Puppet Princess

Alt title: Karakuri no Kimi

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sothis's avatar
Aug 6, 2005

Puppet Princess easily has one of the most messed up and unique plots I've seen. At first glance, it only seems somewhat unusual... evil sentient puppets, murderous revenge, etc. I won't spoil, but I'll tell you that when the true nature of the puppets is revealed, you will think differently about the morbid level of the plot. ;) For someone like me who loves horror, this was a real treat... not only for the idea, but for the execution of it and the flow. The animation definitely had a part to play in my opinion of the story, so this is a fairly mixed score as far as where it came from.
Another gem of this series was the animation style. Hundred Stories should instantly come to mind when you start to watch this, for the gritty, crazy feel behind the sheer horror of what's going on. Granted, Puppet Princess isn't quite as abstract, but it still manages to give you a really messed up feeling. The character designs were also very... unique. Aeon Flux will quickly come to mind for the bizarreness factor. Faces tended to be very thin and hollow looking, with sharp lines for facial features. Usually very large, sunken looking eyes. The grotesque "ninjas" killing everyone were the best, though... very misshapen and deformed, contorting in painful looking directions that make you cringe.

The actual OVA itself is incredibly violent, with deaths happening in a variety of sword slashing and ripping ways. Death by gears is not a thing of the imagination anymore, as is being ripped apart by a giant wooden doll. Cheesy, perhaps.. and sometimes a bit too much blood for realism's sake.. but still very entertaining and well done.
As with many things I watch, the music didn't stick out very much. Music is void, a lot of the time, and the rest of the time is fairly standard samurai series fare.
For a short OVA, there can't be a great deal of character development, and I never feel right grading poorly because of it. So, like other short series I've reviewed, I will base my score on how well the characters fit their roles they were given, or other aspects.

In this case, both main characters fit their part very well. And even though the OVA was short, background of our heroine was still revealed, giving you a great deal of empathy for her. In addition, plot twists make for interesting revelations about the characters, a great break from generic series. Besides the two main characters, no one was really developed at all. But then again, the point of this OVA isn't an in depth character development. For what it was meant to be, and for the length, the characters were just fine.
Horror is my favorite genre by far, so my score might be a bit biased for this reason. Non-horror fans might find this to be cheesy or shallow, but I found it to be gloriously entertaining. From the obscure, odd animation to the very unique and gruesome plot that makes you shake your head, I can't see many reasons why this OVA would have failed. For me, it was a fantastic watch, and I think you should check it out too.

For rewatchability, are you kidding? This was an incredibly badass OVA, and I'd definitely watch it again.
9.5/10 story
9/10 animation
6/10 sound
8/10 characters
9/10 overall
Omurqi's avatar
Nov 16, 2009

Is gore-comedy a genre? If so, then Puppet Princess deserves to be in it, for this show has a lot of both! The short 40 minute OVA alternates bloody decapitations and eviscerations with ecchi jokes and eyebrows that will make the upper-eye entities from the FLCL cop seem like midgets.

The plot has quite a lot of potential. More than anything, Puppet Princess feels like a solid introduction episode that will leave you wanting for more. The rather obvious downside to this is that there isn’t any. It concludes fairly nicely, but also builds up for a future story that was never made. But since bitching about plot holes for something this short and ridiculous is like complaining to a fast-food chain that their burgers are lacking finesse, take my critique with a pinch of salt. I don’t think that the average person who is looking for something short and gory will be expecting a complex plot in the first place. All in all, a funny, gory and action-filled 40 minutes.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
7/10 overall
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Dralha's avatar
Nov 11, 2009

A short movie involving the "puppet princess," a girl who can manipulate three powerful marionette warriors. She's seeking revenge against the warlord who killed her family, and hires a mercenary to help her. There were some pretty good comedic moments in this one amid the buckets of blood.

7/10 story
6/10 animation
7/10 sound
8/10 characters
7/10 overall
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