El Cazador De La Bruja (The Hunter of the Witch) is the third in studio Bee Train (not hive) ‘Girls with Guns‘ series (from the ‘Champion Red‘ Manga released as anime originally in 2007), now I’m not normally a fan of firearms and ‘my’ characters rarely use them, openly stating they don’t like them or just don’t use them (doesn’t take anywhere near the amount of skill as traditional weapons) but I can make an exception, especially for this anime.
This is an exceptional anime in that it weaves in the ‘Lost’/Fallen Goddess story really well and in a slightly different setting to most anime but the components are all there.
ELLIS – (the El- Mother figure character names in media tend to be like Elle, Ellie, Ely, this one is Ell-is as in She Exists, She Is) – the ‘Goddess’, or ‘Witch’, test tube baby in this version so apparently not a child of ‘god’ (though She has the God-soul/spirit) or natural (as if humans are). Part of a group of embryos made to test the ‘Maxwell’s Demon’ theory (yep because people just love to think up and test everything on everything without giving a sh*t). The theory is basically about having the ability to harness and transform the elements, so for example the first one Ellis has is thermodynamic – she sets things on fire or melts them when she gets stressed, but she can already jump/leap (levels) with shocking dexterity and is quick with her hands & numbers. She’s also ‘simple’ in that she’s straightforward, no hidden motives or cruelty, totally ‘sweet’ and ‘innocent’. She’s ‘given’ to a ‘doctor’ to experiment on her but she finally manages to get him to stop and develop a care for her, she’s not a thing and he shouldn’t treat her that way – Stockholm Syndrome though since she doesn’t know/has no one else. He is assassinated (serves him right) but she gets blamed for it (set-up) and a bounty put on her dead or alive.
L.A – (yeah just look at that and what that stands for) but I’ll spell it as El-A for now – (you get the masculanized versions of Goddesses in culture who commonly put an ‘A’ or ‘U’ at the end of the same name) He and Ellis were the only successful creations, because breeding/lab making ‘super-people’ yields more fails and normals than successes. Being male he doesn’t have the magic/transformational/creative energy Ellis does but he is super strong, fast and agile. He is also completely in love (morelike obsession) with Ellis (who is offput by him) – he was groomed to love (or morelike lust) Ellis and repeatedly berated for it at the same time, expected to watch but not interact with her and that pressure makes him lose control at times. He’s tortured by Rosenberg and conflicted (whereas Ellis is tortured yet still has strong identity, El-A’s is purely based off his ‘attachment’ to Ellis), told his feelings aren’t real, they were orchestrated, given to him and can be turned off just the same but he manages to hold onto them and believes in them completely. The problem is he alternates between hiding and coming on so strong that he worries and threatens Ellis.
……………Here comes the bodyguard, the Slayer, the ‘Bounty Hunter’ here, the Warrioress who teaches the ‘lost’ Goddess to value Herself, to stand up for Herself whilst protecting and loving/supporting Her. Remember great teachers are also fighters. You have to make a stand for those you love, and they have to be worth loving.
NADIE – (means ‘Hope’, so similar to Eve and -Dor/Dol[ly] names) – She’s been sent by ‘descendant clans’ of the older witches, the secret women, the ancient ones, the original feminine, the original ‘creators’/Gods. She’s quick witted, smart mouthed and savvy; everything Ellis needs. She’s not there for Ellis’ ‘bounty’ – she’s a tracker, she’s there to find Ellis and look after her until the time is right. She’s a twin-tailed/haired (with additional warrior braid and appropriate jewellery – this ‘girl’ is top of Her Class) Redhead (Ellis is Blonde – some will realize that duo-character combination and why its so prevalent and why Ellis’ hair has been chopped/short as she was powerless) and she wears a Red tipped White poncho that covers everything so makes her look cloaked in White (but warrior style underneath) – others will understand that whereas Ellis wears mainly Blue and Gold/Yellow because in this story Nadie is the cosmic sun/star avenger saving the Earth based Mother Goddess. All throughout Nadie is described as physically unattractive and becomes sensitive to it despite being lovely to look at to anyone with a brain. Also whilst Ellis is ‘lost’ and was hidden away, Nadie is not, she’s tracked from the start i.e. she’s a tracker whose ‘base’/the representatives of the Mothers/Mother Race had logged all along and she checked back with them regularly. Like all other cosmic incarnations/representatives who travel she wasn’t allowed/able to know/remember the whole story but she clocked on quickly and knew enough to know how important Ellis is and how she should be defended not used/abused (just like no one else should be).
BLUE EYES (self-explanatory) – the descendent of the witches, most ‘descendants’ are normal and whilst she has a little latent ability like many ‘natural’ ‘descendants’ *rolls eyes* she’s jealous of Ellis, wants and resents her power. She’s the one who contracts Nadie on behalf of other useless ‘descendent’ witches. All throughout she describes Ellis and El-A as things, both from a clinical/scientific ‘subject’ point of view but also as inferior to humans because ironically they’re human-made, now that’s a backhanded compliment. ‘Artificial’ in comparison to human e.g. test tube, transgenic, AI etc are barely given any ‘rights’, barely thought of as people, like people, barely credited with feelings, intelligence, even the ones with human organs (including skin which yes I know is an organ but still worth stating) – they’re just ‘computers’ that ‘run programs’… Yeah until they use their ‘brains’ better than you use your awesome gifted ones. The lack of respect for other lifeforms allows people and ‘others’ to treat each other like property. Eventually she comes around, but takes her damned ‘blue eyed’/glasses wearing [implying disguise – very simple Superman style] blind time whilst undercover.
……………Speaking of completely self-involved blinded characters cue the Manipulator:
ROSE-N-BERG (Rosen-Berg, the wannabe Rose/Risen/Ascend) – Nazi German style working for the CIA/Americans (yeah we’ve seen that before), with his personally favoured rose-tinted perspective accompanied by a pair of specs and who hypocritically tells Blue Eyes she shouldn’t wear glasses. He hurts everybody for his goals, it doesn’t have to be personal, it’s all about his destination. The ‘best’ results no matter the price, all business (with personal benefit in mind), schmoozes people who can help his career, thinks he owns everybody else like pawns, typical psychopath but a successful one since he’s in power. Basically he goes to any and every length to activate Ellis’ powers i.e. the usual Masonic way involving as much pain, trauma and loss as possible – developing bonds/connections with specially placed people in her life only to take them away and push her to the brink… All so he can be a hanger-on and pretend that he ‘loves’ her, pedophile style. (Interesting to note: the Blonde Slayer and Red Witch in ‘Buffy’, Willow is also a Rosenberg – remember characters change sides and/or undercover in any battle/war but in ‘Buffy’ they also have ‘Doppelgangland’.)
……………The other bodyguard and a very young girl who travels with him, whom he won’t explain and isn’t his daughter – i.e. the man who protects the female bodyguard and in this story the third female for the ‘triplicate’. All three females are young (Ellis and El-A were subjected to accelerated growth though their torture would also age them mentally if designed to teach them obedience, fight/flight, escape/evade which it was rather than degenerate them into permanent infant mindsets).
RICARDO – ‘Powerful leader’ (yet great enough to look after/love, take a backseat to that which is even greater than himself like the Daughter does the Mother) – He is older than the rest, which isn’t necessary but older males are often the ones who change their minds after its too late/a life of suffering/causing suffering and decide they want to help. Younger ones are too gung-ho and aren’t as protective unless in love/bonded. His age allows for the characteristic of being more cautious, hidden than devil-may-care/free-spirited-but-very-able Nadie. Whilst Nadie is watching Ellis, he is watching El-A but the relationships are very different, Nadie is big sisterly/motherly and wears her heart on her sleeve, Ricardo is distant and not as communicative but quietly sincere, he cares deeply for Nadie and Ellis despite being hired by Rosenberg.
……………So many political divisions and factions, as usual. Ellis’ and Nadie’s freedom becomes a unifying factor.
LIRIO – (‘Iris/Lily’ so ‘Eye’, and interestingly there is a character actually called Iris in this anime who helps them too whilst searching for something else). Lirio is very quiet but instantly likes Ellis and Nadie, and she’s the one who sees the Old Mothers/Ancient Witches.
……………The Dark Mother characters don’t figure much in this story – too damned scary probably – and if they were around none of this sh*t would have happened or gone this far, so no story, boohoo for all those who love ‘entertainment’ that doesn’t involve or obviously inflict them/those they care about/love. You do see Her guidance in various characters in the early episodes and then finally in the end, nice symbolic overlap – but they’re taken out, forced to resign (one by a ‘fake’ Daughter ‘Maria’ figure) and others devoted to the false/later/masculanized Mother/Daughter (Mary/Jesus). So ‘taken care of’ story/historically wise and makes way for the abuse of the Mother and Daughter. (Like in the anime ‘Read or Die’ mentioned in the last post the ‘dark one’ Maggie is the most physically strong and quiet/hidden, she’s taken out first in the coup/betrayal so she isn’t a threat/can’t protect the others, the Mother figure is more the boss of the three yet traditional, and the Daughter/youngest is the most feisty/rebellious. The Dark Mother fights the strongest characters and even stays behind to let the Mother/Daughter move ahead, as is always the responsibility of the stronger.) I’ve seen ‘Dark Mother’ figures in other Mother/Daughter stories treated in a similar manner – lip service, taken out in some way, removed before the story starts even, heck even bashed into by a ‘lotus’ car in an ‘irrelevant’ scene in one film where she’s shown as a random stranger who then leaves the story as quickly as necessarily/’unnecessarily’ inserted (so that the supposed male triad can ‘protect’ the Mother/Daughter instead).
The ‘rose’, Inca Rose, Red stone plays a power source role in this story and is in a cave/mountain – as it ‘should’ symbolically do/be, since it signifies the Mother and the Mother (whilst being all colours) is known as Red, the innocent/joyful creator, Lalita from whom all the El ‘god’/superbeing names came from. And as usual the Warrioress always sacrifices for the power source, for the Mother, but she always comes back 😉 just like ‘Buffy the Vampire [all demons] Slayer’ and Max the ‘transgenic’ from ‘Dark Angel’, the only one whose Mother fought for her and didn’t want to give her up to the Manticore/type of lion/the dreammaker-realizer/actualizer Sandeman ‘Family’. There’s no destroying the Mother/Daughter/Dark Mother bond, why do you want to? I’m not going to go further into the ‘rose’ here, that takes more time but it’s worth mentioning that whilst they come in many colours, the Red (or White) rose are most commonly used in symbolism.
Throughout their journey, and it is very much a physical journey, Ellis and Nadie are followed by Hunters. Even though Nadie is traditionally a seeker/destroyer-if-necessary character herself, she’s still a Target. Ellis and Nadie are real/alive, flesh and blood, not portrayed as obvious ‘Gods’ let alone ancient Goddesses, they have feelings like everybody else, as does El-A though his are warped, stalker-ish/desperate/predatorial/out of control which adds to his physical strengths.
Interestingly enough the other bounty hunters who target them the most are cross-dressers, men as women lol the massive symbolism. Another apt similie is in one episode where Nadie and Ellis try to catch/hunt a bird whilst they’re also being hunted (ironically by Blue Eyes in sniper mode before her eyes are opened and she has a change of heart) – the same example is used in an episode of ‘Dark Angel’ where Max kills and eats a chicken but is reminded of the farm system she lives in.
Ellis and Nadie are both wildcards, it’s because of them that Mountain comes down and interestingly/poignantly Nadie won’t let Ellis touch the gun. The gun is a weapon, a tool of pain, injury, suffering, impurity – it’s an efficient killing machine that makes destruction without conscience easy for anybody. It’s not a toy yet known as a ‘boy’s toy’, it’s a tool for [traditionally] tools unlike traditional weapons that were used for agriculture and other things that didn’t involve maiming for fun and games. Such a thing is not a thing the Mother should have to desecrate Herself with, she is pure, the Creator. It’s upto the Daughter – the partially contaminated, the less attractive, the less stellar, the lesser divine light, the connection between Creator and Creation, between worlds, levels, the communicator, preserver to sully her hands because she understands/can hear/see/feel how the fallen behave. Her very existence is a compromise and so she takes the edge/pain/burden off all sides. A kind of ‘naturally’/’destined to be’ tortured/unhealing wound ‘damaged’ soul. Neither here nor there, doesn’t really belong yet can be anywhere, sweet/innocent/pure and yet not… Thankfully she’s not fragile lol.
And hey did I mention she can wield a gun like a pro because in this story she is a pro and I guess we have to modernize sometime 🙂 Even Buffy handles a rocket launcher with amazing awesomeness at Angel, ‘The Judge’ (who funnily enough is on the ‘demon’, not human side despite supposing to be what he is, no wonder Buffy kills him) and Drusilla/the ‘treacherous’ old-lineage feminine (she’s a psychic gypsy and through no fault of her own – it’s Angel-is’ fault – a betrayal of the original feminine that is sometimes shown as voluntary, sometimes forced/involuntary). One of Max’s forms/clones handles two guns at the same time and Sydney Fox (Relic Hunter, another Brown-skinned but this time Asian linked rebellious, learned & armed Daughter figure who seeks out the hidden) has a mean aim like Lara Croft. It’s about time the Daughter and Her supporters got up-to-date methinks, get the party started so to speak. We’re a bit too outdated with our drums, bonfires and dancing – gotta mix it up a bit. And hell everybody else is into ‘toys’; fast/sleek cars & weapons? Why shouldn’t we have some fun? We’d be better at it. Just think of all those weapons these humans keep coming up with to hurt, control and kill each other and everything else whilst calling it ‘peace’, ‘defense’, ‘counter-terrorism’ etc – they’ve been at the gun powder and moved on ages ago whereas we use ‘gun powder’ for spice lol! Imagine the hottest, sexiest, sleekest guns out there – bring them into ‘being’ in the virtual reality, point and shoot. It’s ‘fiction’, not ‘real’, ‘other reality’, ‘dream’, the ‘VIP social club’, ‘virtual’, ‘video’ ‘terminal’, ‘game’ afterall, it has no effects/affects apparently, hurts no one, no harm no foul we’re told yet so many eat it up and want to be a part of the story, and usually as Hunters not Targets. It’s time the worm turned, this anime is just so cool and Nadie knows the meaning of family beyond blood, of connections beyond titles and status, she loves Ellis because Ellis is worth loving. I’ll reiterate that guns aren’t actually cool, aren’t toys, aren’t fun, aren’t something I support but in ‘storyland’, ‘fake’ places, dreamland, Imagi-Nation apparently anything goes and Hunters get away with everything. No wonder role player games are so popular and virtual reality headsets have made a comeback (yes comeback). Bee Train certainly did a polished job on their ‘Girls with Guns’ series trying to ‘balance the playing field’ sex wise. I prefer regular beat’em’up animes and games, nothing quite as satisfying as good ol’ hand-to-hand combat, but I guess I should give shoot-em-ups a go finally. And it does remind me of Vash the Stampede from the anime ‘Tri-Gun’, Blonde kitted out in his long Red coat, Black under clothing, Black & White/Silver guns, a plant-based ‘alien’ but human looking lifeform, a traveller/wanderer who is the ultimate pacifist yet best gunslinger. I’ve always liked Vash; poor guy, blamed for destruction and wannabes follow him around everywhere even though he’s trying to protect everybody, even his enemies, and you should see his body, there’s barely any skin for scars. A humungous bounty on his head. Some interesting characters in that anime too and the desert setting is comparable to this anime, though the planet is post-devastation.
All the ‘joking/fooling’ aside this is a very emotional anime that questions people’s motives, their relationships, mindsets and feelings – how do you manage in a setting where everything is orchestrated? How do you love and protect each other whilst not hurting yourself/getting hurt, how can you trust each other, yourself? Who is pulling your strings, affecting your emotions? Boxing you in, forcing you to feel like you have to escape? Who wants your power, to make you feel powerless? To feel unloved, unvalued, your ‘value’ placed as property and/or in monetary terms? As if no one is looking out for you and you’re all alone in the world that is full of others? These characters try to be lighthearted, to make the best of things but what they go through is deadly serious, even if it’s fictional entertainment. Artists tell the truth through lies. Others tell lies as the truth. And some of us alter those fear-based, parasitic realities; we wade through the sh*t and take the beatings to find you and pull you out and/or help you help yourselves, kicking and screaming maybe (either/both you and us) but we do it just as the immortal Warrioress sacrifices Herself for the Mother Goddess and indeed Creation, but still lives 😉 . I think it’s about time She thrived rather than struggled to survive as indeed the anime makers uniquely did on this one. Usually the Daughter stays with Creation, even the false ‘kin’/Fathers/false family etc and the Mother Goddess leaves or the Mother/Daughter / Mother and/or Daughter sacrifice Themselves for Creation to have yet another same old, same old chance but in this anime everyone touched by their genuine earnestness is better off, and Mother/Daughter figures stay together and leave together, as They should.
Greatest Battle Music of All Times – Siren’s Call [Epic Score]
Rachel Platten – Stand By You (from ‘Wildfire’ album)
Rachel Platten – Fight Song (from ‘Wildfire’ album)
And for my own personal ‘Superman’ (from the ‘Wildfire’ album) like the above bodyguard of the bodyguard,