Nijuu Mensou no Musume – Anime Review

The Essentials

Nijuu Mensou no MusumeName: Nijuu Mensou no Musume; Daughter of Twenty Faces; Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief
Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery, Fantasy
Episodes: 22
Aired: April 12, 2008 – September 27, 2008
Based On: Characters created by Edogawa Rampo
Director: Nobuo Tomizawa
Produced By: Bones
US Distribution By: Not Licensed

Cast

Character Japanese Cast English Cast (N/A)
Chizuko “Chiko” Mikamo: Aya Hirano
Twenty Faces: Yuya Uchida
Ken: Masaya Matsukaze
Tome: Satomi Arai
Shunka Koito: Rina Satou
Detective Akine: Masanori Takeda
Akechi: Kenji Hamada
Nozomi Kayama: Miyuki Sawashiro

Review

Nijuu Mensou no Musume, a.k.a. The Daughter of Twenty Faces a.k.a. Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief, is the story of Chiko Mikamo, a young girl who is slowly being poisoned by her parents so that they can claim her parent’s inheritance, but who is rescued by the famous master thief “Twenty Faces,” who has been given the name due to the fact that it is said that “no one has seen his real face.”

Chiko, who was already enamored with the stories of Twenty Faces’ heists, gladly goes with him and his gang as they travel around the world, pulling off heists, stealing valuable objects from people who gained them through less-than-honest means and return them to their “proper” owners or to places like museums.  This includes the “Anastasia Ruby” which is the Mikamo family heirloom whom Twenty Faces returns to Chiko.  Along the way, Chiko trains with all the members of the groups until she is a very skilled fighter.

This lasts until one day, a rival gang, who wants to steal the treasures Twenty Faces has collected to keep for themselves, attacks and wipes out Twenty Faces’ gang, seemingly killing Twenty Faces as well, and once again leaving Chiko to return to her parents.  However, she and a detective named Akine who befriends her still believe Twenty Faces is alive and they both separately seek out Twenty Faces, learning about his terrible past along the way.

The first quarter for so of Nijuu Mensou no Musume – the part of the series where Chiko was traveling around with Twenty Faces and his gang – was very good, and perhaps could have vied for best series of the year had that story line kept going.  However, when that story arc ended, the series switched to a series of weird story arcs which were seem more suited in a science-fiction or fantasy story than in a historical drama.  If one has ever seen the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, it has a little bit of that flavor to it, though this series is overall better than that movie in my opinion.

I think the new fantasy-like story arc was able to hold it’s own for a while, though I think it started wearing thin after a while, with the series ending more in a sputter than in a bang for me.

The animation was pretty good, though I’m not sure it’s good enough to warrant getting a perfect score, and the same goes for the music.  As this isn’t licensed yet, there is no English dub to score.

Overall, I give this series a 4 out of 5, which is more of an average between the 5/5 I’d give the first third of the series, the 4/5 I’d give the middle third, and the 3/5 I’d give the final third.  I think the show is still a worthy watch, but the more it decided to go the “weird” route, the more disappointed I became with it.

Scores

Story: 4/5
Animation: 4/5
Music: 4/5
English Dubs: N/A

Overall: 4/5

First Watched: April 2008 – February 2009
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes

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