Saturday, October 2, 2010

Corpse Princess Shikabane Hime DVD Impression

Despite an odd title, Corpse Princess Shikabane Hime from FUNimation is one rock solid anime full of mature action that's on par with both Tokyo Majin and Persona: Trinity Soul in it's look, feel and overall storytelling. The title may sound like a B-movie being a princess of corpses and all but the title is anything but. Why is judging a book by its cover bad for this shikabane hunter, lets take a look.

Die with strong enough regrets and it's possible to be reborn as a shikabane, a spirit that's evil an twisted, needing to be wiped out before humans are hurt or worse. Enter Makina Hoshino, a living dead girl also referred to as a Shikabane Hime. Paired with a Buddhist priest, Keisei Tagami, Makina hunts down shikabane and eliminates them in order to gain access to heaven. By killing, or re-killing 108 shikabane then Makina, and those like her can enter heaven. There are more like Makina, shikabane themselves but ones who have kept part of their humanity in order to hunt. MAC-11 machine guns are Makina's weapon of choice as firepower to the brain is the one way to destroy other shikabane. Things get complicated for Makina as Keisei's younger brother (not by blood) Ouri Kagami soon encounters her in battle and is not scared. The two begin to grow closer as conspiracies grow, come to light around all the contracted monks, their shikabane hime and a deadly group called the Seven Stars. The origins and truth behind these corpse princesses will come to light and for those involved life, and death will never be the same.

Damn I want to tell you more. This series starts with a narrower look at Makina and Ouri but quickly expands to incorporate the larger Contracted Monk organization, multiple shikabane hime, a few freelance monks and of course the Seven Stars. The story also shifts to place Ouri front and center as star 1A to the 1B that is Makina. It does not get overly complicated but viewers will need to play attention. The story ramps up at a very nice pace introducing characters and concepts then unfolds into the larger paranormal world. Much like Tokyo Majin and Persona: Trinity Soul, Corpse Princess has a deep and dark past and various layers of gray on factions and their purpose. The characters are varied and interesting. The art style looks simple at first but delivers the action. The action gets pretty insane at times with great sequences of acrobatics and gun battles. The character designs are interesting as they are not as 'cool' as the series mentioned but still have an air of bad-ass about them that is enhanced due to the story and action.

Overall, while I found the title Corpse Princess a bit off this was an amazing and awesome viewing experience. The story made me want more, the outcomes and plot points are anything but predictable. The characters are awesome with good back-story and solid design while the action keeps going throughout the series. Rock solid but not lacking on the violence, so keep this in mind when purchasing. Highly recommended.

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