Robin and Nagira continue their search for Amon, and find themselves following a trail of breadcrumbs he seems to have left for them. As they follow up these new leads, more and more pieces of the puzzle start falling into place, raising even more questions along the way. As tensions between the various organizations threaten to boil over, Miho is kidnapped by the Factory, and the STN-J members decide to stage a daring infiltration operation to rescue her.
The final volume of this paranormal detective drama continues to enthral and surprise, as the plot twists and turns towards its conclusion. As more questions are raised, new answers are found, and slowly it all begins to make sense. It often seems that there are more stark revelations and developments in this volume than in the entirety of other series. It’s gripping stuff, too, thanks to the intelligent script and tight direction – there’s never a wasted moment, and every little piece of information is important.
The strong characterisation helps, of course. The way that each of the characters react to the story’s developments allows their personalities to shine through. Lights are shone on mysterious pasts, dark secrets are brought out in to the open, and long-hidden emotions find their way to the surface. All the characters get a little more fleshed out, and feel a little more believable, and so a little more real.
Incredibly, the series comes to an ending that feels neither rushed nor dragged out. All the big questions are answered, and the ending is such that it closes the door while leaving the possibility there that it may be opened again. It’s rare that an anime series gets a truly good ending, and it’s as refreshing as it is satisfying.
The presentation of the whole shebang is as slick as they come. The visual quality is still great, with muted but rich colours, strong character designs and impressive animation. The music, as ever, is top-notch stuff; understated and subtle, but always suiting the series and action perfectly. The opening theme remains one of this writer’s all-time favourite intro songs, and the bitchin’ instrumental version over the final credits also gets a big thumbs-up. There are also a few interesting extras on the DVD, with several interviews and a live music video, and it’s great to see such an effort being made beyond the usual trailers.
Witch Hunter Robin manages to hit all the right notes, and reaches an entertaining and satisfying conclusion. Although often seen as little more than giant robots and scantily clad girls, this is one series that proves that anime can be so much more. It’s a deliberately paced series that rewards the patient, and those that enjoy intelligent and atmospheric drama will find a lot to like here.