Sorcerer Hunters: Chocolate, Springs and Other Hot Things! (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, November 20, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, November 25, 2003
What They Say
Take two gorgeous women with whips, add a magician and a body builder, tie it all together with an amorous young man willing to put the moves on anything that moves, and what do you get? Simple: the funniest, sexiest adventure series around! That's right, Chocolate, Tira, Carrot and the rest of the cast of Sorcerer Hunters are back in three titillating episodes.
When Carrot tries to seduce a lovely older woman (while Chocolate is trying to seduce Carrot), a steamy hot springs vacation gets steamier... and funnier. Then our heroes leap into battle with the Death Master, an evil necromancer who's transformed an entire town into his willing zombie slaves! Finally, an ancient tree with legendary romantic powers turns a relaxing picnic into a love-crazed free-for-all! Can even the Sorcerer Hunters handle this kind of heat?
The long awaited OVA series follow-up to the comedy fantasy TV series, Sorcerer Hunters return for their last hurrah.
Since we watched the entire TV series in Japanese, it was only fitting to finish out the franchise in the same language. The three episodes here are done up in a decent stereo mix that’s effectively very center channel based outside of a nice range filling music score. Dialogue is nice and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback. In spot checking the English track, nothing untoward came up there either.
Originally released to video back in 1995, the OVA’s are very strikingly similar in film quality to the TV series. While the animation level is much more fluid and the colors all the more vibrant and saturated than the TV series, the level of grain in the show is just about the same. This is quite a bit surprising at first, especially if you’ve mostly just seen digital shows lately where there’s no grain, which makes this look all the more prominent. Beyond that however, the print looks to be in good condition with a solid encoding. There’s an occasional nick and scratch and some slight cross coloration in a few areas, but the general feel is a brighter and more fluid version of what the TV series looked like.
Filling the cover with bulk of the cast, it’s very busy with all sorts of poses being struck by familiar faces and those we haven’t seen before. And as corny as it is, I love the tagline of “Chocolate springs and other hot things!” as it captures the light bouncy nature of the show perfectly. The designs here look great and the colors really bring them to life nicely. The back cover has only one real shot of animation with a full length naughty image of Tira and her whip set against a blue backdrop. The bulk of the back cover is given over to summaries and basic production and technical information. The insert has the same artwork as the front cover without the tagline and moves the logo around while the reverse side has Tira from the back cover with a listing of the episodes, extras and previews.
The main menu is a cute bubbly piece with a close up of Tira in her glasses smiling big, a good static image that takes up the bulk of the screen while the selections are a bit scrunched in down in the corner. With some of the vocals playing along, it’s quick and easy to move about the menus as there’s not too much here. Access times are nice and fast and things load quickly.
The only real extra here is a clean version of the OVA opening sequence, but there’s also US trailers for the other three Sorcerer Hunter releases that have come before.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Well, let’s just get it over with quickly. Boobies. Boobies boobies boobies. Boobies! Boobies! Boobies! Boobies! Boobies! Boobies! Boobies! Boobies! Boobies! Boobies!
The Sorcerer Hunters OVAs are essentially some left over stories from the manga that didn’t quite make it into the TV series. There’s a fair number of differences between the two, not enough to quite make it different continuities per se, but when the translated logo says “Original Sorcerer Hunters” it’s safe to expect some differences. One of them is that there are more characters here that play off of the existing ones. The other is the heightened level of fanservice and sexuality.
The opening episode really gets it all out of the way and lets the creators go wild. I can almost visualize the artist waving his arms in joy as he yells that he can finally draw boobies the way he’s always wanted. So much attention is given to them in the first episode because it’s a hot springs episode, and everyone is there. That includes the characters we know, plus some new ones. One of them is a young boy named Lord Potee who seems to be able to irk Carrot quite easily. But Carrot puts up with it because Potee’s mother, at the young age of 34, is incredibly hot and very bountiful where it counts. Dotta’s character, while gaining a male love interest of her own, finds her assets are considerably more stacked here as well.
Tira and Chocolate’s assets are almost gravity defying in what moves they’re able to perform (independently of each other at times as well!). Gateau’s the only male that really shows a lot of skin here, though it’s often with his attractive younger blonde sister Éclair as the two continue to try and do their dead parents proud by striking proper poses. The hot springs episode is really just a chance for the larger cast to get together here and to play around in a single setting where everyone is trying to get hooked up with their special someone, who is often trying to hook up with someone else. It gets into the standard comedy routine of running around into different rooms at night and making moves that go wrong, but it’s just pure fun and damn sexy at that.
The fan service does get toned down quite a bit in the remaining two episodes which are more plot and character driven. Well, as character driven as this series can get at times. The second episode involves an amusing plot where the sorcerer the group is after this time has been building up necromancy abilities and is trying to acquire a book that was almost lost to history that will allow him to bring the previous zombie empire back into existence. The Death Master character is amusing in his dealings with the group when they show up to take him down, having been able to follow a young woman who managed to not become fully converted to his zombie side.
The last episode takes a more romantic approach to things and brings us into the earlier lives of the characters again, letting us see child sized versions of Carrot (and his father!), Tira and Chocolate in how they all got along. This is a cute story that helps flesh out the lead characters a bit more and lets us see more of their past. Taken into context with the TV series, it definitely helps give a fuller feel to way the romance has gone. That is if you can get beyond the initial scene of Potee’s confession of love.
These episodes were far too long in their being both acquired and released. But at long last, the franchise is fully available and the fans can rejoice at having some of the best fanservice available. While this won’t drastically change anyone’s view of the TV series, it’s a great companion piece to it and a chance to revisit something that’s essentially done and over with. There’s a lot of laughs here and a lot of in-jokes that play off the differences between the TV characters and the manga/OVA characters, but it all works out quite well.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Textless Opening
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer (and more boobies!).
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 17 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Sorcerer Hunters