Witch Hunter Robin-Volume 6 (2002)

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Released 8-Dec-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Interviews-Cast-2
Gallery-stills (20)
Alternative Version-textless opening (1:33) and closing (1:31)
Reversible Cover
Trailer-Madman Propaganda (6)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 104:47 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (49:00) 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 hint

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

Plot Synopsis

    Some anime series are repetitive, and grow tedious — we look forward to their ends. Others feel like they rush to their end, as though the story needs 30 episodes, but the schedule allows only 26. A very few feel beautifully judged, fitting neatly within their allotted span. Witch Hunter Robin feels well-judged. Indeed, there's a feeling of inevitability as the episodes of the final volume roll toward a conclusion, as though any other number of episodes would be wrong.

    This is the sixth and final volume of Witch Hunter Robin. You might want to read my reviews of the first volume, the second volume, the third volume, the fourth volume and fifth volume.

    The episodes on this disc are:

23 Sympathy for the Devil we learn why Amon feels so strongly about Witches; Robin learns more of her own past
24 Rent Robin and the others team up in Harry's
25 Redemption Day Robin gets a visitor, Juliano, who reveals the remaining secrets about her origin
26 Time to Tell They break into the Factory to free Karasuma

    The confrontation, when Robin finds Amon pointing a gun at her, is startling, but it's only the start. The whole structure of the STN-J seems to be coming apart.

    Zaizen has made his break from Solomon. We learn more about Orbo, and why the Factory has been capturing so many Witches.

    Robin has grown through the course of this series. Thinking back to the tentative girl we saw at the beginning, and comparing her with the strong confident young woman we see now, is quite a big contrast. It's understandable, though — she has been through enough to make anyone grow up.

    I won't say anything more — you will want no spoilers for this. Just let me say that this is a highly satisfactory conclusion to one of the best anime series I've watched this year.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Even though much of this volume is set in dark places, the image is clear, sharp, and easy to watch. The only fuzziness is on computer screens or during flashbacks. There is no film grain and no low-level noise.

    Colour is nicely realised, even though there are not a lot of bright colours. These are not muted colours: there is plenty of intensity, it is just a question of darker colours. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts.

    There is some mild aliasing, made a bit worse by interleaving, on most moving shots. There is no moiré, and no shimmer. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    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. They are easy to read, and the timing appears to match the dialogue.

    The credits are shown in Japanese on each episode. The last episode is followed by credits in English.

    The disc is single-sided, dual layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change is placed exactly in the gap between the second and third episodes, at 49:00. It lies in the black between episodes, making it invisible.

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.

    The English dialogue is clear and readily understood. The Japanese dialogue sounds equally clear. They have done a good job of matching the voice acting to the animation in both languages.

    The English dub is excellent: I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it.

    The Japanese dub sounds good — if you understand Japanese, it may be the dub of choice.

    Taku Iwasaki's score is exciting and varied — it intensifies the experience of the show.

    These soundtracks are pure stereo, with no surround encoding. Don't expect anything from your subwoofer unless your bass management redirects the low bass into it. And don't expect anything significant from your surrounds, even if you enable Prologic decoding.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is animated with music — Michael Lee appears on this one. The menus are easy to use.

Special Interview #6 (5:49)

    This one interviews Hiro Yuki, seiyuu for Michael Lee.

Special Interview #7 (7:04)

    This last interview is with Takuma Takewaka, seiyuu for Amon.

    The last minute or so revisits each of the actors for a final comment.

Gallery: Stills (20 pages)

    More beautiful full-colour stills from the show, drawn from the episodes on this disc

Textless Opening (1:33)

    The same as on every disc, but it's a beautiful sequence, so I don't mind too much.

Textless Ending (1:31)

    The same as on every disc. It's a good song, but not as intriguing as the opening.

Trailers

    Three trailers, shown one after another, but each as a different title.

Reversible Slick

    The slick can be slid out of the case and reversed. The cover as shipped shows a lovely image of a pensive Robin. The reverse shows the reduced STN-J team: Michael, Sakaki, Dojima, and Karasuma.

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 in August 2004. Their cover has "Platinum Edition" branded across the top (I'm glad ours doesn't), and it has a title, "Vengeance", but uses the same lovely cover art.

    The Region 4 disc is missing:

    The Region 1 disc is missing:

    The R1 transfer is reported to be as good as ours.

    It looks like either version will satisfy, but I'm not going to bother adding the R1s to my collection; I have been happy to buy the R4s.

Summary

    An excellent dramatic anime series, one of the best I've ever seen, given an excellent presentation on DVD.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is very good for a stereo track.

    The extras include two good interviews.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Wednesday, December 15, 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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