Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Scrapped Princess

We finished up Scrapped Princess today. It's a 24 episode series that came out last year, and it's not been picked up for licensing (in the US) yet.

The story follows Pacifica Casull, a fifteen-year old girl. She is the "Scrapped Princess": the oracle of the main god, Mauser, predicted that she would turn into the poison that would destroy the world when she turns sixteen. Upon her birth, he father (the king) orders her assasination, but when she is thrown off a cliff, she is saved by Raquel and Shannon Casull. Their parents (a pair of armor smiths) raise Pacifica as their own daughter.
But as Pacifica gets older, they get found out -- and a lot of people would rather see Pacifica dead, because of the prophecy. Together with Raquell (a military-class magician) and Shannon (who wields a big-ass sword with much skill), Pacifica travels the roads of the kingdom, never staying too long anywhere, chased by her father's soldiers who want to kill her before she turns sixteen.

...At least, that's how it starts for the first few episodes. Fun enough (the world is a sort of 'middle ages light', which I find attractive), but a few episodes into the series, things start to get... weird. The non-spoiler version: There are some big-ass powers at work against eachother, and Pacifica is the key to it all.

Scrapped Princess reminded us strongly of The Matrix:
Apparently, the world-as-we-know-it is actually a closed-off 'wildlife preserve' for humans. Aliens have caged humanity in, and they have installed their own guardians, the Peacemakers, to watch over humanity. The Mauser religion is part of the control structure to keep humanity in check. This system has survived for 5000 years, but during the final war against the aliens, several 'biological weapons' (called Dragoons) seeded the genetic factors to counter the Peacemakers into the population, and after 5000 years, their plans bear fruit -- in the form of Pacifica Casull and her Guardians.
The Peacemakers can take over any human, but they can't detect and/or act against Pacifica herself directly. So they have to work by sending out their human agents (priests of the Mauser faith, soldiers of the kingdom) to kill Pacifica for them.

It all 'feels' a lot like the Matrix: a huge system to keep humanity in check, über-powerful beings that walk among humanity to 'police' the system and an Omen Child that can counter it all. There's even the Architect (Mauser herself)! And in Scrapped Princess, there is a strong theme of choice, destiny and free will -- but it doesn't get bogged down in pseudo-Buddhist crap like in the Matrix movies. In fact, it's pretty good.

Good points:
- Character designs are colorful (though most females seem to have busts that are immune to gravity...);
- Overall designs are cool (watch for the Second Class Divine Punishment Execution Forms -- they look like RahXephon's Dolems);
- The setting is an appealing 'middle ages light' (with a few twists...);
- The music is really catchy;
- Top-notch voice acting;
- Themes of destiny and free will are handled in a rather grown-up fashion;
- Supporting characters 'live on' even when Pacifica is away (that means: they do their stuff, even when Pacifica [and thus the main focus of the story] is not with them), which gives the world a more 'living' feel;
- I love the accent of the minstrel-assassin guy!
- Heart-pounding action scenes.
Bad points:
- Pacifica is sometimes too ditzy to believe;
- Info-dumps tend to be on the long side;
- We don't get to see what changes after the apocalyptic conclusion of the series.

All in all, it gets a 8.5 from me.

And this icon is a screencap of Pacifica. The lovely and talented luna_puella made it into an icon for me. Thanks!

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