ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Witch Hunter Robin #4: Fugitive (2002)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Shukou Murase

Starring:
Amon
Robin
Karasuma
Dojima
10 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
And the hammer finally swings down…HARD! Something grave goes down at the STN-J offices which result in our friendly neighborhood witch hunter Robin going on the lam, to hide from the Syndicate. Why are they after her spell-casting bootie? Where the heck is Amon? What’s the big picture behind all of the screwy happenings? Read on and DON’T find out because I won't be spilling “Jack Tracy” about anything!
THE LOWDOWN
"I’ll wait for you…"-- Robin

April 27, 2004: My B-Day. I was sitting in my big comfy couch, wearing a clown nose, drinking a glass of Scotch while watching the Witch Hunter Robin Volume 4 Fugitive DVD (which was released -- ironically enough -- on April 27, 2004). Suddenly my “Hugh Hefner” phone rang. I picked up the Hugh-head-shaped receiver, but nothing could’ve prepared me for who was on the line. And no...it wasn’t my creditors! THANK GOD! Here’s a transcript of the conversation.

ARROW: Arrow’s Playhouse, Arrow speaking!

ROBIN: Hello Arrow, it's Robin.

ARROW: Who?

ROBIN: Robin Sena...member of the STN-J.

ARROW: The real Robin???

ROBIN: Yes.

ARROW: But you’re a cartoon babe…how can…you know what… okay…I’ll go with it…how ya doing, cutie pie!

ROBIN: I’ve been better, Arrow. Times have been arduous of late. I see that you know all about that since you’ve been keeping tabs on me through video transcripts of my life.

ARROW: Yup, and loving every micro-second of it!

ROBIN: How did you find this new volume?

ARROW: Straight up...AMAZING! The twist in Time to Say Goodbye- Episode 15 crushed my jewels into ashes and then some! I wasn’t a man anymore after that severe plot turn!

ROBIN: Yes, that hurt me too. And how did you feel about the overall episodes?

ARROW: Well, since you ask...I prized how everything got jacked up to an all-new mucho slick plane aesthetically. It almost felt like they were now trying to match the show’s coating to its drastic turn in storyline. I mean, there was way more panache in the visuals, more close-ups, tighter editing...shite, even the score got some new aggressive techno jive attached to it! I lapped it all up like an alcoholic celebrating one day of sobriety at a well-stocked pub!

ROBIN: What about the soul of the new episodes?

ARROW: I was still feeling it like a gerbil up Dick Gere’s gerbil, Robin! The themes of friendship, loss and loneliness found on this disc all resonated loud with me. And I was really pleased that even with the dire turn of events, your link to “brood machine” Amon was NOT discarded like an unwanted Leprechaun sequel.

ROBIN: Amon...

ARROW: You miss that trenchcoat-wearing bastard, don’t ya?

ROBIN: Yes…



ROBIN: Would you say this is the best disc of my story thus far?

ARROW: Hands down, honey! The fact that the side characters (Doujima and Karasuma, in particular) got more air-time made me a happy slacker! It was swell to see them get deeper into the mix! The soap opera-like revelations, the new characters (that sideburn dude owned), the more kinetic inclined action, your gnarly new powers and the use of flashbacks to keep us in the loop within the now fairly complex storyline also rocked my jockstrap to locker room hell! Basically, I got all that I cherish about the series (stellar animation, well written scripts and endearing characters) but with all kinds of extra toppings to boot!

ROBIN: I’m glad that you derived so much enjoyment from it.

ARROW: Please tell me that you pull through this ruckus, hun!

ROBIN: I don’t know Arrow...I’m figuring it out as it happens. Much like you.

ARROW: Look, if you need a place to hide out from the Syndicate...you’re more than welcome to--

ROBIN: Did you mean what you said?

ARROW: What I said…

ROBIN: In your "Robin Witch Hunter: Volume 2" review.

ARROW: What did I say?

ROBIN: You said you loved me.

ARROW: Yeah, um…sure…yeah…I meant that.

ROBIN: I’ll see you at your place in an hour then!

ARROW: Robin, wait!

ROBIN: Yes?

ARROW: Before you come over...I have to ask a substantial question.

ROBIN: What is it, Arrow?

ARROW: Shaved, trimmed or “au naturel”?

ROBIN: Trimmed…very close.

ARROW: You’re all good! Get your doodle self down here and don’t forget the brews!

ROBIN: Okay…

Click…the phone hung up and….
GORE
No gore here, although we did get violence via flamboyant witch Vs witch scraps and various gun fights.
ACTING
They’re cartoons! They don’t act...or do they? I don’t know...I’m confused. I will say that the voice actors (in English…sorry guys, but that’s how I watch the show...call my lawyer if you have a problem with that) all nailed their respective parts ACES HIGH!
T & A
None whatsoever, but Robin still had the most gorgeous eyes I’ve ever seen on an anime character-- and I’ve dated many, so I know!
DIRECTING
Somebody snorted his healthy lines of cocaine this morning! These 4 new episodes were even more refined than the previous ones with added slow motion, glossy style and slick angles slapped in. The tighter editing was also a hoot! Who knew it could get better?
SOUNDTRACK
We get Taku Iwasaki’s moving score, some techno tunes and of course, the memorable Shell for the opening credits and the stirring Half Pain for the end credits, both performed by “Bana”.
DVD FEATURES
Distributor: Bandai Entertainment

IMAGE: Standard Full Screen - 1.33:1 image.

SOUND: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. English subtitles are also an option.

EXTRAS:

We get STN-J EQUIPMENT FILES (image gallery of the weapons and equipment the team uses to whoop ass) and MAELIFICA COPENDIUM (notes and descriptions of the magic spells at use in each episode). We also get TRAILERS and DVD CREDITS.

Somebody obviously listened to my previous complaints about this since we finally get 2 Special Interviews in this package. One with Watanabe Akeno (The Japanese voice of Robin) and Kouda Kaho (the Japanese voice of Karasuma). Both lovely ladies spoke about their characters’ respective personas, their emotional involvement in the series’ storyline and more!
BOTTOM LINE
Eight episodes to go! (most likely 2 discs) "Robin Witch Hunter: Volume 4" came through on its promise of rocking my pathetic existence. Not only was the narrative taken fully into an all-new highly engrossing direction, but an upping of the ante on the visuals and the soundtrack also kicked in, resulting in my greater adoration of the series! Robin fans get this disc now! Non-Robin fans...what the fudge are you waiting for? The Toothfairy? Hunt down this finer-than-fine anime pronto! As for what happened between Robin and I…I can’t tell, people have since been listening in, my phone’s tapped, my computer has been hacked in and somebody stole my last beer (Damn you Robin!) Let's just say…my life hasn’t been the same since Robin came…wait…what’s that sound…fuck me sideways with a power tool…gotta scoot…later guys!
BULL'S EYE
In January 2004, the Sci-Fi Channel signed a deal with Sunrise for the rights to a live-action remake of Witch Hunter Robin which they plan on airing on their channel.

"Witch Hunter Robin Volume 5: Determination" comes
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