Corpse Princess; er, Princess Resurrection

This was supposed to be just a short little comment at Chizumatic, but it got away from me, so there. (Edit: and then I got two similar titles mixed up.)

Corpse Princess Princess Ressurection is not a bad little story. It actually has a plot, although only part of it gets resolved; essentially, it was a shadow hanging over from the backstory that happened just before the series opened (though you don’t discover that for a while.) The long-term plot isn’t resolved, and I don’t think it can be without tearing the series apart.

There are several good characters, who we see face challenges, and each other. There’s some element of Nanoha to it, in how enemies can switch sides… or do they? The story plays with the “who can be trusted?” element quite well; and I found myself sweating if Reiri’s face heel turn was for real or not.

At its core, the setup resembles a magical harem story; there are three girls, and all of them are vying for Hiro’s attention. However, Hiro is pretty much useless; in any combat, he’s a liability, and outside of combat… well, I saw echos of Louise and Saito in his relationship with Hime. I actually think he’d be better off with the vampire, but there’s the slight problem that if Hime ever stops feeding him energy, he’ll die. Permanently, this time.

In the end, although it did have cheap production values (they worked hard within that limit), that wasn’t my big issue. I had two problems, one of which I’ve already mentioned: Hiro is gutsy and willing, but by and large he’s way too underpowered to be where he is and doing what he’s doing. He’s more of a liability than an asset in combat, and that never changes.

The other problem is that the long term plot is”There can be only one.” All the siblings are at war over the succession, and there’s no prize (or survival) for second place. Eventually, Liza and Hime are going to have to turn on each other. And by the mid point of the show, they’re already established as both sympathetic, likable, and even reasonably honorable characters (given who and what they are). That feeling of foreboding significantly ruined the enjoyment of the show for me.

Minor nits were the production values, the way the story didn’t spend enough time on the long term plot, clunky mood changes, and some patently silly villains.

Positive points were the score, how well they did manage to work within the budget, cute girls, characterization, and a decent feeling of suspense in the latter half of the series. There are some genuinely tragic elements to Hime’s story, aside from the fact that she and Liza will eventually have to battle for supremacy. I won’t begrudge the obligation buy, but the rewatch value is middling-low.

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