Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ is a story about assassins and what they kill for. It starts out with a young man who should have been eliminated as a witness to an assassination but instead had his memory erased and recruited as an assassin with great potential. I totally failed to foresee how it would end with the protagonist bloodily conquering the entire criminal underworld with his killer harem, though.
Ahem, wrong plot path. This anime is actually based on a game, one targeted for the eroge market, which has an excellent story in my humble opinion. I have played the DVD player version of the game that was created for the United States, which colors the way I evaluate this anime show. This is also why it will always be “Phantom of Inferno” to me; well, that and how I’ve never gotten over “Phantom” being in the title twice. There was also a three episode OVA from a few years back, but not having heard good things about it, I never bothered watching the OVA.
I’m not happy with some of the changes the production studio made. In the game, you get a sense that these are highly trained and intelligent assassins but nevertheless humans with all their limitations. In the anime, not so much, with stupid visual effects trying to make them feel like they’re more than human with supernatural powers. And there was plenty of crazy stunts that were more for the cool instead of being something an intelligent no-nonsense person would do. While this would be expected from certain people who love being cool, does everyone have to wade out in the open with guns blazing just to show how badass they are?
I’m also not too happy with the character design for Ein, although I have no problems with the others. The character design for Ein in the game made it feel like she was a cold weapon who could snuff you out at a moment’s notice. On the other hand, the character design for Ein in the anime just makes her look like a subdued girl, and then there’s the fact that she gives me vibes of other female characters from Bee Train, the production studio responsible for the anime. But that’s just me.
But really, adaptations are almost invariably worse than the source material, with the few exceptions due to the source material being so bad that the adaptation can only be better, or even the rare gem where the adaptation is superior to an already excellent source. So it’s not really fair to condemn the anime just because it isn’t a perfect adaptation of the game. Despite all my whining, I consider it to be a good adaptation faithful to the original game. And when considered by itself, I think that Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ is an excellent anime show.
The main characters might suffer from a lot of angst, but unlike so many other fictional characters, they really do have good reasons for it. And while certain characters have their quirks, they are not dumb, and the fact that they all have their own agendas leads to plot twists that make the story engaging. It was excellent enough that I was reluctant to see it end, although dread of how it might end is why I’m writing this review so late. As it turns out, the dread was slightly justified, although the ending is far from a bad one.
To summarize, if you haven’t watched it yet, then I recommend watching Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~. If you’re not too squeamish about fictional characters getting killed, it has an excellent story to be enjoyed.