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DVD Review

DVD cover

Requiem For The Phantom
Part 1


Starring (voice): Ayahi Takagaki, Miyu Irino, Akeno Watanabe and Aya Hisakawa
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Available 03 October 2011

There seems to be a bit of a theme involving amnesia with this month’s releases, so it’s no surprise that we find a show starting with a young man awakening with no memory of who or where he is, all he knows is that he is being attacked by a girl who seems intent on killing him, he must either learn to defend himself very quickly or he will die.

Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom - Part 1 (2009) is an action/ thriller anime, directed by Koichi Mashimo, it ran for a total of twenty-six episodes. This two disc DVD set contains the first thirteen episodes, and represents very good value for money.

The basic premise of the show is that, unbeknownst to our amnesiac friend, he is in fact a tourist named Reiji Agatsuma who by accident had witnessed Ein at work. Fearing a witness to her assassination she attacks him, only for Reiji to evade her. Having shown promise, he is kidnapped by an organisation named ‘Inferno’ who wipe his memory and train him to be an assassin, the transformation being accomplished by the Scythe Master, who creates Phantoms out of human beings. However Reiji, now called Zwei, struggles against his confinement to recover both his memories and his freedom.

Much of the first third of this volume follows Zwei as he is being trained by Ein. Although they are there to work, a deeper relationship starts to form, which will make them a danger to their masters. Fully trained, Zwei is sent on his initial assignments, asked to kill various people. Over time his relationship with both Inferno and Ein complicates his life. The subtext of this is, expect a lot of bellybutton pondering between the killings.

Phantom certainly wants to be better than it is, as witnessed by the homage to Scarface in the first opening minutes of episode one, itself, a barely disguised sequence lifted straight from the movie. The story is told pretty well, of course there is the usual amount of padding to get it up to the required number of episodes, and the animation is passable if not spectacular, swinging between shots which would look good on a big screen to the character design which is less detailed than the background world.

The disc gets the same 1.78:1 anamorphic treatment with audio options for either an English DD5.1 or Japanese DD2.0 track, with subtitles. Extras for the set are better than usual, even though we have the opening and closing songs we also get the Picture Dramas, which consist of six comedic interpretations of the show told with a combination of stills and comic book type pictures.

Overall, this is an above average show.


Charles Packer

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