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Witch Hunter Robin is an anime set in modern times.
It is very much in the Gothic style, and the characters are more realistic than in many other anime.
The story is revolves around a young girl (Robin Sena) who is sent to STN-J (The Japanese branch of the organisation that hunts witches) to replace a witch hunter who died previously.
However, it is immediately apparent that she is not entirly welcome.
This anime is very dark and moody, with little humour.


The 'witches' seem to be humans with supernatural powers: the condition is genetic and runs in families.

It has a tendency to turn into monster-of-the-week and character-point-of-the-week, and the thirty-minute (with ad break) running time gives little scope for much development of either, with the witch-based 'A' plot usually consisting of two or three inconclusive encounters before some vital clue is discovered which sets up a climax where all will fail until Robin uses her mental flamethrowing power, and the character-based 'B' plot proceeding in the gaps. The best episodes are those where the two plots manage to tie into each other or which play with this formula: examples are Stubborn aesthetics, which plays on the theme of seeing and views of the world, or Smells like the wandering spirit (the titles of the episodes are in English even in the original, although whoever thought them up clearly doesn't have a great grasp of the language -- with amusing results) which does not end in the usual climactic confrontation (though the twist is rather too obviously set up, leaving the viewer to wonder why the characters don't spot it sooner).
AlexChurchill: This comment appears to be based on only the first ten or so episodes.  The continuing plot of WHR gets much more ongoing and front-burner after that.  AlexChurchill personally feels they could have used about 3 episodes rather than 10 for the setting-up period, but that's personal preference.  They do also come back to some things which are just mentioned briefly in the earlier episodes.

As in nearly all animation, and most genre television, characters are painted in broad strokes and are instantly-recognisable archetypes: the socially-inept hacker, the brooding loner hero, the blustering boss and the powerful but self-doubting youngster. These are sketched in effectively in the first episode and remain fairly consistent throughout the season. Plot points likewise are delivered with the efficiency of the best animation, which a media-literate audience expects (though the subtlety level could sometimes be improved).

The dialogue is awful, at least in the translation I have seen: why do these translators never think to get someone who can write good English dialogue to do the paraphrasing? I assume that the original is not so cringeworthy (or else Japanese standards are below even the BBC's, and well below the Americans who (much as it pains me to admit it) are currently leading the world in quality television).

It is very much of the 'trenchcoats and guns' style-over-substance school: think William Gibson but with fewer computers and more demons, or one of the lesser talents' runs on Hellblazer (but with more guns). Or, of course, a cartoon version of a White Wolf game.

Acquired domestically by Bandai, to be released later this year "in an appropriate month."  October?  Being translated by Rika Takahashi. ^^ - Nataku

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Last edited April 22, 2003 7:07 pm (viewing revision 5, which is the newest) (diff)