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.
StoryIn 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.AnimationWith 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.SoundThe 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.CharactersCharacterisation 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.OverallThis 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.
This is so much like Slayers and Rune Soilder but then, it’s not like anything that really has been done before. It is placed in a fantasy kingdom called Leiwan that’s pretty much under a religious order. Pacifica always acts like a princess even though she grew up with her brother and sister. For a 15 year old girl, she pretty much acts like any normal 15 year old girl. Bitchy, whiny and all together bothersome in most places. She does get annoying at some times but in the end, you really feel for her. She was thrown away at birth and has only her foster siblings to live with. You can really tell that she loves both her siblings but it seems that she really loves Shannon. I guess you could consider her to have a big brother complex even if he isn’t her real brother. Although she is always called the poison that will destroy the world, she makes lasting impressions on those that meet her. Shannon himself seems to always have problems wondering what he should even do. He fights within himself on the duty he has for his family and for all the other people around him. Even though he fights within himself, when on the battlefield, he protects her without thought. I myself think he looks really cute by the way. He is really reserved and doesn’t really show his emotions towards his siblings. He hates anybody outside the family and doesn’t trust them even if they show that they can be. When we talk about Shannon, we also have to talk about Zefiris who shows up in episode 2. I won’t exactly say why, but she has a large connection to Shannon and helps them with information. She sounds just like a computer with how logical she talks and acts. Raquel is the oldest of the siblings, very kind and motherly to both Shannon and Pacifica. She normally keeps a level head and uses powerful magic, able to cast them rather fast. She doesn’t really have a lot of backstory and her personality to me feels a bit like it is lacking on some aspects, not really as filled out as Shannon and Pacifica. When putting her next to the other two, she doesn’t stand out as well as the others in the series including the people who are not related. Leo takes up the clueless knight area. He is a noble knight who falls in love with Pacifica and his love never seems to faulter no matter what. He is always proposing to her and trying to protect her when he sees her until finds out about her being a scrapped princess. After that, he fights with himself with the question ‘What is Chivalry?’ and the question haunts him. The Animation is wonderfully done with fluid movements as known from Studio Bones. I don’t really see many problems in the artwork as every little detail is done pretty well. There are things that I nit pick about it though like in the second episode, what the hell is the map the old women gave them? There is nothing to actually use to find the house they are looking for! The opening is really lovely, and sounds really nice like a fairy tail beat. I truly love the English dub of the show even if it seems a little off in some of the background characters. The main characters are pretty perfect for the show, giving it the air of class. Crispin Freeman does a perfect job as Shannon, like almost all the characters he does, and makes him sound reserved and calm. He does sometimes seem too reserved but I think that more fits him. There are a lot of words that are used without much definition to the point that we sort of need a Glossary to figure them out. I wish they had a little more information about the different things like the Dragoon and Phase Space. Many of them are rather technical for a fantasy based show and open up the posiblities of something else going on.
Scrapped Princess is an interesting take on a rather tired formula, performing a major genre twist midway, colorizing story and characters in ways that are making them more than they appear to be at first. The end result is quite original as far as anime go, but still loses a lot because of its erratic pacing. Which is expected when you realize it is animated by studio Bones, which automatically means very good production values, a complicating intriguing story, and a script written on the run without the slightest attempt to make sense or have consistency. Furthermore, director and scriptwriter are people who never produced anything above average. SCRIPT So this is an anime about a teen princess who has been prophesized to destroy the Medieval world of the series as soon as she becomes an adult and is on the run while protected by two siblings bodyguards. The initial episodes are very good at portraying the drama of being accused of doing things that are beyond your scope and even have a “fight your fate” feeling to this. If it remained at this, it would be average at best, as fatalism doesn’t leave much room for variety beyond “fulfilling the prophesy” or … “not”. Yet as soon as the story hits its limit at what the premise can offer, it then does a major genre twist. That made the story far more original and fascinating than it appeared to be at first.Still, even the greatest idea can fail out of bad planning, and the series suffers a lot from lots of erratic pacing. That is, some episodes are far less interesting and slow than others, while the transition from one major event to another usually happens in a crude way. Sloppy, sudden and sometimes dried is what you get in peaking moments where you should be eating your nails. And then it’s ending of the series itself which is one of those rare occasions where although solid, complete and strong, it is far from satisfactory. Everything simply happens too fast to let you really enjoy its otherwise very interesting take on fate and conspiracy around lasting peace, the origin of the caretakers and stuff that go way beyond what the anime bothers to show you. CAST The problems are not present only in the story but they are there in the characters as well. Pacifica, the lead girl, is given a great amount of depth, character coloring and development, easily becoming a lovable and sympathetic character trying to save her life and fight fate and the status quo of the world. Unfortunately, she is the only one that has all this charm.All other characters are hardly original or memorable in any way because this is a story about a prophesy that does not allow anyone else to take part in it. In the usual fatalistic deadlock that a trope like “fate” offers, none can actually do anything without giving the feeling they are doing it for the center of the universe that is Pacifica. So even taking initiative ends up looking as “fate told you to do it” and practically kills all sort of individuality. Yes, fate in storytelling has this shit and no sane scriptwriter would ever use it.… And most do by the way, proving they are far from great. Anyways, even without this problem the character still fail to impress with their personalities alone, as none is given the focus Pacifica gets. The two sibling bodyguards are rather likable for being next to her from the very start, unlike most others who are lost in the crowd of seemingly unimportant characters. So are the enemy sub-leaders, the four Dragoons, for being more than heartless assassins. And… that is pretty much it. Likable guys but hardly special and almost invisible next to the spotlight of the lead. PRODUCTION VALUES The animation is of a very high level in terms of colors and details, plus it has a great variety of settings, weapons and action scenes. Having a blob that eats people and keeps growing or a robot with spinning laser attacks was really awesome. Chanting of spells and controlling assassin disks through music was great too. Voice acting and songs … hm, I hardly remember them, meaning they are average but not annoying or memorable for any given reason.Down to it, Scrapped Princess is more interesting as an idea than an actual anime, as the story ends up being more interesting than the actual plot or cast and that ruins it in the long run.
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