August 05, 2011

El Cazador de la Bruja

El Cazador de la Bruja is Japan’s take on the Western, but with witches. Because that’s how Japan rolls! If you know Spanish you may not be surprised by this revelation—Google Translate tells me the title means “Witch Hunter.”

It’s a comedy/drama (I just can’t type the word “dramedy”) set in a semi-contemporary Mexico. Nadie is a bounty hunter who runs into Ellis, an amnesiac fugitive who is suspected of a murder. She initially begins traveling with Ellis in order to bring her in and get the bounty on her head, but as more clues to the suspicious murder—as well as Ellis’s own genetically engineered ‘witch powers’—arise, Nadie starts to suspect that the real bad guy in this story is the agency that’s striving to reacquire Ellis, even going so far as to hire another bounty hunter to track the two of them and unleashing another witch, L.A., who pretty much has a straight up stalkerish obsession with Ellis, he and her being the only survivors of the DNA experimentation that gave them their powers. L.A. has much better control over his powers than Ellis, who mainly only activates them subconsciously in times of dire need; that, combined with his hatred of human beings, makes him pretty much the biggest threat to Nadie of the lot sent after her and Ellis.

If this sounds a little familiar, you should know that Bee Train, the company that produced El Cazador de la Bruja, also created Noir. Much is explained! (If it’s still not explained for you, just wait, I’ll get to Noir soon.)

The anime series ran in 2007, and was licensed and dubbed by Funimation. It’s one of their better dub works; like Noir, serious effort was put into hiring voice actors who could give various characters location- and background-appropriate accents. There is also a manga series which ostensibly is still ongoing, but since only one volume’s been published since 2007, you probably shouldn’t get your hopes up. The manga has not been translated into English.


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