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REVIEW: Scrapped Princess BD+DVD


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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1900
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:53 am Reply with quote
Definitely finds some verve that puts it above average but I'd argue that it jumps off the rails a bit about 2/3 of the way in spoiler[when Pacifica loses her memory] and to some degree coasts to a finish.

Also, while Pacifica being deeply likable is a crucial element of the basic premise, it started to grate on me how everyone she meets (spoiler[including an assassin paid to kill her!]) ends up on her side despite the prevailing belief that she'll destroy the world. I was aching for a scene where a generally good person tries to kill her with painful reluctance just because he or she is so afraid of everything being destroyed. We get the opposite with the knight mentioned in the review who was flung into a personal crisis after obeying orders to drop baby Pacificia off a cliff.

spoiler[And maybe because I had recently watched Reign: The Conqueror but I found it far too obvious that Pacifica's "destruction" of the world was figurative.]

Regardless of all that it's one of the few series I'd be happy to re-watch and I'll be picking up this set sometime.

If we're talking about costuming we should probably laugh at the fantasy-setting obsession with pauldrons/shoulder pads that clearly hadn't died down from the '90s by the time this series was made.

I remember detecting a bit of a pseudo-incest vibe (Pacifica is possessive of Shannon's doting attentions) but it never went anywhere which suits me.

Quote:
...despite being borne a princess Pacifica is still a very down-to-earth girl.

Not really a spoiler; Pacifica never lived as a princess so when she tries to "pull rank" on her step-siblings it's like a little girl playing pretend rather than a privileged brat failing to realize she's come down in the world. You could say she's trying to find something good in being the "scrapped princess" by playing up the "princess" part.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:06 am Reply with quote
It's been a really long time since I've watched it, but I'm pretty sure I remember finding the ending to be disappointing (or maybe it was rushed not sure). But I do remember most of it was pretty good.
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pajmo9



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:43 am Reply with quote
I remember enjoying this show mostly for its action and music but like someone said above, it really went off the rails towards the end. Still a pretty fun watch though.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:43 am Reply with quote
I overall liked this series a lot, as a fun coincidence I was just talking about this series as I was talking aobut how this, kemono friends, gakkou gurashi, attack on titan and utawarerumono are very similar in some concepts.
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Key
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:04 pm Reply with quote
Fronzel wrote:
Definitely finds some verve that puts it above average but I'd argue that it jumps off the rails a bit about 2/3 of the way in spoiler[when Pacifica loses her memory] and to some degree coasts to a finish.

I've heard that criticism before but never agreed with it.

Quote:
Also, while Pacifica being deeply likable is a crucial element of the basic premise, it started to grate on me how everyone she meets (spoiler[including an assassin paid to kill her!]) ends up on her side despite the prevailing belief that she'll destroy the world. I was aching for a scene where a generally good person tries to kill her with painful reluctance just because he or she is so afraid of everything being destroyed.

First episode, kind of. And also the knight's flashback.

Quote:
Not really a spoiler; Pacifica never lived as a princess so when she tries to "pull rank" on her step-siblings it's like a little girl playing pretend rather than a privileged brat failing to realize she's come down in the world. You could say she's trying to find something good in being the "scrapped princess" by playing up the "princess" part.

Yeah, I didn't bring that up in the review but I always did especially like the way the writing handled that.
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Gwydion



Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 108
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:18 pm Reply with quote
Huh, had no idea this series was heading to Blu-ray - I am pleasantly surprised by this. This is one of those series I've always just genuinely loved, and probably the only case where spoiler[a character gets amnesia] that didn't actually bother me. I was happy to see Pacifica described as being likable, though, as I recall a number of people I talked to about the series back in the day found her annoying and too bratty (both of which I personally disagreed with).

Fronzel wrote:
I was aching for a scene where a generally good person tries to kill her with painful reluctance just because he or she is so afraid of everything being destroyed.


Wouldn't technically spoiler[the end with her brother actually going through with stabbing her] count? (Can still totally understand this criticism, though, for the record.)

Anyway, happy to see such a favorable review for an older favorite of mine. I'll have to look into picking this up on Blu-ray as it's one I do watch relatively regularly as I enjoy both the sub and dub quite a bit.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:24 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
Fronzel wrote:
Definitely finds some verve that puts it above average but I'd argue that it jumps off the rails a bit about 2/3 of the way in spoiler[when Pacifica loses her memory] and to some degree coasts to a finish.

I've heard that criticism before but never agreed with it.


Yes, I know as I'm that one who says that... constantly... but not just because how it happens but what it means to the entire series. It's very strange to list some battles being anticlimactic when spoiler[the amnesia subplot makes the whole series anticlimactic when an unknowing Pacifica gets thrown into prison in a cell adjacent to her unknowing mother.]

Even just thinking about it now makes every story telling bone in my body to cry out in rage. It could be argued thatspoiler[ the mother's sacrifice is more meaningful without her ever meeting the one she gave her freedom and life for, fine, but why have Pacifica forever in the dark about it? Why have the queen describe why she was there... the series would be so golden if Pacifica realized who she was as the queen was led out.] So frustrating!

Great start... I still love that first episode... but the later plotting undercuts its dramatic potential so gloriously illustrated in that first episode. If I gave ratings, it'd be something of a C+ with a "try harder".

Also, the closest thing I've heard of an explanation of spoiler[the mid series plot bomb/hole/explosion which caused the amnesia] was that all the characters spoiler[died regularly] so... yeah... I still don't get it.
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Key
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:33 pm Reply with quote
Animegomaniac wrote:
Also, the closest thing I've heard of an explanation of spoiler[the mid series plot bomb/hole/explosion which caused the amnesia] was that all the characters spoiler[died regularly] so... yeah... I still don't get it.

Let's see. . . spoiler[the Skid she was on got hit by the approximate equivalent of a tactical nuke and a tidal wave was involved. The probability of her getting seriously knocked around in the process seems quite high, so getting temporary amnesia from hitting her head doesn't seem at all a stretch to me.]

As for the other matter you mentioned, I offer you two words: dramatic irony.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:11 pm Reply with quote
I saw this 5 years ago, so I'm a little hazy on the details, but I can not recall the last part of the show being bad.
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Blanchimont



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:49 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
It's been a really long time since I've watched it, but I'm pretty sure I remember finding the ending to be disappointing (or maybe it was rushed not sure). But I do remember most of it was pretty good.

Might have something to do with the fact anime aired 2003 and light novels ended 2005(13 volumes + 5 sidevolumes).

The novels have never been translated to English so I have no idea if the ending was canon or anime original. Tokyopop did release the three manga volumes(good luck finding those now) but that gave less than the anime story-wise...
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:13 pm Reply with quote
Great to see this looked back on so fondly and also in the review, I loved almost all of this show. So glad it's gotten the blu-ray treatment to finally get a nice upgrade over those old DVDs.

Similar to what MarshalBanana said, having not revisited it yet either my vague memory was a rushed feeling when things picked up again at the end (rather than disappointment), but it's really been years now.

Animegomaniac wrote:
when spoiler[the amnesia subplot makes the whole series anticlimactic when an unknowing Pacifica gets thrown into prison in a cell adjacent to her unknowing mother.]

Even just thinking about it now makes every story telling bone in my body to cry out in rage. It could be argued thatspoiler[ the mother's sacrifice is more meaningful without her ever meeting the one she gave her freedom and life for, fine, but why have Pacifica forever in the dark about it? Why have the queen describe why she was there... the series would be so golden if Pacifica realized who she was as the queen was led out.] So frustrating!


Agreed, I absolutely loved this show but spoiler[while the amnesia idea itself was fine for once, I remember taking some issue with it lasting so long that it even goes through this entire part where she unknowingly indirectly meets her mother and not realizing it at any point in the story even after she's gone, even after the fact, since her amnesia lasts passed this part, and how it never gets brought up even after she has her memory back, which was kind of annoying, plus in my case I think it nags on me particularly because prior to this her close friends and siblings are fine with leaving her this way, which is one of the reasons she hasn't recovered by the time she unknowingly crosses paths with her mother.

I could be wrong but if I remember correctly I was disappointed that not even one of them voiced that they weren't helping her remember despite knowing for a fact that Pacifica would not be happy with their decision in the slightest since she wouldn't have wanted to forget them even if she could be "innocently happy" in exchange, which was exactly what they were doing even if under the pretense of "for her own good so she could live normally for a while". I don't recall any of them admitting that Pacifica herself would have hated that decision.

You're right, I think it's pretty powerful with her mother never knowing, but yeah Pacifica realizing it right after she's taken away would have been pure tragic emotion.]


I still really loved the show but this was the one section that frustrated me at times, though it didn't hamper my love for the show.

Also, like the review said, I guess it's a nitpick in the long run given a great show, but I wish Raquel had gotten more screen time and development, though maybe that's also since I loved her and Bridget Hoffman's performance as her. Smile

I really loved the main dub casting for this show.


Last edited by DangerMouse on Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:26 pm Reply with quote
I genuinely enjoyed this series, and as it happens I'm currently rewatching it with some friends. (And I'm not generally a huge stickler for video quality, but dear lord, those old Bandai disks are snowy as hell. Can't wait to see this one on BD.) The word that best comes to mind to describe it is "solid": it tells an entertaining story and executes it competently, it has a cast of likeable and well-rounded characters, there's more to its world than first meets the eye, and maybe most importantly, it knows exactly what it wants to do and doesn't overreach that. It's just a really fun show overall. A good solid dub too, with a lot of the old LA stalwarts we sadly don't hear nearly as much these days.

(Raquel is best sister!)
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Agent355



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:11 pm Reply with quote
I found the first 3 printed novels that Tokyopop put out in English in the Book-Off in NYC. I got them based on the show's reputation alone, and later binged the whole series. I really like it, but reading a bit of the books makes it very clear that the anime is the abridged version of the story, especially towards the end, which I felt was especially rushed. I maintain a sliver of hope that if the Chaika novels do well, someone will license rescue Scrapped Princess. I really want to read the last volume in particular, especially if there's a character focused epilogue.

Rant: What the heck happened to Ichiro Sakaki between series, anyway? I liked the Chaika anime, too, don't get me wrong--most of the characters and battle tactics were above and beyond other LN-based series. But in Scrapped Princess, Sakaki portrays beautiful, loving sibling relationships, both blood and adopted, with not a hint of impropriety. And in Chaika...Incest jokes, incest jokes, incest jokes, done with a poorly honed sense of humor. Are fetish trends that powerful? I was curious about the manga and LN until I heard the incest references are *worse* there. Why can't we get a decent fantasy adventure with evil exploding unicorns without incest?! (or, at least, less incest?) Is that too much to ask?
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:43 pm Reply with quote
LOL yeah.

Oh yeah, I liked the Chaika series a lot too. spoiler[They should have introduced the super weapon girl earlier so that she could be a character and her choosing Chaika more rewarding, but aside from the ending I really enjoyed my time with that show.]

Top Gun wrote:
I genuinely enjoyed this series, and as it happens I'm currently rewatching it with some friends. (And I'm not generally a huge stickler for video quality, but dear lord, those old Bandai disks are snowy as hell. Can't wait to see this one on BD.) The word that best comes to mind to describe it is "solid": it tells an entertaining story and executes it competently, it has a cast of likeable and well-rounded characters, there's more to its world than first meets the eye, and maybe most importantly, it knows exactly what it wants to do and doesn't overreach that. It's just a really fun show overall. A good solid dub too, with a lot of the old LA stalwarts we sadly don't hear nearly as much these days.

(Raquel is best sister!)


Yup!

Yeah, the blu-ray is totally worth it from skipping around on my copy (and the review).
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Joe Mello



Joined: 31 May 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:59 pm Reply with quote
I devoured this series the first time around and if I had to make a 10 Best list, I still would put it up there. I still feel like this would've done wonderfully on television but such is life. The first episode is still probably the best shade thrown on RPG tropes.
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