Jan 11, 2009
Lucena (All reviews)
Scrapped Princess is an anime that's been overshadowed by many of the shows that have been released this past decade. Just because it's underrated doesn't mean that it's not good. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

The story of Scrapped Princess is very RPG-inspired; gamers who are familiar with the genre will feel right at home with this anime. The first half of the series is light-hearted, dedicating its episodes to introducing the characters and establishing the main plot. The second half of the series is much darker, with plot twists and turns every so often, character developments, and in-depth looks at the villains' schemes. As I watched it, I couldn't help but feel that I was playing an above-standard RPG. Don't let that distract you from the experience, though. Not only does the story take place in a world of its own, but little clues are planted here and there in the dialogue to establish the period of time it takes place. They're kind of hard to miss. All the characters are pretty much likable, despite their flaws. Overtime, they start to grow on to you, making some of the major moments of the series more memorable. The story, overall, is well paced and brings everything together into one satisfying conclusion.

The art is what one would come to expect from BONES studios (Fullmetal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club, Soul Eater). The colors are vibrant and the character designs cheerful and, in some cases, cute. They work well for the first half of the series, but at first, feel out of place during the series' apocalyptic second half; You tend to get used to them after a while. The animation shines during the action and fight scenes, but when the scene is simple, such as a conversation between two characters, the animation tends to be a bit stoic except for some wind blowing. This issue only occurs for several episodes, though. The positive side of that is that the animators are focused more on making this series look beautiful, which they have accomplished. The art in Scrapped Princess is truly a feast for the eyes.

The audio in this anime didn't really shine as much as I expected it to. The soundtrack overall isn't memorable, but the orchestral compositions soar during the more climatic moments of the series. The music is fitting, but it doesn't make me want to go buy the soundtrack. The series' opening theme "Little Wing" by JAM Project has a nice Celtic-inspired intro that quickly makes the transition into an upbeat Pop/Rock song (with vocals provided by Masumi Okui). The song is all right as an intro to this series, but the song itself is good. It's one of those songs that grows on you. Same with the series' ending, "Daichi no la-li-la" by Yoko Ueno and Masumi Itou. The brass at the beginning of the song makes it seem old fashioned, but then this song proves that this is no ordinary J-pop song. The singers' canons fit well into the song (and it's darn catchy too!) and the song itself fits the fantasy/adventure fell of the show well. I watched the English dub of the series, and I was once again impressed at the effort put forth by Bang Zoom! Entertainment to make this dub sound good. This show has an all-star cast, starring voice actors such as Kari Wahlgren (Pacifica Cassul), Crispin Freeman (Shannon Cassul), and Steve Blum (Luke Storm). They each took their roles and made them their own. At times I felt like I wasn't even watching a dub of a show from Japan. The dub has to be one of the best parts of the show.

Scrapped Princess is one of the most pleasant surprises I've seen in a long time. I really wasn't expecting much from the show, but I really enjoyed it. If you're not satisfied with any anime you're currently watching, give Scrapped Princess a try. I guarantee you that it will not disappoint.