Scrapped Princess Vol. #01 -

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Mania Grade: B+

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 182
  • ISBN: 1595329811
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Scrapped Princess Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     August 30, 2005
Release Date: August 09, 2005

Scrapped Princess Vol.#01

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Sakaki Ichiro / Yabuki Go
Translated by:Alethea Nibley
Adapted by:

What They Say
Fifteen years ago, a set of twins - a girl and a boy - was born to the king of Linevan. Shortly after their birth, a prophecy foretold that when the girl turned 16, she would bring about the end of humanity. To avoid this terrible fate, the king ordered the princess disposed of - scrapped! She miraculously survived and was raised away from the kingdom that would kill her. But now that she has turned 15, the king's guards have caught wind that she's still alive... and they've set out to finish the job!

The Review
TOKYOPOP does a nice job with this presentation. This is possibly one of the few times where the localization is better than the original. TP uses the original cover art featuring Pacifica and her siblings Shannon and Raquel. The image is on a gray background, but what makes this version better is the smaller logo. The Kadokawa version is huge and loud, TP's is not perfect, actually it’s boring, but it being smaller makes it better. I wish they could have used one similar to Bandai's or to BONES'. The opposite cover has another image with the three, above the volume description.
Inside, TP includes a few color plates right at the start. They keep the original Japanese logo and artist info in kanji/kana, which I found thoughtful of them. The rest of the manga features good printing. This title has a ton of tone and most of it looks clean. At the end of the manga there is an epilogue chapter, ato-gaki manga, credits page and a preview blurb for volume two.

The art for this title is a mixed bag. Yabuki-sensei had a nice sense of shape and form. Actually, I like the looks of his take on the designs more than the anime versions. Characters have better length and are not as beefy as the anime. The facial expressions are pretty good as well. But like a few mangaka he has problems with shading. From the start on the color plates, things look a little off because he over-compensates on shading to make depth. On b/w, Yabuki over-does it with screen tone. This technique is distracting and makes already sloppy panels look really busy. I really wonder why he does this because his characters look great without the tone.

The layout is just as confusing. Eighty percent of the time Yabuki does a good job presenting the individual POVs of his characters. Maybe there are too many close-ups, but as there is quite a bit of hanging out and talking I did not mind it. The panels look great, often with some nice background art. There is a clear fantasy feel to the settings, though I cannot pin down the architectural influences. At the same time, the action scenes are horrid. Whenever there is a fight, the panels turn into a blur of manpu and dust. There is no detail, but readers are supposed to go through pages of this, having to dig through the SFX and manpu find out what's going on.

SFX are not translated. Even though there are moments where one might not see an FX for pages, all that are present should be translated. I do not understand why TOKYOPOP continues to do this for a majority of their titles.

I cannot say how accurate the translation is but it sounds good. Honorifics are used a bit, and TOKYOPOP goes as far as to use terms like "ojou", "onesan" and onisan". The character interactions are done rather well, so it is not hard to distinguish the personalities. As a whole this title moves well and sounds fun.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Fifteen years ago the Royal Family of this region gave birth to twins. Many thought the land would see the prince and princess that would be loved by the nation for decades to come. Unfortunately, the King also informed that his new daughter would be a curse on his family and his world as a whole. This child would bring forth "rivers of blood and mountains of bodies for she would be the poison of the world." To prevent tragedy from occurring the King ordered his daughter scrapped, but his men did not complete the job.

There is now only one year left before the end of the world. Every day is another day of hunting down the "scrapped princess". Guards, knights, anyone that is in the royal entourage is working round the clock looking for the princess. There are bounty hunters, purgers and even whole towns trying to kill a young lady. None these people do not know if the oracle will be right about Pacifica and her 16th birthday, but the money and the risk is too big to pass up.

What no one knows is that Pacifica might actually be on her way to become someone very important to this world. Her kindness is unconditional. Her honesty is refreshing. Her sympathy is never questionable. She is a real princess, but the only people who seem to understand that are the siblings she grew up with - Raquel and Shannon. The three together go about their lives as if each day might be their last. They live on the run, but they cannot be afraid or resentful. They just live to their fullest and make that even those who attack them get a chance to live their lives out. None of them know if they will be around for Pacifica's 17th birthday, but they want to make sure that if they are, everyone else they meet should be as well.

As far as fantasy titles go Scrapped Princess sounds like a fun story, but looks like a mess. Okay, that is a little harsh and it generalizes a bit, but after reading this volume I am already hooked on the cast. I just love how they interact. Despite the troubles they are going through the Cassul siblings try to make the best of their lives. They do not try to get others involved. They are not looking for fame. Nor do they appear to be out to overthrow the government that is persecuted them. They are just trying to go through their lives with as little trouble as possible. They just want to live in peace, but they would rather not have to worry about watching their backs every minute.

Their problems are real easy to relate to. Pacifica is possibly cursed. No one knows for sure, but her siblings are not going to give up on her. They will fight this out until they find out. The burden is great but they take things in stride. Considering the situation, I can understand that. What can you do if you have no options? Sure as heck won't be moping about it. Times a wasting, you only live once and all that, right. These three know they have a chance. They know they want to survive and if they struggle to make friends along the way, they are fine with it because the choice is not easy when it comes down to survival.

If I do have a concern it has to be how short this series is. The way this volume is set up so far has me feeling this title could at least go on for ten volumes. We have very little background or history. There is almost no real presence from those who are the Cassul’s true enemies. There appears to be no defined plot so far either. What we have are moments in the lives of three youth on the run from everyone.

Maybe I am a little to comfortable with this title, and maybe it should be read with the novel series filling in most of the holes. But I am a little hesitant, despite the positive attributes I have seen so far. That said, I cannot wait for both the novel and the second volume of this series. I have come to like these kids and the more I get to know them and their world, I feel the more I will enjoy this title.


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jnager 3/13/2012 1:40:45 PM

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