Black Cat

May 15, 2010

If you are the superstitious kind, you’ll know you’ll be in for a lot of trouble when a Black Cat crosses your path. And I’m not referring to the little purring feline. How does a highly skilled and deadly assassin sound? Faster than a speeding bullet, more agile than a cat, folks if you ever cross path with Train Heartnet, you’re definitely a goner. He is so swift in executing his mission that it is as though time stood still when he comes to ‘deliver bad luck’ to his victims.
 
In this fictional world, Chronos, a large organization rules part of the world in much secrecy and thus maintaining its so called world peace. If this organization falls into the wrong hands, you’ll know what kind of disaster to expect. In order for them to efficiently carry out their goal, serving under them are 13 elite assassins, Chronos Numbers, each bearing a roman numeral somewhere on their body and each been given a special and unique weapon made out of a special metal, Orichalcum (I guess an excuse for blowing up and super destructive exaggerated effects). Train is part of the Chronos Numbers and with his number XIII and nickname, Black Cat, you don’t want to mess with this guy wielding a special tough pistol, Hades.
 
I’m still confused about the official number of episodes. Okay, maybe I should put in a little more effort in my research but I was lazy :(. Some sites listed as 23 but others 24 number of episodes. For some reason, one of the episodes (episode 15) was not broadcasted on the Japanese television and it was released as part of the DVD. However the Animax channel (for South East Asia) broadcasted all 24 episodes, albeit much later after the anime ends. Therefore the confusion is the numbering of the episodes. For me, I watched the episode numbers based on the 23 episodes. So when I watched the ‘extra’ episode, I kinda noticed it bears the same number. So there are 2 episode 15?
 
Okay, back to the story. In episode 1, Train has been sent on yet another mission to assassinate a soon to be elected governor, Lib Tyrant. With that kind of name, it’s not hard to guess he’s a crook like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What’s with these people voting in an ex-criminal? Sven Vollfied, a sweeper (term for bounty hunter) is also targeting the same person. This so called gentleman is always poor and you got to pity him each time he has no money to pay for his meals. Put it on his tab, will ya’? That’s why he needs the money in his sweeper job but does he succeed? If he did, he wouldn’t be worrying about his next meal. So I guess this Lib guy is his big break and attends his welcoming party. Now, the reason why Sven wears an eye-patch is because to hide his Vision Eye. With this eye, he can look 5 minutes into the future though it drains lots of energy. Accidentally, he has a glimpse will be assassinated by Train by that time and goes to try stop the assassination. Hmm… Love his handy suitcase. All those weird contraptions in it. Unfortunately, Sven can’t change fate because Train sneaks in so fast and shoots Lib right when he was about to give his speech. Lib’s dead. Train’s gone. Gone with the wind. Nobody even saw what happened. One of Lib’s bodyguards manage to track Train and put a scratch on his face but Train wounds him and lets him live. However, an obsessed fan of Train and another assassin under Chronos, Creed Diskenth, kills the bodyguard for scarring his beloved Train’s face. Is this guy gay or what? Later on the rooftop, a confused Train remembers the time his parents were killed when the humming of a sweeper girl in yukata, Saya Minatsuki, attracts his attention.
 
Some may call it a date because Train and Saya frequent each other in episode 2. Saya’s the sporting and bubbly kind of girl so it’s not too hard to see why Train is ‘attracted’ to her though he doesn’t show any emotions. Elsewhere, Sven needs to get another job since he blew the last one or else he won’t have anything to eat. Lady luck shines on him as a lady named Elena hires him to rescue her kidnapped sister Eve from a ruthless weapons dealer named Torneo Ludman. Sven recognizes Eve as one of the guests at Lib’s party. Back at Train and Saya, the latter takes up a sweeper job to capture a criminal, Preeta Ghoul, who has uncanny powers to melt stuff he touches. Since this serial mad killer targets only girls, you bet Saya is going to arrest this guy before anymore ladies gets murdered. Oh, did I mention the bounty reward is 180,000 Gold? Saya arrives at Preeta Ghoul’s hideout and gets cornered. Thankfully, Train arrives in time to save her and allows Saya to defeat him before being brought to custody. Back at the rooftop, confused Train questions why she didn’t kill him. Her answer is simple: She didn’t want to. When Train goes back to headquarters, he is been given orders by Chronos Number II’s second in command, Belze Rochefort, to assassinate Eve.
 
Sven and Elena arrive at Torneo’s hideout to rescue Eve in episode 3. However somebody else beats them because Torneo’s bodyguards are knocked out. It is Train and he is just one trigger away from assassinating Eve. Sven pleads to let him spare her life but by this time, Torneo comes in with more men so Sven distracts them and all make their escape, leaving Eve behind. Back in a room, Sven confronts Elena and knows Eve is not her sister and that Elena’s true identity is Rinslet Walker, a super thief. The reason why Rinslet wants Eve is because Eve is some sort of a genetically engineered biological weapon made from nano-technologies. She intends to steal the data and sell them. It’s all about money, eh? A walk in the park has Sven very surprised. Isn’t that Eve? Yeah, she escaped from Torneo’s mansion. How? Dunno. Can’t remember. Sven takes this opportunity to befriend and get to know more about Eve and she’s just like a lost child learning new things for the first time about her surroundings. Unfortunately their bonding is cut short when Torneo’s men show up and kidnap her again. Sven decides to go rescue her. Elsewhere, Creed meets Train about Eve’s case so the latter has made up his mind to ambush Torneo’s hideout.
 
After that chaotic cat diversion in the beginning of episode 4, Sven and Rinslet break into Torneo’s mansion. Rinslet goes in search for the data (she found some horrible experiments of turning things into monsters in some lab using nano-technology) while Sven notices Train is here too and goes after him. This time, Sven reaches Eve’s room first but Torneo’s men soon gather and capture him along with Train. A disc containing controlling nanomachines is being inserted into Eve (after she refuses Torneo’s orders and decides to follow Sven) so she goes berserk and turns into a killing machine. Outside, Eve’s body materializes into sharp and deadly weapons as she and Train battle. During the fight, Sven got his stabbed by Eve in his attempt to remove the disc. In the aftermath, Train burns down Torneo’s entire mansion and that mad guy perishes with it. While Sven, Rinslet and Eve are resting, Train shows up to finish his job. However, remembering Saya’s words and way of life, he puts away his gun and walks off. Back at the rooftop, yet another visit from Saya, I guess she gets a pleasant surprise because for the first time, Train smiles.
 
Would Chronos accept Train’s mission as finished in episode 5 even though Torneo’s mansion was destroyed but Eve escaped? They want him to resume his mission to find and assassinate Eve. Because of that, Train decides to leave Chronos and live a free life of being a sweeper (I guess thanks to lots of ‘brainwashing’ from Saya). Can he do that? Can he just leave? Of course not. So Creed volunteers to persuade Train back. Creed knows talk isn’t going to make him rejoin so requests a duel. He fights him but loses. But I guess this is part of Creed’s plan to have Train join him in an organization much powerful than Chronos, The Apostle of the Stars, so that they both can make their ideal world. Yeah, one of those ideologies again. They get to choose who lives and who dies. Of course, Train refuses. Seeing this would happen, Chronos send their men to kill them but Creed mercilessly disposes them off. Train meets Saya back at the rooftop. He hands over his Hades for her safekeeping and thanks her for helping him made up his mind to leave Chronos. From afar, Creed is not too happy that there is someone Train has eyes for. I guess this confirms it that Creed is gay. Later Creed tries to persuade Train to join his group once more but this time Chronos Number I and Numbers’ leader, Sephiria Arks, appears and warns Train this is the last chance she is giving him to rejoin Chronos or else. You know how stubborn cats are, right? No. No choice, Sephiria draws her sword, Christ, and attacks Train.
 
While Creed takes on the other Chronos men in episode 6, Sephiria and Train’s battle ends in the favour of the former since the latter doesn’t have his Hades with him. Train questions her about Chronos and she has faith in the organization will bring true freedom to the people. She’d better be right. They are interrupted when one of Creed’s men, Shiki (some insect user also using the forbidden powers of Tao) attacks. This allows Train to escape and keep Sephiria busy. Train returns to his room where he meets Saya. She returns his Hades and from outside, Creed is like a jealous kid watching from afar but a much dangerous one as he plans to finish off that witch. Saya plans to have a date and watch the fireworks with Train the following night. However Creed leaves a note of his intentions as Train rushes to the scene. Unfortunately by the time he arrives, Creed has slashed and killed Saya. He hopes this would free Train from the witch’s spell and open his eyes to join his group. But this enrages Train even more as in his fury attacks Creed. He likes those cold assassin eyes of Train? Poor Saya had to die in the hands of some gay guy… I guess the heavy fireworks drown out the battle or else it could’ve been a major distraction.
 
Train is still engaged in a fight with Creed in episode 7. Creed loves the way Train is back to his old self. Sven and Eve are watching the fireworks nearby and she notices gunshot sounds. A large explosion soon follows and the next thing Train knows, he is in the care of Sven and Eve. It’s understandable he’s cold attitude is due to the death of Saya and that he’s with target he was once assigned to assassinate. Plus, Eve doesn’t trust Train because he tried to kill her. Vice versa. Speaking of which, Chronos assigns Chronos Number VII, Jenos Hazard to assassinate Eve. He finds Eve wandering outside the hut (after another spat with Train about being assassins and the likes). Jenos attacks Eve with his Excelion (gloves with strings) but before he could finish her, Train comes to Eve’s defence and knocks the ladies’ man out. Actually he faked his defeat to avoid heavy damage. When Sven finds out about this, it’s time to move again unless you want Chronos to come knocking on your door every now and then. Train joins them as wandering sweepers and notice how he is more open and well erm, funny? Not the serious and cold assassin he once used to be anymore.
 
As the trio roll into a new town for another sweeper job in episode 8, to apprehend one of the few escape convicts, Igor Planter, Rinslet comes into contact with Jenos. He hires her into getting some kind of drink, Shinkitou, which is believed to give users the forbidden power of Tao. Furthermore, the drink is believed to be handed to criminals by a long-haired blonde man in shades wearing a tall hat, Charden Flamberg (somehow he reminds me of the late John Lennon) and the spunky high school girl, Kyouko Kirisaki. Would you turn down an offer which rewards you 10 million Gold with all expenses paid? So fate has Rinslet reunite with the trio and yeah, they’re searching for Igor since it is believed he was given Shinkitou. Seeing this as a competition, Eve and Train race each other to see who can apprehend Igor first. Eve finds Igor first in his greenhouse. Seems he has given up his criminal ways and plans to live his peaceful gardening life. Until Eve accidentally steps on one of his plants, Igor gets upset and like Incredible Hulk, the powers of the drink transforms him into a super strength beast. For the second time, Train arrives in time to save Eve. Igor takes another sip of Shinkitou to control his garden and gain further powers. In the end, the powers are too much for Igor to handle as he turns into a giant plant. And the gang didn’t get the reward money because Igor is no longer human. Bummer.
 
Sven and co agree to help Rinslet track another criminal who attacks women and children, Gyanza. So in episode 9, it seems Gyanza is one of those escaped convicts and been given Shinkitou. Also, he has a grudge against Sven when he arrested him 7 years ago when he was an agent of International Bureau of Investigation. Train is alone and comes into contact with Kyouko. She instantly falls in love with him. Note how she tries to get lovey-dovey with him but somehow he avoids her advances. So funny lah. Kyouko reunites with Charden to find Gyanza and recruit him but encounter his underlings. One of them drank Shinkitou and died (the drink either gives you super powers or kills you) so the others attacked but were easily defeated. Back at the heroes, Sven cross-dresses as a female to lure Gyanza. However Gyanza is arguing with Kyouko about joining their group after obtaining power. And since she’s a girl, well, he attacks her. Then herald Kyouko’s beloved hero, Train, to the rescue. With the help of Sven’s Vision Eye, Train defeats Gyanza by shooting at his weak point. Gyanza is killed with the after effects of Shinkitou. Charden arrives and introduces himself and Kyouko as part of the Apostle of the Stars. Train is not happy when he hears Creed’s name. And I guess since Creed and his gang are proving to be a major threat to Chronos, bringing them down is their new top priority and Eve’s assassination takes a back seat.
 
Conveniently before Charden and Kyouko escapes via helicopter pick up in episode 10, he tells Train he can meet Creed in Sangeles City in 3 days time. What’s happening there? Every high level politician is there for some high level meeting and The Apostle of the Stars will use it to launch their attack and further their agenda. And a hell of a grand entrance they sure make, exploding buildings and making the security forces look like wimps. Not to mention taking over the controls of the broadcast. And yeah, we’re introduced to the other members as well. Durham Glaster (the gunman), Leon Elliot (Tao powers to control wind), Maro (Tao powers to control gravity), a scientist whom I shall call Doctor, and a famous actress turned to the dark side Echidna Parass (Tao power to create ‘gates’ which opens portals to several places). Hmm… Creed’s new outfit somehow reminds me of Busou Renkin’s Papilion, though it may not look the same. Despite numerous warnings from Sven not to let Creed get into his head, Train rushes to confront Creed. He’s happy Train is here and offers him to join once more. You know the answer. He’s here to avenge Saya’s death. He attacks but is pinned down. Durham fires a shot at Train but Sven uses his body to block. Though he’s injured, but not serious. Train is upset once more and Creed isn’t pleased that Durham tried to shoot his object of affection. I guess Creed mentions he was just happy to see him for now and disappears with the rest of his group, though he notes filth has grown around him once more (after getting rid of Saya, I can see why). While recuperating, Train learns how Sven’s partner died while trying to protect him and that’s when he got his Vision Eye. I guess they can’t stay mad at each other and are back to being friends. After another childish fight, that is. Ah, back to normal.
 
Arriving in another town in episode 11, the gang are being told that their sweeper job of their next target has been captured by Black Cat. An imposter? Damn right. Some chubby guy named Woodney is going around with his fake VIII mark proclaiming to be the feared Chronos assassin. I guess being an imposter has its advantage but how long can he keep this up? Furthermore, he bumps into Eve and proclaims himself as the Black Cat. Perhaps Eve is just going with the flow, eh? Of course some criminals challenge him to a duel and without Eve’s discreet help, he could’ve lost. Durham, not pleased with why Creed intends to have Train join the group as he sees himself fit to be the only gunman of the pack, goes in search of Train. He sees Eve in a cafe and demands that she tell about Train’s whereabouts. Woodney of course not knowing the true story continues his impersonating though he is shaking with fear despite his heroic act to protect Eve. So happen, Train was passing by outside and upon sighting him, Durham instantly attacks the real Black Cat. Of course Train still has got his deadly touch and shows Durham why he is no match for him and the only opponent for him is Creed. Not even if Durham unleashes his secret weapon, he still gets defeated. With that, the gang takes Durham with them hoping he will reveal Creed’s hideout and at the same time, Woodney joins the gang while regarding Train as his master-cum-brother.
 
It seems Train is the impatient cat he is (can you blame him for having recurring nightmares of Saya?). While the rest are sleeping, in episode 12, Train has already interrogated Durham about Creed’s whereabouts and made a dashing start there. By the time the rest finds out, it’s already sunrise and they need to get there quick. Meanwhile, Jenos forms Cerebos, Chronos Numbers’ assassination squad, also comprising of Chronos Number V, Naizer Bruckheimer and Chronos Number XI, Beluga J Heard, to track and destroy Creed and his group. They arrive and encounter Leon, Maro and Kyouko as their first obstacle. Kyouko disappointed that it isn’t her beloved Train. Anyway Cerebos wins and proceeds. Train too has arrived and confronts Creed, who has been waiting for him. He’s so obsessed about that guy that he’d cut off anyone, friend of foe for intruding their personal exclusive time and space. He even persuades Train to shoot him! Plus, he has got Train’s pals captured. Creed destroys part of the castle so that nobody could interfere with them. As the blocks come crumbling down, Train dives down to save his friends. This devastates Creed because he’s thinking Train abandoned him to save his pals. Haha. Beluga and Naizer has cornered Creed as the former fires his bazooka letting off a big explosion. Boom! Is Creed dead? Don’t count on it.
 
Durham comes back to the Apostle of the Stars in episode 13 and faces Creed’s wrath. In short, Creed kills that trash. So much for appearing anymore. Charden isn’t pleased on how Creed is handling things by killing his comrades easily so he and Kyouko decides to leave The Apostle of the Stars (Kyouko of course for the love of you know who lah). With Kyouko back being a normal high school student, she decides on what to get Train for Valentine’s Day. Chocolates for starters? Doctor on the other hand knows the defection of the duo but plans to test some invention of his (a bullet which alters a person’s DNA and causing effects unknown) targeting Kyouko as a guinea-pig. Kyouko finds Train to give her chocolates at a sweeper’s bar. But some unruly big size sweeper bumps into her and destroys her chocolates. All her hard work. Plus, he is going to beat her up! But Kyouko is no pushover and uses her Tao powers of fire to destroy the entire place. Though he manages to taste her burnt chocolates, he makes her promise not to use her Tao powers since she is no longer associated with The Apostle of the Stars. I guess being in love, she agrees wholeheartedly. Doctor shows up and fires a shot at Kyouko but Train gets hit instead. Doctor is interested to see what happens to him so he leaves without putting up much of a fight. Back in the room, everyone is surprised that Train has turned into a kid!
 
Yeah so, Kyouko is like having fun going out with little Train in episode 14. On an outing with Eve, they meet a bunch of orphan kids including Tim and Layla, living in a rundown bus. The kids are having a hard time with the adults who want to shoo them out so they can take their land and build something on it and make profit. As usual, Train saves them so Tim requests his help in keeping the baddies away. Train remembers the time he was being brought up by a ruthless assassin, Zagine, after his parents died and set his sights in killing him. But he died before he could achieve his goal and was left alone. Thus Train rejects Tim’s proposal and continues to play with the other kids. Eve talks to Layla and she finds out that their leader went missing some time ago and resembles a lot like Leon. That night, the bad guys come to harass the kids. Tim goes to fight them alone but is no match. Till Train helps out and easily defeats the men twice his size. He passes Tim Hades and tells him the final decision is his. Tim decides not to shoot them but knocks them out instead. See people, killing causes a never-ending cycle of deaths. Tim understood that and was given the change to stop it. With the baddies leaving for good, the kids can continue to live in peace. Train goes back to the rest and after a bath, he returns to his normal self. So is it the bath that returns him to normal or the effects of the invention wore off?
 
Some dubbed this episode 15.5. This episode is the one mentioned earlier which wasn’t aired over the Japanese airwaves. The scene takes place shortly after the ambush on Creed’s hideout, which I also think Naizer and Beluga died in their failed attempt to stop Creed to allow Jenos to escape. In this episode , Sephiria takes a short leave to confront Train and make certain about his decision to leave Chronos and become a sweeper. She even intends to kill him if his answer isn’t satisfactory. During that time, Charden, acting on his own, attacks Sephiria since he has a grudge against Chronos. A three way battle ensues but in the end, Train sticks steadfast to his beliefs and prevents them both from killing each other. Charden escapes wounded though enlightened by Train’s beliefs and thinking. Since Sephiria has come to respect Train’s decision, she gives him a special Orichalcum bullet to use whenever in need. When Sephiria comes back, she appoints a new Chronos Number X, Lin Xiao Li, as replacement of a former Chronos Number killed by Creed some time ago.
 
I’m going with the 23 episode chronological order so in this episode 15, Creed’s bounty is 3 million Gold. Sven desperately tries to prevent Train from seeing this. He learns that because of the high amount, some guy is proposing a Sweeper Alliance to take down Creed. Sven goes to the meeting place to see other sweepers planning to join the group. But the guy claiming to know Creed’s new hideout will only reveal it if they join. Meanwhile, Woodney informs Train about a job: To find a local wealthy madam’s lost lizard pet. Everyone in town seems to fear her pet, though. The gang searches for the lizard right in the sewers and meets a lost sweeper on his way to the Sweeper Alliance meeting, River Zastory. Soon, they come to realize the pet lizard has grown into some sort of T-Rex and it’s hungry for meat! Better run for your lives! The chase has them popping up where the Sweeper Alliance is having their meeting. With their combined skills, everyone subdue the dinosaur. The madam is pleased with her pet returned and rewards them. However since there are too many sweepers involved, everyone is fighting for a piece of their reward share. That night when Train learns of Creed’s whereabouts, Kraken Island, he once again heads off alone.
 
Train’s journey has him ended up in a misty mountain in episode 16. He meets a lone woman staying by herself in mysterious circumstances. She looks so much like Saya and her name even close, Saki. While Train is in the care of Saki, he learns she is protecting something important but apart from that she is not willing to tell him more. I guess he can’t stand Saki fighting her lone war anymore even though he’s been hearing gunfights night after night. Train finally helps out and disposes some mecha that Saki has been fighting ever since. The person controlling the mecha tells Train that Saki is harbouring something evil and must be rid off. Soon Train finds out that Saki is protecting an infant believed to be cursed and will bring disaster. When the baby is to be executed, Saki and her other comrades ran away and lived here ever since. Slowly her comrades died out and she’s the only person left. Train remembers Saya’s words and so he tells her to benefit of fighting along with friends. I guess he doesn’t want to get involved any more in somebody else’s fight so he leaves (in a way this episode’s rush ending left me unsatisified). He meets Sven and co as they continue their journey together.
 
While Doctor is implanting his nano-technology on Creed is satisfied with the progress, in episode 17, everyone including the Sweeper Alliance prepare to make sail for Kraken Island. But nobody is willing to give them a ride as the island is filled with fearful rumours. Train knows the leader of the alliance is putting up a disguise. So he reveals his true identity and he is no other than Lin. Because of that, the members of the Sweeper Alliance think of leaving as they don’t want to work for Chronos since Lin reveals this is part of Chronos plan to use the Sweeper Alliance as decoys while they attack. Lin and Train chat about the latter’s choice to leave Chronos and become a sweeper. Suddenly monsters start appearing all over the place so Train and the rest including the Sweeper Alliance go into action in subduing the creatures. Seems these monsters are a combination between Tao powers and nano-technology. Though not perfect yet, it enables the heroes to destroy them. Lin watches the sweepers in action and understands their way of life. In the end, they agree to follow Lin to Kraken Island. As everyone sails in a boat, Echidna comes out of her gate portal and tosses a bomb into the deck. Boom! I hope everyone can swim.
 
Sephiria is leading the Chronos Numbers on an assault on Kraken Island in episode 18. Thankfully the bomb didn’t kill everyone onboard the boat. But as a result, they got separated when they are washed ashore the island. Eve battles Leon in a power battle and as much as Leon believed joining the Apostle of the Stars was the only way out, he gets defeated and Eve makes him realizes who his real friends are. Since Leon lost, I guess it was convenient of Creed to forget who he is. Did he even know he existed? Hmm… He must be busy composing a song for himself and Train. Elsewhere, Sven takes on re-emerged Preeta Ghoul who is obsessed on finding Saya and getting his revenge. As expected, Sven wins. Also, Chronos Number X, David Pepper, faces Maro but in the end, they both killed each other. Doctor also unleashes improved versions of his monsters and in addition to the guards, the rest have their hands full with them. Sephiria has arrived in Creed’s room. She draws Christ but Echidna stands in her way.
 
While Creed is busy playing his piano in episode 19, Echidna fights with Sephiria to keep the latter at bay and from touching Creed. But when Sephiria finally succeeds in slashing him, to her surprise, Creed’s body regenerates and quickly heals all wounds. Creed uses his upgraded sword and wounds Sephiria. Train finally arrives in the room. But to Creed’s disappointment, he sees a shadow of Saya in him. He is saddened that at this rate Train will never join him (he realized that now?) so after destroying all his art pieces of Train (creepy…), Creed is going to kill Train with his hands. He goes crazy and berserk as his sword fuses with his body and turns into a monster. With Sephiria’s advice, Train uses the single special Orichalcum bullet and shoots through his sword, leaving Creed’s body exposed. Sven, Eve and the other Chronos Numbers arrive to destroy the nanomachines in his body and return that insane guy back to normal (a flashback how Creed was abused as a kid. No wonder he grows up to be a mad person). Sephiria learns Train doesn’t intend to kill Creed but apprehend him as a sweeper. But Echidna takes Creed with her and leaves. She didn’t stop the heroes for she fears he might turn into someone who is out of her reach (is she in love with him?). Is Train okay with that? Sure, as long as he lives a life of regret. While the heroes are celebrating, Sephiria learns another shocking news. Some of the Chronos Numbers, led by Chronos Number XII, Mason Ordrosso, have defected and call themselves Zero Numbers along with the remaining The Apostle of the Stars, Shiki and Doctor. Oh uh. This is what happens when somebody with self interests initiates his big time plans.
 
Train and the rest go back to the mainland to celebrate in episode 20. Everything is back to normal. But a crisis is looming back at Chronos headquarters. Looks like the monsters attack the base and killed its leaders! That easily to dispose off, eh? Furthermore, the remaining Chronos Numbers left are Sephiria, Belze, Jenos, Lin and Chronos Number VI, Anubis (a talking wolf). Mason orders Doctor to capture Eve as she is instrumental in his Eden Project. Sven and Eve got into an argument because the guy wants to put her in a boarding school thinking about her future. But Eve is unhappy that he doesn’t understand her because she wants to follow him around being a sweeper. Like a little kid, Eve rushes out but was caught by Doctor using a disc to control her. When Train and Sven find out about Eve’s case, they rush to rescue her. Too late, Mason and his gang are leaving. And since Eve is under their control, she attacks them to allow Mason and co to leave unharmed.
 
In episode 21, while the gang are planning their rescue when Rinslet brings a person looking so much like Eve. Like as though she’s Eve’s grownup version. She is Tearju Lunatique (with that kind of name, no wonder she was hospitalized) and reveals about Eden Project. She and Doctor were once colleagues but behind his smiling face hides an ulterior motive. Eve being an ultimate biological weapon was just a facade and her real purpose is to bring world peace. That’s a good thing right? Not when everyone is like robots devoid of emotions whatsoever. In other words, this one Eve activates a machine, this so called paradise marks the end of the world as we know as people will be controlled. Elsewhere, Train meets the remaining Chronos Numbers and suggests that they work together. Not that both sides want each other side since it’s personal. Sephiria agrees. Meanwhile Doctor prepares to initiate Eden Project as Eve finds herself in a dream world. She meets a young boy Adam who seems to be ‘poisoning’ her mind with the so called paradise. In the bible, Eve gave Adam to eat the forbidden apple fruit and as a result God banished them to Earth. In this show, Adam gave Eve to eat the apple and as a result, Eden Project is activated and a large mothership starts sucking up humans. What a reversal of roles. Our heroes, Train, Sven, Rinslet, Chronos Numbers and even the Sweeper Alliance (maybe I should put Woodney’s name too since he’s joining the fray) assemble as they race against time to stop Mason and his plans. Hey, somebody’s got to do it even if it’s a non-paying job.
 
The mothership is consuming more and more people in episode 22. Including Tim. Where did Eve learn to do such horrible things? Ah, the TV. Now we know the real root of evil. Adam further poison her mind by making her attack ‘serpents’, which in reality are Chronos army attacking the mothership but failed and perish like ants. So more ex-foes join the alliance which includes Leon, Charden and Kyouko. Yay. Glad to see that spunky girl back. All she can think of his her Train? There’s something more important to do now. Like saving the world for instance. Because Eve’s conscience isn’t totally cut off (time limit is till the next big city), the gang plan to distract and ground the mothership in a nearby chasm and invade the ship via fireworks (Eve did show interest for it many episodes back). Leon brings back the pyrotechnic equipments in time and everyone play their part to successfully ground the mothership while Adam tries to direct confused Eve to his way. It’s time for the final showdown as they get onboard. Train takes the lead while Sephiria and her Chronos Numbers take on the defected Zero Numbers.
 
It’s do-or-die in episode 23. Our heroes have short flashbacks to tell us why all the need to defeat the villains and move forward with their so called justice and principles. I’m not sure why Doctor is activating the programme for Eden Project by playing billiards but thankfully Train and the rest shows up. Is he outnumbered? Well, because the baddies have nano-technologies fused in their bodies, they resurrect at every lethal blow taken. Like immortals, eh? So round 2 of fighting while they buy time for Train and Sven to rescue Eve at the top. Train comes face to face with Mason and we hear his story of how he got this idea of his 20 years ago while Chronos was fighting the Tao. Plus, everything up to now was Mason’s plan. From the destruction of Torneo’s lab to the abduction of Eve so Sven could be a father figure to her and oh yes, The Apostle of the Stars too. Some mastermind he is. And he gets a pleasant surprise too. Yup, Creed appears and he is on Train’s side this time, facing off with Mason. Sven climbs and finds Eve within the receptacle but can’t reach to destroy it. As for Train, he is having visions of Zagine. Though beaten badly at first, Train soon realizes all this is an illusion of Project Eden and knows the fake Zagine is just spewing lies unlike the ‘fun’ he has been through with his freedom. He fires a shot through Zagine and destroys the receptacle. The baddies, whose mind and body are connected to it, perishes along. Saves lots of trouble to show them being killed off one by one. In the aftermath, everyone sucked up by the mothership is alive and rescued. Sven and Eve travel together being sweepers (Eve cut her hair! Note: I prefer her with long hair), there is a hint that Rinslet and Jenos going steady, Creed and Echidna having their peaceful countryside life, the remaining Chronos Numbers meet (but for what I don’t know since the whole organization was destroyed), the rest of them going back to their normal lives and Train travelling alone by himself.
 
After watching the series I did a little reading up myself and found out that the anime differs completely from the manga. For instance, Mason replaced Creed as the main antagonist towards the end of the anime but in the manga he made his appearance in the final few chapters to help defeat Creed and his Apostle of the Stars. Plus, some of the Chronos Numbers have never made their appearance in the manga and only exclusively appeared in the anime. Then there are some Apostle of the Stars members that appear in the manga but completely left out of the anime. Yeah I guess this is one of those series which strayed from the original manga works but if you’re the kind of person like me who does not read, then the totally different ending wouldn’t pretty much matter. So my guess is that if they ever want to make another season, they’ll have to do a remake or create a new story from where they left off (by the way, the manga has already ended before the anime was produced).
 
I wouldn’t say the ending for the anime is terrible but I can’t really say I’m that satisfied either. I felt that it was a little rushed. I mean there were too many characters and I guess since they can’t cram in all the fights of everyone into a single episode, it felt like it was fast and over with it. Considering the ‘grand’ introduction of Creed and his Apostle of the Stars at Sangeles City, I must say that as the series progresses, they went out on a whimper, even if they were plans from Mason. They’ve got members killed, quit and defected which pretty leaves the group much in shambles in the end. Probably the longest fight from the group was probably Leon and Eve’s. Overall, the fights and action sequences in the series are quite okay with its fast pace and doesn’t drag on for several episodes like you know which series lah. So if you like some gun fights and a couple of fast action, this show may suit your taste.
 
On a trivial note, in initial episodes I noticed that each new town that Sven enters and the bar he patrons, there will always be that same waitress. Is she job hopping in different place? It’s like fate, eh? Too bad that guy is so poor so she’ll always have to put it on his tabs. I wonder what happened to her half way. Maybe she got a new job? Then there is that white smirking cat sometimes seen here and there (non serious moments, that is). Probably it’s like Yin and Yang. Providing a balance between the Black Cat that is Train, you know. In addition, it is really cute to see the sponsor screen as all of the characters in the series will have their turn have their face being replaced of that chibi white cat. Funny. Each of the episode title has the word cat in it to reflect the mood or actions of the Black Cat even if that particular episode doesn’t have Train pretty much in focus. So in addition to 9 lives, cats also have 24 moods and actions (according to this series of course).
 
My favourite character is Kyouko (believe it!). I love her spunky character and all she could ever think about is her beloved Train. I wished she had more screen time because after she quit the group and went back to her normal school life, it’s like "Oh dear, it’s so less energetic and funny without that girl" feeling. At least to me. It was pretty funny to see her offering herself or trying to kiss Train! Unfortunately her first kiss and subsequent ones are always stolen but that smirking white cat. Nope, she didn’t kiss Black Cat. Too bad then. Creed is also an ‘interesting’ character in his own way because of his obsession for Train. His voice actor, Shinichiro Miki (Urahara of Bleach), perfectly portrays the crazy gay guy precisely downright to his maniacal laughter. I have to tell you he is damn convincing (not to mention creepy) when he laughs! The spunky feel of Chiemi Chiba as Kyouko (Mio in To Love-Ru) is also a reason why I liked her character. Among the cast casts include Takashi Kondo as Train (Hibari in Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn), Keiji Fujiwara as Sven (Hughes in Fullmetal Alchemist), Misato Fukuen as Eve (Kurumu in Rosario To Vampire), Yukana as Rinslet (Teletha in Full Metal Panic), Takahiro Sakurai as Jenos (Kamiyama in Cromartie High School), Kikuko Inoue as Sephiria (Belldandy in Aa! Megami-sama) and Megumi Toyoguchi as Saya (Meg in Bakuretsu Tenshi).
 
The opening by Yoriko, Daia No Hana resembles more like an anime pop rock outfit and though the first ending piece, Namidaboshi by PUPPYPET is an upbeat piece, I find it a little odd for such a song as its ending. Besides, the animation has Eve doing a puppet play of cat faces Sven and Train in a little bout of their own. Cute or what? For the second ending theme, Kutsuzure by Ryoji Matsuda, it totally turns into a very slow romantic ballad with a hint of nostalgia. Though there are a range of background music (the best ones are of course those action themed pieces), the one I want to point out which had my eyebrows raised was the one with the opera singer. I somehow feel the song is a little out of place usually played during those snippets of action sequences. You know opera singers have a loud voice so it gets a little loud at times. And don’t mention the ‘cacophony’ when they hit the high note!
 
So without the organization of Chronos, I wonder how the world will fare now. I mean after being imprinted how this organization is such an important all-powerful body whereby nobody challenges its authority but it easily got destroyed and even its leaders killed. What does that tell you about them? Not to mention members of the highly revered Chronos Numbers reducing in numbers starting from Train’s departure to member’s death to ultimate defection. And Sephiria at one point even believed Chronos Numbers shouldn’t have feelings and must obey all orders from them without question in order to maintain world order. See what happened? I guess the ‘feelings’ of world domination got to somebody, eh? It was a good thing Train changed after discovering true freedom before Saya’s untimely death. From a cold heartless killer to a carefree sweeper. Not bad of a change, I’d say. I thought that girl would make a surprise revival at the end seeing her body was never found. Ah well, she’ll live on in Train’s memories and heart. So keep in mind the next time a black cat crosses your path, it may not be all bad luck but a sign of hope and salvation. I wonder if I can say the same for walking under a ladder or a broken mirror.
 

Black Cat