Corpse Princess: Collection One, Episodes 1 - 13
Based on Yoshiichi Akahito’s stunningly
drawn and rather addictive manga, Corpse Princess takes place in
a Japan beset by Shikabane – the animated corpses of those who
died harbouring a particularly strong regret or obsession. Makina
Hoshimura is a Shikabane Hime, or Corpse Princess, who in
addition to seeking vengeance for her murdered family is tasked with
killing 108 Shikabane before being allowed entrance into heaven.
Add to this a mass-murdering vampire with
a harem of undead cuties, a talking cat, profane monks and plenty of
bloodshed and machine gun fire, and you’ve got the makings of a pretty
great series on your hands. With one proviso: Corpse Princess
is, despite the violence and well-staged horror sequence, probably more
suited to anime viewers in their later teens rather than an adult
audience per se. It’s an intelligent and frenetically paced series, to
be sure, but the high school hijinks and intermittent snippets of
Clannad-style exaggerated animation (bulging eyes, bright red faces,
zany sound effects) will probably prove a slight turn-off to those
looking for something more akin to other excellent Madman imports like
Still, with a premise like this, and with
five years of top notch source material to draw from, pardon the pun,
the animated version of Corpse Princess couldn’t help but be a winner.
It’s a great looking two-disc set, with a typically handsome slick and
superb artwork courtesy of studios Feel and Gainax (incidentally the
latest series from the latter is an irresistibly-titled comedy called
Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt) - all up, another killer import
from Madman. Pardon the pun.
Audio & Video
No problems here. The lush, vibrant
backgrounds contrast nicely with the hand-drawn, old school character
designs, and the anamorphically enhanced 16:9 transfer is pretty... oh
so pretty. An English DD 5.1 is available if you’re into that sort of
thing – we prefer out anime in its native tongue, and though the
Japanese soundtrack is a DD 2.0 (alas) it actually proves robust and
rather impressive, at least as far as two-channel audio goes.
The usual textless openings and closings, a
smattering of trailers, and an audio commentary on Episode 12.