Scrapped Princess (wikipedia here, TV tropes here) is a 24 episode series based on a light novel series. The key word being “light”, despite which Scrapped Princess is a surprisingly enjoyable series.

Scrapped Princess shares some key plot elements with the far superior Moribito.

Specifically it is a story of a princess [1] that is the subject of an apocalyptic prophecy.

The prophecy is subject to some dispute, and the Scrapped Princess spends a good chunk of the series on the run from those trying to prevent it by offing her.

This is not a topic that the series shies away from: Pacifica is forced to confront the fact that most people want her dead. As her 16th birthday gets closer, and the collateral damage begins to rise, the Scrapped Princess [2] begins to wonder if the prophecy is true.

If the world would, in fact, be a better place without her in it.

I won’t spoil how her elder brother Shannon gets Pacifica over this justified emotional crisis, but it fits nicely with the well established characterisations [3].

However where Moribito is pure fantasy, Scrapped Princess has a reasonably well handled genre shift into science fiction as the series progresses [4]. This sets up some quite nice worldbuilding [5], as well as a solid basis for why the characters are who, and what, they are.

Unfortunately Scrapped Princess is one 24 episode series that should have been a 26 episode series [6]. The pacing is fairly good for most of the series, but the ending feels rushed.

I suspect that many of the details in the light novels got cut, or at best alluded to. Another, and rarely experienced, issue is that one of the climactic battles needed a bit of monologuing[7].

There are several episodes where an understated relationship is established between Shannon and Cz, only for them to face off at the end. As my housemate pointed out the final battles are so rushed that it isn’t clear how, or even if, this affected the outcome. An extra episode would have allowed this to be dealt with properly: Cz needed a monologue in there.

A second extra episode would have fleshed out the actual resolution of the entire series as well. There are some elements that are only alluded to that needed more detail.

As it is there is a chunk of the last episode lost to a bit of an epilogue which only cramps the ending more. Alternatively cutting the fanservice might have allowed the time to flesh out [8] the other aspects of the story.

Despite the flaws in the ending Scrapped Princess is still an enjoyable series. More of a Belgariad than a Lord of the Rings, but nevertheless a fun watch if you’re in the right mood.

[1] It is a much younger prince in Moribito.
[2] So named because she was supposedly “scrapped” just after she was born. A title that refers to a baby girl being thrown off a cliff, in essence. 😦
[3] Yes, I’ve discussed this previously. No, I’m not going to repeat it here (although I will admit to being tempted).
[4] The references to Clarke’s Third Law may now begin. You know you were thinking it. 🙂
[5] Or world slicing. If you’ve seen the finale, you know what I’m talking about.
[6] Not something I usually say. I’m more likely to rant about lack of editing
[7] I mean, really, how often have you said “You know, that scene really needed a bit of a monologue.”?
[8] Yes, I did just go there. 🙂