Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Following a coup d' etat in the kingdom of Forland, Princess Alita is assisted in her escape from Forland Castle and ventures off into the woods. There, she encounters a female bounty hunter by the name of Falis. During a moment of panic, Alita and Falis fall over a cliff and their souls switch into each other bodies. Alita who now frequents Falis body, begs for her assistance to overthrow the new ruler of her kingdom for any price that she desires. Armed with her sword and superb fighting skills, Falis now in Alita's body, takes her up on the offer, and together with her two allies Dominikov and Pete, they attempt to free the kingdom and figure out how to get their bodies back. During the battles, Falis is soon given the name Murder Princess due to her ferocity. -summary
Based on the manga written by Sekihiko Inui, who is also known for Comic Party. Murder Princess is a six episode, fantasy-action anime, with sci-fi elements thrown in that follows Falis in her attempt to reclaim the kingdom of Forland, and eventually defend it from its enemies. The anime really isn't much different from others of its type, and it really doesn't try to deviate from its main goal, which is delivering an over the top action romp. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is solely up to the viewer. Fortunately though, it does pretty well in the action department, and fans searching for that will more than likely be satisfied.
Murder Princess is produced by Bee Train, whose other works consist of Noir and Madlax, so despite being an OVA, I can imagine an anime fan familiar with the company coming into this expecting some nice visuals. And they won't be disappointed either, because the anime does look nice. The artwork can be very good with some nice character designs at times. Falis has a cool, yet sinister look when her white dress is drenched in blood during battle, along with her fiery red eyes and long blonde hair. One of the main antagonist, which happens to be a man wearing jet black armor has a nice appeal to him as well. Some of the monsters on the other hand are lacking some variety, and I do feel that the choice of two cute, chibi characters kind of hurts the look of the show, no matter how dangerous they can be. In any case, these gripes aren't very big since the anime never takes itself seriously.
There are also some stunning backgrounds, blanketed with beautiful shades of blue during the night time, and the use of lighting during these segments brings out the best in the scenes. Now for the action scenes, despite the occasional sword swipes and static backgrounds; the action has moments of coolness with decent choreography here and there along with some bloody moments, plus there are some good sword exchanges. Murder Princess also boasts a pretty good soundtrack, it's nothing I would consider to be ground breaking, but the guitar riffs along with the rock and heavy-metal like sound complements the style of the anime. Even though it kind of feels silly with the fantasy setting made up of knights, peasants, and maids.
Although it's very linear, and eveyrthing in regards to the plot can be seen light years away. The plot is fairly good with some nice pacing and there are traces of character development. Falis and Alita are likable characters who break their molds at some point and I feel their relationship was well developed. The rest of the cast are fairly decent and fill their roles for the most part. At first, the sci-fi elements which mainly involves androids, cyborgs, and advanced technology will feel pretty awkward in this setting. I recommend being patient to those who may feel this is just way too out of place, because this story element is all tied up by the end.
Besides predictability, there are several things that take place in the plot that really needed some explaining. At least one plot device concerning Falis really needed some background, because it feels way too tacked on, and this will prove to be an issue for those who prefer air tight stories. The mystery concerning this change in behaviour just doesn't work at all, especially since it plays too heavy of a role in certain scenes. In addition to this, the explanation involving the initial story is silly at best.
In closing, Murder Princess is a solid action romp that ties up quite a bit. Those who are heavily sold on the main characters will probably be hoping for a sequel. Personally, I had a bit of fun with the title, and it's nice to binge on those simple shonen anime once in awhile. Recommended only to those who are not looking for high art. The anime has 150 minute run time.
Another entry into Elvisdo's 2011 Funny Pages Write Off.
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Viewing Format: DVD