Posted by psgels on 25 September 2009 with categories: Phantom



Whoa, wtf…

Throughout this episode, I had no idea what the people in the shoutbox were talking about. I mean, it was an awesome episode that did just about everything it should have done: exciting gunfight, after which Scythe dies and Reiji and Helen live on, trying to search for Helen’s origins. After a bit of searching, they find that she was taken from Mongolia when she was little. It was a very fitting ending for my favourite series for the past half year.

Then the episode actually ended, and I understood. That really was daring from the creators: just when everything seems solved, they pull such a surprise ending that nobody saw coming, and they don’t even dare to explain what happened. Out of nowhere, a gunshot sounds, and both Reiji and Helen die. No extremely long death speeches, no overdramatic buildup. It’s just there, and less than a minute later they’re dead. it’s entirely left up to our imagination what happened.

And yet, somehow it made me like this ending even more. My theory of what happened is that McGuire is behind it. Something like “don’t mess with the mafia”, and he probably ordered assassins to track Ein and Zwei down. He previously left this to Scythe Master and Drei, but since the two of them failed he tried to do this a bit more subtle. Whatever assassins came, they figured that the most likely place that they would be able to find them was Ein’s place of birth. They knew this through Scythe, and they probably picked up a hint somewhere that Reiji and Helen were searching for it. After that, they only had to wait and snipe them when they arrived.

It just shows that there’s nothing like a happy end in the mafia. I really liked this ending because it didn’t try to overglorify the death of the two protagonists. It was a really subtle finale, and that’s something I can really appreciate. I admire Bee-Trains’s guts for trying to pull such an ending.

Overall, this has been such a wonderful series. It’s definitely in my Top 3 of Bee-Train series, along with Popolocrois and .Hack//Sign. It had such an amazing sense of subtlety, and yet at others it packed such a punch. With a fantastic soundtrack and a terrific sense of characterization (well, for me at least), I really consider this series to be the best of the past half year, and I’m looking forward to Bee-Train’s next series in 2010, whatever it may be about.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

EDIT: crap, I misunderstood this ending. Only Reiji died, Helen remained alive. Still, that doesn’t change my opinion, this episode rocked. Unless you want happy endings, of course. ;)

EDOT2: Major SPOILER for El Cazador!
After this, I still want to add a bit to the huge rage of people that seem to be unhappy over this episode. Watch El Cazador. that one has a happy ending in which the two progaonists live together happily ever after. Ironically, I remember how that ending also wasn’t well received. Ironic, isn’t it?

46 Responses

  1. Perrin4869 says:

    The thing is that Ein didn’t seem very dead to me at all. I think just Reiji died. And did you really think the whole fight with SM’s Phantoms was good? They died like stupid flies! They were supposed to be his masterpiece!
    I’m too tired now to write a good troll though. Expect one in the review after I get some rest…

  2. psgels psgels says:

    In my eyes, they weren’t his masterpiece. They were his masterpiece in his eyes, which Helen proved wrong when she kicked their ass easily with their own moves.

    Also, how much did you bet again on Claudia coming back to life? ;)

  3. Tan-Tan says:

    Like I said in random curiosity, there’s a meaning behind Reiji’s sudden death, which makes it tragic.

    Reiji said he doesn’t want to die so he can fulfill that one promised. He finally fulfilled it, and then…

    Technically, that’s a happy ending for Reiji. It’s what he wanted.

  4. windy says:

    I loved this quite mysterious ending that leaves it up to our imagination to decide what will happen next ! This ending reminded me the final episode of Noir, where we hear the sound of two gunshots and it’s up to us to believe the characters dead or alive, a sad ending indeed, now I think they ended up dead, but that one was also a symbolic ending that so amazed me! In this episode of Phantom I also got the impression that Elen wasn’t aware of the fact that Reiji has been shot and thought him justlaying on the grass, but I’m not sure, she smiled though, and at the very end we see another gun near there. Well, even if Elen survived at the end, she may be killed off later on , I think it’s unavoidable, it’s like they can only find peace in death itself, and she said to Scythe master she would soon join him in hell, which may actually mean she wanted to see the place of her birth before going to the world above, the sky is omnipresent in this episode, symbolizing heaven and the everlasting peace.

  5. meow says:

    Ok. I’m shocked. ^^

    Haven’t seen 26 yet but the ending sounds weird. Why kill only Reiji? What about Elen? Did Elen take out the sniper before she could be killed too? Or is the audience fooled by Reiji’s final vision of Elen’s ghost before he dies?

    Well, I suppose Reiji’s karma finally caught up to him. I didn’t mind him dying, but I would have preferred if he died so Elen and Cal might live. If she survived, she winds up alone and she’s already confessed that she can’t live without Reiji so, yea..this is a pretty bad ending. In the end, the bad guys (Inferno) won. Hm…did the game end this way too? I thought Reiji and Elen managed to get away in the game. Sorry to say, this is the kind of story I hate and try to avoid. As expected of the director who created Noir.

  6. Camario says:

    Yes, that’s why I wasn’t really sure about what to think about it at first…but speaking logically it made complete sense and does go along with the tragic nature of most of the story. After a few hours of sleep, I actually like it.

    It’s still not completely clear whether she will even want to live without Reiji though, so it’s not a matter of whether you misunderstood the ending or not, but that’s precisely the point: the whole thing is left up to interpretation.

    Could the story have ended in a different way? Yes, that’s why the game had multiple endings. There were some happy endings, of course, but almost always someone had to die in the process. The anime staff chose to surprise even the visual novel fans by taking an existing ending and adding that last bit of revenge from the mafia underworld, which was appropriate yet also quite bitter. The story is flexible enough to accomodate that outcome as an additional possibility, so in the end I’m very satisfied with the anime despite the fact this isn’t my favorite ending in and of itself.

  7. hairgreen says:

    they don’t need to kill of Renji..I mean, what’s the point in terms of the story? every conflict is resolved.

  8. ShionBaka says:

    It not really that the bad guys (Inferno) won. Since Its immpossiable for them and the life of the underworld to lose. Though Reiji and Ellen or Cal could go after them.. there would always be people to replace the ones they kill. This anime is not a Shounen title.

    Really Reiji was a dead man.. Even if Inferno wasn’t after him. From all the people he killed its not haard to beleive that at least one person would want revenge.Revenge and more so Betrayal is a key theme in the show.

    Helen remained alive, but who seriously thinks she will live? taking everything into account. Weather it was she kill’s herself or Inferno does.

    Interesing though since it didn’t really end as Reiji Ellen couple ending. No Marr. P No being together foever scene. They just felt close as they did at the end of the first Arc. And Reiji was just trying to do the same thing. I’m sure Bee-train also did that on purpose.

  9. yukifiverings says:

    I don’t think Elen was ever a target. Probably was considered already dead. After all Scythe would not want to advertise her existence, given that it would implicate him in earlier events between the Godoh group and Inferno. It makes sense that only Reiji would be on the chopping block. Boy I did not see that coming. Hardcore ending.

  10. R4diance says:

    why after Reiji dies she turn around and smile? she must see his body, they were near.

  11. panaghoy88 says:

    I’m just pissed that Reiji got shot despite being shown as the best assassin. They could have justified his death with a really impossible to survive situation. It really hurts the fans. And come on, as if we weren’t sick of protagonists dying in such a lame way. I have watched enough animes and movies to not get “surprised” by this.

  12. radical_dan says:

    There wouldn’t be so much raging if Reiji was killed in battle. It just seems a waste to get to the end and have Ein turn around and kill him. Its an obvious plot device to incite discussion. In the end, Reiji and Ein are only throwaway characters for the geniuses at Bee Train.

  13. psgels psgels says:

    dan: wait, did Ein kill Reiji? I didn’t see a gun in her hand though. I thought he was killed by that passing cart.

    Also, why would that make the characters throwaway for Bee-Train, just because they were killed off?

    panaghoy: you can be an excellent assassin, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be killed when you have your guard down. I mean, to have seen that gunshot coming you need to have the paranoia of a drugs dealer, who are completely different people.

  14. Perrin4869 says:

    In the end no one wanted to take bets, fortunately :)
    Anyways, see the full troll at the review post.

  15. watashi says:

    The ending was interesting, though I am not sure whether I like the fact it wasn’t fully explained. However, I really didn’t see that final scene coming, even though all the time I guessed which route the story would follow. I am glad the creators took liberties. The dialog between Elen and Scythe was surely long. Have to wait for the subs to understand it. I also wanted a little more over-the-top action from the final episode.

    Overall the series was pretty good. It was refreshing to follow a seinen series. Music was great and I have to say some tunes were actually variations from the original themes (at least Cal’s pocket watch theme). Nice that it was considered. There were some flaws with the series. I don’t clearly remember the scene where Ein was shot while rescuing Scythe, but so far I have thought Ein was too far away to be able to stop the bullet. These “off-screen” deaths, which are a clichee, were the biggest flaw of the series, but I knew to expect those after the visual novel.

    If I had to pick up my favorite between summer animes Phantom and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, my choice would be Tokyo Magnitude. Tokyo Magnitude was more unique and surprising (well, I still knew how the story would go with Phantom). It may be true, I enjoyed Phantom more though. Of course, these two are completely different genre and that’s why not that well comparable.

  16. someguy says:

    That Death (if Reiji was killed by the passing Cart) is the most fitting way for him to get killed. Inferno Do not like to Create a Big scene. And this is the way inferno kills people. With little or No scene. Now Rejij Not trying to explain or work things off with Cal and it the end coming arcoss as an Idiot or an Asshole was the low point in the show.

    The anime did a decent job but it still cant compare to the VN.

  17. Rawr says:

    It’s a bit of a stretch considering Reiji and Elen were supposed to be like godlike assassins. I find it hard to believe they would have let their guard down long enough to let someone have a shot at them, even if it were a sniper.

  18. Observant says:

    That wasnt a gun at the end it was just the bullet shell. A hand gun shell from the person either riding in or driving the wagon that drove behind him. Not to mention there was 1 of the “Masterpiece” girls left alive. The one with the cracked mask.

    I agree that this ending was very good. But at the same time I would have liked at the very least to know for sure who killed Reiji.

  19. someone says:

    What the hell? the ending didn’t make sense at all. Reiji and Elen have like esp like super powers sensing people that are aiming at them, yet Reiji just stands there in the end and doesn’t even realize he’s shot? If he died in another way, it would make a lot more sense, like if he was poisoned or something.

  20. ryvrdrgn14 says:

    I want my happy ending! *sniff* ToT

  21. Skraps says:

    Killing Reji at that point served no real purpose, wish I knew what the authors were going for when they decided to do that.

    With a name like Requiem for the Phantom, their shouldn’t be much of a surprise that either one of them died but thought I was hoping for more of an impact. Can’t wait for the funimation dub for this series.

    (Goddam Lelouch and C.C stay in your own mess of an anime and stop trying to fuck up the ending to perfectly good one).

  22. plotholemuch? says:

    Seriously.

    They go threw the entire show being bad asses. At the very end after traveling into some back water part of mongolia Inferno some how magically sets it up for some dude on a horse cart to shoot the greatest assassin on the planet in the back.

    Rigggghhhhht

    This ending is shit. It doesn’t provoke any discussion other then how terrible the writers are. I hope they never do another ending scene, because god they’d screw up another (otherwise good) anime.

  23. PhantomEnding says:

    It was…an interesting ending, to say the very least. If anyone didn’t notice, at the ending, in once sceen, a blossom of nightshade is shown with all of its petals, and after reiji gets killed, they show the same blossom but a petal is missing. Nightshade is pretty damn poisonous, so I’m assuming Elen ate it and killed herself.

    I think Reiji knew he was going to die, and just didn’t do anything about it. I’m pretty sure they are both happy with the way things ended. And the reason Elen smiles at the end is in order for reiji to die happily , because he was finally able to keep his promise and make Elen truly smile.

  24. psgels psgels says:

    To all those wondering why such a great assassin as Reiji would not have seen this coming: how would he have been able to avoid it? I mean, the guy on the cart was also a professional assassin who blended into his environment, and this isn’t the first time in which Inferno out-witted Reiji (like, he also never saw the explosion in his apartment coming).

  25. KamikazeSim says:

    Man, the more I have watched the last 2 minutes, I think Elen was killed with Reiji.

    She smiles and then she fades away symbolically. Then we find her laying STILL on the ground with no movement and the one petal off the flower is gone. Even though they only show one bullet shell at the end, that could be another hint that that bullet was for Elen since we saw Reiji die. Hell the episode was named after her.

    I think they were both killed. If Reiji was that close to her, why would the assassin kill just him but let her live? It was a double whack job I bet.

  26. Runekilla says:

    I knew atleast one of them will die from the start but I didn’t expect on how abrupt it was. It’s kind of cruel of letting Reiji just die like that at the end. He survived countless fights which were way harder but he ends up dieing in the most simplest way. I guess it just shows anything can happen in the world of the mafia.

  27. Eddie says:

    I have to say, this was the ending I feared from the beginning. This kind of ending has been done in all kinds of genres (from hollywood to anime:think ‘the departed’) now so many times that it is a cop-out rather than some brave writing twist. The characters get to die without struggle in their happiest moments, rather than have to live on with the weight of their past, allowing the writers to cut the character development. I feel trying to explain how one could go on after living a life like that would be much more powerful. I think them dying like that is a happier ending than living would be.

  28. DLP says:

    The ending worked for me.

    1) It was set up: we see Inferno ordering the hit.
    2) Reiji seemed to want to die, due to his guilt at what happened to Cal. He was living for Ellen.
    3) Ellen clearly survived. There was only one gunshot and unlike Reiji, she did not fall.
    4) The reason Ellen is lying down afterward is to look at the Sky of Mongolia. Her lying down symbolizes that she has come home, to the land she dreamed of, and Reiji kept her promise.

    Whatever she does now, she has a place to be.

  29. PL says:

    Just after watching the episode, I was a bit puzzled. But after giving a second thought, I quite agree with DLP’s version. Basically my understanding is:
    – In ep 25 Reiji made an agreement with Elen to fight Cal: he would kill Cal and continue to live in order to fulfill the promise he made with Elen;
    – Reiji was a normal person before becoming an assassin, like Cal but unlike Elen who was brainwashed. He may feel guilty, but he continued living to keep his promise.
    – The premise of ep 26 ending can be seen in ep 25 where Cal and Reiji dreamt of an impossible happy ending and also when Cal said that all she was doing is to destroy and kill and that she does want to continue such a life
    – I also agreee with DLP on the statement “Elen clearly survived. There was only one gunshot and unlike Reiji, she did not fall”. My guess is that she killed Reiji, just like he did with Carol
    – Finally I also completely agree with DLP on “The reason Ellen is lying down afterward is to look at the Sky of Mongolia. Her lying down symbolizes that she has come home, to the land she dreamed of, and Reiji kept her promise.
    Whatever she does now, she has a place to be.”

  30. animedyum says:

    It is indeed the perfect, flawless ending for Phantom(s). They have to kill to survive, and when they don’t have to kill… well fill in the blanks. Love this anime!

  31. neolight says:

    Yep, I think DLP is quite right with what he has said.

    Reiji has only though about keeping his Promise. Guilt certainly is heavy on his mind.

    Lots of people seem to Think that Ellen is the one living for Reiji. (Still in the end) But in the end Ellen was finally able to ‘live’ on her ownself!

    In a way it was Reiji the one who wasn’t living for himself as his guilt did overwelm him. All he thought about was keeping the promise and ‘the promise he failed to keep’ It showed quite well as Reiji voice in the 6 months later was a bit lifeless// like he was in the 2 chapter.

    I think that Ellen not only survied for the reasons mentioned above but because.. she was in the end able to live for herself.. and it would be more fitting.. I think for he to live on.

  32. meow says:

    I just managed to watch 26 at last. Been browsing through the new comments. I agree with DLP’s four points but totally disagree with this ending working. Elen didn’t hear the silenced gunshot – she probably has no idea what happened to Reiji. She had a happy, satisfied smile at the end, but I’d like you guys to consider how she will be once she finds out what happened to Reiji and whether all she said will still hold true. Having the most important thing taken away from her in her moment of serenity does not make for a good memory. It also totally doesn’t make sense for the assassin to have not taken out Elen either. I don’t consider this to be proper closure. This story is begging for a sequel, or maybe a movie, where a revenge-driven Elen goes after whoever hurt/killed Reiji this time. It’s not confirmed whether he died or not but I’m betting he did, considering how long he stood up after taking the shot before falling over with just a slight grunt. Elen was finally willing to kill her “father” for all the hurt he had done to Reiji. Imagine what she’ll do to those who killed him.

    Another thing. On the rooftop, Elen took down one of the Number sisters with hand-to-hand combat, incapacitating her and cracking her mask – but did she die? I got the impression she survived.

    Anyway, there’s no happy ending to be found here. I’m truly disappointed at this outcome. Cal’s death was bad enough but now this. This story was so brilliantly executed, right down to the final few seconds, but for it to end just like that, I honestly would like to forget I ever watched it.

  33. Tan-Tan says:

    You guys are overestimating Reiji. There’s one strong evidence that makes the murder very reasonable.

    Remember the time Cal shot a warning at Reiji when he was in his ‘normal’ life? That scene actually caught me off-guard, because Reiji could’ve sensed that, but he didn’t – at all. Not a single hint he noticed someone eying him nor the Godoh Princess.

    The more then at this quiet scene, especially after 6 months (assuming that Inferno hadn’t tracked them during that time), that he is not at all an assasin, but as a normal human being. Reiji has memories that are that of an assasin, and a normal person. We can all agree he can’t be both a normal Japanese and an assasin on the run.

  34. LLP says:

    Uh, no. Everyone else seemed to have missed the missing nightshade petal. Ellen died. She suicided.

  35. RL says:

    The only thing I really don’t get is the benefit of killing Reiji. Considering this in a Mafia perspective, it’s a waste of money, time, and resources just to kill someone who’s basically non-existent. That was really the only reason that I was slightly taken aback by the ending. If there was a more sensible reason for going that far just to kill a ghost from the past then I wouldn’t have minded it…except, there really wasn’t one except “it must be done” which just tells me the writers just wanted to make the story sadder than appropriate (and I am the type who likes sad endings…but this one was just unreasonable.)

    Anywho, just my two cent about the ending. Otherwise, besides the crappy reason why Reiji HAD to died in McGuire’s eye, it was good. :D

  36. Chosenone says:

    @ LLP It wasn’t a Nightshade. Plus even if it was its only the roots that are poison. Its impossiable! for ellen to die from injesting one flower petal.

    @ RL Well Reiji Could! come for payback at Inferno, plus I thinks its also that fact in McGuire’s eyes that Reiji if he was ever agaisn’t Inferno in a gang war, would be really Bad for Inferno. Reiji was the best! Phantom! for them.. Ellen all she did was follow orders.. and Drei did the job but made a mess and was out of control. So Reiji is the most dangerous in their eyes.

    Plus one of the key things for Inferno is “Saving Face” (see this in the second arc) IF there enemys found out abour reiji ‘about the ‘phantom’ Its not going to look good. They aren’t even able to control people in there Organazation which would not look good for them. Plus there a chance that another organization could hire Rejij (though reiji most likey wouldn’t.. but Inferno doesn’t know what he is thinking) and it could come back to bite Inferno.

    Even if this doesn’t convice you there are quite a few reason that Inferno would want to get Rid of this ‘loose cannon’

  37. RL says:

    The fact is that it’s been literally over a year (and a half? ) since Reiji worked under them, and Reiji has done nothing to them and even showed no interest in doing so. I’m sure they’ve investigated this which was why McGuire was asked if he wanted to go through with killing Reiji considering he’s pretty much a beat-up veteran dog who no longer cares about the underworld. The only reason he was targeted was because he worked under Claudia (following her orders) in which she was framed as a traitor and killed by Lizzie.

    Otherwise, in the end, he was helping Lizzie fight off the Japanese Yakuza in which he had to run away because Claudia was framed as a traitor. Therefore, since he worked and followed only Claudia’s orders, he was targeted in the same way Claudia was.

    Also, I highly doubt he was “the best” considering the final showdown. Eren’s skills are still top-notch (and, apparently, superior of those who were designed after her.) Because Reiji is a very sympathetic guy, he falters and hesitates more. Even though he still has his reflexes, it seems his “happy time” has led him to lose some of his superior skills as a “Phantom.” (And the only reason why Ein lost the title of Phantom was because Sythe Master fled from the scene and she was presumed dead.)

  38. Smudgeous says:

    @Chosenone: Assuming the plant were indeed Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade), the comment about the root being the only poisonous part of the plant is completely untrue. There are enough tropane alkaloid toxins in a single leaf or 10-20 berries to kill an adult.

    Speaking specifically of the plant in the anime, I believe it to not be modeled after any specific plant. Mongolia does have several poisonous plants, a few of which are purple. However, the flowers and leaves of the plant in this episode are not rhododendrums, delphiniums, or nightshade. I don’t believe it really makes much difference either way, though. The plant at the end is clearly missing a petal, and Elen is not moving at all while looking up at the sky. The possibility of purposefully consuming a toxic plant is very much still alive.

  39. Chosenone says:

    Reiji might not be “the best” Well even I cant say who is the best’ But to Inferno He was the best. Since he didn’t need to be mind-controled aka Ellen.. and didn’t cause trouble like Drei. McGuire had said also.. that Zwei is a better phantom than Ein was. (Though you are right he only got the title because Ein left) But that Doesn’t mean he isn’t the best Phantom For Inferno.

    Reiji might of not shown any interest in taking down Inferno.. But Inferno doesn’t know what Reiji is thinking! and its better to be safe than sorry. Though what could of pushed McGuire into taking action was the result of SM and all his ‘puppets’ were wipped out along with a heap of other enemys. So clearly Zwei can still pose a threat he was to got agaisn’t Inferno. Mabye McGuire just wanted to clean up loose ends. I couldn’t say for sure. But it doesn’t Strike me was strange/make no sense that Inferno would of killed of Reiji.

    @ Smudgeous Well you might be right about the plant though I havn’t looked up too much informtion and am going on what alot of people have been saying. Though say it might of been deadly enough to kill you, I also very much doubt that Elen would of killed herself after. Finding a reason to live for herself. But i’m sure on that point alot of people will think mabye simliar or Different about it.

  40. Logar says:

    I might have a solution. If we look carefully, what can we say ?

    1 From the beginning of the animation, producers didn’t stop to use symbols to express things
    2 When Eren remembers her sky at the end, she says : “I think we don’t need to go on anymore”, Reiji asks if she’s sure of that, she says yes.
    3 Reiji remembers that the only one thing he wanted to do was to fulfill his promise to make Eren smile truly.
    4 Reiji is shot, we can’t know by who, and he keeps smiling.
    5 Eren says to herself that she can now truly live, her past doesn’t matter anymore. The only thing that’s important is her memories of being with Reiji.
    6 Eren is laying down, we can’t know if she’s still alive
    7 A petal is missing on one of the flowers next to Eren. Theses flowers are probably Safran, which is the symbol of life and reincarnation.

    To me, this end could make sense :

    Reiji and Eren planned way before to kill themselves once Eren would have found her past, and Reiji would have seen her smiling, because they want to start over in a new life (3,5).
    That would explain why Reiji keeps smiling after the shot (4). Of course to me Eren is dead too, maybe by another bullet, or by poisoning herself, actually the way she dies doesn’t really matters.
    When Eren says “I don’t think we need to go on anymore”(2), she means go on with these lives.

    It may sounds weird, but what really made me think that is that fucking missing petal (7). Why would the producers put that petal on middle of the last screen ? Just because this is not the symbol of death or of any ending, but this is the symbol of life and reincarnation (1,7).(actually the very last screen shows a bullet, probably the one which killed Reiji, but it can still symbolize the Ein’s and Zwei’s assassins lives.)

  41. someguy says:

    Why would the producers put that petal on middle of the last screen? It could symbolize alot of different things. But you know what makes it even harder to make sense of the scenes is that all the episodes before it aren’t clear cut in the way of explaining things as well.

    I Don’t belive that Reiji would of planned with Ellen to end their life. Reiji might not of cared (though he would want to fullfil the promise first)if he did die. But I doubt Ellen would be looking for death. She was looking forward to going to her home and in the end Ellen found these memories that she could now live with. Ellen’s voice is that of Ellen in the end. She sounds happy not like she feels trapped. Unlike Reiji who has the zwei like voice in the end and sounds like he still feels and carrys alot of guilt.

  42. SkyeDrift says:

    I just saw this on wiki!
    Elen is then shown unmoving while looking up at the sky; however a petal of a poisonous flower beside her, Oxytropis, is shown missing. The fate of Elen and Reiji is left unknown, leaving the ending ambiguous.

  43. lubu says:

    I don’t assume anyone is dead ever since the episode where they track Scythe to the docks and have their shoot out. I enjoyed the series, but I feel like the ending was edgy for the sake of having an edgy ending.

    It strained credulity to think that there was an assassin in the middle of mongolia who comes out of nowhere.

  44. Antalk says:

    What a mind f@%k for an ending! Took a while to unwind from it.

  45. Jesse says:

    Yeah im pretty sure someone was in the back of the cart and shot him,Thats my theory anyway. But Why didnt this ”assassin” kill helen too? confuses the hell out of me. But all all around great series im inpressed in the depth of the story line.

  46. Energizer says:

    A bit late but I just finished watching this. Elen died because it is hinted that she ate the poisonous flower.

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SuperMario
@Topgavin: yeah the question is WHEN they will adapt all of these. Great that you're busy now with uni stuffs (always good to be busy) but make sure to check back in often. I don't want to loose the small number of regular viewers here so to speak :)
Topgavin
And yeah, been doing university stuff so haven't had much time at all to do own time stuff.
Topgavin
@Mario Apparently there's a decent amount of content left in the VN, and since it's the first show by the studio I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a second season. Pretty bad look if you neglect your flagship show
SuperMario
and haven't seen you around that often lately @Topgavin. Been busy this season??
SuperMario
For Tanya, there's either this type of episode that focused on war, action and Tanya being badass; or Tanya working her way up rank and fighting with God. While obviously I enjoy the latter much more, I think this was still a solid episode. My 2 main complaints would be I'd love for things go unexpected for once for Tanya and I don't think we have anything close to conclusion this season.
Topgavin
I wouldn't be surprised if the guy that got shot didn't actually die, and that he gets 'helped' by god to be Tanya's main opponent. Or we just continue like normal and that was just a show of Tanya being Tanya. Either way the show is going strong
Anonymous885442
What if Being X decides to help things along?
Lenlo
So I cant remember, whats the gang bosses relationship to Yakumo? I just cant place him.
Lenlo
If she does become a reasonable opponent, there needs to be some sort of time skip or buildup. Theres no way she goes from a little girl in America to a formidable opponent in afew months. Maybe once Tanya grows up some more? I think the Colonel that got killed though would have been fine had they not killed him off so anti-climatically.
HelghastKillzone
Much like how Sophie became the opposing witch for Izetta last season, although I hope to hell it won't suck as much.
HelghastKillzone
We're at latter stages of Vol. 2 LN for Youjo Senki and I think that there is the potential for Mary Sue to become a formidable opponent. She's the only one with any semblance of a motive for going after Tanya personally. Everyone else is either dead or under Tanya's command.
Lenlo
Agreed. My favorite part of the show was Tanya and her attitude/interactions with people. I know shes a badass, now show me where shes an evil monster worthy of being Gods foe.
AidanAK47
I do agree that Tanya hasn't really interacted with those around her. In that regard the shorts show more of that. I think we need to get into her head more as well. We haven't had much monologue these past two episodes.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Deus lo vult. Admitly she's likely going to come into it at a later date but it is important to note that this story wasn't written to be chopped into anime seasons. We got 7 light novels and I hear the web novel has already been completed. My worry is that the majority of this season will be setting up a great conflict. This is going to become a world war after all.
Lenlo
But Aidan, we know nothing about her. Shes in America at the moment, so her getting to the war and becoming any kind of threat is ridiculous. He was much better setup to be an antagonist. He had history with the protagonist after all and was clearly skilled because of his position.

She just has no buildup as a major character that I care about in any way
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Agree on that. It's the drifters thing again, if the enemy doesn't make the main character sweat then there no real tension in the action.
Lenlo
We also dont get many character to character talks as you said. Its mostly just Tanya barking orders and chances for her to show off how smart she is. Aside from being a tad aggressive, nothing she has done has had any consequences, shes and the battalion are in no real danger since not even an unnamed member has died, and she has very few notable faults.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I disagree on that characters inclusion being pointless. I think it's setup for Tanya's antagonist. After all Tanya stole his gun, his gun which was a Christmas present from his Daughter and inscribed with his name. When someone sees that gun, they are gonna want some vengeance.
His daughters name is Mary Sue by the way. If she lives up to the name this will be most entertaining.
Lenlo
There was just very little character progress. Sure, the army and the war advanced, but it was just another battle scene with a named character who I thought was going to be reacurring and important, just get shut down immediatly. He didnt do anything. What was the point of his inclusion?
Anonymous884628
My question is what the end game of this anime is. The structure doesn't make it clear where the story will put a closure. And still there's not that many interactions between Tanya and her peers, the only character interactions that have felt meaningful have been with God.
Anonymous884628
Lenlo - So so. I mean I liked a proper mission that it's easier to see the impact to the enemy, taking a couple of railroads and advancing the infantry into enemy territory. Still on the other hand the character they killed makes his inclusion kinda pointless.
Lenlo
I found this weeks Tanya alittle weak. I was expecting something more after that week break
Anonymous884480
Mirror of Fate and LoS2 felt like they didn't know where to take the story they built on the first game. There's a lack of touch in regards to using Castlevania characters and in short they were a mess. The RE6 of Castlevania. Too big, too unfocused, too shallow.
Anonymous884480
Kaiser Eoghan - LoS 1 is decent. Evidently the developers wanted to make an original game that ended with the Castlevania game placed on it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Apparently Lords of shadow ruined the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
That castlevania fighting game got stale quickly and Takeshi Obata's art wasn't suited to the characters.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've seen friends play the 3D ones, I remember some of the later ones including leveling up elements I think but those weren't so good.
Anonymous884480
Kaiser Eoghan - If you have a Wii or Wii U or a PSP, Rondo of Blood is good. In regards to the handhelds I think Dawn of Sorrow and Order of Ecclessia are the best ones. The latter looking similar to what we've seen of Bloodstained.
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite my interest and enjoyment of Castlevania, I haven't played enough of the series as a should have back in the day. I played symphony of the night, legacy of darkness, dracula x, castlevania 4, bloodlines . I know the horrors of castlevania II.
Anonymous884275
At one moment Mighty No.09. Also seemed Megaman in everything but name. Both Yooka Laylee and Bloodstained are developed with a more modest budget than the former games. Also a key aspect is if they'll learn or stumble about the flaws the old games had. (Collecthaton and recycled enemy designs).
AidanAK47
Bloodstained is still about and that's castlevaina in everything but name
AidanAK47
Same on character design. Though I am worried they might pull out some adventure time character style.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's true about Ippo. It didn't really weaken as Ippo has a near perfect shounen formula. The problem is that it just stopped going anywhere. Still very enjoyable but plot progression is dead in the water. No ending aside it is likely the better anime. You can pretty much stop at the first season.
K-Off
I say Castlevania was fucked the moment it turned into a pachinko machine
Anonymous884097
I've heard Hajime no Ippo starts good and weakens the further you go into it. And I know Joe has an ending, I don't know if Ippo does.
Anonymous884097
AidanAK47 - I'm mainly worried about the western character design they'll use. Since it has the range of being like the new DC animated movies, or something like Korgoth of Barbaria. I think the castle is intended to not make sense given all the things it contains. Is more like a portal to another dimension.
AidanAK47
Looking at the poster image for the castlevainas animated series made me realise just how structurally unsound draculas castle is.
AidanAK47
@Mario, if your are starting something that long you might as well go for the better equalvent, Hajime no Ippo.
AidanAK47
That Castlevania animation has me worried. Fair enough if they are going to attempt it but the people working on it has me worried that they will try to turn it into a comedy. Adventure time Castlevania edition would make me very angry indeed.
Vonter
Like with the Rose of Versailles, or Remy (Le Naki Ko). It feels like witnessing the life of the main character. Since it also builds off the path to becoming a boxer. It's also in a way refreshing having a like-hate feeling for the protagonist, since he can be cool as well as being a total jerk.
Lenlo
Its the Hajime no Ippo predecessor and laid the foundation. Its pretty good imo.
Lenlo
Ashita no Joe is like, the original sports anime
SuperMario
wait... (looking at the details), so there're 79 episodes... well, I MIGHT give it a try but the long-run anime scare the hell out of me now
SuperMario
@Vonter: Really? If you like it that much then I'm gonna give it a try too
Vonter
Guys. I don't even recall how I ended watching this anime. But I'm enthralled with Ashita No Joe. Despite looking really really rough, despite having a rather easy to follow story. This anime feels with weight, it feels like reading a novel in best way.
SuperMario
...But I don't plan to watch anymore of it
SuperMario
@Spike: I watched the first 3 episodes of Akiba's Strip and I enjoy the show for its dynamic animation and its goofiness, after all I think Akiba's trip represents well the goods and bads of anime medium
SuperMario
This week has to be one of my personal favorite KonoSuba episode. Everything was hliarious from start to finish. I certainly didn't expect to enjoy Darkness that much. She's freaking amusing.
AidanAK47
Yamishibai really has gone downhill since it's excellent first season. Second season was alright. Third season was ruined by them relying on visual horror drawings that were more silly than scary. Fourth season is being ruined by the way that the stories don't seem to have a punchline. All the endings have been just let downs.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never expected this but, there's going to be an animated adaptation of Castlevania of all things.
Spike
Akiba's Trip is a real sleeper imo. It's pretty damn funny and goofy borderline trolling at times that make what should be a stupid forgetable show entertaining, worth checking out if you haven't.
SuperMario
@anon877854: just finished ACCA episode and I agree that everything getting really interesting now. Review will come up soon.
Anonymous877854
Well I thought ACCA would dance around the truth for a few more eps but they had a bunch of big reveals this ep. Will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Not too fond of really old vn games like those. They put up a presence of being point and click adventures. I have a hard time enjoying the stories when the "Gameplay" keeps killing the pacing. Big offender was Eve Burst error. Really couldn't enjoy that one at all.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And policenauts, how about that one?
Kaiser Eoghan
Honestly I really don't mind all the side drama/romance in rakugo...in the longest time its been an anime that gave me feelings worth feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Would you in any way recommend snatcher (I think that counts as a visual novel) or is it a dated product of its time. On a side note I love the soundtrack.
Kaiser Eoghan
Case in this point I was blown away by utawerumono and chaos head when I was a less experienced viewer, nostalgia keeps poking at me to watch the sequels, but I just know chaos;child will be awful as will utawerumono 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hate when this happens, keep getting this itch to watch the followup to something I liked in the past but no full well I'd hate if I went back to it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hopefully I'll make time for Irae and subahibi, don't know anything about clockwork. Ended up getting involved in what will likely turn into a business course soon.
AidanAK47
Some really great Visual Novels localised this year. Muv Luv Alternative, Sharin no Kuni, Dies Irae, SubaHibi and clockwork key line. It's good year to be a VN fan. Now I just need an update about Baldr Sky.
AidanAK47
Subarashiki Hibi is getting published by Front Wing. Hell goddamn yes. Finally I can read it and be traumatised for life.
Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Go for it, you might sell me on reading it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah, I generally only write reviews every now and then, and they tend to be kept simple and to 200-300 words. My writing ability only really works when I write in stream of consciousness.
Anonymous855550
Zestiria is such a feast for the eyes... The colors and backgrounds are so vivid and magnificent. Story has improved on the game's weaknesses too!
Lenlo
Given enough time, im sure I could write something, but as I writer I tend towards quick, decisive statements of what I think and why. Engineer, so technical documents are like the only thing I know how to write.
Topgavin
@Supermario ah, I'd say I'm the opposite in that I sometimes don't know why I like something so much, and when I read a review about it I can relate my own experiences and put it in my own words pretty well. Can thank Highschool eco for that
SuperMario
But to tell you guys the truth, I never think that I'm cut out as a reviewer (even now), because I'm a type of viewer who more perceive (I know why I like/ don't like stuffs) than express (just can't never explain stuffs well)
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it's depending on what grabbing you really; as I always find shows with heavy symbolisms like Penguindrum or Flip Flappers the easiest to dig deeper. But those are always my kind of show to begin with
Topgavin
I'd find it really hard to write something about a show without reading about it first; watching it one time by myself I usually only notice the big things. Stuff like Flip Flappers I had no clue what half the episode's hidden meanings were, can't imagine reviewing a show like NGE or penguindrum.
SuperMario
that's exactly how I write my reviews anyways
Lenlo
I cant imagine writing a review, id just repeat myself with different words but the same intended meaning over and over again
AidanAK47
Wonder if I should write a review of this. Might be hard without giving too much away.
AidanAK47
(Finishes Sweetest monster Visual novel)
.....well....fuck.
(Buys all authors visual novels on steam.)
Lenlo
Sadly, I doubt Nioh will get a PC port. Sony is pretty stingy on their exclusives, like Bloodborne. But I am so very happy with Nioh. I love technical combat like this
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose this means I'm looking into this rpg maker game thing now isn't it? Might aswell.
Kaiser Eoghan
I remember the word animerican used to describe things like avatar last airbender. Filthy word =P
Anonymous853606
God no. Jiro Taniguchi died.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I have been hearing very good things about Nioh. Really hoping it gets a PC port.
@Topgavin, No real surprises there.
Topgavin
I'm sure most of you have heard, but looks like New Game is getting a season 2 out of all things. Apparently they had good sales, and I can certainly see why. CGDCT with yuri undertones and clean animation is hard to get wrong, let alone not sell.
Lenlo
Just started with Nioh, and oh my goodness do I love it.
Anonymous852887
anyone play resident evil 7? its so good.
AidanAK47
Thought that's because the term American Anime just feels wrong to me on all levels.
AidanAK47
@Anon, they do not. They are cartoons.
Anonymous852775
DO people call D.C. Comics animated movies American anime?
AidanAK47
@Anon, I am certainly interested in seeing the next episode. Those minisodes were pretty good too. One thing I thought the writting faltered on though was the comedy. It really was a little too slapstick considering how serious the drama was.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: ah remind me the time I went to Texas (Corpus Christy) before X-mas time and I was wearing short pants and thongs (nice!!!), then went all the way up to Niagara Falls and I was almost freezing there.
Lenlo
See, I love winter, but its almost non-existent in Texas
Anonymous852268
@Aidan: I agree. I loved To the Moon. It's so good seeing emotional drama that isn't centered around high-school kids. Seeing the ups and downs of a whole long life of a person gives everything that happens way more impact.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: An Australian friend put it as "A sunbaked rock in summer, a giant zoo, that actively tries to kill its population"
Total users: 26

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Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy Review – 84/100

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that […]