Corpse Princess

Corpse Princess is another anime that missed its potential. It isn’t a bad anime, but it isn’t an excellent anime either.

The world doesn’t know it is protected by a group of monks called the Kougun Sect. What is more, the world doesn’t know about shikabane or the Sect’s shikabane hime. The Kougun Sect prefers it that way. Shikabane hime (literally Corpse Princess) are weapons used to kill other undead. Bound to a contracted monk, after 108 kills they may enter heaven.

Corpse Princess follows Makina Hoshimura, a shikabane hime, and her contracted monk Keisei Tagami as they protected the world from the undead. That is, before Keisei’s adopted brother, Ouri, and Makina’s past intertwine.

Corpse Princess has many problems. The dub is painfully flat. Many of the voice actors emotions (or lack thereof) didn’t match what was going on in the scenes. The feeble (and creepy) attempts at humor disrupts the dark weave. Most of the humor is Keisei as the stereotypical perverted monk, forcing pornography and fetishes on Ouri. There is even a “funny” scene where Keisei tries to lick a female colleagues’ foot. Yeah. NOT FUNNY.

Corpse Princess’ animation swings between poor to decent. It doesn’t quite get good, but it also doesn’t get terrible either. Much like the entire anime. A lot of time between action scenes is spent on expository dialog on shikabane and shikabane hime. Repetition and the ever present poorly timed flashback also makes the story feel slow.

Corpse Princess has an interesting supporting cast and some good ideas. The action scenes and monster designs can be pretty good too. There is just a lot of lost potential.

The story mainly focuses on Makina seeking to avenge the murder of her family and herself. *Yawn*. The story does touch on some details of the Kougon Sect’s relationships with their weapons, which they considered defiled and not human. Namely it is forbidden for a contracted monk to fall in love with his shikabane hime (which are always girls between 15 – 19 or so). If this idea was developed further I think Corpse Princess could have been great. Perhaps Makina and Keisei (or Ouri) could’ve fallen into this taboo. Then the Kougon Sect would seek to hunt them while Keisei and Makina’s past also joined the tangle.

Instead you get a pretty straight forward revenge story with a few secrets thrown in. While my idea is also often done, there would have been more room for characterization and moral themes.

At any rate, Corpse Princess is merely okay if you can get around the poor dub (or watch the subs).  The anime isn’t a horror story by any means. I didn’t feel horrified or afraid for the characters at any time. Makina is difficult to feel much for. Ouri is freaking annoying, and Keisei’s pervert swings were out of character. The action is pretty good in some episodes. Simply meh in others. Thankfully the fan service is kept to a tolerable level.

Corpse Princess is generally uneven and lacks focus.  It is something to watch between episodes of other series. It is unfortunate it missed its potential.

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