Review: Witch Hunter Robin

I’ve always been meaning to watch Witch Hunter Robin. After all, it seemed like it was really well received, and the whole supernatural semi-dark theme is totally up my alley. However, after finally completing the series, I must say, I was slightly disappointed. Why? Well, this is why we’ll be digging into this story, isn’t it?

So without further ado, itadakimasu!

The premise of Witch Hunter Robin is that in a futuristic Japan, we have a secret organization called STN (“Solomon Toukatsu Nin’idantai”). Their branch in Japan, logically, is STN-J. The purpose of this organization is to exterminate “witches,” certain humans who gain supernatural abilities from their genetics.

Our main character is Robin Sena, a young witch “hunter” of 15 who recently got transferred from STN headquarters to the STN-J branch. She is able to manipulate fire, and is the strongest witch out of the STN-J hunters. A lot of events revolve around her and her true past, but I won’t get into it.

Our second most important character is Amon, Robin’s partner. He’s tall, darkly-dressed and handsome. And God-knows-why, Robin is unnaturally attached to him. He is the most mysterious character of the series, and frankly, he stays an enigma throughout the whole series. What I didn’t like Amon is that he had no personality whatsoever. He does as the higher ups tell him and only deviates from his orders in order to save a wrongly accused Robin. Amon is just short of a pretty-looking witch hunting machine.

Unlike the rest of my reviews, I’m just going to go straight into commentary; the plot is just too spoiler-heavy and complex. There won’t be many spoilers here in my commentary, but I highly recommend that you read a synopsis (here’s the Wiki one for your convenience) if you want to know what I’m talking about and don’t plan on watching the series.

The funny thing about witch hunters is that, in fact, almost all hunters are also witches (save the members of STN-J, for a certain reason I will not disclose). Furthermore, even as a hunter, STN can decide, without warning, to have hunters exterminated by their own teammates. It’s a really sick and messed up system, which makes one wonder why a strong witch would side with such a corrupt organization to kill their own kind.

Why, that won't do!

Knowing this, there are plenty of other questions to ask about the plot of Witch Hunter Robin. Starting with issues of STN: it is hard to believe it has remained a secret from the general public for hundreds of years. One would think that such an organization is too big and practices too much interventionism to remain secret, even if they have power over the police force.

Dear, they've come for us!

But let’s just suppose this premise is plausible. Why is it that, in the history of STN, no other hunter, aside from Robin, ever got curious about whether or not witches they were exterminating were really evil? Where all hunters just mindless drones or did STN just off everyone who disagreed? If STN morals allowed them to off witches on a whim, then they shouldn’t have a problem with the witch-experimentation that Zaizen was doing in the Factory. Much like Amon, STN’s true objectives stayed a mystery and their methods implausible.

Well, those points are just my nitpickings. Otherwise the plot is pretty air-tight. Twisted, but solid. What I really had a problem was the whole Robin-Amon dependency-infatuation theme going on. The OP animation says it all, but Robin seriously needs to get her brain checked out. After all, despite the fact that Amon ignores her, lies to her, and tries to kill her twice, she still continues to believe in him. Her blind faith in him leads one to believe that she see him almost like a saint or a god… but then there’s the whole thing where she always wants to be with him, and she’s always wondering what he’s thinking and what he’s doing.

This all just sounds like an unhealthy and abusive relationship. What’s more, I don’t know whether or not Amon is interested in her. Nor do I know which I prefer. If Amon is actually reciprocating in this relationship, then first of all, he’s doing an awful job. And secondly, he’s a pedophile. If Amon isn’t interested in Robin, well, he probably shouldn’t be giving her any hope. Or he should just not see her at all.

Now, this is not to say that Witch Hunter Robin was nothing but rage-worthy. It has fantastic art and animation, considering it originally aired 10 years ago (in 2002). The art style is pretty standard, but the designs were very good. Although I disliked Karasuma’s hair, Robin’s designs were definitely uniquely superb, especially her hairstyle and her outfit. As for animation, Witch Hunter Robin is action-fantasy, so there were plenty of battle scenes. Robin was overpowered enough to finish a lot of these battles off in an instant, but the ones which dragged out longer were animated with much fluidity and quality.

The music in Witch Hunter Robin is composed by one of my favorite composers, Iwasaki Taku, but this isn’t really my favorite work of his. In addition, I wasn’t a big fan of the OP/ED sequence. Not to say the music doesn’t work. There are a few tracks in the OST that stand out even in the series, and the jazzy music definitely fits the mood. However, I like Iwasaki’s recent compositions better, which are based more in hip-hop and catchy beats.

After the final rundown and I am over and out! Gochisousama deshita~

Rating Breakdown
A fairly solid and dark plot, with a rather sick and twisted premise, on hindsight. Tends to get a little confusing though, due to the sometimes implausible motives that move the plot.
Robin and Amon have a really unhealthy and abusive relationship. No one really gets that much development, and frankly all the supporting characters aren't particularly vital to the plot.
Character designs are fantastic, although I still don't like Karasuma's hair.
Battles end quickly, but fluidity and quality stays good even for longer fights.
Only OK. Neither OP nor ED were that great, and the OST wasn't Iwasaki Taku's best work.
I thought this would be my thing, and it's true that it was an interesting story. However, the plot and characters left much to be desired, so it really didn't live up to my expectations.
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Just someone who was born with mugibrows.


Just someone who was born with mugibrows.

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