Mania Grade: B-
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- 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
- MSRP: 19.98
- Running time: 225
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Sorcerer Hunters
Sorcerer Hunters Essential Anime Vol. #1
By Justin Rich
May 04, 2005
Release Date: November 30, 2004
Sorcerer Hunters Essential Anime Vol. #1
What They Say
© ADV Films
Is someone kidnapping your local virgins? Are mysterious entities sucking the souls out of the peasants? Do you have a sorceress infestation that just won?t go away?
Big Momma has the perfect cure, a rough and ready team of Sorcerer Hunters ready to take on any rouge magic user that crosses their path. If the charms of the voluptuous Chocolate and Tira Misu can?t persuade the naughty wizard to change his ways, then manly Gateau Mocha, suave Marron Glace or Carrot Glace will stop him cold.The Review!
In the shadows of a land ruled by magic exist five brave warriors who stop these atrocious criminals, they are known as the Sorcerer Hunters.
The five episodes on disc A were listened to in English 2.0 with zero distortions or drop outs. The music during Chocolate, Tira and Carrot’s transformations were also well balanced and mixed well with laughter or growls depending who was changing. The four episodes on disc B were listened to in Japanese 2.0 to get the other side of things in this E. A. release. The quality here was also good with constant level throughout this disc without distortions or drop outs.
The disc’s color was solid throughout these episodes which made a pleasurable viewing experience. The transformation scenes were identical each episode so there was not a variance in balance or color. The clean opening’s animation is by far the nicest and most vibrant with original animation for the opening instead of cut and paste scene shots. In contrast the credits and coloring of the closing are the worst with blurry lettering for the credits and dull, distorted coloring.
On the top of the cover is the Essential Anime Collection banner with the ADV Films to the left of the lettering inside the lavender background, with the Sorcerer Hunter logo center just below. In front of the logo is Tira and Chocolate both in their sexier attires ready for, well whatever comes to Chocolate’s mind. The back cover contains a few screen caps plus a picture of the menu. This release does contain reversible covers as well with another picture of Tira on the front and Marron on the back.
The menu is a combination of lavender and light blue speckled with white dots. On the right hand side is Chocolate with her finger to her chin looking as mischievous as ever in her transformation gear with her hat slightly askew. On the top is the Sorcerer Hunter’s logo except unlike the cover the Sorcerer is indigo rather than green. Below the title is a direct link to the episodes for that disc and a scene select, languages and extras directly below the episode titles.
The only feature of the first discs is full length commentary by Brett Weaver(Carrot Glace), Tiffany Grant (Chocolate Misu) and Jason Douglas (Marron Glace) on the first five episodes of the Essential Anime release. There is character bios for only Chocolate and Tira of the Sorcerer Hunter team. The rest of the character bios center around the Sorcerers for each of the episodes Count Lanoya, Sir Croissant, Barbara Oilebert, Lady Amore & Viscount Regner, except for Bomber who was just a normal girl but also the focus of a particular episode. I’d preferred them to had included bios for Carrot, Marron and Gateau too for those who have not seen Sorcerer Hunters before. There is clean opening and closings to go along with ADV previews of Peacemaker, New Fist of the North Star, Gunhead, Mezzo, Martian Successor Nadesico & Aura Battler Dunbine to wrap up the special features on the second disc.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers) We get introduced to Carrot as he crouches underneath an umbrella in the rain waiting for any pretty girl to walk by. Carrot is our hero, but he does have an insatiable love of all women, except for the two who love him the most the sister Sorcerer Hunter team of Chocolate and Tira Misu. Carrot, of course, gets rejected and heads back to find the rest of the group Gateau, the Misu sisters and his brother Marron. Like always, Big Momma’s messenger Dotta shows up to pass along the next mission. This case was for the Sorcerer Hunters to stop a evil Sorcerer who was stealing up the young girls of a nearby town to feed a horrible dragon he was raising. After the Sorcerer Hunter find the Viscount’s lair the must battle him and his magical mirrors, and after defeating him the find out that the young maiden whom they thought was in grave danger had already been rescued by Carrot.
The next two missions are once again search and defeat mission. First the Sorcerer Hunters must stop Lady Amore who has resurrected an ancient banned flower that sucks the soul out of a human and grows and mindless slave in it’s place. When Carrot, Gateau and Marron’s souls are stolen and to be merged together to make the “perfect man” Tira takes it upon herself to make sure that horrible travesty does not happen. Tira easily thwarts Lady Amore’s plans and has the plants drain her soul instead and frees her friends.
The following mission once again gets Carrot in trouble by thinking with, well something other than his brain. He falls for the lord of the manor who turns out to have a penchant for both masochism and turning her boy toys into stone statues to keep forever. But, there is only one woman in Carrot’s life that can be masochistic to Carrot, Chocolate transforms to battle Barbara while upstairs Gateau and Marron face off against her demented butler. The guys defeat him and rush to help their companions fight the Sorceress, but they won’t be needed for Barbara was unaware that when it comes down to the strongest of the group Carrot isn’t the push over he looks like, for he is able to absorb magic. When Barbara attempts to turn him to stone he uses her magical powers to transform into the Zoanthropy and one quick claw coming down on her finishes Barbara off.
Next Carrot spends the next pair of episodes trying to win over, you guessed beautiful women, first Bomber who yearns for him to meet him at midnight fire the fireworks and secondly a mysterious girl named Lake. Of course, Carrot goes after both, but gets neither. Bomber only needs his magical power to make to fix her mistake on her fireworks display and Lake only uses Carrot as the hundred year judgment of whether humans were worthy creatures or miserable beasts.
We once again shift gears back to battling Sorcerers in the next episode which focuses on how a brother’s love for his sister can cause him to be drawn into using dark magic. Using his power he can turn living things into crystal and he must be stopped before the power consumes him. Marron here for the first time starts to show signs of true strength as he gets mad. Unfortunately, this episode is followed up by a completely pointless episode of an ancient tradition of throwing moon stones into a magic river hoping that one day a rock will be eroded into the shape of a man, and that particular rock will become a God to lead their villages.
Finally the last two episodes on the second disc start to show signs of Sorcerer Hunters finding itself and moving in a direction that starts to add both excitement and intreague to the series. Big Momma and Dotta begin talking about the horrid truths hidden deep within the psyches of all the Sorcerer Hunters, and Carrot in particular, that are soon going to reappear. Count Lanoya’s evil ability is the power to turn adults into children and then using an exact replica of the city make anything in his replica real within that domain. Everyone, with the exception of Carrot, gets caught by Count Lanoya and are force to fight against his magic with greatly diminished powers. Carrot finds them just in time to help but as the fire around him is burning it starts to melt away the shield that Big Momma had put up to hold his repressed memories in and he transforms from within quickly defeating Count Lanoya. Big Momma knows that the Zoanthropy was not brought on by any outside magic but rather his internal pain and that Carrot could not be whipped back into shape by Tira or Chocolate; so she is forced to replace the mental barrier, but for how long?
The last episode takes a look into the past of Gateau and his old partner before the Sorcerer Hunters Opera. Sir Croissant is a Sorcerer that actually helps defends the town he lives in as well as does many good deeds with his magic, which is far from the normal behavior of magic users. But he has a deep, dark secret lurking in his past. He was the killer of Gateau’s partner and now he must be brought to justice. When he captures Chocolate he forces Carrot to choose between her and Gateau for which one of his partners will die! Carrot in his normal nonchalant ways chooses neither giving Marron and Tira enough time to show up and help. But Sir Croissant’s downfall was not to be brought down by the Sorcerer Hunters this time but by the blade of his own love. As the castle crumbles the Sorcerer Hunters walk off for the next adventure with trouble closing quickly in on them.
In these first nine episodes we see nothing but hints at an overlying arc with a ominous villain looming in some flashbacks, but these episodes stay primarily episodic. Hopefully the villain will be introduced within the next couple of episodes, as funny as it is to watch Carrot run after girls and make a fool out of himself, I tend enjoy more plot to the storyline. The five mains do play off each other well making the dialogue entertaining. I still find myself curious enough though to look forward to the next E.A. release and see where these next nine episodes take me.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Clean open and ending animation,Commentary by Tiffany Grant (Chocolate) & Jason Douglas (Marron),Character Bios
Sony SAVA D9000 Dual Stack DTS w/ 5 Disc Changer in stack 1 and subwoofer in stack 2 Tv is Sony 57” widescreen rear-projection HDTV Model #KPD 57WS550