Genre: Action, Mystery
Length: 24 episodes
El Cazador is another anime by the same company in the vein of Noir and Madlax: two girls, some guns, a shadowy organisation and a mystery. Like Madlax, it could never hope to reach Noir’s greatness; however, seen on its own merits it’s actually quite good.
The two main characters this time are Nadie, a bounty hunter; and Ellis, the bounty head she’s sent to first find, then protect. It’s an oddly slice-of-life series, with less action than either of its predecessors, mostly taking the form of a road trip across Mexico. Despite some supernatural elements (see the title), the action is mostly more realistic than in Noir. Neither of the main characters has a superhuman ability with firearms: Nadie may be a professional, but she still has human weaknesses; Ellis is an amateur, completely unused to combat or to being on the run (and with a bad habit of answering questions honestly). The shadowy organisation is the CIA, or various factions of it, and the mystery regards various unethical experiments they’ve been performing and how they relate to Ellis.
For at least the first half of the series, I was only going to mark it as OK – it wasn’t until episodes 17 or 18 that I realised how cleverly it had been working towards something. It’s tempting to dismiss it as a Noir-wannabe, but I suggest people watch it themselves before saying that.
Of course, the music is fantastic again. Kajiura Yuki is able to turn her hand from classical chanting to latin American drumming with scary ease.