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Soul Taker, The

soultaker-2
Genre: Action
Company: Tatsunoko Productions
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 4/4/2001 to 7/4/2001

Being stabbed in the chest by your own mother to then be buried alive is not a great way to start your day. A mother’s love works in mysterious ways, and Kyosuke had to learn this the hard way. He is rescued and bandaged by a young girl named Misaki, who seems to know a lot more about him than he himself. The deeper Kyosuke digs for answers the harder it gets to survive the day since the truth seems linked to a sister whom he knows nothing about, aside from the fact everyone wants to find her by any means necessary.

summary by Kjeldoran

 

Reviewed: 03/28/2003 by
Grade: 85% av-Kjeldoran

Highs: Very stylish approach; vast development on all characters; complex storyline

Lows: Hard to see and know what is happening; most puzzle pieces appear tardily

This love-or-hate series must be watched from start to finish in order to be appreciated. The Soul Taker feels like a mix of Neon Genesis Evangelion, X and Revolutionary Girl Utena, and requires a good dose of patience to enjoy. Good things come to those who wait.

What an incredibly stylish anime. Complete with unorthodox colors and experimental camera effects, the art of The Soul Taker is as captivating as its plotline. This tentative approach, even if it sets this series apart in many ways, comes with a small price. The weird angles and changing backgrounds, à la Serial Experiments: Lain, take a while to get used to and make it difficult to keep focus of what is exactly going on, especially during action scenes.

It is consequently quite hard to appreciate the first few episodes since confusion is then present in every single aspect of the anime. Who? What? When? Where? The answers to these questions come very late in the series but are definitely worth the wait. I myself was a little put off by the way things started out, but if you have a high tolerance for long dialogue, The Soul Taker will pay off its confusing beginning tenfold with a growing, intricate storyline filled with metaphors and complete development on each of its characters.

Of course, The Soul Taker is not all dialogue; action fans may find haven in the frequent battles with nicely designed villains. A “Monster of the Week” methodology was employed during the first episodes, and yelling the name of an overused finishing move is a bit cliché. Still, when action of this caliber is paired with a deep storyline and characters developed to extremes, it gets hard not to recommend it to everyone, even if this anime is an experiment in many ways.


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