So, last night I had the brilliant plan that my brother and I would marathon all of Dokkoida and then immediately jump into a marathon of Honey and Clover (of which we’d seen 13 eps) to completion. However, it was sort of late, I underestimated my tiredness, and I passed out 3 eps short of Dokkoida completion. Waking up this morning I knew my bro wouldn’t wake up for a while so I should start on something else in the meantime. I’d only seen 8 eps of Scrapped Princess and I could barely remember them, so I started the series again – I’m done, less than 12 hours later, hehehe.
It was pretty good. On the scale of 24-26 ep adventure shows that start out semi-episodic and gradually gain a suedo-philosophical plot, it was worlds better than Gun X Sword or Escaflowne, but not as good as Last Exile or Simoun. I actually think I’d put it somewhere on par with Read or Die and, while the plot is no where near similar, RahXephon (it’s the BONES factor, I just can’t help but compare them.) The only really big problem with Scrapped Princess is that it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.
Starting with the good (which is most of it) the show is a complicated explanation of a very simple issue – death. I feel that the ‘Scrapped Princess’ concept is an allegory for death, made obvious by the fact that it means the death of all people. At first, it seems like it’s a moral question – is it okay to kill one person to save the world? But it isn’t, and that’s what makes the show good. (Also what makes Gun X Sword bad. A show so crammed up it’s ass with blind morals that it can’t see that the bad guys should have won.) The true question of this show is ‘what is death?’ and obviously, it’s one of, if not the most important question ever. Supposedly, if the Scrapped Princess lives, everyone in the world will die, and if she dies, we are all safe. However, what does it mean for her to live? What does it mean for everyone in the world to die? We don’t know. The only thing we truly know is what we want to do – not for anyone else, or any (fucking) morals, but for ourselves. The real question isn’t ‘who deserves to live?’ it’s ‘what do you want to do?’ Because in this life, you have no fucking idea what is out there. You don’t know what happens when you die, and you don’t know what happens in the future, and you definitely don’t know what’s going on. I thought the borderline-Matrix plot was an excellent representation of mankind’s lack of knowledge – for all we know, we could be in an environment controlled by aliens who just want to preserve us because we are cute.
In the end, what counts is what you want to do. Do you want to die? Do you want to hold lives important? Or do you want to live? If you want everyone to stay alive, don’t say it’s for their sake, say that you want to continue to live in this world under these circumstances. Leave the bullshit morals at the roadside and be honest with yourself, and shape the world in the want you want it.
Moving past the underlying themes, I rather liked the ending, what with the world’s size finally being explained, and that fucking awesome slide-in. The character evolution went much, much better i ths show than it has in most of it’s kind. I don’t know why it’s hard for creators to retain the personalities of their characters while changing their world-views, but these guys did it (unlike some shows where everyone becomes the fucking same person.) I’d say Chris was my favorite, what with Shannon being a little too hot-headed for my taste, but everyone was quite endearing. Especially Leo. That guy wins hard. I love Pacifica for being witty and cute but fucking stupid as all hell right to the end, haha. However, while all the characters were good and all, none would be a favorite-list-breacher or anything.
In fact, that leads me to the problem of this show – none of it was something that will stick with me and be memorable. The art and animation, while nice, were nothing special, the battles were cool, but not amazing, the post-apocalyptic fantasy sci-fi setting was really cool and one of my favorite parts of the show, but it wasn’t explored nearly enough, the dramatic bits were at times as much as heart-wrenching (Pacifica semi-randomly witnessing the queens death brought tears to me eyes) but still neither traumatizing (it sort of pisses me off that Pacifica doesn’t even remember any of the really bad things that happened to her) enough nor heart-shaking enough (the only character who dies was pretty much just Shannon’s temporary stand-in anyway, though a badass at that.) If it hadn’t been that I’ve seen this all before it probably would have been totally awesome (further driving me to the conclusion that I’ve seen to much fucking anime) but as it stands, it’s ‘just another good show.’
The one thing that will probably stand out in my mind is one of the best portrayal of sibling relationships in anime period, and this is coming from an oldest of 3 boys who practically raised my younger siblings.