Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom Series Review



A young man from Japan wakes up without memories and finds himself thrust into a world of assassins and betrayal. He’s a puppet for an organisation known as Inferno and he exists only to kill. However, he might not want to stay a puppet forever and as he grows closer to Ein, another of Inferno’s assassins, he’ll begin to think of a different future.


Phantom is one of those series that is really fun to watch and you get drawn into the story and the intrigue but when you think about it after all the plot holes that you kind of saw at the time just become more and more apparent. That said, this isn’t a story that wants you to look closely at it. It’s a story that wants you to journey with the characters to their end point and it wants to shock you along the way.


Fair warning, shocks in this series come in the form of nudity, sexual encounters, murder (obviously), torture, brain washing, and the young age of certain characters and the situations they find themselves in. If you can stomach that (and while it isn’t overly gratuitous it is at times confronting) then you’ll probably have a blast watching the boy named Zwei become the best assassin ever before trying to get away and reclaim an actual life.

The story very much follows Zwei (and we do learn his real name but given even the character realises he’s gone too far down the road to return to that life this revelation doesn’t really change the fact that he has become Zwei whether he did it willingly or not). We meet him after he’s had his memories stripped and he is forced to endure a fairly harsh training regime to become an assassin. While he doesn’t strike the audience as particularly formidable early on, you realise he’s accelerating through the training sequence quite quickly and when we get the flashback to find out how he came to be in Inferno’s hands at all you realise why the crazy guy keeps carrying on about natural talent. (Yes, crazy guy has a name and no I don’t remember it.)


But as much as the story follows this action and Zwei’s transformation, it also builds some intrigue and solid character relationships. That’s probably the strength of this series is it manages to balance some very cool action with those slower character building moments and it gives us a sense of the world Zwei has found himself in but never tries to info-dump on us. Mostly because everyone is pretty keen on keeping Zwei in the dark so it isn’t as though he knows much about what is going on or why.


Once we progress to carrying out missions, we see Ein and Zwei and the clear difference between them. Ein is undoubtably a killing machine but while Zwei is talented he never has the outright blankness of personality that afflicts Ein. Nor is he technically all that rebellious and it is the intrigues within Inferno and the manipulation of some of its members that ultimately tip Zwei’s hand.

What I like is that Zwei tries numerous times to get out of this life he finds himself in, and to help remove Ein from it, but they continuously get drawn back in. It is only during the later stages of the series that a break is made and fortunately that bit of boredom (and probably the weakest moment of the series given we end up in a Japanese school setting which serves no real purpose other than anime and its ongoing obsession with Japanese schools) only lasts a short period of time.

Cal’s arrival in the story in the later half is both confronting and a brilliant move for the story. Zwei has been in the organisation for a long period of time when he takes Cal on and ends up doing much the same thing to her that was done to him before he abandons her. This leads to a major confrontation between them later, though the actual confrontation sounds better in theory than the delivery of it.


And this is probably the major criticism of Phantom. It has a really solid first half but the second half with Cal and the running away to Japan and other events is decidedly weaker. It doesn’t help that many of the main players introduced in the first half are no longer in the story or have taken on new roles. This is where we start seeing major plot holes and start seeing the cracks in the characters and the reality that have been constructed.

Most likely, this won’t ruin your viewing experience but it does change a series from being a must watch to just being a good time with a few bumps along the road. That said if you like something a bit dark and assassination sounds like a nice plot device then definitely jump into this series. I had a lot of fun with it though I’ll admit it is far from perfect.

If you’ve seen Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom, let me know your thoughts.

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Karandi James.


Tuesday’s Top 5: Characters With Convenient Missing Memories

Tuesday's Top 5

Characters with missing memories are an overused plot device, a cliché, and a cheap way to build a big reveal into a story, and it’s a staple in far too many anime.

That said, not every story built around amnesia (or every character with convenient amnesia) is all that bad. Sometimes this well established storyline is delivered well and it is these small miracles that convince other writers to try and duplicate the efforts leading to such an oversaturated field.

However, this probably isn’t a list of the best characters but rather the ones where I actually enjoyed finding out what they had forgotten. As always, it’s entirely subjective and I invite you to give your own suggestions below.

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Honourable mentions this week go to: Tuxedo Mask (Sailor Moon), and Tada Banri (Golden Time). I love these characters but they didn’t make the final cut (nor did 07 Ghost, Hitsugi no Chaika and a whole slew of other titles where characters have convenient missing memories).

Character with Missing Memories Number 5: Yashiro Isana from K

As someone accused of murder and with more than one group of people out to kill him, it would probably help is Yashiro Isana remembered who he was or what he’d been doing.

The fact that his amnesia was imposed on him from outside (with the best of intentions) makes him interesting as most anime characters just seem to have missing memories from either shock or blunt force trauma.

The other reason I like Yashiro is that it is only through him having no recollection of events that he is able to ask the questions the audience needs answered. And yes, this definitely falls under the category of cheap plot device, but imagine being dropped into K without a clueless protagonist to ask all those questions. The audience would be even more lost than most of them are when watching the show.

Besides, I find him a genuinely likeable individual as he floats along through his narrative and slowly finds the missing pieces of his memories.


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Character with Missing Memories Number 4: Zwei from Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom

Of all the characters on the list, Zwei from Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom, is the only one I actually feel sorry for. He was an ordinary tourist who witnessed something he shouldn’t and then got kidnapped, had his memories erased, and was forced to become an assassin.

While eventually his missing memories return, this is (at the time) more a curse than a blessing as it only reinforces that he’s gone too far down the road of an assassin to return to his normal life.

His identity and his future become very muddled for a fairly long time. Zwei is definitely more of the blank slate amnesiac than Yashiro, but despite limited interactions with other characters, he still manages to leave quite an impression. His development when contrasted with equally blank slate character Ein is really interesting to watch.

Character with Missing Memories Number 3: Akira Takizawa from Eden of the East

Akira’s amnesia is entirely self-inflicted, or so we learn as the story progresses. Quite why his former self thought this would help the situation is never really made clear, but his current self is forced to try to learn more about what is going on and what he needs to do now.

Eden of the East is just an interesting story and much like K, the main character having to learn about the rules of the game from the ground up really is the only reason the plot is accessible to the audience without lengthy expositions that seem to serve no purpose.

So, definitely a plot device, but also a fundamental part of Akira’s character. He felt cornered enough to have his own memories erased. It leaves you seeing his character in a very different light. It also casts some shadows over his growing relationship with Saki as you can never tell what is really going on in his head.


Character with Missing Memories Number 2: Yuuko from Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

Right from the title, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, you know that this one is about a character who has missing memories. The fact that the character is a ghost who is rumoured to haunt the school makes it a little bit different but that by itself isn’t enough to really add Yuuko to the list.

While this is a big spoiler, Yuuko’s amnesia is caused by her essentially denying anything bad ever happening to her. She literally throws off any bad memory to a shadow version of herself. And boy does she not want to confront these memories.

I really enjoy watching Yuuko and the way she interacts with the human characters (those who can see her at least) but she isn’t exactly demonstrating a healthy approach to dealing with trauma.

Character with Missing Memories Number 1: Chiyuki from Death Parade

I think I like Chiyuki from Death Parade the most because even though she has lost her memories, it isn’t the crutch for the entire plot. Everyone who visits the bar has missing memories. Chiyuki knows things aren’t right and she puts a lot of things together on her own, but even without direct memories, she is most decidedly a complete character.

She isn’t stumbling around trying to figure out who she is and what’s right and wrong. At times you even forget that there’s anything missing. Which fits in with the theme of the show of trying to determine who people are at their core. When the truth is finally revealed it is more a natural next step rather than a shocking revelation which makes this character feel more like a real person than a plot device.

Finally, it is Chiyuki’s developing relationship with Decim that is just a pure joy to watch in an otherwise fairly dark show, that allowed her to top my list of anime characters with missing memories.

So, which character would you choose to add to the list? I’d love to know.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James