Friday, December 20, 2013

Sorcerer Hunters Anime Review

Sorcerer Hunters
Bakuretsu Hanta
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 7 discs
725 minutes - 26 episodes + 3 OVA
$59.98 (2007) Thinpak w/OVA
$19.98 (2004-2005) Vol. 1-3/ea. Essential Anime
$59.98 (2003)
$24.98 (2003) OVA Chocolate, Springs, and Other Hot Things
$29.98 (2001) Vol. 1-4/ea.
ISBN 702727186325
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Koichi Mashimo
Studio - Xebec

Synopsis: On the Spooner Continent exist Sorcerers, individuals with powerful magical abilities, who frequently abuse their gifts and terrorize regular people.  Life means nothing to Sorcerers and self-fulfillment is their only goal.  Oftentimes an entire town will be subjugated to the will of an evil Sorcerer.  Only one group exists to counterbalance these wicked beings and they are called the Sorcerer Hunters.  This enigmatic team defends the weak by challenging the oppressive Sorcerers.
The Sorcerer Hunters (from left) - Marron, Chocolate, Carrot, Tira, and Gateau
The group is made up of:
  • Carrot Glace is a young man who carries a sword and leads the Sorcerer Hunters.  He's a complete pervert and tries to get every cute girl he meets to go on a date with him.  It almost always fails.  When Carrot is not completely blinded by lust he's a very kind person.  He possesses a lycanthrope ability which is triggered when he absorbs significant quantities of a Sorcerer's magic and transforms into a massive beast.  
  • Tira Misu appears to be a shy girl with hot pink hair and wearing round glasses.  She's really a powerful fighter who throws off her over-sized frock to reveal a skintight outfit underneath.  She skillfully brandishes a whip and has a maddening crush on Carrot.  
  • Chocolate Misu is the carefree and outgoing sister of Tira.  She also has a crush on Carrot who inexplicably shuns the two sisters.  Chocolate whips off her regular clothes to reveal a skimpy outfit beneath.  She adeptly handles a garrote wire with savage ferocity.  
  • Marron Glace is the shy, reserved, and delicately beautiful brother of Carrot.  He's a crafty magician who uses magical spells written on paper as an offensive weapon.  He's the exact opposite of his brother and doesn't seem overly attracted to women.  Marron cares for his brother very deeply.  
  • Gateau Mocha is a powerful fighter with immense strength.  His physique is perfection and he's very macho.  He joined the group of siblings after they had already formed and is slightly older (and more mature).  
Tira and Chocolate transform into two sexy women to fight Sorcerers!
The Sorcerer Hunters work for the powerful priestess Big Mama who assigns them missions to take down specific Sorcerers.  She appears to care for the group very deeply, but also hides secrets from them about their past.  Aiding Big Mama is Dotta, a dizzy angel who speaks very quickly and is somewhat clueless.  She is utterly loyal to Big Mama and always trying to help.  Big Mama is guarded by a strong group called the Haz Knights. 
Carrot meets a cute girl who is more than she seems.  Watch out!
Although the Sorcerers are a major threat to the Spooner Continent there is another even deadlier menace - Sacher Torte!  This man is an incredibly powerful magic-user, but doesn't have a Sorcerer's typical marking on his forehead.  What is his link to Big Mama and the Sorcerer Hunters?  The group face a continuous parade of evil Sorcerers, but their greatest challenge could be from within.  What is their secret past and will it come back to destroy them?  Carrot could care less as long as he gets to meet another pretty girl.  Tira and Chocolate usually have to whip Carrot off of these poor unsuspecting girls!
Sacher Torte is one bad mutha!
Pros: Lots of silly comedy, Carrot is a shameless lecher, Chocolate and Tira transform into two hot girls, English dub highlights the comedy and voice actors had a good time recording it, OVA episodes turn up the ecchi content and are very naughty, some touching stories, decent music
"Sure, Dotta, I don't mind looking at your butt, er, back!"
Cons: Lots of slapstick silliness, repetitive story gimmicks (monster, ahem, sorcerer of the week) and recycled animation sequences (transformation sequences for Chocolate, Tira, and Carrot), the television series was much tamer than the OVA, television series ending was drawn out and not very good, OVA ending wasn't really an ending, dub can be a little over-the-top at times
Carrot looking serious with Dotta, Tira, and Chocolate in the background
Mike Tells It Straight: Sorcerer Hunters is a fantasy series with heavy doses of comedy backed by a somewhat serious final storyline.  The characters are all pretty funny and they do a lot of silly things.  The anime is based on the manga by Satoru Akahori (Saber Marionette and Sakura Wars) and Rei Omishi.  I'll say loosely based because the anime was much tamer than the original work (i.e. no nudity and costumes were less risque, particularly Tira and Chocolate).  It's one of many comedic fantasy shows which came out in the 1990s (like Slayers, Those Who Hunt Elves, and Rune Soldier).
The manga is much racier than the television series, but the OVA
is even more in-your-face than the manga!
It's a decent series with a good mix of comedy and action.  The character designs are pretty neat and it has a little fan-service content.  Chocolate and Tira transform into attractive girls and you can always leave it to Carrot to stumble upon the nearest cute girl to wherever he happens to be.  The few drawbacks to the show are all linked to each other.  It's highly formulaic - group goes after a Sorcerer, Carrot gets all lecherous and reprimanded severely, Chocolate and Tira transform into their uber-hottie personas, and then Carrot absorbs a bunch of magic to become his monster beast form to save the day.  The transformation sequences are all recycled for these three in every...single...episode!  The comedic situations are the only thing making the show entertaining at times.
The OVA gets much hotter than the television series!
It seems like the anime was toned down considerably from the manga in order to appease broadcast standards for younger viewers.  Not a bad idea to ensure a successful program with broad appeal, but kind of a letdown for hardcore fans of the manga.  The OVA was a shocker!  It opened up with a steamy hot springs trick and contained lots of nudity/fan-service.  Definitely aimed at fans of the manga.  Both Chocolate's and Tira's costumes were the same as the manga and based on dominatrix attire.  Chocolate in particular has a ridiculously skimpy outfit (seriously, she's just wearing pants, suspenders, and a hat).  The opening sequence has major boob-jiggle at one point with Chocolate's stripper outfit.
Tira and Chocolate's outfits in the OVA match the manga (and
are much racier than the television series)
Bottom line on this series is it's an older show and fairly cliched (plus highly formulaic).  It's funny, cute, touching at times, and serious at the end.  Not the best show out there, but it has a few genuine moments.  The opening/ending theme songs are okay.  It's a bit long and can get boring.  I watched it in the background while working on other projects (like writing anime reviews!).  The OVA gets NSFW and was a nice change of pace after the super-serious ending to the television series.  I really liked how the latest complete collection (the thinpak) included the OVA and series together (OVA price used on Amazon is really high as of this review).  Get it if you like all of those older comedic fantasy shows from the 1990s, but otherwise take a pass.
Yeah, the OVA is borderline hentai at a few points

TO BUY and Recommendations: