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Puppet Princess
Violence: High
Sex/Nudity: very brief
Music: B +
Runtime Episodes: 40min/1
Overall Rating: B
Artwork: B
Story: B
Voice Acting English: B +
Voice Acting Japanese: A
Genre: Horror, Historical, Fantasy, Action
Extras: previews for Apocalypse Zero, Rurouni Kenshin, Zenki, Very Private Lesson, Nija Cadets, Kite,

Date Reviewed: 10/29/09 Last Updated: //

Basic Premise: Rangiku is an orphaned daughter of a minor ruler back in feudal Japan.  She seeks the help of a soldier whose entire battalion was killed, leaving him alone and hunted.  Together they fight the people who killed the puppet princess's father, but the objective does not seem to be revenge.
Review: This is a rather obscure anime that many people have not heard of and does not have the highest reviews.  Rather average actually.  The complete anime itself is all of 40 minutes and is a complete story unto itself.  When I first watched it I considered it to be one of those hidden gems.  The story may be short, but it is quite enjoyable despite what people have said and despite how short it is.  If you look at it as a short story then you should get a lot of enjoyment out of it.  I am certainly not disappointed in this purchase.

The story centers around Rangiku a young, innocent, and naive girl whose father was a minor ruler, but his kingdom was recently destroyed and all were killed leaving only the young daughter, Rangiku behind.  Alone she seeks the help of a soldier, whose troop was all killed save him.  She hires him to hunt the people that killed her father's kingdom.  What is interesting is that it does not look as if she wants to killer her attackers out of anger, revenge, or justice.  It is unclear exactly what her real motives are except that she does not want to share why just yet.

As I looked at animenewsnetwork's bibliography on Kazuhiro Fujita I found very little and am not really interested in acquiring any of his other works.  For the time that this was made the art is detailed and certainly gory.  One of the selling points for me is the action.  Usually I am sold on story more than action, because that's what I like, but in this case the fight scenes were a lot of fun for me.  The combatants fight using marionettes of all things as the ultimate fighting technique.  Rangiku carries a giant 15 foot tall wicker basket on her back which contains several advanced fighting marionettes that she controls with strings that attach to each of her fingers and toes.  While she sits on the ground facing her opponent she is defenseless, but wields mighty armored marionettes.  Her skill with these man made servants of hers is why she is known by a very few as the puppet princess, daughter of the puppet master.  

The English voice acting is good, but the Japanese is still a lot better.  The Japanese voice acting is better than average.  Personally I prefer the English.  Again, the English is not bad, but the Japanese is just a lot better.

There is a lot of fighting in this short anime and the storyline is short and sweet.  The plot, while relatively simple, keeps the fighting from being empty.  In the short few minutes where Rangiku tells of her childhood to Yasaburo, you can feel the pain and burden of why she must fight her father's attackers and why.  It gives her a bit of maturity too despite her apparent naiveté.  

Conclusion: A hidden gem of an anime, that feels like a sweet treat for after dinner.

Publisher: Anime Works, released by Media Blasters
Related Website: website
Where Found: amazon
Copyright: 2001
Author: Kazuhiro Fujita
If you enjoyed this anime try: Rurouni Kenshin


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