SCRAPPED PRINCESS (2003)

 

Format: 24 23-minute episodes, all currently available for fansubbed download

 

Rating: PG-13 (BN, AC, V)

 

American Production: none yet

 

Japanese Production: ??

 

Grading

 

Premise:

A

Story:

A

Writing:

A

Character Design:

A

Mecha Design:

B

Animation:

A-

Artistic Merits:

A

English Dub:

none yet

Musical Score:

A-

Opener:

A

Closer:

A-

 

 

Humor Content:

B

Action Content:

A-

Drama Content:

A

 

 

DVD Presentation:

n/a

DVD Extras:

n/a

 

 

OVERALL:

A

 

Synopsis

      Blond-haired 15-year-old Pacifica Casull is brattish, demanding, incompetent at most things, typically bright and cheery, and yet also quite sensitive – in order words, a perfectly ordinary-seeming kid sister to Raquel and Shannon Casull. In actuality, though, Pacifica is anything but ordinary. She is the Scrapped Princess, a girl who was born as a princess but tossed off a cliff as a babe (hence the “scrapped” part of her name) because of a dire birth prophecy which predicted that she would destroy the world when she turns 16. Thanks to magical intervention she secretly survived and was raised incognito by the Casull family, but her true identity could not remain hidden forever. As her 16th birthday approached news of her continued existence spread, and numerous parties – chief among them the disciples of the Mauser faith and the godlike Peacemakers – sought to eliminate “the poison that will destroy the world,” as the Scrapped Princess is often called. Against all these threats the siblings Shannon and Raquel have vowed to protect their little sister. As they journey in an effort to avoid those who seek out the Scrapped Princess, they encounter numerous individuals who ultimately also come to believe that such a person as Pacifica could not possibly be the source of ultimate destruction. Shannon also gains the aid of Zefiris, a Dragoon that represents a weapon from a bygone era which can aid him mightily in the fight against the potent Peacemakers, who seek to maintain the order of the world by eliminating the Providence Breaker (as they call Pacifica) from it – and if that means mass slaughter to accomplish this, so be it!

      As the story unfolds the real truth behind the Scrapped Princess and why she is regarded as such a threat to the world slowly reveals itself. Very little, it seems, is as it appears to be.

 

Quotes

      “What is the worth of this world if my sister cannot live in it?” (Shannon)

 

The Long View

      Normally I do not review series that are available only in fansub form, but I will make an exception in this case because of the quality of its production. Scrapped Princess is, indisputably, the best fantasy anime to date and one of the best anime series overall of the past couple of years. It lacks any significant flaw; the artwork and character design are gorgeous, the animation is smooth, the story and characters are compelling, the story is well-paced, the action scenes are brisk, the humor quite effective, and the dramatic elements are at times quite moving. The musical scoring is up to the task, the Japanese voice work is great, and both the opener and closer are among the best. Fansubs available for the series tend to vary in translation, however, with even some of the names varying depending on who did the fansub. The names given here are based on the Anime Keep fansub, which I rate as the superior version.

      As with any good series, it is the characters that draw you in with Scrapped Princess. The title character, for all her brattish nature, is a very outgoing young woman who is quite concerned about all the trouble her existence seems to cause those around her. She would much rather die than see people suffer or die because of her, and more than once during the series she almost gets her wish. This combination of traits endears her to nearly every one she meets, which is ultimately her best survival mechanism (even if it is unintentional), as more than one character who encounters her with hostile intent at first is turned to her side by her charm. And although she doesn’t fight, she does seem to have some kind of occasionally useful power and a curious resistance to direct action by the Peacemakers. Of her two older siblings, Raquel is the passive, highly pragmatic sorceress who doesn’t seek to harm people but is not above doing so if it is necessary. She is not particularly well-developed and is underused, but she does have her moments. Much better-developed is Shannon, Pacifica’s older brother, who is a highly-skilled warrior. Despite his blasé attitude and general disgust with his younger sister’s behavior, he is fiercely protective of her and clearly cares for her deeply. (His feelings cannot be summarized better than the quote given above.)

      Along the way the trio of Casulls meet many other interesting characters, but I will not bore you with the details here. This is an extraordinary series, one that you need to experience for yourself. Download it or catch it at anime conventions or anime clubs if you have the chance; you won’t regret it.

 

DVD Extras

      Not available yet in the States.

 

 

 

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