published in Empire No.73, Sydney
Despite its alluring title, Witch Hunter Robin is an uncharacteristically restrained series, devoid of the neo-Gothic titillation which propels most witch/vampire revisions in anime. The titular character Robin is a withdrawn mysterious figure raised in an Italian nunnery and now assigned to join a new world team of witch-hunters, the STNJ. Witches here are not the goblin variety, but those with lineage back to psychic and demonic originators of mystical crafts of lore.
The STNJ group is classic anime team: full of multiple personalities, strongly defined by bureaucratic codes, and immersed in the paranormal occurrences which shape their everyday investigations. Robin remains an outsider to this team – especially through being of Witch lineage herself, now assigned to be the partner of the brooding Amon who largely rejects her presence. Of course Robin bears a new range of volatile powers which both unsettle the team and push them into new territories.
Overall, however, Witch Hunter Robin hits an indistinctive level in its mix of straight drama, tight characterization and wicked paranormality. Bordering on the humourless without diving into the existential abyss, it remains a strong enough series, though bettered by other examples in the genre.