Sorcerer Hunters Vol. #2 (of 4) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2001
What They Say
In a world where magic is real, sorcerers and magic users use their power to enslave the common man and rule the land, but they do not go unopposed.
For there are five brave souls that stand against them; five brave souls that dare to fight evil in whatever form it takes; five brave souls that... Oh, who are we kidding? The wickedly lovely Tira Misu and her equally well-endowed sister Chocolate are back for another round of magical mayhem. (Oh yeah, Carrot and the other guys are back too.)
The best bang for your buck continues with seven more episodes of this series being done up here. Fans of this show are getting a ton of content for a fraction of the cost that the VHS fans paid out, and those who consider the show a middle of the line type make out pretty well also. While Sorcerer Hunters hasn't exactly wowed me, it's had some good moments.
For our primary review, we listened to this disc in its original language, Japanese. The show for the most part is still very dialogue heavy with only a few moments of each episode really devoted to the action sequences and the accompanying music. The opening and ending sections sound quite good though and make up for the quieter feel of the episodes themselves.
In terms of how the disc looks, it's essentially the same as the first volume. The colors are strong other than the bright reds occasionally going a bit jagged and the blue night skies show a bit more artifacty as well. The blues are made worse again due to the source material for the shows which are fairly grainy throughout. This is the only real blemish on the show itself, other than a few nicks in the print scattered throughout.
Unlike the first pressing of the first disc, this cover is great. It's a nice shot of Chocolate and Carrot with the starry background behind them similar to VHS volume 2. The reverse side has a number of nice pictures and a menu shot. The summary for seven episodes is pretty brief, but nothing really could sum them all up. The insert is a close-up of Chocolate that will be many a fanboys dream picture, which is also nicely used on the disc itself. The reverse side of the insert has a picture of Carrot from the cover with all of the episodes chapter stops.
The menu layout is identical to the first volume, which looks good and has a nice amount of music and animation playing along them. The major improvement, at least in my eye, over the first volume is the episode selection menu. The first volume only listed the episode titles, which didn't help a lot when you were watching one or two episodes at a time (I can never watch a seven episode disc in one sitting). This time around the episode titles have been replaced by the episode numbers, which enhances things greatly. Thank you!
With seven episodes, there's not too much room for extras but there's a couple of nice ones here. The big attraction for folks is the clean opening and ending, which also lets you get a look at the original logo. The other is the character bios, which should only be watched after the episodes are over as they talk about each of the villains for the episodes.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the character introductions and the setting of the show taken care of in the first disc, the second disc picks up with some of the larger storyline. Maybe. The opening episode deals with Big Momma unlocking a part of Carrot's memory from his youth, something that deals with how the future must be fought with Torte, as we saw in the previous disc.
Other than this one moment indicating something big and fun coming in the future that will decide the fate of the Spooner continent (or possibly even the world), the episodes are all very... episodic. Each show is a nice self-contained piece that gives some slight differences among the characters, though for the most part not really having one of the cast be the central member, other than Carrot.
Most of the episodes follow a basic formula of Big Momma and Dotta assigning the crew a mission to kill a particular sorcerer or to defeat a big nasty critter. The gang heads off, gets a feel for the village or the enemy, and then chases after Carrot as he tries to date yet another local girl. Well, that happens in several of them. It's after that happens that the encounter with the villain takes place and everything ends happily ever after.
Some of the standouts in this batch though are a lot of fun. One particular episode deals with a dream world where basically Carrot and the others got their desired reality, which leads to numerous Carrot's running around making everyone happy, including a fun (and fanfic worthy) version of Carrot living happily with Tira and Chocolate. Seeing how Carrot tries to make everyone happy as well as what makes the girls happy is interesting.
Another episode deals with a couple of orphans who try their luck with the forbidden arts to bring back their parents by using the soul energy of others. While the hunters in general don't get a lot of screen time here, the story of the two boys who grew into men and their desire for their parents return that drives one to insanity is a good and solid tale, though relying on the magic a bit much.
We're still enjoying the show, but it's one that we need to take in small doses otherwise we get fidgety. The only downside is that it takes us a few days to get through it, but at least we're saving some shelf space. For those who love this show, you'll make out great here.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Textless Opening,Textless Ending,Character Bios
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 165
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Sorcerer Hunters