Witches are individuals with special powers like ESP, telekinesis, mind control, etc. (not the typical hogwart and newt potions). Robin, a 15-year-old craft user, arrives from Italy to Japan to work for an organization named STN Japan Division (STN-J) as a replacement for one of STN-J's witch hunters who was recently killed. Unlike other divisions of STN, STN-J tries to capture the witches alive in order to learn why and how they became witches in the first place.
Witch Hunter Robin (WHR) is a dark, mysterious Anime centering around Robin Sena, a witch. Though technically, Robin is no witch, but actually a "craft" user. I won't go into details, but craft users hunt the witch users. Sound interesting? It is.
The story behind this show really draws you forward throughout each episode. It's not a boss of the week show, and it's not a mindless action flick. You'll follow Robin as she finds out more and more secrets about the witch hunting organization she works for. The trials she goes through in order to achieve these hidden secrets are quite entertaining.
The animation is
nothing amazing, but far from mediocre. Most of the series is shot in a dark environment, so be prepared to possibly turn up your screen/video gamma or you might miss a thing or two.
By far the biggest plus for WHR is its music score. Absolutely superb opening song "Shell". All the other background music throughout the show fits in wonderfully too. I could not have asked for a more perfect soundtrack.
The relationship that grows between Robin and her work colleagues is well drawn out. Robin's motives and actions are appropriate for her personality, and we see her change throughout the show as different things are presented before her.
All in all, I really enjoyed this series. There's even some romance development, which is just enough to keep you hoping for something more. Gotta please us Robin fans. :)
Witch Hunter Robin is one of those shows that draws you in unconditionally. While some people might not appreciate or enjoy the genre or story, either after the fact or at first glance, I believe that anyone who loves intellectually grasping stories and characterization should at least try out the first few episodes of Witch Hunter Robin.
While the story and plot is slow (sometimes tremendously), the overall plotline and conclusion to the anime makes you really see the epic and vast nature of just what was being approached with this series. Starting like any normal "monster-of-the-week" series, you are compelled into the daily investigations of
the STNJ, a "secretive" detective agency (ala Men in Black) that hunts down abusive witches, individuals with various sorts of powers. Even some of these STNJ members are witches themselves, including the protagonist Robin. Robin is one of those characters that, in my opinion, stays with you long after you forget everything else about the series. As simple as she may seem on the outside, her personality and emotions unravel and become apparent later on in the series, and it does not disappoint. Robin is not the only highly characterized individual in the show, however. I found all of the other characters we met with just as comprehensive a background.
The art and sound in this show are very, very good, sporting a soundtrack by the same person who did the music for Rurouni Kenshin.
Overall, it was an unforgettable show for me that I both enjoyed and basked watching hours at a time.
I'll admit it right now. I struggled to finish this anime. The characters I enjoyed, but didn't love. The plot (what plot?) was non-existent until the 15th episode, the setting and general storyline got boring, and after a while I just didn't care any more.
Now, although I did not like it, I would not call it a bad anime. It does have a level of drive that you don't really notice until you realize, "wow, I finished this after all?" It does not have much substance, but the little it does have it works with well and makes sure to tie up all the
loose ends. WHR is well-structured.
Character-wise, as mentioned before, I liked them but didn't love them. It goes back to the setting. They do the same thing while you slowly learn more about them, and though the base concept is definitely interesting in its own way, it was not enough to keep me enthralled.
For people who are looking for something action-filled, and creepy and gory, look elsewhere I say. While it does have quite a bit of action, and a few creepy scenes here and there, gore is completely absent (which, in my opinion, is not a bad thing). WHR takes itself seriously in its level of what's needed is there, and what would be excess stays absent. Deaths are also very subtle, not dumbed down in the "his throat was slit why is there no blood?" sense, but just hinted at enough to get what happened.
WHR's small substance of a story worked for and against it. To some it might be for, whereas you can immerse and follow easier if you love the characters. But for others, such as myself, it lacked the quirks that make a story worth following. It was all story without plot and without the character of fiction.
Those less familiar with the gothic/horror/scifi crossover genre might enjoy this series a lot more, at least 1 or 2 points more, than I did. If, on the other hand, you've seen a lot of this sort of stuff, this series will inevitably seem somewhat predictable.
I'll not go into details to avoid spoilers, but let's just say that everything in the plot basically ended up doing what I thought it was doing. Masked soldiers, young girl with powers, weirdo green liquid, brooding hero-type, they were all unable to surprise me. Another annoyance was that I couldn't identify with any of the characters, which seemed emotionless,
even frigid, to me. Lastly, the plot takes way to long to develop. Nothing of consequence happens in eps. 2-10.
So what is good? Well, all of the above may just be a way for the director to allow you to focus on and enjoy the atmosphere of the show. Even though I never managed to "get into" it, I still noticed the obvious attention that was payed to the every scenery, location, costume and just the overall detail. This also means that every now and then something comes up that is not explained, simply because it's part of the scenery and not part of the plot. In all, this anime does a very good job of presenting an alternate reality that is fully believable, and aesthetically pleasing to look at.
So, this is probably a very good series for those that enjoy atmosphere but don't usually like the action / magic / supernatural genres, because those elements tend to overwhelm a series' to the point of becoming rediculous. Well, here they don't.
Are you getting tired of the same old anime? Perhaps it's time for a change, and you'd prefer to watch something more mature, edgy and bizarre. Here are a few rock solid film noir anime from the 90's through to the present day.