Corpse Princess (屍姫, Shikabane Hime?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshiichi Akahito. Premiering in Monthly Shōnen Gangan on April 12, 2005, the series centers around the "Corpse Princess" Makina Hoshimura, an undead … see full wiki
People are falling victim to creatures called Shikabane, which happen to be reanimated corpses with superhuman and even supernatural abilities. There exist an organization made up of monks who deal with them by using reanimated girls called Shikabane Hime aka Corpse Princess. The girls also possess superhuman abilities. One of their number named Makina, goes into battle against them equipped with two uzi's, along with her guardian a Contracted Monk by the name of Keisei. Together they battle the monsters across the city. But there's a greater threat approaching bearing sinister motives.
The battle with one of the members of the Seven Stars ends tragically, and Makina and Ouri find themselves having to deal with the loss of a close friend. Makina is put under observation by her handlers the Kougan Sect, while Ouri is forced to train into becoming a monk. While this is going on, the Seven Stars begin to reveal their plan to annihilate their enemies. -summary
Corpse Princess Part Two contains the last 13 episodes, and in addition to still focusing on action, the anime makes an attempt in telling more of a story. It follows the usual format by revealing more character background and introducing major plot twist. Even though it kind of felt like a "seen that before", the surprises and revelations really did come out of left field, and these elements set the anime on pace towards being better than what it should have been. Unfortunately, these ideas were wasted and Corpse Princess comes off as just another average anime title that really doesn't rank as a must see.
The action scenes are still entertaining though, and for action fans that's indeed a plus. There are plenty of shoot outs and good hand to hand exchanges that actually have a point, and aren't really tacked on when the motives are made clear. Visually, it's as good as the last chapter with some good action choreography on certain occasions. It's still cool to watch Makina in mid-flight action dodging scores of projectiles to move in closer on her enemies. The animation moves at a nice pace and there aren't many short cuts taken. The character designs are well done showing off some of the more endowed females. Although the production values are strong, it does a small dip later on but this can hardly be noticed and it doesn't hurt the show from where I see it. The only area on the style department I would say is still lacking would be in the overall music score. The opening and ending theme(especially) are pretty catchy, however, there's absolutely nothing in the BGM that stood out to me. It didn't exactly give off a bland feel for the action or drama-filled segments, but it didn't enhance them enough either.
The plot follows Makina along with the contracted monks and other Shikibane Hime confronting the Seven Stars, and trying to put an end to that small faction of very powerful Shikibane. Although many of the Seven Stars come off as stock bad guys initially, they are developed enough to understand their personal drives, and it's this diversity between some of them that makes the anime a little better than what it should have been. They actually felt more interesting than the heroes for me, especially since they were so serious and meant business. The characters receive quite a bit more attention in this second half, and the series manages to utilize its themes pretty well, which are love, obsession, and revenge, by showing the destructive path these emotions can lead to.
There are various plot twist that take place which builds up the story, along with certain questions pondered on the way, and these elements add a great deal to the suspense. But the series has issues in the writing with some of these questions either not being answered, or not answered to the point where one can be satisfied. I can imagine the action crowd not even caring much about that portion or just completely missing it. The same can't be said about those who prefer their stories to be wire tight. And if this isn't slightly damaging enough, the ending really brings things down and leaves major questions in the air. The series ends with a heavily unfinished feel, some folks may try to find some high artistic value in all this, but in the end it just comes off as lazy and nothing more. Corpse Princess is an action title completely at its core, and this is something that should have never been forgotten.
Corpse Princess is a decent title and nothing more. It's not something I would recommend as essential viewing at all. There are slight issues with tonal consistency for those who are bothered by it, fortunately, it appeared that the writers realized this would lead to disaster so it's calmed down rather quickly. Overall, it meshes action, drama, and comedy rather well with a heavy emphasis on the first two. It's not something I regret seeing, however, I know it's something I will never come back to.
This second volume has a 325 minute run time.
Pros: -Action, Plot twist, Production values
Cons: -Bad ending, Most answers to questions aren't fulfilling
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