Witch Hunter Robin-Volume 3 (2002)

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Released 23-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Interviews-Crew-composer and singer
Gallery-production art (20)
Gallery-stills (20)
Trailer-4
Alternative Version-textless opening (1:33) and ending (1:31)
Reversible Cover
DVD Credits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 97:27 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (73:06) 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
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, next episode "hints"

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

Plot Synopsis

    We've already reached Witch Hunter Robin Volume 3. I urge you to read my review of the first volume, and possibly the second volume, too, if you've missed either.

    This volume starts what will probably turn out to be the longer story arcs of the series. We've had "witch of the week" episodes until now — things are heating up and getting a lot more interesting.

    The episodes on this disc are:

11 The soul cages A witch who can kill with microwaves is loose in a ghetto?
12 Precious illusions Robin confronts a witch who claims to have survived the Salem witch trials
13 The eyes of truth An Inquisitor visits to test a witch who might join a hunter unit
14 Loaded guns Witch hunter Robin becomes the hunted

    The setting up is done. Now we are turning to the deeper story. The apparently simple starts to get more complex.

    The first episode is the only one that is like the early ones. It begins with a man being pursued through a ghetto by two other men (we recognise none of them). When he is cornered he turns to face them in fear. An old lady chants something. Suddenly he is empowered and lashes out at his pursuers. Next we see the STN-J team arriving to investigate, and surprised to find the Factory team already on-site.

    The Inquisitor in episode 13 is something of a surprise, especially when he talks about having conducted Robin's Inquisition, but not as much a surprise as Robin's actions; she did one rather odd thing in episode 12, but this time...

    Even so, episode 14 came as an even bigger surprise, and its ending was outright shocking.

    I don't dare say any more for fear of spoiling it. You will want to enjoy these episodes without knowing too much.

    Again, there is no title on this cover, yet the Region 1 cover is clearly labelled Inquisition. The picture on the cover, of Robin in white robes, is the same on both.

    The animation is beautiful, the characters are deep, and the storyline is getting very interesting — it will be quite a wait until August for the next volume!

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.

    The image is clear and sharp in almost all scenes — there's a touch of softness / blurriness at 92:44, but it's not a big problem. There is no significant film grain, and no low-level noise. There's no visible edge enhancement.

    Colour is wonderful, with relatively few fully saturated colours, but well-rendered subtler shades. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts.

    There is just a little bit of aliasing, limited to pans, and there are few pans in this show. There is no moiré, and next to no shimmer.

    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. The subtitles are yellow, and are easy to read. They appear to be well-timed.

    The credits are shown in Japanese on each episode (they are rather pretty) except on the last episode on the disc, where the closing credits are in English, which is good — I like being able to read the credits.

    The disc is single-sided and dual layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change is placed just after the gap between episode 13 and episode 14, at 73:06 (one second later than on the previous two discs, and one second later than the ideal location). It is not too noticeable, but is not as good as the first two discs.

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 very good dub.

    The English dialogue is clear and readily understood, even the lines spoken quietly (a number of the characters speak softly at times). The Japanese dialogue sounds equally clear. I didn't notice any extraordinary mismatch between animated mouth movements and dialogue.

    The score is very good, especially in these episodes as things get stranger. Taku Iwasaki has composed music that fits very well with the events of the show.

    These are pure 2.0 stereo soundtracks. They are full-range, but there's nothing for the surrounds or subwoofer to do. About the only thing Pro-Logic decoding will do is move much of the dialogue into the centre channel speaker.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is subtly animated with music — it's fun to look at them and spot what is moving. The menus are quite pretty, and they are easy to use.

Special Interview #1 (8:43)

    This is an interesting and informative interview piece; it is two interviews spliced together, one being an interview with composer Taku Iwasaki, the other with the singer Bana (who performs both the opening and closing themes).

Gallery: Production Art (20 pages)

    A mix of sketches and full colour art, featuring gadgets like phones, plus holsters and guns.

Gallery: Stills (20 pages)

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

Textless Opening (1:33)

    This is interesting to watch, because the opening to this show is intriguing.

Textless Ending (1:31)

    Not as interesting as the opening, because little happens. There are things in the background, in black on dark red, but they are more hinted at than visible.

Trailers (6:16)

    Four trailers, shown one after another.

Reversible Slick

    The slick can be slid out of the case and reversed. The cover as shipped shows a lovely shot of Robin in white robes. The reverse shows Michael and Sakaki; it's an attractive shot, but the shot of Robin is prettier.

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 start of 2004. It is very 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:

    It is not clear whether the R1 gets the textless opening and closing on this disc.

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

Summary

    An anime series that has gone from entertaining and enticing to being a must-watch. Nicely presented on DVD, too.

    The video quality is very good indeed.

    The audio quality is excellent for a stereo track.

    The extras include some gorgeous art galleries and a good interview piece.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, July 20, 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

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