What must it be like to grow up as the focus of a prophecy, especially when that prophecy boils down to, “This person will end the world”?
What is it?
Scrapped Princess is a 24-episode series that aired in 2003. It’s based on a light novel series.
What kind of story is it?
The title refers to a fifteen-year-old girl who is typical in many ways, but absolutely unique in one particular aspect: Everyone believes that she’s the “poison who will destroy the world” when she reaches her sixteenth birthday. Her adoptive siblings, among a few others, decide to keep her alive regardless.
Figuring out what’s going on, what the prophecy means, and who’s on whose side, is the meat of the story.
Why do you like it?
This is a quality story, and somewhat unlike most other things I’ve seen. It’s not “groundbreaking” or anything like that. Rather, it takes pieces and tropes that we’ve seen before and assembles them in just a slightly different way. The end result is something remarkable. Scrapped Princess ends up just a bit greater than the sum of its well-crafted parts. One fun aspect of the story is that very early on you start to realize that what you think you’re watching isn’t… exactly… what you’re actually watching.
Also, it’s a good mix of comedy, action, creative world-building, philosophy, and personal drama.
This may seem weird but this is one rare case where having everything happen to the title character instead of having that character directly drive the plot kind of makes sense. She’s a normal girl in most ways; it’s her one special (and unwanted) aspect that draws all the powerful factions into conflict.
What might one not like about it?
Pacifica is a fifteen-year-old girl, and is among the most well-rounded & realistic & basically-normal examples of such a creature ever animated in Japan. And if you’re wondering why I made that statement under this section heading… well. Re-read the statement and enlightenment should dawn.
The big world-building reveals may or may not work for you. I found the whole thing an interestingly constructed concept. I can see how it might seem too outlandish, though.
Musical tastes vary, of course. I, for one, utterly despise the opening theme song and… don’t really like the end credits song that much either. Oh well.
Other thoughts about it?
I’m amused by the not-quite-allegory of some of the naming. Much like Gundam Wing derived its character names from numbers for no apparent reason, Scrapped Princess assigns most key characters names derived from… weapon manufacturers. There may indeed be a point but it’s too opaque for my feeble brain. Thanks to this show I now know the existence of the Česká Zbrojovka firearm manufacturer. Not terribly useful information, perhaps, but there you go.
Where can I watch it?
Since it hasn’t been shunted over to Crunchyroll yet (in the Funi/CR deal) you can still catch it over at Funimation’s streaming site as of this writing.