Version 5.3.2 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
karmaburn.com karmaburn.com
  • HOME

Dated 4 December 2008: Re-watching Scrapped Princess

Pacifica
Pacifica.

I've started re-watching Scrapped Princess again. Has it been five years already? I loved this show when it first aired, as did most other viewers at the time, but now it seems I hear negative opinions more often than positive views whenever I notice Scrapped Princess mentioned at all. Has it really aged that poorly?

Raquel
Raquel.

Re-watching the series with the benefit of hindsight, I'm still impressed by all the elements that made Scrapped Princess a great show to watch the first time around. First of all, its pacing and timing is impeccable, particularly in the comic scenes. The most important facet of comedy is timing; through the early episodes, Scrapped Princess is perfect. Second, the music is great. Watching Scrapped Princess, I appreciate that it has an actual musical score, as opposed to random bits of filler background music as you'll find all too often. Third, this series is heavy on cliffhangers. Cliffhangers probably won't impact your enjoyment of the show if you're marathoning the series in batches, but when I was watching it for the first time, they certainly kept the anticipation high from week to week.

Shannon
Shannon.

Seeing as how the series aired five years ago, I suppose there could be some readers who know very little about Scrapped Princess. Here are the basics:

  • A prophecy predicts Pacifica Casull will destroy the world when she turns 16. The series begins with the 15-year-old Pacifica running from the Mauser theocracy. Its faithful are trying to kill her to keep the prophecy from coming true.
  • The setting of Scrapped Princess follows sword and sorcery idioms, but is it magic...or just something indistinguishable from magic?
  • Most of the names are borrowed from real-world firearm manufacturers. E.g., Casull, Mauser, Steyr, CZ, Armalite, Winchester (Winia Chester), et cetera.
  • Pacifica likes eggs. And how.
  • All the female characters have zero-gravity breasts vacuum-sealed into revealing outfits. Okay, not Raquel—at least not often.
  • Pacifica takes a lot of baths. And how.

Leo
Leo.

But is Scrapped Princess any good? Hell yes. Nobody should have any complaints about the first half of the series. There is a plot device in the second half of the series that a lot of people don't like, but I'll address it once I get that far again.

Dated 8 December 2008: The Great Scrapped Princess Re-Watching Project, Part II

Pacifica
Improper comportment for a princess.

Starting with the episode where the Casulls meet EIROTE! and Senes, there is a lot of exposition as the series transitions from "Pacifica on the run" to the "we told you that story to tell you this one" portion of Scrapped Princess. I advise new viewers to listen carefully because the show rips through a lot of backstory in a relatively short time, but basically explains everything that's going on. There's a running gag within the show about how difficult it is to digest all this sometimes-boring information so quickly, so it's not too bad overall. It's not like shounen jive with people boasting about power levels or crap like that ad infinitum, at least.

Raquel, Pacifica, Shannon, and Leo
There's a good reason for these blank stares.

The big event that turns a lot of viewers off is an amnesia angle that appears in disc four of the DVD set. I usually don't care for amnesia stories but this is honestly resolved pretty quickly. Plus it sets up a great sight gag I've completely missed during my previous watchings. It's quick, but so obvious I don't know how I failed to notice it before. (It occurs at the ramen stand.)

Shannon and CZ
Shannon and CZ share an umbrella.

This is probably my fourth time watching Scrapped Princess, yet somehow I also never noticed before that Shannon and Zefiris combining contains obvious sexual overtones in the second half of the series. It's definitely intentional, although less overt than the VanDread metaphors. My guess is it's intended to highlight Zefiris' jealousy when Shannon and CZ's relationship grows less hostile.

Zefiris, Shannon, Pacifica, and Raquel
Zefiris might be shorter than Shana and Taiga.

I still maintain Scrapped Princess is an excellent series. Really, I waited too long to buy these DVDs. I'm not sure if the cliffhangers help or hurt the show for viewers marathoning the series for the first time. (If I remember right, only two episodes don't end in cliffhangers.) However, I marathoned Monster the first time I watched it, and that series also has a lot of cliffhangers. With Monster I just kept churning through more episodes. The first time I watched Scrapped Princess, I had to impatiently wait a week—every week. New viewers today probably won't enjoy/endure the same wait. With the aforementioned caveats in place, I'm still going to put Scrapped Princess on my short list of recommendations.

Dated 10 December 2008: Viewer mail in re Scrapped Princess

I noticed you didn't mention the AYAKO DOCTRINE for Scrapped Princess, I must say even though Winia was a secondary character, it deserves mention.
-Epi

Ah, quite right.

Dated 18 May 2014: Hitsugi no Chaika is much better than I had hoped even though it turns out Chaika talks like Wilhelmina Carmel's head thingy

Chaika
See also Sena's head thingy from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai.

Ground-floor book readers aside, I don't think many people knew what to expect of Hitsugi no Chaika. I was vaguely interested because I heard it was about a retired soldier who develops an unlikely partnership with a young girl. I did have my reservations when I learned the "retired" soldier was only 20, but a young veteran still sounded like a more compelling protagonist than yet another middle school schmuck or stupid high school spud.

(more…)