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File:The Daughter of Twenty Faces 6588.jpg


The Daughter of Twenty Faces (Nijū Mensō no Musume) is a action/mystery Manga in the vein of Lupin the 3rd and Cowboy Bebop by Shinji Ohara which began serialized print in 2002 in Comic Flapper magazine. An anime adaptation began airing in Japan on April 12, 2008, produced by Studio BONES and TMS Entertainment's Telecom Animation Film and promoted internationally as Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief. The focus of the story is Chizuko "Chiko" Mikamo, a young girl who desires to get away from her home because her uncle and aunt have been slowly poisoning her and leaps at the chance when international Gentleman Thief "Twenty Faces" comes to "steal" her. Abandoning her old life, she learns the way of proper cat burglary from Twenty and his merry band of men, and eventually must come to terms with Twenty's legacy and her position as The Daughter Of Twenty Faces. Similar to Lupin III, it is derivative from a work of classic detective fiction. Twenty Faces first appeared in the late 1920's as the Worthy Opponent of Endogawa Rampo's detective Akechi Kogorō, who is also featured later on.

Not related to the CLAMP manga, Man of Many Faces (the title character is called "The Man of 20 Faces").


This show provides examples of: (warning, spoilers follow)

  • Action Girl: Chiko
  • Beach Episode: Though fairly short and containing less Fan Service than normal.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Angie, who doesn't snap so much as she was always out to get Chiko, and seems oddly jealous of her even when playing nice. Angie also provides nice examples of The Dragon (playing a Chiko to Tiger's Twenty in the first narrative arc) and Ax Crazy.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Ken and Chiko. It's so blatant that multiple characters hang a lampshade on it.
  • Brick Joke: The Anastasia Ruby
  • Clueless Detective: Akine, chosen to locate Chiko by her aunt specifically because he's not very bright. Though he is brighter than most people around him think; he's probably fully capable of handling getting evidence for a divorce case, for example.
  • Coming of Age Story: Absolutely, but Chiko doesn't have a "typical" childhood.
  • Cool Old Guy: Kanchou/Skipper
  • Cool Ship: Twenty and his gang use a double-balloon airship as their main mode of transportation.
  • Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday and/or Growing Up Sucks: Shunka has to cram all the excitement and wacky adventures she can get into her life before she turns sixteen and gets stuck in an arranged marriage, which she figures will require her to become respectable and dull.
    • Later subverted. She seems to like her new fiance a lot.
  • Dead Little Sister: At least two, belonging to Shunka and Akine
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Episode 6, oh god. The only ones left after Tiger and his gang kill everyone are Chiko and Ken. Twenty's fate is left ambiguous, however.
  • Evil Eye
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Played straight twice, first when Chiko finds out that Twenty wants a successor and hints that he wants it to be Chiko (d'aww) and again when she overhears a significant amount of plot exposition from Kayama in episode 8.
  • Expy: The "white-haired demon" is a dead-ringer for Suigintou from Rozen Maiden and seems to share her cruelly jealous personality. She's even got the doll-joints down.
  • Foe Yay: Kohei Kakihara is obsessed with Twenty Faces to the point, where he changes his appearance to look exactly like him and later tries to take Chiko under his wing. His main goal is to obtain Twenty's legacy, as he feels it was stolen from him a long time ago by Twenty himself.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Ken, after episode 6. The character also takes a turn for the Darker and Edgier at this point.
  • Gentleman Thief: Twenty, of course; he's practically the embodiment of every Gentleman Thief ever. Not really a Phantom Thief because Twenty is a showman above all.
  • Great Detective: Chiko, good thing for her health too. Also, she doesn't really use her powers of deduction for legal purposes...
  • Heir To The "Dojo": Chiko, although it isn't really a dojo she inherits and thanks to episode 6 there isn't that much to inherit.
  • Heroic BSOD: Predictably, the first half of episode 7.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Chiko is played by the famous Aya Hirano, although Chiko sounds nothing like Haruhi Suzumiya. Shunka, who does not appear until fairly later in the series but is a major character, is voiced by Rina Satou, who is Negi in all adaptations of Negima.
  • Hollywood Density: Skipper effortlessly brings back two big cases filled with gold. By himself. Even underwater, just one case would already have been too heavy for several strong men to lift.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Well, Kayama is "tiny" only compared to Tsuya in episode 8.
  • If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him: Subverted first in that Twenty applies this philosophy to everyone, not just "big villains", who oppose himself and his gang, as his objective is "taking treasures from pigs" and he has no reason to want to cause actual harm (plus he has some kind of war-related past that has made him hate killing and suffering); he even dissuades Knife Nut Ken from killing people. Later on, the whole thing is subverted again in episode 6 when everyone, even Twenty, must kill or they absolutely will be killed themselves.
  • Ill Girl: Subverted somewhat in that Chiko gets better once Twenty takes her away from her relatives who are poisoning her to death with Aconite and goes on to be the main character.
  • Informed Ability: Twenty Faces is supposed to be very clever, but his plans are actually pretty transparent, so it's weird that most anyone falls for them.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Twenty Faces pulls this off in the very first scene of the show. Chiko doesn't take too long to follow in his footsteps.
  • Improbable Age: While tweens-to-young-teens are very flexible and the best gymnasts are often young teens, and Chiko's age is often used to realistic effect, she's still a little young to be quite as good as she is. Some of the members of Twenty's merry band do hang a lampshade on this, however.
  • Jumped At the Call: Chiko is so eager to go with Twenty that the only thing preventing her from getting out the door before he does is her episode 1 illness.
  • Knife Nut: Ken, although he's more an enthusiast, really.
  • Les Yay: Dear God, Chiko and Shunka.
  • Mad Scientist: Most of the outrageous technology in the series was invented by Twenty.
    • And there's an even madder scientist later in the series.
  • Magic Skirt: Granted, Chiko's is longer than most, but still, considering all the acrobatics she does...
    • There are several scenes in which Chiko's panties would have shown, had the camera not focused away. The director seems to work VERY hard to not make Chiko a Moe/Fan Service character.
  • Meido: Tome
  • MandysLaw: Hans dressing up as a girl in Twenty Faces' circus.
  • Mind Control Eyes
  • Mistaken for Gay: In the early part of episode 15, when Tome walked in on Chiko and Shunka... talking with each other, then remarked that she used to do the same. So this may not be the case for Tome.
    • It's a bit weird of to think of that every time two girls start frolicking around, so it may indeed say quite a bit about Tome's mindset.
  • Nakama: Twenty's gang is this in the early portion of the show; Ken also calls it a "nakama" when he's grilling Twenty in episode 13 about why Twenty went to ground after the massacre and abandoned both Ken and Chiko.
  • Never Found the Body: Twenty Faces
  • No Export for You
  • The Ojou: Chiko again, and it's a bit of a subversion in that she throws it all out the window to go with Twenty. She may still be an Ojou depending on what she inherits from Twenty.
  • Out of the Inferno
  • Parental Abandonment: Both of Chiko's actual parents are quite dead, and she lives with relatives. Well, both parents appear dead, but a couple scenes with Twenty... well...
    • Ken was rather brutally abandoned by his family. When he realizes that Twenty Faces seems to care more about Chiko than him, his abandonment issues fuels his Darker and Edgier turn.
  • Perfect Poison: Deliberately averted in order to set the plot in motion; Chiko's relatives are attempting to poison her slowly over time in order to kill her and take her inheritance. Chiko is too sharp to fall for this, however, and attempts on her own to avoid poisoned food until Twenty "kidnaps" (read: rescues) her. Chiko's (non-blood) aunt then goes and uses the same poison on Chiko's uncle in a surprising double cross so that she may take all the inheritance for herself, and the uncle cannot call her out for fear of exposing what was done to Chiko.
  • Pillar of Light
  • Properly Paranoid: Chiko.
  • Save the Villain: Episode 6: Angie overexerts a swing, loses her footing, and is about to be swept off the train by the wind. Chiko reaches out to save her, but like every other brutal thing in this episode, she fails and Angie (apparently) dies.
    • This of course involves some classic Take My Hand imagery as well.
  • Schizo-Tech: The series is set in The Fifties, but there are a number of things in it that could never be built with real world fifties technology, like The giant tank Twenty's gang uses as a hideout up to episode 2, which appears to have battleship cannons.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Tome insinuates this about Chiko and Shunka; it's not completely inaccurate, but she was taking something she saw out of context.
  • Sequel Hook
  • Spoiled Brat: Chiko appears to be this in the first episode, refusing to drink expensive tea or eat veritable feasts that her aunt and uncle provide; we later find out that her behavior is in fact due to her using her Great Detective skills to figure out that her guardians are attempting to assassinate her via poisoning to steal her inheritance and she is desperately trying to avoid eating anything they provide.
    • Shunka, on the other hand. Hoo boy.
  • Spoiler Opening: And spoiler ending credits too, for that matter. It's so bad that the latter looks like it belongs to a completely different show for at least the first six episodes, straight down to a different logo than the series logo being used at the end of the end credits.
  • The Stoic: Muta
    • Muta does also engage in a low-key, Stoic version of Drill Sergeant Nasty in episodes 3 and 4 especially in order to drive home the skills that Chiko will need if she's serious about surviving on the edge of the law.
  • Super Soldier: Several, the Human Tank formula being the most prominent, with wooden psudo-cyborg replacement being the other. Both are the result of Twenty Faces' war research.
  • The Tokyo Fireball: Or more accurately Tokyo Pillar of Light
  • Time Skip: Three years.
  • Token Minority: Poor Hans, you'd think Twenty's gang would be more diverse given that he's an international thief. He drops Gratuitous German to boot.
  • Translation Convention: Except in specific instances to highlight foreign speech or media, everyone speaks and all the signs are in Japanese. Even Hans as shown above. Contrast episode 5, the Middle Easterners speaking to each other, and the town in the U.K.
  • Waif Fu: Chiko's fighting becomes more and more like this as the series progresses. It's usually kept within fairly realistic limits though.
  • Wham! Episode: Episode Six, Jesus Christ. Whether or not the show jumped the shark at this stage remains to be seen.
    • It didn't, but it did take a major change in direction.
  • Worthy Opponent: Twenty Faces and Akechi Kogorō.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Kohei Kakihara is genuinly impressed by Chiko's fighting spirit and asks her if she wants to become a daughter of real Twenty Faces.
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