Witch Hunter Robin
Volume 1: Arrival
Number of Episodes: 5
Age: 13 and up
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Review by Brutilus
Finally, there is an anime about the supernatural that is as intelligent as it is beautiful.
Witch Hunter Robin is magnificent. It is the story of a young hunter named Robin. She and the STNJ hunt rogue witches in Tokyo. Their mission is not to kill the witches, rather to neutralize their powers and capture them for research at the mysterious Factory.
Robin is a young witch with pyrokinetic powers. In the wonderful tradition of anime, she is a teenager with incredible powers and is still dealing with the difficult dynamic of fitting into an adult world that doesn't seem to want her there.
The STNJ uses orbo, a substance that hinders the powers of witches, yet they do not describe how it works. Robin finds it offensive for some reason and refuses to use it.
In episode one, Robin arrives for her first day on the job at the STNJ arriving at an inopportune time. The group is in a bit of a state after a mission has recently seemed to have gone awry.
This mission, which is the opening for this episode, introduces three of the core members of the team. They are tracking a violent witch through the streets of Tokyo. Amon, the apparent leader of the field team, finally catches him on a roof top and shoots him.
Robin shows up at the office just when the team is leaving to hunt down the partner of the witch that was hunted down during the introduction. She gets mistakenly sent away before they find out who she really is as the team leaves for the hunt.
This is not an auspicious beginning.
She goes over to the rather elegant restaurant across the street to await the team's return.
This restaurant seems to have a fair amount of significance for the series. The bartender obviously knows more than he lets on and the dining room is alwas empty when shown in the first 5 episodes.
Suffice it to say, Robin's powers and skills are soon put to the test.
Each episode deals with the hunt for a new witch. Every witch has a unique power.
Not all of the witches are knowingly evil. One little girl, in particular, is just very sadly deranged. The characterizations of both the heroes and the villains are excellent.
The art style is interesting. It shares common elements with many of today's most popular anime. It's not very cartoony. All of the details are soft, yet very alive. The eyes of the characters are very expressive without being the traditional, overly large eyes favored in most anime.
Muted colors and a lot of earth tones help set a mysterious and melancholy mood. Even the daytime scenes seem to be slightly toned down. The world of Robin seems to be somewhat repressed.
All of the backgrounds are computer generated while the foreground and characters are all hand drawn. The animation is nearly flawless.
One of my favorite details is the effect of Robin's flames. They seem to dance they're so alive. (Maybe that's just the pyromaniacal side of my personality talking.)
With a wonderfully haunting soundtrack to top everything off, Witch Hunter Robin is a masterpiece that belongs in every Otaku's collection.
Witch Hunter RobinArrival contains episodes 1 through 5 of the series.
Pick up your copy of Witch Hunter RobinArrival at Amazon.com.
All images are property of Bandai. Article copyright 2004 MillionairePlayboy.com