Daughter of Twenty Faces... what a peculiar combination of highs and lows. The first arc of "gentle men thieves" was so crazy interesting, why would you end on the low "mad scientist scheme" note? Why would you make a character as brilliant and dynamic as Chico, and then make every other character innoteworthy or experience little to no growth. Whatever their reason, Chico as a character has completely made this series great in my eyes.
ATTENTION!: This review will be presented with the phrase "Arc 1 and Arc 2", this is to distinguish the wonderful first half of the series, from the second mediocre half.
Story: 8 out of 10
If I wanted to be fair, I would give Arc 1 a 9, and Arc 2 a 5. Daughter of Twenty Faces starts of really interesting, and truly pulls you in and makes you legitimately want to see Chiko find happiness with her new "family". The first arc is a globe spanning tale of adventure, culture, suspense, comedy, and action. You feel proud when Muta opens up and teaches Chiko to fight, Ken to throw knives, Goro to climb walls, so on and so forth. Then calamity sets in, and I don't mean the calamity that appears in the actual storyline, but rather the disengage from this fantastic band of thieves story into a sci-fi series of haunted memories, weapons of mass destruction, and mysterious shadows lurking around every corner.
The second arc consists largely of different people from Twenty Faces' past showing up, and trying to kill Chiko to receive secrets of Twenty Faces from back when he was a young brilliant scientist known as a genius. This is overplayed, and while not necessarily bad, a mediocre shift from the wonderful feeling that grow within you from the first arc.
Animation: 8 out of 10
Animation isn't too poor of a department for DoTF, but the character designs are rather boring. Movement is fluid, with very little budget shots, and the world itself is very well done. Post-WWII Japan, done in a pseudo-steampunk type alternate reality. The real charm is seeing the design of old cars, buildings, and especially fashion. Spot on art director.
Sound: 6 out of 10
Sound plays out mediocre in the grand scheme of things. Very little background music during the series, and plain OP and ED songs.
Characters: 9 out of 10
This is by far the hardest category to score. On one hand, Chiko is easily a 10 to me. She is the perfect character for her role. Strong, smart, quick, brave, yet very human. Being quick in the mind and on the feet, she always finds a way to get one step ahead, and for this, we love her. The fact that she's such a frail little girl only makes us stand behind her even more as she finds way to work around her body frame.
The part that brings it down a bit is that almost every other character shows little growth, or is flat out single minded. This is upsetting for me, being that I wanted to get to know the back story of every one of Twenty Faces gang, and was given absolutely nothing besides a 2 minute hint of Ken's childhood. Twenty Faces himself only opens up by discoveries of Chiko throughout the series, and shows very little of himself besides saving the day.
This isn't too bad however, because it reinforces the verdict of Chiko that he cannot change because the war isn't over in his head. No matter how good he's trying to be, he cannot sleep at night without being haunted by the ghosts of his past unless he ends things once and for all. This makes you almost pity him, and his lack of growth seems more of a personal problem then a lazy writer.
Overall: 8 out of 10
Overall, the series started very strong, and ended on a more mediocre note, but cherry wise, I could only be thinking it mediocre because of how fantastic the beginning was. Regardless, it was still an excellent series, and I couldn't get enough of it, and walked away from it with a smile on my face.
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