In Bee Train's world, everyone is secretly a bounty hunter.
What They Say
There's a diner in the middle of nowhere, and the woman serving coffee knows all about running from the past. Thankfully for Ellis and Nadie, she knows a little something about killing, too.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Interestingly enough, it only took until the second episode for Bee Train fatigue to set in. I have always had a fondness for the studio and its style, but this is the first show of theirs that I’ve seen after watching Tsubasa. And that show had so many painfully slow panning moments with music, a Bee Train trademark, that when I come across them here it only brings back bad memories. Disassociating from those moments may prove difficult, though hopefully viewing this episode by episode instead of as a half season chunk will help ease that.
The second episode of the series fits right into the road trip aspect that I figure a good chunk of at least the first half of the show will be like. Ellis and Nadie are moving right along to find their destination but their jeep has broken down. With a little help from Ellis’ superior eyesight, the pair heads off to a small diner to get some food and hopefully find someone that can help repair their broken down vehicle. As it turns out, Frida’s Diner offers a bit more than just that, though Nadie isn’t all that welcome there since it’s obvious to Frida that she’s a bounty hunter. And that’s a poor choice for a profession in her eyes, since she was once one and lost a lot along the way. The episode teases this out a bit slowly, but her general animosity is right there from the start even if Nadie isn’t exactly a cold blooded killer that’s chewing up the scenery.
Perhaps my expectations were a bit higher for the second episode of the series as I wanted a few more tantalizing pieces about the supposed larger storyline that’s going to tie it all together. What we get here is what I would expect around episode six or seven in that it’s small character and world building material that shapes things up a little bit, material that lets you see how the two leads are getting closer to each other in their working relationship. There are some very minor nods put in here, such as Hayward dealing with Rosenberg and relaying things to Nadie about what her mission is, but they’re such vague and unhelpful teasing moments that you almost come away frustrated in a bad way over them. With the second episode being like this, tied to my basic Bee Train fatigue that suddenly hit, I have to worry about the show far sooner than I would have expected.
El Cazador continues to have really appealing background and setting designs, the characters look great and flow well and the music is of course excellent and appealing. Even after hearing it in variations (great and small) over the years in other shows, the music is still very much something that feels wonderful to hear. But when it comes to the show itself, some of the energy that I felt in the first episode comes across as largely dissipated here in the second because of the story chosen with which to move things forward. If there was more of a connection to the larger story to tie all of this into, rather than just a little drama of the week piece, it’d flow better and keep my attention more. But as it stands, it’s the kind of episode that makes take a step back and wonder how long it’ll keep my attentions overall.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.