Reviewby Bamboo Dong,
DVD 4: Magical Battles
In the last volume of Sorcerer Hunters, the action heats up as the group finally encounters their ultimate foe, Zaha Torte. Holding idealistic views of purifying the world through destroying it, he wants to use Carrot for the God of Destruction that lives within him. The Sorcerer Hunters and Big Momma must find a way of defeating Zaha without allowing him to achieve his ends.
Conveniently packaged with six episodes in one volume, the fourth disc of Sorcerer Hunters also happens to be the last volume of the series. Released in North America by ADV Films, fans can easily complete their collection of the series with only four discs to worry about. Aside from the episodes, however, there is nothing spectacular about the disc. It comes with two features that are nothing to drool about, as one of them is a trailer for a variety of ADV series, and the other is a section of character biographies. The biographies are mainly recycled from previous volumes, and only contain two extra characters. The DVD insert is rather nice, as it doubles as a mini-poster and features a shot of Tira Misu wielding her whip. Despite the lack of extras on the disc, it is still a very good buy if just for the high number of episodes on it. In addition, the story takes a major upturn and is worth watching the entire series for.
Unlike the preceding episodes in the series, the last few have a continuity and flow that make them very fast-paced and exciting to watch. As the final confrontation between the Sorcerer Hunters and Zaha nears, the episodes begin to have a goal and purpose. In addition, viewers are finally treated to scenes from the characters' pasts that were continually alluded to but never really discussed until now. Interestingly, the space-time continuum is examined, as the Spooner Continent world is examined for the first time. Up until the end, it is just assumed that the Continent is just a fictional place created for the sole purpose of the anime. The fighting platform that Zaha uses, however, is a remnant from the world that the God of Destruction last destroyed, as remnants of subways, skyscrapers, and traffic lights litter the background. This explores the idea of a multi-world universe, one in which souls can travel freely once they have been reincarnated.
Another aspect of the ending episodes that is particularly appealing is the emotional heart-wrenching that viewers are subjected to. The decisions that the characters are forced to make are noble, and end mostly in tragedy. As the lives of all the Sorcerer Hunters are being put on the line, viewers are twisted into fresh agony every few moments by the actions on the screen, only to feel elated a minute later. Within the span of a few episodes, viewers are led through feelings of pain, sadness, happiness, relief, and confusion; emotions which make the episodes worth watching repeatedly. Even though the preceding episodes are soaked in slapstick comedy and cheesy humor, the last few episodes are drenched in seriousness and make watching the entire series worthwhile.
As the series approached and hit the end, the art also seemed to improve greatly. The objects in the foreground, such as flowers and trees, were drawn more delicately and appeared more graceful and detailed. In fact, it was through these objects of nature that many instances of symbolism were presented. In one instance, ginkgo leaves swirl in the foreground, a symbolic reminder of the frail memories of humans and their pasts. Equally spectacular was the cinematographic effect of the settings and backdrops, featuring detailed buildings and beautifully rendered backgrounds.
After four discs, the series has upheld its entertaining nature, and has even surpassed it. While a few of the episodes still had the humor that was characteristic of the series, the seriousness and tragedy of the ending episodes made them fast-paced and riveting, and well worth the price of the disc, and even the series. While the entire series was far from being a masterpiece, the episodes were nevertheless meritorious of their own accord. In fact, fans of the series would be crazy to not pick up this last volume, even if the flavor of the last episodes is distinctly different from the more carefree tone of the earlier ones. People that have not yet seen the series are well advised to pick up the volumes, either for purchase or at least rent. There are many aspects of the series that would appeal to a variety of anime fans, ranging from the comedic side of the series, to the serious, tear-jerking scenes of the end. Either way, the show is definitely not one to be missed by anyone, or they are sure to regret it.
+ Fast-paced and emotional series finale
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