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Scrapped Princess Review

January 12, 2008

story 7/10

Scrapped Princess screenshot

In a nutshell, Scrapped Princess is the one that was more easygoing than Mai Hime but never quite reached the effortless brilliance of Fullmetal Alchemist. The animation style, vibrant colour tones, level of fantasy elements and so on are roughly the same as the other two, and just like them, it tries to combine an inventive concept of magic with a tragic political plot that's got the whole world at stake. However, it lacks the intense emotional pull of the other two firstly because its protagonists have so little clout, and secondly because it is not the cleverest show on offer. I got the feeling the creators tossed in the first few ideas they could think of, and to their own surprise strung together something quite decent.

Still, the fact is the story does get really exciting once the main magical and political battles kick in. For example, the show introduces one element a third of the way through that is pure ‘cool' - the Dragoons. Although not strictly new, the unique fantasy twist on the old mecha theme rescued the series from its initial threat of blandness. I did not care much for the naff mini side-plots and comedy episodes they sprinkled into the mix but the central plot turned out to be worth every penny because it twisted in pleasantly surprising directions.

Some of the best ideas, namely the fact that Pacifica Casull's main adversary is a religious institution rather than an individual person, that she supposedly is the antagonist of the conflict, and that fate actively conspires against her, also eliminated any ‘fluffiness' and helped maintain a sad undertone. That isn't to say these ideas haven't been treated with better skill and ingenuity elsewhere, but at least they were used well enough here to inject a sense of maturity.

animation 6.5/10

With colourful environments, simplistic but pretty character designs, a distinct absence of blood, and cute costumes for much of the cast, the series remains shoujo to the core. It would have all been innocent girlie fun were it not for the taint of oversized breasts on most of the women. Action sequences involving the Dragoons and Peacemakers were epic enough but everyday movements were clumsy on too many occasions. Simply put, Scrapped Princess is easy on the eye, providing occasional solid highlights to keep us interested but often being of the usual high fantasy fare.

sound 7/10

The opening and ending themes have a very medieval feel to them, with bagpipes providing the instrumental canvas for the OP in a manner quite reminiscent of Ah My Goddess Season 2. The OP was one of those songs I knew I wouldn't like but then grew on me so quickly that I found myself unconsciously humming it in the shower. It's the kind of tune that makes me wish I made more of an effort to learn the lyrics. Generally, though, the stuff during the scenes is best understood as good mood-setter. Voice acting was suitable and convincing although not remarkably dynamic most of the time. Some of the best moments include the intimate exchanges between Shannon and Pacifica, when his stoic tone and her vulnerable girlishness provide for some touching dialogue.

characters 6.5/10

Characterisation is sufficient but far from impressive, which I blame on the unwarranted size of the cast. Characters like wannabe knight Leopold Scorpse, Kidaf Gylot the minstrel, and most of Christopher Bylaha's team were easily superfluous and became distractions rather than complements. I'm also unconvinced that Pacifica's sister, Raquel, a central character with no subplot of her own and only the single purpose of casting spells, was actually needed.

Out of everyone, though, I found the least interesting person to be Pacifica herself; cute, clueless, and passive in the extreme, the only reason I cared was because the story cared. Shannon, on the other hand, is a traditional fantasy hero type who tackles his troubles predominantly with the edge of his sword and, when necessary, with the occasional words of wisdom. He is in fact the juxtaposed personality to Pacifica, and thus engaging in every way that she is not. I suppose it helps that he is also linked to the coolest part of the entire series. As for antagonists, Christopher is a complex addition, and the Peacemakers are also worth mentioning since their cold view of humanity gives them such interesting motivations.

overall 7/10

This anime is good entertainment for the days when you want something not too cerebrally challenging but that doesn't patronise you either. Sure, it doesn't sweep you breathlessly away like other magical shows and it could do with a bit of pruning cast-wise, but with a worthwhile message to tell about prejudice, religious dogmatism, and courage in the face of inevitable doom, Scrapped Princess is a solid upbeat story with a sad heart.

Anime Info

The god Mauser delivered unto a world of magic a prophecy: if the Scrapped Princess is allowed to live, she will destroy the entire world. But the knight who was to kill her could not end the life of a newborn child, and so she lived. Fifteen years later, her adopted brother and sister have sworn to protect her, and together they travel from town to town, searching for a life she can't have.


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About the Author

VivisQueen's avatar

VivisQueen

I'll review anything as long as there are words in the dictionary to describe it. Disagree with me? Want to leave feedback? Please do, but take a look at my personal rating scale first.

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comments

NanoRain avatar NanoRain
Jul 15, 2013

Scrapped Princess is definitely one of my top favorite anime. I've never encountered a plot like it before in anime, the characters were all unique and enjoyable. Although this person said that Raquel was unneeded, I liked her independant attitude. I thought Pacifica was a very entertaining character herself, and a good main character at that. She played the part of a brattish x-princess and a spoiled brat, but I feel that that part of her was a good thing, despite the anime being more undertoned. If she wasn't like that I feel she would simply be depressed all the time, more so than she was.

I also loved the voice acting in Scrapped Princess, and can frequently spot when a character in a different anime has the same voice because it's one I enjoyed listening to. I have to admit, I'm rather dissapointed with what the reviewer has to say about the anime. I was highly interested in the anime even before the episodes with dragoons and peacekeepers. I thought that the comment: "That isn't to say these ideas haven't been treated with better skill and ingenuity elsewhere, but at least they were used well enough here to inject a sense of maturity." was rather unfair.I think Scrapped Princess does a better job than most anime at conveying a mature attidute in serious siturations, unless your comparing it Death Note. 

MrAnime avatar MrAnime
Dec 9, 2011

This is one of the best animes I've have seen when it comes to the story.

I have never came across a title that does deliver a very well thought out story that has such a deep "hardcoded" story because of its history. I'm such a big sucker for a story that has a great deal of history to tell. And this title fulfilled my wishes. Even though it’s not perfect! It does exceedingly well in the historical section.

It’s become my #1 personal favorite title, and I’m truly grateful for finding and watching this anime.

Peyton112086 avatar Peyton112086
Oct 23, 2011

I feel like the show wasn't for you. I loved the show and all of them did too ^. I find FMA to be the most boring anime ever. This completely blows it out of the water by 100 million. I Love every character in this show and I can only find one character in FMA that i like. None of the characters in FMA are even remotely interesting. I especially hate the main character as he is so typical and annoying. In Scrapped Princess even the support characters are amazing. Thats my opinion.

adric avatar adric
May 14, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed this anime. I agree that it misses the heights of the likes of Fullmetal Alchemist but i found it to have hidden depths and themes.

The discussions towards the end of the nature of freedom, and indeed its necessity for humanity, left me in as much of a quandry as Pacifica. I found myself caring for her and her friends and shedding tears with Shannon and Raquel at the end. Pacifica's not-infrequent bouts of depression left me caring for her too.

I agree with the points raised in the review re cast size but to me it didn't feel excessive, more that the series deserved more time to explore everything.

packman850 avatar packman850
Jun 9, 2010

I really enjoyed this show it got better towards the end and it wrapped up nicely for being a short series.

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