Kyousuke Date comes home one night and finds his mother dying in a pool of her own blood. In her final moments, she stabs him in the chest. After a swift recovery, Kyousuke searches for answers regarding his mother's motives, but finds more than he bargained for when he is attacked by two rival organizations: the Hospital and the Kirihara Group.
Kyousuke is surprised to discover that he has a twin sister named Runa, and both groups try to coerce information out of him about her despite his ignorance to her existence. As their assault continues, Kyousuke soon makes another discovery—he has the ability to transform into a terrifying mutant called SoulTaker. With these newfound powers, Kyousuke resolves to crush both organizations, uncover the truth behind his mother's actions, and protect Runa.
The people that made this anime really tried their best to make this anime as bad as it can be, in my opinion. It's rare to run into something that ticks so many wrong boxes as this anime did with me.
I'll give you a breakdown of the scores and the reasons behind why it earned those.
At first glance the story seems quite interesting, however when I watched it, it quickly reminded me of several other anime and all originality of the story went completely down the drain.
It's basically an almost direct combination between Tekkaman Blade, The Guyver and the Devilman AVO. Especially when you
get near the ending the similarities with Tekkaman are beyond obvious.
It does have a couple of interesting things but they are completely lost in the almost direct copying of the stories from the other 3 anime.
The complete lack of originality earns this anime a clear 1 for story.
A quick warning if you want to watch this anime, it can seriously damage your eye sight.
The art at first can be described as generic and bland, just mediocre.
However it's quickly made clear what sort of artist they approached for the making of this anime. Someone that loves static scenery that includes huge blocks dyed with primary colours. Someone that takes the lazy way out when deciding which colours would work for this anime.
The static images, the huge amount of giant blocks in primary colours and the cheap visual effects amount to a rather unpleasant viewing of this anime and earn it the rightful rating of a 2.
Completely unremarkable, but then again, it could have been drowned out by the visual assault of bad artwork and the complete lack of an original story.
Same with the story, the characters are also a merger between the characters from Devilman, Tekkaman and Guyver. Even the transformed form clearly reminds you of that.
Beyond the main character, the supporting characters are 2 dimensional at best. Shallow stock characters that are easily forgotten and unremarkable in every way.
There are a few characters that do seem interesting, however they get too little screentime and their background isn't really explored.
All of this amounts to a dreadful score on the characters rating.
It is clear to see where this score comes from. When having read through the previous explanations it's very easy to deduce that watching this anime wasn't enjoyable in any way for me.
The horrible visuals, the unoriginal story and the shallow characters made me want to bury this anime in the deepest crater on Pluto.
So, overall, this anime is just plain bad.
The only redeeming factors that it has is that it only lasts 13 episodes, so it didn't stretch out the pain for very long. And that it spawned a spin-off that completely obliterates this one, which is Nurse Witch Komugi-chan. Than anime is just pure awesome, and since it was very loosely based on this anime (uses the same characters) it saves Soultaker from receiving an overall score of 1 and gets a 3 instead.
So, ending notes:
A complete rip-off of more decent anime, filled with bad visuals and shallow easily forgotten characters. The only remarkable thing about it is it's spin-off and the thought of why on earth they made this anime and launched it.
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I loved this anime. At the beginning you might have a bad view of the anime as just an all killing, no story anime. As the story moves on it becomes much deeper, so don't be too influenced by the first few eps. I recommend that you should watch this anime in segments, don't watch it all at once or you won't enjoy it. There are some that will like this style of art, it is a different, somewhat darker, little gothic style that keeps things interesting. Music's pretty good, I epecially like the opening. I really loved the characters too, each person had
their story and it played out. Some people might feel that the story is a waste of time, watch and see why, but it still has a point. I'm not going to guarantee that everyone will feel the same, but if you want to watch a powerful anime you should really try SoulTaker. Remember that you shouldn't watch this anime in one day, or you won't be able to fully enjoy it, just trust me.
The one word about SoulTaker is "colours".
Colours, colours everywhere!
The art of this anime is simply astounding. It breaks all the rules about colouring patterns, uses innovative games of light and shadow and the overall achievement is a confusion of bidimensional planes: awesome!
But... While the art is original and superb, the rest is pretty much mediocre. We can't really ask too much from a plot that mixes winged monsters, aliens and shotguns, except for high doses of bloody entertainment. They give it to us and, somewhat, the amazing art is appropriated to the flow of the events. The characters don't have any especially original trait: they
"work for the story".
Amazing for the eye-breaking art, you should not hold any more expectations about SoulTaker. It's still a very enjoying and easy to watch series (except if you have epilepsy, of course, then it would not be recommended)
How often does an anime successfully combine a highly stylish atmosphere containing an intricate storyline, that is packed with character development and metaphors without turning into complete mush by the end? I can't exactly recall many, but The Soul Taker happens to be a diamond in the rough which succeeds in pulling off the almost impossible. However, it doesn't reach its climax completely unscathed because it certainly has those rough moments. Still, truth be told, I was very satisfied with it and this is still a series I can watch from beginning to end.
Now, some folks claim the visuals take getting use to and it's
also original. Well, I was hooked to the visuals immediately, and the originality claim may be valid but I have some doubt. It's still very difficult for me to shake off the influence of Dario Argento's Suspiria. The visuals manage to combine wild combinations of colors into the backgrounds. Most of the colors really shouldn't go together, but the direction, camera work, and constant color shifts blends effectively and creates a dream like atmosphere. The backgrounds can be amazing at times yet creepy during some segments. I will admit that the color schemes can be a put off for some because it creates a disco like effect.
I enjoyed many of the character designs concerning the robots and monsters appearances. They never came off generic to me. While paying more attention though, the monsters appeared to share some type of resemblance to Jedah of Darkstalkers fame. Now for the meat of the animation which happens to be the awesome action scenes. The action is very fluid with very good choreography during the fisticuffs at times. The fast paced battles do not consist of that Dragonball Z reused cel style. The gun battles are very good as well, with the camera angles working their magic during the fusillades of bullets, in combination with missiles soaring through the air with such velocity. During the first several episodes, the viewer will be delivered some good action scenes. The battles aren't heavy on gore, but they really didn't need to be. The animation does have its flaws which creeps up close to the end. Most of the later battles really didn't measure up to the earlier ones, and at times they consisted of stills with the scenes shifting to something else.
I really enjoy the soundtrack which is done by Kou Ohtani. The opening theme called Soultaker is a rock track that seems to fit the show. I happen to enjoy the BGM a lot more than the opening and closing themes though. The BGM is very well used for the action scenes with different variations. They would alternate by using the same instrumental accompanied by either whistles, or guitar rifts that have a nice sound which fits with the style. I don't think it's the greatest BGM ever, but it gets the job done. I didn't have a problem at all with the English cast or Seiyuu. I feel both cast worked out very well during the heated battles and drama filled scenes. They also worked out well for the very light comedy, which doesn't clash with the content too much.
The plot is very complex and requires an ample amount of patience. There is very little given in the beginning, and the writing wants to keep viewers in the dark as well as add some confusion. Many times it's difficult to tell if something is real or not. The writing is very strong for a good while, but later events would sometimes border on incoherency, and one may wonder how certain elements began to fall in place.
Another thing about the writing I didn't enjoy at times was the transition from one place to another. Some things happened with no explanation. Fortunately, I found the ending to be strong. Even though there were speed bumps, at least all loose ends were tied up, and there were no questions left hanging from where I saw it.
Character development is another plus because everyone is given a realistic drive. The main character Kyouske has a good feel about him, and he doesn't seem to fall into the stereotypical shonen hero role who loves to fight. Kyouske seems to be an atypical character with a little depth. The side characters are well used for the most part, but I could have done without the teenage girl whom came off too saccharine for my taste.
Overall, I find The Soul Taker to be a very solid series, but I would be lying if I said the series was completely well put together. I found a lot of the symbolism to be miss, and several things really didn't add up when taking many of the revelations under consideration. Still, it delivers on telling a good story with a very good amount of style to back it up. I mainly recommend this to the most die hard fans. Warning, one must have a little patience with this one.
Highs: Complex storyline and visuals, very stylish and action laden
In the early-mid 2000s, US licensing companies were involved in numerous anime Production Committees. It didn't go so well for them. This year, several US licensors are trying their luck on Production Committees again. Will it go better this time?