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ADV Films presents
Sorcerer Hunters #4: Magical Battles (Bakuretsu Hunter) (1998)

"I am the Messenger of Love, Carrot Glace. I will make you two the happiest people in the world."
- Carrot Glace (Shinnosuke Furumoto)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: October 09, 2001

Stars: Shinnosuke Furumoto, Madono Mitsuaki, Yuko Mizutani, Megumi Hayashibara
Other Stars: Sumi Shimamoto, Sakiko Tamagawa, Kiyoyuki Yanada, Banjou Ginga
Director: Keiji Goto

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (15+ for fan service, adult themes)
Run Time: 01h19m:22s
Release Date: October 09, 2001
UPC: 702727007828
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+A-A- C-

DVD Review

The fourth and final installment in the Sorcerer Hunters (Bakuretsu Hunter) series breaks from tradition and weaves the last episodes into a continuous story arc, unlike the preceding episodes which were generally episodic in nature, and what a ride this adventure turns out to be. As expected, Zaha Torte, introduced in the previous disc, becomes the chief opponent for our group of Sorcerer Hunters and their director, Big Momma. The relationship between most of the characters gets further exposed, and the reasons behind the era of magic users is also uncovered.

The opening episode Sleepless is a cozy little exposition segment, featuring Tira and Chocolate as they express their feelings for Carrot, who like the idiot he can be doesn't realize what he has going for him in these two young ladies. Meanwhile, the Haze Knights confront Zaha Torte, and find he is an opponent that even they will have a tough time defeating. In Spirits Of The Sorcerer Hunters, when Big Momma calls the Sorcerer Hunters back to the Stella Church, the bonds between the band will be tested again, as Carrot questions his role and motivations for his task, especially when a town full of beautiful girls is beckoning the Messenger of Love.

The next episodes cover the last conflicts in the series, and are a total rollercoaster ride, which I can't really discuss without major spoilage. The final connections are made between Carrot's past and his future, which cause several unexpected responses from different characters. We do get some very interesting costuming happening, but I'll say no more about that. This collection of shows feel more like one unit than any previous episodes, and certainly had me glued to the set until its conclusion, which I felt worked very well, and was extremely engaging in its construction.

Having experienced the entire TV series now, I still can't rate it as highly as some others I've seen, but still found it highly entertaining, fun, and as these last episodes unfolded, quite riveting to watch. The earlier discs could have been watched sporadically without losing too much of the flow of the series, but this last disc demands attention from beginning to end. As another of ADV's four disc sets, the value here is great. The characters are all likeable (except the bad guys of course), the situations range from fun to pretty crazy, and the fan service level is on the abundant side.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Aside from a bit of graininess in dark areas, and the usual interlace artifacts, this disc looks quite good, and easily on par with its predecessors. Colors remain strong, black levels solid, and rainbowing or other glaring defects are not present.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Audio quality is balanced with good use of the stereo field. No signs of hiss or distortion are present. Frequency range is consistent with the first three discs in the series. An English dub is also present, which deviates from the Japanese substantially.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 29 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring New Kimagure Orange Road, The Original Dirty Pair, Those Who Hunt Elves, Blue Seed, Gasaraki, Orphen and Arc The Lad
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The original ADV Do It Now trailer is included here along with previews for current and forthcoming ADV releases New Kimagure Orange Road, The Original Dirty Pair, Those Who Hunt Elves, Blue Seed, Gasaraki, Orphen and Arc The Lad, available in the trailers submenu.

Character bios for Carrot, Marron, Gateau, Zaha Torte, Millefeuille and our one villian sorcerer are included.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

The final battle for our Sorcerer Hunters is at hand, and this concluding disc doesn't disappoint. There is plenty of action, numerous twists and turns, and copious eye candy in the outfits department. Sorcerer Hunters is another good value from ADV for those who enjoy fun adventure series laced with fan service and a finale that pulls the story together in the end in an unexpected fashion. The spinoff Sorcerer On The Rocks is expected soon from ADV and I hope the OVAs will follow shortly.


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