Posted on 28 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Nijuu Mensou no Musume


A major theme of the past half year was fooling the viewer, and the uncrowned king (or queen in this case) of this theme definitely is Nijuu Mensou no Musume. In this series, Studio Bones tells about a twelve-year old girl, who gets adopted by a glamorous and world-famous thief, in the period of right after the second world war. That leads you to expect that this is going to be some sort of thief-series, where Chiko and Nijuu Mensou (the girl and the thief) spend most of its time to steal a number of precious artefacts. Well, no.

I refuse to spoil what’s exactly going to happen, but expect a lot of points where the storyline in this series will just take 180 degree turns as the series progresses. This is really one series that keeps you guessing, and wondering where the characters will go next. And that’s the charm of this series for me.

To accompany the storyline, the series also has a number of very solid characters. Chiko works really well as a female lead: she’s smart and composed, although in the first few episodes, she does lean awfully close to a Mary-Sue. Thankfully, as the series progresses, she develops away from that trope. The side-characters are also excellent, though there are a few oddballs among them. Characters as Ken and Haruka never really can seem to find their place in this series.

Unfortunately, as this series enters its final third, its quality decreases dramatically. Up till that point, the series had been wonderfully unpredictable, and then it decides to close off with a drawn-out rip off of one of its earlier arcs, and a final antagonist who just lacks development for the big role he’s supposed to have, turning him into another one of those villains that are evil because they’re evil. The development in this arc pretty much stagnates, a few deus ex machina pop up here and there, it takes several episodes to do something that could just have been done in one, the final climax is a string of clichés, and overall it just took the potential this series had and threw it away.

Because of that, I just can’t label this as a great series, since it could have been so much better if a bit more time was spent to tweak that final arc. What could have been a masterpiece went rather downhill during its finale. Because of that, Nijuu Mensou no Musume still is a good series, but nowhere near the best of the season.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

2 Responses

  1. Eonir says:

    Again, I can’t imagine how can one label a work of art with a mere simple number.

    Anyway, an honest review. While I think that the series would certainly deserve the title of The Best Oldschool Modern Creation, it surely could have been better…

    Well, at least the time I spent on watching it has not been wasted so drastically as the time for Code Geass or similar.

  2. saris says:

    This show may not be the best of the season but I would say I love the first 6-7 episodes of the show, the plot twist that time really makes me go WHOA and got addicted with it although I agree with how it is less impressive since then. Some of the characters are not properly developed but I enjoy the atmosphere in this one enough to still say it’s a good show in terms of maturing the characters.

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  • K-Off
    (Thursday, Jul 24. 2014 03:21 AM)
    @Friend Fuck off, that’s not why I buy anime DVDs. Lol
  • Friend
    (Thursday, Jul 24. 2014 03:20 AM)
    @K-Off You know, I don’t think SYD even gets rid of the censor smoke lol
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, Jul 24. 2014 03:15 AM)
    Oh god, this might have been my dumbest anime purchase yet. Why did I need this on Blu-ray?
    https://i.imgur.com/VH4XLuph.jpg
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 24. 2014 01:44 AM)
    Take Brothers, a tale of two sons for example. That game through it’s controls managed to make the player feel the same way as the character on screen. It’s difficult to explain without spoiling but it managed to provoke something deep with no text, dialogue, or visuals. No other medium, not Art, film or anime, can truly accomplish this.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Jul 24. 2014 01:39 AM)
    @Yuumei, Art is usually used as pretentious term that the untalented use to make themselves seem smarter than they actually are.
    However if we are talking about whether Games and anime can provide thought provoking messages or experiences on the same level as film or art then I say yes. Definitely.
  • Yuumei
    (Thursday, Jul 24. 2014 12:37 AM)
    What do you think about game and anime art? Is it art? For me, although I do work on such things, I consider them to be entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less. They’re not meant to provoke any thought, they’re meant to entertain.
  • Yuumei
    (Thursday, Jul 24. 2014 12:31 AM)
    Hello, I couldn’t help but noticing your conversation on the state of art. What do you think of the state of modern art and art criticism? There’s been some crazy pieces people are calling modern art, like the man from Vienna who urinated, defecated, and masturbated on stage while singing the Austrian anthem.
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Jul 23. 2014 07:26 PM)
    @Vincent Also, 4koma gives scanners a lot of work.
  • JaK
    (Wednesday, Jul 23. 2014 07:23 PM)
    because mos of them use one line gags and gags are a bit difficult to translate from Japanese
  • Vincent
    (Wednesday, Jul 23. 2014 07:16 PM)
    Why do scantalators take so much longer to scan 4koma??it makes no sense.

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