Sorcerer Hunters 10

September 18, 2008

It’s a shame it took me so long to read this volume.  I think this is one of the series from Tokyopop which is biting the dust and not coming back, which is a shame.  It looks like volume 11 is scheduled to come out in October, and I would be delighted if it did, but I have a feeling I’m going to fill in the end of my collection with the older volumes.

It’s doubly a shame, because this volume was really good.  I’ll be the first to admit that this series is kinda… dated and not very good, but I like it because it has good ideas, even if they are buried under layers of unfunny comedy.  I’ve talked about why I like the plot in general in the past, though.  For a ten-volume celebration, we are treated to a flashback starring Carrot and Marron’s parents, Onion and Apricot.  The flashback lasts the entire volume, and actually ends on a cliffhanger that will probably last at least two more chapters into next volume.

When Apricot questions Mama as to why they have to kill the sorcerers and how that’s any different from the sorcerers killing the parsoners, Mama sends her on a special mission.  Somehow, in the middle of the flashback, we get yet another flashback, which is pretty awesome, and kind of obvious the minute you set eyes on the new characters.  I liked it, and I hope it leads to more information about the plot, the best part of Sorcerer Hunters.

Another kind of cool thing was that Apricot has a fighting style bizarrely similar to Chocolate and Tira.  She seems to be able to get herself into a berserker rage and strips herself down in an outfit which is nothing short of impossible coming from what she was wearing before.  I kind of like it, as fanservicey as it is, and at least she’s not rubbing her breasts all over other people.  That’s Chocolate’s job.

So yeah.  A plot volume!  See, sometimes, I am rewarded for sticking with this series.

Sorcerer Hunters 9

September 29, 2007

Hm.  There was some weirdness surrounding the release of this volume, mainly that volume 8 was shown as the next volume for release at most retailers months after I had bought my copy.  But it came out, then this followed right after, so whatever.  I’ve got the newest one now.

So after a really great treatment of Carrot last volume… we’re back to basics.  One of the problems this series has is when it introduces a new Haz Knight or character (here, we get Cinnamon Tea), this character steals the spotlight.  Somehow, this spotlight should be shared with one of the five main characters soas to show some development for them, but it usually isn’t.  In the main story in this volume, there is a big joke made out of the fact none of the regular cast really did much of anything.  Let me tell you, I wasn’t laughing.  I was mad as hell.

The main story here was that there was a Sorceress who was using virgins for some evil purpose.  Her nephew was defending her and keeping investigators away with his magic gun, which kills most people.  We do get to see Carrot’s zoanthropy briefly… but since the Misu sisters are carried off in the same scene, it’s not really explained how he transforms back.  An effort is made to get to the mansion of the Sorceress to rescue Tira and Chocolate… but the results are less than ideal.  The final showdown was pretty cool though, if brief.

Then we get about 2-3 chapters of fanservice.  I’m done with that at this point.  I want this series to be good.  I really do.  There are many fine plot and fantasy elements being totally squandered on this fanservice.  When it figures out what it’s capable of, Sorcerer Hunters is pretty cool.  Unfortunately, we get a lot of volumes like this, though.  No direction has really emerged since the whole Sacher thing, and that was a few volumes ago now.  Maybe the flashback next volume will save face again.

Sorcerer Hunters 8

April 20, 2007

I hate doing Sorcerer Hunters and Dragonball together and then not having anything more interesting to offer up.  Both of these have a bad stigma around them.  If you think you don’t like them, well then, you probably don’t.  Sorcerer Hunters is a pretty stupid series, and it embarasses me to read at parts.  But I like it A LOT for the world and systems it creates.  I just hate it’s humor.  This volume is actually pretty good, as there is less humor and more about said systems.

There’s a stupid chapter at the beginning where everyone deals with the aftermath of killing Sacher and finding out about the Death-in-Carrot thing in their own way.  Marron is worried about Carrot, but of course, we know Carrot has no feelings, which is really unfortunate.

The next chapter finally, FINALLY paints Carrot in a more heroic light.  I’ve been waiting eight damn volumes for this.  A little girl falls in love with him, and he kind of helps her along as they destroy the laybrinth her grandpa built and stocked with werewolves.  It’s so strange to see him drawn as an actual character and not in the panty-grabbing deformed character we seen 90% of the time.  We get that he likes women.  You can stop now.  More serious stories like this one would be just fine.  We also get to see his Zoanthropy again, which we don’t get enough of at all.

It starts off with just Tira, Carrot, and Marron, but Chocolate and Gateau show up later, of course.   I also liked that the final enemy in the center of the labyrinth was a minotaur.  That was actually a nice touch.  The one bad thing was that the final action sequence for the volume-long story was pretty terrible, but the wrapup of the little girl’s story was what I wanted to see anyway, and it was handled quite nicely.

I want more volumes about Carrot.  He’s a great character.

I hate to admit it, but in that first brief chapter, I died laughing when I saw Gateau teaching sweet little Eclair how to pose.

Sorcerer Hunters 7

December 30, 2006

I meant to do some entries last night, now I’m going to have trouble remembering what I read. Especially since I drank heavily while reading them.

I stopped short when going through the last couple volumes of this series. For some reason, I read 5-6 together, but I don’t know if I forgot I had this one or what. I was so bummed with the most recent stories, I wasn’t sure it was gonna recover. Things DO pick up with this volume, as we get one chapter of (very funny) filler at the very beginning followed by an entire volume of plot. Hardcore, no time for humor fantasy plot.

I was saddened again that we were going to get more silly beach filler made even worse by Potato Chip, but they decided to appeal to the comic geek in me. Potato Chip produces a potion that makes everyone but Marron (but including Daughter) act out famous manga scenes. I didn’t get a lot of them, but there was literally about 15-20 crammed in there. We also got to see Tira Misu dressed up like Lum, which was awesome. Also awesome was the writer putting one over on himself, where someone acted out a scene from Maze and noone knew what it was.

The rest of the volume was… surprisingly to the point. I thought it would take the entire series run before they met Sacher, but apparently not. The face-off happens right here and now, and is over with before the end of the volume. The last stone is in his castle, and there’s a showdown with Gateau and his sister while everyone else tries to take on Sacher. Mama, Grandpa, and the Haz Knights show up, and apparently Sacher was “Father” to… everyone?

And finally, FINALLY Carrot plays a role in the story again. His Zoanthropy is my favorite part of the series, but it hasn’t been utilized in ages. At least it turns out that his role in the second half of the series will be significantly cooler. Plus… you know, the other four… Gods.

So yes, I’m ready for volume eight, but I have a feeling it’s going to be more filler while the story winds down and recovers from this bout of seriousness. I really do like this series, I think the story it has to tell is quite good, I just wish it would lay off the stupid jokes and filler.

Sorcerer Hunters 6

November 21, 2006

Alas, I may have lost my taste for this series a bit. We get some plot here, with another like Daughter showing up and both helping and hindering the Sorcerer Hunters since he’s got one of the stones they need. There’s also another encounter with a Sorcerer who has one of the stones, but neither of these plot-centric battles felt any good.

As shallow as they are, I actually like learning about the characters a lot. Here we get to hear about Daughter, who isn’t a big enough part of the story to really matter, but the story was touching and the best part of the volume, probably. Later, we learn a little bit about Maron, but not really… It’s more about his powers, and he’s in this weird villiage where Eastern Magic is king, but we don’t really learn about Maron.

Carrot, Chocolate, and Tira are pretty much forgotten about here. They’re there to make stupid jokes. I think the jokes here were either worse or the novelty is just wearing off, because this one was hard to read because of the bad jokes. I’m also sad that we didn’t get to see any of them actually fight at all this volume. Chocolate and Tira at least tried a couple times, but no effort was made to use Carrot at all. Ugh, and he’s got one of the coolest talents ever.

I’ve still got volume 7 to read, so maybe it’ll get better then. I’m sad that its going online-only after that, though.

Sorcerer Hunters 5

March 24, 2006

I thought I was going to have to grit my teeth and bear it through this volume since it sounded like it would be a volume of filler before more of the plot continued. Not so, there was plenty of backstory as well as plot advancement. There was some filler too, don’t get me wrong, with another appearance from my fucking favorite Potato Chip, but even the filler was sort of silly and okay this time, and there was only one or two chapters of it. One of the chapters was actually AWESOME, and the end of it was actually a hilarious twist that made me remember why I like the humor in this series so much.

One of the chapters is also a rather calm reminiscence between Chocolate and Carrot, which is something that is uncharacteristic for both of them. There was a lot of character development and backstory in that chapter too, which is nice because no matter how silly the series is, it never neglects its characters. There was also a chapter where Tira gains a new power, which was unexpected but maybe necessary since she’s probably the weakest in a fight (what’s she going to do, whip an evil sorcerer to death? no).

Great, great volume, and I still really like this series. Shame we get new volumes so infrequently now. Next one isn’t until June.

Sorcerer Hunters 4

October 5, 2005

As I’ve been saying since Tokyopop announced the relaunch, I am all over this series. I have the first three volumes in the original format, but they were too expensive in a world of cheaper manga, so now they are cheaper and I have more money, and Sorcerer Hunters is a great series.

I stopped at a bad place in the series. This volume was absolutely LOADED with plot. We get to meet the main villian in the series along with a ton of the Sorcerer Hunter’s families. It was just as goofy and exciting as ever, but the plot stuff makes it so much more interesting. I like the stuff the series is made of… just the fact Carrot transforms and the girls are dominatrices that keep him in check, that Marron uses Eastern magic, and that Gateau is just a big muscleman. It has its horrible, cheesy moments… but you expect that from this series, and it goes with the good, so I don’t mind at all. There was one such cheesy throwaway chapter at the end of the volume, but again, after the good that was huge plot development, Big Mamma, Daughter, and the secret Sorcerer Hunters villiage, it was forgivable.

Unfortunately, though I do appreciate the next volume preview, it doesn’t sound nearly as good as this one, and it won’t come out until FOREVER. AW MAN.