Welcome to Nijuu Mensou no Musume (aka the Daughter of Twenty Faces, aka Chizuko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief [ANN says Chiko, but they clearly pronounce her name Chizuko in the first episode, unless she shortens it later]) Episode 1. This is the third and final TV series that I’ll be blogging this season. This 22 episode series is by BONES, which has done a number of series I like, so I have high hopes of it. I hope you enjoy it!
- The famous thief “20 faces” is able to infiltrate a wealthy and corrupt family’s home and steal his “Angel music box” despite sending an “advanced warning” and with the house being surrounded by police. This heist just adds to the mystic of “20 faces” as he seems to magically be able to steal items and get away.
- Chizuko is an 11 year old girl living with her aunt and uncle, her parents having passed away. However, she refuses to eat or drink anything her aunt and uncle try to feed her, though she will eat food brought to her by the butler Kawai. She spends most of her time hidden away in her room reading detective novels.
- Meanwhile, outside of the 20-faces investigation HQ, a man asks Inspector Kawada, the man tapped to head the search for 20 faces, for his time. However, the man turns out to be a rival of 20 faces named Tiger who demands to know everything Kawada knows about the case.
- One day, Chizuko gets sick, but the doctors who are called can’t figure out why. That night in bed, Chizuko tells Kawai and her aunt and uncle that she knows that they’ve been poisoning their food based on what she’s learned from reading the crime novels.
- It’s at this time that Kawai – or at least the Kawai there at the moment – reveals himself to be 20 faces in disguise. He asks Chizuko if she wants to come with him, and she readily agrees, and the two make their escape (along with the family heirloom).
- 20 faces is chased by a horde of police cars, but his men, Skipper and Ken, are able to cut the police off by blocking the road with concrete tubes just after 20 faces goes by. The group thinks they’ve escaped when suddenly Tiger shows up and tries to take them out with his mechanical claws and some rockets strapped onto him.
- The chase with Tiger leads 20 faces onto a railroad track with an incoming train on it. However, just then 20 faces’ get-away blimp shows up and the group is able to make their scape just before the train gets to them…
Now, this is what you call an animated series. This looks like a very well put together series, and one I’m very impressed with already after the first episode. Everything – from the music to the animation to the voice to the plot seem t be superb. I really hope this continues on for the rest of the series.
It’s kind of hard for me to describe the feeling I get of this series. It’s one of those series which is set something like 60 or 70 years ago (based on when the books with the 20 faces character were written – it would be the 20s or 30s), but has this more advanced technology like the rockets strapped onto the guy or the apparently stealth blimp that 20 faces has.
Shows like that have a tendency to be rather cheesy (just see a movie like The League of Extraordinary Gentleman for an example), but then again some of them can be good as well (e.g. The Rocketeer). This definitely seems like the latter type of show, at least based on the first episode.
And just for trivia, the CLAMP work Man of Many Faces is based off the same character as 20 faces in this show.