When it comes to the famous “girls with guns” trilogy brought to us by Bee Train, I must confess that I wasn’t really that interested by it. Don’t get me wrong, both Madlax and Noir are good shows, just not up my alley. The problem is that I just never got into those shows for some reason, even though they have what I seek in an anime…to a degree. However, it would seem that the old saying: “3rd time’s a charm” applies truthfully to the 3rd Bee Train series based on this genre.
The Hunter of the Witch
The Witch Hunter
Genres: adventure, drama, mystery, supernatural
Themes: girls with guns, yuri
Objectionable content: Significant (bloody violence and/or swearing and/or nudity)
Number of episodes: 26
Plot Summary: Ellis, a young girl suspected of murdering prominent physicist Heinrich Schneider, is on the run from prosecution when she is tracked down by a female bounty hunter Nadie in a small Mexican town. However, instead of turning her in, Nadie impulsively decides to help her and the two embark on a journey south where they hope to find clues about Ellis’ past. The guiding stars of their journey are the mysterious gemstone “Rosa del Inca” and the “Eternal City” of Wiñay Marka.
El Cazador is truly an amazing show. It’s made so not by its overarching plot, which is serviceable and adequate, if uninspired. The show offers up its plot progression in steady, even helpings, never too much or too little at a time, and finishes off with a by-the-book final confrontation that is almost relaxing in its absolute predictability. It’s all fine and workable, but it is not why – or how – this show will hook you. The excellence of El Cazador comes from its fantastic characters, their superb interactions, and its charmingly casual “on the road” thematic.
Nadie is a gift of a character. Smart, self-confident, world-wise, cheerful, and generous of spirit, she is a warm and wonderful human influence under which Ellis blossoms. Over the course of the show she develops a powerful, knightly desire to protect Ellis – a desire that is often complicated by the fact that in many cases, Ellis’ unusual abilities put her in a better position to protect Nadie than the reverse.
Ellis is really something special. It would’ve been so easy for her to have fallen into a stereotypical personality type, either too “cutesy/naive” or too “emotionless/otherworldly”. Instead, she is utterly believable as an innocent but perceptive young woman with an unusual nature and past, one who balances those qualities with an infectiously appealing quirkiness. She is adorable in an absolutely genuine way – a far cry from the legions of moe characters who are trying far too hard to convince you that they’re lovable.
And so they travel, helping and caring for each other, making new friends and new enemies, and having many adventures along the way. The plot is the reason for the journey, but it is the journey that is the best part of El Cazador, not the destination. I’ll admit that during the finale, I was wishing I was back in the simpler, more carefree times of the early episodes. It is there that the “on the road together” vibe is the strongest, and the small, humorous moments of Nadie and Ellis’ interaction are at their most bantering and self-referentially humorous.
That’s not to say though, that those early episodes are also the best point in their relationship, because it’s a fact that their bond grows ever stronger and deeper as the series progresses. As to how it ends…well, I’ll leave it up to the viewers themselves to come to a conclusion.
The other characters on the show, you’ll like some and dislike others. Each character has a unique charm that although may seem familiar, is still enough to make everyone on the show worth checking out.
This show basically has the following pace: starts off fun and gets intense as the series progresses, meaning that it at least serves the purpose of gaining the viewer’s attention. For those who like “Girls With Guns”, don’t worry, it’s there, just not as dark and depressing as the other two Bee Train titles or the Gunslinger Girl series. It kicks major booty and I love it.
In the end, I definitely recommend this show to everyone as it contains enough of everything for any animeniac, regardless of how picky you may be.
P.S.: I guarantee that by the end of this show, you’ll love tacos even more. This show most definitely inspired the greatness of Yuki’s Taco Power in Saki. I can feel it.