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Scrapped Princess #2: Melancholy Wagon Tracks PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Monday, 10 December 2007 16:00
Scrapped PrincessTime for more of the continuing travels of Pacifica Casul and her band of protectors, who are finding the job ever harder - especially since the Peacemakers arrived on the scene. What's a girl on the wrong end of destiny and prophecy to do? Well, for this disc, not much, as the focus of events is elsewhere - but it looks as though Shannon has gotten himself a little helping hand...

5 - Lullaby of the Troubadour
Pacifica and the other leave Taurus with heavy hearts, aware that events there show just how seriously the Church of Mauser is taking Pacifica's elimination. It's something of a bright moment, then, when they meet a travelling musician, looking for a lift. He's quite the charmer, too, and soon works his magic on Pacifica. Shannon and Raquel aren't so easily put at ease, though, and send him on his way. Their insticts were quite correct, too - but this troubadour-come-assassin isn't about to just let his target walk on by. Chris, meanwhile, has been given a new assignment - to look into the circumstances surrounding the prophesy that identified Pacifica as he Scrapped Princess...

TroubadourOld warrior

6 - The Pied Pier Song of the Knights
The revelation that Pacific is the Scrapped Princess leaves Leo in shock, and he goes off on his own to think over his feelings while Pacifica recovers from her poisoning. Noticing his disappearance, she's almost disappointed at the loss of another potential friend, while Shannon warns that if they meet him again, they should probably be careful. Leo's the least of their worries, however, as the gang have their first face-to-face encounter with a Peacemaker - the same one responsible for the carnage at Taurus. This time, he's come to take Shannon and Raquel, leaving Pacifica on her own - and she soon begins to panic...

Causing problemsPeacemaker

7 - Waltz of the Abandoned Dog of a Girl
Shannon's apparently effortless defeat of the Peacemaker (with help from his new bond with Zephiris) has caused a bit of a stir - if this is what the people protecting Pacifica are capable of, what is she capable of herself? Sadly, being a superhuman killing machine doesn't bring in the spending money, so the gang are soon forced to stop at a town for both food and for reapirs to their cart. There, Shannon meets young girl Cin - and after one act of kindness, finds he can't get rid of her. Meanwhile, Chris pays a visit to the head of the Church's Purgers - seems that at least two previous prophecies by the Church have turned out to be false, so what makes them so sure about the prophecy regarding Pacifica..?

RoyaltyAnother Peacemaker

8 - Nocturne of Bonds and Prayers
Raquel's beginning to have her doubts about Cin - the little girl has charmed her way into the group a little too easily. Zephiris' request that Cin be killed would seem to back up Raquel's concerns - Zephiris confirms that Cin is a Peacemaker, but when it comes down to it, Pacifica just can't bring herself to kill her. Shannon does find her brandishing a knife at Cin, though, and isn't at all pleased. Later, Shannon is injured in an accident while in town with Cin, and Pacifica is quick to blame Cin...

Killing blow?D-Knight

This volume of Scrapped Princess sees Pacifica and the others continue to deal with attacks on their lives, with the Peacemakers an ever-present threat now that they've made themselves known. They particularly come into play in the 2nd two episodes, which together form a short story arc that seems to be designed to tug on the old heartstrings a bit - although thanks to Zephiris' warning and Pacifica's natural distrust of Cin, it doesn't really work out that way. If she had been revealed to be a Peacemaker without any hints having been dropped, it might have been a more emotional revelation (although then I'd probably be complaining about the lack of clues), but as it is you just want to thump Pacifica for not acting on Zephiris' warning. The girl's just too nice, given her situation.

The goings-on behind the scenes, both back at the palace and amongst the Peacemakers, makes for far more interesting viewing, even though this side of things only takes up a small portion of the disc. Away from the swords 'n' sorcery action, there's quite a bit of politicking going on between various factions - all of them who seem to want Pacifica out of the way at the moment (seems a bit strange for them all to be acting separately, to be honest), but who can't just seem to work together. Yet. If they ever do, the young blonde one's likely to be in trouble.

It's the ongoing hints about the true nature of the Peacemakers, which point to high-technology being involved, that always grab my attention, though. There's a lot more going on under the surface in this series than it's been prepared to give away so far, and the prospect of finding out just what that is, is part of what makes the series so watchable. Zephiris also plays into the same 'mystery' with the way she's able to combine with Shannon (her 'D-Knight', whatever that means) to create a warrior who's able to give the Peacemakers a run for their money. The action scenes also play their part, but for me they're just candy on the more thoughtful stuff that's underpinning it all.

Overall, then, another enjoyable episode that does a lot without giving too much away - and in a way that doesn't leave you frustrated at the lack of information. The only characters who aren't instantly likeable are the Peacemakers - which is exactly how it should be. Very enjoyable to watch, with plenty going on behind the scenes if you pay attention. Good stuff.

Rating - ****

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