#TBT Anime: Scrapped Princess Review

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By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

Swords and sorcery have been a part of myth and legend for as long as we can remember. From tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, to truths such as the 300 Spartans, the stories that spawn from these ancient times provide ways of viewing life and enrich our history and culture. Swords and sorcery definitely are not new territory for the realm of anime, and it is always nice to see a new take on such a topic. Enter this oldie but goodie, Scrapped Princess. Licensed by Bandai Entertainment and released in 2003, Scrapped Princess tells the story of a young girl and her journeys leading up to her 16th birthday.

In the kingdom of Leiwan, a prophecy was foretold by the Oracle of Grendal that the Scrapped Princess would bring destruction to the world upon her 16th birthday. The King and Queen, having given birth to Pacifica, the “proclaimed” Scrapped Princess, order her death. However, Pacifica is able to avoid her would-be fate (sounds a little like Snow White right?) and lives. She grows up with adopted parents and two siblings: her brother Shannon and sister Raquel. As the three grow up, and the prophecy becomes more real, and people arrive to kill Pacifica, but both Shannon and Raquel are more than skilled. Shannon was trained from a young age in the art of sword technique and Raquel was trained as a magician.

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Thus the three siblings travel after their parents’ deaths, trying not to stay in one place too long in order to protect Pacifica. But even more dangers lurk ahead as ancient weapons known as Peacemakers begin to intervene in order to make sure the Scrapped Princess does not reach the age of 16. Political agenda, betrayals, and coercion are just the beginning as Pacifica’s 16th birthday begins to loom.

One of the first things that strikes you when watching the series is the artwork. Beautiful colors are utilized and the cityscapes are brought to vibrant life. The character designs, while not completely “new,” grant distinctive life to the characters, with each having their own personalities and that are portrayed wonderfully by the voice actors. The action sequences are also rather fluid and not clunky or over-the-top, which could have been possible given many of the character designs, especially the more powerful ones such as the Peacemakers and the Dragoons. Some of the other scenes, while they look beautiful, are much more tame and appear to have been developed on the budget, but I’m nitpicking.

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As per usual, nothing is perfect and the plot and storyline do have some flaws. One major issue I had was the devaluation Pacifica has for her own life, or more the “woe is me” dialogue. I don’t know how many times she says it would be better if she was just dead or hadn’t been born. The first couple of times, you feel for the character, as she believes all of the world’s ills are her fault. But after the tenth time hearing it, you almost want to grab her by the shoulders, look longingly into her eyes, and tell her to shut up. There is also the fact that much of the character action is plot-based and may not feasibly fit into the reality of the world. Prime example: had the Peacemakers really wanted Pacifica dead, I’m sure they would have killed her as an infant and been done with it. But the plot was written in such a way that they continually cannot kill her right then and there. It gives us an actual story, but looking at it from a reality perspective, it wouldn’t have happened given the scenario.

Scrapped Princess is an overall fun anime with good amounts of comedy, chivalry, and some character growth. While some of the plot twists are those you don’t see coming, others you can see coming episodes in advance. In the end, I suppose one could argue that this balances itself out. But Scrapped Princess finds the right amount of action, drama, love, and relationships to make it stand out and have you rooting for certain characters and despising others. And, despite a few short comings, Scrapped Princess is an anime series well worth watching. So, if you’re a fan of swords and sorcery, science fiction, or just an overall entertaining story, Scrapped Princess may be for you.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


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