Tag Archives: El Cazador de la Bruja

Series Review – El Cazador.

What could it have been?

How about an excellent dramatic show that delivers the promised action that Bee Train is really known for?

How about telling the back story of the characters early enough and not later in the show?

How about letting Nadie and Elis gel early through useful dialogs and save some cels using juxtaposed images, maybe even tell some back story using techniques used in “Lola Renne (Run Lola Run)?”

How about a deep and penetrating look into the darkness inside human hearts that lust for power, and the struggle of someone who harbors the potential for great power?

How about actually sealing the deal of the love between Nadie and Elis and take the dramatic level up to the point that they consummate their love and face great difficulties but triumph in the end?

How about…How about cutting this show mercifully short on episode 24?

Continue reading Series Review – El Cazador.

Gasp! El Cazador 26 (I’m writing a review for it?)

Wow, what a fucking brilliant episode! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this in my entire anime watching career!1000% recommended for your daily anime diet…Yeah, only in the bizzaro world!!!

It sucks. It’s boring. It’s not even funny. I felt like turning it off every 5 minutes. I want to shoot the fat ass gay guys and Nadie.

Rosenberg comes back alive???!!!

Ricardo and Lilio manage to appear anyway.

Nadie and Elis go on the journey again an provide some sort of closure to Bee Train but not to the audience. THE END.

Yuri fan (girls), wanna savor each sweet little moment in the journey? Dream on. There isn’t any flashback about that.

The mysteries remain unsolved:

1. whos’ the dude in the mask?

2. Why is Elis flipping a pancake?

3. Why is Nadie being touched by the masked dude?

4. Why are there guns fired?

5. Why did Bee Train make this show???

6. Finally, why would anyone care??????

It’s 10% recommended (max) for your daily anime diet. I promised no real review last time, and I was right – nothing needed.

El Cazador 25 – Please just end it here…Oh wait, there’s MORE?

Sigh (and how many times did I start a review for this show with a “sigh”?).

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I wasn’t really surprised when they didn’t have a 10 minute shoot out between Nadie and Rosenberg. I really wasn’t even though I actually prayed for it. But see, somewhere deep inside me, I really wished that they would have one. I thought for the end of this series and trilogy, they would at least want to reward the action fans (read: me) who have stuck to their guns and followed this show to the end, hoping against hope for a miracle – a spectacular shoot out reminiscent of Noir, please please, just one episode (the Winnebago episode doesn’t even come close to the standard of Noir).

My heart was racing when it looked like the showdown between Nadie/Elis and Rosenberg will be a brilliant gun fight sequence laced with magic and explosions, and you know what?

Instead we got what a lot of panting yuri fangirls want – Nadie gently holding Elis’ hands and letting the combined power of Sailor Nadie and the often clueless Sailor Elis defeat Rosenberg. How sweet! In the name of Love and Justice, we’ll punish you!

I was chanting: “Moon…heart…gorgeous…Yuri…SHOT!” And that’s when the gun went off.

Of course Rosenberg goes down.

Then Jody narrates that their journey is finally coming to an end.

THE END. PLEASE.

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Oh no, there’s more???

I was severely tempted to purposely cut this review into 2 posts to parallel what they did. I mean, it’s simply anti-climatic!

There’s going to be an episode 26! Why? The boss is dead, the Winan Marka/Palace of Doom/Fortress of Darkness/whatever cliched place is destroyed because of explosions, and Nadie and Elis win the day! Yay! So what? If they didn’t drag this show out so far they could’ve ended it all back in episode 24! With the epilogue nice and short but tells us everything we need to know!

This is the same feeling I got after reading Lord of the Ring Trilogy books. Sure, it was kind of fun seeing the hobbits going home and cleaning up their hometown, but the bottom line is, I really couldn’t careless about that! The world is saved! And it’s a fantasy story! Let me savor the moment and leave me with a good taste in my mouth! No, in real world it’s not that clean and clear cut, but folks, this ISN’T the real world! It’s anime!!! The realism would’ve been fine had they ended it on episode 25. But no, they’re going to clean up everything in a full 22-minute episode 26.

Maybe some of you would say, well isn’t that wonderful? We get to really learn about everything! Well, someone please enlighten me what else is there to learn? We know who killed the doc, we know why Rosenberg did what he did, and we know that Nadie and Elis + Jody are going to have a three-some great life-long friendship and Ricardo and Lilio are probably going to continue bounty hunting…Oh right, Lilio appears to be a witch, too, just like Jody. So what? How does that even matter besides the fact that the Chairwoman can channel through her?

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Leaving some of these tidbits unexplained is often the charm and maybe even the saving grace of mediocre shows – these things can make them cult favorites, which means more interests will be generated. To me, continuing on with another episode just to make it a full 26 episode is very unwise. Now the show will surely turn into a yuri-for-women hunger drive. It could’ve been a cult favorite with a large base of yuri fan girls, but now it’ll probably be a yuri fangirl’s pleasure watch.

I wish I were shot with that bullet which killed Rosenberg.

Well, good news fangirls folks, I guess for those who wants to look back and savor the journey Nadie and Elis has been taking can situate yourselves in front of the TV for 22 minutes of non-stop dialogue (obviously that’s only a guess) that will probably explain everything that we’ve already learned and/or guessed 10 episodes back. But at least we get to see more Nadie spending precious time with Elis, oh and, don’t forget to add Jody to the lovefest.

I’m not even going to recommend this episode, except the part where Nadie struggled on pulling the trigger and shooting Elis. If I were to watch this episode again (yeah right), I would watch 5 minutes in the beginning, then watch the scene where Elis begs Nadie to shoot her, and then watch Rosenberg goes down.

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THE END. No really, my reviews for El Cazador at least ends here unless they do something really surprising or beyond my wildest imagination for episode 26. But I doubt it.

My thoughts on El Cazador 23 and 24 + thoughts on Yuri fan ____s.

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In recent days this show has gotten better. I wouldn’t say it has completely redeemed itself, but yes, even I have to agree that it has gotten better.

For anyone who stuck around hoping to see more action (heh heh between Nadie and Elis AT NIGHT heh heh), well, there hasn’t been much of action since about 14 episodes back when they got into that armored winnebago and the minions from the Witches’ Council came and tried to take them down.

For anyone who stuck around to see plot development, well, that’s actually going somewhere (I mean, duh for Beetrain, it’s like, the last 4 episodes, they better get the development going!)

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In any case, once Rosenberg and Jody explain it all, everything becomes quite clear – Rosenberg’s purpose all along has been trying to awaken the power inside Elis, the successful creation of the Witch experiment, for his grand scheme of power…

Wait, doesn’t that elicit, a, I don’t know, big DUH from all of us? Come on! Admit it! At least in the plot development, there isn’t anything special that separates it from the crowd. Out of the Girls with Guns Triology, I know Noir’s plot wasn’t superior either, but it was the first of the 3 and it was extremely stylish and very unique in its presentation. Madlax was a huge let down and it’s supernatural plot was far fetched.

El Cazador has to be most drawn out show among the 3 – I’m surprised it’s actually going to be played for 26 full episodes and not cut short or anything (wasn’t Madlax 25 episodes?), and I haven’t seem any real animation degrading issues. I really don’t know why.

Maybe it’s because of the Yuri fan…girls???!!!

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I’ve come to appreciate and understand thoughts of yuri fan girls and how they view the male favorites such as Strawberry Panic, Mai Hime, and others. I will haphazard a guess then:

El Cazador, especially the relationship among the women, and most definitely the relationship between Nadie and Elis, is like mind candy for the yuri fangirls.

As a fanboy of yuri, this show obviously doesn’t do it for me. I trust I don’t have to explain that. :) But Strawberry Panic does. Again, I trust I don’t have to explain that.

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I will be blunt (uh-oh) about what I think of Yuri in El Cazador – it’s, frankly, kind of sweet but absolutely boring and not very beautiful for me.

I can appreciate the yuri in strawberry panic because it’s almost like explained to fanboys (me). But for fangirls, it’s probably way, way, way too blunt. My heart raced watching Shizuma almost goes all the way with Nagisa, and I actually like seeing the blond choir girl with Amane senpai, and how the choir girl is very shy, cute, and sweet and fragile, and I even sighed in frustration with Ya-Ya chan.

Notice something in my description? I remember the names of the most suggestive pairing, Shizuma and Nagisa, that yes-I-wanna-do-it-with-you-but-I-can’t-because-of-my-past thing
, and I remember the name of the strong “woman”, who would ordinarily be the main guy character in a show, and I remember the most frustrated woman, Ya-Ya. But I have a tough time remembering the name of the love interest of Amane the strong “woman”.

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See for men, it all has to “stick” (don’t you go there) in order for them to be interested. Now I’m sure many fanboys liked the blond choir girl, but for me, since she doesn’t appear to have much to say in most cases and she has her “man”, I lost interest. But if there are two pretty girls like Shizuma and Nagisa, then my interested is aroused (heh heh heh heheh I said aroused). Except Shizuma is pretty much man-like save the classic shojo female senpai’s big hair and that classy feminine talk. But she has big breasts and she and Nagisa are just so yuri-cute for me that I could almost squeal (yeah I know, a manly squeal – ugh).

Back to El Cazador. The love between Nadie and Elis is never that blunt, but they go out and talk often, does a lot of things together, and the care that Nadie has for Elis and vice versa just doesn’t seen so…friend like. Maybe because I’m American and paranoid about these things (which guy in the US isn’t? If there’s someone out there that’s that brave, he would probably be treated like gay. Gotta love that paranoia we have!). But after going for 24 episodes, I’ve come to terms that this final installment in the”Girls with Guns” Trilogy really doesn’t have anything to do with firearms, save a few shots fired. I knew it quite a few episodes back but I just didn’t want to accept it.

I’ll be blunt again. I think this final installment is aimed at Yuri fangirls.

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I want to tell the Beetrain folks: save that crap about developing a relationship for 26 episodes; this is not a drama. Save that crap about we-don’t-want-to-be-known-as-the -studio-that-can-only-do-action; action is the best you guys can do. Save that crap about development takes a long, long time; enough shows can develop relationships within half or less the time this show requires.

But once again, it’s mind/fantasy candy for the yuri fangirls, because they can go back to every little moment between the two girls, and savor the tender care, small talks, and other tiny little things that women find intimate.

Most of us guys at most times would be falling asleep thinking about these things.

For yuri fangirls, in this case, these little things aren’t quite plain as your average close friendships.

It’s kind of odd how this review is turning out to be about my thoughts Yuri fangirls. But beyond that, my thoughts on this show, alas, hasn’t changed a bit. It’s too slow, has too little action for a show brandishing action shots for the OP and gunfire for the ED. It’s main characters are too incompetent and it’s plots are too obvious and sometimes cliched. Also, I really can’t stand the stupidity that Nadie exhibits way too often. I tossed my hands up when I saw the view of her dancing inside the sniper scope. What, she’s finally going back to her Incan/Mayan/Aztec/whatever roots? Has she been smoking crack?? Has her own stupidity finally elicited enough frustration from herself??? Yeah, I know she is trying to get that vulture and this part is meant to be funny, but adding that on top of her weaknesses making her a complete moron in my view.

But you know what? Perhaps her weakness and all the exaggerated incompetence is going to make her a yuri fangirl favorite.

Because at least some of the fangirls would see her as someone to be identified with. Because despite her weaknesses, she tries very hard to protect Elis and takes care of her.

Here’s one for the classic shojo fans. Her clumsiness is sometimes comparable to Sailor Moon’s clumsiness. Hence, I’m going to go so far and propose that she’s the modern Maho shojo heroine, or rather, both she and Elis are – with guns and real magic.

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I don’t recommend this show except for those who really like it for whatever reasons. I know I won’t watch it again ever unless they have a 26 minute shoot out for one of the last two episodes. But we all know that isn’t going happen.

P.S. LA’s demise is very, very well done. That was the successful element that I forgot to point out.

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El Cazador 22 – finally the plot gets going and characters get moving.

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So, Doug takes the plane to somewhere, and we learn what the bracelets on LA’s wrists are for. Elis talks under influence not from alcohol but from power, and Nadie gets hurt.

But at last, they find Wiñay Marka. Or do they?

I was sighing and shaking my head for about 1/3 of the show when plot suddenly gets going.

We discover that Nadie and Elis are asking around about unusual things like witches; LA shows up and literally points out the location of the “Eternal City (or it’s not)”; Jody, who has been acting on her own, follows Nadie and Elis and also follows them to the Witches’ Village, and guess what? There’s Ricardo and Lilio again!

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Aside from the important fact that they have discovered what appears to be a key place to the witches, most of the episode is almost the same old, everyday occurrence that we’re so accustomed – Nadie and Elis are broke and hungry, Ricardo and Lilio show up to the rescue, LA speaks psycho-nese, Jody follows our dynamic yuri-wanna be duo, and Doug…

Oh but wait, here’s what some of us have been waiting for – Doug is finally on the move.

He manipulates LA into position, and now all the pieces of the puzzle are finally in place, he’s going there personally to pull off his grand move, to be on the stage where everything is happening, and he will help us understand what the hell is going on by unveiling his scheme, which appears to have come to fruition.

Or so we can hope.

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It’s really hard for me to think intelligently and decipher the undercurrent (actually, only if there really are some) because there are so many fillers, or maybe not quite 100% fillers; however, unlike some other shows where just about every episode is tight, even if a lot of them are seeming fillers they at least really tell us something about the characters, the undercurrent behind the plot(s), or some other important elements of a story.

With El Cazador, fillers at best tell us little about relationships between Nadie and Elis; among other characters, or relationships between the two and others. The characters are portrayed pretty well, with some minor stereotypes. That, plus we get to learn little bits about the project, the Witches’ Council, the legend, and so on. Oh, and we can all thank the staff for their on-location work to bring us the beauty of South America and some places in Canada. The artwork is excellent and the music from Kajiura is great as usual (if you like the music get the soundtrack. It’s highly recommended).

However, at its worst, El Cazador is filled with inexcusable stupidities, pointless minor side quests that doesn’t appear to do much other than showing a slice of Nadie and Elis’ life on the travel, endless teasers of action that gets interrupted abruptly, silly jokes and dragged on plot developments – for a 26 episode show what I’m feeling is that at the end, there actually won’t be enough time to explain everything, precisely because all the silly stuff, the fillers that doesn’t really move the plot anywhere, and finally, the minor characters that keep on showing up in the side quests that takes the precious time of a 26 episode series away. Yes, in today’s anime world, 26 episode is considered long, but with the pace El Cazador has been going, I wonder if 36 episode would be more appropriate?

But thank God there aren’t going to be 36 episodes or I’d get bored to tears and frustrated to senselessness.

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For this episode, 81% recommended for your daily anime diet. It’s not as good as the previous episode but finally something is actually happening.

El Cazador 21 – You know, they could’ve used more episodes like this one!

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OK, so this show doesn’t have a lot of gun fights despite showing so many of it in the OP and ED sequences. Also, there are a lot of fillers in which the only thing I see are Nadie’s incompetence and some silliness that just seem out of place to me. But remember back a few episodes ago I kind of raised my score for one episode of this show? Well, here’s another episode that will get more praises from me.

Finally, the council gets impatient (about time), and the Chairwoman orders Jody to go on a mission personally. The mission is to snipe Nadie, and then bring Elis back.

Jody smartly assessed the reason why the Chairwoman asks her to go on the mission personally. Off she goes to kill Nadie.

However, here’s where the seemingly pointless-as-usual minor plot comes (this is starting to feel like these side quests in Final Fantasy series).

Nadie and Elis are tricked by this bald old dude who gets them to trying to catch a vulture for him. Once again, they’re idiots. I mean, both of them can just drive away but they don’t. I thought they were trying to catch some food! But wait, there’s a reason for their stupidity this time, playing this “catch the vulture” game.

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However, what this “game” serves is to tell me that Elis wants to be free, which is not exactly new. What the game ends up doing is inspiring Jody to be free of the organization.

What I don’t quite like about this “game” is that it occupied most of the episode in order to unfold that one revelation.

One thing we learn aside from the game is that LA actually doesn’t kill anybody this time around (gasp)! And he bought flowers from a probably poor young flower girl! What the…?

Well, I guess he’s an Otaku (obsessed with Elis and not Anime) at heart. No Otaku wants to hurt women (see Nadeshico for Otaku’s attitude on women). XD

In any case, Ricardo and Lilio show up (gee, what a shocking surprise). Doug talks about freedom, and Jody makes the important decision about her path.

It all sounds so simple but this episode unfold the drama rather nicely, it’s just it took some time to get there. So,

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84% recommended for your daily anime diet. Even just for one episode.

El Cazador 20 – Well, what can I say?

Oh dear.

I’d say the dramatic level of this episode has definitely turned up. But somehow, I’m beginning to think that the writers are either running out of ideas or they’re rushing it a little. However,  from the preview of the next episode it looks very much like the next episode is going to be another filler more than anything. Let’s not get ahead of the disappointment curve here (at least for me).

 

Things I’m finally deadly sick of, and I no longer give a shit if they ever explain these ever:

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1. Nadie’s inexcusable clumsiness as a professional – she tripped over the lid of that trash can. This time, it just seems like the creators of this show wanted her to trip over it. When the lid got blown off the top of the trash can it just so happens to trip her. How the fuck does that so conveniently happen?

 

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2. Ricardo and Lilio show up and save the day! Again – So they’ve been stalking Nadie and Elis? Why the hell am I not surpised?

 

3. Jody explains it all – thanks, blue eyes. It isn’t like we can’t figure out that L.A. has feelings or whatever. Please don’t treat us like we’re idiots. And please, that obvious fan serice for fan girls of naked-bishonen-being-cute-and-ooooh-so-sad junk really hurts the eyes! AH! HE’S NAKED! THAT SUCKS! Give me more of Jody’s tight butt cheeks or her cleavage!

 

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4. Dugu, Dugu, DUUUUGUUUU! DO SOMETHING! ARRRRG! OK, Dugu! Do something important or interesting already! Otherwise don’t show up again without something significant happening! We get it already! You’re in control of the situation (or at least you thinks you are) somehow! Sheesh.

 

5. Elis doesn’t ever wonder about Nadie – I mean, even if she does she just have to pant like a dog and burn someone – in this case L.A., who doesn’t have a penis! I mean, he looks ecstatic when Elis’ fire is burning in his lap – practically in his crotch!!! So that’s why he sounds so gay! Ricardo! Don’t save his lap from burning! He loves fire in his crotch! Fire, fire, fire! Heh heh heh heh heh heh! Cool! I just love it when a bishonen gets his crotch burned! I mean, just listen to his prissy voice!

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At least L.A. is finally looking more psycho like Norman Bates. Play that psycho music, witch boy! He finally hates Elis as well. Use a chef’s knife! Use a chef’s knife! Stab her like Norman Bates! Heh heh heh heh heh!

 

Wait a sec, all of the sudden Nadie’s avoidance skill is up, way up when she fights against L.A. So, let’s see…why not avoid getting tripped BEFORE gets thrown in jail? I thought the attack of an unpredictable character like L.A. is as difficult to avoid as the clumsy lid of a trash can!

 

I really don’t feel like getting into anything else. For each good element, there are 2 bad elements canceling it out. I’m sorry, I really wish I could improve my opinion on it. But,

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69% (which L.A. can’t be on one of the receiving end since it doesn’t look like he has a wee-wee) percent recommended for your daily anime diet. No I didn’t discuss all the decent parts (gosh these were rather difficult to find) because I watched Claymore yesterday, and all the good parts of this episode simply look like straw compare to that. So sue me. Feel free to point out the decent parts in this episode.

El Cazador 19 – yes, you could say I’ve been missing the character dynamics this entire time. But they didn’t really gel for me until this ep.

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Say what you like about my unrelenting criticism about this show. My opinions are not going to change until it utterly convinces me that it doesn’t disappoint. Let’s move on to this particular episode.

I was overjoyed when I saw the observatory of the Witches’ Council in the first scene. Usually when things like that are shown, the show is good.

Well, it turns out that I did like this particular episode. But I’m nowhere near convinced that this entire show is good.

I finally laughed for once when Elis imitated Nadi’s face when she makes a face. It gave me some chuckles.

The interaction and embarrassment between Ricardo, Nadi and Elis is fun. I think they’re finally gelling.

Jody was hanging upside down and it seems like Mireille…I mean that blond woman is down and out for good. Why? I don’t know. The show didn’t explain at all. I saw ep. 18 where in the ghost story filler Jody and her crew tried to take Elis away but they were unsuccessful, and fast forward to this episode and all of the sudden it seems like the blond woman is dead. Oh well, I’m sure I’m going to be told that minor characters are not remotely important at all. OK then.

The council leader is back with some explanations about the background of the witches and the motivation behind their recent activities. It’s not much but it helps us to learn a little bit about the witches. Always good to hear Kotono-san’s voice acting.

(Why was Jody hanging upside down but didn’t get a gag ball in her mouth and a vibrator up her pus…never mind.)

Often, the minor characters don’t matter, true, but the minor details on these characters often help a viewer (me) to enjoy the show more. So once again, what happened to Jody and her crew when we find her upside down? Who knows!

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In any case, anyone who tells me that Nadi and Elis’ relationship isn’t anywhere near lesbianism need to watch a hundred times the scene where Elis lays her head on Nadi’s arm, and when Elis says: “Do we look like husband and wife?” Sure, Nadi tries to explain that husband and wife means a man and a woman, but hey! Lesbianism is lesbianism. I for one, think it’s quite beautiful.

One can try to explain that Elis’ jealousy comes from the fact that she feels that Nadi and her should be companions forever, or they have met each other spiritually in that cornfield (where’s Kevin Costner?) , but one has to come up with a pretty convincing argument explain away Elis’ behavior before I’ll be convinced that Elis doesn’t have a lesbian thing for Nadi.

The interaction between Ricardo and Nadi in this episode is gold, and I’ll add more points just for that. Also, I loved it when LA’s ass was stunned and stopped when that bracelet on his wrist started working. Haha!

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I’m not even going to write about my disappointment in Nadi’s lack of danger sense during a certain event while Ricardo reacted immediately the event right away, twice. You know which part I’m talking about, or you will after watching.

72% recommended for your daily anime diet. At least it’s better than a lot of shows out there.

El Cazador 18 – A filler coated with Ghost tale elements .

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So. We have Nadi who can’t tell that the store clerk is one of Jody’s two minions. Nice disguise. Just take off her sunglasses and Nadi can’t recognize her. It’s like in Sailor Moon and in all classical Magical girl shows, as soon as Sailor Moon is out of her hair pieces and costume, nobody realizes she’s Sailor Moon. Nice borrowing from a classical instance.

I don’t know, but do Mexicans/South Americans say “chao”? Or this is supposed to be funny? Or is this a test for the average Japanese on his or her knowledge about the difference between Spanish and Italian? Or this doesn’t mean anything at all? Then we have the really smart girl – JODY (not Nadi, but I’m not surprised), who finally decides that she’s going to come and help in the operation of recovering Elis, and check on the old man. Then we have the fearless old man who runs the hotel, but oh wait, he doesn’t even exist? He’s a spirit/fairy cough *pedophile ghost * cough, who asks Elis if she wants to be his wife – is this really a joke? Well, after watching ep 14 where that pedophile romance between the doctor and Elis went on, I really don’t want to stop being suspicious anymore. Oh well, at least the old grandpa is a nice person…I mean ghost…I mean spirit…what?

Oh and, as soon as I saw that station wagon, I went: “Uh-oh.” and lo and behold, there’s Ricardo again! I mean, gosh since Nadi/Elis keep on “bumping” into Ricardo/Lilio, something’s going to happen, right? I mean it’s been 3 or 4 eps but Ricardo and Lilio just act like filler characters? What the hell?

Oh look! Here comes L.A.! Now he’s hugging dolls! Now he’s at the country inn! Now’s fighting Jody! Now he and Jody just disappears! Oh I know! A miracle! Hallelujah! I mean, Kokopelli!!!!

Please, this is turning into one of the average Japanese’s favorite past time – listening to strange, unexplained events relating to ghosts and supernatural stuff. YEAH, OF COURSE I know this is a JAPANESE SHOW! But geez, isn’t this also the last arc of the girls with guns trilogy? God, the supernatural plot of Madlax was bad enough (they ripped off “Lost” with the jet crash, now that’s bad).

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Oh, here’s something else, it’s Elis/Alice in Mexican Wonderland, perhaps? Complete with a dream sequence where she and Nadi turn into kids and walk into the corn stalk field. I don’t know anything about that baseball movie with a cornfield, no I don’t, but didn’t Kevin Costner appeared out of the cornfield or something? I half expected kid Nadi and Elis bump into Kevin Costner and they all disappear and a baseball flies out and konk L.A. on this head – at least that would actually make this show funny (did I mention that Nadi and Elis make a terrible Kansai comedian team?)

Finally, a circle of fire surrounds Nadi, Jody, and L.A. (gosh please stop calling him by name), and the circle turns into that light column from Escaflowne…I mean a random column of light, and L.A. is taken to Gaia…I mean to the top of a small bus. Jody came back with Mireille…I mean that blond haired woman, and the store clerk who, without any disguise at all before, said “chao” to Nadi, and finally the witch council trio 3 discovered that the country inn is just an abandoned place. Jody then talks about unexplained things like she’s the host of a travel show talking about strange things encountered while shooting the show.

I guess Elis now has the power of letting the spirits help her, eh? I sure hope all these are explained SOON.

I can’t blame Elis getting for pissed off at Nadi even though Nadi accompanied her for a long time – I mean, Nadi almost never saves the day, and in the last ep, the day was saved, thanks to Elis, the slippery ice, and Nadi’s clumsiness?! Brilliant.

I know I’m being way harsh here, but after watching 293+ shows completed and 80+ shows incomplete, and after watching enough Claymore, I just can’t bring myself to give this show a good score. I’m not dropping it only because A: I don’t really drop a show unless it’s god awful. B: I’m on ep 18, and there are some good things going for this show, and C: Oh well, I guess at this point I just want to see what happens next.

This show was getting better, and in this ep we learn that Jody doesn’t want Elis to go to the holyland/promised land/destination, but LA does. Yeah, like I didn’t know that before.

Once again no action happened in this ep. But what the fuck did I expect?

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69% recommended for your daily anime diet. I’m tempted to give it 64% but the 5% comes from the music and that little thing we learned about the different intentions that Jody and LA have.

P.S. I didn’t know Elis can drive a car. Nadi’s looking more and more useless around Elis, except as a lesbian lover similar to the role of Mireille in the implied relationship between Mireille and Kirika in Noir? Perhaps.

P.S. 2 Did you notice that most characters don’t even have Spanish names? Jody Heyward, Rosenberg, Melissa, Heiman, Elis’ guardian and lover, LA (what the hell’s with that name, anyway), and others. Only Ricardo, Lilio, and perhaps Nadi have Spanish names. Sheesh…

P.S. 3 Oh I know! That old man is an alien! We see crop circles! Or at least, a crop pictogram! So that light column does have something to do with Gaia! And Nadi doesn’t realize or even have any suspicions as to what’s going on at all! Brilliant!

El Cazador 17 – Nadi, skilled or lucky? A filler ep for us.

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So far I have trouble determining if Nadi is a good gunfighter/bounty hunter, or if she’s just plain lucky.

In the previous ep, we see that Nadi often misses the heat of the action – she sometimes trips and falls, gets knocked out by insignificant opponents like the gay partners (who?), gets tangled up in a tapestry, misses her shots completely, and other goofy things.

I know it’s unfair to compare her with Mireille, Kirika (definitely unfair), or Madlax (who’s like invincible), but I mean, I don’t know. I’m still stuck on the theme of the trilogy. Silly me.

In this ep, while she tries to hunt for a bounty-hunting target (finally! No more not-sexy taco waitress uniforms!) she slipped and fell, and thus avoiding that bullet to the head.

Gosh damned lucky, if I may say so. Too lucky. It’s almost like the creator of the show doesn’t want the viewers to have to feel bad about her being hurt or even death (well, she can’t die now, she’s one half of the not-so-funny comedy duo! Aren’t we still waiting for more laughs?)

In any case, this ep is a filler. I mean, sure, we ONCE AGAIN learn that Elis cares about Nadi and vice-versa, but come on, we’ve been learning that this whole show. So, this ep doesn’t really add or subtract from that.

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The plot of this ep is simple. It seems like Nadi finally listens to Elis, mine, and a great amount of viewers’ silent and perhaps vocal pleas (maybe on 2chan) and decides to go for a bounty hunting job. This time, she and Ricardo happen to pick the same target

It’s so obvious that hers and Ricardo’s fates are tangled together. We saw the develop of that back when they were at the hot springs place and we’ve been seeing that being developed almost the whole show.

Nothing major is going on here. We got to see that Jody, her short haired minion number one and Mireille-wanna-be-minion number two are still tracking Nadi and Elis’ actions. We saw that Rosenberg talks about waiting for “the prey” to come to him, and he’s rather snobby and confident that whatever he’s planning will work out just like what he planned.

Nadi does seem to have a brain. She analyzed about her target, and Elis says that she’s smart (to reinforce the idea that she’s smart on us? Who knows?). But in the previous episodes, she has said a lot of stupid stuff that just made me wonder about her. In the previous episodes, her clumsiness led her away from a lot of actions, but in this ep, it saves her. I’m just not satisfied with what happened.

All in all, a filler ep that doesn’t move the overall plot anywhere. I don’t feel like talking about LA and Elis, except that Elis takes some initiative and goes to stop LA from killing Nadi and Ricardo’s target. My question is why LA is even there in the first p lace and is trying to whack the target? What for? That’s never explained. It looks like to me that he’s just happens to be there to do the guy in. Bleh. Whatever.

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70% recommended for your daily anime diet for a small amount of action and I guess accurate portrayal of South American daily life (the market scene and the rich neighborhood), but nothing else worth mentioning.

El Cazador 16 – My preciousss! My tacosss! My Elisssss!

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Yeeehahahahaha! Slaughter! Kill! Destruction! Revenge! Where is the revenge? Why Nadi, why? Why aren’t you going after Jody? Why aren’t you accepting assassination cases before you become a waitress again? Why? Take up your gun! Give in to your hate! My preciousssssssssss!

Bang! Bang! Bang! Owowowowowow… Stop, stop! OK, OK! (Putting away Friday Monday’s half mask, the One Ring, and Emperor Palpatine’s hood with a great effort). So, the plot is moving, yes, but this eps is in essence, half a filler, after all.

I shook my head when I saw Nadi and Elis wearing the Amigo Tacos waitress uniforms again. To be frank, I know there’s a reason but I was simply not impressed with the so-called humor device (although the interview is funny). Because the way the show had been going before the last 3 or 4 eps, I had to think that they’re fucking with us again. Yes, Nadi and Elis need a job, so instead of the stupid waitressing job, why not go after someone. Oh, sure, Nadi actually explains that because it would take too long. Well, then, why didn’t you do it before you went starving?

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You may argue, that’s because they’re on the run. Well, since I’m rather tired of this show trying so hard avoiding super cool gunfights at almost all costs, how about reward the poor old me who followed it this far expecting some real radical action? How about feeding this poor old me a piece of long enough action scrap? I mean, to be perfectly harsh (don’t I always?), either get rid of the stupid action flick-like OP sequence and just be totally out in the open about what this show really is (hasn’t this show been trying to do that for the past 15 eps?), or give me the gunfights! The slaughter! The terror! The killer instincts! Gahahahahhaha…Ah…ah…ah hum. In any case, yeah, I know this is a show with a real plot and some complexity and doesn’t rely primarily on secret organizations or some supernatural-dimensional-opening books and psycho-babble, but again, it’s the theme of this franchise that gets to me. Before I lost all of my readers (as if I had any in the first place, silly me!), let’s talk in depth about this eps.

Something important happens in this eps – we get to learn (though I don’t think any of us is actually surprised) that L.A. knows something extremely important to Elis (or he might have said it before, I can’t remember). What I remember the most is the seiyuu’s effort playing L.A. (man, that’s like a strange and somewhat cheesy name from a Tarantino movie or that Rodriguez guy’s movie) – he gave me a chill up my spine and creeped me out good. This guy deserves a “Seiyuu of the year” award for what he has been doing in the show. He made me wonder if he were a real obsessive sociopath in real life!

The desperation and obsession of LA is boiling, but it doesn’t explode after his beating. I don’t know whether it’s just an interlude before it finally explodes, or it’ll never explode. After seeing 300+ anime, completed and not, I ‘d say it’s just an interlude. He has been a walking time bomb for 16 eps, I guess poor ol’ LA just have to wait until the last 2 to 4 eps before exploding. Maybe when Nadi, Elis, and LA all reach their common destination some strange witch power will make all of them explode. Who knows?

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Something important happens to Elis too. She learns to feel what it’s like being pissed, and I mean extremely pissed like a certain female wrestler on ‘roid rage. I mean, she kicks LA’s ass, hard. She wants to finish him off or continue give him a beating (well, it’s just a beating from a 10 year old little girl without much testosterone, right?), but Nadi stops her from her “carnage”. But Yes! She finally does something about LA’s harrassment. Go Elis! Kick his ass! Yeah yeah! Heh heh heh…

Nothing else much happens in this eps. Nadi is her usual goofy self displaying some sassy dealing with guest gropers (ha ha), and there were some comedy with the owner of that branch of Amino Tacos, and more Japanese-style jokes about the word “tacos” and the made up tacos jingle.

As for action, the most action that happened in this eps is Elis kicking ass while LA looking all sensitive and hurt. Oh my preciousss Elisss…You…you hit me! He so whined like a little boy he made Shinji look like Gutsu.

Oh, and the narrator didn’t have to actually tell us that Elis learned to get pissed off. We saw that ourselves.

I should’ve realized earlier, but Elis is based of a Rei Ayanami clone.

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Mercifully, this article is short. So let me end it that way. So my recommendation is

74% recommended for your daily anime diet, I took off 2% due the boredom I felt other than LA’s excellent performance. He earned most of the percentage.

El Cazador 15 – hot springs, fan service, FBI or FEMA and…CIA?

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You know I said I didn’t like this show very much because the main characters don’t take out 60 plus guys with handguns? Well, guess what, who gives a damn about that (sorry if you do like I did)? The plot is getting much better! Or at least more involved and twisted!

It turns out that there are some other influences around, in addition to the Witches Council, Doug Rosenberg and senator Hanss Letogen (we learn about the senator’s name – the guest that Rosenberg hosted two eps ago – in this eps), and the other bounty hunters (thankfully, no more greasy guys with trunk full of tequilas or gay guys dressing like Boy George in the hey days of 1980s show up any more). And, get this – the FBI, or the FEMA – we’re not too sure which just by the description of this eps (it seems like the creators simply fused the two) that has begun to investigate the CIA! They even arrested senator Hanss Letogen, who, as we’re told in this eps, has been secretly funding and reviving the Leviathan project, which is currently headed by Rosenberg! He apparently is a researcher working for CIA, or for one of the sub-division in CIA!

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Wow, how many more plot twists can we take in one eps? I mean, FBI investigating CIA? A US (presumably) senator gets arrested? A Secret old project for exploiting the supernatural humans (witches) that gets revived? A hidden group that we didn’t learn much about until eps 15 makes their first move? I’m breathless!

Except I’m worried that, if this show is shortened to 24 eps (a lot of show are like that in recent years – never full 26, and sometimes only 22 or 23 eps!), there will be a lot of loose ends.

Important things that happened in this eps: 1. Nadi dreams about Elis walking away from her. So Nadi decided that she has to tell Elis everything after all. Near the end, Nadi makes the choice of returning her fee, which Jody hands to her for guarding Elis all these times, and she decides to continue to guard and accompany Elis until the end of her journey, wherever the journey takes her. 2. The Witches Council decides to arrest Elis. They send the message to Jody Heyward, who wants to take Elis in right away. She gives Nadi a check with a hefy sum – 15% more than Nadi had asked. But Nadi refuses. Oh, and we get to see Jody’s naked backside, damn I dunno but I like her mature and slightly wide hips and firm butt cheeks…wait, that’s not that important. Ah hum, anyways…

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3. Rosenberg seems to be temporarily powerless, but he smugs confidently at the end musing about he has in fact, won. This is demonstrated by a chess game between him and a certain blond woman.

4. FBI or FEMA (my guess is that the Japanese directors meant to make it unclear to avoid direct referencing) decides to investigate the CIA. This may or may not be that significant later. After all, we know that someone in the Witches’ Council intends to go a different direction that the council leader wants. My guess is that particular person in the council tipped the FBI/FEMA off to the intentions of the CIA or a that sub-group in CIA.

Now, as for the other things that happened in this eps, which I didn’t particularly think was crucial or important to the plot – the fan service parts (OK, OK, so these are important to male Otakus). Well, Nadi wore her sexy swimsuit to that hot springs in Mexico (I didn’t know they had that Mexico). She and Elis encounters the Lone Wolf (Ricardo) and the cub (Lilio). She and Ricardo digs and cleans the hot springs pool, and everyone except Ricardo, who acts like a samurai in classic samurai films (especially like the main guy in “Lone Wolf and a cub”), jumped into the hot spring pool and enjoyed the facilities that the hot springs place has to offer. Nadi later shares a moment and some beer with Ricardo, who looks too world weary and cynical to care and remember a lot of things. Something that may be significant later happens here as Ricardo tells Nadi indirectly that he and Rosenberg no long has any relationship. We all know that Rosenberg has hired him for some time.

Before they actually got into the abandoned hot springs hotel, the show poked fun at itself and Otaku culture by the Otaku-funny conversation between Elis and Nadi (I now craves for samurice…ha ha ha).

The disgusting (or the fujoshi are saying, hot, hot and sizzling) bishonen shows up again. This time, however, he comes to with the intention to take Elis with him. He even says that he and Elis are meant to be one flesh (yucky!). But he retreats at the end, like a classic bad guy from many mecha shows.

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Some interesting things to note: Room 339 – once the center for project leviathan, now just a “garbage cleaning” department – is (as we know) where Rosenberg resides. The higher up who told Rosenberg to take a vacation and hands him a ticket says so. Rosenberg is temporarily out of the game. Another thing. As I remembered, supposedly, in the 50s and 60s, the US government performed experiments on ESP and other supernatural stuff on people, some said through CIA – in order to gain advantage over the Soviet Union. We don’t know if these things are true in real life, but this anime apparently borrows that concept. The third thing: No Mireille, unfortunately. The blond woman/sniper that followed Naid and Elis is played either by Toyoguchi Megumi or Okamoto Mayoyi (I can’t read the her name very well). In a previous entry I mentioned that perhaps the council leader has something to do with this blond woman – after all, Mireille from Noir is played by Mitsuishi Kotono, who now plays the council woman. But they are not related, after all. It was only my wishful thinking. Anyway, back to the review.

Because of the turn of events, and how the seiyuus are getting into terrific situations where they have to really react to interesting and difficult things, my score for this eps raised considerably comparing to previous eps. Of course, I didn’t mention some things and details, because I don’t want to spoil everything for people who haven’t seem this eps at all.

Without further ado, here’s my recommendation: 82% or even up to 85% recommended for your daily anime diet.

PS. Yeah, I know that’s a big jump from the previous score. But I’ve finally shed my last bit of prejudice about this show and this eps is really that much better, just for the plot twists. I would have to say however, the emotional conflict of Nadi within herself isn’t as good as I wanted, especially after my second watch hoping to see something her seiyuu Ito Shizuka did that I didn’t catch the first time around. I’d say the best characters here (as much as I hate it still) are L.A – the bishonen character (what’s with that name anyway?) and Rosenberg.

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…Gosh. I think I’m falling in love with Jody. For some reason her mature (not old, just grown up) body shape just turns me on (would you just look at these tight cheeks?), and she’s voiced by Hisakawa Aya, who was Arimi in Marmalade Boy…AH HUM! Anyway, the show is definitely getting much better!

PS 2: what’s with the narrating system? Why do I need to hear the characters thoughts narrated?

Editor’s note: for the dead on and laughing out a loud parody of eps 14, please check out his site: http://azureflame.ikimashou.net/2007/07/10/el-cazador-de-la-bruja-parody-episode-14/