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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Amagi
What I acutally find worse are series that make that canon and it happens all the time (not only in anime). Usually female/male though. I have nothing against romance but I hate how proper friendships between men and women can't exist in cartoons/anime. It's so common in real life but media acts if it was an alien concept to them. Maybe because of the target audience I don't know.
Amagi
I think these pairing of friends aren't just the fault of crazy fans, it's because anime often has a problem depticting friendships. Almost all friendships (at least those among girls) are fetishized to no end in order to either add ecchi or cute ambivalent scenes, and people get used to that. There are good examples of friendships, Rakugo is one, a current one would be Sora Yori, but it's rare.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Interesting that it's being updated to modern America though, I imagine the crime figures have changed alot though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I don't like sexualize Banana fishe's protag given how theres line in the manga later on that and I somewhat paraphrase where he speaks of the villain "I can't even remember the number of times Dino Golzine raped me"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Coincidentially as we're on this topic, I just watched the pv for that josei action series Banana fish coming out in July and from skimming the manga years ago , people will be insinuating a relationship between the two leads when its left ambiguous, even though the protaganist has homosexual leanings.
Anonymous1837358
Anonymous1836963 - Well according to some bl tropes, women are built into those stories to block the pairing advances. There's also the one off character that isn't romantically inclined but popular like Floppy in MHA or Bulma in Dragon Ball. I do think it's bad when like in Kingdom Hearts, Sora cries for Riku and was just ok with reuniting with Kairi.
Anonymous1837334
@AK Me again. Watch the epilogue in the last ep of Korra S3!
Anyway, basically we agree, I simply say that with Korra, it's explainable and non-invasive. Like, you'll always have romance shoehorned into mainstream series and Asami >>>>> Mako.
Lenlo
What, women cant be gay?
AidanAK47
@Anon, that's not true. They can still get beat up in order to inspire the boys to fight harder.
Anonymous1836963
It's why Sasuke/Naruto never happened. They had to keep Sakura relevant.
Anonymous1836963
If everyone in Anime were gay, there would be absolutely no use for women in any shonen plot. Sad but true.
Lenlo
The push to make Rakugo into a gay relationship has always annoyed me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Feck, I re-read it, shows how shit my memory is.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, No I didn't. I pretty much ruled it out it as early as episode three. I stated that people thought it and mentioned that it could lead to some interesting story developments. But I made it clear I didn't like the idea and felt it cheapened their bond.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lies it was hulk and iron man not hulk and black window....I mean jesus come oooon like =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some crack pairings can be extremely silly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: And I said it after remembering ages ago you said the same about guts and griffith and how people cheapened that relationship.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I also stated that yesterday.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In fairness initially some of us, yourself included thought he might of been at first before it was clear he wasn't gay.
AidanAK47
Truth be told, it pisses me off. It takes a bond of much deeper meaning and reduces it down to something far more simplistic and primal. Can't be that these two hold a trust for one another that's beyond simple biology. Nope, THEY WANNA BONE.
AidanAK47
But then again, the internet often over interprets friendship as sexual attraction. During Rakugo's airing I see people absolutely convinced that Yakumo was gay. Evidence? One bath scene apparently from his POV which made it seem like he was checking out Sukeroku and the fact that the author made a lot of BL. Other than that, nothing.
AidanAK47
Then again, romance in this series was always the worst written part. So many spontaneous relationships.
AidanAK47
Alright maybe you can make the arguement that later down the line while traveling they gained romantic feelings for each other. I can somewhat buy that. But there, in the last few minutes of the series? Hell no.
AidanAK47
To me it's like the Hulk and Black Widow romance. They had literally no real interaction and yet the internet somehow decided they were a couple. Then they tried to crowbar into the second avengers movie and it was just as awkward and out of place as you would expect.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Nah I don't see it. The two did really have that much interaction. Sure they got closer as seasons went on but never to a romantic level. At best it was about decent friends. Friendship I understand but that does not lead to romance. Both Korra and Asami had heterosexual relationships and no evidence shows them being bi or getting interested in swinging for the other fence.
Anonymous1836097
Yes, it was pandering, but it can be explained and it does make sense. I could complain about many things (like the random pairings), but Asami-Korra is definitely not among them.

PS: Korra was very feministic show, I wonder what's all that about.
Anonymous1836097
Asami was strangely always getting the short end of the stick (no power, noone to lean on... and it was aggravating to see no character to care). They were both betrayed enough times to get scarred and they both realized that (the one) constant around them is their friendship.
Anonymous1836097
@AK I dont consider Legend of Korra a well written show, but it does some things pretty well. Asami-Korra pairing certainly did not come out of nowhere (e.g. S3 last ep) and it makes sense as well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Right in the KOKORO =O
Kaiser-Eoghan
**larger half of
Kaiser-Eoghan
*episode
Kaiser-Eoghan
For the better half of this weeks after the rain episodes, I was sitting around just watching it do its thing, the second half of the episode particularly near the end was the show at one of of its stronger visual moments and certainly going for the most effecting emotional angle its put out thus far in a way that finally caught me.
AidanAK47
I don't consider Makishima a great villain but one thing I found fantastic was him getting taken off guard by a sudden attack. Loads of anime criminal masterminds somehow plan for every single little detail no matter how unlikely. But this was one case that shows you could plan for ten years and nothing would prepare you for getting suddenly bashed over the head with a motorcycle helmet.
Lenlo
Makishima is a fantastic villain
Anonymous1835766
Kaiser-Eoghan - I think the closest might be Makishima Shogo in Psycho Pass. Just in the opposite sense, showing how flawed an absolutistic system is. Also a scene from that anime, that subverts the notion of how people are shocked by violence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Moreso than the girls death obsession, I thought the stuff with the mother in the first chapter of yakedo has the potential to go in a more messed up way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But he fails miserably and no one learns from his crimes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why can't there be a BENEVOLENT killer character that commits horrible acts solely to shock people and show how horrifying those acts are, out of the delusion that it will inspire a reflection and change in people to NOT, to NEVER do those things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*higher
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe an abused character is a servant in a historical setting with a hierarchy, trapped in societal rules and defeats the obsession with the attacker and raises up against the class system/character of hire social standing that abused them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps the cannibal killer character in the story has abandonment, severe paranoia and lonliness issues and sees his crimes as taking people inside him so they'll never leave him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
of psychological depth instead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
For the willingness to throw messed up stuff into stories, I wouldn't mind seeing an analysis thrown in, doing a story about a cannibal character? How about instead of just a gore fest, get inside is head and ask, why does he do this? I hate Ntr and its used as a throwaway turn-on involving rape eroticism, but is there any any way that a story involving that could be framed with some sense
Kaiser-Eoghan
Back on to stuff like goblin slayer, they can take out the rape scenes I wouldn't miss them, although I find them less uncomfortable, BECAUSE they are shown as how wrong rape is, instead of say a doujin playing it up for titilation .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite all the talking up of tsunderes, I actually love kuuderes, in the end probably the biggest reason is for how flat chested they are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Slapstick violence always plays second to dry, dark, screwball or surreal humour.
Bokusen
Also, on tsunderes, me too. I can't stand people using physical violence on someone unless it's in self-defense, or a Fate-type scenario where they all know everyone is trying to kill everyone else. Random physical violence played up as comedy is the worst.
Bokusen
@Kaiser Ah, so it was referring to bondage. I was skimming through posts and must've missed that. Bondage still creeps me out a bit, but if it's a fetish thing I can at least understand the whole exaggerated gender roles thing.
AidanAK47
In regards to Tsunderes, yep that was a bad choice of words there Kaiser. But over time I have come to find Tsunderes more agavating. Tsunderes like Rin are fine but those that beat the crap out of the guy they like and are expected to be forgiven cause they get embarrassed can go straight to hell.
AidanAK47
Also who cares who Korra ends up with? She a goddamn horrible character. I hated her so much.
AidanAK47
Korra was a show that had love realistionships come out of nowhere(And not well written in general) but that one really was just pandering to the Korra/Asami shippers. Not sure where the hell that ship came from to begin with.
Lenlo
I agree Aidan, the love at the end of Korra came out of Left field really
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: It was inappropriate and I shouldn't have said it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Heck one of the reasons I prefer seeing another character with another character or a character simply on their own in a fetish situation is because I can distance myself from it and not feel like I'm touching anything/one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anything I meant role reversal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: I apologize, reading it back it sounds terrible, I was actually referring to bondage where the tsundere pretends to hate it initially but consents .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: I should state clearly that that is merely a fantasy. The anger on both sides makes it easier because even if things became more physical or intimate it would feel more distant if the talking part was she and myself saying how much we hated it , despite actualily liking it.
Bokusen
"The thing is I utterly hate the personalities of tsundere characters in bitch/dom mode, sends me into a fervor to put them in their place." OK, reading that just creeped me out.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well you like screwed up stuff so no surprise.
Try Yakedo Shoujo. Get the feeling you will like that one quite a bit.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Legend of Korra? There was no yuri in that one. No evidence whatsoever. They just had Korra and Asami walk into some light and then announced them gay over twitter. Honesty I didn't see it in the show itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Also was it you that recommended happy sugar life to me? That was a pretty good psychological horror manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Going back several messages, I kind of liked goblin slayer oddly.
Anonymous1832169
Kaiser-Eoghan - Read Sakuranbo Syndrome.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: At the same time I really think more series like after the rain need to come out, showing more sensitive approaches.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nudity/sex just isn't used functionally well enough or dramatically as it should. Come on, give us a story about passionette characters, sensual/erotic rather than only porn. Or do a scums wish where miserable people are doing it because saaaaad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
kuuchuu is really one of those things I need to re-watch, I became so much more open to weirder shows in the past number of years than I would have been ages ago.
Anonymous1832169
I think my excuse in hentai, is that despair, and subjugation adds drama to a very simple thing. Though Dawn of the Silver Dragon may be the peak of objectification.
Anonymous1832214
Sure, np, though I must be off. Again, nice to chat casually. Been off forums for a while. Bye.
PS: thank you gift for anyone not familiar https://myanimelist.net/anime/6774/Kuuchuu_Buranko?q=kuuchuu
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lets talk about the spring 2018 anime season chart: http://anichart.net/spring-2018
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mods, I'm sorry for hostaging/dominating the chat like this I'll change subject.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do think official/canon pairings of characters make more sense definitely, non-canon ones can kind of cheapen characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really want to say though, I totally am not okay with rape in hentai though and I don't like 50 shades of grey.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To get off this subject, funny little random memory here of reading manga in public, back when I was still into fate, some street person sat down next to me and saw a picture of berserk and said "Oh, he's quite ripped isn't he"
Anonymous1832214
@Anon could be
@Kaiser Srsly youd hate Young's Aflame Inferno - narcissistic manipulative elite MC guy plays a sub to a playful manipulative OP demon woman. I love that so much..!
Kaiser-Eoghan
The old artists valued some interesting takes on beauty too, all of those middle aged larger bodies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Someone has read this and gone off and done an Akira x Satan devilman doujin haven't they?
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the beauty and the beast thing, I wonder if characters like Elias from Mahouyome will become more popular. Monsterboys might end up catching on.
Anonymous1832169
Anonymous1832214 - I think so, I mean we paint angels following that idea.
Anonymous1832214
Thx for the talk guys (and girls). Btw. I'm the guy with weird nicks, Evaluation, Strength, Victim, etc in case anyone's wondering.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think regarding role switching and whether I prefer being dom or sub is definately based on which gender I'm playing, this goes back to the cliches of girl=the submissive character man=is the non-submissive.
Anonymous1832214
There's something about androgynous features, is there?
Kaiser-Eoghan
accept of course for the sensei, who looks like one-punchman.
Anonymous1832214
Seems consistent with your preferences towards domination. Open your heart more and feel the love. They cant help themselves. They need you to get it out. Why not play the mature person, not play the game and accept their flawed selves?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Specifically due the ambiguity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Houseki's character designs and art is fascinating.
Anonymous1832169
I like the idea of women pretending to be men and men pretending to be women. Not necessarily transgender, just in the sense of playing the role like Hercules and Diomedes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hating them makes it easier/better aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The thing is I utterly hate the personalities of tsundere characters in bitch/dom mode, sends me into a fervor to put them in their place
Anonymous1832214
I wouldnt mind being a dominated by a (good-hearted) Pandora. So I guess I have no idea how you can even say that...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol now we're getting into liking certsin things because their so non-pc =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of me taking on a female role and being dominated by a woman is bizzare to me , taking on a female role and being dominated by a man, yes.
Anonymous1832214
Yeah got it. Like Senjougahara? Lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But she still holds on to the delusion that she's in control.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Wait, to be more specific, I was saying I liked the idea of making a tsundere girl submit, with the tsundere becoming the sub.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Youngs manga work better than say, something like ikkitosen/highschool dxd/seikon no qwaser/highschool of the dead because they go all out with the exploitation .
Anonymous1832169
I do see a correlation between the feminine guys in yaoi and the token girls in otome. I swear I don't get why otome and other young girl series, like to play the bad boy and misogynistic treatment of women. I think they we might have lost the point in Beauty and the Beast.
Anonymous1832214
Kaiser... do you know Im Dal Young's manga? Freezing, Unbalance x Unbalance, etc. He often puts the women in the dominant role. He's gotta have a thing for it. I love that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think going back to the complaints of yuri on ice not having enough bite to it, its the same as the fanservice in josei manga with the ambiguous bromances.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a really pretentious guy, I love going into the psychology of it all.
Anonymous1832169
@Kaiser-Eoghan - As one teacher told me, the most memorable characters are the contradictory ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The western side often feels more tokenistic at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The feminine male character exists as a safe zone for the female reader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
No wonder I enjoyed haru deiteita so much, it did the reversal thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet people don't understand this when I say I find tsunderes attractive, what could be more appealing to me than a tsundere ending up losing the dominant role and becoming submissive?
Anonymous1832169
@Kaiser-Eoghan - I think I like that dichotomy, because since manga is already androgynous one does accept it more. Especially since of anime thread the line of making their male characters submissive. Also in a more design sense it might be because there's a power dynamic at play. That's why there's also harassment.
Anonymous1832214
I also agree that yuri is more established and accepted. Particularly in western media, which are starting to catch up? (lesbians everywhere...) Legend of Korra anyone?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The weirdest thing is from my own perspective, when I play the female role in the relationship I understand taking on a more submissive role, yet in a male role, with a women I find being in a non-dominent role impossible.
Anonymous1832214
@Kaiser I'm not going to defend KnM, valid points. Again, it's done enough. And - I have a thing for tragic/platonic love so KnM clicked...
Anonymous1832169
Yuri can be cold, harsh and seduction is usually a weapon. Though a tiring trope is that most stories treat the couple as kind of sister type of affection. Or so I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In terms of the pairings, my headcanon doesn't understand the petite-man thing in male to male relationships relationships/pairings , yet petit women I am obsessed with.
Anonymous1832169
Kaiser-Eoghan - I do agree. I suppose for me or at least when I did start watching it, it felt more risque, since at least in media lesbians seem more accepted than gay or flamboyant men. So I think the draw for me might be emasculation, because of the uke and seme dynamic. It is said the reason for that is to project their female audiences in more of a dominant role or something like that.
SuperMario
Hmm, I watched few episodes of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi and it's the romance that turned me off. It's just plain secual harassment
Kaiser-Eoghan
In some way its easier to physically work it out mentally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which leads to the interesting phenomenon of fudanshiism.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bizzarest thing is I am significantly more attracted to women than men yet find shounen-ai/yaoi more of a draw, while admitting the shoujo-ai/yuri stories out there are better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I recall actually liking the music in gravitation at one point.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As silly melodrama it was somewhat watchable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I felt that a certain off colour scene with Chikane felt like character assassination.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the characterization and mecha fights are particularly messy in kannazuki, especially bringing the manga into it where the villains didn't even get 1 second backstories and the framing of the art and panels is poor, with some of dialogue, at least in the dub sounding very silly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding kannazuki, I'm not going to doubt that it a kyoshiro aren't rip roaringly hilarious guilty pleasures, not that this dimnishes the anons take on the female lead.
Anonymous1832214
KnM is trash anime, but very endearing and a treasure. I love it.

(Just passing by, I'm straight male with a thing for yuri genre).
Anonymous1832169
And I think Gravitation is also because music is also part of the plot and not solely the romance. I think the last one I enjoyed was Love Stage but that only had a thing going with one side being biconfused. Though it didn't do anything with that.
Anonymous1832214
Kannazuki no Miko has a heroine who readily accepts her feelings and is in a position where it is very difficult not to empathise. Her love seems very pure and to me is very rewarding to watch.
Anonymous1832169
Kaiser-Eoghan - Yeah but then you have Utena, Aoi Hana, Noir, El Cazador de la Bruja, Madoka, and several other series that just happen to have lesbian couples. In terms of good or recognizable shounen ai, it's harder, since I think the most recognizable is Gravitation, followed by (maybe) the Nakamura ones (Seikachi Hatsukoi and his other series).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The manga is even worse than the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are truly terrible yuri series though I'm sure, no idea how Kannazuki no miko became a cult thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Sadly there's too much rape in yaoi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Oh, the gender roles thing is terrible in those things. Plenty of gay men are masculine irl.
Anonymous1832169
Borrowed from Japanese 百合 (yuri, “lily”), by analogy to 薔薇 (bara, “rose”), indicating gay men.
Anonymous1832169
Shoujo AI and even Yuri, are more romance than eros. There could be like 10 or more chapters without any intimate action and I suppose that's also part in why yuri tends to achieve better stories.
Anonymous1832169
Also the formula is so transparent that one scrolls to the end, to see ehem, the good part.
Anonymous1832169
And finally like the typical chick flick there's rarely anything important beyond the relationship. I even say those who try a little may be the better ones in this genre.
Anonymous1832169
Now you know what you should expect. Because that's the issue. In Shounen Ai or Yaoi for the most part. Secondary characters have no issue with these relationships. Second problem is that the couple both are put in the male and female part of the relationship.
Anonymous1832169
In defense of yaoi. Do anyone know the meaning behind that word? From Japanese やおい (yaoi), an acronym of Yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi (ヤマなし、オチなし、意味なし), "no climax, no point, no meaning
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually not even overly interested in either show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, its stupid that yuri on ice didn't go all the way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe citrus is actually aim at girls, going by the magazine its serialized in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And a yuri manga would probably be more explicit than shoujo-ai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well you're comparing shounen-ai to yuri , so of course citrus will be more explicit , just like yaoi would be more explicit than shounen-ai.
AidanAK47
And I am not arguing that gay people can't have fanservice shows. As a matter of fact I am arguing why the bar is so much lower. Yuri on Ice has people fangirling over an "implied kiss" while I look over to the other side to see Citrus reaching second base.
AidanAK47
@Anon, not say you can't like the show but it was queer baiting. The show was comical in how it it made it clear it's characters were gay but didn't even have the balls to show a kiss on screen. Meanwhile you have Citrus here showing two girls having full make out sessions without trouble. I have no interest whatsoever in seeing two men kiss but even I can admit that is bullshit.
KTravlos
interesting conversation. Must say I do not usually react much to the sexuality of characters in anime, but this is partly because I might not see the problem, or because most of the anime I watch have sexuality only incidentally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course I don't want to dismiss the fact that hentai manga for gay men exists,if one wanted it there is seinen yaoi, ie Bara manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I attribute it to being less passive than just watching something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will say, I do think self-insertion is more effective in relation to videogames.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On this I as a bicurious man agree, when I read a romance story, I just want ad like a romance ore relationship story, its not special to me what the race or orientation of characters are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My brother also felt that romance stories involving homosexual characters often falter in a space where the same sex pairing becomes more about pure novelty than just being a love story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Imredjimmy, who posted on here as a user before, he himself homosexual had issues with yaoi manga, feeling that it didn't address issues properly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He feels "All romance stories belong in the romance section and shouldn't be too categorized and that most yaoi/yuri isn't really for the homosexual audience"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Is it really fanservice for a homosexual audience though? I do find both male and female characters attractive as a bicurious man but it has to be admitted, shounen-ai and yaoi is really a thing for girls and bi men, I can admit that. My brother, a gay man is very critical of yaoi/shounen-ai as well as yuri/shoujo-ai.
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It would not be an exaggeration to say that my favorite type of anime is the political-military epic. This comes partly out of my profession, I study war and politics, but also my hobby, as military and political history is something I enjoy. When it comes to anime there is a clear sub-category that can […]

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]