Review: The Daughter of Twenty Faces
Set in a slightly historical world, the story follows the rich heiress Chizuko through the events of about 2 years of her life, covering everything from her 'kidnapping' by the phantom thief ' Twenty Faces' to her move to England quite a while later.
At first Chizuko comes off as a rather unlikeable character, bratty and spoiled, she seems to cause her relatives nothing but strife; but as the story moves on, her selfishness is revealed to be merely self- preservation and her attitude is shown to be hiding a cold intelligence that helps her through many situations. After running off with the thief who originally only came to steal a jewel belonging to the family for 'safe keeping', she begins to travel around the world with his team and begins to learn the tricks of the trade from the people she now considers her family. Eventually, when her exploits become known, she gains the title 'The Daughter of Twenty Faces' something she accepts readily, having great admiration for her kidnapper turned saviour.
Although the plot may seem a little weak at the start of the first episode, it soon fills out to the extent where there is so much going on that it can become confusing at times, but that only serves to grab your attention more. However, the plot can most definitely be split into two parts, with Chizuko’s time with the thieves being one, and the 'after' period being the other, the atmosphere differing greatly between the two.
Throughout it is a mixture between action, suspense and other darker themes, although broken up by a few comedic moments and light hearted 'family' scenes, the story is one that is good for a thrill and keeps you guessing all the way through. Even the ending is rather ambiguous, neither entirely happy nor sad, but a strange mixture of the two that leaves the audience with a rather nostalgic feel.
Personally, I love this anime and I wasn’t too sure about the 'tragedy' tag I placed on it, but even when I re- watch the series, no matter how many times, it still brings me to tears in the middle, so in some ways I believe that the genre is well earned. A warning for anyone interested in this anime however, as it holds some rather upsetting scenes, with a healthy dose of character death.