Murder Princess OAV

September 5th, 2007

To the very end, Murder Princess remained a solid, classic old-fashioned action and drama anime.

(FYI:The picture to the left is the cover of 3rd Japanese DVD and is linked to that, but the title above is linked to the 1st Japanese DVD.)

It had a revenge motive, a magical catalyst, a possessed prince and an evil witch. There were castles and ogres and knights in armor complete with Black Knight to be the evil witch’s minion. There were good henchmen, bad henchmen, and hench-androids who were bad, but became good. There was an evil scientist, a doomsday weapon and a troupe of traveling players.

The doomsday weapon was stopped at the last second, as it always is, but not before the usual loss of dear friends.

And the evil witch was defeated in a time-honored method with the most utterly classic death scene possible. Watching it, I could name half a dozen baddies who had died in the same way – but instead of annoying me, it just worked. (Also, evil witch Cecelia got extra evil points for responding to Farith’s request for “why” she had destroyed young Farith’s village with, “No reason. It was there.” I gave that a round of applause.)

And then there was Farith and Alita. After they switched bodies, they exchanged an important vow, became close friends, and were set up in a variety of poses to ensure that people who cannot discriminate wanted to, could insist that they were a couple right off the bat based on screencaps.

Alita is the noble and beautiful princess, Farith the strong, lone wolf bounty hunter and if this had been a straight couple they would have definitely, positively kissed at the end. But they weren’t, so they didn’t.

All the elements were there and they were all put together in a way that worked.

Sure, we’d like to see more overt Yuri in our Yuri, but since the anime ends without Farith and Alita able to switch back to their own bodies, we can project a lengthy future in which they get time to get used to each other – and themselves – in this form. I predict a happily ever after, because, after all, that’s the classic ending.

Ratings:

Art – 8 (not “art” but crisp and clean and good for what it is)
Story – 8 (all around classic)
Characters – 8
Music – 7
Yuri – 4
Service – 4

Overall – 8

If this gets licensed, and I think it will, I hope they release it as two 3-episode disks. 6 1-episode disks, the way it was released in Japan, will be a hard sell over here.

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4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    The way you described Murder Princess here makes it sound exactly the kind of anime I love to watch, but for some reason, the OVA never really clicked with me. I guess it was the character designs, overexposure to Romi Paku’s voice (which I usually love), or some other shallow and utterly insignificant minor detail like that. I have a tendecy to get hung up over such things.

    But I, too, cheered loudly at Cecilia’s reasons for obliterating Farith’s village. Three-dimensional, morally ambiguous villains with a ton of character development and depth are fine and dandy, but sometimes the simplistic motivation of wanton destruction can be incredibly satisfying and entertaining, too. Cecilia definitely should’ve had more screentime.

  2. scareknee says:

    I will venture a guess and say they will release it the same way FLCL was released: three 2-episode DVD’s. Of course, I will cross my fingers for the two 3-episode DVD’s.

  3. Gundam says:

    Ech. Villains were definitely the weakest part of Murder Princess, unlike the main characters, including Pete and Dominikov. Otherwise classic average fantasy with some blood mixed in.

    As for what we seek and like, shoujo-ai was there, inclination to Yuri, and quite strong at that, was there too, but in the end… Well, nothing new. Creators didn’t have enough courage to end everything properly (or didn’t think Yuri would sell good) so it ended as it ended. Very dissapointigly (and yes, I don’t like guessing up the endings – something either did happen or didn’t, black on white (like with SP!, KnM or KM)).

  4. Rynnec says:

    The ending felt way to abrupt. And the whole “Falis/Alita goes into a berserker rage” didn’t really go anywhere other than being awfully convenient for the final battle, and adding to the Yuri-subtext. This really needed to be a few more episodes longer.

    Other than that, I enjoyed this OVA. the “tough, badass, smartass warrior woman” and “sweet, gentle, kindhearted woman” dynamic is one of my favorites, and I really wish we’d see more of this dynamic in more overt Yuri stories. And as one-dimensional as the villains were, one of them was am insane loli-android, another was a Black-Knight, so it’s all good (I do wish Falis had decked said Black Knight in the face though, he relly deserves it).

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