Witch Hunter Robin
Finally finished this review after weeks of it just lying around there collecting whatever computer files collect. Enjoy.
Director: Shukou Murase
Concept: Hajime Yatate, Shukou Murase
Screenplay: Aya Yoshinaga,Hiroaki Kitajima, Kenichi Araki, Shin Yoshida, Shukou Murase, Toru Nozaki
Character Design: Kumiko Takahashi
Art director: Yohei Miyahara, Masaru Ota, Shinji Takasuka
First Aired: February 17, 2004 (USA)
Witches, people with the power to alter the world around them through their unique craft, are around us; you could see where these people might pose a threat to normal humans, that’s where the STN-J comes in. A secret organization with the sole mission of protecting normal humans from those with a craft. Most witches are unaware of their powers until a certain point in their lives when it is awakened; however, when that power is awakened few use it for moral means. Those that abuse their craft are quickly spotted out and taken care of.
STN-J is basically the first line of attack—or defense depending on your point of view. To aid the STNJ agents against the power of whatever kind of craft they would face they are given with a special liquid called “orbo”; this mysterious liquid weakens the power of the craft used against them, and can also be used to take witches down rather easily.
However, one of the members of STN-J died trying to bring a witch to ‘justice’. Solomon, the organization that runs STN-J, sent one of their own to replace the fallen agent. They sent Robin Rena, a girl raised and trained from birth by Solomon HQ. Robin is unlike other STN-J members, she posses a craft: she has the ability summon and control fire. The team isn’t given a lot of time to get to know their new partner before it’s time to head back to work. Together the team will hunt down powerful witches that use their powers to harm humans; by means that aren’t always nobles ones.
Towards the middle of the series, where things finally begin to pick up, Robin encounters a woman rumored to live forever. The women goes by the name “I am time”, she gives Robin the Fragment: an item that seems to have increase a witch’s power dramatically.
Coincidentally, Robin is being hunted by agents. This comes to shock to both Robin and her team, because she believes that she was one of the good guys. Robin is now in a struggle to find out the truth about the relationship between witches and humans, and why all of a sudden she is being hunted. Robin now finds those she once thought were allies are now those that hunt her. The tables are turned, and Robin is running for her life. She doesn’t have any clue why agents are out to capture her; however, she’ll soon learn the more about herself than she has ever known.
Born and raised under Solomon’s supervision, Robin grew up with the belief that witches were meant to hunted. When she was sent to Japan to fill the vacant spot of the fallen STN-J ally it was supposed to be just another routine assignment. However, after the encounter with “I am time” the hunter became the hunted—sorry for the horrible cliché. Robin will learn the secrets of her own birth, and learn how the orbo is made. Robin was quite and shy, but she’ll have to go against everything she believed in, and that will push her to her limits and beyond. Robin will find out that she is more than a mere hunter; she’s the one destined to uncover the connection between witches and humans.
Leader of the STN-J team, Amon is very quite in the office and in the field. He’s the only in the team that have conversations with Zaizen. Zaizen appoints Robin as Amon’s team mate to keep an eye on her. Amon doesn’t talk about his past or how he got connected to STN-J much. Amon has mastered the art of hunting down witches, and only cares to about getting the job down, of course this changes once Robin becomes his partner. Amon knows that Robin is unique, he doesn’t know exactly why though; when the hunt went out for Robin he went outside the rules to help her. Amon too posses powers, they are still dormant within him, but for reasons no one knows he has decided to hunt down his own kind. What are his reasons for hunting down witches? Why did he decide to help out Robin, disobeying orders? This guy is full of mystery and it’s interesting to see him develop as a characters.
Every office has one, the office couch potatoe. Yurika Dojima got the job working at the STN-J because of her family. She doesn’t come in when she’s supposed to and is often leaving before she’s supposed to, too. Usually being criticized by Chief Kosaka because of her lazy attitude Yurika naturally just ignores him. She will do her job when it has to be done, she’ll complain at first, but she’s do it. She doesn’t mind bending the rules a bit, especially when it comes to saving friends.
Young, rebellious, and reckless; Haruto Sakai is still new to the STN-J and doesn’t know exactly how things are supposed to done. He’s usually getting in danger trying to take down a powerful with witch on his own. He and Robin became good friend, both of them being newbies and all, it’s only natural.
He was once a excellent hacker that hacked into the STN-J’s system, while just cruising around; in no time he was picked up by STN-J agents and brought to Zaizen. Zaizen gave him an ultimatum, Michael either stayed and work for Zaizen, never being able to leave the STN-J office unless he said so, or be killed on the spot.
Michael now works as STN-J’s computer expert, aiding the team in technical information when ever needed. Trapped in the office, literally, Michael has gotten adjusted to his new life; he knows Zaizen would stay true to his word so he hasn’t tried to escape yet.
Miho has the ability to sense human emotions from objects; this talent makes her a very useful member of the team. She’s been with the STN-J for while so she knows the ropes, she befriends when Robin she comes. Despite the fact that she’s working in such a depression place for so long, Miho is still able to show a smile once in while. She offers Robin some points on how to get adjusted.
Chief Kosaka needs to take a day or two off and go to spa. Usually criticizing Haruto and Yurika for their bad behavior inside or outside of the office, he takes his job seriously and wants everyone else to do the same. Chief Kosaka doesn’t know much about Solomon HQ because of its secretacy, all he knows is what ever is placed in front of him. He’s really nice at heart you just have to get through that stressed out shell of his.
Takuma Zaizen runs STN-J from inside his office. He’s very distant from the rest of the STN-J, besides from his conversation with Amon he has little, to no, interaction with the rest of his employees. Zaizen is quite and has his own objectives that don’t run parallel with that of HQ. Takuma Zaizen only seems to have a serious side, he brings a dark mysterious feel to office, that’s just kind a creepy. Zaizen has a deep hatred of witches more than anyone else at STN-J. What are his real intentions, and what does it have to do with the orbo?
Wonderful series, everything was done wonderfully. This series doesn’t pick up until the middle though, which might be this series only major down point. The main characters differ greatly from each other, which makes for a clash of personalities. The overall story is a great one, I found myself so caught up in the series, again after the episode with “I am time”. The animation for this was different from what I was used too, there was a very gothic feel to it, but I believe it was very well done for this anime. The anime does have a good of putting you in suspense about the things that are going on. The story, as the episodes progress, develops into a much larger one, much larger than what I had originally expected it to be. There were quite a few surprises that caught me off guard, which I thought, made this series even better. All round Witch Hunter Robin gets thumbs up. If you can hold up longer enough for the story to really kick in, I can’t see a reason why you’d be disappointed.