kill her target. Normally, he’d be killed as well but there’s something about him and instead he’s brought in, brainwashed, and trained to become Phantom’s partner in assassination.
After watching a couple of episodes, I knew that I didn’t dislike the show but I wasn’t sure if I’d like this show. It didn’t help that the first 3 episodes where essentially training the guy into becoming as assassin because this wasn’t going to be representative of the whole series. Episode 4 showcased the pair working a job and it was a very enjoyable watch so here we are.
Many of the people that have commented negatively about Phantom has done so by grouping it with the previous Bee Train series and collectively dismissing them all. This option is not open for me since like I said, I’ve never seen any of their other series, and because without watching the whole thing – it’s impossible to know if Phantom replicates the previous series. Then there are some that are trying to prove it’s a bad series by pointing out it’s perceived faults. One being the idea of brainwashing some random guy and being able to turn him into a super assassin strains believability too much. This argument might hold some water if he didn’t already have the physique to be an assassin and he wasn’t being threatened to become an assassin or be killed. (And then there’s the whole notion of selectively making a show accountable for being believable when most, if not all, anime stretches believability somehow.)
Then again, if I try to show how Phantom is a good show by mentioning the attention to details found in episode 4 like how Zwei, the name of the male assassin, after dropping his cup of coffee, being able to catch it before it hits the ground or how the background characters react to Zwei and Ein (aka Phantom) acting like an expressive couple while they’re surveying the mall the day before a hit. I could mention how for being emotionless assassins, they have way more character then I thought they would have and I’m interested by Ein’s reaction to Zwei when he’s in killer mode and the possibility that Ein wishes to not be an assassin (her acting as a normal girl was almost too good, and her getting the tourist pamphlets for visiting various places, and her worry that Zwei will realize some secret about her being the tip-offs). I could talk about how I was surprised by how often I laughed during episode 4 and how this episode was able to balance being entertaining and being serious. Or I could mention liking the above average animation and the realistic style but it’ll probably be no more persuasive then the other argument.
As you can tell, I’ve been thinking about reviews and how people have vastly different reactions to the same thing. The more I think about it the more I think it’s really subjective most of the time. Even things that should be totally factual like animation quality somehow isn’t. You never see someone that has hated a show still highly praise it’s animation – they might grudgingly mention in passing that it had decent animation but often it’s qualified somehow. (“It has decent animation for a moe anime,” for example, when they’re talking about Clannad.)
That’s about all I wanted to say about Phantom, and I don’t want to continue being off-topic so I’m going to finish up by saying that this series has the potential of being a very good series if it can continue doing what it’s been doing right.