On the Spooner Continent, those who master sorcery find it all too easy to abuse their powers; but luckily for the common people, someone is on their side- the Sorcerer Hunters. Carrot, Tira, Chocolate, Marron and Gateau are warriors dedicated to eradicating evil sorcerers, but with Carrot more interested in chasing skirts, the rest of the team often have their hands full making sure that he toes the line before they can even turn their attention to all those rogue magic-users.
In the hunt for more old-school shenanigans in the style of Slayers, it was inevitable that my path would cross with Sorcerer Hunters, a series based along similar lines. Having seen the confusingly character-filled OVA some time before, I was ready to delve into the world of Sorcerer Hunters in more detail- but sadly, even with 26 episodes to work with, the whole thing remained rather shallow.
That’s not to say that the series wasn’t entertaining enough in its own way, but unfortunately there’s only so far you can go with the same old formula; Carrot chases the girl-of-the-week, the others investigate an evil sorcerer, and the whole thing ends with a stock animation showdown- and of course there’s even a final boss thrown in for good measure. To be fair, this is about what you’d expect from a 90’s fantasy series, but still it feels as if some vital ingredient is missing- some spark of depth or development in just a single episode that would have given the whole thing more meaning. Perhaps it’s just an effect of so much of the original manga story having been left out, but the series certainly needed a little extra seasoning.
Similarly, the characters are fairly standard; there’s Carrot, skirt chaser and general loser with hidden powers; quiet sister Tira and loud sister Chocolate, both with dominatrix alter egos; bishounen Marron and the bland warrior type Gateau. They’re all likable enough, but like the series itself they lack the depth needed to truly connect with them- and certainly there’s no one here who could claim to be as memorable as the great Lina Inverse. Similarly, the supporting characters are generally a bland and unremarkable lot.
Visually, Sorcerer Hunters relies on Keiji Goto of Nadesico and Kiddy Grade fame to bring us his usual range of beautiful and distinctive character designs- although unfortunately the girls’ original dominatrix outfits were deemed too risqué for TV and toned down for all but the last episode. The animation itself is typical 90’s budgets fare, whilst the background music is largely unremarkable.
Although it proves to be a good old-fashioned fantasy romp, Sorcerer Hunters TV is not a particularly memorable series, instead sticking to its formula to the exclusion of anything in the way of character development. Treat it as throwaway entertainment, but don’t expect anything more.