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Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress Premium Edition

Score: 76%
Rating: 13+
Publisher: NIS America
Region: 1
Media: Blu-ray/1
Running Time: 110 Mins.
Genre: Fantasy/Anime/Animated
Audio: DTS 5.1 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English


  • Full Color Art Book
  • Japanese Commercials

Leave it to NIS America to do the unexpected. It is no secret I haven't been all that impressed with the publisher's last few releases. None of them have been terrible, but for a while it looked like the company was falling into a pattern of releasing odd slice-of-life shows, or series that seemed cool, but were terribly bland.

Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress Premium Edition is different for a few reasons. First, it is a movie rather than a series. Secondly, its source material has a rather deep history of 108 novels to draw from, as well as numerous iterations of the tale. Though Fuse doesn't exactly follow the novels, it makes cool use of the source material's core pieces.

Hamaji is a young, crack-shot huntress who is called home to the city of Edo at the behest of her brother, Dousetsu. The siblings' uncle has died and Dousetsu tells Hamaji he wants her to live with him following the loss. Hamaji agrees, but soon finds herself sucked in a hunting competition sponsored by the Shogun. A pack of Fuse, a race of dog-man hybrids, are attacking people in the city. A few villagers have already died, though the hunt has successfully netted six of the rumored eight Fuse hiding in the city.

Hamaji is reluctant to join the hunt, particularly after seeing the heads of the six dead Fuse hanging in the city like trophies, but the reward proves to be too great to pass up, particularly for the down-on-his-luck Dousetsu. The hunt changes when Hamaji meets Shino, an odd performer who is also a Fuse.

Although initially the story seems somewhat flat and predictable, a lot happens in the two-hour run time. Issues become much more complicated, adding a nice bit of social commentary wrapped in a fun little fairy tale. The storytelling and pacing aren't incredibly tight. A big deal is made of some issues, only their importance is never fully explained. Viewers can likely imply and "assume" their way towards figuring out why these issues are important, though I've personally always felt if you have to put that much work into making sense of things, there's a problem with the story. The issues are usually small, but so much goes unexplained the small things snowball into much bigger ones.

On the production side, NIS has gone all-out on Fuse. The HD transfer is beautiful and the accompanying art book is among the company's best. Unlike other books, which are packed with all manner of text, Fuse's book is mostly pictures. The accompanying text is short and doesn't give too much about the movie away. Each page has just enough information about characters and locations to get you interested. Think of it as a short travelogue of the world of Edo. There's also a great interview with Masayuki Miyaji, the film's director, who offers some really cool insight into why certain story decisions were made.

Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress Premium Edition is a good release, but not a great one. It's something you could watch once and enjoy, but additional viewings expose more glaring issues. Fuse doesn't stand up to any sort of critical scrutiny all that well. It's a fun watch, but falls short of being a must buy.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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