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Scrapped Princess #6: Pacifica's Destiny PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Wednesday, 15 October 2008 16:00
Scrapped PrincessTime for the final volume of Scrapped Princess. Will the Peacemakers follow through on their threat to "reset" humanity? Will Pacifica live to see her 16th birthday? Will her band of protectors be able to do their job? All will be revealed...

21 - Passion of the Lonely God
With Shannon and Zephiris set to face the Peacemakers alone, Senes arrives with some timely reinforcements in the form of three Gigases - "Dragoon emulation units" that should hopefully even the odds a little. Down in the city, the proxies unleashed by the Peacemakers are wreaking serious destruction - Raquel and the others, including Chris and his squad, are doing what they can but they're seriously outpowered, making it unlikely that they'll be able to prevent the Peacemakers from carrying out their "reset". To the Church of Mauser, it's divine retribution from the Messengers of the Gods, brought upon humanity because of their failure to kill the Scrapped Princess, Pacifica - and Pacifica's natural brother, Prince Forsyth, may just be buying the Church's propoganda...

GigasesEscape

22 - A Rondo That Transcends Time
Having lost two of their number, the remaining Peacemakers realise that they may be facing total defeat, and ask their superiors for permission to use their most devastating forms - but that permission is refused. I guess there are some weapons that are just too powerful. But while Socom is looking to use more force against Pacifica, Cz is beginning to wonder whether they really need to deal with the Providence Breaker at all. The military are also trying to figure out what to do next, apart from pick up the pieces from the attack that their actions precipitated. Their first order of business is to find Pacifica - but some within the military are beginning to believe that may not be the best way forward. For Pacifica and her friends, meanwhile, the break in the action brings a chance to rest and recuperate - and get to know her new allies a little. But she also receives an unexpected visitor - the leader of the Peacemakers...

RecoveringMauser

23 - Oratoria of the Mortals
It's two days until Pacifica's 16th birthday, and the military have finally found their hiding place. While they're taking the direct approach, the Peacemakers have been working on a more underhand method - with Prince Forsyth staying in the Church's Holy City, they've been able to work on his perceptions of his sister. Now, the plan is to send an emissary to Pacifica, asking her to come and see Forsyth, before her birthday. The lure of meeting her real brother proves too much for Pacifica to resist - but what if the invitation is a trap..?

Happier daysMoment of death

24 - Symphony of the Protectors
While Shannon and Zephiris fight against Socom, Raquel and the others desperately look for a way to save Pacifica's life, but with their location under heavy attack her chances of survival aren't looking good. Outside, Cz joins the fray against Shannon, who's so focussed on the anger he's feeling that he's unable to concentrate on fighting. In short, the Peacemakers look set to get their way, with Pacifica dying on the eve of her 16th birthday. Just when all seems lost, though, a spell is cast - by whom is unknown - Pacifica disappears, and time is frozen. At the same time Shannon, the Peacemakers and the Gigases are transported outside Earth's atmosphere. Has Pacifica's ability finally awoken, or is something else happening down on the surface..?

Final battleMoment of decision

All's well that ends well, sort of, but there's a huge amount of destruction wreaked along the way. That's maybe one of the issues I have with Scrapped Princess - Peacemaker attacks have the tendency to wipe out scores of people, the tactical magic used against the Skid previously also wrought huge damage, and yet such things aren't really mentioned. You see the proxies doing their thing but not the aftermath, and I can't help but think that the series is missing a trick there - there's an opportunity to introduce a far more emotional side into the mix that could have added greatly to the series. That opportunity wasn't taken, though, so we're left with a story that's very narrowly focussed on Pacifica and the people around her - good enough as far as it goes, but it could have been so much more.

Especially when some of those characters don't really serve a purpose. What useful role have Leo and Winia played over the course of the series? Leo is an object of fun as a result of his unrequited love for Pacifica, while Winia has had even less of a role to play - they're just there, and that's about it. Similarly, huge swathes of time were devoted to Chris and Forsythe, only for them to play almost cameo appearances in the final episodes (although Forsyth's at least had major implications). It all convinces me even more that the series should have been a 13-episode one, as there's so much scope for filler to be removed that it probably could have been easily done in half the time.

That said, the final two episodes close out the series in style, with just the right mix of action, surprises and explanation to make sure that you're not left wondering about unanswered questions when it's all over. The mix of high technology and fantasy that has made the series' setting that little bit different from the norm is used well to cover the how's and why's of Pacifica's world, and also plays its part in closing the story out - the late Arthur C Clarke once said that any significantly advanced piece of technology could appear godlike, and that's the level of tehnology that we're dealing with here. Once everything was explained and worked out, I found that I'd enjoyed what I'd seen.

I just wish there hadn't been so much filler along the way. Parts of the series dragged horribly, there were times when it was all exposition and nothing else, and other times when things moved along at a fast enough pace to really keep attention - that last of those is good, but the other two aren't. The idea was there, the source materials were there (Scrapped Princess is based on a series of novels), but the execution was definitely lacking. This disc on its own is good enough to easily earn its four stars, but for the series as a whole, for all that's good about the series - and there's plenty - there are enough flaws that you may want to try before you buy. A good ending to a series that could have been so much better.

Rating - ****

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