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[ café reviews ]

Episode 4: Hai Iro No Majo
(The Grey Witch)

Copyright: © 1990 Kadokawa Video (Japan), 1995 US Manga Corp / Software Sculptors (North America)
Length: 40 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: Subtitled (VHS/Hybrid Quicktime CD-ROM)

Based on the novels by: Yasuda Hitoshi and Mizuno Ryo Executive Producer: Kadokawa Tsuguhiko Producers: Tamiya Takeshi, Ikeda Kensho, Maruyama Masao Screenplay: Watanabe Mami, Kanemaki Kenichi Director: Ryu Taiji Character design: Izubuchi Yutaka English version producer: John O'Donnell Translator: Neil Nadelman

[ plot summary ]

volume 1

The Marmo forces continue to advance much faster than anyone had anticipated, taking Kannon, then Alania, the last stronghold before the empire of Valis itself. Parn and his party hurry their pace to Valis, hoping to get an audience with King Fahn. Their journey, however, will take them through the Forest of No Return, the homeland of the Fairies. No one has ever returned from the enchanted forest, but the party has no choice -- time is running out. Meanwhile, it appears that King Beld has a frighteningly powerfully ally on his side -- the Grey Witch, Karla. King Fahn has dispatched his only daughter, Fianna, to gain support from the allies of Valis. Karla attacks Fianna's entourage, but not in an attempt to stop her. Can Parn save the Princess? What can Karla's real motives be?

[ capsule review ]

This episode features a bit more background into the character of Ghim, the grizzled elf. Their journey through the Forest of No Return which foreshadows his terrible realisation of what has happened to Leylia, the daughter of Neese whom he seeks. The plot continues at a quick pace, keeping interest in the series high, while providing lots of character development, especially for Ghim, Karla and the Dark Knight, Ashram. The writers continue with an excellent job of keeping the audience on its toes, throwing curveballs to keep everyone guessing as to where the story is headed. Sakakibara's character continues to be the most interesting, with a surprise revelation into her current incarnation. The music does get a bit tiresome, as the grandiose orchestra hits become a little too commonplace and repetitous at times. But the rich, complex story is this series' strength, and there is no disappointment in this regard. The characters of Karla and Ashram are wonderfully cold, calculating and mysterious; voice acting for the two are perfectly executed. The ending of this episode introduces a very chilling twist, keeping you wanting more. What a great series! - AN

This episode is fairly fast paced with a great deal of action happening in many areas. Valis has made its move to try and ally with Alania, while Kannon's king refuses to submit to Beld. At the same time, our six would-be heroes are on their way to Valis after finding Alania unwilling to get involved in any way with the Marmo invasion. I found that it was not so much Parn's character which was annoyingly portrayed in this episode so much as Woodchuck's. However, we have some character development in Ghim and learn just what prompted him to set out on an adventure in the first place. Deedlit's character continues to be solidly portrayed by Touma Yumi and Karla's character leaves us suitably puzzled as to her motives in Lodoss' war. This episode keeps your interest and doesn't let go until the end when you have a very nice piece of foreshadowing of further happenings to come. This series is not a straightforward work which is easy to see through. Rather there are some complexities to the plot which keeps the viewer in suspense and guessing as to what will happen next. - JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/R 4 stars N/A
Direction: N/R 4 stars N/A
Acting: N/R 3 stars N/A
Animation: N/R 4 stars N/A
Music: N/R 3 stars N/A
Translation: N/R 5 stars N/A
Overall Rating: N/R 4 stars N/A

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