We’ll Always Have Amigo Tacos~: Impressions on El Cazador de la Bruja

Written by TheBigN

As it was another girls and guns show by this guy, I decided to check out El Cazador de la Bruja not really expecting anything despite the theme of the shows. Each of the previous series of this that I’ve seen from Mashimo has been interesting in some way. Noir was initially filled with a lot of wonder at what Kirika’s kill of the week was going to be (the ID card kill is still my favorite one), then at how Mireille and Kirika would solve the mysteries of the past together, and while the story fell apart at the end, I was mostly satisfied with how things went. I only saw the first couple of episodes of Madlax while the main plot hadn’t even really started kicking up, but the side stories themselves held my interest; and Avenger held it’s story togethe, though the characters felt weak as we went through the series. El Cazador didn’t have as much action or intrigue as Noir, as much mystery as Madlax, or as much cohesiveness as Avenger based on what I remember of those series (one can never tell). But apparently compared to others this happened to be my favorite of these types of shows, and probably because of it’s failure to match it’s predecessors in those areas, while being stronger on other aspects.

Quintessential Ellis. And who wouldn’t want to be eaten by her?

I’d like to say that El Cazador ends up being more character-driven than it’s predecessors. While Noir does a good job showing how Mireille and Kirika develop (feelings for each other) as they go on their quest, I’d say that at a lot of times, that relationship became second-fiddle to the mystery of how they once were connected in the past. While we had that aspect of mystery in El Cazador as well, the attention was always solely focused on the characters, with a lot of stuff being afterthoughts. While that’s a weakness, the characters make up for a lot of it in my opinion. The side characters all are enjoyable in some way, from the smug, narcissistic, know-it-all bastard Rosenberg (who stayed that way throughout), to creepy, crazy L.A. (who noticeably becomes less of both as we go on), to imperceptive Mrs. Hayward, and the odd couple of always serious Ricardo and always smiling Lirio. Our main duo were a fun pair to watch, as Ellis and Nadie played off each other well (too bad we didn’t see the opposite :P), and we (and they) learned more about their idiosyncracies (“Yes Sir”) and feelings as we went on journeying with them.

I also really loved the fact that El Cazador was a much less serious work in it’s execution. You can’t really take a show seriously when the main characters have to fend off transvestite bounty hunters several times, or having Ricardo saying the same cheesy finishing line twice in the same episode. Especially when you consider the joke that never ended (taco taco tacos), or how certain characters are (like L.A. or Lirio) a lot of these things wouldn’t have made it into Noir or Avenger since they definitely wouldn’t have fit in with the mood of those pieces. And as many of the places Nadie and Ellis traveled to and the random people they met were very out of the ordinary (like the constant Amigo Tacos restaurants appearing in the area), the laid back nature of the series made those visits and interactions work for me. Hell, even the situation itself with Ellis’ identity can be considered pretty fantastical, but I was able to take it in stride. In cases like these, I think the silly is done better than the serious, and most times it easier to do; when something serious is seen as silly, as with Noir in some cases, it’s doesn’t say good things about what the show was trying to be. I certainly don’t think that El Cazador was harmed by it’s mostly tongue-in-cheek nature and I found it a nice refreshing change of pace.

Quintessential Nadie.

I can’t say that it was all good though. I already mentioned that the story was weak, and to add to that, it was inconsistent and disjointed in a lot of places, and the ending was anticlimactic and a little expected (but that isn’t a bad thing). There are a lot of angles that could have been more focused in the story such as Ellis’s past, and as such a lot of loose ends were left unsolved. As this show suffered “Misleading OP/ED Disorder”, there also seemed to be a lot of potential angles that could have been covered, as well as the potential for something epic occurring if the direction/story was better (this is another way expectations can shoot us in the foot. With a bazooka.) Music-wise, this wasn’t Yuki Kajiura’s best work at all, but it was a decent offering. There are some standalone tracks from the OST though, and I’ll be listening to “project leviathan”, “desert sunset” and “sad yearning” for a while afterwards.

El Cazador de la Bruja was an enjoyable work, and while it isn’t anywhere near the best shows of the year, it’s still a solid show to watch, if just for the novelty. If you care for a strong story or are expecting something totally awesome or very action-packed, this won’t be your cup of tea, but if you don’t mind that and are interested in the characters, it should be a fun show. I can’t say that it’s a better piece of work than it’s predecessors, but I can say that El Cazador is my favorite out of Mashimo’s girls with guns works regardless.

And the journey continues… <3

Granted, I won’t be able to see get that taco jingle out of my head anytime I see a taco now for a while though. 😛

7 Responses to “We’ll Always Have Amigo Tacos~: Impressions on El Cazador de la Bruja”

  1. 1 Kabitzin October 23, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    I thought El Cazador started off alright, but there were several pretty boring episodes in the middle, and things got very confusing with all the various parties at play. One thing that ECdlB got right, as you pointed out, was the characters. I really liked just about all of them, from crazy silly L.A. to those random scrub bounty hunters that Nadie kept beating up.

    I’d definitely say it was better than Avenger, but the story was weaker than that of Noir and Madlax. I agree that the humor helped ECdlB, because without the fun character interaction, the story was not really exciting enough to keep me watching.

  2. 2 RunningKid October 23, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Reading around, it seems like this idea of the show being character driven doesn’t appeal to everyone, since it is, afterall at the expense of the story. I quite liked it, even though plot is quite basic all the Nadie x Ellis relationship that had built up over the series really did provide a nice ending which had impact.

    I especially liked the last episode as it did provide a sense of the story coming full circle, but it’s also why it’s a bit cheesy.

    May be I should work on Noir and Madlax sometime soon. xD

  3. 3 Melonman October 23, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    Noir for me always seemed to be the cookie that crumbled far to quickly. from your impressions on El Cazador ill probably check it out, although before i do that i really should finish watching lucky star and tengen toppa gurren lagann.

    looking forward to your next post.

  4. 4 TheBigN October 24, 2007 at 11:58 am

    Kabitzin: “but there were several pretty boring episodes in the middle”

    Ah. The nothing happens episodes. You know how I feel about those. 😛

    Runningkid: I’d recommend them, since both were interesting to keep on watching. I stopped watching Madlax only because I didn’t have the ability to keep watching it at the time.

    Melonman: No problem.

  5. 5 21stcenturydigitalboy October 29, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    Site header change! But I don’t recognize T_T

  6. 6 TheBigN October 30, 2007 at 11:21 am

    Get some more Touhou into your life, man. 😛

  7. 7 0rion November 2, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    “Noir was initially filled with a lot of wonder at what Kirika’s kill of the week was going to be (the ID card kill is still my favorite one)”

    Sunglasses neckstab ftw 😛

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