Shin

Witch Hunter ROBIN Original Sound Scores

The score to the anime series Witch Hunter ROBIN was split into two albums: Original Sound Score 1 and Original Sound Score 2. The music was composed by Taku Iwasaki, who is also known for writing the music to the Samurai X OVAs.

Anyone who has seen the Witch Hunter ROBIN series knows that most of it has a dark element to it. Much of the music matches perfectly with this gothic-type setting and some key pieces make use of rich, deep choir which tends to add incredible depth to the compositions. The anime also had a futuristic feel to it, having highly advanced computer systems. This was also reflected quite well in the score, through the use of beats and synths resembling trance and techno styles as well as some jazz influence. This review will not be track-by-track, but will pick out most of the songs to get an overall feel to it. I’ve included a handful of low bitrate mp3 samples of some the of tracks from each of the two albums.

Original Sound Score 1
Composer: Taku Iwasaki
Producer: Keiichi Nozaki
Catalog No.: VICL-60931
Release Date: 09/21/2002
Production: Victor Entertainment

Track List
01. Robin
02. Plot
03. Tactics
04. Sneak
05. Kyrie
06. Marvelous
07. Discord
08. Dragnet
09. Underground Passage
10. Inspection
11. Harry’s
12. STN
13. Open Your Eyes
14. Dancing Type
15. Flame
16. Shadow
17. Outrageous
18. Large Crowd
19. Flashback
20. Allay Pain
21. Silence
22. Shell (TV size)
23. Half Pain (TV size)

The very first song of the first album contains a song who’s melody was surely engraved into your ears if you’ve watched the series… “Robin”. The main character’s theme, it was seldom heard in its entirety, but the first 30 seconds of it was played in almost every episode. A soft beat is introduced further into the song, as well as some light choir in the background. It’s definitely worth listening to completely. The first dark piece comes up next in “Plot”. This is a good example of how dark this score can be. It starts off really dismal, enters a beat, and ends even more dismal than when it started. Songs like this one make for an enjoyable soundtrack, even without watching the anime. A little further down the track list we come across “Kyrie”. This is easily one of my favorite tracks on this album. The song has a dynamic beat with a powerful and haunting choir echoing throughout. “Marvelous” brings in mystery to the score. The melody sounds lost, and the eerie-sounding piano projects that even more. We get hit with energy in “Dragnet”. Here is where you get to sample some trance-style synths as well as some rock elements. This song makes for great chase music. With “Inspection”, you get to hear some smooth jazz-style with the familiar choir vocals popping in and out.

» Listen to samples! Robin | Kyrie

“STN” is a highlight when it comes to the smooth music on this album. Great stuff here, this is carefree and provocative, futuristic-sounding jazz. Some of these songs you just have to hear to fully understand. Robin’s theme is reincarnated in “Open Your Eyes”, this time with piano as the main focus. This is actually a very beautiful rendition of her theme. “Dancing Type” will be sure to get your head bobbing for a bit. A great rock theme with organs playing the melody through chords. “Flame” can also be considered an alternate theme for Robin, since it’s usually played when she displays her powers. This song is a great attention-grabber and has very nice sweeping strings overlaying the rock-style in the background. “Allay Pain” has the ending theme’s melody. Of course, one of the best ways to give emotion to a song is through solo piano. While simple, this piece does a decent job at portraying pain, confusion, and sadness. The last two songs on the album are the opening and ending themes to each episode. The lyrics for these was written by Hitomi Mieno and the songs were performed by Bana. “Shell” is a great rock theme and almost reminds me of some of the rock style songs by Do As Infinity. “Pain”, in contrast, is slow and melancholy, and ends the episodes nicely.

» Listen to samples! STN | Allay Pain | Shell

Original Sound Score 2
Composer: Taku Iwasaki
Producer: Keiichi Nozaki
Catalog No.: VICL-60932
Release Date: 11/21/2002
Production: Victor Entertainment

Track List
01. Say Goodbye
02. Desperate Struggle
03. Assassination
04. Look Back
05. Surprise Attack
06. Genetic
07. Smuggle
08. Emit A Flash
09. Solomon
10. Lie
11. Grave
12. Duty
13. Factory
14. Pass
15. Expire
16. Witch
17. Enigmatic Person
18. Erosion
19. Suspicion
20. Tragedy
21. STNJ Counter
22. Decision
23. Shell (Guitar Version)

The second album starts off on a sad note with “Say Goodbye”. Lush and sweeping strings instantly set the mood of hopeful sadness in this piece. “Desperate Struggle” describes the next song perfectly. Fast-paced and steady, this is an “edge-of-your-seat” type of song, keeping you fixated on the events unfolding. “Assassination” sounds very determined and cold. Strings bring out the melody of the song and mysterious synths dominate the background as the song progresses. Another energetic song, “Surprise Attack” is also a head-bobber. This song starts off very rock-heavy and then brings in hot synths and strings. “Genetic” resurfaces the dark, haunting choir and sorrowful strings that distinguish this anime’s score, as well as in the more upbeat “Solomon”. If you like this style of music, those two will become instant favorites. These types of pieces are definitely the hallmark of this series. A new melody is introduced in the depressing song “Grave”. A soft and persistent piano flows into full chords gently under the abyssal strings as the song develops. I would describe this one as a “all is lost” piece.

» Listen to samples! Surprise Attack | Grave

The following three songs, “Duty”, Factory”, and “Pass” are the smooth style songs again. They very closely resemble a type of jazz that isn’t often noticed. “Witch” is yet another gripping song that makes great “emergency” music. The strings seem to bounce incessantly and are only interrupted by driving percussion and intimidating rock elements, keeping you focused. “Erosion” doesn’t really have a melody and is more of an ambient-style song. The composer seemed to piece together lingering sound effects to create an ominous and deadly mood. The melody in “Suspicion” is one you hear quite often towards the final episodes of the series. The song, starting off slow and quiet with piano, transforms into a hypnotic aura of dark, mysterious music through the use of beats and strings. “STNJ Counter” has something sounding like a type of lead controlling the melody while electric guitars keep it moving, along with quiet hot organ chords. “Decision” is a very royal and proud sounding song. The mood is definitely calm and accomplished. Strings are the focal point here, along with subtle brass acting as support. The album ends with an extended electric guitar version of “Shell” (the opening theme).

» Listen to samples! Duty | Witch | Suspicion | Decision

Over all the score was incredibly well done. The albums stay very consistent throughout and they do a fine job at staying balanced with the different styles it uses. This is a soundtrack that is very enjoyable even without having seen the actual anime series (although it does help to associate events with songs). If you’re into dynamically moody, dark, haunting, and sorrowful songs that aren’t the reserved type and actually have some beat to them, you will really want to check this music out.

By Dragon627

Witch Hunter ROBIN

Witch Hunter ROBIN

01. Shell (Original Romaji)
02. Shell (English Translation)
03. Half Pain (Original Romaji)
04. Half Pain (English Translation)

Shell

» performed by Bana
» lyrics by Hitomi Mieno
» music & arrangement by Hideyuki Daichi Suzuki

(Original Romaji)

Hitomi wo fuseru to
sugu kiete shimaisou de.
Hakidashite shimatta
kodoku no kehai no kazu wo
tada kazoete ita.

Kawaita jikan no naka de
oboreteru mogaiteru kokoro
memai ga suru kurai no uso wo
uketomete hikisaita
Soshite watashi ga mayoikomu no wa
usuyami no sekai

^back to top

Shell

» performed by Bana
» lyrics by Hitomi Mieno
» music & arrangement by Hideyuki Daichi Suzuki

(English Translation)

I fell like it’ll disappear
the instant I look away.
I just kept counting
all the many traces of lonliness
that I’d vomited up.

In this time that seems so dry,
my heart is thrashing around and drowning.
It takes those lies that make my head spin
and tears them to pieces.
And the place I lose my way in…
is a dim, hazy world.

^back to top

Half Pain

» performed by Bana
» lyrics by Hitomi Mieno
» music by Takao Asami (arranged by Taku Iwasaki)

(Original Romaji)

Tatoeba dokomade modoreba ii?
Oshiete
Subete wa
itami wo tomonau hodo azayaka.

Hontou wa
wakeaeru mono nante nai kara
furikaeranakatta.

Fall into a light sleep
watashi ni michiru
I don’t carry out
yakusoku wa yagate
itsuka no kagayaki suteta
kaerarenai asa no hikari no you

^back to top

Half Pain

» performed by Bana
» lyrics by Hitomi Mieno
» music by Takao Asami (arranged by Taku Iwasaki)

(English Translation)

Just how far back do I need to go?
Tell me.
It’s all
so vivid that it hurts.

The truth is,
nothing can be shared,
so I never looked back.

Falling in to a light sleep,
all those promises
I don’t carry out
inside me eventually
gave up on that light from some other time
like the light of a morning you can’t return to.

^back to top

By Dragon627

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)
Genre: Fantasy
Episodes: 26
Age: 14+

Series Review:
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.

Characters:

Robin Sena
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.

Amon
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.

Yurika Dojima
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.

Haruto Sakai
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.

Michael Lee
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 Karasuma
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
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
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?

Grading:
Story 8.5/9.0
Characters 9.0/9.0
Music 8.5/9.0
Animation 9.0/9.0

Opinion:
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.

By Cherubim

Work in progress... not home!
Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.