SYNOPSIS:
A young man with no memories fights to salvage his humanity when he’s forced into a life of murder by a dangerous crime syndicate called Inferno. The organization gives him a new name, Zwei, and molds him into a perfect killing machine, a meticulous instrument of death created to obey his masters’ every deadly command.

 

Zwei’s not the only puppet controlled by Inferno; Ein is a girl as beautiful as she is brutal and as lethal as she is lost. While mafia violence escalates around them, the two assassins grow closer, and Zwei begins the struggle to reclaim his past and save Ein from a blood-soaked future.

 

Contains the complete 26 episode series.

 

REVIEW:
From Bee Train, the creators of Noir, Cazador de la Bruja, and Madlax, comes a new and intense assassin series. Zwei is a man with no memories. He is taken in by the crime syndicate known as Inferno and the cruel care of Claudia. There he becomes their number one assassin and trainer to his second, an amnesiac girl known as Ein. The first half of the series covers his rise to the top of the killers. However a division is occurring within Inferno and the infighting and back stabbing will create a rift between Zwei and the girl he has come to care for, Ein. When a confrontation is forced, tragedy abounds and Zwei, taking his discovered old name of Reiji, goes on the run. Things might have been okay if he had kept running but instead he takes in a girl, Cal, who aspires towards revenge and begs him to turn her into a killer like him. Her feminine mystique and his guilt over Ein sways him to do the wrong thing as he chooses to help her.  From there things only get worse for Reiji. His past is catching up with him. Inferno is set to go up in flames from its own greed and a phantom killer is in town, one that has a signature that Reiji recognizes but knows it cannot be.

 

The second half of the series picks up the pace and goes for a killer of a finale. Everything comes to a head, Reiji’s past, his present, and the two women he wanted to save. This series does not go for the ambiguous ending that Noir and Madlax had, instead it pulls the trigger, so to speak, and delivers what it promised from the get go – no mercy.

 

If you enjoyed the animation in Madlax and Noir you will surely enjoy what Phantom has to offer. It isn’t as slick and sharp in the action fluidity as in Noir, and not as colorful or as surreal as Madlax. It falls somewhere in between the two with its sense of style and movement, including a more washed out look to give it a more urban film noir atmosphere.

 

EXTRAS:
Bonus features include clean opening and ending animation, original commercials, and picture dramas, running approximately over 6 minutes each, that are a form of tongue in cheek omake (comical renditions of the anime).

 

IN SUMMARY:
An assassin series for fans of Madlax and Noir to enjoy! This time a male is the lead as the assassin, an organized crime syndicate is creating cold and controllable killers, and when their top killer goes rogue, all hell breaks loose and the bodies begin to pile up.

  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Audio: English and Japanse Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Running Time; 650 minutes
  • Rating: TV – MA
  • Release Date: 1/31/2012
  • Reviewed By: Holly Ellingwood

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