Those Who Hunt Elves 2 Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: F
  • 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: 29.98
  • Running time: 150
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Those Who Hunt Elves

Those Who Hunt Elves 2 Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     October 26, 2003
Release Date: October 21, 2003


Those Who Hunt Elves 2 Vol. #2
© ADV Films


What They Say
The elves of Middle Earth never faced a foe as dangerous, as determined, as underhanded, as downright odd as Those Who Hunt Elves. Martial arts expert Junpei, superstar Airi and machine-gun toting tomboy Ritsuko continue their quest to find the fragments of the spell that will send them home. They'll strip every elf in the land if they have to, and, despite the protests of the newly naked elves, Celcia, the elves' elder, continues to help them do it. The naked truth is that if the elf hunters aren't sent back to their own world soon, both worlds may cease to exist in a bang of cosmic proportions. It's strip or be vaporized as Those Who Hunt Elves II comes to its explosive conclusion!

The Review!
The second part of the follow-up series brings more elf stripping fun and the culmination of the series adventures in the strangest form since Ghostbusters.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Being one of a batch of shows that had a run elsewhere in the world, ADV had access to the Spanish language audio, so they've included that as well as the English and Japanese tracks, giving this a nice bit of variety. With the initial pressing of this disc, there are some issues across two language tracks. The Japanese track appears to be in mono for the openings and endings while the show itself is in stereo but the English track appears to be mostly mono all the way through. According to information posted about this release, the Spanish mix has always been mono so there is no error there. In listening to this disc in Japanese, the only issue we really could note about it was that the openings and endings are indeed a bit lower than normal but that’s about it.

Video:
Originally airing back at the end of 1997, this series was one of the many that was being done at the beginning of the end of traditional animation and the shift to digital. But at that time things were done so well that it’s a great looking show and the transfer brings out a lot of that. Colors are rich and vibrant and pretty much free of cross coloration. Aliasing only shows up in a few areas in a minor way and mostly due to motion, such as the bouncing movement of the tank. Some of the nighttime sky sequences show more grain and pixilation than the rest of the print, but it’s pretty minimal. Overall, this is a nice solid release that builds upon the first series nicely.

Packaging:
The hunters actually get the cover this time around and not just in the background as Airi takes up a nice chunk of the space with her sword being caressed. Mihke and the others are given to the background a bit which also is done up in a green image with varying spell fragments scattered all over it. The back cover provides a number of shots from the series and an amusing shot of everyone on the tank from later in the series. The summary does a good job of bringing things up to date with the premise and the discs features are clearly listed. While no volume numbering is available, the back cover does provide the episode numbers and titles that are on this release. The insert has a nice shot of Pichi up close and the others in the background while the reverse side has and image of Ritsuko and a list of the chapters for each of the episodes.

Menu:
The menu layout is fairly simple, with an image of the tank rolling along on the top with music playing while a larger version of the tread runs along the bottom. Episodes are quickly selectable, moving between menus is nice and fast and everything is laid out in a good logical way as well as looking good.

Extras:
With six episodes, the extras are a bit light. The opening and ending sequences are done in textless form and we also get a collection of ADV done trailers for the series.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the last half of the second series here, the feared and despised hunters continue their journey of stripping elves and ending up in some of the strangest situations. The series continues to be pretty strong overall but those looking for a solid conclusion may come away disappointed.

With six more episodes here, this release is a real bargain across the board. A number of Western concepts are played with throughout these episodes and one toss-away episode ends up leading into the series culmination. It starts off strongly with a talking wolf who has been extracting vengeance on humans in the area that killed his parents some time back as well as driven wolves from the area. The wolf is nicely creative, such as going to a house as little red riding hood or dressing up as a newspaperman to collect what’s due the paper. When Junpei and the crew arrive he realizes that they’re the hunters who’ve been called in to try and take him down. The wolf is keen on a real challenge and goes Wile E. Coyote style in coming up with plans but continually gets foiled. There’s an amusing revelation as it progresses but overall it’s played for the comedy more than the plot and it works great.

Another episode that plays with folktales and the like has the group ending up in a rather nice city on Christmas Eve, an event celebrated in this world as well. While there’s no snow on the ground, there’s dozens upon dozens of Santa’s riding through the sky. Including some really hot looking female ones. As it turns out, the holiday is a bit different here than it is in Japan so the group has some fascination with it and try to get some familiarity of home through it by trying to get some presents for themselves. This of course fails badly; you know it’s not going to end well when the first Santa that comes to help you is the Satan Santa…

Through the second half of the episodes the group ends up in a sunken city called Treetown that has a massive tree in the center. There are an inordinate number of strong sorcerer types in this city as they’ve been working to seal various evils that visit the world in here over the years. The most prominent women in the city, Regina, is in fact cover with sigils that look like spell fragments that show what’s been sealed inside of her own body. Initially, the group is brought in to be sacrifices to the next incoming evil and is set against each other, but eventually they’re sought out for their help in dealing with the equivalent of a Ghostbusters ending to the series. The last couple of episodes end out with some solid wacky moments but also some good action moments with Junpei getting to be the hero type he wants to be.

Looking back at both series in total, the fans of this show know that there’s not a real lot of material for an overall plot. This is a show where the destination is not actually something desired since it would end the premise. It’s a journey/travel show that’s built around continually searching and looking for the spell fragments and providing new and different adventures each week. In that regard, Those Who Hunt Elves succeeds perfectly. While watching all six in a row may be overkill, taking in the episodes on an individual basis shows just how well written and sly the writers have been with what they’ve got to work with. All of the characters get balanced out nicely and everyone has their shining moments all while the comedy doesn’t stop.

If you’re going in to have some laughs and enjoyed naked elves then you’ll be very pleased by this series. Its aim is right on and scores each time.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,Spanish Language,English Subtitles,Character sketches,Clean opening and closing animation

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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