Reiji Azuma, the teenaged hero of the dark, game-based adventure Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
(2009), awakens in a half- ruined building in the California desert, stripped of his memories. A mysterious girl named Ein (sic
) has been assigned to teach him how to kill, using pistols, machine guns and knives. Reiji learns fast: in six months he becomes the assassin Zwei, killing people for the criminal cabal Inferno. He also becomes the favorite of conniving mob boss Claudia McCunnen, which may or may not be a sexual relationship. When the theatrical Scythe Master leads a revolt within Inferno, Zwei receives the title of The Phantom, the mob's top hit man--until a climactic gun battle goes bad. Even after he regains his memories, Reiji lacks the rambunctious panache of Akira Takizawa in Eden of the East
; Ein's murderous blandness makes the title character in Key the Metal Idol
seem downright vivacious. Director Koichi Mashimo tries to disguise the lack of inertia with odd camera angles, but he's defeated by the endless succession of static, talky scenes. The set comes with two discs of extras, including 12 "Picture Dramas," weird spoofs involving still artwork and hand puppets of the characters. (Rated TV MA: suitable for ages 17 and older: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, profanity, ethnic stereotypes, nudity, drug dealing, alcohol and tobacco use, use) --Charles Solomon
(1. Awakening, 2. Training, 3. Practice, 4. Assassination, 5. Moment, 6. Conflagration, 7. The Past, 8. Emergency, 9. Name, 10. Finale, 11. Succession, 12. Ghost, 13. Camouflage)
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, 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.