Archive for June 25th, 2008

The Daughter of Twenty Faces: U.N. Owen Was Her?!

I could not resist this title once it popped in my head. It’s just entirely too appropriate.

Remember all the waffling I was doing over 7 and 8, going “ehhh, this powered armor superhuman thing is…” that pretty much made those posts pretty dumb?

After seeing 10, I no longer care about that kind of thing, Now not only do we have powered suits, we have zombies. Kind of. Maybe it’s more of a spectral/phanatasm thing. Whatever. Given the set-up episodes, I had expected Daughter of Twenty Faces to be a campy, somewhat cheesy, yet still fairly realistic 1930s crime fiction romp, and 7 and 8 kind of threw that for a loop. Now I know the truth: Daughter of Twenty Faces is a campy, somewhat cheesy, and completely unrealistic 1930s crime fiction plus pulp fiction (was there a difference? I can’t tell) romp. And, now that that’s settled, I can get back to enjoying the series properly.

It is now rather obvious that Twenty Faces himself was heavily involved in some really horrible project for the war (which I presume to be WWI, but I honestly can’t tell what time period this is supposed to be set in, so it might be WWII, or it might be some made-up war due to alternate-universe), and, for some reason, the remnants of the project(s) are now chasing after Chiko, trying to get at important information that she presumably doesn’t have (unless they want the location of his treasure trove, which I do think she knows). Ms. Zombie/Phantasm Lady revealed that appanrently she (and presumably other people) have conspired to kill Twenty Faces and his gang of friendly, jovial hoodlums to get access to this information, whatever it may be. Whether it be to destroy it for the good of all humanity (unlikely) or to create an army of unstoppable bioboosted zombie/phantasm warriors (more likely), we’re as unclear as Chiko on this matter. As otou-san commented last…however long ago it was, most of what’s going on in the series now is Chiko finding more out about Twenty Faces as she searches for him.

This leads to several possible endings: Twenty Faces pulls a Willy Wonka and informs Chiko that he was merely testing her, and then all the antagonists from earlier in the series come out of the corner and start applauding and cheering or something utterly bizarre like that. Second is that, as Chiko learns more and more about Twenty Faces’ past, she turns gradually more bitter towards him, so that when she finally does find him, she kills him (and then we possibly have the first ending anyway). I can’t think of other ways this could go, because it’s entirely possible for Twenty Faces to be actually dead, believe it or not. It’s still far too early to tell (and it may wind up that we can’t really tell what’s going to happen anyway, even if we tried really hard).

In other news, observe:

Like a certain other really awesome male this season (if only for entirely different reasons), Ken’s triumphant return is marked (or marred, depending on how you look at it) by his aggressive fashion statement. While I don’t really like this fashion statement (or any other fashion statement, other than the “I am really boring and don’t give much thought to what I put on in the morning so I just wear whatever” statement, which suits me just fine), I must say, Ken is wearing it fairly well there. Perhaps the eyepatch has something to do with it. I do know that I am relieved that we get eyepatch action this season–after being gypped out of it in Gundam 00 because Mizuishima Seiji wanted to play a cruel practical joke on the viewer, I was bemoaning it and was almost ready to start trying to figure out the complicated web that is Matsumoto Leiji’s body of work and open up an entirely new can of worms just to sate my need for manly eyepatches, but, thankfully, Ken has come through (as the OP hinted that he would).

Also (because I love digging up information on Edogawa Ranpo on Wikipedia) the “Detective Girls” of the ED sequence (who are, of course, Chiko, Tame, and Haruka) isn’t something that was made up by the mangaka/the anime writers to cash in on the cute girl thing–well, okay, not entirely. Kogoro Akechi the brilliant detective and antithesis to Twenty Faces (and many other notorious thieves), in addition to naming Chiko a detective (knowing what little I know about Akechi, he’s tailing Chiko the entire time and will show up in the final episode to arrest everyone and generally be really brilliant and smart and stuff), is based on Sherlock Holmes (obviously), and, like Holmes and his Baker Street Irregulars, Akechi had his “Boy Detectives”. So, yeah. It’s not a cashing-in on cute girls at all! It’s a powerful reminder that women are just as competent as men when it comes to the dangerous and deadly business of detecting! Grrl power! Vote ERA! Affirmative action! Woo!

Conclusion: Welcome back to not-unsure-about-at-all land, Chiko. Well, assuming that you don’t somehow wind up on Barsoom punching Tharks around. Well, okay, that’d be awesome, too, but that’s an entirely different genre of pulp.


I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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a ridiculously long and only partially organized list of subjects


June 2008