chiko’s greatest theft

So far, this season has been really strong. There’s just a lot of ridiculously entertaining shows, but one really stands out.

(I’m terrified to run a “Is Chiko…” poll with “too young,” “just right,” or “too old” as possible poll answers. Maybe it’s all the page hits I get from and that worry me.)


As great as Kallen’s melonpan and Kogarashi’s gar has been for Code Geass R2 and Kamen no Maid Guy respectively, both of those shows have already shown their cards. Code Geass R2 is what it is, and Kogarashi is already so gar, it’s hard for him to become even more gar without causing a spiral nemesis. The show with the greatest growth potential and greatest upside is The Anime With Three Names (Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief / Daughter of Twenty Faces / Nijou Mensou no Musume).

I wrote a week ago about how Daughter of Twenty Faces has a chance to be great since there is a narrative jump upcoming. The star of the show is Chiko, not Twenty Faces, and the switch will have to occur much like how Simon took over for Kamina. It’s that switch that can either kick the show up a few notches or sink it. Well, the switch finally happened, and it… wow. Wow. Wow.


The best part was how everything geared up to this moment, from subtleties like Ken losing an eye to Chiko making a friend to the “Ladd Russo on a train” event. The narrative just quickly came gushing together in a fit of… well… wow. I’m not going to spoil it, but it might have surpassed Kogarashi’s hair sensors.

One thing about Daughter of Twenty Faces is that it seems to be the forgotten show. Yes, I do like to bring up Chiko whenever I can, but most people crow about Code Geass R2, Macross Frontier, or even Kaiba a lot more. Chiko’s the forgotten one. Maybe it’s because she’s not flashy– there’s no train wrecks (well, figurative, not literal), there’s no Miss Macross Frontier pageant, there’s no trippy art, there’s no hair sensors. But there is solid storytelling and solid writing. Every episode, so far, has seem purposeful. There’s almost no wasted moments, as there’s eventually a reason for everything that happens. Imagine that, an anime that stresses a sweeping story and tight writing over plastic mecha whoring.

When I watch an episode, there’s never a down moment, and the smirk that Chiko usually has is a fantastic reward at the end of each episode, much like the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop.

Gratz Chiko. Keep up the good work, and I think you just might steal the mantle of the best show of this season.

(And gratz on all the birthdays we have seemed to have missed.)

26 Responses to “chiko’s greatest theft”

  1. Firsto!

    Haven’t warmed up to Daughter of Twenty Faces yet, but after this I’m definitely checking it out.

  2. >>Haven’t warmed up to Daughter of Twenty Faces yet, but after this I’m definitely checking it out.

    Same here. For what seemed to be a lackluster season at the beginning there’s still a half a dozen shows I want to take a look at.

    RE: the poll — “just right” is always the answer.

  3. Angie’s smile scared the hell out of me. Could she be faking herself from the first time?

  4. I’ve definitely loved this show since episode 1, if it wasn’t for Kurenai It’d definitely be my favorite show of the season. I loved the Angie smirk at the end of 5, but since they flew off in their blimp thingy I figure they won’t see Angie, and resolve the cliffhanger, for awhile now.

  5. i’ve been following this since ep 1, and it is great. maybe if jason blogs more on this, ppl will suddenly start watching it.
    this could be the best anime this season.

    oh, and chiko’s getting cuter and cuter. forget Ranka, Chiko rules!!

  6. I just caught up last night, and I love the show so far. It’s easily up there as one of my favorites this season. I miss this type of show, with brilliant planning and a good group dynamic (as opposed to the Murphy’s Law-ridden world of Geass). I just hope they don’t have any more time jumps. I don’t know how many more I can take…

    As for Angie, there’s a good chance she was just gathering intel for Tiger, and that smirk scared the hell out of me.

  7. I just caught up with the show not too long ago, and it’s easily one of my favorites of this season (along with Kaiba and Kurenai). I miss this type of show: the brilliant planning (that actually works) and great group dynamic as opposed to the Murphy’s law-ridden world of Geass.

    As for Angie, that smirk surprised and scared me. There’s probably a good chance she was just gathering intel for Tiger or some other rival.

    On a side note, I hope they don’t have too many time jumps. I don’t know how much more I can take…

  8. Nah, won’t blog it. To write well for this show, I realized I have to give away certain plot points. I don’t want to spoil anything, so enjoy Chiko’s smirk.

    But I will say that Angie makes a triumphant return. Very soon.

    (And, Chumara, why do your favorite shows always involve ridiculously underaged girls?)

  9. In that last picture, that is one scary girlfriend. Imagine that seeing her face looking distorted after every morning when you wake up. :D

  10. Come now, thats just this season, and it’s just an awful coincidence. Plus every series has at least one underaged girl in it at some point, regardless if they’re a main character or not.
    Although coincidentally there were some ridiculously underaged girls in a few of my favorite shows
    Haruhi? Kyon’s sister, loli in a bag.
    ef? no lolis
    Sola? Mayuko, loli in a box.
    This was no deciding factor for my like or dislike of these shows, I swear. Plus isn’t 14 the new 21 or something like that :D?

  11. Chiko is certainly becoming very attractive and as Giant Humaniod Robot pointed out, Just Right would always be the answer in her case. As a follower of the meido-melonpan faith, I’m still waiting for the nice full-bodied meido we see in the Op and ED, but in a pinch, a Chiko is fine too. Very fine.

  12. Since we’re almost at the halfway point of the spring season I posted some of my favorites on my blog and I felt kinda weird giving my top female award to both Chiko and Muraski from Kurenai – if you add their ages together you’d get someone who’s just barely be legal. But really, who else is in the same league as them?

    Give Chiko a few more years and she will be in same class as the Major when talking about ability to kick ass – now that’s a faceoff I’d love to see.

  13. Chumara, there’s only two shows this season with ridiculously underaged girls as the female leads, and you “just so happen” to pick both. A lead like Chiko or Murasaki is completely different from someone like Kyon’s sister doesn’t really count if she barely gets more lines than the cat. You could have at least lied and said Real Drive was your favorite show.

    >> In that last picture, that is one scary girlfriend. Imagine that seeing her face looking distorted after every morning when you wake up.

    Angie is the illegitimate lovechild of between Ladd Russo and Mion Sonozaki. Needless to say, I’m enjoying the Chiko vs. Angie era very much.

    (FYI, Akismet seems to be running wild lately. Yesterday, I found 5 false positives, and this morning, I found 2.)

  14. lol well I can’t deny the fact that my choices this season may seem awkward for that reason but honestly they have great storylines. Real Drive is currently boring as hell but I have faith in Production I.G. so I’m patiently watching.

  15. Goddamnit man, how many more shows must you lead me to watch?
    I had a life!!!1

    (No worries. I’m sure I can stop playing video games. Or sleeping)

  16. So I’ll tell you all the story ’bout the joker and the thief of the night… I wonder what would happen if he took her away?

    Scratch that, I know exactly what what would happen. He would train her to be the most epic thief in the world…

    And she can kill with a smile.

  17. I would have to agree with Jason, every time I am about to watch Daughter of Twenty Faces I get the pang of boredom when I think there’s no flashy sequences and crazy plot lines but then after I watch it I am always satisfied with every episode because the plot keeps getting better and better.

  18. I watched the first four all at once and the fifth when it came out, and now I’m really looking forward to the next.

    It’s definitely an under-blogged show, not sure if it’s watched that little or not. It does have Aya and all. At least people are still subbing it, which Real Drive doesn’t seem to have the benefit of. Whatever, Masumune Shirow is a guaranteed R1 license, but to get our Chiko we must get our Chiko now.

  19. I just started watching this show today after I finally finished my finals for the semester, and I must say, great pick! If only my computer weren’t nearly dead…

    As a total mystery novel buff, I am just plain giddy over this show.

  20. I went in expecting GAR, and now… is it raining in here? It must be raining… ;_;

  21. I won’t sing unqualified praise for the series, if only because Chiko the twelve-year-old master acrobat / fighter / trilingual bibliophile / domestic chore superwoman is a little hard to buy. I will say that episode six kicked the pants off every other this season. Raise your hand if you expected a filler-with-moral-lesson setup to blew its top and reveal the main plot of the series.

    I was rolling my eyes early on about the stereotypical feel of everything. All the “clever” tricks were easy to see (Chinese woman, onigiri suprise, hiding the jewel) or total nonsense (Nijyuu-kuns masks, absurd psychic/prescient detective power). All the characters were normal tropes. As a result I completely underestimated the series, and the sudden tone shift was all the more dramatic. I’m beginning to think the standard opening was intentional.

    Yeah, guys, watch this. Even if Bones blew half the animation budget on the three seconds in the OP where Chiko jumps about in billowing dresses, oh-so-barely avoiding the exposure of her panties, the storytelling is really top notch. Too bad everyone’s distracted with the Pizza Hut witch and crew.

  22. I was definitely expecting Nijuu-mensou to pull a Kamina of some sort, but I didn’t expect him to take almost the entire rest of the secondary cast with him. I was also not expecting it to be as ambiguous as it was. I guess like about this time in TTGL we will just have to see if it goes awesome or trainwreck.

  23. Seriously, though the mass elimination of most of the secondary cast and of Mr Twenty faces himself is hinted at heavily in the OP and the Ending… and also I’m not sure if I am thinking too much, but the latest episode has me thinking that Mr Twenty faces set up all the deaths of the crew on purpose.

    Motivation: He stated that he wanted to groom an heir, someone like him so that all war could be eliminated. (aka Chiko) Being someone born out of the sorrow of war, he might have wanted Chiko to experience what he has so that she has the motivation.

    Means: The crew + Chiko trusts him implicitly. The best way to have escaped would be to take another hot air balloon while they chase the decoy. In fact, anything eles other than a train which has a fixed path. Furthermore, he knew that Tiger was around and gunning for his people. He is probably cynical enough to know that Chiko concidentally “making friends” at such an appropriate time is too convenient.

    Conclusion: Theres a possibility that Twenty Faces planned out the entire scenario.

  24. I doubt he was enough of a bastard to kill off his own dudes though.

    Also, I never watch the OP and ED, only listen to them, so that’ll be why I missed that tell.

  25. I saw this anime before this review and i just want to say it is a brilliant anime. I especially love how Chico develops through the 6 episodes so far,

  26. man i just watched episode 6.
    crazy crazy crazy.
    thanks for recommending this!
    it breaks my heart that the manga is neither licensed nor scanlated.

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