After being brutally murdered along with her family, Makina Hoshimura turns into a Shikabane Hime, a living corpse contracted to the Kougon Cult, in order to exert revenge on the mysterious undead organization responsible for her death. She is assisted in this task by Keisei Tagami, her contracted priest and former friend. This series follows the story of Keisei's younger brother Ouri, a boy with an unusual attraction to death, who slowly discovers his brother's secret and gets dragged into the world of the Shikabanes.
Story - 8/10
Ok. This series started on the "monster-of-the-week" formula, so it may be very misleading. Even the sypnosis that a Shikabane Hime must kill 108 corpses to go to Heaven is misleading. The real plot and story has really nothing to do with it. The truth is, this series does provide a reasonable and interesting plot development in the SECOND half of the season only. And the last four episodes or so does have enough plot to build up decent cliffhangers that forced me to watch the raws and chinese subs (instead of waiting for the english subs because of my impatience). But keep
in mind that there is a second season that follows up directly, so this whole first season gave me the feeling of PREQUEL to the actual story (which turned out decent)
Art - 7/10
Sometimes, the actions are animated in a pretty sloppy way. The characters' design are sometimes too simplistic.But you may argue that it was done intentionally as a more "stylish" way of animation. The colors are all in the range of grey, dark red, black and deep blue, blending into a nice gloomy atmosphere befit of a horror action series.
Sound - 9/10
Nice fighting music and nice insert songs, opening songs and ending song by angela. The music is very catchy and the voice acting is not bad. Ouri (main protagonist)'s voice sound pretty unique and has a good touch of innocence and tonelessness, befitting his strange attitude towards death (a key element in the plot)
Characters - 8/10
I would say the characters are decently developped for an anime series. Ouri's evolution is clearly portrayed throughout the series. Makina's realtionship with Keisei is revealed bits by bits in a very good rythmn. At the same time, Makina and Ouri's relationship also evolves with each episode in the SECOND half of this series.
Enjoyment and Overall - 8/10
The first half was pretty random and generically boring. The second half really redeemed itself. This is series is underrated because the first 6-7 episodes didn't have enough to keep the audience from labelling this as "another generic action series". Although it is far from being a breakthrough, the second half really made good progress in terms of plot and character development. It does deserve the slightly above average rating of 7.5 to 8 out of 10.
Shikabane Hime: Aka is an anime that deals with the issues of death and life in an interesting manner. However, despite some of this anime's strengths, there were weaknesses littered throughout this series.
The main thing that the story gives is uniqueness. After being murdered, Makina Hoshimura turns into a "living corpse". Armed with dual sub-machine guns, she must kill 108 other corpses in order to gain entry into heaven. She is assisted in this task by Keisei Tagami, a Buddhist priest with links to an anti-corpse group known as the Kougun Cult. The setup of the storyline is rather unusual, and there have not been
many anime that look at a living corpse working together with a living person to try to destroy other living copses.
The animatioin was very decent. Each character had their own distinguishable look. The background was very well done and the action scenes are pretty good as well. Gainax is known for creating some of the greatest animation in the industry, but in this anime the art didn't deliver what it could have. Something the animators did very well was creating the mood with the dark animation. You couldn't help but feel scared in some scenes because of the dark backgrounds. Gainax did very well in creating atmosphere.
The opening theme was very, very good. Other than that the sound was meaningless. I don't remember the sound being a big factor in the anime.
This anime seems to focus mainly on Ōri and Makina. There was only one character that I truly liked, and it was Makina. She is the main character and a contracted "living corpse". She is tasked with killing 108 corpses to gain entrance to heaven. She has formidable physical skills and her weapon of choice is an Ingram MAC11 machine gun. Makina starts slow but develops faster than Ōri and by the end of the season she becomes a great character. The main male character, Ōri himself, was really annoying at points. Ōri Kagami is a normal high school boy who was raised at Keisei Tagami's temple. He coincidentally appears at several points where corpses appear and the reason of this is unknown. Ōri is a bland character that slowly develops as the story progresses.
I didn't really enjoy this anime. I kept looking at the time and wanted it to finish faster. It wasn't all that bad. It was pretty confusing but there were a couple episodes that were really good.It was a pretty decent anime. Nothing special but decent.
Shikabane HIme or Corpse Princess was a horror,action and martial art anime,with his and her whole family been killed by a group of shikabanes which is Shichisei,Makina seek a revenge against Shichisei with the help of Keisei Tagami as her contracted Monk and a long with Ouri kagami as the younger brother of Keisei Tagami.At the beginning of the whole episode it only tells what is Shikabane are and how shikabane exist and what the contractor monk use for.At the beginning the story was a bit slow,only a few importance information about the Shikabane been told,even the plot development was a bit slow at the
beginning,but at the middle of it the plot development is getting interesting with the pace are getting faster with the introduction of new Shikabane and their Contractor monk and some of action and corpse,However,until the last episode of Shikabane hime:Aka the story was left a big cliffhanger and this's when the second season Shikabane Hime;kuro take places for the cliffhanger....
The Art for this series was to be par for good and bad,some of the animation was sloppy even the action scene was a bit sloppy but still good,the character design was simple and each character had their own distinguishable look,the environment and background was too simple and the colours are a bit dark just to blending into the gloomy atmosphere for most horror genre.
The Sound,the OP/ED was very catchy and it was easy to listen and the BMG was some of it was fit to some scene like the action scene the BMG was a bit disappointing and it was sloppy a bit and some part of the BMG was didn't fit at all for that scene.As for the voice actor sound most of the char are fit with it,and a bit disappointed for Makina voices it just that voices are didn't fit for it at all....the seiyuu has a unique voice but for Makina personality it didn't fit for it.....
Character,the story are mainly focus only for Makina and Ouri character develop with a bit by bit the develop between them are evolved,with supported character helped the character development like the other Shikabane and the contracted monk,and that make some of the supported character didn't develop too much,but some of the supported character and the contractor monk got it flash back for how they meet and and become Shikabane...
Overall,truly this anime was enjoyable to watch,it wasn't that bad at all it was a decent anime but t still worth to watch for those who like horror,action and martial art genres.......however the enjoyment still continued at second season for it...
Shikabane Hime is a action horror hybrid from Gainax. It centers around undead girls who are given a chance to enter heaven if they fight and kill other undead. Equal parts exhilarating and disturbing, Shikabane Hime feels like a shounen with heavy horror undertones. This combination is what makes the show worth watching, especially in its later stages, despite its numerous shortcomings. Just for the record, this review covers both seasons: Aka and Kuro.
Shikabane are monsters born of strong regrets a person might have when they die. Ageless, powerful, and bearing an animosity towards the living, shikabane are a threat to mankind. The only line
of defense against them is the Kougun Sect, who employ the use of undead girls, called shikabane hime, to eliminate shikabane under the supervision of a contracted monk. If a shikabane hime is able to kill 108 shikabane, then they can enter into heaven. Makina Hoshimura is a shikabane hime with a vendetta and a strong bond with her contracted monk, Keisei Kagami. However, things begin to unhinge when Keisei's adopted younger brother, Ouri, becomes involved in the secret battle between shikabane and the Kougun Sect; a battle neither Keisei nor Makina want him to be involved with.
The show starts off with an episodic "monster of the week" type deal. These opening episodes are in the same vein as Vampire Princess Miyu (the TV anime, not OVA), with our heroin hunting down and destroying shikabane; just done much better than Vampire Princess Miyu, namely because of the more exciting fights. At the same time, the show follows Ouri as he slowly finds out about shikabane and the Kougun Sect. These episodes are the show's weakest because while the fights are all good, the scenarios are hit-or-miss, and time with Ouri is usually dull. Luckily, the show starts getting better mid-way through the first season, when Ouri gets deeply involved with one shikabane hime, having tragic consequences. Characters get some god character development: Ouri struggles with the fact that shikabane hime are dead, Keisei laments Ouri's increasing involvement with shikabane, and Makina's reasons for being a shikabane hime and past with Keisie are relieved. All the while, the viewer is treated to more grotesque scenes of horror and gleefully violent action sequences. Near the end of the first season the main antagonists, a group of shikabane called the Seven Stars (because there are seven of them), appear and aline with the previously introduced Traitor Monk Akasha. In retrospect, I wonder why they didn't do this earlier in the series, as it would have made the show more evenly paced.
The second season, Kuro, moves at a break-neck speed compared to the first. It is so overstuffed with twists and plot revelations, there is no doubt the show as a whole could have been paced better. Still, it can't be accused of being boring. There is a certain shounen-esque excitement to having a villain league like the Seven Stars in the fray.It is fun to watch Makina take them on one at a time. There is also a lot more drama in this season, mainly concerning Makina and Ouri, which is pretty good; but also some drama involving minor characters which really doesn't go anywhere, just adding more fluff to the already cramped running time.
One thing the show definitely could have handled better was its themes. The show deals a lot with death and regret, but scarcely actually explores them. There are a few occasions where it does, like at the end of both seasons, but for the most part the concepts of death and regret are thrown around like "friendship" and "courage" are in a typical shounen. There is also the issue of the relationship between shikabane hime and their contracted monks, which is somewhat like the Fratello in Gunslinger Girl (except including complications of having more matured bodies...), but handled far less maturely. Their relationships range from being as complex as the one between Makina and Keisei (and Ouri), to as simplistic and one dimensional as the one between Saki and Rika. One particularly nasty one is Minai and Itsaki, which is the equivalence of Jean and Rico from Gunslinger Girl, unfortunately does not get enough development (even though an extra episode was dedicated to them).
As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, this is from Gainax, which means it is going to at least look decent. The show goes for a dark look, even with the vivid color pallet found in most Gainax series, with shading which borders on unnatural but still suits the show well. Backgrounds are fairly well designed and characters have that certain cartoon-ish expressiveness you will usually find in a Gainax work; the shikabane are a bizarre looking bunch. There is also the copious amount of fan service we've come to expect from Gainax as of late. The animation is for the most part solid, a bit of spottiness here and there but nothing to complain about; the action scenes are treated well. The music does its job of controlling the atmosphere, especially during the tense moments, but honestly you are just not going to remember it. Not the best of Gainax's projects, but certainly not bad at all.
Taken as an action horror, Shikabane Hime is a decent show. It doess have some major problems with its themes and pacing, which are honestly kind of a mess. However, if you are in the mood for violence, disturbing imagery, and maybe even some solid drama, then you might want to give Shikabane Hime a try.
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