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Anime / El Cazador de la Bruja

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"Taco, taco, tacos, delicious tacos!"
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El Cazador de la Bruja (which means The Witch's Hunter in Spanish, NOT The Witch Hunter) tells the story of Ellis, a young girl who finds herself chased by bounty hunters, the most skilled of whom is Nadie. Luckily, Nadie is not about to kill her, but instead sets herself up as Ellis' bodyguard on her journey to find out more about her Mysterious Past. Ellis has some mystifying powers, such as setting things on fire or freezing them; throwing people around with force fields; and inhuman strength, which allows her to jump several meters in one go. Unfortunately, she doesn't have complete control over those powers yet. Ellis is also haunted by memories of the killing of her former foster parent, whom she calls "the professor". Did she actually kill him? What is the role of the organization that sends one bounty hunter after another to obtain her? Who is the creepy guy who keeps stalking her all the time? And what is Nadie's role in this web of intrigue?

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The series is produced by Bee Train and is the Spiritual Successor to Madlax, which in turn is the Spiritual Successor to Noir. Together, the series form Bee Train's "girls with guns"-trilogy, with noticeable plot similarities. El Cazador de la Bruja is generally lighter in tone than the other two series and shares neither their ambiguous endings nor their particular focus on female gunslinger action. The relationship between the two female leads is also much less ambivalent and clearly develops a romantic slant. Fans who loved the dark, puzzling plot twists in the two first series might be disappointed by the comparative straightforwardness of El Cazador de la Bruja, since it focuses on the relationship between the main characters. The series should best be seen as a story of two people who find themselves and each other against a backdrop of the Mexican desert, crazy (and ineffective) bounty hunters, and of course, tacos.

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Not to be confused with the short-lived CrossGen Comics pirate title, El Cazador.


Tropes:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted. Nadie is very attractive in the manga, gifted with a mature and womanly figure. In the anime though, her attractiveness is toned down, giving her a nearly flat chest, with characters constantly calling her mannish and unattractive. Her design is still rather cute, though.
  • Adapted Out: The manga diverges from the anime due to it catching up, so the fact Ellis has an Evil Twin is never mentioned in the anime.
  • Always Save the Girl: Unusually, by another girl. Nadie always goes out of her way to protect Ellis.
  • Amazon Brigade: The team of female The Men in Black led by Blue Eyes.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Nadie could be Hispanic or Amerindian or just really tan, and has blue eyes.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Witch Coven.
  • Angel Unaware: In the middle of Mexico/South of Mexico, there is an inn run by an old man; who apparently is really the Hopi Fertility Deity Kokopelli. He takes the form of a white author who died 3 years prior to the plot.
  • Anime Accent Absence: Despite taking place mostly in Mexico and South America, there are rarely any accents.
    • Partially averted in the dub where some accents get used, and even some lines of Spanish in the first episode, to establish the world of the story.
  • Apologises a Lot: Iris.
  • Artificial Human: Ellis and L.A. are two of the Witches, beings created with power over temperature and gravity.
  • Ax-Crazy: L.A.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: At various points, Nadie and Ricardo both pretend that they don't really care about each other, but it's clear that they have a strong friendship.
  • Badass and Child Duo: It has two: one is the main couple, Nadie and Ellis (at least until the latter learns to use her magic effectively); the other is Ricardo and Lirio, whose similarities to Lone Wolf and Cub are lampshaded early on. First is a same gendered pairing, the second is a pure example.
  • Badass Normal: Nadie and Ricardo.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening and ending both count. Nadie and Ellis never visit any floating land, no masked man ever follows them around, and there is never a cat with a sniper rifle.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Nadie.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Ellis was already considered this, but in episode 16 she consciously beats the crap out of L.A..
  • Big Bad: CIA Director Douglas Rosenberg is the head of Project Leviathan, which aims to create a race of humans, known as Witches, with power over temperature and gravity. He aims to capture Nadie and Ellis to complete this project and seek revenge on the higher government for driving his father to suicide, and manipulates the Witch Coven, a competing sub-faction, for this purpose.
    • In the manga, Rosenberg is Adapted Out, so the antagonist role goes to Alice, a “sister” Witch of Ellis who is Driven by Envy to steal her powers and get revenge on Project Leviathan for abandoning her.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: The Witch Coven are antagonists on more or less equal footing with Rosenberg for most of the series, and in fact Nadie and Ellis spend most of their time fighting them after the CIA shuts down Rosenberg's department. However, they eventually back off when Blue-Eyes decides to help the girls reach Winay Marka instead, while Rosenberg remains as the main threat. They also become less menacing after the reveal that Rosenberg manipulated them into chasing after Ellis in the first place.
  • Big Fancy House: In several episodes, the duo visits one.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Apart from the frequent occurrence of Spanish in the dub, "Nadie" is Spanish for "Nobody".
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: Nadie's favorite way of disarming opponents.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Rosenberg in Episode 25.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The manga is a lot more violent than the anime.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Ellis.
  • Blush Sticker: Particularly Lirio, but seen on other innocent young children, including Hispanics.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Mutual between Nadie and Ellis, although instigated by Ellis.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Nadie uses Ellis' "Yes, sir" on two occasions. Ellis says Nadie's Pre-Asskicking One-Liner right before shooting Rosenberg.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: L.A. on several occasions, most notably in episode 24.
  • Brand X: Amigo Tacos.
  • Broke Episode
  • Catchphrase:
  • Cat Girl: Sort of — a few characters put on cat ears in episode 11, including L.A and Ricardo.
  • Cat Smile: Joaquin in the last episode.
  • Cheerful Child: Lirio, despite traveling around with a Bounty Hunter
  • The Chessmaster: It is revealed that Rosenberg manipulated his rivals, the Witch Coven, into going after Nadie and Ellis.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Ellis for Nadie. Particularly noticeable in episode 19, when she mentally dubs a couple's conversation over the conversation between Nadie and Ricardo.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Ellis is somewhere between this and an Ambiguous Disorder.
  • Code Name: L.A.; it is implied that "Ellis" is actually an acronym for "L.S." As for L.B to L.R., it is very censored, but Nadie finds their charred bodies near the city where the project took place, and L.A outright states that they died due to the inhuman conditions Proyect Leviathan put them on. Ellis and himself were the only survivors.
  • Companion Cube: Squenchy, the lizard from episode 3.
  • Creepy Child: L.A.
  • Crossdressers: Two transvestite bounty hunters.
  • Cute Mute: Lirio. She pretty much communicates with giggles and little noises. She does say "Kitty!" in ep 22, referring to a cougar.
  • Cute Witch: Ellis.
  • Dead Star Walking: Professor Schneider, voiced by Shin-ichiro Miki.
  • Disney Death: Happens to Nadie and Ellis in Episode 25. Nadie shoots Ellis at her request and dies herself, but they are resurrected by the temple.
  • Distant Finale: Episode 26 acts as an epilogue to the main story, showing Nadie and Ellis trying to live a normal life before deciding to hit the road again.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Ellis uses her powers, she starts breathing heavily, and her expression and demeanor are rather... suggestive. It doesn't help at all the first time she does this that L.A. is watching her, also breathing heavily with the same expression, and the camera keeps switching between them.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Inverted. Ellis is the product of genetic engineering, but her powers seem to be genuinely supernatural.
    • Not to mention episodes involving a woman who can read the memories of others, the harvest spirit Kokopelli, and it is probable that the old fortune teller in the first episode was the real deal.
  • Double Entendre: Having very sexy girls and women in order to sell tacos.
  • The Dragon: L.A. and Vanessa are this for Douglas Rosenberg, head of Project Leviathan; the former constantly stalks the heroines with the intent of taking Ellis for himself, while the latter is his secretary and a high-ranking member of the Witch Coven. Both play the part of Dragon with an Agenda, as L.A. only cares about Ellis and Vanessa plots to betray Rosenberg.
  • Dramatic Wind: Jody in episode 21.
  • Dramedy: Noir and Madlax are ultra-serious; El Cazador is pretty much a platonic ideal of anime Dramedy.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: L.A. to Ellis twice. He even records it!
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Ellis tells Nadie that she loves her right before Nadie shoots her during the final confrontation with Rosenberg. Nadie dies shortly after, but they both get better after Blue-Eyes heals Ellis, who in turn heals Nadie.
  • Emotionless Girl: Ellis isn't quite this; she feels emotions (however understated), but doesn't readily identify them.
  • Expy: Sort of — Jody shares common traits with Chloe from Noir and Limelda from Madlax, like being voiced by the same seiyuu, and L.A.'s obsession with Ellis is Chloe's relationship with Kirika turned Up to Eleven.
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: Ellis.
  • The Faceless: The Witch Coven chairwoman for most of the series.
  • Faceless Goons: And triceraninjas.
  • Fanservice: Sufficiently more of it than in Noir and Madlax; Up to Eleven in the manga adaptation.
  • Finger-Suck Healing
  • Flashback: Up to and including a Whole Episode Flashback.
  • For the Evulz: Rosenberg arranged the whole road trip through Central America so that Ellis and Nadie would get close enough that when he killed Nadie the grief would trigger the final awakening of Ellis' powers: just as the shredding of her favorite teddy bear initiated her first breakthrough and the murder of Dr. Schneider triggered her second. Blue-Eyes suggests that he's seeking revenge for his father who was Driven to Suicide by the government after seeking the witches' power. He flat out denies this, but it's hard to tell if he's being honest or not.
  • Generic Cuteness: Nadie is apparently mildly unattractive, or at least very plain judging by the reactions she gets from most men. Even the playboy mariachi only flirted with her to get money. The way she's drawn, though, the worst you could say about her is that she's a bit skinny for an Amazon.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Blue Eyes ten episodes in (she also lets her hair loose), and the look stays for the rest of the series. Rosenberg says that she looks hotter without them.
  • Gory Discretion Shot/Take Our Word for It: L.A. gets mocked by some bar patrons in episode 7. He makes a Slasher Smile, and then the scene cuts to some minutes later, with the police at the scene trying to radio in "someone good with puzzles" so they can find out how many victims there were.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Justified, since it is set in Latin America.
  • Groin Attack: In ep 20, when Ellis sets L.A.'s crotch on fire with her powers.
  • The Gunslinger: Nadie.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Being the only surviving specimens in an experiment to clone Witches, L.A. and Ellis look very similar to each other.
  • Happily Married: Antonio & Margarita, for the most part.
  • Healing Factor: Sort of — Ellis can only remove foreign objects from the body without harm. She can do absolutely nothing to the wounds caused by them, let alone to any kind of illness.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Episode 21 is pretty much dedicated to Blue-eyes deciding to help Nadie and Ellis for real.
  • Hidden Depths: Antonio: mild-manner taco stand manager, and also former contract killer.
  • Hidden Eyes: Ellis in episode 16.
  • Hot for Student: Ellis and Professor Schneider.
  • Hot Springs Episode: In the Mexican Desert, no less! in Episode 15. Justified, in that it's a spa with an onsen theme.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The manga compared to the anime. Nadie is given a bigger bust, gets stripped naked about three times, breasts are shown in full detail, and there are numerous Panty Shots of both Nadie and Ellis in every chapter.
  • How We Got Here: A few episodes are set up like this.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Ellis and L.A.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Ellis in episode 23.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: With the sole exception of "Maple Leaf", every episode begins with "A Woman" or "A Man" and then an adjective phrase to describe them.
  • In a Single Bound: Ellis and L.A.
  • Invocation: In the last episodes.
  • Jitter Cam: A subtle example in episode 16 as L.A. walks towards the camera.
  • Kawaiiko: Lirio.
  • Killed Off for Real: L.A. and Rosenberg; though in the final episode they fake us out with Jody's assistant.
  • Last Of Their Kind: The witches dying out.
  • Latino Is Brown: Played straight with Margarita. Averted with Antonio.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than it's Spiritual Predecessors Noir and Madlax.
  • Light Is Not Good: Rosenberg is dressed in white in all his appearances and is the Big Bad.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Semi-justified, given they're fugitives.
  • Limp and Livid: L.A.
  • Lovely Angels
  • Love Makes You Crazy: L.A., although his love for Ellis has been imprinted in his mind.
  • MacGuffin: Witch powers.
  • Magic Skirt: Ellis.
  • The Men in Black: In the OP only, there is one guarding a brainwashing facility for Rosenberg, but given he's wearing a sombrero and smoking a pipe, that sorta takes away the mystique. He's only in one episode, and doesn't do anything. Blue Eyes does utilize a couple of WIB henchladies though.
  • Meganekko: Jody Hayward, a.k.a. "Blue Eyes".
  • Meido: Ellis and Nadie don maid outfits twice.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Blue Eyes.
    • Nadie in the manga, she has a much more mature figure in comparison to the anime, with large breasts, flared hips, and thin waist.
  • Morality Pet: Lirio to Ricardo. Not that he's a bad guy.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Maple Leaf"
  • Mundane Utility: In episode 26, Ellis uses her witch powers to cool down a drink.
  • Mythology Gag: In episode 4, Ellis brandishes a fork as a "weapon". In Noir, Kirika killed Chloe with a fork.

Alternative Title(s): El Cazador

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