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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Murder Princess: The Complete Series
Murder Princess: The Complete Series
FUNimation // Unrated // May 12, 2009
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted May 20, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Series:
 
FUNimation continues to dominate the US anime market releasing a good number of shows, often in nice season sets.  One of the latest such releases is Murder Princess, a short but sweet OVA series that deserved a longer run.  As it is this six-episode program fits on one disc and makes for a nice evening's entertainment.
 
As the show opens, the Kingdom of Forland is in the midst of a rebellion, one that is succeeding.  The royal scientist, Dr. Akamashi, has created an army of synthetic creatures as well as two robots using "forgotten technology."  These monsters and the gun wielding androids are no match for the castle guards armed only with swords.  Taking a last stand in the throne room the king sends his only daughter Alita, out of the castle through a secret passage just before he dies.
 
Hiding in the forest with only a few guards to protect her, Princess Alita's group is attacked by wild creatures, monsters that tear her escorts to shreds.  Alita runs into the forest and discovers a bounty hunter, Falis.  This tough-as-nails fighter could easily dispatch the monsters pursuing the princess except Alita runs into Falis and the two tumble off a cliff, clinging to each other.  
 
Facing certain death, the women's souls leave their bodies.  They don't die however, as one of Falis' comrades, the giant Pete Armstrong, catches them at the last moment.  Their souls return to their bodies with one catch... they return to the wrong bodies.  Now the princess' soul and consciousness is in Falis' body and vice versa.
 
Alita, seeing what a great fighter Falis is even in a princess' body, begs the bounty hunter to retake the Kingdom.  She promises the fighter anything in return and as collateral vows to be her unquestioning servant.  Falis eventually agrees and the rag-tag group sets out to retake a kingdom.
 
This was a short and sweet show that was fun to watch despite the flaws.  Some of the plot points were lame and made it hard to get into the series.  The whole hand-waving 'soul changing' bit was pretty weak (surely they could have come up with a better way for people to have changed bodies) and the way Falis kills a monster with one stroke when a whole army couldn't take it down made me roll my eyes.  The main problem though was that due to the length, the show lacked depth. The characters weren't developed nearly as much as they could have been in a longer show.  How did Falis learn to fight?  Where did she meet her odd companions? And why do they call her "Murder Princess" when she's never murdered anyone?  None of those things are examined. 

Luckily the main characters are easy to like, though the princess takes the back seat to Falis and her action scenes.  The fights don't go on too long and are fairly entertaining and it's nice to watch the relationship between Falis and Alita evolve. 
 
The DVD:

 

Audio:
 
Like most anime this disc comes with a 5.1 audio track for the English dub and the original Japanese audio in stereo.  Both tracks sounded fine, I alternated with each episode, though the English dub had a bit more force and pizzazz.  Neither track had any defects of note, and the dialog and sound effects were clear and clean in both languages.  Overall a nice sounded disc, though I was more anime was available with 5.1 audio tracks.
 
Video:
 
This show is presented with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, anamorphically enhanced, and it looks very nice.  The colors were solid, with only minor banding, and the lines were nice and tight.  On the digital side of things there was a little bit of aliasing but only in the background.  Overall this is a nice looking show.
 
 
Extras:
 
There aren't many extras offered, but since the series that was so short I wasn't expecting many.   In addition to the standard clean opening and closing, there is also a commentary track for the final episode with ADR Caitlin Glass and the main actresses Colleen Clinkenbeard and Monica Rial.  They do mention some aural changes that were made between the Japanese and English versions of the show, but then most of the time is spent talking about how much they like the show and the characters.
 
Final Thoughts:
 
This show moves pretty rapidly with some major plot points in every episode, which is nice, but it ends all too soon, which isn't.  It's a bit disappointing that this is all there is.  If it had run longer and had a little more time to develop the plot and characters instead of dashing from plot point to plot point it would have been a lot better.  As it is, it's a fun show that's worth checking out.  Recommended. 
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