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Witch Hunter Robin DVD 3: Inquisition
Violence: some, not graphic
Sex/Nudity: None
Runtime Episodes: 24m/26
Overall Rating: A
Artwork: B+
Story: A -
Comments: None
Voice Acting English: B +
Voice Acting Japanese: A -
Genre: Gothic, powers police
Extras: Reversible cover, STNJ equipment files, Maelifica compendium (notes on the mythology of witchcraft of the type found in this series), Special Interview 1 with the composer and singer of the theme songs for WHR about the music of WHR.  Previews for S-cry-ed, Cyber Formula, and Infinite Ryvius.

Date Reviewed: 12/23/06 Last Updated: 10/26/09

Basic Premise: On a routine case Robin talks to an old lady who causes her to question everything she has believed in.
Review: I have not watched this series in quite a while, so a lot of this is new for me.  When I say quite a while I mean that when I started this third DVD in the series it had been maybe a year since I had seen it and possibly more, but the first two DVDs I saw much more recently, say a few months ago.  When I started this particular DVD I began to wonder why it had been so long.  This was a good DVD from start to finish.

It is with this DVD that the series changes direction.  The episodes are no longer stand alone, but become connected from here on out through the rest of the series.  Suddenly nothing is as it seemed and you don't know who are the good guys or bad guys anymore.  Is Robin a killer?  Who does Amon really answer to?  Who is this mysterious group that is after Robin?  There is a healthy dose of paranoia that is added to this volume.  It all begins when Robin revisits the scene of the last hunt.  Itr was there that Robin ran into an old lady that seemed to know more about Robin and witches than she ought.  Instead the witch finds Robin and challenges Robin's beliefs about witches and shows her that she is being a hypocrit by being  awitch that hunts witches because they are witches.  Robin tries to justify what she does by saying that she only attacks witches whose hearts are darkened and evil, but the old lady doesn't buy Robin's story.

"Why are you doing this to me?" asks the witch in the first episode.

"Because you are a witch." Replies Robin without a thought.

Robin is no longer sure what that means.  To make matters worse Robin has reason to believe that one of her friends from work is hunting her.  She no longer feels safe anywhere after she is hunted at home and she is not sure who to trust and eventually becomes almost paralyzed with fear.

One thing that I don't think I have commented on in past reviews of this series and if I have it bears repeating is the artwork.  It is a somewhat washed out, black and white/color.  I find that it adds to the feel of the Gothic flavor of this series.  There is also that bit of digital animation added to it, which we are seeing a bit more in anime these days with a few like Armitage: dual matrix and Sol Bianca being done completely in completely digital format.  The surprising thing is that it does not turn out too badly or take away from the animation.  I won't say that it is better or worse, but it is different and not always noticeable.  The Japanese are good at what they do when it comes to anime and quite possibly better than we Americans could hope to be.  However if you do listen to it in Japanese after listening to it in English you will find that there is more to each character than you thought.  The Japanese language version does express more of each character, so don't pass it over either.

The ending and intro songs are a bit better than average, but not of the exceptional level.  The ending song is a bit sad and seems to express the isolation that Robin feels in this show.  The opening song has a great guitar score that is quite good.  It seems to be a bit of rock with some of that angst feeling and solitude.  It is really pretty good.

The voice acting in English and Japanese is really about the same with the Japanese again being marginally better, but not by much and that is a good thing.  I can recommend listening to it in either language.  Maybe this is just a personal preference, but I rather wish that Robin and Amon in both the English and Japanese had a bit more emotion to their voices, but I think that it was meant to be this way.  That is a lot better than being overly emotional however.  Overly emotional characters just grate the nerves.

The storyline really changes direction in this DVD from the end of the first episode on wards.  The show suddenly becomes a lot more engaging and the intellectual level of the show goes up a notch.  I like how this show begins to break some of the typical Hollywood rules and really surprises the audience.

The extras are not lacking on this DVD.  Bandai did a great job.  Kudos for the Japanese interviews too.  

Conclusion: This DVD is a dramatic step above the previous two.  Continuity starts with this DVD and paranoia too.  This is one of the more mainstream popular anime series out there.  Not all that rare and worth adding to your collection.

Publisher: Bandai
Related Website: witchhunteronline
Where Found: amazon, Suncoast
Copyright: 2002/2003
Author: Shukou Murase
If you enjoyed this anime try: None yet.


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