Posted by psgels on 21 August 2009 with categories: Phantom



Oh boy, this series has been nothing but awesomeness since the start of the Tokyo Arc. Sure, it’s true that Cal’s body grew a bit too much over two years, but if you blame puberty it could have happened. It’s not really something to be overly obsessive about, because I don’t think that it really gets in the way of the rest of the series.

Even though this turns out to be the adaptation of a H-game, I was quite surprised with how honest Reiji was about Cal. In your average anime you’d guess that for some bit of extra tension the characters would just keep these secrets from each other, but then again: this series already has enough tension as it is. No need to be melodramatic at all, because the characters have reached the point where they are more than able to carry the series along. Cal busting up the rivalling gang for example, was nothing short of kickass. This does show that Scythe has some sort of strange methods of getting the best potential out of his Phantoms.

I was actually hoping for this episode to delve a bit more into the Cal vs Reiji, but it seems that the creators are still saving this for later. Instead, this episode’s end showed the next best thing: Cal vs Helen. Next episode surely is going to rock!

If the rest of the finale continues to be as good as this, Phantom is definitely going to be my favorite Bee-Train series since .Hack//Sign, and out of the shows that premiered during the past spring season, it’s pretty likely that this series is going to end up as my favourite. Sorry Shangri-La, but this series has simply gotten that good.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

26 Responses

  1. Nayrael says:

    The irony of Phantom of Inferno being a H-game is the fact that it doesn’t even feel like one. The DVD version itself doesn’t even have H scenes.

    In any case, I agree with you: this is probably the best show of Spring/Summer ’09 season.

  2. UmbrellaMan says:

    I am loving this series!!! Cal just keeps getting better. True, as people have mentioned, her design is a bit too mature for 16 ( big boobs aside), but she definitely still kicks ass.

    Is it me or does everyone in their high school wear a different uniform? Is that strange or is it just me. If you have a dress code, usually it’s all the same, and if there isn’t a code you wear street clothes. This really bothers me for some reason. I noticed it last episode. I don’t understand!!!

  3. Kanao says:

    “The irony of Phantom of Inferno being a H-game is the fact that it doesn’t even feel like one.”

    Rather than irony, that’s just ignorance on the part of those unwilling to expand their interests or at least look into other kinds of media.

    While a majority of ‘H-games’ may be exactly what they sound like, the story-driven kind should be considered entirely separate. A lot of them have the 18+ content tacked on, almost as though an afterthought. Because ‘sex sells’ is probably far more true in Japan than even the US, EU, etc.

    When 98% of a game is an excellent story and the remaining 2% something a lot of people will simply skip can you really justify saying “Even though this turns out to be the adaptation of a H-game“? That’s a very unfair and biased way of looking at it.

  4. Camario says:

    I would also have to agree with the above, on that same note.

    The story was always just as good -with or without a few minutes of pornographic content- so that fact alone speaks for itself. Once again, the All-Ages DVD version of Phantom of Inferno is what VN fans in the English-speaking world have played and there was no sense of its lacking anything important.

    I’d speculate that the h-scenes were probably added as an afterthought in the original PC version anyway, essentially for sales purposes. The story doesn’t really require any of them and even obviously sexually active characters like Claudia, for example, didn’t lose anything with their removal. Both the anime and the DVD version show that it’s possible to reflect that aspect of her personality without resorting to explicit content.

    I’d comment on 21 myself, but you should probably know the drill by now.

  5. blues says:

    i loled at the music when Cal was taking a shower
    hopefully i was wearing headphones.

  6. ATGF says:

    ow how I wish the sub could come out faster….

  7. Mentar says:

    Sheesh, 1.5 days. You guys sure are impatient.

  8. Jynx23 says:

    cal is awesome!!!!!

  9. meow says:

    I haven’t seen up to 21 yet – still way back in 19…but yea..i love both Helen and Cal. I’m kinda dreading the ending if the story follows the game.

  10. Nayrael says:

    Which ending of the game? There are 11 endings in it and the anime can end with one of those 4 (as the others happen before Reiji and Ellen run to Japan) or an anime-only ending.

  11. meow says:

    Put it this way: *PROBABLE SPOILER* I’m hoping for an ending where Reiji, Helen and Cal survive. Barring this, I’m routing for Reiji to sacrifice his life awesomely to save the other two.

  12. meow says:

    I forgot to add: Cal regains her senses too.

  13. Frost says:

    Damn it Cal is hot, she even tops Revy from Black Lagoon in badass-factor

    And I love the change in her voice, its just perfect, you can tell immediatly its her, but slightly older, more mature, more confident

    Scythe is also awesome in this episode… I love bad guys that arent your generic “OMGWTFBQQ IM GONNA DESTROY THE WORLD !!111″ instead hes a mastermind, knows exactly how people think and act, its great

    All in all loving this series right now

  14. watashi says:

    The H-scenes were in the original 2001 Japanese and the 2004 Phantom Integration PC-versions. Digiturbo’s 2002 version edited these adult scenes and this was the basis for Hirameki’s release. However, the existence of orignal’s version H-scenes can be seen even playing the Hirameki’s censored version. For example there is a question whether you want to have be seduced by Claudia. The scene is just skipped and moved to the next scene.

    Because Phantom is so story driven the H-scenes are unnecessary to tell the great story. Nonetheless, if the game was marketed for adults and had a few H-scenes, I consider it to be a hentai game, whether it needed those or not, or kept those in minimal. Let’s just say for a hentai game it’s a rather great one; best hentai to anime -adaption ever made. Besides, the censored DVD-version is the best because it has the excellent voice actors’ cast.

    There is no All-Ages version. The DVD-box says it is rated for 15+ due to “animated violence and some sexual content”, like some kind of scenes abusing of Ein, though I consider that probably the most erotic scene is where Ein’s bullet is removed. These things was removed or edited from the DVD-version: “A total of ten scenes were edited for content. Two of these scenes were edited to remove nudity. Four scenes were edited to downplay sexuality. Three scenes of sexual content were completely removed. A single scene of sexual violence was also removed.” (source: http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/dvd/file/918335/48498)

  15. Hettan says:

    Ever since they introduced Cal, this show went from bland to something fantastic. Out of the possible endings of the anime, I do wish that they’ll choose the Dusty Desert Trail. I find that it seems to be the perfect choice to end this show.

  16. Camario says:

    watashi: For the record, I referred to the 15+ version as “All-Ages” for the sake of keeping things simple, since that’s how the non-ero versions of many games are commonly called regardless of any specific age restrictions.

    The essential point is that the DVD version either cuts, implies or reworks any adult content in ways that don’t interfere with the story and even possibly enhanced it by removing an unnecessary distraction.

    It’s good that you went into a lot more detail, by all means, but I wanted to clear that up.

  17. meow says:

    Hettan: *MAJOR SPOILERS* I think Dusty Desert Trail sounds cool but I wasn’t completely happy with it cos, one: not all of them made it out alive and two: the surviving two have an uncertain future; they still remain assassins on their way to a new mission where they could very well lose their lives. They were forced into their situation by forces outside of their control; it was my original hope that they could somehow escape from that darkness.

    Road of the Cerulean Sky is better for me cos the survivors definitely make it out and even go so far as to recover lost memories and discover real peace. The bad part is the loss of the third, who only finds peace in death, probably without ever resolving their misunderstanding.

    My best ending would be for all three to make it out somehow – taking down Inferno along the way. Yes, it might ruin the coolness of the story for alot of us but that’s the kind of ending I like. (Yes..i loved Macross Frontier) I guess super happy endings like this could only work in MF and Sumaga. XD

  18. X says:

    @supertauren: that’s what makes Reiji the best assassin, and even Sycthe admitted that. He was the perfect assassin, with a genuine killing intent and makes a solid, calm judgments. Of course the problem for Sycthe is that Reiji acts on his own will, and so Sycthe cant make him obey.

    Also, yes you are right, Reiji’s training did take a mere month compared to Ein who took 2 years just as Cal did. The reason I believe was that Reiji’s killing talent, skills, and potential are all part of his instincts. Like he was born with them, you could say a true killer in the utmost sense of the word.

    After all, we saw in the episode where he was to be terminated by Ein because he got indirectly involved, he was able to dodge her attacks, even countered! He even eluded her for days! Also another evidence that he is the superior assassin, was when McGuire was utterly amazed by his achievements, far more that he was with Ein.

  19. Kari says:

    This series is truly amazing. I love the characters,especially Cal. It’s the best series I’ve seen in a while.

  20. Hettan says:

    @Meow
    As a Cal fan, the Road of the Cerulean Sky simply doesn’t work for me. ^^;

    SPOILERS KEEP AWAY

    DANGER SPOILERS AHEAD

    From the way Helen was being portrayed I always see her as a tragic figure.

    In DDT, Helen and Reiji’s relationship will take the bittersweet route that is more memorable than the two of them having the more bland ‘living happily ever after scenario’ imo.

    End of spoilers.

  21. Nayrael says:

    @Hettan: Fully agree. Ellen herself in fact is a better character in that ending.

  22. windy says:

    You’re right, this episode was just awesome in every way!!! And I love Cal’s change! Her behavior and personnality are not what they used to be, she’s not the helpless little girl anymore, but a dangerous killer woman through and through, I can’t wait till she meets Reiji!!! Why does she nurture such a hatred towards him anyway? Must be because of Scythe’s manipulation of her feelings but nevertheless. It wasn’t Reiji’s fault the building exploded that day, so why…

  23. meow says:

    From Cal’s perspective, she went out to pick up some videos and came back to find the apartment a blasted shell and Reiji nowhere to be found, so for her, Reiji never came back for her – for whatever reason. I’m not sure if it even occured to her that someone had blown up the apartment or whether Reiji was in little pieces all over the place – all that was on her mind was that she was all alone again. Meanwhile she falls into the Devil’s (aka Scythe’s) hands. I bet he’s the one who planted the bomb in the first place right after she left the apartment alone and timed the explosion just as Reiji was coming back so he would wind up assuming Cal was dead and leaving without searching for her. Two years of training later, Scythe’s probably manupulated Cal’s feelings by telling her that Reiji escaped to Japan with Helen, fanning the feelings of rage and jealousy. Scythe was probably planning to set up Cal against Reiji, knowing that in spite of Reiji’s superior potential, he’d be handicapped by his feelings for Cal – just to see what would happen for his research.

    For all her new menacing Phantom demeanour though, I’d like to think the old Cal is still in there somewhere, at least from the cheerful images of her from the 2nd OP. She still has alot to settle with Reiji but while she’s trigger happy with gangsters even on her own side, I don’t think she’d casually take out civilian witnesses for example, like the old Ein. I’m glad for the lack of brainwashing here. The way she casually draped her towel over Scythe’s head also tells me she has no respect or loyalty for Scythe either, also unlike the original Ein – which is a good thing. Her warning shot was also harmless – she’s not so consumed by rage as to simply take Reiji out simply from seeing him having fun with another girl, with all she herself went through. She could have also tormented him by simply dropping Mio right before his eyes.

    Argh…dammit, I don’t want either Helen or Cal to die. :( Wouldn’t it be cool to see the first three go up against the new six and Scythe master? I kinda feel sorry for the new six though, if they’re brainwashed kids like the old Ein.

  24. meow says:

    From Cal’s perspective, she went out to pick up some videos and came back to find the apartment a blasted shell and Reiji nowhere to be found, so for her, Reiji never came back for her – for whatever reason. I’m not sure if it even occured to her that someone had blown up the apartment or whether Reiji was in little pieces all over the place – all that was on her mind was that she was all alone again. Meanwhile she falls into the Devil’s (aka Scythe’s) hands. I bet he’s the one who planted the bomb in the first place right after she left the apartment alone and timed the explosion just as Reiji was coming back so he would wind up assuming Cal was dead and leaving without searching for her. Two years of training later, Scythe’s probably manupulated Cal’s feelings by telling her that Reiji escaped to Japan with Helen, fanning the feelings of rage and jealousy. Scythe was probably planning to set up Cal against Reiji, knowing that in spite of Reiji’s superior potential, he’d be handicapped by his feelings for Cal – just to see what would happen for his research.

    For all her new menacing Phantom demeanour though, I’d like to think the old Cal is still in there somewhere, at least from the cheerful images of her from the 2nd OP. She still has alot to settle with Reiji but while she’s trigger happy with gangsters even on her own side, I don’t think she’d casually take out civilian witnesses for example, like the old Ein. I’m glad for the lack of brainwashing here. The way she casually draped her towel over Scythe’s head also tells me she has no respect or loyalty for Scythe either, also unlike the original Ein – which is a good thing. Her warning shot was also harmless – she’s not so consumed by rage as to simply take Reiji out simply from seeing him having fun with another girl, with all she herself went through.

    Argh…dammit, I don’t want either Helen or Cal to die. :( Wouldn’t it be cool to see the first three go up against the new six and Scythe master? I kinda feel sorry for the new six though, if they’re brainwashed kids like the old Ein.

  25. Nayrael says:

    @meow:
    If she didn’t love Reiji, she woudn’t hate him now either. She would either not care about him or kill him like intended rather then playing with him. She hates him so much now because she loved him too much to forgive him what he has done.

    And she saw that Reiji was not in tiny pieces as she returned to the apartment (thats one of reasons why she risked her life returning: to check if he was there when the explosion happened) and actually spent three days without even eating… just waiting for him… believing that he would come to check if she was alive or not.

  26. dalojo says:

    Shangri-la has gotten pretty damn good of late…but Phantom is better. Not so sure about the D-cups, but I’m not gonna make a whole federal case about it; I guess the animators really wanted to differentiate between elegant, austere Elen and wild-looking, curvaceous Cal.

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:50 AM)
    Still would have preferred dorohedero adaptation than gangsta though but I can dream…
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:46 AM)
    Reading over the impressions post for Ranpo, reminded me, has anyone read the Junji Itou take on that story?
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:43 AM)
    …crap, that post went on a lot longer than I was planning it to. Got a bit excited over the series. =P
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:41 AM)
    Ha, yes the characters are unique aren’t they? How often do you see a deaf gangster.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:40 AM)
    I would lying however if I said I wasn’t keen on that Worick fella though and the prostitute girl.
    I am hoping that the series will go more into their relationship with her.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:38 AM)
    I think this could be the best of the season and I’m glad it’s being covered on here and thanks for putting me onto it with that season preview/first impressions post.
    Where the scans left off was a frustrating cliffhanger =<
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:38 AM)
    I’d worry about the anime, there might be a chance of censoring later on (although so far that isn’t an issue) and the anime is only 12 episodes long so that’s a problem right there. After a good opening chapter I did feel it took me a little bit before I fully got into it.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    It has a feel of dogs-bullets and carnage, which was an alright manga, this seems like a step up/better thing of it.
    However I’m not that big on the tonal shifts, the comic reliefs not great, slight bit of filler, don’t overly care for the side cast as much, their a bit forgettable some of them.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    The action scenes are enjoyable enough, gritty and gory, its competent, time/boredom killer stuff so long as you turn your brain off. That I like the art style also helps. I liked how in one scene the prostitute at least did try to stand up for herself. I can see that a jormungand/black lagoon fan might go for this however I’d warn people to not have their expectations THAT high.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    I watched the first episode of gangsta, but I decided to go on and marathon all 6 volumes in one sitting. For the most part this has a page turner quality to it, the three central/main characters backgrounds are adequately handled and theres a development they keep teasing I hope they get more into. I’m glad to has a series with adult characters like this. Theres a kind of bromance in there somewhere.

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