Ellis, a young girl suspected of murdering a prominent physicist Heinrich Schneider, is on the run from an underground society called "Hunters" when she is tracked down by the bounty hunter Nadie in a small Mexican town. However, instead of turning her in, Nadie impulsively decides to help her and the two girls embark on a journey to Ellis' hometown, where they plan on finding clues about her past. From there, they travel south to search for the mysterious Gemstone of the Inca Rose, the "Eternal City" of Wiñay Marka, and Ellis' own obscure destiny.
El Cazador is a good action adventure that follows the trials and tribulations of two unlikely partners. Starting off as a normal snatch and grab job quickly takes a turn for the surreal as Nadie starts uncovering the truth. The truth of what? Only time will tell...
Story (Very Good)
Although it follows the same plot formula as the creators previous two anime series (Madlax and Noir), this show feels really refreshing and different from the norm. First off you will notice that it's set in Mexico, not a typical setting for ANY Japanese anime. But it is definitely a needed change of pace from the norm. As I stated before it follows the same plot formula as Madlax and Noir: Sexy gunslinger + mysterious girl + mysterious past + path to truth = success. You've seen it before but what will have you keep on wanting to watch the next episode are the characters and the story development, which runs at a perfect pace in my opinion. Theres enough episodes to promote story progression and background history but also theres a nice amount (about 3-4 episodes) to have some fan service. Unlike Madlax, the story is actually pretty interesting all thanks to the setting and characters that make up "the Hunter of the Witch" universe.
One thing about Bee Train, is that they're not the best when it comes to art and animation. Overall the art is pretty good in terms of level of detail and amount of action there is in every episode. But at the same time you can tell they could have done better or you will notice that there IS better out there. But for what its worth it works just fine for the show and for the most part, I had no problems with the art. One that that should be noted would have to be that the characters generally wear the same outfits every episode. Kinda makes you wonder why they take a bath so often yet they wear the same dirty clothes every time ^_^. Its not good or bad but rather a funny observation. Aside from the quality, the setting for each episode is very unique and usually a new setting almost every time. So at least the settings are vast and different from each other for the most part.
Another thing robbed from the "Madlax house of wrong" is the sound quality. Granted, the show is great with wonderful unique music and a top notch seiyu's but there is one BIG problem: the action music is TOO LOUD. It sometimes gets so loud that you cant even hear the characters talk to each other. Now I would say its an issue with the anime encoding but I experienced the same thing with Madlax and I've seen that on the Anime Network (cable tv). At least about 80% of the background music is unique and fit the situations perfectly fine but if it wasn't so loud and intrusive, I would have given an extra 3 points its that bothersome. All the characters sound perfect for their role, even Lirio. I don't care who you are you can't hate Lirio. The seiyus were so good, they were even able to pull off the limited amount of comedy in the show. "Yes sir"
Right away this turned out to be my favorite part of the show. The bad guys played their part as the believable bad guys, the good guys (oxymoron?) play well as good guys, and the neutral/mysterious characters were just enough to make the viewer think who was at the right and who was at the wrong. The cast of characters isn't too much but it isn't a small cast either. You're bound to find a favorite character somewhere in this anime. The character designs are also really good. The guys all look their part (tough, feminine, smart, etc) and the main girls all look cute or beautiful. The only way you can tell the girls apart pretty much are by their appearance (hair style and clothes). I really liked Nadie's character my only problem with her is her hairstyle, it's like she has three different styles going on at once which doesn't really work for an anime character in my opinion. But that doesn't really matter after you see Nadie and her partner work together. It's so cute, funny, and effective, its almost like ...It's best to see for yourself.
Overall, it's better than Noir and its way better than Madlax. If you like your anime with women gunslingers, this is most definitely one of the better ones in that group. Even if you're not a fan of woman gunslingers, give this a try since there is a good amount of action in every episode and you're bound to have fun watching this series as opposed to watching the other two I mentioned. I should also mention that i did manage to Marathon this series in two days and I would like to say this is one of the few shows that I actually stayed up with intent on looking forward to the next show.
A very good action anime with a great characters... verdict 8.0read more
To understand my attitude toward El Cazador de la Bruja you have to know a few things. One, El Cazador is the last instalment of Bee Train's "girls with guns" trilogy. Two, I've watched a previous instalment in this trilogy. Three, I got into El Cazador because I heard it had some f/f in it.
Well, if you don't know from those three points already, I had some relatively high expectations of it. I was quite sceptical about this series after I finished watching the first episode because I found the premise ridiculously similar to the prior instalment that I just mentioned. I decided to stick around for a bit, and I'm really glad I did because my first impression was quite off the mark.
The story isn't exceptional-- it's neither remarkably good nor remarkably bad-- but I think it serves its purpose well enough. I'll be the first to admit that there are some plot holes, but as you will see, other things make up for it a bit and in the end it doesn't matter as much as it really should. This series isn't very serious most of the time, so I was inclined to be slightly more lenient regarding such things. Those of you who are tired of some of Bee Train's slower stuff need not worry; El Cazador goes at a decent pace as far as things go. I think the animation is pretty good, but then again, I don't appreciate these things from a very technical point of view. And I love the character designs.
Now, to sound-- the music part of this assessment is pretty darn easy. What it comes down to is this: Kajiura Yuki composed the music and I love her work. As for the seiyuu, I'm a bit more ambivalent. I like Itou Shizuka (Nadie's seiyuu) quite a bit here and Shimizu Ai (Ellis' seiyuu) managed to sway my opinion a bit in her favour with her performance as Ellis (whereas I usually cringe at her presence). And Hisakawa Aya is always fun, even though I'm not a particularly big fan of hers. I didn't find anything astoundingly memorable, but it was a good, solid performance throughout and many parts were... how shall I put it... rather cute (in the heartwarming sense and not so much as moe). I'd probably rate it an "eight" if I were rating the seiyuu only, but Kajiura's music bumped the sound category up.
Now for the best bit-- the interpersonal dynamics between the characters, and namely the sweet (not sugary) subtextual interactions. It's great stuff if you go for the slightly more understated sort of thing (though it's also quite in-your-face at times). I think the most delicious part of all was the character development. Especially with Ellis-- you go into the series thinking of her in a certain way, and only in the end do you realise how much she's changed. There isn't one sudden moment where she just changes on you; it's a subtle process, that, as I've said, is great if you go for that sort of subtlety. I also love how some things were played up in the conclusion.
The fanservice is kept to a minimum, for which I am grateful. I could do without it completely, though, since it seemed a bit incongruous to me in El Cazador, what with my experiences with previous series done by Bee Train with no fanservice at all.
I think, really, this is one of those fun series where you don't have to think too much. The plot just carries everything along, but what I think ends up mattering most at the end is the characters themselves. The whole "intrigue" of the plot, in my opinion, takes a backseat to the characters' development, most notably in Ellis' case. And of course, you do get your dose of action and adventure to go along with it.read more
[b]El Cazador de la Bruja[/b]
El Cazador de la Bruja is the third and last one from the trilogy ''Girls with Guns'' produced by Bee Train, the other two are Noir and Madlax which all have a similar plot with little tweaks but with a recurring thing ''Girls without Memory'' the three share this, but the story in El Cazador is simplier than in the prevoius ones.
Even if the story is similar and feels the same as the previous two, in this one it feels simple, it's indeed simple and a little bit more worked and with some plot twist, the story is not perfect but it's not bad neither and it's well paced, there were questions raised towards a part of the story, because it was too simple, it has flashbacks but not as much as the two previous anime, the same plot of girls without remembering their past and looking forward to remember because of big organizations chasing them, supernatural elements, it's less dramatic and has comedy which the previous didn't have, cheese lines, some things unexplained like how did Nadie became a well known bounty hunter but before that she was a normal waitress but in the beginning there is a scene in which she was a little kid and was crying and holding a gun and never focus on her anymore (that goes on character development) so there are things that didn't make sense, ep. 25 had twist that i didn't expected much, i had my thoughts about it but it was surprising, made me cry before and after that; Ep. 26 was months later and had a funny twist there, the ending was good kind of happy but i felt that i wanted too see more because we don't know much about Nadie, overall was good.
[b][u]Art & Animation[/u][/b]
The art style is better than the previous ones, but not much, not that much of a difference from Madlax and that one was three years before El Cazador, so it was just good because they could have done better if you saw the first two of the trilogy.
The music is better than Madlax and almost as good as Noir, i was expecting a better VA or different vocals for some characters, the OP and ED are good (better than Madlax but not than Noir) overall is good.
There's a problem with the characters, and that problem is that it was more focused on following Ellis than the other characters, don't get me wrong the characters are interesting (everyone) but they had no development.
-Nadie was too kind for a well known bounty hunter but why she's known like that? why did she start on that business? what's her past? she never gets angry, that's too cheese but because we don't get to know why she is like that.
-Ellis is funny and the soft kind of emotionless voice she has makes it funnier, she obviously develops a love towards Nadie (but not like in the manga where it's Ecchi and Yuri for what i researched).
-Blue Eyes has more development than Nadie, at least who she is, or what her past is, for her to be tied to that ''organization''.
-L.A. was at first annoying because i didn't like his voice but later almost at the end, i felt sorry and sad for him.
-Ricardo is really interesting but not much is known about him or why he takes care of Lirio or if they are related.
-Lirio is the best character and the most adorable, she's a hero, she's important and we don't get to know more about her or her past because she is not Ellis who indeed is similar to Margaret Burton (Madlax).
Overall the characters are interesting but they have no development from their past or in the present because Ellis (no, i don't dislike Ellis, i like her character) and because of that is good, nothing more.
I couldn't enjoy it that much because i was expecting to see character development other than Ellis and there was a lot of cheese lines but i had a good enjoyment from this, Ellis was funny and Lirio was adorable, i just wish they developed the characters much better, i liked the ending but i was still waiting to see Nadie's past, it was a let down, so i don't know which is better in general Noir or El Cazador, Madlax is the weak one of the three.read more
This anime is obscure to the point that I wasn't able to track down a high res version of it. I was able to get a decent one, though, so I believe I was able to embrace the experience in its fullest. Was it worth the search?
Yes, at least for me personally. First thing you notice when you start watching is that, yet again, the synopsis is deceiving to say the least. It promises an action-packed adventure full of chases, shooting and all that cool stuff. Well, it isn't. Don't get me wrong, this big chase is the main plot and does set up the situation but it's not really the focus. The events move at an extremely slow pace most of the time, heck, most of the show fells like a normal TV series with each one having a separate plot. But despite that, the anime manages to make it interesting to watch, most of the time at least.
I am not 100% sure of the reason but at least half of it comes from the stylistic choice. The exact time and place of the events are never specified, the best I was able to figure out is that it's probably the south of the US or even Mexico sometime in the middle of the 20th century. This makes for a pretty unique setting, and the show takes full advantage of it, whether it's the use of authentic guns, wardrobe choices or the music, which just so happens to use all the instruments that I adore. It's spanish guitar, flute, mouth organ - everything's simple but still very effective and is great for the scenery shown here: the desert, lonely villages, classic southern cities and so on.
The leads are another huge part of this show's appeal, and it once again shows that originality isn't always what you need to create a likeable and believable persona. Nadie is a light-hearted and honest bounty hunter, Ellis is a clueless innocent girl unable to hurt anyone. We've seen this a million times, even those two characters as a main couple, say, it's one of the romantic lines in the Mass Effect trilogy (now that's an out of place reference). It works, though, mostly because the writers had 26 episodes to work with and were able to show their relationship's development in detail. It had a great sense of progression and was believable, for which I'm willing to forgive the less than intriguing plot. No, actually, it is pretty intriguing but it's predictable and rather disappointing in the amount of answers we get. That's the main reason why my score is highly subjective: I couldn't care less for the plot as long as I see genuine character interactions, and those are plenty here. Also, to conclude praising the leads, the designs are great. Both I couldn't help but like from the getgo and up till the end.
Other prominent characters are, sadly, less impressive. Let's start with the villain. He's the as generic as you can get - you have the glasses, the snarkiness and, as it turns out in the end, an overcomplicated and, in my opinion, stupid and strange plan. And it's sad, too, for screen time is constantly wasted on his interactions that do nothing to build his obviously boring character or move the plot forward. There are also a lot of people who we don't know much about even by the end. There's a bounty hunter named Ricardo who's looking after a mute girl Lirio. It's genuinely heartwarming to see, it's made obvious that he cares about her in a way that a good parent should. But that's all there is to it: there is no development whatsoever, even by the end. That was a huge disappointment, as these two had potential. Then L.A. Oh, god, L.A. I'm still not certain what his purpose was. He was creepy as all hell, that I'll give you, and at one point I felt great sympathy for him but ultimately he's underdeveloped. Again, could have done that instead of some of the more pointless episode plots.
Of which, to the show's credit, there are not many. Most serve to deepen the relationship between Nadie and Ellis or flesh them out a bit more and, seeing how they are extremely likeable, it works. This is a difficult thing to pull off but they managed to, partly due to most of the people met in single episodes being actually believable and interesting. They usually have a point and are well-written. It makes me sad the same amount of effort didn't go into some of the supporting characters, say, Blue Eyes, who is ultimately pointless. I am literally not prepared to answer why she even was there.
The art was consistently good throughout the series, not much to say here. It got simplistic during one fight but it's the only time I noticed it and only for a brief second. Not surprising, since this anime mostly relies on gunplay, which is done well. I liked the fact that they weren't afraid to show blood. Don't get me wrong I don't lke (to put it lightly) pools of blood and constant gore and believe it's disgusting, or it should be, anyway, since "horror" movies have taught me to just ignore it most of the time. I'm just glad that the show isn't trying to censor every bit of blood like modern action movies that try to be PG-13 or not draw it at all, like, say, Noir (which was constantly bugging me throughout that otherwise nice series). It appreciate the decency. As for the actors, some are merely adequate, for example, the villain, Rosenberg; to be honest, there's not much to work with. Some are really good, lidethe leads and L.A, even though he's chewing scenery like crazy half the time. Well, actually, partly thanks to that, as he makes it really enjoyable; not surprising if you recall the seiyuu voicing him also did Okarin and Light, who were both great at hamming it up.
Overall, it's a mixed bag. On the one hand, I loved Nadie, Ellis and their relationship, as well as the score and the setting, so I enjoyed it, hence teh rating - when this show focuses on something, it does it very well. The problem is that many of the elements usually important to most people are underplayed: the plot and the villain are lackluster, there is little to no development for most of the supporting cast. It might, no, it will turn many people off, and if you're expecting an epic adventure with big revelations in the end, it's not for you. If, however, you want a mild and enjoyable trip with charming leads who are well-written and have great chemistry, sure, give it a watch. You will get exactly that. read more