4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Witch Hunter Robin 1: Arrival [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I have a 'sweet tooth' for dark fantasy, but the truth is that much of what comes out today, both anime and film, is repetitious. At some point you have to start being choosy. Because of that, I've stayed away from this series, despite early critical interest. But interest has remained positive and curiosity made me decide to pick up the first DVD. Which always bodes ill for the condition of my wallet. Fortunately, Witch Hunter Robin turns out much more interesting than I originally expected.
Robin was born in Japan, but as raised in an Italian monastery. There is some implication that she is actually a nun, but what she actually is is a hunter of witches and a practitioner of the Craft herself. Her return to Japan to replace a member of a witch hunting team (the STNJ) who died in action ruffles many feathers in a group that can only be described as idiosyncratic.
Amon is the team lead - cold, withdrawn, and not very happy with Robin. Miho Karasuma is a psychic who can only sense feelings. Michael Lee is a hacker - caught in the act he volunteered his services to the team. Haruto Sakaki is another new member who tends to go off half-cocked. Yurika Dojima is young, rich, and very self-involved. The 'adults' are Chief Kosaka, whos is everyone's worst nightmare as a boss, and Zaizen, the top man in Japan, and one who seems to have an agenda of his own. Robin herself can control fire, but not very well.
In this DVD the 'witches' being hunted are not pleasant people. These are people that use their powers to satisfy their own ends and take pleasure from the pain they cause. But the STNJ folks only differ from them in intent and name. As director Shuko Murase remarks in an interview, these are really just opposing sides in a deeper conflict. In the interactions of the characters one can already see the beginnings of some blurring of the boundaries.
The episodes so far focus on the interpersonal level, acquainting the viewer with the individual characters and the politics of the STNJ unit. These are complex, and so far balance the action perfectly. Production quality is excellent, with a finely rendered gothic atmosphere that manages to avoid seeming out of place in modern Japan. Camera angles and graphic effects are good as well.
This series is full of surprises yet to come, and almost continuous production improvements as well. This is one to own.
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