Reviewby Bamboo Dong,
DVD 3: Magical Contests
In this volume of the Sorcerer Hunters, a man is introduced who would be the group's future nemesis. In the meantime, the characters are discovering aspects of their life that reveal their motivations and childhood memories. With one volume left to go, the Sorcerer Hunters are preparing for their final encounter.
Viewers who have been searching for an adventurous, yet humorous show can now stop their quest. Released in North America by ADV Films, Sorcerer Hunters is a fun show that is filled with both excitement and laugh-out-loud entertainment. With six complete episodes on the third volume of the series, the series is both cheap and easy to collect.
Included with the episodes is also a trailer for the series and character bios. The trailer is interesting to look at, but is nothing spectacular in itself, as it is comprised of just screenshots played with the ending theme in the background. The character biographies are shots of a few of the main characters, as well as some of the people that appeared in the episodes. Although the character biographies are somewhat fun to read, they were poorly written. Drafted in an easy-going, everyday vernacular, the descriptions are too informal and sound as though they were written by a teenager for a fanzine or a fan website. In addition, the descriptions were based mainly on the characters portrayed in the English dub script. For instance, Gateau and Marron are described as homosexually inclined, which was never hinted at in the Japanese script. On the other hand, the English script has numerous gay references, such as Gateau casually mentioning to Marron, “Man, I need a backrub in the worst possible way.” The only way that the two could be interpreted as gay is because the English dub wishes it to be so.
As with most of ADV's releases, the dub scripts are poorly written and heavily altered, and Sorcerer Hunters is no exception. The script has absolutely nothing to do with the original script at most times. Instead, some of the names have been changed, the story altered, and the lines changed to convey one sex joke after another. In the most general instances, the characters will speak in the dub where there is no dialogue in the Japanese version. At other times, the writers changed the plot entirely. In the sixteenth episode, the episode featured a maniacal surgeon and her assistant; the former was obsessed with performing operations on any and every patient regardless of the ailment, the latter was a nervous nurse who was afraid of sharp objects. After the writers got through with the script, the two were portrayed as man-haters who would do anything to torture men. In fact, all the episodes were skewered beyond proportion, so that if two fans who had viewed the different language tracks had wanted to discuss the series, they wouldn't be able to understand each other.
The art and animation are decent, though not exceptionally so. Throughout the series, the transformation sequences are overused, though that can be expected from any magical series. What was the most annoying was that not only were the sequences used during the transformations, but at also every possible time. They were used in the opening theme, and if it was suitable, random parts of it were shown at every possible time. After so many episodes, this may be seen as rather frustrating by some viewers; others may just see it as a chance to see Tira and Chocolate transform again. As for the rest of the animation, the frame rate is rather slow, but not so much that it hinders the enjoyment of the series. The art is nothing spectacular, but at times there are certain shots that are impressive, such as a single leaf sprouting out of an old tree, or a rendered background.
Regardless of some of the negative aspects of the series, there are still many commendable characteristics. The story is explored with more depth, as the characters' pasts are revealed in relation to their childhoods, and even their past lives. In fact, as it turns out, Carrot is wanted by Torte for his own maniacal reasons, and this twist in the plot provides much interest for viewers. As far as the episodes go, they are still packed with as much humor as they started out with. The slapstick antics are entertaining, and regardless of the dialogue track, both scripts provide amusing lines to laugh over.
Although the series is nothing to drool and obsess over, it is still an enjoyable one to watch either alone or with a group of friends. The humor will have just about everyone laughing incessantly, and although the jokes are radically different for the different language tracks, either version is still funny. However, fans of dubs will have to realize that the version they are watching frequently has nothing to do with the original version. Regardless, the series has aspects of it that will appeal to virtually everyone, with adventure, quirky characters, and laughs around every corner.
+ Hilarious antics and lines
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