Scrapped Princess Novel Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 7.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 1-59532-984-6
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Left to Right

Scrapped Princess Novel Vol. #01

By Sakura Eries     August 04, 2006
Release Date: October 10, 2006


Scrapped Princess Novel Vol.#01
© TOKYOPOP


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Ichiro Sakaki/Yukinobu Azumi
Translated by:Paul Kotta
Adapted by:

What They Say
Fourteen years ago, a dark and devastating prophecy was revealed: a girl will bring about destruction and death and the world will lie in ruins. A decree was handed down to destroy this baby girl and all evidence of her prophecy to come but despite all efforts, the myth lives on...and so does the Lost Princess. Fourteen years later, the prophesized destroyer of the world is alive and well! Will she doom all and destroy the world or will she defy the gods and prove them wrong?

The Review
Content:
Pacifica is the adopted daughter of the Casull family. She has spent all 14 years of her life in the city of Manurhin in the western frontier of the Linevan Kingdom, where she and her family make a living running a weapons shop. Hers is a humdrum, ordinary existence until her father's abrupt untimely death.

As she and her siblings Shannon and Raquel put their father's possessions into order, they find his will and make some surprising discoveries. Their parents, who led such quiet lives in their backwater city, were actually an elite swordsman and sorceress for the Linevan Kingdom. But the most astonishing thing of all is that Pacifica is none other than the Scrapped Princess.

The Scrapped Princess is the subject of a ominous widespread legend. A horrific prophecy revealed years earlier by the Oracle of St. Grendel predicted that the Queen would give birth to fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. However, the oracle declared the girl evil and that she would usher in the Apocalypse by her 16th birthday. Therefore, she was killed at birth in order to save the world at large, and every mention of her was struck out of public record so that all that remained were rumors of this Scrapped Princess.

However, in truth, the princess was not killed. Instead, she was smuggled out of the palace by Carol and Yuma Casull who then raised her with their own children. The couple accepted her into their family knowing that they would have to protect her from those that want her dead, and in his will, Yuma asks Raquel and Shannon, who have inherited her parents' abilities in swordplay and magic, to take over the role of protecting Pacifica until she turns 16.

Stunned and a little skeptical by what they have discovered, Shannon and Raquel do some investigating on their own and soon find out his words are all too true. They learn that their father was not killed in an accident as they were originally told but murdered. Apparently, the royal family recently discovered that the Scrapped Princess is still alive. Everyone involved in the conspiracy, including the Queen, was punished, and assassins were dispatched to kill the princess. The men that killed Yuma Casull are members of that assassin group, and now they are after Pacifica.

However, Shannon and Raquel are not about to let these men have their way with their little sister. Despite the consequences, the prophecy, and the danger, they put their lives on the line to protect Pacifica. The siblings have considerable skill and talent, but what will they do when their enemies begin to increase in number and power?

Comments
I am going to preface this by saying that, aside from seeing an entry at the Anime Expo 2006 Anime Music Video Contest that used footage from the Scrapped Princess anime, I had no exposure to either the Scrapped Princess anime or manga before picking up this novel. Because I did not have this background knowledge, I had misgivings about volunteering for the novel review even though I was quite curious about it (the Anime Music Video Contest MC had given the series an enthusiastic plug). But then Jarred Pine-sempai told me that the anime was actually based on the novel, and not the other way around so that it might be interesting to have someone who hadn't been exposed to the anime or manga review the novel. After hearing that, I enthusiastically volunteered for the review, and now having finished the volume, I am glad I did.

Because this is a review of an "Uncorrected Proof," I won't provide a grade on art, packaging, or text/ translation. I will mention however, that this novel includes a few black-and-white illustrations, and from what I remember of that anime music video, the drawings do match the style of the anime.

Anime aside, I found this book to be a very engaging fantasy. The main premise of the story is an interesting twist on the standard royalty-goes-into-hiding-plot, as Pacifica disappears into obscurity not because of a great evil threatening her life but because she is considered the great evil. However, except for the eerie tone used in the telling of the prophecy in the prologue, the book is written in a light, tongue-in-cheek manner. Even in more serious settings, such as the children dealing with their father's passing, Sakaki finds ways to sneak some comedy in. With the exception of Sinner's "Dark Sword," which I found a little difficult to follow, all of the combat segments were exciting and well described. Inserted between action and dialogue are paragraphs detailing character histories and the Linevan Kingdom's world order. They're descriptive enough to clarify the storyline but not so long as to disrupt the rhythm of the story. All of these elements combine to make this a quick, fun read.

Sakaki's characterizations of the Casull siblings are quite enjoyable. Their interactions have a tendency towards comedy even as they cope with the topsy-turvy changes in their lives. They each have distinct personalities, which is a large factor in keeping this story interesting and fun.

While Pacifica is the main character of the story, I find her the least interesting and likable of the three. Certainly, Sakaki's portrayal of this ordinary teen's confusion as she copes with her father's passing and comes to grips with her new identity does draw you in. However, beyond that, she's not a very compelling character. Pacifica is definitely the spoiled baby of the family and has a tendency to whine. Perhaps that is just the way the Casull family communicates, but she comes across as being ungrateful, especially since she is completely useless in combat (she gets whupped by the family CHICKEN for crying out loud!) and entirely dependent on her older siblings for survival.

Older siblings Shannon and Raquel are twins but are different as day and night in personality. Raquel is pleasant, has a cheerful nature, and doesn't pick fights. She's inherited her mother's considerable capacity and skill for magic. Because of her lack of formal training, her spells are rather unorthodox, often reflecting her cheery personality, which leads to silliness when she uses her magic, even in combat situations. Shannon, on the other hand, is a perpetual grump and constantly butting heads with Pacifica. Despite his gruff demeanor towards his sisters though, he is the classic protective older brother. While he complains and gripes about having to keep all them out of trouble, their well-being is of the utmost importance to him. Although Shannon has the capacity for magic, he completely lacks the aptitude for using it and has followed in his father's footsteps as a swordsman. Between his arms and Raquel's magic, they make a formidable team for protecting helpless Pacifica.

The end of Volume 1 has the siblings journeying out of their hometown, which is a common element in fantasy novels. However, the Casulls have no particular destination in mind and no other mission than to simply keep each other alive. With so many foes and approximately a year left until Pacifica's 16th birthday, I am quite curious as to where the road will take them.

I was unable to find a rating on the copy that I was given. However, Tokyopop's popfiction series is targeting teenagers so I am assuming that the 13+ rating will apply. Given the particular style that this book is written, Yuma's ribald humor, and some gruesome descriptions, including the fateful prophecy and Sinner's daughter, it is an appropriate one.

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