Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.
Witch Hunter Robin Vol. 4
Distributor Beez Entertainment
Date 28 Nov 2005
It’s such a shame.
After three volumes of stylish but substance-free DVD’s. Witch Hunter Robin finally provides something to get your teeth into, though it may require a few repeat viewings to figure out exactly what’s going on.
With team leader Amon more aloof than ever with his young charge, Robin, the political goings-on are starting to reach a crescendo, with the siege of Raven’s Nest and a change of direction for our heroine – but is everything what it seems? And just who is the government really after anyway?
Sad to say that even though Robin now has direction, as opposed to the stand alone and aimless episodes preceding this volume, it still doesn’t really grab you. Nor will you be particularly bothered about finding out the answers to the above questions. The reasons for this are quite simple – there just hasn’t been enough character development, and as such the viewer is left wondering whether or not we really care about the state of any of the characters during or after the dramatic changes in this volume.
What WHR is trying to do is imitate those series that drew you in and shocked you half way through, such as Trigun and Evangelion, both of which lulled you in with a series of unconnected episodes, building the characters and comforting the viewer, before switching everything around and stunning you into a new gear, hammering home with a series of compelling episodes leading to a grand finale.
Even though this tactic is quite well worn now, there are still examples of anime that can use the trick effectively, such as Chrono Crusade. Sadly WHR fell at the first hurdle, and as such any dramatic impact is a wasted effort. Though it remains achingly stylish and beautiful to watch, it has all the depth and feeling of a supermodel cardboard cut-out.