Animation: Fair
Depth: Fair
Design: Fair
Characters: Fair
Story: Fair

Type: TV   (26 episodes)

Vintage: 2007

Category:

» action
» adventure

Tagline:

They Won't Chose Between Dead or Alive
Verdict: okay
Review:

El Cazador de la Bruja


Summary: >

Nadie is a bounty hunter hired to watch a young girl named Ellis. Ellis can't remember her past, but is drawn to the south to find answers. The bond between the two strengthens through their journey and strange adventures, where they encounter more bounty hunters, and a strange stalker who keeps hounding them. The truth may be something they don't want to hear, and a circle of witches may not let them live if they hear it.


Thoughts: >

El Cazador de la Bruja which means Girls, Guns and Tacos in Spanish (actually it means "The Hunter of the Witch" but either title works) is the third series of unrelated but spiritually similar anime titles featuring girls & guns. Noir having been released quite some time ago, and Madlax a few years later, you'd think they'd have enough a time to refine this stuff to perfection. Yet it stumbles into some of the same mistakes Noir had, at least in the beginning with the bad pacing.

It's obvious what some of the characters are intended to do in the story, but El Cazador doesn't set up a proper environment for them for quite some time, and they seem really unconvincing at first. As things progress they eventually grow into the story. The mysterious guy heading some organization does seem strangely ominous after a while. Creepy weird stalker guy gets really creepy and weird, etc. The big issue here is that you have to wait at least a good 10 episodes for things to develop. In the beginning the adventures of Nadie and Ellis basically add up to a bunch of filler as they don't develop the characters, or story, and aren't all that interesting either. Things pivot around episode 15, when Ellis goes from being a (somewhat unlikable) doll, to a girl with a personality. Her partner Nadie is about the only character I took to liking right away, but hotpants, a .45 and cowboy boots goes a long way twoard me liking a girl. At this point Nadie established that she cared about Ellis and their relationship between each other and others they encounter start to flesh out the story.

If you want mind bending plot twists, El Cazador doesn't have anything like that. A few minor surprises spice things up towards the end, but it's a fairly linear story. One thing I didn't expect, is that the end of episode 25 would culminate in a great western style showdown (which scores big points with me as a Western fan). The story and animation may not be exceptional, but they are good and very consistent in quality. Where this one really shines is with the soundtrack. It perfectly captures the Latin American feel. Even if nothing else on the screen drives the emotion home, the soundtrack picks up the slack pretty well. I suppose I should also mention the dub is well done. The occasional Spanish thrown in didn't sound half as cheesy as I would have expected. The girls don't fair well singing the Amigo Taco theme, but they're not supposed to either. Nadie never really mastering the "tee hee" at the end was always good for a laugh.

Had I not resolved myself to watch every show to the end, I would have given up on this one early on. It takes a while for El Cazador to pick up steam, it gets close to pandering sometimes, and it never manages to become anything great, but by the end and thought it was a good watch. I'm not sure I'd advocate skipping episodes in the beginning, as some of them are at least a little entertaining, but if the episode doesn't look like it's going anywhere, it's generally safe to skip (for the first 10 episodes). Good action, a nice change of pace with the Latin American feel, and even a sexy witch thrown in for good measure.


Quote: >

Ellis: The incandescent flames of love burns deep within their hearts.

Miguel: I see your punches haven't lost their sting.

Nadie: And I see your face still makes an awesome punching bag.

Nadie: I thought I was free for a long time, because I was alone. It's not that I wouldn't depend on anyone, it's that I couldn't. Even when I went down the wrong path, I had no one to steer me right again. You think freedom is such a good thing. But you'll find out soon enough. Being free is actually harder and more painful.


Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2012