Raised in an Italian convent, 16-year-old Robin Sana returns to her native Japan to join the STNJ, a secret organization that captures, rather than kills, witches of both sexes. The typically mismatched crew includes hacke... more »r Michael Lee, rookie Haruto Sakaki, psychic Miho Karasuma, Yurika Dojima, the spoiled daughter of a prominent family, and icily aloof Amon, the de facto leader of the team. As a "craft user," Robin can conjure fire as a weapon, but has some trouble with her aim. Witch Hunter combines the subdued palette of Blood: The Last Vampire with the alienated tone of the Vampire Princess Miyu OVAs. The elegantly designed settings and skillful use of color are more interesting than the flat stories about pursuing the supernatural murderers. All six volumes and a pin collection are included in this set. (Rated 13 and older: violence, alcohol and tobacco use) --Charles Solomon« less
Good drama, style, and characterization, but plot needs work
Geo | 05/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Witch Hunter Robin is a 26 episode Japanese animation series set in the near future in Japan. In this near future, individuals dubbed Witches who exhibit uncontrolled or psychotic manifestations of supernatural penomena are tracked and hunted by a shadowy international agency. The title character, a quiet teenage girl raised in a European convent who posesses the ability to mentally start fires, works as a hunter for the Japanese branch of this agency (in the STN-J). Some of the people she works with are up-front about their personal histories; others stay secretive. The first half of the series focuses on Robin working within the STN-J to hunt other Witches. Events halfway through the series lead to her becoming a fugitive; the storyline then delves deeper into several subplots concerning Robin's origins, the personal backgrounds of some of the secretive STN-J members, and the activities of the STN-J administrator.
This series is carried by its rich character development and its strong dramatic moments (which are neither forced nor overplayed). The characters, even those who appear in single episodes, are defined deeply in a way that makes the watcher care about them. The storyline slowly (but not too slowly) unfolds within single episodes and across the series as a whole. An air of tension or mystery often permeates the plot. Remarkably, this is all done with relatively little action (many action scenes merely feature people staring at each other while they duel with psychic powers) and with remarkably little nudity. This is a strong dramatic series that holds the viewer at the edge of his or her seat with plotline, not with cheap thrills.
The animation style compliments the storyline very nicely. Everything is cast in dark hues complimented with pale colors. Faces, clothing, and architecture are highly stylized; much of it looks gothic or industrial. A strong emphasis is placed on visuals, particularly visuals of individual faces. While the individual characters and scenery are drawn technically well, the animators did have some problems. Some scenes feature computer-drawn backdrops that look artificial, and cars for some reason are not drawn well when moving along the line of sight. Despite these drawbacks, though, the animation still looks great.
The series only has two problems. The minor problem is the soundtrack, which is somewhat lackluster. The major problem is the predictability of the storyline. In earlier episodes, when Robin is hunting other Witches, the writers leave little mystery as to who will be hunted at the end of the episode, even if it is supposed to be unknown. Often, the hunted Witch is the one character that Robin or someone else in the STN-J interacts with during the episode. The later episodes become less predictable, but a significant portion of the series's finale is disappointingly easy to infer.
I did not view all of the extras on the DVDs, but both the character/equipment overviews and particularly the cultural information were useful.
Overall, this is a very good anime series with excellent drama and characterization as well as a visually-pleasing animation style, although the predictable storyline and lackluster soundtrack inhibit it from being the best. I recommend it to any anime, sci-fi, or fantasy fan."
WHR - The Complete Collection
eau | USA | 05/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This complete collection consists of the same 6 discs from the individual volumes in a digipak and a collector's pin set. The book-like package that you see in the product image above is actually a flimsy outer housing that holds the pin set and the real digipak. This collection was released in late 2004 for a limited run, mainly to cash in the holiday season."
Looking out and looking in | USA | 07/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm more of the shojo fan. Series like Fushigi Yugi and Ceres Celestial Legend have made it into my anime library. I have recently gotten into the shounen anime such as Inuyasha, Samurai Champloo, and Full Metal Alchemist. And I'll be honest, I much prefer the more boy-oriented anime where romance is second to the series and the story itself is the whole jist of the show.
This is what appealed to me for Witch Hunter Robin. Although more shounen then shojo, Witch Hunter Robin is a mixture of action, mystery, and suspense with a dash of romance. I enjoyed all the characters and was even surprised by the little twists and turns that pop out in later episodes. But what I love most about this series is that Robin is not a WHINEY, GIRLY, BRATTY 15 year old who always has to SHOW HER UNDERWEAR. She's in fact a mature young woman who is patient, and if not monotone, kind, and accepts responsibility.
This series has a Harry Potter meets the Matrix type blend. The witch hunting may bother a few (particulary Wiccans) but the overall message of the anime is positive. As Amon puts it "God never forsakes his creations".
Awesome anime, well worth the money!"
Robin's a keeper...
skyhack | Colorado | 11/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At the STNJ, a clandestine government organization, employees are tasked with hunting down and capturing witches and removing them from society. Ostensibly, this is to keep them from becoming menaces as they recognize and begin to use their powers. When one of their own is taken away as a witch, a young Italian raised nun, Robin, is sent in as a replacement. She quickly proves adept as a hunter, and takes initiative in hunting, proving herself invaluable to the team.
Viewed as an action title, Robin seems episodic, with the "monster of the week" feel to it. But in watching this series carefully, you realize that, just as in the storyline, not everything is as it seems.
Witch Hunter Robin is an excellent Gothic mystery, full of symbolism, twists, turns, and clues.
Characters develop throughout,and not one is the same as when the character was introduced.
As Robin grows and changes through the series, she learns many things about the STNJ, her often shady co-workers, and her own mysterious past.
This title deals with witchcraft, a subject offensive to many. The initial portrayal is that all witches are evil and should be removed from society. The series deals with its own demons by demonstrating that there are many forms of evil that man visits on his brother, and addresses the paradox of fighting evil with evil. The characters themselves often struggle between what is good and evil when witchcraft is involved, giving the show a vividly realistic feel.
For those concerned with violence or nudity, there is violence, but it is not gratuitous, it is used only to advance the story by demonstrating the various witches' powers. There is no nudity. Robin is seen in the bath from her shoulders up from time to time.
This title is definitely worth seeing, again and again."
This is a fair series
IronMonkey66 | 04/26/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After reading the reviews here I decided to watch the series. The plot is interesting in the beginning but I found myself waiting for the story to unfold. However it did so very slowly, and when it did, it was too little too late in my opinion. In other series like Cowboy Bebop, Trigun or Samurai Champloo, many early episodes unseemingly added small parts of a greater story which would unfold later in a powerfull way. I think there is too much hunting adding very little to the story in the first part of the series. The characters are well drawn but I think their personnalities and interrelations could have been more complex. The quality of the animation is top notch and the music is good. This was an OK series but I was dissapointed. For those looking for something similar but much better, I suggest checking out Full Metal Alchemist which has a very moving story, complex characters and presents deep interesting themes."