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Review
Show: Scrapped Princess (2003)  
Review by: Craig Burns
Overview:

Srapped Princess takes place in what appears to be medieval times where magic works and sword fighting prevails.  The story revolves around a young fifteen year old girl named Pacifica and her step-brother Shannon and step-sister Raquel.  She's on the run because she is the Scrapped Princess.  Just before she was born, a prophecy was given that she would destroy the world on her sixteenth birthday.  Her father tasked his soldiers with killing the girl so that the prophecy would not come true.  She was saved from her fate, however, and given to a foster family to raise, care for and protect.  Now that she is approaching her sixteenth birthday, she is being hunted down by the royal forces as well as the church of Mauser.

Shannon is an excellent swordsman and Raquel is a powerful wizard.  Together, after their parents have died, they protect Pacifica from the various attempts on her life.  Pacifica appears on the surface to be a spoiled brat, whining about being cold, hungry and tired all the time.  However, this masks her deeper feelings about her existence and all of the problems it has caused those around her and her inability to protect herself from harm.

I am a fan of both fantasy and science fiction.  I have found in the past that most stories that try to mix the two together do a poor job of it.  The only good story I'd found was a Doctor Who novel called "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" which meshed the two well.  This story does the same and in a similar manner.  As I said above, it appears that we are in a medieval world but, as we find out gradually, they have more advanced weapons.  We also discover that the magic being used is more than just that.  It takes Arthur C Clarke's third law or prediction that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" and runs with it.

One thing that this story does, and which draws me to anime in general, is show the personality behind the characters.  We initially see the characters as the good guys and the bad guys but then we see that the bad guys are just people doing what they too think is good.  This is shown early on in Leo when, after he's smitten by the Scrapped Princess, he discovers who she is and, as a knight, is duty bound to kill her.  This causes all sorts of conflicts with his ideas of chivalry and justice.  This is further exlored in other character developments as well, such as Chris, the Baroness, Prince Forsythe and even the Peacemakers.

The story has very few filler episodes with each one building upon the final climax.  When the characters perform an action or deed, although not always expected, you pretty much see where that character was coming from and why.  This is something that I like in Stephen Kings books as well, the character development.  With this said though, there are several lull points within the series.  These are places where there is too much exposition and not enough action.  Granted, there is a need for this to set up the story - just don't watch if you're too tired...  A couple of times I had to agree with Pacifica when she said, "I don't understand any of this."

All in all this is a great anime with a good blending of genres to make an entertaining story.  The conclusion of the series was satisfactory with very few unresolved crises (besides the inter-personal elements).

Music:

The theme songs have a Scottish theme which lends to the middle ages theme.  I found the opening theme song "Little Wing" to be light hearted and fun.  I was less impressed with the ending theme song "Daichi no la-li-la" though it isn't bad either.

Animation:

The animation in this show is superb, in my opinion.  The colors are bright and the background details lend to a believable scenery.

Suggestions:

I would suggect that younger children stay away from this only due to the violence.  There is little of this but there are some bloody scenes.  Also, there are some heartwrenching death scenes as well.  I would recommend this for 13 and up, which I think is the ratings on the DVD's.

Favorite Scenes:

After Seness has finished explaining to Shannon, Raquel and Pacifica about the dragoon, their battle fortress and the world they live in, Pacifica has what I call a Mihoshi (from Tenchi) moment.  She basically says, "I don't understand this at all," to which Seness must dumb down her explanation a little for her.

During one battle Socom tries to understand why Shannon is fighting for Pacifica's life instead of trying to save the world.  Shannon replies that he didn't know that they two were mutually exclusive.  Why couldn't he fight for both at once.

The scene where Pacifica finds the bath house token that was Furet's.  Her amnesia causes her to not remember him but she still feels an overwhelming saddness.  This was a touching moment.
Last Updated: 2/12/2007
Other Reviews by Craig Burns
1) The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Updated: 1/25/2007)
2) AD Police (Updated: 2/8/2007)
3) Jubei-chan - Secret of the Lovely Eyepatch (Updated: 1/30/2007)
4) Scrapped Princess (Updated: 2/12/2007)
5) Gunslinger Girl (Updated: 2/19/2007)
6) Crest of the Stars (Updated: 2/23/2007)
7) Banner of the Stars (Updated: 2/26/2007)
8) Boys Be... (Updated: 3/6/2008)
9) Sayonara Jupiter (Updated: 4/17/2007)
10) Reincarnation (Updated: 6/29/2007)
11) Ashura (Updated: 8/10/2007)
12) Transmorphers (Updated: 8/14/2007)
13) Automatons (Updated: 3/3/2008)
14) Kite Liberator (Updated: 4/28/2008)
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