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Sorcerer Hunters: Perfect Collection
If you love it when fan service or T&A get mixed in with your anime then today's review for Sorcerer Hunters has found your Holy Grail. Originally released in the mid 90's, Sorcerer Hunters is a 26 episode series from the mind of Satoru Akahori. Full of off the wall character and outlandish situations this cult program developed quite a following and even garnered three episodes worth of OVA when all was said and done. It has been a staple in the ADV catalog for years and recently the publisher decided to revisit it with a new thinpack release.
Sorcerer Hunters harkens back to an era where pointless comedies and adventuring friends was all the rave. In my opinion the show found itself drowning in a sea of similar releases when it originally was released here in America. With that being said if you appreciate shows where you can shut your brain off at the door and sit back for a guilty pleasure then this one may be for you.
The basic premise of the show takes us to a world where powerless humans are ruled over by magically inclined beings known as Sorcerers. The short story is that it sucks to be human and you're constantly trod upon by those with more power than you. Such is life I suppose! Luckily for these folk there are Sorcerer Hunters who stand up to protect the people and defy those with supernatural abilities. Governed by someone known as Big Mamma the Hunters are an eclectic bunch but for the most part the story focuses on a group of friends who have joined their ranks.
At the center of everything is Carrot Glace who is a pervert to the nth degree. His libido is overactive to say the least and though he's just a teenager, he essentially hits on anything that moves and propositions most females he comes across for sex. It's a comical trait for a protagonist to have as it leads to some interesting situations but in all honesty it does get a tad annoying after a while. We have seen characters of this archetype before and Carrot brings very little new to the personality stereotype.
Joining Carrot is his younger brother Marron Glace who is the polar opposite of Carrot as you'd expect. He provides a nice contrast to Carrot's incessant inappropriateness and stands out as significantly more mature than his elder sibling. In addition to Marron, Gateau Mocha is the only other male lead in this series. Gateau is almost as bad as Carrot when it comes to libido and goes out of his way to flash his body and make moves on anything that walks (this includes guys).
Prominently featured around the boxed set of Sorcerer Hunters is a pair of girls known as Tira and Chocolate Misu. These chicks provide a nice change of pace for the show after experiencing Carrot and Gateau, though they aren't quite as innocent as you may think. In their regular forms they each seem like normal, attentive young ladies who actually balance the insanity out. That doesn't last long though as both Tira and Chocolate have secret dominatrix sides to their personalities that come forward every now and then.
Actually, those hidden personalities, or powers, come into play in Sorcerer Hunters in some interesting ways. The five heroes are actually reincarnated versions of five gods and they use their special powers to subdue the sorcerers in the world. How a pair of dominatrix can be reincarnated gods using their powers to save mankind is beyond me, but it's funny and it works. I suppose that's probably the best trait that this show has going for it.
As flawed as these character's personalities are and as off-the-wall as their antics may be, there's no denying that they are endearing. You'll bust out laughing every time the Misu sisters smack Carrot around or every time Gateau says something racy to Marron. Its slapstick and simplistic but each of these elements works well within the confines of the show's plot. We've seen this kind of material countless times before in other shows but thankfully this one keeps from being too redundant most of the time.
With all of that being said the story here won't keep you thinking or guessing. For the most part the episodes are self-contained but there is a fair amount of continuity as the show goes along. As far as an actual plot is concerned there's not much beyond the initial intent of the show and perverse sense of humor. If you can accept and appreciate that style then you're going to get a lot of mileage out of this series. Sorcerer Hunters is definitely not for everyone but there's enough material here to make lovers of fan service and adult comedy very happy.
With a production date of more than a decade ago there's no denying that Sorcerer Hunters is an older program. As such you can expect video quality that displays that age somewhat. The picture here comes with a full frame aspect ratio and video quality that is mostly clear. There is some grain in most scenes and some dirt in others but fortunately compression artifacts aren't that pervasive in this transfer. There do seem to be some flaws with the original master that couldn't be resolved with a digital transfer but if you can accept these as just a fact of older anime then you probably won't care much anyway.
Unsurprisingly, Sorcerer Hunters comes with 2.0 English and Japanese audio selections as the only manner with which to watch this show. It's kind of a shame that the English dub didn't at least receive 5.1 encoding but I suppose you take what you can get. What's here is decent if not a tad flat with very little channel diversification. A surround track would have gone a long way to creating a sense of immersion but considering the date of this show it's not surprising that one wasn't produced.
Unlike most other ADV thinpack collections this one actually includes some bonus material that you typically don't see. For the most part these are just original trailers, clean animations, and character biographies. The real surprise here is the inclusion of four audio commentaries with the cast and production staff for the show. Episodes 1, 10, 16, and 20 feature these commentators talking about the series and their experience working on it. Compared to other anime commentaries these ones actually offer more information than laughs (though there are a few) as the cast kind of comes back together. They're fun to watch, especially if you enjoyed the English casts dub.
The mid 90's were good for slapstick comedy anime and Sorcerer Hunters is a perfect byproduct of that. With off-the-wall characters, zany trappings, and a sometimes nonsensical story it stands out as a fun trip back in time. The years have been good to this show and if you missed it the first time around ADV's latest thinpack collection is definitely worth a spin. It's not a breakout success and it doesn't push the limits of the genre but if you can shut your brain off at the door and appreciate violent and sexual humor for what it is then you'll have a good time. Recommended