Ken Tucker
September 27, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT


TV Show
Current Status
In Season
run date
Yancy Butler, Roger Daltrey, David Chokachi
Sci-fi and Fantasy

We gave it a B+

Well established as a hit comic book and a lousy live-action 2001-02 TV show, Witchblade can’t be considered an original concept. Yet this volume 1 DVD, collecting the first batch of half-hour anime cartoons directed by Yoshimitsu Ohashi, intrigues with its mixture of humor, violence, and sex.

The Witchblade is, to summarize brutally, an ancient amulet that attaches itself primarily to women, giving them superpowers. Masane, a single mother to an adorable little girl, Rihoko, finds herself the latest Witchblade possessor, stalked by both the government and a mysterious evil corporation. (Everybody wants control of the ‘blade.) The series finds sweet, funny affection between mother and daughter, and an anguished terror when they are separated.

In keeping with anime convention, Masane is unusually busty, and when her amulet transforms her into a mighty hero, exposed parts of her body push this cartoon into PG-13 territory. Sexualizing Mom while maintaining kid-friendly plotlines is a typical anime ploy to attract older viewers; Witchblade is artful enough to appeal to both audiences without offending either.

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