Corpse Princess Part 1
TV Series, DVD, 300 minutes, Director: Masahiko Murata, Distributor: FUNimation
Once upon time, there was a short-lived TV series on FOX called Brimstone, starring Peter Horton. Essentially founded upon a similar plot structure, its film-noir and detective genre trappings created a broodingly attractive piece of television. Corpse Princess, on the other hand, and despite that schoolgirl uniform, is not so attractive.
Simply put, we’ve got schoolgirls killing supernatural beasts. Now, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. In the anime world, who doesn’t like a cute schoolgirl? But seriously, the repetition of this tenuous plot structure is growing tiresome. There are so much better… more creative anime out there. But, I get it. Corpse Princess will undoubtedly feed the anime masses with their craving for hot girls and their kick-ass skills. Each episode is largely a vignette focused on the hunting and killing of a grotesque beast. We follow Makina on her path to killing number 108. And, of course, the secrecy surrounding this band of monks and their undead enemies will become complex and earth shattering.
That said, I will admit that this series attempts to create a serious foundation to an otherwise overused and abused story line. And no, I don’t mean Makina’s plan to exact vengeance on the undead that killed her family – very predictable – or these secret societies lurking in the shadows. But the developing relationship between the various female shikabane and the very human Ouri is at least not entirely cliché. A teenage boy sucked into their undead world, he is ripe for much innuendo and teenage sexual comedy. But his growing attachment to these girls is what makes this story a story. After you’re over the short skirts and guns, this is why you’ll probably come back.