El Cazador de la Bruja, Part Two – DVD Review

 

Review by: Brenda Gregson

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 325 minutes
Genre: Action
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now

Now it’s officially better than a taco combination platter.

If Part One of El Cazador de la Bruja was like a savory bean and cheese burrito then Part Two is like a steak burrito with all the fixings that make it an even more savory meal. Please forgive the Mexican food analogies (I’m kind of hungry) but the truth is that El Cazador de la Bruja, Part Two, is a far more satisfying part of this story and with all the right elements in place it certainly did surpass the first part thanks – in part – to the rest of the cast of supporting characters having a better role in this one.

In Part Two, after having raided the lab and discovering the secret behind Ellis’ birth, Nadie is conflicted and wonders if she should tell Ellis what she found in the lab. Meanwhile, we get a look into what went on in said lab as we meet Doctor Heinz Schneider, a scientist in charge of Ellis. Cold towards the girl, the Doctor never become close until Rosenberg suggests that they get out of the lab for leisurely strolls and even a fishing trip. As a result, Doctor Schneider begins to develop feelings for the girl and Ellis even falls for the Doctor. What happens next we all know now but exactly who killed Heinz Schneider?

The girls continue their journey on towards a location the clearly brainwashed L.A. calls Winay Marka. On the way, they run across the bounty hunter Ricardo and his pint-sized (and still super cute) companion, Lirio. In fact, for the remainder of the series the girls are joined by the interesting pair and end up traveling with them. In Part One, Ricardo was just a passing soul who often crossed paths with the girl but now he has become a central character with a lot to offer. There’s even an intriguing – if not unspoken – attraction between the attractive Ricardo and the sexy Nadie. They even pass as a couple in one episode.

While interesting as that relationship might be, however, it is still the bond between Ellis and Nadie that makes their journey so much more interesting. Sure, it doesn’t go to far into girl’s love territory but these girls have a strong affection for each another. We watch them fight and get jealous and express their loyalty for each another. Even the woman named Judy Hayward (AKA Blue-Eyes), who chases the girls down to capture Ellis for her own protection, is touched by their relationship to the point that she makes a rather surprising decision much later in the series.

Thanks to likes of Ricardo, Lirio and even L.A. joining the girls’ journey, the story gets more interesting and so do the situation they get into during their travels. In one episode they spend the night in a bed and breakfast run by a famous author only to make an interesting discovery and in another episode Nadie and Ricardo join forces to collect a bounty. In another episode, Nadie is arrested by the local authorities and Ellis, Lirio, Ricardo and even L.A. help to spring her out.

The story also focuses on Rosenberg as he is put on leave by the head of the organization and spends it with his girlfriend out by the lake. While he spends his free time being the perfect boyfriend, he secretly executes his plan to not only take Ellis but bring out her true power. As creepy as he was in the first part of the series, Rosenberg becomes a clichéd bad guy in this part. Sadly, L.A. also becomes a walking cliché.

Despite the corny bad guys, though, Part Two is actually a more exciting story that comes to a fulfilling conclusion. All the questions are answered and there’s a memorable final confrontation between Ellis, Nadie and Rosenberg. Besides that, the ending takes up a whole episode so you can’t ask for a better ending than what is seen here.

Like I said in the beginning, Part One was a rather tasty morsel that did a good job setting up the story and introducing us to these to wonderful female leads but Part Two of El Cazador de la Bruja is just a far more gratifying treat. With minor characters playing a bigger and better role, the story just takes off and reaches a finale that is worth it in the end.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: B-
As Nadie and Ellis get closer to their destination, we learn more about Ellis and her relationship with Doctor Schneider. Meanwhile, Blue-Eyes sets out to find and capture Ellis personally while Rosenberg finally makes his move. Together with Ricardo and Lirio, the girls set out to discover the truth about Winay Marka and what they will find once they get there.

VIDEO QUALITY: A-
The animation is still easy on the eyes and you have to love Nadie’s moves during her action scenes. It’s just too bad that L.A. and Rosenberg become so laughably hammy at the end of the series.

AUDIO QUALITY: A
The English dub option is still the best thanks to some outstanding performances. The Japanese voice actors are good as well but the English dub voice talent nails the Spanish words nicely. Then there’s the original score that is still good.

EXTRAS: C+
Expect the usual textless opening and closing theme songs feature plus some trailers. There’s a very revealing audio commentary for Episode 24 with ADR Director Christopher Bevins, Clarine Harp (Blue-eyes) and Ian Sinclair (Rosenberg) where Bevins ask who is the masked man in the closing credits animation. I mean, he doesn’t even appear in the series.

OVERALL: B-
Unlike the first part of the series, Part Two of El Cazador de la Bruja comes together more nicely and far more entertaining than the first part of this series. Sure, the clichéd villains still hold back the story but all the characters now have a purpose that makes our pair’s journey all the more interesting and fun to follow. The ending is even better than I expected so checking out this series might not be such a bad idea.

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment

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