Suddenly Princess

Alt title: Detatoko Princess

OVA (3 eps x 29 min)
1997 - 1998
2.842 out of 5 from 197 votes
Rank #7,143

Lapis is the pudding-loving princess of Sorcerland, as well as the wielder of the Magic Eraser's extraordinary power, allowing her to erase anything she desires at will! Given her unique and inappropriate uses of the eraser, her royal parents decide to teach her a lesson, magically sending her to the faraway Silver Lake to ponder her past misdeeds. But the road home is long and full of unexpected surprises such as a blessed pudding forest, the Health Brother Trio, and Topaz, the great witch of the west and collector of little girls, who wants Lapis for her own personal prize!

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Reviews

sothis
7.5

StoryWhen I first picked this up, I was very concerned that it would be shoujo. Because hey, I really don’t like shoujo, and with a name like Suddenly Princess, does anything else come to mind? Thankfully, I was very wrong. Suddenly Princess isn’t a show filled with plot, period. There are no twists, dark secrets, and there isn’t a substantial amount of character development (or any, for that matter). The OVA is of the random comedy type, and succeeds at it well. The entire premise is a bit unusual, and you get the idea that it is fairly random from the get-go. Lapis is a pretty elvish princess who loves using the Magic Eraser (which literally erases anything you can imagine) for petty tasks. For example, the very first thing the OVA opens with is her "erasing" the gravity of a floating island, to save a young bird. Mom and Dad are not too happy, of course, and decide to send her off to Silver Lake (approximately 1 days walking distance from the castle), so she can clear her head and think about what she’s done on the way back. Unfortunately, "Silver Lake" is not actually Silver Lake, it’s a pseudonym for something else. The real Silver Lake is quite a bit farther away. So what are the embarrassed parents to do? Send themselves (under a clever disguise, of course) and their servants off to save her! And thus begins the so-called story of Suddenly Princess, which consists of her and her cohorts running into a new wacky situation in each episode. I must admit, I love shows like these. Random slapstick comedy (NOT HAREM COMEDY) is hilarious to me, especially when random giant creatures are thrown into the mix. A very large amount of witty and hilarious dialogue was thrown in as well, making a very entertaining watch. Each episode is equally as silly, with one being dedicated to a forest where all the food is actually filled with pudding (the explanation of why will make you laugh out loud). In another episode, they meet up with the Health Trio, who are actually quite sickly. Needless to say, it is full of puns and (for lack of a better word, again) randomness. Often, little signs were shown on the screen with something written on it for comedic effect, for one example of a random act. So why the 7.5? Well, this isn’t a series you’d watch for plot, so throw that idea out the window. If you are looking for a random watch, this is definitely a good show for you. I think the comedic aspects and hilarity were very well done and everything fit together nicely. I took off a few points for some minor things, like the flow not being very good (due to it being completely episodic) and no ending, which tends to happen with short things like this. AnimationThere are two parts to my score to the visuals: the overall animation style, and the creativity of characters and such. As far as the overall animation style, there wasn’t much to shout about. In typical fashion of older series, all the character designs are fairly recognizable (elfish features, semi pointy hair) and unoriginal. Characters all have a semi-syrupy appearance, seeming cute and cuddly. Colors used were very bright and vibrant, but also very clashy at times. Bright lime green, pinks, and oranges were used in conjunction with other colors, making it for a very shoujo-ish fantasy watch (though as said above, basically no shoujo in the series). The creativity of the characters, however, was superb. Any show that has a giant robotic pudding walking around with large googly eyes and stick figure hands is a plus in my book. A great deal of the randomness stemmed from these ridiculous characters, and made it that much more effective. Chibi moments and deformed highlights abounded, again, making the humor so much more effective. Though the initial animation style isn’t so great, the uniqueness of the creatures and expressions make up for it. SoundThe music wasn’t terribly fantastic, but still appropriate for the tone and feel of the series. The opening song really sounds like it would fit the name "Suddenly Princess", which is ironic in a way, considering how witty and funny the series actually is. Music throughout was synthy, with flutes or drumlike beats depending on the mood of the scene. It definitely sufficed as far as background music, but probably could have been more inspiring. Now, the one place that the audio really did shine was the voice acting. Mirayama Yuko was at the helm for the voice of Lapis – you may know her from such roles as Asuka from Eva, and Casca from Berserk. She did a great job as the vivacious and delinquent Lapis. Also, the OVA had Hisakawa Aya as Topaz. You may recognize her as the voice of Yoko from Juuni Kokki, or a variety of other roles. In general, the sarcasm and puns couldn’t have been better received by the voice actors chosen for the series. CharactersAlthough there is essentially no character development, the major characters are given such solid roles that I can’t help but give this a high score anyways. Lapis is obsessed with pudding, and can’t help but talk about it nonstop (or eat it). One of her male companions gets killed in every episode ala Kenny from South Park style. Mom and Dad wear ridiculously easy to figure out costumes, yet are never figured out. Even secondary characters have a humorous role, having their own random quirk to discover. Creatures are hilarious and cute at the same time, and the puns associated with each character make it all the more enjoyable. Honestly, if the characters hadn’t been solid, the show wouldn’t have been nearly as entertaining as it was, so a high mark from me for this. OverallSuddenly Princess joins the ranks of Haunted Junction, Jewel BEM Hunter Lime and Yougen Kaisha as a "short but random and incredibly funny" thing to watch. Don’t watch it for the plot, watch it for the unique and hilarious concept that goes along with each episode, the random characters, the great voice acting, and the overall feel. If you are into random humor type shows, I can’t see why you wouldn’t enjoy this. The only thing that could have been improved upon would be perhaps the music, a more cohesive flow, or something that represented an ending, even if it was open ended.

ThatAnimeSnob
4.5

Another short series full of slapstick comedy and aimless story. It is fine if you like short uptakes but you will probably get over it quite fast. ART SECTION: 6/10 The general feeling is nothing much. Just silly looking characters roaming free in a silly looking world. It ain’t more complicating than most JRPG of the early 80’s (flying islands, magic staves and chibi summoned monsters). Just simplistic and incoherent ideas wrapped up in a short package of silliness. The thing that attracts the eye most are the very smart camera angles. There is plenty of fish eye perspective, multi-layered method of depth, x-ray vision, bullet-time, spotlight focus and many more weird –sounding optical tricks that you wouldn’t expect to find in a slapstick comedy. So, the animation is poor but the the visual effects are great. SOUND SECTION: 6/10 Voice acting and music themes sound quite silly but are lively enough to deserve something better than average. Pleasing but not great. STORY SECTION: 3/10 A spoiled magical princess is sent by her parets on a quest of maturance. She meets all kinds of weird people and does all sorts of silly things… That’s it. The story is clearly just a vague excuse for the comedy to come along. It is only 3 episodes, so not much effort is given to the plot. CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10 This could easily be part of a Slayers filler arc. We have a spoiled magical girl that loves pudding and blows things apart with her spells, a hapless male who cares about her, a silly female witch dressed in skimpy leather out to get her and several minor characters that come and go in a flash. Although not original, they are funny. But three episodes without an overall story or any character development are not enough for you to get to like them much. If there was some sort of development and not that many indirect links to the Slayer cast, they would be much more appealing. VALUE SECTION: 1/10 It is not original and it is short. Why bother with it a second time when there are far funnier and longer series out there to chose from? ENJOYMENT SECTION: 7/10 I would be lying if I were saying it wasn’t funny. Especially the jokes about breaking the fourth wall never grow old. For the most part it was very pleasing and I almost wish they had given Slayers the same artistic direction. VERDICT: 4.5 / 10 A nice and quick viewing that is overshadowed by the titles in the following list. SUGGESTION LIST Akazukin Chacha, Mahoujin Guruguru and Dragon Half are equally good slapstick comedies, based on medieval setting. Dai Mahou Touge and Dokuro-chan are equally good parodies, using the Mahou Shojo genre as an excuse. Slayers are by far the longest and funniest medieval comedy ever.

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