Reviews: Murder Princess
Not as good as it seemed it would be.
This is only for the dub of the OVA. The manga or sub may be spectacular, but that's not this review. Initially zerky picked up Murder Princess because of the strange title, cool imagery and interesting premise. A "murder" princess wielding a katana in a blood-soaked gown who is a body-switched bounty hunter? Awesome! Despite the fact that this was a six-episode OVA, the quality of the fight scenes and animation were poor and led to Fridge Logic at times. It's somewhat common in anime* , but the way the horses were animated was cringeworthy. "Great swordsmanship" apparently involves a lot of leaping and diagonal cuts. Falis was inexplicably helpless without a sword; she dodges and jumps around like a giant flea when she's holding a katana, but this ability mysteriously vanishes when her hands are empty. When disarmed she would stand still and take whatever beating was given to her. The voice acting was sub-par. Falis' VA was great, but Alita's seemed to be speaking in an annoying falsetto half the time. It could be a relic of the original Japanese VA doing it, but that sort of thing doesn't fly very well in English. The two android kids were even worse and at times it sounded a little bit like a male VA trying to imitate female children by being as shrill and irritating as possible. As for the plot... well... it was crap, but you don't really go into a series called "Murder Princess" expecting to have a life-changing experience. The main issue was all the plot threads left hanging; it wasn't done in a mysterious and interesting way like in Serial Experiments Lain or Neon Genesis Evangelion, but in a way that sort of seemed like maybe the writers forgot about them, or ran out of time/were hoping for a sequel. The plot and action of Murder Princess were poor enough that the OVA would have functioned better if much of it was removed, and the budget concentrated on maybe one or two high-quality action scenes rather than a dozen mediocre ones. Surprisingly, the strongest part of this anime was the Romantic Two Girl Friendship between Falis and Alita, which was not what zerky came to see, but has an audience.
I've seen about 100 animes now and about 80 of those have bored me to tears. This wasn't one of them. It was actually interesting enough for me to watch without jumping through parts or walking out on early. I watched the dub, and after the first episode I was a bit interested. The characters and environments were very well illustrated (the princess was kinda hot), the voices were alright, and the story wasn't a bore. But the thing that really turned me off was how bizarre the fictional world was. Well drawn, but bizarre. The Bulter is a gnome of some sort, Dr. Akamashi's head looks like a cabbage, Dominikov looks like the offspring of Yu Gi and Skeletor and he can talk without moving his mouth (like Marvin Martian!), and there are two squeaky voiced annoying Robot Girl assassins. God I wish I made all that stuff up. Did the creators of this really expect us to take this seriously? Seeing all this made me overuse the phrase "WTF am I looking at?" Despite having problems (no anime is perfect) its still an ok watch. A lot of the characters are portrayed well like Falis, Pete, and so on. Me personally, I liked Dominikov, I mentioned earlier that he first looks too weird to take seriously but he is shown to be a witty, likable, and interesting character. For the fight scenes, I'm hanging on the fence. I didn't think they were bad at all but I can see where Silver 2195 was coming from in his review. Silver explained how Falis doesn't use any strategy. Well, she is a really tough Blood Knight and not a strategic fighter, shes not supposed to fight the way hes talking about. Still, I agree its not interesting when shes somewhat of a Boring Invincible Hero. Overall: Fantastically well drawn, good characterization, hot princess, mediocre story, bizarre setting, short, good ending. Its ok. Personally I liked it a lot, but it still doesn't compare to bigger stuff like Code Geass, Monster, or Death Note. It is worth the watch since it wont take much of your time (six episodes).
Not Very Good
(Note: This deals with the OVA only. I haven't read the manga.) This series had some good points: the interaction between Falis and Alita, the battle with the evil sorceress. Otherwise, this series is pretty bad. Let's start with something shallow, but fairly objective: most of the fight scenes are crap. Our heroine cuts her dress, does some implausible acrobatics, and finishes off the monster with a Diagonal Cut. No strategy, no original element, no real tension (because the monster never gets in a hit, except for the aforementioned fight with the sorceress and that one fight where she doesn't fight back against the monster). Then there's the villains. The sorceress is a Complete Monster just because (she has a token motivation, but she admits that some of what she did was just For The Evulz). I rolled my eyes when Kaito explained his motivation, and rolled them again when Alita decided that his attempt to destroy the world and killing of several people in the process wasn't really so bad. I liked Ana and Yuna, though. The real problem with this series, though, is that it's a textbook case of They Wasted A Perfectly Good Plot. The issue here starts with a title that promises something far more Grim Dark than what it delivers: the main character is a Disney Anti Hero. Then there's the body switch plot. The writers are so lazy that they left it completely unresolved. Another unresolved plot point: why did Falis nearly kill that child? They go out of their way to say that she would never do such a thing of her own free will. I think they were trying to imply that the villains and/or Teoria were controlling her somehow, but it's never explained. And would it have killed them to introduce Teoria less abruptly? An Infodump only works if the info is interesting in inself and not just setup for something else.