|Witch Hunter Robin|
|Genre||Occult detective, supernatural, action|
|Created by|| Hajime Yatate |
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Shuko Murase|
|Produced by||Keiichi Matsumura|
|Written by||Aya Yoshinaga|
|Music by||Taku Iwasaki|
|Original network||TV Tokyo, Animax|
|Original run||July 2, 2002 – December 24, 2002|
Witch Hunter Robin (stylized as Witch Hunter ROBIN) is a 2002 Japanese anime series created by Sunrise and animation director Shūkō Murase. The series follows a fictional Japanese branch of a secret global organization called "SOLOMON" or the "Solomon Toukatsu Nin'idantai" (roughly "Solomon Executive Organization"), abbreviated as "STN" or "STN-J". Solomon fights the harmful use of witchcraft using a database of witches, which includes those who have obtained the power of witchcraft through genetics and others who carry the gene (called "seeds") in order to arrest or eliminate them should their powers "awaken". The series focuses on one STN-J member, Robin Sena.
Robin Sena is a "craft user", born in Japan and raised by the Roman Catholic Church in Italy. She is trained to use her craft of fire to hunt down witches. Witchcraft is a genetic trait, dormant within a number of individuals within the human population. Powers can be "awakened" in these dormant human "seeds" at any time, which seems to also drive the awakened witch into various forms of homicidal madness or sociopathy. Trained hunters, craft-users or "seeds" themselves that have not become full witches, are needed to keep watch over "seeds" and hunt those whose abilities become active, serving in secret organizations, such as the parent branch "Solomon" and the "STN-J" branch in Japan, as self-appointed witch police to curtail the use of witchcraft in society, and to keep the witch kind a secret from the public. Even the police, who cooperate with STN-J in abnormal criminal cases, do not know what STN-J does.
The series begins when Robin arrives in Japan to gain information for Solomon headquarters about a fabled item that holds the "secrets of the craft," while acting undercover as a new hunter to the STN-J in their efforts to capture witches.
"Orbo" is a green liquid that negates witch abilities. STN-J's hunters carry small vials of it on necklaces in the shape of a cross as a form of protection against their targets' craft. Hunters also carry air pistols which fire darts or pellets of Orbo that dampen witch powers when it enters the bloodstream of the target witch. Hunters who are craft-users or seeds can use Orbo without ill effects, although their own powers are reportedly diminished while using it. Robin, a craft-user herself, declines to use Orbo because she feels it is "disgusting".
As the series goes on, Robin grows increasingly uncomfortable with her role in hunting and capturing other witches. She begins to question the treatment they receive while incarcerated in the mysterious "Factory". After the discovery of "secrets of the craft," she is entrapped and attacked twice by "witch bullets". Subsequently, the STN-J is attacked, presumably for "secrets of the craft," although the Solomon attack was carried out to find what Zaizen, the director of the STN-J, was planning.
Robin begins to worry that she will become a target and grows to suspect that her partner Amon will hunt her. Eventually, Robin does become a target of Solomon and labeled a witch, becoming "hunted". In the end, Robin finds out more about her craft and that of witches than she knew at the beginning.
Initially, the series appears to take a "monster of the week" approach. About halfway through the 26-episode season, the characters and the relationships between them are established and the main plot gets underway.
The TV series was produced by Sunrise and Bandai Visual and directed by Shūkō Murase, with Aya Yoshinaga serving the role of chief writer, Kumiko Takahashi designing the characters and Taku Iwasaki composing the music.The series originally aired across Japan between July 2, 2002 and December 24, 2002 on TV Tokyo and Animax, which later broadcast the series across its respective networks worldwide, including East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and other regions.
The series was licensed for North American distribution by Bandai Entertainment. In October 2003, it debuted at the 3rd Annual Metreon Festival of Anime in San Francisco, followed by a Q&A and autograph session from Kari Wahlgren, who provided the voice for the title character.It was later aired across the United States on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim late-night programming block beginning February 16, 2004 (it was given a second full run on Adult Swim in the Fall of 2004 before the broadcast rights were left to expire). It has also been aired across Canada on YTV's Bionix block from September 10, 2004. Following the closure of Bandai Entertainment in 2012, Sunrise announced at their at Otakon 2013, that Funimation has rescued the series, along with a handful of other former Bandai Entertainment titles.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland the series was broadcast in a daily stripped timeslot on AnimeCentral from January 5 to January 30, 2008, with an immediate rerun from January 31.
The music of Witch Hunter Robin was composed by Taku Iwasaki. Both the opening and ending themes were performed by Bana (aka Chino Takayanagi). Two soundtrack CDs have been released by Victor Entertainment. The first Witch Hunter Robin Original Sound Score I was released on September 21, 2002. It contains twenty-three tracks, including TV edits of the opening and ending themes.The second soundtrack Witch Hunter Robin Original Sound Score II was released on November 21, 2002. It also contained twenty-three tracks with a guitar version of the opening theme. A shortened version of this guitar-only theme was used as the ending theme for Episode 15 "Time to Say Goodbye". A single containing the opening and ending themes and karaoke versions was released on August 21, 2002.
On April 5, 2004, the SciFi Channel released a press release stating a listing of new shows and movies in development for the future, one of which was a live action version of Witch Hunter Robin produced by Roy Lee and Doug Davison, who were credited as the producers for the movie The Ring . No premiere date was given.It was later revealed that the live action version developed by Sci-Fi had been dropped from production.
The series has received many comments from staff of Anime News Network . Bamboo Dong, a columnist from the website, has stated that she cannot make enough positive comments about the series and that it is "a show that everyone must absolutely see".She also comments that the ending "is a wonderful way to cap off the series" and that it retained the series' solid sense of action. However, she comments that the ending moved a little too fast and spent much of its time with plot revelations, missing its chance to give the series "that extra kick". Carlo Santos praised the series, saying that it was a unique tale that was gorgeous and engrossing to watch and one of 2004's best adventure anime. Ryan Matthews has praised the cast choices in his column, saying that the cast is well-suited to their roles, but the performances were flat. He also notes that the ADR script was filled with clumsy wording and mid-sentence stops. He comments that it seems that the script was written without trying to match the animation. In his review, Zac Bertschy says that the series is highly original and very well executed. Bertschy praises the sound track. He notes that the character designs fit well with series' visual style and the characters' expressions were convincing. Although he says that the slow plot pacing is a more negative point, he points out that action is not the focus and that once the series' picks up, the "wait is more than worth it".
Jason Bustard from T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews comments that the supernatural and spooky undercurrent in the setting would fit perfectly into The X-Files or Millennium television series. The characters are received as a "mixed bunch". The main cast is said to have "distinct and fully rendered personalities", all of which are well-done. Character interaction is fun, but characterization sometimes falls into cliché. In contrast to the review from Anime News Network, Bustard believed that the story moved at a brisk pace. Although he agreed that action fans would find the series dull and added that comedy and romance fans would not enjoy the series either.
Tasha Robinson of Sci Fi Channel's Sci Fi Weekly commented that it was difficult to decide whom to "root for" as the witches seemed to be insane killers, but the protagonists were "killers of a colder, more controlled stripe" and were generally unpleasant, with the exceptions of Karasuma and Zaizen. She also noted that the characters give no indication as to why they work for the STN. Robin and Amon's character designs are said to be strange. The series' setting was said to be "a fairly severe, almost oppressive gothic design" and that the color palette and the plot's focus on the occult contributed to the dark feel. The pace steeply picks up once the protagonists head into battle. It is also noted that the series' could have afforded to reveal more information earlier in the series instead of teasing the audience with mysteries; just like many other reviewers, she comments that the mysteries were worth the wait.
Witch Hunter Robin placed second on a list of top anime properties for 2004's first quarter and placed sixth for the third quarter.
Cowboy Bebop is a Japanese science fiction neo-noir anime television series created and animated by Sunrise, led by a production team of director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno. The twenty-six episodes ("sessions") of the series are set in the year 2071, and follow the lives of a traveling bounty hunting crew in their spaceship called the Bebop. Although it incorporates a wide variety of genres throughout its run, Cowboy Bebop draws most heavily from science fiction, western and noir films. Its most prominent thematics include adult existential ennui, loneliness, and the inability to escape one's past.
Sunrise Inc. is a Japanese animation studio founded in September 1972 and is based in Suginami, Tokyo. Its former name was Nippon Sunrise and, before that, Sunrise Studio.
s-CRY-ed, also known as s.CRY.ed or Scryed, is a 26 episode Japanese anime television series which first aired in Japan on TV Tokyo. The series is written by Yōsuke Kuroda, produced by Sunrise, and directed by Gorō Taniguchi, with music composed by Kōtarō Nakagawa. It is set in an alternative time in Kanagawa Prefecture where a phenomenon gave 1% of its people supernatural powers; they are known as Alters. The plot follows a young Alter mercenary known as Kazuma, as well as Ryuho, a man working for the Alter special forces known as HOLY, who become rivals as their areas clash.
Wolf's Rain is a Japanese anime television series created by writer Keiko Nobumoto and produced by Bones. It was directed by Tensai Okamura and featured character designs by Toshihiro Kawamoto with a soundtrack produced and arranged by Yoko Kanno. It focuses on the journey of four lone wolves who cross paths while following the scent of the Lunar Flower and seeking Paradise.
Outlaw Star is a Japanese anime television series produced by Sunrise and seinen manga series written and illustrated by Takehiko Itō. The series takes place in the "Toward Stars Era" universe in which spacecraft are capable of traveling faster than the speed of light. The plot follows protagonist Gene Starwind and his motley crew of an inherited ship dubbed the Outlaw Star, as they search for a legendary, outer space treasure trove called the "Galactic Leyline".
Hunter × Hunter is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. It has been serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 1998, although the manga has frequently gone on extended hiatuses since 2006. Its chapters have been collected in 36 tankōbon volumes as of October 2018. The story focuses on a young boy named Gon Freecss who discovers that his father, who left him at a young age, is actually a world-renowned Hunter, a licensed professional who specializes in fantastical pursuits such as locating rare or unidentified animal species, treasure hunting, surveying unexplored enclaves, or hunting down lawless individuals. Gon departs on a journey to become a Hunter and eventually find his father. Along the way, Gon meets various other Hunters and encounters the paranormal.
Escaflowne is a 2000 Japanese animated adventure dark fantasy film produced by Sunrise and animated by studio Bones. Directed by Kazuki Akane, the film is a re-telling of the 26-episode anime television series The Vision of Escaflowne. While the plot of the film has some similar elements to the original television series, the characters differ in varying degrees from the television counterparts, with many completely redesigned and bearing little resemblance to the originals. The world of Gaea has a more Asian design than the heavily European influenced television series.
Bionix was a late night action programming block that aired between September 2004 and February 2010 on the Canadian television channel YTV. The block primarily featured acquired Japanese anime series aimed at mature audience.
Ojamajo Doremi, alternatively titled Magical DoReMi in English, is a Japanese magical girl anime television series created by Toei Animation. It focuses on a group of elementary school girls, led by Doremi Harukaze, who become witch apprentices. The series aired in Japan on TV Asahi between February 1999 and January 2003, spanning four seasons and 201 episodes, and was followed by an original video animation series released between June and December 2004. An English-language version of the first season, produced by 4Kids Entertainment, aired in North America in 2005.
Kari Wahlgren is an American voice actress who has provided English-language voices for animated movies, TV series, and video games. She got her start in anime voice-overs as Haruko Haruhara in FLCL, and would later land major roles in a number of shows and films: Robin Sena in Witch Hunter Robin, Lavie Head in Last Exile, Fuu in Samurai Champloo, Scarlett in Steamboy, Pacifica Casull in the Scrapped Princess, Saya Otonashi in Blood+, Kagami Hiiragi in Lucky Star, Saber in Fate/zero, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works and Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel, and Celty Sturluson in the Durarara!! series.
Gurren Lagann, known in Japan as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, is a Japanese mecha anime television series animated by Gainax and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami. It ran for 27 episodes on TV Tokyo between April and September 2007. It was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by veteran playwright Kazuki Nakashima. Gurren Lagann takes place in a fictional future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, who forces mankind to live in isolated subterranean villages. The plot focuses on two teenagers, Simon and Kamina, who live in a subterranean village and wish to go to the surface. Using a mecha known as Lagann, Simon and Kamina reach the surface and start fighting alongside other humans against Lordgenome's forces, before fighting the forces of their true enemy.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, often referred to simply as Code Geass, is a Japanese anime television series produced by Sunrise. It was directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by Clamp. Set in an alternate timeline, the series follows the exiled prince Lelouch vi Britannia, who obtains the "power of absolute obedience" from a mysterious woman named C.C. Using this supernatural power, known as Geass, he leads a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, commanding a series of mecha battles.
Haruhi Suzumiya is a Japanese light novel series written by Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrated by Noizi Ito. It was first published in 2003 by Kadokawa Shoten in Japan with the novel The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and has since been followed by 11 additional novel volumes, an anime television series adaptation produced by Kyoto Animation, four manga series, an animated film, two original net animation series and several video games.
Sakura Wars is a 2000 Japanese anime created by Madhouse first broadcast on TBS and later on other TV stations. It is based on the Sakura Wars video game franchise by Sega and Red Entertainment.
Toriko (トリコ) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro. It follows the adventures of Toriko, a Gourmet Hunter, as he searches for rare, diverse foods to complete a full-course meal. On his journey, he is accompanied by a timid chef who wants to improve his skills. Toriko was serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump from May 2008 to November 2016, with its chapters collected into 43 tankōbon volumes.
Toshihiro Kawamoto is a Japanese animator. He is co-founder and director of the anime studio Bones. He was character designer and animation director of Cowboy Bebop.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica, also known simply as Madoka Magica, is a 2011 Japanese anime television series created by Magica Quartet and animated by Shaft. The story follows a group of middle school girls, led by protagonist Madoka Kaname, who make supernatural contracts to become magical girls. In battling surreal enemies known as "witches", they learn of the anguish and peril associated with their new roles.
Tiger & Bunny is a 2011 Japanese anime television series produced by Sunrise under the direction of Keiichi Satou. The screenplay was written by Masafumi Nishida, with original character design by Masakazu Katsura. The series began its broadcast run in Japan on April 3, 2011 on Tokyo MX, followed by rebroadcasts on BS11 and MBS, and ended on September 17, 2011. Viz Media simulcast the series on Hulu and Anime News Network. It is set in a futuristic city where heroes fight crime whilst promoting real life sponsors, focusing on two superheroes, the old-fashioned Kotetsu T. "Wild Tiger" Kaburagi and the rookie hero Barnaby "Bunny" Brooks Jr., as they are forced by their employers to work together.
Witchcraft Works is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Ryū Mizunagi. It has been serialized in Kodansha's Good! Afternoon magazine since March 2010, with its chapters collected into sixteen tankōbon volumes as of July 2021. An anime television series adaptation by J.C.Staff aired in Japan from January to March 2014.