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AKA: Bakuretsu Hunter
Genre: Fantasy adventure
Length: Television series, 26 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from ADV Films
Content Rating: 16+ (violence, adult themes and situations, fan service, profanity)
Related Series: Sorcerer Hunters OAV, Sorcerer on the Rocks
Also Recommended: Maze TV, Rune Soldier, Saber Marionette J, Urusei Yatsura
Notes: Based on the manga by Akahori Satoru and Omishi Rei.
Rating:
 

Sorcerer Hunters

Synopsis

The benevolent Big Momma (yes, you heard that right) and her right hand angel, Dota (or Daughter, as it probably should be Anglicized), have dispatched a group of adventurers to rid the Spooner Continent (again, you heard that right) from the scourge of nefarious sorcerers.

These "sorcerer hunters" are the lecherous Carrot Glace, his bishounen mage brother Marron, two beautiful sisters, Chocolat and Tira Misu, and the hulking swordsman Gateau Mocha. (All of a sudden, I've got a sweet tooth. I wonder why…) Carrot seems to be useless, until he's actually near a sorcerer - and then he turns into a hulking demon, and only Chocolat and Tira can (literally) whip him back into submission.

Review

If you've seen Urusei Yatsura, then you really don't need to watch Sorcerer Hunters, as this is a total fantasy rip-off of Takahashi Rumiko's classic that only diverges in being more outwardly ecchi. Think about it. There's a perverted, depraved lead (Ataru/Carrot) who is beaten into submission by two girls (Lum and Shinobu/Chocolat and Tira) and goes gallavanting off on misadventures with a bunch of accessory characters in tow.

Well, actually, there are a few major differences, and Sorcerer Hunters is certainly not without it merits. Though definitely episodic in the first few installments, this show does have a fairly heavy plot which kicks in about mid-season, and it's not a bad one, either. Also, the music and art are top-notch, though the animation is television average for most of it. The opening track is suitably manic, but the ending song, surprisingly, is even more so, and both are matched to slick sequences. (Get the soundtrack, will ya?) Not too big a surprise, considering Hayashibara Megumi's involved. (Comparisons to Slayers, anyone?)

Now here's the catch - despite all the rather stupid naming conventions and some really lowbrow humor with Carrot hitting on the girls, Sorcerer Hunters is actually quite serious and heavily emotional. Later episodes focus less on the S&M sidekicks, but on the melodrama between the characters, the beautiful-victim-of-the-week, and the villain-of-the-week. Some episodes are downright tragic, to the point of Violinist of Hamelin angst.

However, there just seems to be something missing in this show - it never quite capitalizes on the chance of being a really good series, but just ends up to be, well, typical fantasy. It's very derivative, like Maze, and though not nearly as exploitative as you'd expect (that seems to have been saved for the OAV series), it's not as exciting as you'd expect either. I actually almost would've liked to see more bad jokes with Chocolat and Tira (I mean, just look at them), but the majority of the T and A on this title is on the box cover.

Apart from the character of Carrot (who's a real hoot) and some good episodes scattered throughout, Sorcerer Hunters is a series that starts off okay, but it's not intelligent enough or good enough to hold the attention of more than the most devout of fantasy fans.

Fairly enjoyable, but should have been more solid.Carlos Ross

Recommended Audience: Some violence here and there, but nothing out of ordinary for the genre. Chocolat's and Tira's outfits are definitely on the skimpy side, but other than some off-color humor in a few episodes, it's really nothing to be worried about. Teens would be fine with this, and might enjoy Sorcerer Hunters more than I do, for all I know.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub; VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Partial (12/26)
Sorcerer Hunters © 1995 Akahori Satoru / Omishi Rei / Media Works / Bakuretsu Project / TV Tokyo / Sotsu Agency