Finalizing their “Girls with Guns” TV trilogy, Studio Bee Train’s El Cazador De La Bruja is a fantastic endpoint to Koichi Mashimoto’s creation and an entertaining frolic in anime staples. The series follows bounty hunter Nadie, who has captured an amnesiac blond girl named Ellis. Ellis has a bounty placed on her head for the mysterious murder of Dr. Heinz Schneider. With no memory in place and only given a stone and the directions to go south by a fortune teller, the two girls set out on an adventure and will have to fend off of various bounty hunters and other obstacles that dare get in their way. While the series doesn’t present anything new to the equation, El Cazador De La Bruja offers up some pretty great entertainment, with a fantastic dub cast and a solid relationship between its main characters that will delight any anime fan.
One thing that I always never bought into with their first entry into the trilogy, 2001’s Noir, was the relationship between Kirika and Mireille. In Cazador, one is immediately hooked into what Nadie and Ellis have to offer for the audience in how they work off of one another. From the sight gags to their demeanor’s, the relationship between Ellis and Nadie is extremely well done and one of the highlight’s of the show. While the other characters can be a bit interesting, especially the voyeuristic and creepy L.A., a majority of them are archetypes that we’ve seen time and time again.
One of the best moments that I had while watching this was finding out how great the dub was from Funimation. I don’t typically watched stuff dubbed, but when a great one comes along, I get extremely happy and watching Cazador like this put a huge grin on my face, from ear to ear. While the Japanese language track isn’t bad, the English dub just brings the entire production to a whole new level. Trisha Nishimura and Maxey Whitehead do a brilliant job as both Nadie and Ellis and really give the characters much more life than their Japanese counterparts do. If there’s any indication on whether or not you should see it dubbed or subbed, watch the scene when L.A. comes face to face with Ellis in episode three with Mamoru Miyano and then go back and see how Jamie McGonnigal just takes the scene to a whole new level.
Since the production was handled by Bee Train, the usual pitfalls that befall their productions are in full effect here in Cazador. The backgrounds are a little bland and at times, the animation is a bit limited throughout the entire series. Another big one is the sluggish pacing for the entire series, which has been one of their biggest problems for most of their productions. While the pacing is helped by the upbeat chemistry between Nadie and Ellis and as much fun as I had, its still suffers from being a knock down, drag out of a time for 26 episodes.
Still, even with these minor quibbles, El Cazador De La Bruja is a real blast, with one of the best dubs that I’ve ever heard and a great conclusion to Mashimoto’s “Girls with Guns” trilogy that is a high watermark for him as a creator and for Studio Bee Train as a production company as a whole. Recommended!
El Cazador De La Bruja is now available in a S.A.V.E. Edition from Funimation.