“Murder”, She Said

July 15th, 2012 in Anime, General Reviews, Murder Princess by

There is often a complaint that anime is broken into two camps of female characters: the  shrinking violet girl and the tough as nails woman. The problem I have with the Toughie is that there is nothing ever soft about them. They are cold and hard and angular, although, for this show, it is a requirement.

Murder Princess” is about Princess Alita. Her father, the king of Forland, is killed in a coup, foisted by the country’s former leading scientist, Dr. Akamashi and his two robotic minions, Ana and Yuna. As dad dies, he sends out Alita to find her brother, Prince Kaito, who is leading a diplomatic excursion to another land.

As she tries to complete her mission, she falls off a cliff, pursued by evil forces, with the nortorious female bounty hunter, Falis, joining her in their descent into demise. This near-death experience causes them to switch bodies and Falis is able to dispatch some of the local nasties, along with HER two minions, Dominikov and Pete Armstrong, (the former is a kind of shikigami, the latter a strongman).

Alita begs of Falis to return to the castle and defeat the forces that have taken it, but Falis has more important things to do. There are castles to rob and noblemen to hold up and all kinds of treasures to plunder. However, in return for the services, Alita offers Falis her body and soul (now, whether you want to take this as a caliber of yaoi or mere servitude, that is up to you).

Upon her return, everyone is doubly shocked that “Alita” is not only very aggressive, but that she has the talent to slay her opponents, giving her the new, dubious, title of ‘Murder Princess’. It also means that the laundry staff is going to have a horrible time getting the bloodstains out of all those classy outfits.

This six-show run investigates not only how Alita will reclaim her kingdom, but has to deal with the mad doctor and his hunt for the ‘old technology’ that will give him the power he needs to take over the world. Also, we see the relationship between Alita and Falis. As the former has to teach the latter how to be a refined princess and not some ale-swilling, head-splitting brute, there are certainly some gear-grinding incidents. But, on the plus side, Alita is accorded a huge amount of respect, as she is a force to be reckoned with, especially with that sword she wields.

A sticking point is the really cranky doctor and his robotic minions. He obviously was not expecting resistance from Alita, either the previous version or the new and improved model, and he is another in a long line of annoying, maniacal mad scientist type who has all the depth of a Petri dish and just as much practical experience with things, so when it goes wrong, he flips out.

Dude, you are a scientist. You should be well acquainted with failure and flops and misdirection of efforts. It’s back to the drawing board, so come up with another approach and not cry in your beaker when you get you lab coat handed to you.

The climax comes when there is a way to restore Alita and Falis, but it means a sacrifice of such a caliber that neither was really expecting, so what are they to do? Well, watch the series and find out. I mean, you could crank out the six episodes on a rainy Saturday and it sure beats reruns of ‘Chowder.’

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           8 (A good looking show, despite the minions)
Plot                  8 (A nice reworking of the body switch trope)
Pacing             8 (It gets a bit bumpy in spots)
Effectiveness   7 (A bit predictable)
Conclusion      7 (A rather maudlin ending)
Fan Service     3 (A similar shows would be “Wedding Peach”)

Overall            7 (It’s OK, but the doctor rumples things)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Who are you, really?

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