R2 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 10 August 2005 12:48
Another volume of Witch Hunter Robin, and
another four investigations by the STN-J mob. Feel free to stop
if this starts to get a little bit samey - these episodes are nothing
more impressive than Murder She Wrote with an occult
twist, and very little of the promising undertones that the first
volume served up. Still at least Robin can use her powers now
without creating a firestorm...
5 - Smells like the Wandering Spirit
The STN-J is investigating the
disappearance of a man who could well be a witch, and checking through
the city's homeless for any trace of him. When they think they are
onto him, a man seems to take fright when he sees Sakaki and runs away.
Sakaki pursues him, thinking he is dealing with a witch, but the
panic-stricken man runs without looking where he is going and gets run
over by a truck. The autopsy shows none of the genetic markers that a
witch should have - so why was he panicking so much? Some further
investigation by Amon based on some details the gang spotted at the
death scene pulls up the details of an unusual witch power that may
have been the cause - but catching the witch himself proves to be
6 - Raindrops
Robin runs out of petrol
whilst out riding on her Vespa - and it starts raining.
she's given a ride by a young woman, Eiko Yano, who takes her home and
even gives her an umbrella. The next day, Robin learns that Eiko
has been the victim of a fatal car accident. Robin's immediately
suspicious about what's happened, and ropes Amon and Karasuma into
helping her investigate what happened. Interviewing Chie, the
person who saw Eiko alive leads to nothing other than a vague sense
that something's not right about her, but Michael comes through again
when a search of hospital records throws up the first indications that
Chie may be a witch...
7 - Simple-mind
Another STN-J accident
investigation - this time the victim is suspected of having taken part
in a large robbery a few months before. Miho and Yurika visit Tazawa,
a suspect to question him, but he has witch powers that allow him to
escape. Robin, Amon and Haruto find him shortly afterwards, in the
process of crushing his car, inside which a young boy has been locked.
The kid is Mamoru, a relative of Tazawa's, and it turns out that he's the witch, and not Tazawa. STN-J decide to bring him in to the
Factory, but by the time they get to the hospital to pick him up,
Mamoru has disappeared, and the race is on to find him before he uses
his powers to hurt somebody else...
8 - Faith
investigation puts STN-J on the trail of a witch suspected of causing
the deaths of other witches as well as several members of the Japanese
Mafia. He's apparently being helped by a pathologist who forged
autopsy reports and who is now working in the hospital in which Robin
has just been treated. While he's been using his powers for good -
draining the life from criminal elements to save the lives of ill
children - it's still not something STN-J can allow to continue. A
tail operation helps Amon and the others track the witch down before he
can kill anyone else, but as usual the capture doesn't go as easily as
"Same old, same old" is the phrase that comes to mind after watching
these episodes - four investigations, and in each one the witch isn't
immediately obviously but is later uncovered thanks to some determined
digging by one or other of the STN-J team - all very formulaic.
There are two bright points here that pull the storylines away from
Angela Lansbury territory, though - episode 5's witch is the one that
got away, although I doubt he'll be coming back to haunt them later,
while episode 8 features a 'good' witch who you feel like cheering for
more than the STN-J mob. There are some nice shades of grey
intorduced to the story there, which is something I'd like to see more
The appearance of the men from the factory in episode 7 tells me that
will probably happen - it's when the Factory gets involved that you get
a real sense that's something about STN-J just isn't right, and over
time there'll hopefully be more of that side of the story
featured. After it being pointed out on the first volume that
Robin's been sent to Japan for a reason, it's a shame that was all
thrust into the background for these episodes.
Overall, not as good as volume 1 but not too bad as far as 'whodunit' episodes go. There more to Witch Hunter Robin under the surface, I just hope it all comes to the fore before I get bored...