Posted by psgels on 19 July 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews

Around four years ago, I watched the first three episodes of Scrapped Princess, but I dropped it soon afterwards because it didn’t interest me enough. Based on some recommendations from several people I decided to watch the entire series and I must say that Scrapped Princess definitely has its merits.

This really is a typical Bones series. For nearly every single one of their anime, you can be sure to expect a very imaginative setting, and Scrapped Princess is no different. While it starts with a story about a princess that the entire country wants dead, it soon develops into an interesting mix between fantasy and science fiction. It’s a thought-provoking series that questions whether or not one should allow the deaths of thousands, simply to protect one insignificant life. This really was my highlight for this series.

This series’ flaws lie in the cast of characters: they really are a mixed bag. Some are interesting (Fulle, Yuhma, Senes), but a lot of them are insufficiently developed or just plain dull. Pacifica really starts out as an interesting character, but around the middle of the story she suddenly gets amnesia out of nowhere, which doesn’t really contribute or influence anything in the story except for slowing it down. Winia and Leopold never really were interesting characters, but this series just keeps coming back to them in favour of the more interesting characters. Christopher is a walking mystery: we never get to see any of his background or development, and yet his change of character and motivation are really hard to buy.

The same goes for the series’ antagonists: they start off really good and this series really manages to show us that these people are dangerous and are not to be fooled around with. This sense of despair is another one of the true highlights of this series when you realize all the horrible things that the lead characters are put against. It really helps to sympathize with not just the main characters of Pacifica, Shannon and Raquel, but also the villains themselves. Unfortunately, in the final third of this series this is abandoned completely, and they turn into your average bunch of incompetent fools who keep changing sides and never seem to get anything right.

And yeah, this series is typical Bones, and that also means that it has a typical Bones ending. In the end, everything is just solved too easily (as in, “why the hell didn’t you just do that in the first episode?!”), characters are randomly brought back from the dead and everyone just lives happily ever after in the now ideal world. It’s a real shame: I would really have been much more positive about this series if only that ending didn’t leave such a bad taste in my mouth. This really is my big problem with Bones: I really want to like them. I really appreciate how much time and effort they put in their series to make them look unique. But why the heck do they keep screwing up with their endings over and over?!

Nevertheless, this series does make some good points; especially in its first two thirds, it really is a nice look at humanity. It’s not a perfect series, and Bones has made much better series as well, but nevertheless it makes for a nice watch.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 9/10

12 Responses

  1. Avatar Autonomous Monster says:

    So… anyone else think this one was a Fire Emblem anime in disguise?

    But yeah, I have vague memories of this one being good. Not a classic, or even merely excellent, just… good. Solid. Enjoyable.

  2. Avatar marebito says:

    Seconded. IMO the only bones-series that included a satisfying ending was Xam’d… and while the 1st half had horrible pacing (well… as usual for bones), the series became quite good overall later, which is why this became my favorite bones-series

    While I definitely enjoyed series like Eureka Seven or the 1st FMA-series, they had horrible endings that almost destroyed them entirely for me.

    RahXephon was solid. Wonderful soundtrack and overall presentation/athmosphere, but other than that… just solid. If you interpret the characters according to a symbol/metapher that is thrown at you throughout the course of the series, they are more or less acceptable… but doing this is in itself a bit too far-fetched.

    Funnily IMO one of the better endings was Wolf’s Rain’s… and for me that series was pretty horrible overall in like every aspect aside from the music maybe. The ending was heavily clichéd, though…

    After reading this review I realized once again that I have to rewatch Kurau someday…

  3. Avatar Greenthy says:

    I enjoyed this anime alot :)

  4. Avatar senerikfred says:

    Weird. I found the first third to be the weakest(trying too hard to milk the angst potential). And while the villains were generic over-powered baddies at the start, we really got to see their reasoning. Generic plot twists were solved in ways quieter and more believable than the drama-fests they usually inspire, too.

    Weirdest of all, I found the ending really solid. The new world was indeed slightly idealistic, but the decisions that caused the whole world-staking fight in the first place were controversial to the characters themselves, and it ended with the characters who had the power to decide calmly talking it out. (I liked E7’s, DtB’s and kind of even the first FMA anime’s ends too. Am I the only one who likes BONES endings?) In this way, I found it unique for a BONES series-the action wasn’t a focus, and some of the fight scenes were among the most boring they’ve ever animated.
    I agree that Leo and Winia were seriously uninteresting, though. And Chris’s role was pretty choppy. The whole amnesia thing certainly didn’t add anything , but I liked Pacifica to begin with and loved her to the end with much bias, and the themes of the series were possibly its most solidly impressive piece.

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Fred: I appreciate the attempts of the characters to talk things out too, but in this sereis there weren’t many conflicts that in the end didn’t conclude in some sort of battle or fight.

    SPOILER: the exception to this, the part between Pacifica and Mauser, just lacked impact for me becuase we hardly saw anything of Mauser. She just appeared and conveniently zapped everything back into place, but because she had so little airtime I didn’t really care about her.

  6. Avatar Solaris says:

    I recall this anime being very good. The setup and the ending was quite original and i really loved Pacifica.
    I don’t recall much better and conclusive endings than this one. As a matter of fact anime usually haven’t such clear endings. They’re much often left open to eventual new seasons.

  7. Avatar specracer says:

    This series is kind of a staple for me so was kind of surprised by your rating. While I’m not sayings this show is perfect but in my book it was a solid 85/100.

    I really loved how this show perfectly depicts “to the victor goes the spoils”. History is all to often written by the winner and this show carries that theme perfectly.

    SPOILER: I have a hard time liking a series that bring people back to life. It kind of defeats the whole impact of death. This show for me might of been an “A” if they didn’t bring Pacifica back to life.

  8. Avatar Tess says:

    Ahh Scrapped Princess is nostalgic… honestly, I don’t clearly remember the ending, but I enjoyed the whole series. My favorite character was Fulle. :

  9. Avatar Aria says:

    Still, decent plot or no, I think this series wins the award for best dragon laser sword sound effect.

    I certainly found this series lacking compared to what it could have been, and appreciate it more for the potential of its premise than the way it was actually handled.

  10. Avatar Magical Poof says:

    I recall not being particularly fond of the series as a whole, but being abnormally fond of Fulle. I remember mourning the fact that he had so few episodes as he was really a rather interesting and three-dimentional character. His uh… last episode was particularly heart-breaking and thought he was much better than the brother-whose-name-I-cannot-recall.

  11. Avatar Topspin says:

    I liked this one a lot more than I expected (every woman having at least a C-cup made me think it was going to be a fanservice extravaganza). Instead I got a well-conceived and carried narrative, with good characters, good villains, and all the elements necessary to bring them together.

    Maybe it’s not a timeless classic, and some people will find it rides the cliche train more than others do, but frankly it’s rare to find a story that’s this well completed in anime. It didn’t collapse under it’s own weight, it was consistently well-paced, and it didn’t sell itself short. Not many anime of this length can say the same.

  12. I remember thinking the series was *meh* years ago when I first watched it. . .

    I tried rewatching it again and really just got tired of the whole morality BS. . .ESPECIALLY when Pacifica and Co. indirectly killed more people trying to *save* them by going to into an obvious trap, than if they were to have done the SMART thing that the dragon character suggested and tried to force them to do.

    It was really just totally unrealistic, I mean pacifica should have just given herself over to be killed if saving lives was REALLY important to her, rather than half assingly shoveling the moral BS into everyone’s faces and failing at backing them up (and making everything worse) that just killed it on the second viewing of this anime, especially since the first time I watched this, I have seen WAAAAY better shows out there than this. . .its just …too mediocre now. . .borderline annoying as well.

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