Witch Hunter Robin #3: Inquisition (2002)
Director: Shukou Murase
Adorable craft user and witch hunter, Robin, sees the tables turn on her where she now becomes the hunted. Yes, somebody out there wants her anime bootie punished for unbeknownst reasons! One thing is for certain, Robin’s world is about to do a loop-the-loop for the worse.
The demon was drowned by his own greed and fell from the sky. He cannot be god. -- Robin
Before I go on a praise spree, I got some beef to grind. I am a tad peeved that every darn Witch Hunter Robin DVD has such a limited amount of episodes on it (like 4 a piece), therefore wetting my appetite, having me on the edge of my sofa and then…having me wait another month to see what happens next. Why didn’t they release these discs with 10 episodes a pop? Or better yet, as a box set so I could get the “whole” experience in one sitting? The feeling I got after viewing this third disc was akin to jerking off and getting interrupted by a cross-eyed, dancing chimp wearing a funny red hat just as I was about to paint the fence…GRRRRR! All right, I’m done bitching!
"Witch Hunter Robin – Inquisition (Volume 3)" took the tomfoolery found in the two previous discs to the next level on every standpoint. The vast cast was giving more to do and the show’s action sequences were pushed further, sporting even zanier concepts behind them. Visually, the episodes double-downed on the polish with extra doses of slow motion, gnarly shots and dark mood being injected into the proceedings. As for the score, well, it always felt like two tracks to me (great tracks, but two tracks nonetheless) and it was thankfully expanded upon here with new pieces backing the happenings up. Thank goodness for variety!
Having said all that, the heaviest hitter in the house was the narrative itself. They upped the ante on the story here to Vegas style “do or die” gambling! What was thus far a “stand alone” type of series, where through each episode a different witch would be hunted, now put more emphasis on its lead character of quiet, sensual and classy Robin. Not only was she locked to the Salem Inquisitions and given new weighty relationships to deal with (to a wheelchair bound Witch and an Inquisitor), she also acted as a conduit to more insight on the show’s now more prominent theme of witchery. So what we got on our claws now is a “serial” where the end of each show marks the beginning of the next. I won’t give it away, but I’ll say that the plot turn that opened the series (in terms of Robin arriving within the team to replace somebody) was cleverly brought back to launch our heroine and the storyline in an all new and edgier direction.
On the downside, I was a tad disappointed that the love story hinted at between Amon and Robin seemed to be fading away as the storyline hopped on its new train track. I have a feeling they’re letting it go. Bummer. I was also confounded about Amon's part while watching the episodes on this disc. Let’s face it, through 14 shows: I haven’t learned jack-all about the man. Is there more to him than brooding and being the main lap-dog when it comes to getting orders from the higher ups? What about his past, where he comes from, who he is at the core? I hope we find out more about the lad soon, but I have a gut feeling we won’t.
Overall, "Witch Hunter Robin – Inquisition (Volume 3)" kicked bootie accurately and hard from every angle. I heard from a canary that episode 15 and beyond let's it all rip! Can you spell anticipation? I sure can’t because I’m too busy anticipating the next disc to spell it! YOU GOT ME! I’M READY ROBIN! NOW TAKE ME DOWN!
Again, the episodes were violent but not graphic, with a man lit on fire, people crushed from the inside (kool stuff!) and gun shot wounds.
Once again, I watched the show with the English dubbing. The dub "acting" was on full stellar mode this time around with hardly any bad lines in sight, if any.
T & A
This series is not axed on overt sexuality, but I will admit that Robin is starting to turn me on. There’s a subtle sensuality about her, something dignified, strong yet vulnerable (what the fuck am I talking about?) She also let her hair down in this disc and the gal was quite the looker. NOTE: I’m boning over a damn doodle...somebody slap me silly, please! The ladies get Amon looking like a wooden GQ model with quite the bad ass trench coat to back him up.
Shukou Murase buttered the hooker-buns on both sides by upping the style factor of the show in terms of a darker tone and fly aesthetics. I also loved the contrast between the quieter and louder moments found within the episodes. Nice!
Taku Iwasaki returned with his affecting score and yes, we once more got the catchy Shell for the opening credits and the touching Half Pain for the end credits. Both tunes were performed by “Bana”.
Distributor: Bandai Entertainment
IMAGE: We get a stellar Standard Full Screen - 1.33:1 image.
SOUND: We get a bang-on Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound option. English subtitles are also an option.
We get yet another STNJ EQUIPMENT FILES (image gallery of the weapons and equipment the team uses) and MAELIFICA COPENDIUM (notes and descriptions of the spells at use in each episode). We also get TRAILERS and DVD CREDITS.
The real kicker though is that we finally got a “new” extra with Special Interview 1 (8 minutes) in which singer Bana and songwriter Takao Lawsaki, who are behind the Grade-A opening and closing tunes (Shell and Half Pain), discuss their work for the show. It’s a start!
Now give me some interviews with the creators of the show or/and the actors that do the voices for the characters (Japanese and English) and I’ll be a happy Witch Hunter.
"Witch Hunter Robin – Inquisition (Volume 3)" definitely acted as the weighty wind-up to the skull-crushing knuckle sandwich that will be launched in our faces via "Witch Hunter Robin – Fugitive (Volume 4)". It sported all that I adore about the show in terms of strong writing, endearing characters, insane going downs and solid visuals, while raising the bar on all aims to be. Yes, Amon sure needs to show some colors already and the limited amount of episodes on this disc aggravated me this time around since the storyline hit that next echelon, but with that aside, this was yet another top notch watch. I can’t wait to meet up with Robin yet again! BRING IT!
The episodes found here are episodes 11-The Soul Cages / 12-Precious Illusions / 13-The Eyes of Truth / 14-Loaded Guns.
Witch Hunter Robin DVD 4 'Fugitive' will be released on April 27, 2004 (my birthday, ironically) YIPPEE!