Bounties, Brujas, and Besties! Can Nadie keep Ellis safe from the endless stream of bounty hunters, and even then, what is Ellis’ secret and why is the government so keen to get their hands on her?
What did you watch?
This was my selection for the letter E in my A to Z Anime Challenge. I had not heard of El Cazador de la Bruja in any capacity before jumping in. It had an interesting image on the streaming service, began with the letter E, and I liked the look of the animation style. It’s a twenty-six episode season, which made it that little bit harder to fit it in, but that also meant that I could binge more episodes in a day. I’m definitely a binge-watcher and this challenge helped remind me of that. So, let’s talk about El Cazador de la Bruja and there will be spoilers.
Nadie is a bounty hunter and she’s closing in on the big one, a young girl with no memory of her past. However, Nadie isn’t the only one. Ellis’ quiet and simple life is thrown into turmoil when a swarm of bounty hunters close in. Desperate to claim the prize for themselves, some are prepared to do whatever it takes.
Luckily for Ellis, Nadie has been hired in a different capacity. All she has to do is keep Ellis alive and out of the hands of the other bounty hunters. With no memory of her past, Ellis only has one goal – an overwhelming desire to travel south and since Nadie has to keep her safe, she agrees to take her.
With bounty hunters closing in on every turn, Nadie discovers that there is much more to Ellis’ past than she could have ever imagined. A government organisation seeks to use Ellis as a weapon, whereas a sinister shadowy group are torn between saving Ellis and protecting their secrets.
What did you think?
The first thing that grabs your attention in this series is the music. It’s absolutely fantastic. There are times when the pace changes in the blink of an eye and the tempo of the music picks up without missing a step. On top of that, there is a fascinating story that continually teases you with tiny nuggets of information but then raises even more questions. On top of all of that, there is the relationship between Nadie and Ellis, which really is the heart and soul of El Cazador de la Bruja. This series is excellent.
What was your favourite moment?
This is actually an entire episode but it was fantastic. With the government organisation getting bolder, the sinister shadowy group has decided to get rid of Ellis once and for all, so they send in the ninjas. I kid you not. Ninjas! This series takes place in what is presumably Mexico, so it was quite a surprise. A welcome surprise nonetheless.
So, Nadie and Ellis are on the run and they bump into some local wannabe hero who’s fitted out an RV as if it were an armoured tank. He offers to help, unaware that Nadie is a gun-carrying bounty hunter and Ellis has her own special abilities. They take to the road, relentlessly pursued by ninjas with guns.
Nadie’s contact within the shadowy group tells her that she’ll be able to stop the order to kill Ellis once the sun comes up. They’ve just got to stay alive until then. It sounds crazy, but it was excellent viewing and with the aforementioned music, it leaves you totally breathless.
What was your least favourite moment?
It’s funny. You’d think with twenty-six episodes there should be a least favourite moment that would stand out, but I’m really struggling. At times, it was a slow burn, leaving Nadie and Ellis stuck in some random town where they’ll need to use their smarts to get by.
Oddly, it didn’t matter whether that’s outrunning another bounty hunter or just trying to get enough money to eat, even those episodes were enthralling. This was when the relationship between Nadie and Ellis really shone and it’s great watching them grow closer as the series progresses.
Who was your favourite character?
I’m going to say Nadie and I don’t even have to think about it. She was so cool. Her back story is fascinating and seeing it revealed throughout the series was just as entertaining as Ellis’. She watched over Ellis fiercely, prepared to kill anyone that tries to get in their way, even dropping in her signature saying before shooting – ‘If you have any last words, say them now.’
Who was your least favourite character?
For this one, I’m going to say L.A. Sure, Rosenberg was the main villain, but L.A. just seemed to annoy me more. Maybe that was part of what made him a good villain. That boy was loco!
Which character needs more screen time?
I don’t think anyone really needed more time. The balance of Nadie and Ellis with the secondary characters seemed to work really well. They all developed and progressed nicely, adding lots of interesting depth to the series.
Would you like some more?
This series was first released in 2007 so the animation style is unlike most stuff you’ll see today, but that isn’t a bad thing either. I really enjoyed the look and feel, combined with the incredible soundtrack and wonderful story.
However, after all that, you’d think I would say yes, but I actually don’t. It all wrapped up nicely, completing their quest, and even giving the characters closure and one last chance to show us how close they are. Sure, they drove off into the sunset on new adventures, but sometimes that’s all we need to know. Somewhere out there Ellis is singing about tacos and Nadie is rolling her eyes!
What have you learnt?
I thought this was a really cool mashup of cultures. It appeared to take place in Mexico although it’s never confirmed. Spanish is used fairly frequently by the characters and of course, the title translates to ‘The Witch Hunter’, but it’s an anime so there was a lot of Japanese influences in there too. There’s a lot that could be done borrowing different elements from different regions of the world and trying to pull them together.