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Scrapped Princess #3: Traveling Troubles PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Tuesday, 24 June 2008 16:00
Scrapped PrincessThe lies and the truth feature on this volume of Scrapped Princess - the lies of someone who claims to be the Scrapped Princess but, at least as far as Pacifica is concerned, clearly isn't, and the truth of the role that destiny has in store for our heroine: Scrapped Princess to some, Providence Breaker to others. Though you understood the world this series is set in? Think again...

9 - Requiem for the Heretics
Travelling on foot really isn't agreeing with Pacifica - she's cold & tired, and the packs she's having to carry are just too heavy for her liking - but with the various groups they have tailing them & a mountain chain to be crossed, there's no other way for them to travel. They do eventually reach a village in the mountains, where they meet Berkens, an Inquisitor of the Church of Mauser. As Inquisitors go, he's surprisingly easy-going, and Pacifica, Shannon and Raquel soon strike up something of a friendship with him - even though he claims to be searching for the Scrapped Princess. If only he knew. When the group discover another village that's gone to great lengths to hide themselves, though, Berkens' day-job comes into its own - the villagers are worshippers of the Dark Lord Browning, who the Church fears as the Devil himself. But what really grabs their attention is the village leader, Elfitine, who claims to be the Scrapped Princess herself...

Do I look like I care?Reynard

10 - Serenade of the False Princess
Reynard and his "Scrapped Princess" are looking to bring wholesale change to the world, and on learning that Shannon and the others have no love for the Church of Mauser, he asks them to join him. It's just a pity that they know he's not being honest - at the very least about Elfitine's identity, and if he's lying about that, then what else? A little digging reveals that Reynard has been preying on the villagers to increase his own magical ability, and that even Elfitine is more a victim of his manipulation than anything else. When it's discovered that his plans could lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents, though, Shannon and Raquel decide that something must be done, and join forces with Berkens to put a stop to Reynard...

Magical barrierElfitine

11 - Rhapsody of the Beast Princess
After walking through underground tunnels (looking suspiciously like the ruins of an old shopping centre) for days, the gang arrive at the sea - a notable experience for them, as none of them have seen it before. Their enjoyment of the view is soon ruined by the appearance of Senes, the Beast Princess, head of the Crisis Management Agency Scarlet. She's got a reputation for being someone you really don't want to mess with, so the gang hand themselves over without fuss. But it seems that the Beast Princess is somewhat different from her PR - and she also knows a lot more about her new guests than she probably should. Meanwhile, Chris travels to see Pacifica's natural mother, while Winia and Leo decide to set out on Pacifica's trail...

Beast PrincessSharing home truths

12 - Battle Hymn of the Two Princesses
Pacifica, Shannon and Raquel meet with Natalie - a Dragoon, just like Zephiris, but one who lost the majority of her powers during the Genesis Wars, hundreds of years earlier. She's well aware of who Pacifica is - the Providence Breaker, she calls her - and unlike Zephiris she's willing to explain to the gang the truth about the world they find themselves in, and the role of the Dragoons, the Peacemakers, and the Providence Breaker in that world. The Peacemakers - creatures not of this world - control the world with an iron fist. The Providence Breaker is the key to breaking their control, with the assistance of the Dragoons - if Pacific is up to the challenge. It's all a bit over Pacifica's head, to be honest - she just wants to live her life - but a new Peacemaker attack soon forces her to act...

DragoonedPeacemaker

See, it's not the general public that need to fear what will happen on Pacific's 16th birthday, it's the Peacemakers themselves. They're used to having complete control of the populace - a word, a though, and a human being will to what they're told, even if that means going to their deaths. No surprise there, as we've seen the effect in action already. Pacifica's power? The ability to break that control - and render any humans under that effect immune to further control. She's already exhibited her power on a small scale - come her 16th birthday, though, the ability will be fully awakened, and the rule of the Peacemakers will finally be broken. At least, that's the plan.

Perhaps the most noticeable change with this volume is the switch from fantasy to almost science-fiction - the Peacemakers are aliens, essentially, and the technological litter of their rule and the previous wars against them is scattered all around, no that you know what to look for. All that technology's not available to mere humans, of course - they're easier to keep under control in an old-style feudal world - but through Senes' control of Natalie's ship and Shannon's connection with Zephiris, the good guys now have the power to change the world.

Changes all around, then. For all that this volume does a really good job of explaning the position and fleshing out the show's setting (and the "new" fantasy / sci-fi hybrid setting we now have is far more interesting than a pure fantasy show, for my money), I can't help but notice that we're only at the half-way point - there are still another 12 episodes to go. How long should it take for an all-powerful Providence Breaker to win her battle? Not that long, I would have thought - but it certainly seems that there are going to be some issues ahead for Pacifica and her ever-growing band of genetically-inclined protectors to deal with.

This is the volume where Scrapped Princess really gets into its stride - the previous volumes were enjoyable but nothing special, but these episodes really kick things up a gear and help produce something that's far less derivative than it first appeared, and a lot more complex than it first let on. There are some hints dropped around the place that there are still a few surprises along the way, and I for one can't wait to see how the story progresses from here.

Rating - ****

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