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Witch Hunter Robin (TV).


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Sohma_Curse
Bargain HunterBargain Hunter


Joined: 07 Dec 2012
Posts: 490
Location: New York

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:52 pm Reply with quote
Just finished disc 2 today.

While I'm not one to dislike procedural/episodic series, it feels like it doesn't work for a series like this. Each episode's individual stories are somewhat interesting, but they're rushed to vague and incomplete (not to mention, unsatisfying) conclusions so that things can be wrapped up before the end of the episode. The lack of a continuous main arc (as of yet) also makes it difficult to get invested. Additionally, there has been VERY little in the way of character development thus far; and what has been revealed isn't all that intriguing.

I, too, picked up this series based on the stellar review on this site, but as of yet, it has been average at best. Regardless, I'll stick with it to see where it goes (as I am someone who doesn't quit a series unless I absolutely despise it).
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:09 am Reply with quote
Most of the first half of the series is episodic, and that is definitely the weakest part. (There is a bit of actual plot during this time but it is almost entirely playing out in the background.) The main plot kicks into high gear with episode 11, when the STN-J goes into the Walled City; that may at first look like just another "case of the week" story, but everything that happens later in the series is either triggered by, or escalated by, what is set in motion there. The following episode is where I thought the series finally started to get good, as at that point it starts to have substance as well as style.

Still think think the series has one of the great anime OPs.
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Kruszer
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:13 am Reply with quote
I disagree that it's a weakness. The first half of episodes do a great job of developing the STN-J characters for the second half spoiler[which is where the story kicks in and shakes everything up.] Without all that development spoiler[the story in the second half] would not have had the impact it did for me. At any rate, I liked the show a lot it had a great moody atmosphere, a cast of characters I really liked, good storylines, and a great overall OST.

This was one of first anime I ever bought back in the early '00s. It was one of the best LE releases I've ever seen, nice box, discs that actually had real extras, and came with a shirt I still have and the first soundtrack.
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Key
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 11:56 am Reply with quote
"Weakest part" does not necessarily imply "weakness." The first half was definitely necessary for establishing the characters well, but not having much direct "big picture" plot involvement definitely makes it weaker.
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Kruszer
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 9:07 pm Reply with quote
Okay, fair enough.
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Gewürtztraminer
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Joined: 14 Nov 2007
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Location: Texas - Its like whole other country.

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 9:35 pm Reply with quote
Finished this today, I decided to tackle Desert Punk and GunXSword first, then got sidetracked by a few video games.

Once the main plot kicked in, from there to the finish, I liked it, quite a bit. It is nice to find an old series in the backlog that you kind of wish you had taken the time to watch sooner.

There is no way this anime would fly in today's world. That first episode was pretty dull, and the first half dozen were not much better. The witch powers (especially Robin's) displayed up to about episode 8, were supremely underwhelming. "Oh! Small, misdirected flames!" does not give any oomph to the show at all. There would have been no audience left by the time it got good. Looking back, the initial episodes did serve a purpose, and I can appreciate them more. I will not skip them on a rewatch.

Impressive magic does eventually show up, but the action remains pretty muted throughout the run. The main draw is the story being told, and all the various players and factions and ferreting out exactly what everyone's motivations are and who is really working for who.
I do have several gripes about the execution of the show:
The Dub: Pretty stilted, but that might be due to....
The Script: I bet well over half of Robin's dialog is repeating what was just told to her as a question. "They are looking for the fragment of wisdom." Robin: "The fragment of wisdom?" "Soloman is sending a hunter." Robin: "Soloman is sending a hunter?" All the characters join in doing this, but none to the degree of Robin. By the end, I could not help notice it, and when it happened just about every minute, it detracted from my enjoyment. I will have to sample the sub to see if its a translation thing, but I suspect it is the overall script.
The epilogue: I wish they would have explained how hunting was different after the last episodes events. I get that it still needs to be done, but what happens to the targets? A minor hole that was not filled, and I was interested in learning about.

Still, I enjoyed it a lot, if you have been sitting on your copy for several years, dust it off.[/b]
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eyeresist



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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 9:47 pm Reply with quote
Gewürtztraminer wrote:
There is no way this anime would fly in today's world. That first episode was pretty dull, and the first half dozen were not much better. The witch powers (especially Robin's) displayed up to about episode 8, were supremely underwhelming. "Oh! Small, misdirected flames!" does not give any oomph to the show at all. There would have been no audience left by the time it got good.

To be fair, this show is definitely not pitched at the Dragon Ball crowd. A small, difficult-to-use power is more interesting for character development than just another standard SJ hero spamming massive energy blasts.

Gewürtztraminer wrote:
The main draw is the story being told, and all the various players and factions and ferreting out exactly what everyone's motivations are and who is really working for who.

Yes, this.
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MaxSouth



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:44 pm Reply with quote
WHY, WHY Zac never wrote in the review to start watching only from the second half, and that the first half is unbearable torture of pointless episodic "monster of the week" filler? It took me few months to get through the first half -- this is how painful it was. I thought I would not survive this. If only producers would be honest and make 13-episode anime from this, not extend it to 26-episode series, it would be great.

It reminded me of D.Gray-Man, first 51 episodes of filler were a true terror. You could honestly lose faith in humanity and fall to depression, trying to get through it. The second part, like in this project, was infinitely better.

Is there way to ask Zac to add just tiny one line to his review that other viewers could be spared? Something like "WARNING: if you have low tolerance of filler episodes that move no story forward, watch the first episode and then jump to 13th"?


Last edited by MaxSouth on Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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getchman
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 07 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:04 pm Reply with quote
send him a PM and see what he says
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Key
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:49 am Reply with quote
In fairness, the first 13 episodes weren't entirely filler beyond the first couple, as some of the trust-building that went on during that time frame was important to what happened later. They're just mostly filler. Wink

Incidentally, the pattern seen here was fairly common for 24-26 episode series from the early-to-mid 2000s, as I can think of a few others which displayed similar patterns of having the first 1/3 to 1/2 largely being throwaway episodes before finally settling down into the plot. You can still see a similar pattern commonly-used these days in 12-13 episode series.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:50 am Reply with quote
^
Throwaway in terms of plot, not in terms of character building/development and world-building.
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lesterf1020
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Joined: 29 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:55 pm Reply with quote
Well there are a large group anime fans, and that group seems to get larger by the season, that think anything that does not aggressively move the plot or action is a complete waste of time. I often wonder why these people don't just stick with pure action shows. I even wonder if anime is the right medium for them. I can think of a lot more action and plot heavy mediums that have none of the drawbacks of being an anime fan.
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Key
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:21 pm Reply with quote
Not sure I like what you're implying there, lester1020.

I was, of course, referring to cases where "character development" and "world-building" are only weak excuses for the diddling around that a series does. There's a big difference between content which doesn't advance the action/plot but is important for those two aspects and content which isn't valuable even for that. I would argue that at least some of WHR's first half falls into the latter category.


Last edited by Key on Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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lesterf1020
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:43 am Reply with quote
That comment wasn't directed at you but rather people like Maxsouth who I encounter more and more often on anime forums. There is nothing wrong with their opinions, of course, it just seems to me they are looking in the wrong place for their entertainment.
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errinundra
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:37 am Reply with quote
Coincidentally, thanks to my nephew's fansubs, I've just finished watching Witch Hunter Robin for the first time. I liked it well enough that I've ordered it from Madman & it should arrive early next week. Anyone who's familiar with my tastes in anime would have known I would take a shine to Robin Sena.

While I largely agree that WHR's early episodes don't advance the story all that rapidly I have found a paradoxical thing with these sorts of series. Much later, when I have a yen to revisit a series, it's the stand alone episodes I often watch. That way I can experience all over again the pleasure I got from the series without immersing myself in a long, convoluted plot. I see my favourite heroines strut their stuff in a satisfying, self-contained episode.

By way of contrast, while I think Gankutsuou is a better series I never re-watch it because the thing is so plot heavy that viewing just one or two episodes is altogether unsatisfying.

Whether WHR has the quality to have me coming back to sample it some more, only time will tell. As much as I like Robin she's just that bit too passive to be ranked among the very best female protagonists.

BTW, the opening theme is a killer.

MaxSouth wrote:
...the first half is unbearable torture of pointless episodic "monster of the week" filler?...


That's an exaggeration. The first episode introduces the characters and the scenario. The overarching plot gets underway in episode eleven. Nine episodes (two to ten) is just over one third or, more precisely, 34.6%. That leads me to dismiss the rest of the assertion as similarly overstated (which it is). Razz

***

I've also been looking for the opportunity to make this contrast between two recently viewed anime:



Who is the older character? If you weren't an anime viewer you'd probably get it wrong. Robin represents what I like in anime; Kanna what afflicts it. That's not to say I didn't enjoy Koe de Oshigoto but, to be honest, my reasons were unwholesome.
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