Murder Princess Review: Switching Bodies and Saving the Kingdom

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It feels quite nice to be making another post so quickly after my previous one, and this really shows me that I’m finally, truly, on winter break.  Funny how I’d viewed winter break as this long and glorious period of relaxation to reward me at the end of my suffering through this semester.  Well, half of that is true.  Upon starting winter break, I’m already feeling a bit worried about it ending too quickly and being stuck back in school before I know it, but regardless, I’m preparing myself to spend every minute I can enjoying the free time and catching up not only on my anime and manga, but also my blogging.  In any case, this time around I’m writing about Murder Princess, an OVA series I ended up watching to prepare myself for Pacific Media Expo back in November (so you can tell that I finished this one quite a while ago).  Truth be told, the reason I watched this was because Back-On performed the opening song, Hikari Sasuhou, (which I ended up really loving), and this was the shortest anime with one of their songs so I chose to watch it first.  Putting aside my attachment to Hikari Sasuhou and my sadness that Back-On didn’t perform it at PMX (awesome as the concert was either way), Murder Princess was a pretty enjoyable watch and different from most of the anime I get around to, though being an OVA definitely restricted it as far as development.

Murder Princess starts with a coup d’etat taking place in the kingdom of Forland.  Dr. Akamashi, a scientist who worked with the government, is responsible for said coup and brings a pair of androids with him to carry out his plans, killing the king in the process.  However, the king has his daughter, Princess Alita, escape beforehand.  As Alita is escaping, however, she comes across Falis, a powerful bounty hunter.  In the midst of the chaos, Falis and Alita find that they have somehow swapped bodies.  Alita then begs Falis to help save the kingdom, offering herself as collateral.  While Falis is initially reluctant, she and her allies eventually accept, having Falis play the role of princess in Alita’s place and fighting to protect the kingdom.

The story is pretty straightforward for the most part, and with only 6 episodes of content there isn’t a lot of room for plot development.  While there are a few plot twists and surprises in store, Murder Princess is far from a complex watch and it pretty much comes down to Falis and friends fighting against the evil forces plotting to destroy the kingdom.  It is interesting to see how the whole body swap thing is handled early on though.  Seeing Falis, a rough and powerful bounty hunter, adjust to living as a proper, sophisticated princess was pretty amusing and the thought of having your entire life change due to taking on someone else’s identity is some good food for thought.  However, the anime doesn’t focus extensively on this aspect as much of the plot focuses around the action and stopping the villains and the characters seem to accept their new positions pretty easily, certainly more easily than I would have in such a situation.

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With the time restrictions on the OVA, there isn’t much time for character development either, though the main cast is pretty likable.  Falis is a strong protagonist, and despite seeming a bit cold and having a title as intimidating as the “Murder Princess,” she proves to be kind and caring in reality.  Alita is by no means strong in the same way that Falis is and can only really work as the supporter who helps Falis get used to her new lifestyle, but she is also very determined and cares deeply about her allies and the kingdom as a whole.  Falis’s buddies, Dominikov and Pete Armstrong, are reliable allies that serve as the brains and the brawns for the group, respectively.  I can’t elaborate a whole lot on the antagonists due to spoilers, though I will say for the most part they’re pretty standard villain fare and there isn’t a whole lot of depth to them.  There are a few exceptions to that, but explaining anything beyond that to those who haven’t watched would probably make Murder Princess less enjoyable.

As Murder Princess is a pretty short OVA, there isn’t a whole lot more I can say about it without going into spoiler territory. I wish I could elaborate a bit more on it, but it goes by pretty fast and there isn’t a whole lot in terms of themes I could discuss much about.  Or perhaps it’s just that because I watched it a while ago, I can’t remember something like that properly?  In any case, Murder Princess is a fun watch, and while it is pretty simple and there isn’t extensive development, it still serves as an enjoyable anime with an interesting premise and some enjoyable fights.  And a pretty awesome opening song.  Speaking of which, apparently there are a number of versions of this song, and I haven’t actually found a full version of the song exactly like the one used in the anime’s OP.  Perhaps someone could point me to it if it’s out there?  Anywho, Murder Princess ended up as a 7/10 for me.  If you want a short anime with some quick fun and something not quite like a lot of anime out there, this one is worth a go.  I am a bit curious about the manga and how it differs from its adaptation, though at 2 volumes it looks like that isn’t particularly long either and I doubt the manga story continues beyond where the anime ended.  One of many things I want to read but, sadly, probably won’t get to for a very long time.

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    • Kai
    • December 31st, 2013

    I remembered also being disappointed that this anime was so short, and as I was marathoning it, everything ended just that quickly. It’s one of those shows I wished it was a TV series instead, so there’s more development for the plot and the characters and last but not least, more awesome actions.

    • It definitely went really quickly and it’s too bad it didn’t have more time for development. It would’ve been nice if it were a TV series instead, though it might be that the source material was so short to begin with that it couldn’t have gone anywhere, sadly. I should try and find more series like this, it’d be interesting to find an anime with a similar style but more development.

  1. The highlights were seeing a princess wielding a katana, parts of the main plot (due to it being simple) and the bond/unmistakable romance between the Alita and Falis.
    Too bad the conclusion of the manga didn’t get animated. Oh well, I can always read the manga to find out what happens next. For what it was, this 6 OVA show kicked major tooshie.

    • Indeed, there aren’t many anime series I can’t think of where the protagonist is a princess that battles with a sword like that. I’m sure others exist, but Murder Princess was definitely a series of its own. The relationship between Alita and Falis was very nice indeed and they really did grow close as the anime progressed. One of these days I want to read the manga just to see if it differs from the anime, the anime ended really fast and it seemed like there was more content but the manga was really short too so I can’t be sure how much it covers.

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