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Witch Hunter Robin Vol 2 (9 - 16)
(Item No Longer Available


Intro:
    Episodes nine and ten are similar to the previous eight episodes. They both have a “witch of the week” and are single stories. Episode eleven is where the series branches away from this episodic normality and starts a continuing story arc. It all starts when a witch compares Robin’s job to what happened at the Salem witch trials long ago. From there, the series starts to dive deeper into Robin’s past and everything is not what it seems. I don’t want to give too much away because the suspense is what really makes this anime. A lot happens in those six episodes that will make you doubt what you have grown to believe of STN-J and the organization in general.

Packaging:
    The DVD came in the same single plastic case as the previous volume. The only differences between the two are the pictures on the case and label. On the front, there is a picture of Robin(without her glasses) and Amon. They both have melancholy expressions on their faces and are both facing our right. The volume number is located at the top left and the title of the series is positioned at the bottom of the case, towards the bottom right corner. The logo of the show appears two times on the front: an enlarged version is in the background and a smaller version is located in the foreground.
    On the spine, there is once again the title of the series and the picture of Amon that was on the front cover.
    The back cover is set up to look like shards of glass that have been just broken up. In each shard, there is a picture of one of the main characters and their names. The top left has Amon in the reflection and the top right has Miho Karasuma. The middle piece shows Haruto Sakaki. The bottom left piece shows Yurika Doujima and finally, the bottom right displays Michael Lee. They are all members of the STN-J organization. Also, the title of the show is on the back as well as the staff and cast credits.
    Finally, the label on the disc has the same picture that was on the front cover. The only difference is that Amon is now looking to our left. Robin is still facing to our right and I do not see why they had to flip Amon’s picture horizontally. The title of the series is once again shown here and also the disc number.
    All the text, with the exception of the staff and cast credits, were all in English. The back cover served as a nice character guide and as a reference for how the names should be spelt.

Video:
    Before I start my critique, I would just like to point out that this show was originally shown in widescreen format. The DVDs, however, were presented in fullscreen. The video quality was of an Analog source. It appeared to be the same source that the first volume had. There was still the graininess and that clear distinction that it was a TV source. It really is a shame because of all the beautiful animation and CG, but instead it is hidden by the graininess on each episode. Also, it could just be that a lot more of the scenes took place at night, but the picture at times looked a little dark. I have included a screenshot of this, but again it could just be because of the series atmosphere.
    There were, just like with volume one, video glitches. The first one happened on episode 10 at 29m20s. A section of the picture on the screen became distorted for a brief second. I have put up a screenshot capturing the distortion to the right.
    On episode thirteen at 01h37m56s, the bar of static that appeared in episode six. Again, it emerged for second and then quickly vanished.
    There was also another ongoing problem that involved the episode previews. Each episode included an episode preview for the following one. However, episodes ten, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and sixteen all had the episode preview for episode ten. In short, the preview that was shown at the end of episode nine was also shown on all those other episodes.
    The average bit rate was 4.10MB/sec. and for the most part, stayed pretty constant. I noticed that every one hour and 3 minutes, there would be a slight jump up in bit rate and then go back to around the average.
    Other than those problems I listed above, the episodes ran smoothly and the animation despite the TV quality, is still gorgeous.

Audio:
    The audio played just as well as volume one. The only background sound I heard that did not sound like it should be there was during the opening theme song. Again at certain points, I heard the “grinding” noise for brief moments. This only occurred at the opening theme credits and I only noticed this sound when viewing the DVD on my computer.

Subtitles:
    If only the quality of the subtitles remained the same as volume one, then I would have been content. Too bad that this is not the case for volume two. If you have read my review for volume one, you know of the non-existent end punctuations and the minor spelling errors. This time around, there is all the right punctuation, but now the subtitles have degraded in quality. There were more misspellings and changing of names in the first episode on the disc, then in all of volume one! I do not want to flat out say that the subtitles were horrible, but there were times when the meaning of some sentences were confusing. The way I watch HK DVDs(regardless of good subs or not) is I find an online episode guide. That way I can compare “what is being said” to “what should be said”.
    The one thing I found strange about the subtitles was the opening and closing credits had no punctuation. On episode nine, when I first saw this, I thought that the subtitles were going to be the same as the previous volume. As soon as the actual episode started, I noticed a period mark and thanked Animation Studios for fixing this problem. Then I noticed that the person’s name was spelled wrong and that is when the quality went downhill. Below is a pretty extensive list of all the new names and misspellings:

Correct Spelling = Incorrect Spelling – Episode

Oikawa = Oyogawa [episode nine]
Sakaki = Haruto[episode nine]
Karasuma = Sakaki [episode nine and it happened once]
Witch = warlock [every episode]
Hon = Hiroshi [episode nine]
Lin = Suzu [episode nine]
Harry = Halize [every episode]
Kobari = Janyu [episode ten]
Crime scene = present [every episode that included a crime scene]
Sakaki = Sunny [started in episode ten and was like this for rest of episodes]
Jyuuzou Narumi = Minghai Shuzon [episode eleven]
Poland = Portland [episode twelve]
Methuselah = longevity [episode twelve]
Inquisitor Koushon = Judge Cauchon [episode thirteen]
Solomon = Soromon = [episode thirteen]
Andread’s Loom = Runy Language [episode fourteen]
Yevgenny Kitajenko = Yufgnekeetliango [episode fifteen]
Nagira Law Offices = Nigerafa Law Agent [episode sixteen] Seed = sete [episode sixteen]

    Well that’s a little taste of the change of quality from the first eight episodes. It really is a shame because that list does not even include phrases or sentence structures. A few examples would be the following: When a character would normally say, “I’ll see you around”, the subtitlers put it as, “I’ll see you on Earth”. My favorite would be instead of them writing, “I am busy at the moment”, it was worded as, “I am busy at the murder”.
    Finally, who could forget Engrish! Although it was not terrible, there was quite a bit of it scattered on the eight episodes. One example from this would be, “Among it, has anyone who came to Japan lately?” Well, if anyone was wondering how the subtitles were going to be on the second volume, I hope this has helped you gain a better insight of what to expect.

Chapter Breaks:
    The chapters still only had one break per episode. This break was at the beginning of each episode and there were eight in total. It still would have been nice to have a five chapter breaks per episode, but what can you do?

Content:
    The menus were almost identical to the first disc, with the only difference being the pictures on the menu pages. The main menu(which loaded up immediately and without any waiting time) included the closing song playing in the background an picture of Robin to the right. The closing song played for 0:29 seconds and then would go right into the first episode on the disc. The three options were: PLAY, CHAPTERS, and SUBTITLES.

PLAY – starts disc from episode nine
CHAPTERS – has closing music playing in the background and another picture of Robin. Once again, all the chapters are in English and have the corresponding number to that episode.
SUBTITLES – You can choose from Chinese, English, or off. The options are in Japanese and English.

    Even though this was the same layout as the first volume, I still enjoy being able to navigate with ease.

Conclusion:
    So what is the final verdict on volume two? As far as the storyline goes, the plot is starting to really dig into Robin’s past and her role. I am looking forward to watching the final ten episodes and seeing how this series ends. Unfortunately, the lack of effort in subtitles was very evident on this disc and hurt the final rating. If you have dealt with Engrish and new names for characters before, then you will be fine in viewing this. If you were expecting subtitles that were on disc one, you are out of luck. Those have gone out the door and I fear for what is in store for disc three. The video stayed the same and really did not bother me as much as the subtitles. The DVD is cheap in price and if you have experienced the typical HK subtitles before, there will not be any new surprises this time.

    Send questions and comments to: polanator18@hotmail.com


Publisher: AV
Discs: 1
Episodes: 8
Price: $11.00

Reviewer: Polanator
Reviewed On: 08/13/2003
Click on Image for Full Size


Glitch #1: Episode 10 at 29m20s...happened only once!


Glitch #2: Episode 13 at 01h37m56s....happened only once also!


Jon likes his craft! He has a nice electric field and an evil smile!


Is this really happening or is she dreaming? Gotta watch to find out!


...freaky...get it? Freaky starts with an "F"!


She better not tough it...er...i mean touch it!


Wha...wha...what?!?!?!?


They now included end punctuations in the sentences. Does the picture look a little dark to you too?


This is how the main menu looked! It is almost identical(with the exception of the picture) to the first volume main menu.

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