Fansub Review: Murder Princess 1-4
When I first read the synopsis for Murder Princess, I was intrigued. When I saw the art, I was excited. When I saw the first episode, I was disappointed. There is nothing inherently wrong with the show, a six-part OAV (Original Animated Video). In fact, it’s actually somewhat entertaining with an enjoyable premise and excellent pacing...
Oftentimes, one becomes biased towards a show, movie or series prior to actually watching. Media hype and small teasers are all created with the expressed intent of making you want to watch a show so badly that it occupies your every waking thought. However, this can also create an over-aggrandized preconceived notion of how the show will turn out. Sometimes, it doesn’t even take a marketing campaign.
When I first read the synopsis for Murder Princess, I was intrigued. When I saw the art, I was excited. When I saw the first episode, I was disappointed. There is nothing inherently wrong with the show, a six-part OAV (Original Animated Video). In fact, it’s actually somewhat entertaining with an enjoyable premise and excellent pacing.
The staging for the show, is a country in turmoil. An evil scientist with his synthetic minions raises the flag of rebellion and kills the king. Unbeknownst to the scientist, the princess has already escaped. However, while escaping, she, quite literally, runs into a mercenary woman and through a strange twist of fate, swaps bodies with this mercenary. In exchange for saving her kingdom, the princess ransoms her own body and all the privileges being a princess entails. Sound convoluted? Oh it gets better, but I’d rather not spoil anything.
The potentially deep plot is consistently broken up by cheap attempts at humor and the animation, while brutal and pleasing to the eye, seems fairly lazy. Characters show little-to-no emotion and it’s left entirely up to the voice actors to convey feeling at any point, which the do manage to pull off quite well. The fight scenes, which really make the series, tend to be fairly short and at times repetitive. Also, aside from splatter marks on clothing, no real damage is shown on any character, aside from being cut in half or losing limbs, no matter how much they’re beaten.
In all, a potential big hit turns into a fairly small miss. While not failing miserably, Murder Princess fell way short of expectations. Add to this the genius idea of some Crystal Nova fansubber to put on a recurring watermark admonishing users of the VLC media player and claiming that using a CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack) friendly viewer—such as Windows Media Classic—would make the watermark disappear—which it didn’t—and the series becomes almost too much of a hassle to finish.
Despite my railings against it, however, the show does warrant a try. An involved plot and interesting character design make the show, though not amazing, at least intriguing. The voice acting for the two main heroines is spot on and the soft-spoken mad scientist is good for a couple of laughs. In the end, however, don’t get your hopes up.
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