Sorcerer Hunters OVA follows on from the TV series of the same name ” which at the time of its original release had yet to be released in the UK. So if you’re going to watch this you’d better not mind being dumped with a cast of characters and expected to know who’s who. I certainly didn’t, and that took a while to get used to – although, on one level, it really doesn’t matter…
What They Say:
Take two gorgeous women with whips, add a magician and a body builder, tie it all together with an amorous young man willing to put the moves on anything that moves, and what do you get? Simple: the funniest, sexiest adventure series around! That’s right, Chocolate, Tira, Carrot and the rest of the cast of Sorcerer Hunters are back in three titillating episodes. When Carrot tries to seduce a lovely older woman (while Chocolate is trying to seduce Carrot), a steamy hot springs vacation gets steamier… and funnier. Then our heroes leap into battle with the Death Master, an evil necromancer who’s transformed an entire town into his willing zombie slaves! Finally, an ancient tree with legendary romantic powers turns a relaxing picnic into a love-crazed free-for-all! Can even the Sorcerer Hunters handle this kind of heat?
Audio on this release comes in Japanese and English stereo, and German 5.1 surround. I listened to the Japanese track for this review. While the show’s music makes use of the stereo channels to good effect, dialog and effects are pretty much locked to the centre, giving a slightly flat feel to the sound. On the upside, dialog is clear & easy to pick out and there were no obvious problems.
Video is presented in its original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio and makes use of a bright colour palette to liven things up, while the animation is nicely detailed and quite atmospheric when it needs to be. Fanservice fans will appreciate the TLC put into animating Chocolate & Tira’s breasts, I’m sure. There were no obvious problems with the encode.
The front cover features a busy cast image, with all the major characters somehow managing to squeeze their way in there. It’s a bright and cheery piece that captures the tone of the show quite well. On the back you’ll find ADV’s usual disc information panel, screenshots and promotional blurb.
The menu’s a nice, simple piece, featuring a static image of Lia’s beaming face, with direct access provided to the episodes and submenus for language setup and extras. It’s quick and easy to use, which is all I can really ask for.
Not much here ” clean versions of the 2 different opening sequences, and a selection of trailers for the other series in the Sorcerer Hunters ‘franchise’ ” a bit pointless for UK viewers, maybe, as none of them have been released here…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Part of me’s tempted not to even bother writing about the plot for this release ” especially for the first episode, a hot spring spectacular that lets the characters and their slightly over-the-top desires for each other run free. There’s a long tradition in anime that, where a TV series spawns an OVA, there has to be at least one fanservice episode that pushes the boundaries of good taste, and Sorcerer Hunters gets that requirement out of the way with its first story. Since it’s assumed you’ll have seen the TV series already (which UK fans who don’t import won’t have), it takes a while to work out who’s who and why they’re behaving the way they are, but after a while you just switch off and enjoy the acres of bare animated flesh that are on display. You can really tell the animators had fun with this ” especially when it came to the boobies ” and if that sort of thing floats your boat, you’ll be right at home here. It certainly worked for me, at least until Chocolate and Tira switched to their as-skimpy-as-humanly-possible whipping gear. Somehow they’re cuter in their normal clothes.
With the animators’ frustrations suitably worked off, it’s on to two somewhat more restrained episodes ” although even here you could never really call them serious stories. First up, zombies are afoot. Years previously, the Necronomicon had been instrumental in creating an army of zombies, leading to the deaths of millions of people. Now, it’s safely sealed away – at least, it’s meant to be, but when young girl Marris Eden turns up and tells of how she and her fellow villagers were turned into zombies by the necromancer Death Master, it’s up to Carrot and the gang to find out what’s going on. And to give themselves a chance against the Death Master, they’re going to unseal the Necronomicon and try to makes use of its power. Is it just me that thinks that’s a spectacularly bad idea..?
Apparently even being dead doesn’t stop Carrot from trying to pull anything in a skirt ” there’s a word for that. The story has its darker moments, beginning with a brutal attack on Marris by her fellow villagers right at the beginning of the episode, but the tone lightens along the way and there’s the usual fun to be had from the interactions of Carrot and the other Hunters along the way.
The final episode is a nice little character piece, looking into the pasts of Carrot, Chocolate, and Tira and explaining a little about how the two girls came to be so obsessed with Mr Lecherous. It even manages to be quite touching in places, as Carrot gives issues a heartfelt confession of love ” although since it’s to the wrong girl, the inevitable lashing soon follows.
Sorcerer Hunters OVA is fun, as far as it goes, but I suspect there’s a lot here that plays off the TV series or prior knowledge of the characters that’s going over my head ” I have to say that releasing the final installment of a franchise without having released the earlier parts doesn’t seem overly sensible. Of course, if you’re just watching for the fanservice that won’t bother you in the slightest, and to be fair there’s plenty of that here. Just don’t expect too much else.
Sorcerer Hunters OVA is a fun little diversion that doesn’t set out to be anything ambitious and just tries to keep you entertained, and if acres of bare flesh, women with whips and rather blunt comedy are your kind of thing, it’ll do that very well. I certainly didn’t have too many complaints. It suffers by being part of a longer-running franchise that hadn’t yet been released in the UK, though, so be aware that not having prior knowledge does spoil they enjoyment a bit.
Japanese Language 2.0, English Language 2.0, German Language 5.1, English Subtitles, German Subtitles, Creditless Opening Sequences, OVA Trailers
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: ADV Films UK
Release Date: March 19th, 2007
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37″ widescreen HDTV; Pioneer DV-626D DVD player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.