As silly as some aspects of this show are, I can’t help but have fun while watching it. While I strongly suspect that when they explain the villain’s motives it will probably be a disappointment, Phantom in the Twilight has so far been enjoyable enough to watch, even though it isn’t great.
Some spoilers below, if you are inclined to care.
Luke faces his destiny in a showdown under the ferris wheel, or I guess they could have gone that path. Mostly Luke, who already figured out that another werewolf was involved last week and clearly knew who, goes off on his own and meets his brother who just happens to be the kidnapper. They reminisce about old times, try and kill each other, there’s some outside interference but fortunately Ton and the others show up because Ton wants to rescue her friend (Luke), oh and she might try and save Shinyao while she’s at it because that was the whole point of last week to save her kidnapped friend.
On that front, they are really stretching the plot just a little bit too far now. Two weeks in a row Ton has gotten within reach of her friend and they still haven’t saved her. it’s like someone just keeps moving the piece of cheese further back and yet they forgot to load the trap so nothing actually happens as we progress.
Still, we get some entertaining moments with Wayne, a brief history lesson on a whole bunch of jargon and Ton’s grandmother, a fight between two werewolves, a gatling gun being used on some kind of green glowing demonic dogs, and a cup of tea, so this episode has enough going on to keep you interested. All things consider, this is kind of reminding me of quite a few anime I’ve watched in the past that are fun in the moment but don’t have much real impact and are quickly forgotten. Maybe it will rise above that in later episodes, but these first three episodes seem to have pretty much cemented this as a watchable entertainment that leaves little lasting impression.
I was pleasantly surprised that episode two of this was reasonably decent given the first episode’s shortcomings. The focus is very much on Vlad but the other characters definitely get a little bit of a look in as this supernatural story continues.
It has been awhile since vampires actually had issues with garlic, crosses, running water and were held to the belief that they couldn’t enter a building without being invited and while Buffy made good use of the mythology around vampires, most stories take great liberties with discarding the old legends or openly scoffing at them. While that doesn’t make this show any better, it does make me more interested in it if the characters are going to have a more traditional portrayal (despite all appearing to be generically good looking, young guys). If that was the only thing episode two offered, I’d probably still be more inclined to watch this show than I was last week, but overall I was generally left with the impression that this episode was better.
Ton was still not what I’d consider a great protagonist, but on one or two occasions she actually called Vlad on keeping information from her even if she didn’t press the point. The introduction of Wayne was kind of entertaining and I can see him being immensely useful as a plot device but he was just kind of fun as a character. Even Luke and the other guy (I keep missing his name) got a bit more detail about who they were and there was groundwork laid for an ongoing story with Luke that looks like it will get fleshed out next week.
Of course, the attention was on Vlad a lot and his vampire powers are pretty cool. He’s fairly stereotypical as a character and yet not annoyingly so, but he may not be all that interesting to some viewers. Plus he has absolutely zero chemistry with Ton so the scenes with the two of them that could have been charming or fun mostly end up being just a back and forth of flat dialogue that does progress the plot but isn’t overly interesting.
I think i’m in with this anime though. The heavy supernatural focus in this second episode really sold it to me and even though I’d like a bit more from the cast, there were improvements from episode 1 to episode 2 and hopefully they will continue.
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