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. Avatar 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. Avatar Kite says:

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

  3. Avatar 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. Avatar 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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