Witch Hunter Robin-Volume 2 (2002)

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Released 20-Apr-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Alternative Version-textless opening (1:32) & ending (1:31)
Gallery-production art (25)
Gallery-stills (20)
Trailer-7
Reversible Cover
DVD Credits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 121:48 (Case: 125)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (73:05) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Shuko Murase
Studio
Distributor
Sunrise, Inc.
Madman Entertainment
Starring Akeno Watanabe
Kari Wahlgren
Takuma Takewaka
Crispin Freeman
Jun Fukuyama
Johnny Young Bosch
Kaho Kouda
Wendee Lee
Kyoko Hikami
Michelle Ruff
Hiro Yuuki
Dave Wittenberg
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Taku Iwasaki


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Titling
English
Smoking Yes, infrequent
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, cryptic hints about the next episode

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is the second volume of Witch Hunter Robin. If you missed my review of the first volume, I urge you to read it before reading this one — it contains background information that I won't repeat.

    Things have moved on from the first volume, with Robin a more accepted member of the team.

    The episodes on this disc are:

6 Raindrops Investigating a death that Robin feels bad about yields some questions
7 Simple Mind Searching for a witch who can crush cars by thought
8 Faith Being a witch does not give one the authority to choose who lives or dies
9 Sign of the Craft How can a dead witch be killing people?
10 Separate Lives They are lying in wait for a witch to visit Harry's restaurant

    These fairly early episodes are pretty much "witch-of-the-week" stuff. The people of the STN-J get involved in a case (admittedly, I think they get involved in a different way each time), they confirm that a witch is involved, they incapacitate the witch (or the witch dies), roll credits. They get points for style (lots of style), but it is a bit formulaic. Still, it is slowly opening up character elements, and we are getting more familiar with the members of the STN-J, so it's not all bad. And we're getting glimpses into Robin, who is simultaneously the most enigmatic, and the most attractive, character. I've decided that I really like her, even though I can't say why.

    These episodes start with Robin doing a test - lighting large numbers of candles. With her glasses on, she scores 98%, a result that impresses everyone except Amon, who merely retorts that maybe she'll be useful now. During these episodes she gets to prove her usefulness (and both her speed and power) — it seems clear that Amon does not resent having her as a partner any more. And Robin is becoming more self-assertive, which is good.

    I have wondered about Robin's attire. I wondered if there was some taboo about her showing more than her head and hands, but apparently not: she dresses in a much more revealing halter top when undercover in episode 10 (although she still wears trousers rather than the shorts Dojima wears). So maybe the heavy garb is merely tradition? Maybe we'll find out later.

    We learn nothing new about The Factory. In fact, apart from one small interchange, these episodes concern themselves solely with the team we're getting to know better. I suspect that will change.

    I have seen mention of each volume having a name (this one is supposedly called Belief) — that name appears nowhere on this cover, although it apparently appears on the Region 1 cover..

    The animation is exquisite, and the sombre tone of the series is leavened with interesting characters — I'm more than willing to continue watching this series.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced. That's the original aspect ratio, so we can't complain.

    The image is clear and sharp. There is no significant film grain, and no low-level noise. There's no visible edge enhancement.

    Colour is superb, with a wide palette of lovely colours, all well-rendered. There are few really bright colours, but there are plenty of rich colours. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts.

    There is little aliasing (there is a bit more aliasing in the second episode than in the other four, for no apparent reason). There is no moiré, and next to no shimmer. This is a clean transfer, which gives me very little to talk about — I'm not really complaining, though...

    There are two sets of subtitles on this disc, both English. The first subtitles only songs and signs, while the second is a set of full subtitles of the dialogue; the Japanese dialogue, that is. The subtitles are easy to read, and seem to be well-timed.

    The credits are shown in Japanese on each episode. This disc doesn't include English credits at all, not even at the end of all five episodes, which is a shame.

    The disc is single-sided and dual layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change is placed between episode 3 and episode 4, at 73:05 (exactly the same place as on the previous disc). It is far from obvious.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in English and Japanese, both in Dolby Digital 2.0, 224kbps. I watched every episode in both languages, but if I were watching for enjoyment, I'd probably listen to the English — it is a good dub.

    The English dialogue is clear and readily understood, even the lines spoken quietly (Robin often speaks softly). The Japanese dialogue sounds equally clear. I didn't notice any extraordinary mismatch between mouth flaps and dialogue.

    Taku Iwasaki has matched the music to the action well, using a mix of more modern styles and instruments. The distorted electric guitar that starts the opening theme is catchy.

    These are pure 2.0 stereo soundtracks. They are full-range, but there's nothing for the surrounds or subwoofer to do.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is subtly animated with music. The menus are quite pretty, and they are easy to use.

Textless Opening (1:32)

    Just as on the first volume.

Textless Ending (1:31)

    Just as on the first volume.

Gallery: Production Art (25 pages)

    A mix of sketches and full colour art, with multiple pages dedicated to each subject.

Gallery: Stills (20 pages)

    These are quite gorgeous full-colour stills from the show.

Trailers (10:30)

    Seven trailers, shown one after another.

Reversible Slick

    The slick can be slid out of the case and reversed. The cover as shipped shows Amon on the front against some indistinct colours (the R1 cover is better at showing what the background is meant to be). The reverse shows Robin as a waitress (nice!) with Harry (the restaurant owner) — it's quite attractive, and I'm tempted to turn this one around.

DVD Credits

    A single page listing the Madman people associated with the disc.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 version of this disc was released at the end of 2003. It is similar to this one, except for a few differences in extras, and different menus.

    The Region 4 disc is missing:

    The Region 1 disc is missing:

    The R1 transfer is reported as being very good, so it's probably about as good as this one. It looks like a tie. I'm happy to keep buying the Region 4 discs.

Summary

    A beautifully detailed anime series that's intriguing, even in "witch-of-the-week" mode. Nicely presented on DVD, too.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is excellent for a stereo track.

    The extras include some good art galleries.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Sunday, June 27, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
wow.. - aapac (check out me bio over 'ere)