a.k.a. Karakuri no Kimi
Manajiri (or Manijiro, as he likes to be called) is a ronin warrior who will take any job if the price is right. One day, a naive young woman named Rangiku comes to his house for help. Her family was brutally murdered by a tyrant who stole their land, and bittersweet revenge is all that she lives for. Thankfully, Manajiri will not have to work alone. Rangiku’s legacy consists of deadly puppets that by the flick of the wrist can tear apart anyone that crosses them. The only question remaining is: which side has the most powerful puppets?
summary by Kjeldoran
Highs: Disturbing flashbacks; a few inventive designs
Lows: Horrible art and animation; wants to end ASAP
Have you ever tried to imagine what Ninja Scroll would look like with no budget? Chances are it would resemble Puppet Princess. Animation and art may not be a decisive factor in what makes a good anime in my book, but when it is this bad it gets hard to notice anything else. A few sequences, most likely to be used for the trailer, are well done, but generally it hurts the eyes. One thing I did enjoy was the designs for some of the puppets; nicely interpreted, though the idea itself was not exactly original. In fact, this could have been a pleasant action anime had it not been in such a hurry to end.
Has it come to a point where we need to establish a speed limit for storylines? Fight ninjas, meet a girl, obligatory full frontal nudity, fight more ninjas, kill the bad guy… I was moved by the disconcerting flashbacks and snickered at a few jokes, but those were always cut short by all-too-similar action scenes that did not last very long. Before you know it, the Princess’ puppets are already fighting the final boss and after a few sword slashes, the credits roll. With a few exceptions like Memories‘ Magnetic Rose, forty-minute features cannot perfectly deliver proper character development and simply feel like a waste of time. It seems Puppet Princess understood this and didn’t even try.
Had it been longer, prettier, and easier on the hormones, I think I would have enjoyed Puppet Princess. Some anime make it look so easy to combine great action with developed characters and a complex storyline. They can’t all be like Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen but they should at least try.
Puppet Princess can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.