It’s Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom episode 2, and Zwei’s story picks up from after his initial encounter with Ein, where his training to be an assassin begins.
Zwei dreams about his encounter with Ein the day before when he wakes up and Ein enters his room. He asks Ein why she attacked him, and she tells him to prove that he as “talent” – the talent to be an assassin.
Zwei objects to the whole situation – from being given the name Zwei to being asked to be an assassin, but he can’t even remember his own name. Ein tells him that his memories have been erased, and that he has no choice but to become an assassin or die. Ein tells Zwei that he was initially supposed to die anyway, but that their master – Scythe Master – saw potential in him and decided to spare him.
From this point on, Ein starts Zwei’s training regimen, which starts with conditioning (such as running around in the hot desert), hand to hand combat with Zwei, and firearms training. One day, Ein has to leave on a mission when Clo (I think the first fansub I watch said her name was Kuro, but it was Clo, short for Claudia) shows up. She explains to Zwei that inferno’s purpose is to “bring order where none exists” by striving to unify and control the entire world’s underworld of gangs and mafias.
However, Zwei complains that he’s just a slave, something which Claudia disputes, saying that he does have freedom: the freedom of speed, something that can take him anywhere. Once Ein comes back from her mission, Zwei tells her about what Claudia says, but Ein disagrees, telling Zwei that the only way to live a life as an assassin is to stop feeling.
Well, I’m finally back to blogging things now that hell month is over, so I’ll try to catch up with this series as fast as I can.
I guess this was a fairly standard and expected episode: the “training” episode, however we do learn some things and possibly set things up. We get confirmation that Inferno is trying to take control of the criminal underworld. Why assassinations is a central part of this, I’m not totally sure, though it wouldn’t be surprising I guess, either.
However, I think two things either happened or were suggested in this episode which may be important later, both dealing with Claudia.
The first is Claudia’s implantation into Zwei’s thoughts that he is somehow “free” due to his speed. How this will manifest itself over time, I’m not sure, but it looks like it may give him a different (and perhaps a slightly less gloomy) view of Ein and Zwei’s situation than what Ein has, giving him the opportunity to “save” Ein later. Also, the sense of hope that it might give him might eventually lead to him trying to break out of his life as an assassin.
The second was implied, but I think it might be important: Claudia’s actions when talking to Zwei seemed to suggest that she actually envied Zwei for having freedom, something which it seems like she felt she did not have herself, perhaps she failed at being an assassin unlike Ein and Zwei. I have a feeling this isn’t the last time we’ll hear of this, and it may ultimately lead to Claudia helping Ein and Zwei to break free from their lives as assassins.
In any case, I thought this was a pretty good episode, and the animation and everything remained strong (a lot of people seem to have a thing against Bee Train. Either I’ve not seen their offending series or I’m just not seeing what’s bad about them). We’re still too early to really tell how good this series will be, but there hasn’t been anything to suggest that it will be a stinker yet.