Those who haven't seen the entirety of Scrapped Princess yet, be forewarned, I will be dissecting the last two episodes something fierce. If you just want my views on the series, then I shall give them to you un-spoilerifically right now:
Okay. Now that that's done I can get to the meat and potatoes of this review. Scrapped Princess is the newest series by the very impressive Studio Bones (the peeps behind Wolf's Rain, RahXephon and the Cowboy Bebop Movie). The character designs are immediately likeable (especially the cute as a button title character herself, Princess Pacifica Casull), the story is interesting, and the world that it takes place in is reminiscent of the Final Fantasy series (games 1-6 only, not the cyberpunk worlds of 7, 8, and 10). It's a Middle Ages era with sci-fi elements peppered throughout. Airships and mechanical deities also abound like automobiles and hot chicks who wouldn't do me for cash of our world (i.e. they're everywhere). But within this world there is a prophesy: The baby girl (of a fraternal twin set) born to the King and Queen will destroy the world on her 16th birthday. Needless to say all the holy and powerful leaders of the land order her death, and so the infant Princess is scrapped (i.e. tossed into a deep ravine).
We start the story 15+ years after said Princess was thrown away like Joe Pesci's film career. Pacifica (the Princess in question) survived the drop and is alive and well thanks to her non-blood related brother (Shannon) and sister (Raquel) who are respectively an extremely strong sword master and uber powerful mage. The three Casull siblings are on the run from royal and religious assassins in order to keep the prophesied one alive. See, they don't believe the whole "doomed revelation" one bit (I mean, since when have even the weathermen gotten it right? Huh? Yeah.....sorry...). Pacifica may not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but she's about as destructive and dangerous as a kitten playing with yarn in a basket of flowers dreaming of milkshakes. Things start to get a bit complicated though as the Peacemakers (the powerful and magical religious nuts of the world who seem to take the prophesy way too seriously) start sending in the heavy hitters, and Zefiris (a floating little girl with a mysterious background and monotone sleepy-voice) makes an alliance with the Casulls. Then, about halfway through the show we get a plot twist that pretty much flips all your expectations around like a retarded kid trying to hit a pinata blindfolded in a spinning hall of mirrors... You get the point, big shit hits the fan.
I was fine with the show up to this point. In fact, I was really starting to get interested in how it was going to end. I even got excited when the plot took another turn and Pacifica lost her memories and her protectors in the capital of the kingdom that was trying to whack her (hey, I warned you I'd be spoileriffic in this review. Deal with it). Fulle (the new character who took the anmesiac Scrapped Princess in and became her new defender) was a nice addition to the already huge cast, and he was a perfect first love for our doomed royal. But then even badder shit started happening. Big bad shit. Pacifica is captured by the kingdom, meets her dying mother, is ordered to be executed, is rescued by traitorous royal assassins (traitorous to the crown, beneficial to Pacifica), reunited with her foster brother and sister, and is pretty much free with just days to go before her 16th birthday... Which leads us up to episode 23. If you thought I ruined the plot just now, I'm going to completely destroy any surprises in these last two episodes. You still have a chance to flee.
Ready? Here we go. At their camp a few miles outside of the capital, Pacifica and all her protectors are patiently waiting things out to see if she really will end the world at the stroke of midnight on her B-day (and they're hoping that the Peacemakers don't threaten to blow up another city in order to pull them out from their hiding spot). They're shitting bricks and all, but they have faith that she won't trigger the apocalypse. Episode 23 is mainly a character building episode, though the main plot point pops up when the Prince (Pacifica's biological twin brother) decides that he wants to see his scrapped sister with his own eyes in order to find out if she truly is a devil or a damsel in distress. Even though it might be a trap, Pacifica has faith in her blonde bro and goes to meet him. Everything goes fine at first, the Prince seems happy to finally meet his sis, but he also seems a bit overemotional. As he hugs her and apologizes, we see worried confusion wearing on Pacifica's face, until the Prince unsheathes his sword and stabs her right in the back in front of all her benefactors (who just stand there in shocked terror). Then he turns his sword on himself. Fade to black.
Okay, episode 23 was fucking incredible. I cannot lie. At the end I was left in awe that the writers would actually do that and go that far. I grew to really like Pacifica. She was keen. A bit bitchy at times, but her heart was pure. But then to have her pud-like brother do something so fucking wrong like that... What a pimp-slap to the face! At that point (one second after the episode was over) I couldn't wait to see how the last three episodes would play out. There was soooooo much plot left to tackle. So many loose ends that needed tying up.... But then I found out that Scrapped Princess was only a 24 episode series. I was a bit perplexed. There was no way in HELL that they could answer all the questions that had been asked up to that point. There were so many characters that needed closure. How were they going to handle that?! URRRGH!!!
Well, the main answer is, they didn't. They didn't handle it at all. Episode 24 felt so goddamn rushed and thrown together that I was appalled. Major plot points were totally forgotten in the effort to end the series in 22 minutes. Fulle? Pacifica's feelings for him are only barely mentioned in episode 23. They are never explored or fully answered. Christopher's ex-boss, who was actually responsible for setting in motion a good chunk of the entire plot? She's just shown in the final montage looking out from a tower window. The army commanders (both betrayers and loyal followers of the crown)? Once again relegated to quick montage shots. Cz (aka Cin), the Peacemaker that Shannon had befriended? Killed off rather quickly and not even mourned. The list goes on and on. Plus the conversation with Pacifica and the god Mauzer was rushed and not fleshed out in the least. The whole backstory of the entire show was summed up in an untidy 3 minutes. And don't even get me started on the epilogue... Like Shannon wouldn't have cut off the Prince's fucking head the minute he came back down to the surface. BULLSHIT! There's no way even Christopher would have let that prick live after the whole stabbing thing. Chirst! "But, but, the Prince stabbed his own sister to save his people!" you spit out like a mongo with half a lobotomy... Bullshit! All the way up to episode 23 the Prince seems to be genuinely concerned for his sister's well being. He goes out of his way in fact to confront his father about her safety. Then, because he sees a couple dozen injured peasants all huddled together in a church, within a matter of minutes he's willing to stab the fuck out of his own twin just because some old dick of a priest whispered in his ear, "The people are suffering, your majesty." Um, no duh. They're suffering because of the PRIEST'S supposed GOD and this god's ANGELS who just leveled half the goddamn capital! And yet, the poorly written, bubble-headed, blonde prince falls for it hook, line and crap-for-brains sinker.
I swear to God that the writers decided (way too late mind you) to cut things short, make Scrapped Princess a 24 episode series, and then concentrate on their big moneymaker, the Wolf's Rain OVAs. There's no other explanation. I guarantee you that SP was originally planned to be 26 episodes long up until episode 22 or 23 was well into production. There's no other excuse for such sloppy storytelling in the last chapter of such a sprawling saga. Jesus H. Christ!!! My head hurts just thinking about what we really missed out on. I picture the most perfect ending to Scrapped Princess in my head... And it is glorious! If only I could share my vision of it with the world. If I ever get the budget and staff I think that I will animate my ending in order to let the entire human race see just how great it could have. How it SHOULD have been... Oh screw it. Who am I kidding? If I ever get the budget to make an animated series I'd probably just make some kind of tentacle hentai show or something.
So, once again, I feel that Scrapped Princess was a fine series... Up until episode 24. Honestly, what the fuck-a-doodle were they thinking?!
Maaaaan, that was lame. Capital "L", capital "A", capital "Me". A chick who'll destroy the world at the age of 16 and she isn't a roboticized beast with liquid metal skin? Who'd buy that shit?!
This was all messed up. Yeah, that Raquel Welch chick was pretty hot, and that red-head with the big knockers was pretty sweet, but that's pretty much it. Everybody else in this show annoyed the turd out of me. Sure, lots of people died horrible deaths, and some even died like dogs in the mud... But what's the point when you're just going to make the ending that sappy-crappy and bring most of the crew back to life? What a waste.
Now, if I was in charge of this show I would have either killed that Princess girl by the royal guard in the first 3 episodes, or I would have blown up the world when the assassin fuckers failed to assassinate the cunt by her birthday. You know? You get me. A big fucking cataclysmic ending that would make the heavens shake and the seas burn and shit. Maybe blow up the whole soccerball-shaped universe while I was at it too. There's a nice thought.
Hoo-hah! Whoa, my brothers, that was some wild ride. See, I only watched this whole Princessy-trippin' show 'cause the Rossman told me that "scrapped" meant "stacked" in Japanese. So's I wuz expectin' something a little more "rated X" when it came to prolific nudity and acts of sexual misconduct. Gundamn, what a lyin' bizatch!
I don't think I even saw one nipple this entire show. Yeah, they was a bath scene or two, but mainly of that washboard-chested blondey herself. That ain't fly.
So afterwards, I sat back and watched a marathon of Shusaku, Vicious, and Urotsukidoji. Ahhhhhhhhh, that kinda mellowed me out a bit.