Posted by psgels on 28 August 2009 with categories: Phantom



Oh my God, Cal just becomes more and more awesome with every single episode. Up till now we’ve only seen glimpses of her new version, and what she turned into ever since she was abandoned by Reiji and taken in by Scythe, but only in this episode we get a full grasp of her deep-seeded hate against Reiji. And this episode yet again was absolutely amazing. People have often asked me why the heck I’m such a big Bee-Train fan. Now THIS is why! Time and time again they end up creating a truly awesome cast of characters.

And while it’s indeed true that they sexed up Cal a bit too much, they do get the point across: someone who started out as a sweet little girl is now cursing all over, lost any trace of compassion, living solely for revenge and has no future at all if she does manage to kill off Reiji. What hit me the most was when Reiji asked her to leave Helen alone. It then all hit her that Reiji indeed was the bastard she imagined him to be, who left her for dead and instead is willing to protect Ein with his life.

At this point, Reiji’s apologies and the words that he thought she was dead obviously can’t easily put things right anymore, since they’re just going to come off as cheap excuses. The fact remains that Reiji just walked off without confirming Cal’s dead body, because he was too occupied by Helen. It’s completely understandable, but it completely destroyed Cal’s chance of growing up happily.

Also, I’ve said this many times before, but I really feel the need to repeat that I absolutely love the soundtrack for this series. In this series, it has become much more than simply a bunch of songs that play into in the background. Bee-Train was already experimenting with this kind of soundtrack during Blade of the Immortal, in which it really worked, and for this series they again compiled a crazy soundtrack that’s full of many different songs, ranging from the quiet ones to the mindfuck tracks. These songs aren’t meant to be simple elevator music, but they’ve become a very important part of the storytelling itself, and I really love the way it turned out.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

22 Responses

  1. mei says:

    you need someone like Sawashiro Miyuki to pull off Cal’s madness, no?

  2. coyo says:

    Whats up with the music at end with the moaning woman O_o

  3. Perrin4869 says:

    I have only seen up till last episode, but really, doesn’t ANYONE here feel the creators have jumped over the shark big time?
    Let’s start by saying that I wasn’t really hooked to this anime from the first episode, but it grew on me as it went along. I loved the end of the first arc where Reiji end up shooting Ein, and the next arc started strong with the introduction of Cal, and her chemistry with Reiji. But somewhere along the lines it started to break my suspense of disbelief. I think it started when Ein turned out to be alive as well. Well, I could overlook that, and I kept watching. Next, Ein fights to the death with Zwei, and in the last moment she deflects, even though she almost died protecting Scythe Master at the end of the first arc, and all with the stupid excuse that she couldn’t keep living without Zwei. Yeah, get real. And then, Cal goes nuts for no reason at all, and is angry at Zwei? Does she sincerely think he deserted her? How could he have known she wasn’t caught in the fire? What’s wrong with her, she wasn’t portrayed as completely irrational before, she was supposed to be smart. And Scythe Master just guessed that she was alive, reached out to her and trained her.
    And now the new arc changed the setting to a high school? Where do Zwei and Ein get their living from? Who are their parents? Who cares about a high school in a show about the mafia?

    Now, maybe I got something wrong up there, but as it stands now, the plot and the characters are completely ridiculous, and I’m very disappointed with how this anime turned out

  4. Nighty says:

    To be fair, Beetrain didn’t create them, they merely took the entire thing page-by-page from the VN. Some parts really excelled more than the VN in terms of presentation, but at the same time, some scenes were weaker.

    @Perrin4896

    Zwei has money. Enough for a while. Also, they hired 2 people to act as their family who’s supposedly working overseas. Small things that aren’t clearly stated, but obvious when you think about what they’re capable of.

    Also, you still seem to miss the whole point about Cal’s underlying emotions. It is irrational, but that’s the whole point. Keep watching.

  5. AGTF says:

    Seems like another awesome episode. Waiting for the sub unpatiently (^_^)

  6. Mentar says:

    Mhhh… not quite ;)

    You correctly identified the scene in which Cal punched Reiji after giving the “it’s fine to kill me, but leave Ein alone” line as vital, however your interpretation of it is a bit off. What else could cause her to react like this? Mull over that a little.

    The characterization of Cal is done very very well here. My suggestion: When you rewatch it subbed, check if what she says matches with how she (re)acts. And where it doesn’t, what could possibly be the reason for it?

  7. Gilberto I. Silva Jr says:

    @Perrin4896
    You don’t understand why Cal went nuts because you are thinking with your brains.
    Try to think with the hormones of a teenage girl in love who found hope (and a cool boyfriend) but was deceived, hurted and lost everything for the THIRD TIME! ;)

  8. Perrin4869 says:

    Assuming I accept Cal going nuts and wanting to kill Reiji, even though it completely contradicts her character up until that point, what about Helen’s change of character in one mere second? Was that somehow justified too? Didn’t she make it clear she was Scythe Master’s doll by taking a bullet to her heart (again, forgetting about the fact that she should have been killed, completely destroying the suspense of disbelief)? Where did the crap about not being able to live without Reiji come from all of a sudden, after having had a duel to the death with him?

  9. Nayrael says:

    @Perrin4869:
    1. Cal was always vengeful. Remember when she hired Reiji to kill not only Judy’s killer, but everyone involved in the incident. Remember how she wanted to see the death of the killer with her own eyes or how she wanted to become an assassin herself? She was always like that, don’t let her loli look fool you.

    2. Elen actually jumped between Reiji and Scyhte in order to stop Reiji from killing someone from his own free will. However, she was a bit late so a bullet hit her and she just made the situation worse.
    And that death match in ep18 was actually just a show. Neither of them planned to kill another but planned to be killed instead.

  10. Perrin4869 says:

    Cal being vengeful was never the point. What I mean by not following her character is that she was shown as charismatic, like for example, wanting to help Reiji in his work. And now suddenly she is separated with him under some circumstances, and all she can think of is revenge? Wouldn’t a charismatic and practical person just try to think of a way to go back to Reiji’s side? Sure, she was vengeful of people who wronged her, but Reiji was still out there, probably thinking she died…

    And as for Ein, sorry, it still sounds like crap fiction. Real life people don’t think that way, only bad anime characters do, so either way (trying to protect Scythe Master, or stopping Reiji from killing) is a lose situation in my book

  11. Perrin4869 says:

    Oh, and is anyone taking bets that Claudia is still alive?

  12. TonyT61 says:

    Watching that episode again, you have to remember that this isn’t just Cal acting on her own for 2 years. At the ruined apartment, where she waits for Reiji out of desperation and longing, Scythe Master shows up. This sets up a confused and angry train of thought going through Cal’s mind, because while we mostly just see SM showing up onto the scene, he’s there to persuade Cal that Reiji never truly cared for her.

    Remember, she’s been training as a new Phantom for 2 years under Scythe Master. While she may have not been brainwashed and put through the same events as Elen, she still works with a man who constantly deceives her into following her angry emotions ans seeking revenge. The main point is: it’s not just about what Cal could have done differently, it’s the fact that SM has been influencing her.

  13. tealovertoma says:

    I agree with Perrin4869, Cal is completely overreacting. There was a fucking explosion and she was supposed to have been killed. She hates him so much for… assuming the obvious? Okay, he should’ve checked if she was okay but he never meant her any harm. Does this really justify Cal going kind of psycho on us and wanting to kill everyone? If she’s actually jealous of Ein and that’s why she wants to kill her, fair enough. But if she truly means that she wants to kill Reiji (something I don’t think that she does, so I hope she’s just acting but maybe she just doesn’t unconsciously realise she still cares for Reiji), I find it completely ridiculous reasoning.

    And I kinda agree with the show jumping the shark with keeping everyone alive all the time. It’s no longer realistic in any way. But I also felt more connected emotionally to the characters before we found out Ein was alive. Cool plot twists are nice, but they should never exist at the cost of character development.

  14. tealovertoma says:

    Despite all of that I am still enjoying the show, though. It’s just not quite as amazing as it was when he was training Cal =/

  15. Mentar says:

    Look, kids. It’s really not hard to understand, if you see it from her perspective. Here’s what really happened with some extra game knowledge:

    From Cal’s perspective Reiji promised to return no matter what, but never did. He didn’t even look for her (she waited 3 days in the burnt-out ruins), so she concluded that he was dead.

    Then however, SM popped up. He told him that Reiji wasn’t dead – rather that he fled, with another woman. That he’s a cheater and betrayer. After the promise Cal made with Reiji, this was a pretty ugly shock.

    Over time, SM trained her into Drei, working – as he put it – to unearth and nurture the hatred within Cal. Gradually poisoning her with stuff like “he felt that you were to surpass him, and so he ran”. And “he’s been lying to you all the time”. And “she uses and deserts anybody, he did it before”. Stuff like that. Cal always had a vindictive, angry streak, so she gobbled it up and gradually corrupted.

    Now she’s seeing him again, and not only did he elope with Ein, he even flirts with Mio, the Godoh Group princess. And finally he even uses her as a shield. Putting all this together, why the heck should she NOT be hating him like this?

    However, there’s one more twist to it which will be revealed later.

    Finally this “killed people showing up all the time” talk is nonsense. There was one questionable episode with this (when Reiji and Elen each got shot), but ever since, dead people didn’t resurface. The reason why nobody died in the bomb blast is clear – Reiji was busy and Cal was visiting a video rental to check out the VCR she fixed. So I’d say it’s time to put it to rest.

  16. Perrin4869 says:

    OK, so considering the part where SM finds Cal as plot twist from the writer, and Cal being stupid enough to listen to SM, who is supposed to be skilled at brainwashing people, I will agree that Cal could get completely mad and vengeful. So, one flaw that can be explained.

    It still doesn’t erase the fact that Helen and Reiji’s reunion was one of the least credible ones ever, and Helen’s reasons are downright laughable, and that she should be dead, and that they turned the setting into a bloody high school because… Well, sure, Ein and Reiji were teenagers all along, and the only thing this show needed was high school nonsense. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think high school shows are necessarily bad – I watch Cross Game, Aoi Hana, and I loved many shows which took place in high school, like Ghost Hound for example. The only difference between them and Phantom is that they didn’t force the setting to be a high school. And really, why are there shows, like Guin Saga, which also have a complex plot, but don’t have to rely on crap to keep going?

    Sorry, but at this point, I can’t take the show seriously anymore. No matter what excuse you have, you don’t do the things that the creators have done here. It’s bad plot writing, characters acting with ridiculous reasons (talking more about Helen than Cal, after what’s been in the comments above), and I’m still taking bets on Claudia being alive. This show feels like the creators were making stuff up as it went, instead of having cemented their character’s personalities, and having a more or less planned plot. I didn’t expect it to turn into my favorite series, that place is saved for Darker than Black, but I hoped to enjoy good storytelling, and it disappointed

  17. Rimah says:

    Nice post Mentar, and I agree with you (though I haven’t played the game).
    What we see here isn’t the logical and innocent Cal from the last arc, but a Cal that has been talked into hating Reji for the past two years.

    One point I’m wondering about is your previous post.. you mention that there’s a different reason for her behaviour, but you just said the same as psegls in his entry.

  18. tealovertoma says:

    Regardless, the moaning woman song is great.

  19. windy says:

    Yeah, I also found it a little too hard to believe in the sudden Cal’s transformation at first, but we have to take into account that two years have passed , two years of her being beside Scythe and his group of people, a teenage girl like her could be very easily influenced and besides she turned out way too rebellious and unpredictable , some people change depending on the circonstances of life, that isn’t new, besides a child’s mind is sensitive and she seems to have lost some of her senses, growing to be an incredibly amazing and outstanding character, by the way. Just for this transformation of hers , this series could be placed among the best. I love the originality of this series, due to the visual novel, I guess, that has to be incredible as well, but the characters are just exceptionnal in every way, and I just loved Cal’s transformation, she wasn’t a character I liked before but now, she’s become my favorite, I like her sway of mind!

  20. Kari says:

    I agree with Mentar, especially after watching the episode with sub. It seems that Cal gets very mad after Reiji says he would give up his life as long as Elen isn’t hurt. I can understand how she feels since she liked him a lot and she felt betrayed when he left her alone. Right now I don’t think she’ll listen to anything Reiji says.

  21. Juni says:

    Cal needs to cool it with the loser flags, or else she’s going to get seriously screwed over one of these episodes.

  22. T_I says:

    Don you think Reiji would have died by now if Cal really wanted him dead?

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:52 PM)
    @Realist: I also noticed in that story arc with the talking cats, it mentioned cats of ulthar, which was also mentioned in a HP Lovecraft story.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:20 PM)
    We have reached the moment of truth and what we waited for in space brothers manga. The next chapters cannot come fast enough.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:16 PM)
    @Realist: Like that skull head guy a bit.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:15 PM)
    Apparently in bloodbourne they are upping the violence…I think.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:13 PM)
    @Bam: Scott Snyder at least…is one of them.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:11 PM)
    @Realist: I read that mahou tsukai no yome manga you mentioned, the two available volumes. After a few chapters I started getting more into it, but I’ll need more time/updates, looks like its doing a decent enough job setting up a fairly readable plot.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: also isn’t American Vampire written by two guys?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: not only Amira but also Kaiser and Favaro’s dialogue and characterization was pretty weak. Their feud and reconciliation was forced as he’ll, and I just hate it when powerful demons uncharacteristically waste too much time talking to humans they could, and should, easily defeat.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:07 PM)
    @k-off: the series has some sombre and unconventional stories, it’s just that the story is told indirectly thru lore and subtlety. Demon’s Souls had a decent amount of narrative to the whole affair, albeit short and told mostly thru items and NPC encounters. But unfortunately the series moved forward on from cryptic to straight minimal storytelling. DS2 feels lazy although it has a few cool narratives, like Luciatel, but you have to play your cards right to even get to see that.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 11:55 AM)
    @K-off: Demon’s Souls brought it all tho. It introduced every single aspects that defined not only its own franchise but apparently also a whole new genre. The story and game mechanics were cryptic and for those who played it 1st was never imitated again. We didn’t know what we were playing and it challenged the shot out of us and blew our minds.

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