Falis, a bounty hunter with a taste for blood, and her two companions Pete and Dominikov are traveling through the kingdom of Forland just as a the country is ravaged in a coup d’etat. She runs into the fleeing princess, Alita Forland, and in a freak accident, they change bodies. With the fighting prowess of an experienced bounty hunter and the appearance of a princess, Falis now sets out to conquer the throne of Forland back, earning the title “Murder Princess” for her bloodthirsty combat style…
summary by Taleweaver
Highs: Splendid animation and choreography; colorful antagonists
Lows: Generic plot; weak conclusion
Bee Train is a studio with quite a reputation for slow-moving series. Think .hack//SIGN, think Meine Liebe – anime where the plot moves at a snail’s pace and combat scenes – if any happen at all – are a matter of dealing two blows and speaking two hundred pages of monologue. An action series about a hard-boiled bounty hunter fighting her way through entire armies from that company? Unheard of! And yet, Bee Train manage to deliver a rock-solid action OVA series here. Murder Princess is a literal kill-fest, not quire as gory as Fist of the North Star, but with quite a few buckets of blood spilt as the plot progresses. The animation and choreography leave nothing to be desired, the action sequences are among the best ever seen on a TV screen. Of course, with antagonists as colorful and lively as Ana and Yuna, two cute robotic girls with a vicious streak, the action is not only entertaining but also spiced with a few good laughs, something every action movie should have.
Sadly, that’s where the good things end. Aside from exciting combat scenes, Murder Princess has little that makes it stand out in a crowd. There is hardly a plot to speak of, and it’s a generic muddle of ups, downs and double-crosses you’ve seen countless times before. Aside from a few of the villains, the characters have little personality beyond their most basic concepts, and the script’s weak attempt at creating something like a relationship between Alita and Falis fails to bring any innovation into the mediocre plot. Worst of all, the conclusion, probably meant as an ageless epic, is nothing more but a weak deus ex machina that could have been done a million times better.
Were the combat sequences not of such stunning quality and power, I would have hardly given Murder Princess a second glance. However, taken as a mindless action flick, the OVAs aren’t half bad. If you’re into Kill Bill or the Lone Wolf and Cub movies, this could be your cup of tea. Just don’t expect a script by John Steinbeck.