Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Phantom: Requiem For The Phantom

Just recently I declared my undying and tolerant love for a DVD-based game that is to meaningful story progression and realistic characters what Uwe Boll is to accepting disappointment like a reasonable human being.  But regardless, that game has a special place in my heart, as does the short mini-series that came out in Japan years ago also called Phantom of Inferno.

Now, because I enjoy it when things I like get recognized and get to grow in popularity and scope (but only to a limit) I was excited when I learned that they were making a full-length series based on the game called Phantom: Requiem For The Phantom.

Nobody ever accused Japan of reasonable naming practices.

However, I got caught up in a lot of other things, and didn't really have a chance to sit down and watch it until just recently.  Did I have an opinion about it?  Have you ever read this blog before?

I didn't finish this series.

I know, I know, I'm breaking one of the cardinal rules of being a reviewer, but I couldn't take it any more.  They managed to take a story about assassins, gangs, worldwide conspiracies and sexual tension and turn it into a slow, plodding, boring series.  The only time I ever remember being as bored was when I tried to watch the series Gunslinger Girl, and that series was so boring that I just passed out in the middle of typing the name just due to the memories of how dull it was.  I started typing this two hours ago and just recently woke up again.

There's just so much about this series I couldn't enjoy, from the downright unpleasant opening and ending theme music, the enhancements to certain characters and their... detestability (is that a word?), to the fact that they took one of the hottest women in the series and made her unrecognizable.

The original, one true Claudia
I don't know who that's supposed to be, but it's not Claudia.
Strangely enough, they managed to not only stretch out parts of the story (and used flashbacks often to fill time holes), they also managed to cut several really important parts of the character story lines.  Motivations for entire characters are gone or changed, leaving the rest of their story making little to no sense.  Characters who had sympathetic reasons for doing what they did suddenly just seem cold and immoral when you strip away everything else.

Plus, they somehow made the most elite assassins in the world (Ein and Zwei) a little too powerful in this series.  I distinctively remember in the game they describe that even the best assassin, going up against ten people with guns, would not walk out of there alive.  In the series, they're dropping people like it takes little to no effort to clean out entire mansions full of bodyguards.  Characters who are in trouble seem confident they can rely on their opponents to suddenly be terrible at remembering how to hold and fire a gun.

I stopped about halfway through the series, so I don't know if one of the future episodes suddenly presents a complete history of why we're on this planet and presents the meaning of existence to all willing to suffer through everything up to it, but considering I would be watching and then get distracted by my phone, send a few text messages, and then look back to find that not much of anything had changed (a few times nobody even talked during my distracted times, it was just slow montages of time passing), I'm amazed anybody would be able to sit through it.

Bold Eagles will be on my "worst of the year" list because it's just flat-out bad.  This will be on that list because it was so completely underwhelming and disappointing.  This did to my hopes for the series expanding to more media and perhaps more games what a gunshot and shallow grave does to a politician's presidential hopes.

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