Archives for : Hiroshi Watanabe

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen

Title: Sorcerous Stabber Orphan on Blu-ray

Director: Season 1 Hiroshi Watanabe, Season 2 Tōru Takahashi

Studio: J. C. Staff

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: August 20th, 2019

Format: Blu-ray / 47 episodes / 1175 Minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Comedy

Age Rating: TV 14 +

Overall Personal Rating: B-


When an experiment goes horribly awry and transforms the Sorceress Azalie into a monstrous dragon, the sorcerers of the Tower of Fang callously decide to pretend that Azalie died in order to preserve the Tower’s reputation. And to make sure that the magic beans never get spilled, they also decide that Azalie needs to be destroyed. Disgusted by their cravenly actions, Azalie’s friend Krylancelo renounces his allegiance to the Tower, changes his name to Orphen and sets forth to save the damsel/dragon in distress. It won’t be easy: there’ll be minions with nefarious plans to defeat, and along the way Orphen will pick up an apprentice, a spoiled rich girl and a couple of trolls. But it wouldn’t be a heroic journey without a few bumps in the road, would it? The epic quest is on in Sorcerous Stabber Orphen!

Special Features: Production Sketches, Japanese TV Spot, Cape Day & Other Silliness, Interview with Japanese Staff & Cast, Outtakes, Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation.


This is the summer of resurrections. There are countless numbers of older series that are being brought back from the anime graveyard and Sorcerous Stabber Orphan is the latest arrival. I can’t really say that it excites me but it does bring me some interesting entertainment. This set has both seasons and it is a great example of what happens when there is a change in directors.

The Sorcerous Stabber Orphan itself has everything you would expect from a late 1990’s series. The comedic lead with a dark and dangerous back story. A group of misfits that surround him and a rather convoluted group of antagonist. The trope was all the rage because of the success of other series like Trigun or Cowboy Bebop. Although Sorcerous Stabber Orphan works harder on providing a comedic side and in many ways it is better at that than it is at giving us a solid plot line that makes the viewer really root for Orphan and want to see him save his sorcerous friend.

Overal Grade: B-

It is unfortunate that the production value of Sorcerous Stabber Orphan doesn’t hold up very well to time where other series from that same time frame manage to still look and feel fresh. Sorcerous Stabber Orphan looks like it was a secondary series that was pushed through the mill as fast as it could be and comes across second rate. Funny thing is that it have a stronger following in Japan than some of the now recognized classics.

There is also the issue of the change in directors for the second season. For me this is where Sorcerous Stabber Orphan fell apart. There was a clear loss in direction and maybe even a weakening of the writing too. Either way, I found the second season less appealing than the first.

I do think that anyone how wants to understand what anime was really like 20 years ago then they should spend some time with Sorcerous Stabber Orphan. It will be enlightening.

Fantastic Detective Labyrinth (anime review)

Fantastic Detective Labyrinth Title: Fantastic Detective Labyrinth

Director: Hiroshi Watanabe

Studio: Studio Deen

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi, Lucky Penny

U. S. Release Date: Jan. 6th, 2015

Format: DVD / 625 minutes / 25 Episodes

Genre: Drama, Supernatural

Age Rating:  TV 13+

Overall Personal Rating: B


Thirty years ago, Tokyo was destroyed in a massive earthquake. Most people have moved on to a new capital, Shinto, but a string of bizarre murders and supernatural events keep occurring in the ruins of the old city. The only one with the ability to see through to the heart of these mysteries is the enigmatic Mayuki Hyuga, a boy with extraordinary detective skills and powers that even he doesn’t yet understand. Together with his guardian and butler Seiran Shinano, Mayuki must not only help the police solve cases, but also uncover the secrets of his lineage.

Mayuki Hyuga has more than the unknown about his family history to contend with. There is a burden that his heritage will exact and at the same time may cost the lives of his friends and those closes to him. Will he be able to find the right path in time?


For whatever it is worth, Fantastic Detective Labyrinth is a odd but very entertaining series. From the very beginning it sets up a plot line that has nothing to do with the real story and ends up leaving things very confusing. On a whole this twist is not a detractor, but rather a tool that proves to be a real positive for the show.

Of course the story really revolves around family and friendship which is a nice touch and it gives us something to root for. The characters are interesting even if they are a little stiff from time to time. With this being a series aimed at a younger audience it is easy to see why the characters are developed in this rather stoic manner even if it does end up letting the series down. There is always the opportunity to interject yourself into the group and feel apart of the story.

The writing does manage to weave a story that maintains itself through all 25 episodes although it does struggle at times to keep things lively. The animation is really stiff and by far the weakest aspects to the series. i felt like the animators were too interested in the dolls because they were the most interesting in their artistic development. The others lacked a vibrance that would have helped the flat writing and possibly elevated the series to a higher rating.

Overall Grade: B

If you are looking for a exciting series that really shows off some serious abilities you may not want to take on Fantastic Detective Labyrinth. If you are looking for a series that keeps you guessing for most of the episodes them Fantastic Detective Labyrinth will hit the spot. The real strength to the series is that it should appeal to a younger audience that need some excitement and also can feel like it is close to their own world. I think that the stylistic approach to the dolls is something that a younger male would really enjoy and of course the friendship and family bonds will appeal to the younger female viewers. The mystery will cross a lll lines and even appeal to a older age group such as myself.

Fantastic Detective Labyrinth is a solid series that presents itself as a entertaining show that keeps you interested and guessing almost all the way to the end.