The Daughter of Twenty Faces Episode 11
Summary: Shunka joins Chiko and Tome for fun and sun at the summer resort. Chiko can't keep her mind off Ken and the strange person who attacked her at the island. While walking along the beach, Shunka spots another girl who could almost be her twin. While up in the middle of the night, she hears someone running around the cottage and follows the sound of the footsteps. When she investigates, she's confronted with a mirror that frightens her. The others find out that she had a twin sister who passed away by drowning. Shunka believes her sister holds a grudge because Shunka didn't do enough to save her. The next day Chiko attempts to explain away Shunka's fears, since she doesn't believe in ghosts. While running to retrieve her sister's favorite candy, Shunka hears an odd voice in her head. The voice belongs to the white-haired individual who nearly hurt Chiko, someone out to kill Twenty Face's men one-by-one.
The next day, Chiko's Aunt attempts to kill her by dropping a flower pot on her head, and Chiko scoffs at her increasingly sloppy methods. When she arrives at school, she finds Shunka acting strangely. In the meantime, Akine gets a visit from the "white-haired devil", who asks if he would like to find his little sister who was lost in the war. He becomes hypnotized by the person's words. He arrives at Chiko's house, and Tome seems to have fallen under the spell as well. Later, Tome, Shunka and Akine arrive in Chiko's room and force feed her pills. Tome pricks her finger and this breaks the trance, realizing that the pills are poison. Chiko runs off, attempts to go to her Uncle's house (he's out of the country), and then continues on to town, intent on continuing her search.
Thoughts: Well, I was silly to think that the creepy white-haired person would stay away, since it now seems that he/she (still can't tell!) is going to become the next "villain" of the series. It's funny, now Chiko's Aunt's half-hearted attempts at killing Chiko almost seem quaint and amusing. Chiko is so well-trained in the thieving arts that she can dodge flower pots that are pushed at her, so it's almost like a game. In any case, need more info on this creepy character now plz. All we really know is that he/she is related to Twenty Faces in some way and is now out to kill members of his gang (most of whom are dead already anyway, at least as far as we know). Perhaps some fleshing-out will occur later on.
I'm not quite sure how I feel about the whole weird hypnosis deal that he/she uses, though. It's creepy and all, which is a plus, but on the other hand it seems really kind of corny. In a really "Bwa ha ha! Now do my bidding!" kind of way. This enemy is skirting the line between threatening and goofy, though the show has done a good job so far of maintaining the drama, so I guess I'll hope for the best and hope the baddy has a bit more up his/her sleeve.
I also have to just note - lol prerequisite beach episode. Granted, it could have been much more silly and fanservicey than it actually was, but I always have a chuckle at these anime cliches, since they seem to show up in even some of the best shows. Heck, if Kaiba had a beach episode, I don't know how surprised I'd actually be (though that would probably be one really screwed-up beach...)
Well, this'll be the last episode of Twenty Faces for a while, at least until more get subbed. It's been very entertaining so far, and I'm definitely around for the long haul. Or at least the other half of the season :)
The Daughter of Twenty Faces Episode 10
Summary: Chiko, her aunt, and Tome arrive at the island. Ken is already there, attempting to get information about the jewel out of a local thug. Tome uncharacteristically tells Chiko that she has a bad feeling about the island, and that Chiko shouldn't go anywhere alone. Ken happens to walk past them going the other way, but signals Chiko to say nothing. She's happy at least to know that he's ok. Suddenly a member of the crew filming there rushes up and tells him that the producer was murdered and the jewel stolen. At the island house the remaining members of the crew all start to accuse each-other, and Chiko's Aunt considers this a perfect opportunity to get rid of Chiko. Staring out the window, Chiko sees a light and goes to investigate - it's the ember on the end of Ken's cigarette. Ken is suffering with his loss and doesn't really want to hear what Chiko has to say. That night, Chiko decides to share a futon with Tome, but leaves during the night to search for clues to the whereabouts of Twenty Faces and to look for Ken.
While in the woods, she sees the glow of the gemstone and follows it until she finds a hill that's hollow. There's a cave which looks similar to Twenty Face's hideout, though when she enters the inner portion, the place is a shambles. However, there's a voice and the glow of the gemstone. It turns out that there are two stones - Twenty Faces had one, and this person has the other. The mysterious woman attacks Chiko and ties her down to a dissection table before being stabbed in the back by one of Ken's knives. Chiko eventually gains the upper hand, but once defeated, the nameless person falls apart into pieces, like a doll. Chiko faints, and Ken leaves her where Tome will find her. As they're leaving on the ferry back, Chiko's aunt tries to push her overboard, but Chiko notices before she can attempt it.
Thoughts: I have to say that this episode was rather creepy. First of all, with Ken sneaking around and acting all bitter, it was hard to keep from wondering if maybe he was responsible for the producer's murder and the subsequent theft of the jewel. Secondly, that doll person was just unsettling. I'm really kind of disappointed that she kind of broke into a bunch of lifeless pieces, though, because I think she might have been an interesting recurring character. Though that isn't to say she isn't still alive and that the whole "death" thing was just some illusion to distract Ken and Chiko. Considering that she seems to have some previous connection to Twenty Faces, I suppose I wouldn't be surprised if she turned up again. Actually, I couldn't really tell for sure if she was female or not - the character was very androgynous, with a mid-range voice, so who knows? Now I really want to know more.
I hope things don't become "Chiko's Aunt's murder plot of the week". I'd just as well like to see Chiko out of there somewhere else with Tome and Shunka, like in the credits, but I couldn't say how accurate a depiction of the story those scenes are. I'm really just getting sick of the Aunt and her plotting. I mean I actually expected her to be out of the picture by the time the first episode was over, but she just keeps coming back. Gyah, DIAF already.
I'm kind of hoping for a Ken-centric episode in the future. Like I'm sure I've mentioned, it would be good to learn his background more completely and see how he's a counterpart to Chiko, especially since they're really the only two left from the gang and they're both probably going to have to work together to locate Twenty Faces. I love Chiko, to be sure, but let's show some love to the other characters, too. Especially when they're hot and mysterious :)
The Daughter of Twenty Faces Episode 9
Summary: Chiko's Aunt invites her out during her school holiday, but Chiko refuses, somehow just knowing that her Aunt would use the opportunity to try and kill her in some manner. Instead she goes to visit Shunka at her home, and Shunka appears to have some juicy information about the true identity of Twenty Faces. Shunka has gotten a crush on Twenty Faces, so is willing to search the world over for him. Shunka decides that they should form the "Detective Girls", and they wander around town "looking for clues". What they're really doing is looking for info on an actor named Koheiji, the man Shunka believes might be Twenty Faces. Sadly, a crazy old man working at the theater and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from the war is the mysterious Koheiji, and the girls leave. On the way back, they're cornered by two thugs looking for the daughter of Twenty Faces, and using their "seven tools of the trade" (really just some trinkets) they manage to make their escape. However, there's another man on their tail.
Meanwhile, in the city, a much older-looking Ken remembers the night of the train fire and how he watched Chiko be taken away on an ambulance. An ambulance he believed was driven by the boss. The next day he follows the two detective girls. Once again he remembers back to the aftermath of the accident and how he first learned the news of Chiko's return to Japan, alone in a room. While the two girls are in a movie house, a movie preview featuring a radiant jeweled necklace reminds Chiko of a gemstone that Twenty Faces had, which happens to be the same jewel. Chiko learns about the location of the filming of the movie, and decides that she just might want to go on that trip with her aunt after all.
Thoughts: Considering that it's still so early in the series, I never really expect Chiko to locate Twenty Faces right away, but I always sort of hope that he's not really gone or that he might actually be watching over her from closeby. Looks like that role will have to go to Ken for a while, since he spent most of his time in this episode sneaking around and being emo about feeling abandoned by the boss. I would have been interested to learn a little bit more about his past than just the very short glimpse given of the time his mother left him, because it looks like he's going to be around and I'd like for him to be fleshed out a bit more. Not to mention he's become kind of attractive :) What can I say? I'm weak from time-to-time.
I'm glad that Chiko has found a friend in Shunka, but I do find her a bit irritating. On the one hand I'm sympathetic to her situation and being forced to marry early is pretty depressing. But holy crap does she do just about everything to cause trouble and ruin their detective work. I suppose this kind of characterization might be "charming" to some people, but I would really just like for her to shape up and learn a bit from Chiko rather than barging right in to dangerous situations. Something tells me that it's going to take some major disaster for her to get a clue in her head.
Of course, that's to the wayside for the time being considering that Chiko is essentially using her Aunt's desire to off her in order to get to the island where she believes Twenty Faces might be hiding out. How much you want to bet that the jewel being used in the filming is a fake? I hate to say it, but I don't think finding the man will be that easy. I'm hoping that Tome realizes that the Aunt is teh evilz though. It would be nice for her to not have to remain naive of the situation for much longer. I'm wondering what sort of evil scheme the Aunt will try to pull, which I'm sure we'll find out next episode.
The Daughter of Twenty Faces Episode 8
Summary: It appears that the woman who was following Chiko is a reasearcher, and her subject is the person in the robotic suit, someone who was in an accident who she is helping to keep alive. Twenty Faces seems to be the only one who can contribute further to her research, and she feels that getting to Chiko is the key. At home, Chiko gets a visit from her uncle who asks for detective Akine's help in a matter. They go to visit a pharmeceutical company president, who in turn asks for help locating two of his researchers, Kayama Nozomi and Tsuya Takashi. Chiko believes that Twenty Faces had a connection to this project. At school Chiko receives a note, signed with Twenty Faces' mark, to meet him outside at 10pm. She believes it to be a fake, but Shunka also gets a hold of it. Shunka waits ouside and is picked up by Kayama, the researcher, who claims to be a messenger from Twenty Faces. Shunka is found out almost right away, but claims that she wants to have as much fun as she can before she turns 16 and has to enter into an arranged marriage. Chiko finds Akine and they chase after them.
Faced with police patrol cars, Kayama gives herself up and releases Shunka. While being questioned about the bank robbery, the man in the robot suit, Tsuya Takashi, bursts from the hideout and attacks, aiming to get Chiko. Kayama believed that their research was on the verge of creating something that could have won the war, so she continued it to get results even after the war ended. When Chiko is at a dead end and Tsuya is out of control, Kayama releases her hidden strength (having experimented on herself as well) and thwarts him. All he wanted to know was how to turn his body back to normal, which is something Chiko doesn't know. He passes away after speaking of something called "Twenty Faces' Legacy". Shunka decides her life will never be boring with Chiko around.
Thoughts: The "mecha suit" in this episode really could have made things laughable, but I think it did a good job of focusing on the tragedy of the situation rather than the fact that there was a Gigantor in their midst. Not to mention that it seemed like a real threat rather than a joke or just an excuse to show some neat fighting (which they did anyway, it was pretty cool). I'm liking how this is leading more into the mystery surrounding Twenty Faces. It seems like he had his hands in all sorts of different things and that there really was a purpose behind his thievery. I don't know if this makes him seem less benevolent or not, but his intelligence, which was already pretty apparent, shines through in spite of his absence. And I think this is a trait which he passed on to Chiko.
I often find myself so captivated by this show that I forget to take screencaps until the second half of the episode. I'm not quite sure what it is that intrigues me. The stories themselves aren't particularly complicated, but maybe that's part of the appeal. Each episode, new layers seem to be uncovered in the life of a very mysterious man, and Chiko, by choice more than anything, finds herself caught in the middle, pulled in different directions by people who want to find Twenty Faces for their own purposes.
I'm curious as to why Twenty Faces would have invested in research to create super soldiers in the first place, though, since he seems like a guy who doesn't really use violence to achieve his goals (as evidenced by the lack of firearms in his group). Maybe this attitude was a reaction to something else, but I still find it a bit incongruous and I hope there'll be more explanation on it later.
I knew that Shunka wouldn't remain a true adversary for long, and her situation is actually kind of sad - in her eyes, her life pretty much ends at 16, when she'll have to become a young wife in an arranged marriage. I'm wondering if hanging out with Chiko will help her to escape that fate and go off on her own, but it's too early to tell at this point. I'm interested to see how their relationship develops and whether maybe Chiko will end up taking her on as a protege, though I'm curious as to what skills Shunka may have already developed on her own.
The Daughter of Twenty Faces Episode 7
Summary: One of the only survivors left on the train is Akine, the detective hired to track down Chiko and return her to her aunt. When she returns, her aunt puts on a good show of crying and being happy about her return, and Chiko is so depressed about the apparent death of Twenty Faces that she willingly eats the soup she's given, even though she knows that it contains her Aunt' poison. One of the maids, named Tome, takes special interest in Chiko's well being. While having breakfast in the garden, she's approached by a detective named Akechi who's searching for Twenty Faces, who he believes is still alive in spite of the train fire. This gives Chiko new hope and once again she refuses to eat the poisoned soup.
Chiko makes the decision to go to school as well. Most of the other girls are kind of weirded-out having a famous kidnapping victim amongst them. One day at lunch she's approached by a girl named Shunka, who seems to have a bullying streak in her. On her way home, Shunka's car splashes her with mud, which causes her to not notice a woman following her. At home, she spots Akechi in the garden and meets with him. When she agrees to take on the task of searching for Twenty Faces, Akechi produces a strange token - the family jewel which Twenty Faces stole from her Aunt. It had been laying in the garden in an easily-retrievable spot. Somewhere else, a giant robot breaks into a bank vault, then returns to meet the woman who was following Chiko.
Thoughts: After the dramatic end to the previous episode, we're thrust headfirst into a new mystery - what has become of Twenty Faces? It was almost certain from the nature of his "death" that he wasn't truly gone for good, and now that Chiko has gotten over her depression, she has a new purpose in life. It'll be interesting to see how she utilizes the teachings she received while living with the gang to find her mentor once again.
I find the thought of her going to school kind of amusing. I mean, I know this won't turn into some daily school life anime, but as evidenced by the fact that she dodged a volleyball that was heading right for her, she's quite different from the other students there. And of course we know by the end theme of the show that the bully character Shunka will end up being a comrade in the end, so any element of surprise was spoiled by that. Of course there are still mysteries to be discovered, like how the two will end up working together, who the mysterious that followed Chiko is, and what was up with the person in the robotic armor. While this show is very straightforward, it still does a good job of keeping things intriguing.
I'm still kind of irritated that we're seing more of the Aunt, since she's a completely unsympathetic character in my mind. Especially since she knows that Chiko is aware of her poisoning the soup, yet she keeps it up anyway. I'm wondering what's going to happen to her, though I hope it involves some really satisfying and ironic punishment. Burning to death in a giant tub of poisoned soup perhaps?
The Daughter of Twenty Faces Episode 6
Summary: The airship is escaping with the Clock of the Three Magi, with the townspeople and police in ground pursuit. Luckily for the thieves, it's a decoy and the real clock is in a safe hiding place (it turns out that Twenty Faces stole the clock on behalf of the town's Mayor, keeping it from being sold at the end of the exhibition). In exchange, Twenty Faces is given some information that he requested. When Twenty Faces speaks of fashioning a successor to accomplish his plans, Chiko, who's eavesdropping on the conversation, wishes that it were her. As the train carrying the thieves leaves the platform, another group of sinister looking folks with guns hops on, and shoots Yasu-san right in front of Chiko. She's surprised to learn that Angie is a part of this group, along with Tiger, the man responsible for blinding Ken's eye. Angie corners Chiko in one of the compartments.
It seems Angie had been observing Chiko all along, and the two begin to battle it out. In the dining car, the rest of the gang, led by Tiger, begin to massacre the thieves. Skipper, having been shot, sacrifices himself by jumping out of the train with two enemies in tow. Outside the train, Angie makes a misstep and is swept away in the show and wind. When Chiko enters the train car, she discovers the carnage and the fact that most of her comrades are dead at the hands of Tiger's gang. Tiger confronts Twenty Faces about his bigger plan, while Chiko finds Muta-san dying in the corridor. Twenty Faces declines Tiger's offer to join forces. Just as Tiger is about to die from a gunshot wound, he sets the train car on fire and it drifts away, Twenty Faces still aboard. Chiko is left alone to watch in horror.
Thoughts: Hmm, well I got just about what I wanted here. First of all, Angie made her return, though in reality she wasn't really the cute young girl she appeared to be, but an agent of the only real major "villain" so far. It was a surprise, to be sure, but quite implausible. Of course, considering Chiko's skill with disguises and operating undercover, it's not really out of the question that another girl might share that skill and cunning, but the setup almost seemed a bit silly. I'm glad the story was in two parts since the direct continuity has been lacking so far in this series. To go right from episodic almost light-hearted into something so drama-laden, however, was a surprising and dramatic adjustment to have to make.
And good grief, boy was this a good lead-in to the rest of the series. Twenty Faces is now essentially out of the picture, so now Chiko, and Ken who I believe is still also alive, are the only ones left from the thieving group, and I assume that they'll have to continue where Twenty Faces was forced to leave off in his big "master scheme" that was alluded to. There's not enough info to speculate on what that scheme is for right now, but I'm betting that this is the subject that will consume the rest of the series. Now they just have to introduce the rest of the characters, and maybe give a little info on what Chiko's aunt is up to. Initially I thought that she'd be a minor character, but since she's shown up a few times since Chiko escaped, my hope is that there'll be more to tell with her.
I'm very excited to watch subsequent episodes now that I know there's an actual plot to be had. Thieving is one thing, but thieving with a purpose in mind is something that interests me to no end. Sadly, I'm fighting sleep right now so I don't think I can really discuss much further than this until next time.
The Daughter of Twenty Faces Episode 5
Summary: Chiko and the gang are posing as a group of circus performers in order to get near to a U.K. city's treasure - the Clock of the Three Magi. Chiko gives a great performance as the tightrope act, but the real star of course is Twenty Faces, posing as the magician Baron Doyle. Chiko sneaks into the museum to catch a glimpse of the clock and meets a girl named Angie, daughter of the museum's security officer. They promise to meet again the next day. At dinner, Chiko shows Twenty Faces a map she's drawn of the museum, and becomes troubled realizing that the information she's giving to the thieves might in some way hurt her friend.
The next day she meets with Angie and they sneak in the museum a back way. Angie innocently reveals that it would be easy for a thief to sneak in that way, but if that happened her dad would probably lose his job. Chiko is troubled by the prospect.
While walking in town, Ken is attacked in an alley by a man named Tiger and loses the use of his left eye. Though Chiko is given the option of sitting out the job due to her feelings, with Ken out of the picture for the time being she feels compelled to take his place. During the circus troupe's final performance, Chiko leads her comrades into the museum. While the rest of the town is captivated by the acts, the theft of the Clock goes off without a hitch. Even though Twenty Faces says she did well, though, Chiko seems to feel a twinge of doubt in her mind while looking back at the museum. A final, haunting shot of Angie's face seems to indicate things to come.
Thoughts: I like how quickly things are progressing in this show. While it's interesting to see Chiko growing up and becoming more competent at her thieving job, I'm glad the writers don't seem to be dwelling on things for too long either. In the last episode she turned 12 years old, and now she's nearly 13, which leads me to believe that the real meat of the story is going to begin soon. Considering the huge deal with Ken's eye as well, I feel like the cozy atmosphere is about to be thrown for a loop. And dang, that last shot was one of the freakiest things I've seen in a long while (check it out here if you want to see - I warn you, though, it'll give you nightmares). If this betrayal doesn't lead to something more, I'm going to be very disappointed.
I'm glad the story went in this direction, however, because I think it's beginning to allow us to question the ethics of what Twenty Faces has been doing. Sure, it's all fun and games stealing stuff from rich aristocrats, but here we learn that people's livelihoods might be at stake and Chiko, for her part, seems to be feeling very torn about her actions. Twenty Faces isn't an evil man by any means, but all the same what he's doing is illegal and is affecting other people. It's still kind of hard to tell what his overall motives are, but if that's clarified in the future it might help to explain what's going on. Or complicate things further, who knows?
I'm curious if there'll be another major time-skip next episode, or what. I'd like to see more about Ken dealing with his injury and how it affects his job as a knife-thrower, if at all. To lose an eye would be a dramatic injury for anyone, but especially so for someone so dependant on having decent depth perception. Tiger, who I believe showed up briefly in an earlier episode, might become more important as well, so I'm wondering if there'll be a story arc coving some sort of conflict between him and Twenty Faces. Hopefully future episodes will have more to reveal.