Anime Meta-Review


D4 Princess


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-12
  • type: mini
  • grade: watchable
  • Series state: Can't find any more to watch.
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

I'm not exactly sure why we are suddently seeing numerous 10 minute episode anime's, but I do know that most of them are a waste. This one bucks the trend by being quite a lot of fun, but it is in no danger of being deep. Indeed this anime may be successful because it only aims to do things that can be successful with the constrained resources available.

Anyway, The story is very strange. As some point in the future 10% of humanity has the potential to become a panzer. This means being able to transform into an armored, weaponed, jet-pack equipped warrior type. We follow an energetic 13 year old as she starts studying at a massive academy for girls (massive as in it needs a train to go between school buildings). This girl comes from a massively rich famility with the stature of nobility and is awesomely ignorant of the real world. Still, she's proud that she can turn into a panzer, until she attempts it and everyone laughs at her. This is because her panzer outfit involves a cute magic girl dress and a huge drill bit on the top of her head. Still, when big sister turns up to train her it might turn out that she's more than she appears.

The first clever thing about this anime is that the story flows cleanly from episode to episode. Thus while the episodes are very short they can attempt larger stories, as well as having some background threads to tie it together. In addition the stories are quite simple, but well balanced between character interaction, action and comedy to make sure there's always something to watch. The character interaction largely comes from her schoolfriends discovering just how weird and naieve she is, while being horrified at the brutal training and combat. Meanwhile the training and combat provides the action, and a lot of comedy, including the princess being repeatedly hurt. There are strong similarities to the anime `battle athletes', and like that anime it taps strongly into the `young girl growing in power and maturity' genre.

The animation is also split into three fairly clear modes. There is the normal school life mode, the serious combat mode and the super-deformed comedy mode. It's not great animation, fairly simple and lots of things done to keep the budget under control, but it's sufficiently skilled and energetic to get away with it. Some of the action is very nice (cute girls in battle suits are always a safe bet) and the comedy, while fairly aggressive and physical, has its moments. The writing and dialog are likewise fitting, as are voices and music. It's light and enjoyable, but you just can't help feeling that more could have been done with a slightly larger budget and full length episodes.

The first review is in from Lord Carnage and he sees things very differently. Pointing out that trying to do linked stories in this fragmented and low budget format is destined to annoy. He's also not thrilled with seeing another `ditzy' anime comedy lead propping up another shallow show. These are valid criticisms, supporting the notion that this show requires a very tolerant outlook to enjoy at all.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:16 WST 2009