When I first came across the Princess Resurrection manga, I bought it out of boredom. The summary on the back didn’t impress me, but I was out of things to read at the time. I find myself now on volume six of this series, and when I first was aware of the anime, I really wanted to see it. After watching all 26 episodes, I was split down the middle, but found that it’s kind of an enjoyable filler show if you are familiar with the manga.
STORY: As said, most of the anime is filler, but the general basis of the plot is implemented. From there it becomes more of a wacky, whimsical cache of misadventures with Hime, Hiro and friends involving supernatural monsters like vampires, mummies, werewolves and witches. It’s fun to watch in passing, and this keeps it enjoyable as they battle whatever monster has shown up to challenge them. An interesting thing to do is watch for Hime to fight using weirder weapons than before. SCORE 6.5/10
ART & ANIMATION: The characters are beautifully designed, and the four females Hime, Liza (or Riza), Reiri, and Sawawa are just cute/hot. However, once action picks up, the animation kind of dips a bit. MADHOUSE usually does great animation, but it seems they kind of took a day off and called in the C squad to work on this title when you see some of the fight scenes. Since the show is rated PG, a lot of the violence has been toned down considerably. A mild issue I had at first was Hiro has to drink Hime’s blood to stay semi-immortal, but for the show, it’s the Flame of Life. It kind of waters down the bond Hime and Hiro share a little, I think.
The reason the art gets an 8 despite the less than stellar animation is the atmosphere. Hime’s mansion sitting atop the hill overlooking the quiet and unsuspecting residents of Sasanaki town with it’s ominous swirl of clouds above it just seems like such a classic seasoning of old-school horror movie appeal that quite honestly look great. Especially in the Princess Sacrifice episode. SCORE 6/10
SOUND: I fell in love with this soundtrack immediately. The opening theme Blood Queen preformed by Misato Aki is very catchy, the ending theme, ALI PROJECT’s Hizamatzuite Ashi Wo Onami, is really twisted and addictive and a lot of the BGM in the show has a dark, haunting melody that gives you an aura of walking through a spooky castle all by yourself.
I haven’t listened to the English audio yet, so I’m only judging the Japanese dub. All the voices are terrific and fit each personality to perfection, from Liza’s voice filled with a bold sense of strength and werewolf pride, to Reiri’s light, almost seductive vocals, to even the androids, Flandre and Fransisca’s monotone “Huga”, and Hime’s sense of coolness and calculation when she speaks, there is no flaw in any of the voices in this show. Maybe the crazy vampire doctor, Housei Sanagida, but even thats so over the top annoying that it works. SCORE 8/10
CHARACTER: If anyone wanted a reason for me to recommend this show is for the title character herself, Hime. Normally, I’m not too big on main characters, I mostly see them as tools to market the show they’re a part of (Pikachu, Naruto, Doreamon etc.), but Hime is just so calm and calculating that you might pass her off a cold, heartless princess who can toy around with anyone she feels she can take advantage of. But this demeanor she puts on just shows how well she can face adversity in even the most grim of situations without panic or worry, never allowing the enemy to pinpoint her weaknesses. This execution is really a big redeeming quality of this show and I fell in love with her instantly. She’s honest, blunt, cold, and full of mercy all at the same time. Yes I’ve seen it done in other titles, but it just works so well in this show, and in a current state of anime where I don’t think there are many strong female leads, Hime stands out to me, and thats why she’s one of my favorite characters. Also, I’m not too big on the gothic look, but her attire, her blond hair, the crown, her laugh, and her eyes just make her, oddly enough, a combo platter of fan-service that I never expected I would be attracted to. She’s dead sexy, no pun intended.
I probably should mention the others, but there isn’t really too much difference from their manga counterparts. They just arrive and their personalities bounce off one another. There’s no real main antagonist in the show outside of Zeppelli, who I sort of enjoy more in this version. I really like the Sherwood character and was happy to see her get more time to shine in the show than in the manga, so that’s an extra plus. I actually got a kick out of Hiro’s ditzy big sister Sawawa, who’s barely in the manga, but is here to add a bit of cuteness with her love of parfaits. It’s kind of weird, the relation I have with this show. SCORE 7/10
ENJOYMENT: The appeal of Princess Resurrection is a lot of its nods to classic monster movie creatures, like vampires, werewolves, and the Creature From The Black Lagoon. Most of this show just feels like a trailer to buy the manga, but I think you can find enjoyment in it as a collection of random adventures. It gets a little episodic in the second collection of DVDs, but it’s still fun to watch, but it just sort of stops. The comedy isn’t laugh out loud funny, but it’s pretty amusing in it’s own right. Most of the gore is toned down, yet there is more light-hearted fan service ( I won’t complain, I think these girls are beautiful). The Royal Blood/ Flame of Life change might not sit well with manga fans, but I got over it. SCORE 7.5/10
OVERALL: I think if this title stayed true to the manga, it could’ve potentially been much better, but its carefree filler nature gives it such high rewatch value. It’s got a great vibe and feel to the pacing, since it doesn’t have to rush to a conclusion with the manga counterpart. An anime doesn’t have to be a generational masterpiece to be incredibly enjoyable and memorable, and Princess Resurrection, even with its flaws, is one of the most charming charming shows with some great nods to classic horror movie monsters. FINAL SCORE: 7/10