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Witch Hunter Robin DVD 1: Arrival
Violence: Some, but not graphic, little to no blood
Sex/Nudity: None
Runtime Episodes: 25m / 26
Overall Rating: B
Artwork: B
Story: A
Comments: None
Voice Acting English: A -
Voice Acting Japanese: A -
Genre: Gothic, magic, mystery, fighting, drama
Extras: Reversible cover, Maelifica Compendium (a list of explanations of the symbols and words used in the DVD), Textless opening and ending, DVD previews for three shows, Character profiles

Date Reviewed: 5/31/05 Last Updated: 10/26/09

Basic Premise: A drama about a secret government agency that employs witches to hunt witches.
Review: In the near future in Japan where the witches of Salem were real witches and today are secretly hunted down and usually killed.  After the trials the witches went into hiding and joined society to live productive lives while hiding their powers.  The people who hunted witches have become part of the government in a secret branch of the government known as STN.  It is the job of STN to track down witches and trace the lineage of witches in the event that the descendants of the witches become witches themselves at a later time.  When or if the witches powers manifests the witch is then tracked down and killed.  In Japan however witches are not killed, but captured and taken to a secret facility.  What happens to them there is unknown, but it is considered more humane.  One of the most confusing things is that STN employs witches to hunt down witches.

Robin is new to the company, but she is treated like a little girl who needs to be sheltered.  Robin hates this.  She wants to be of some use, any use, but almost always is forced to sit out when everyone else leaves the office to go on a mission.  Robin feels really left out and useless and increasingly frustrated.  Amon treats Robin the same way as well, but soon insists that Robin make herself of some use even if he does not think she can do anything.  He demands that she learn and start participating, which Robin is only too happy to oblige.  When she does she discovers that she really is not as much help as she thought.  She keeps making mistakes and at times causes more trouble than help, which frustrates and irritates her, but Amon won't let up on her and investigates why she is not as good as she should be and helps her to develop her skills.

This was one of the very first anime that I downloaded off the internet during my kazaa or limewire days.  It may even be the very first anime that I downloaded when I became interested in anime for the first time.  This is one of the first shows that caused me to become so very interested in anime in the first place and I have watched this series many times over.  This is a show that is for an older audience.  The characters are each well fleshed out and easy to become interested in and you want to get to know each character.  I would love to tell you about each character in depth, but that would take too much space and would be me retelling the entire DVD and it would be more fun to just watch it yourself.

The music and theme of the anime was unlike anything that I have seen over here in animation.  The overall theme is somewhat mysterious and dark.  It is hard to tell who to trust.  There are hints that nothing is quite what it seems like secret meetings with Zaizen and Amon, Robin who speaks into a makeup container to record her thoughts, Amon who keeps his thoughts to himself, or why witches are hunted at all.  There is a lot of mystery in this series.

I think what I liked most about this series was the dark and almost depressing nature of the series with some intrigue and action scenes mixed in.  The show feels a lot like a cross between x-files and x-men with the STN-J trying to solve supernatural mysteries with some of the members being witches themselves.  There is also a lot of depth to the characters.  I like watching Robin as she learns to do her job and become competent.  She is definitely a girl as she tries to make friends at the office and get to know some of the gossip.

I kinda wish that the series were not so episodic with a new witch to hunt every episode.  I would rather the series were more continuous with longer storylines.  Still pretty good though.  The translation is not perfect, but it will do.  It is not as if the story is changed, but the spoken dialog and the subtitles are very different.  Just something to keep in mind.  The animation is well done too.  Not top of the line, but good and it does get better as the series goes on.  It looks like it is one of the early attempts to integrate computer generated images into anime.  The CGI elements are obvious, but interesting to see the development of computerized animation in anime.  The music is worth noting.  The guitar intro is very evocative too.  I like listening it to it as opposed to skipping over it with each new episode, becaus eit doesn't quickly grow old.  I am actually considering searching out the CD for this show.

Conclusion: If you want a cross between the x-files and the x-men in an animated format then this is exactly what you are looking for.  Don't let the fact that it is animated throw you.  This is geared to older audiences.

Publisher: Bandai
Related Website: http://www.witchhunterrobin.com/
Where Found: Amazon, www.rightstuf.com
Copyright: 2002
Author: unknown
If you enjoyed this anime try: none yet.


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