Jul 19, 2013
Lawuser (All reviews)
The thing about the fantasy genre is that, as far as I’ve picked up, a large focus is put on creating a fantastical world that the characters inhabit. There are numerous ways to go about this, whether it’s focusing a lot on the magical aspect of the world versus blending the fantasy elements with science fiction, or letting the audience know very little and have them figure out the history of the setting themselves versus letting them in on every little detail, or something else entirely. Scrapped Princess takes all of the wrong turns when it comes to this, but more of that later.

The synopsis for the anime you can find up there, so I won’t bother with it. Instead I’ll focus on what I liked or didn’t like about the show.

In terms of production Scrapped Princess does alright. The visuals are nothing too fancy, which one might find strange since it’s made by Bones right after they made Wolf’s Rain and right before they made the original Fullmetal Alchemist. Point is, it doesn’t look impressive, but it looks okay. The same can be said about the music; nothing outstanding, but alright. In fact what I like the most are the character designs and more specifically the costume designs. Bones have a thing for character designs, and it really goes to show. I don’t know why everybody is wearing shoulder pads, but I like it.

The characters are, to put it simply, fun. Most of them are incredibly shallow, and much of their internal conflicts can be seen as a bit dull. There is development, mind you, but we never know anything about the characters for better or for worse. The good thing is we get to see them here and now and how they change as the story goes along. The bad thing is we can’t sympathize with them well. More than anything the characters bounce off each other really well, and they make up for their lack of depth in interaction with other characters.

But where does this anime fall really flat, then? As I stated before, Scrapped Princess takes all the wrong turns in creating a mysterious and fantastical fantasy world – something I absolutely love. I have this idea of fantasy worlds that you have to immerse yourself into it, preferably by questioning the mechanics behind it and figuring out how everything works out by yourself. Scrapped Princess doesn’t allow you to do so. Scrapped Princess is filled with so much expositioning you can’t help but ask if it’s trying to insult your intelligence. “Now it’s time to explain this thing,” “Here’s an explaination of that explaination,” “Here’s an explaination of what we just talked about,” “Here’s a thing that can do this, now let me remind you that we still have that thing and it can still do everything we know it can do, just in case you forgot.” But why is this a bad thing? Because you can never be fully immersed in the world the anime tries to create. Every time you think of a question the series answers it within five minutes, along with giving you many more answers that completely kills the wonders of the setting. You can never immerse yourself into the world because there is nothing to grab hold of your interests – all of your questions have been answered, so why should you? Is this bad storytelling? Yes, because it doesn’t view the audience as an entity capable of free thought, a person who is able to pick up small clues and use them later when they’re needed to answer a question – and the audience has to do this on their own, I might add.

All in all Scrapped Princess had potential but ultimately fails under its own ambitions. It’s still enjoyable enough though, and it does have a set of fun characters that are fun enough to watch on their own. This is one of those “I’ve seen it just for the sake of having seen it” titles.