Mitsuru Hongo, Hiroyuki Nishimura Shamanic Princess

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This review is from Anime Cosmo - However, that website is my own, and the review was written by myself.

Format: Originally released in Japan on laser disc and VHS. It was later released in North America on dual language DVD.
Publisher: Princess Project / Bandai Visual/ MOVIC (Japan), U.S. Manga Corp. (North America)
Release Date (Japan): 1998 (Japan), 2000 (North America)
Rating: 13 and up: violence and brief nudity
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Story:

To retrieve the talisman stolen by her beloved, Tiara hunts the night, battling monsters with her awesome shamanic powers. Disguised as an ordinary schoolgirl by day, she arrives at his lair only to find her arch rival already on the scene... protecting the thief! Dark secrets unravel as Tiara faces these powerful opponents, and her one hope for survival may be to betray her mission. - DVD synopsis

Shamanic Princess has a very interesting and unique story. It is a dark anime, with traces of romance and humour put in here and there. I was very much drawn into the story. However, it is very confusing. This is further enhanced by the fact that the last few episodes are actually a prequel to the entire story. I really don't know why that is, but I would suggest watching the last chapter first, then start at the beginning. Otherwise it really just doesn't make much sense. This really disappointed me because the story itself is fantastic. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes dark anime filled with mystery and plot twists.

Story Rating: 8/10

Art:

The animation style is breathtaking, in my opinion. The transformation sequences are almost mezmorizing, and if you are a fan of good-looking women, it will likely be especially so. Even so, there is not anything really distasteful. It is most definitely not hentai. The only downfall I found was that they do not show much in the way of the actual powers used, other than the transformations themselves.

Art Rating: 9/10

Sound:

Other than the opening and ending themes, there are no actual songs. However, the background music used is very appropriate for the scenes it is used in. It is great to help create the right mood and to draw the audience in. The Japanese voice actors fit very well with the characters. However, the English voice actors did not fit as well. Japolo, the main character's second familiar, for example, sounds like a fake gypsy. Sara's voice is also a bit too subdued in the dubbed version, making her hard to hear.

Sound Rating: 8/10

Other:

If watched in the order that the story actually goes, rather than the order the episodes are presented, Shamanic Princess is an excellent anime. However, even with watching it this way, it may take watching it a second time to fully understand everything. The anime is just plain a bit confusing. It really seems like it should be part of a larger series. As a stand-alone series, it lacks full development. The individual story is fantastic, but could certainly be more explanation of things. For example, all we know about the elders is that they guard the Throne of Yord. We have no idea where they came from. For that matter, we don't know where the Throne of Yord came from, or even where the Summoner's World came from. We also don't much know at all about the history behind the characters.

Other Rating: 6/10

Overall

Pros:
  • Gorgeous animation style and very lovely sequences
  • A very interesting story
  • Good background music
Cons:
  • Not enough history to really let the viewer understand what is going on behind the story
  • In the dubbed version, some of the voices just do not match with the characters. Also, some of the voices blend into the background too much in the dubbed version.
  • The anime plays out of order. The last episodes are actually a prequal to the rest of the story.
Keywords: Shamanic Princess Tiara Mitsuru Hongo Hiroyuki Nishimura
Sound & Graphics Very Good
Entertainment Value Average
Replay Value Very Good
Plot Very Good
Genre Magical Girl, Drama
Episodes 6
Studio Bandai Visual, Central Park Media
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