Posted by psgels on 7 July 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Soultaker is a definite recommendation for any mystery-fan. If you ignore the cheesy title and OP that seems to suggest we’re dealing with a GAR-mecha show, then you’ll find the perfect example of a well-written mystery-series that’s perfectly fitted for thirteen episodes.

The first thing you’ll notice when you start watching this series is the direction. It’s hard to describe, but we hardly ever see any normal shots of the characters, most shots we see of them are weird camera-angles with lots of lighting-effects, which seldom stay for more than three seconds. Because of this, almost the entire series gives off a feeling of fast pacing, where perhaps only one episode really takes its time. Despite this, though, Soultaker never feels rushed, and the creators knew exactly what they were doing.

It’s hard to talk about the plot of this series. Heck, the very first scene already is a major spoiler. Let’s just say that it’s about a mutant with a messed-up family. Through the course of thirteen episodes, it gradually answers more questions, asked in previous scenes, where the new revelations all increase in terms of impact, ending in a nice though predictable climax. Mystery-series should definitely take an example out of this one.

To accompany the mystery, this series comes with a cast of intriguing characters; all with their own motivation and intentions, and most of them get a decent amount of time to get fleshed out. Even the seemingly annoying brat turns out watchable in the end. I do feel, though, that they could have had more development. This series is really well written, and the creators knew how to use their time, but the series never really reaches the height that requires it to become an awesome series. There’s also the matter that all mystery-series need time to build up, so the show needs some time to really get going.

Nevertheless, I’m glad I watched this. It’s an excellent mystery-series that delivers, without hitting the heights. But don’t worry, you’ll be in for lots of surprises. ;)

5 Responses

  1. DiGiKerot says:

    The way to describe the direction in SoulTaker is, well, “Shinbo-esque”. Sure, it’s not helpful to anyone who doesn’t watch anime, but anyone who does is bound to have seen one of Portrait of Petit Cossette, Tsukuyomi, Pani-Poni Dash, Negima!? or pretty much any show he directed after this – they all look pretty much the same (even the first series of Lyrical Nanoha does in places). There’s one or two very specific shots he has a distinct habit of slipping into pretty much every show he directs as well.

    The Soultaker looks better than most of those, though.

    I love The Soultaker. A lot of people complain about the cheese-factor of the action scenes (or rather the special moves), or the fact that it alludes to an intelligence that isn’t actually there, but frankly that just adds to the charm.

  2. Kite says:

    Yeah this was a great anime! It really delivered IMO!

  3. roastedpekingduck says:

    What some people don’t like about “Shinbo-shows”, including me, are how grating the imagery becomes after a while. Petite Cossette is a great example of how Shinbo got carried away with making an intoxicating experience with imagery while pushing forward on a barebones story, so that the imagery looked pretty but eventually had no meaning. Petite Cossette and Soul Taker for me wasn’t bad, but they were so imagery-dependent, that after the initial novelty of the imagery wore off, I just couldn’t find anything that got me to continue.

  4. psgels psgels says:

    After having read these comments, I can indeed imagine that Shinbo’s style is a love-it or hate-it style. I’m personally quite fond of the style, but I can imagine that it can become grating for others.

  5. Solaris says:

    I only watche the first episode of this show and i can say the style is unconventional and quite flashing. I liked it. It’s a pity i didn’t continue watching to it. I must do it! I must do it!

    /OT
    As a compensation i watched the funny spinoff “Magical Nurse Witch Komugi Chan”. It was a very stupid anime, 10000000 light years distant from Soultaker. But it was quite funny (it’s a parody of magical girls shows)

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 11:46 AM)
    Wait, wait scratch that, that was an old article/rumour…feck…
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 11:39 AM)
    @Bam: I was quite fond of Gillian Andersons character.
    Apparently Laurence Fishburne wants to quit the show =<
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:44 AM)
    I really enjoyed Alana Bloom’s shadow transformation during the season two hypnotherapy sessions. I thought was visually stunning and thematically relevant. Bryan Fuller has managed to gather quite a bit of talent around himself in the recent years, but Mads is undeniably both the egg that holds this cake together as well the cherry that’s sitting on the top.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:37 AM)
    Word of mouth and good reception managed to raise the viewership near the tail end of the 2nd season, that and the aforementioned cosponsorship managed to pull a hallelujah and bring the show back from the verge of death. And I’m glad tha happened.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:32 AM)
    I also always felt that their screen chemistry was mesmerizing and am very surprised that some critics found that it was lacking in that very same department, but to each his own I guess. The budget is not all that low actually, and the reason the 3rd season was greenlit was in part due to a dedicated fanbase, as well as the fact that this is a joint effort between NBC and a European studio who undertakes portions of the expenses.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:08 AM)
    There is this…certain chemistry between Dancy and Mikelson in that show too.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 10:01 AM)
    *their
    As much as I love the inventiveness and creativity of the death/crime scenes I can see how someone would find them silly.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 09:54 AM)
    @Bam: I had heard there were alot of cancellation risks but that there series was cheap to make, if its true the budget is low, then they’ve worked around it effectively.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 09:27 AM)
    But everyone knows that this is Mads Mikkelsen’s show, and it’s really his magnetic charm and the series’ strong cinematography that sells the experience. I also think that the special effects are very well handled, and the whole show has a seriously disturbing edge while still managing to stay classy. Quite sophisticated if nothing else.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 09:22 AM)
    @Emma: I’ve been steadily enjoying Hannibal and am thrilled for the third season. A lot of people had a problem with Hugh Dancy as Graham since they believe that he doesn’t fit the novels or the earlier adaptations, but I take this show as as a whole new reimagining of the story so I don’t particularly mind him, and I do think that he’s mania is quite palpable.

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