Saturday, 3 August 2013

Princess Resurrection: Fight Off Evil With a Smile

A Review By: Amelia
Werewolves, demons, monsters, vampires. All these ferocious creatures are afraid of the same thing: the beautiful Princess Hime, an awesome warrior who fights off the forces of evil with a chainsaw and a smile. Not only does she look great in a tiara, she has magical powers that allow her to raise the dead. She’s a girl on a mission, and with the help of her undead servant, an overly aggressive yet feminine werewolf, a sexy vampire with a taste for virgin blood, and a super cute robot maid, there’s no creature of darkness she can’t take down!

So begins Yasunori Mitsunaga’s manga Princess Resurrection, a manga series about a warring royal clan in a magical kingdom that has been in steady decline for the last couple of eons. As their own world slips away, the royal children move their epic battle to the human world and they bring their monstrous (literally) assassins with them. Princess Hime is part of this warring royal family and, if it were up to her, she wouldn’t be fighting for the crown of her kingdom because she just doesn’t want it. Unfortunately, the rest of her siblings do and they send all manner of horrible monsters after her to get her out of their way on their violent quest for the crown.

Princess Resurrection is currently an ongoing manga series with sixteen volumes published in Japan and seven volumes translated into English. Each volume is divided further into about five chapters with their own independent storylines, each about Hime’s misadventures in the human world. Each chapters within each volume follows a ‘monster of the week’ formula where a new foe will appear with its own miniature storyline and, by the end, will inevitably die by Hime’s hand. Later on in the series it’s revealed that there’s been an arching storyline that has been intersecting with Hime’s storylines all along, but that’s a review for another day.

The art in Princess Resurrection is your general manga art style: big eyes, bigger busted, blonde haired, petite females in black and white line art. Now, that being said, just because the art is nothing surprising or completely original, it is beautifully rendered and the lines are crisp and neat which displays the talent of Mitsunaga nicely and often shows that less is indeed more. Panels are intensified with details during dramatic scenes and stripped of almost all details during a comedic one. The author/artist also has an interesting style for drawing fight sequences. Mitsunaga figured that as the whole manga series involves Princess Him continually fighting horrible monsters that drawing all these constant battle scenes would be, well, exhaustive. So instead of continuously drawing extremely detailed fight panels, the battle panels include close up shots of the two (or more) fighting and the backgrounds are simple lines. Aside from making the artist’s job easier, these lines are actually quite ingenious as they convey a sense of urgency and rapid movement that solid and detailed backgrounds just wouldn’t.

Mitsunaga definitely create an interesting manga when he wrote and then penned Princess Resurrection. You’ll find yourself laughing at and cheering for the rag-tag group of misfits that play the protagonists as they fight for their lives in their ridiculously epic quest to survive. The art style may not be overly striking or dramatic, but a few clever tricks help it to pop and the original and fantastic plot will keep you intrigued if the art doesn’t.

My final thoughts on Princess Resurrection is that it’s incredibly entertaining. Every once in a while a story comes along that is, for lack of a better word, fun. You’re embroiled in the story from beginning to end for no apparent reason other than it is fun. This fun has nothing to do with a complicated plot that you have to keep reading to even remotely understand what’s going down or characters so in depth they their lives become yours, it just simply is. I found myself wanting more and more of Princess Resurrection because it put a smile on my face. I find that the more repetitive media in the current day and age gets (pardon the cliché), the harder and harder it is to entertain the populous, so why not smile when Hime swings a chainsaw around because an invisible man is after her or laugh when the maid’s ample breasts are constantly given the caption ‘bouncy bouncy’? There’s nothing wrong with loving something just because it’s absurd, outlandish, or just plain silly, and if Princess Resurrection is anything, it’s silly. I give it a high rating for being simply and strange but still amazingly fun to read.

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