That Zombie Girl with Twin MACs

Makina, wielding her MACs

With all my available time poured wholly into playing RIFT, I’ve pretty much neglected my other hobbies and haven’t worked on anything I wrote down on my achievements list for this year. So, last Sunday, I decided to slowly reach my quota to watch 30 anime series this year, choose Corpse Princess on Netflix, and planned to watch at least an episode of it every night. But the series turned out to be so good that I finished two of its seasons (26 episodes) in just 3 nights.

Corpse Princess (or Shikabane Hime) was just randomly picked by myself from a sea of anime series available on Netflix. I didn’t know anything about it –it’s setting, animation or themes. So, for the first few episodes, I did regret of choosing the series. I suppose I should’ve taken its cover –which depicts a school girl wielding twin sub-machine guns– as a bad sign. But I missed it. So, I have to will myself and suffer watching undead girls killing undead monsters in order to gain entrance into heaven.

But it wasn’t just will alone that made me stick to the series. Shikabane Hime’s animation was also the reason why I got through its uninteresting episodes. Its animation, in my inexperienced otaku’s opinion, is one of the best I’ve seen. The action, even though the sequences are fast, still remains detailed and flows smoothly. You’ll be able to savor every punch and kick, not missing anything. The characters are also gorgeously expressive in here. There were some quiet moments in the series that the characters expressions conveyed more than words.

Good animation is not a substitute for a good story, however. Fortunately, Shikabane Hime was able to pull itself out of the dark before my will got entirely sapped from watching the show. I’m not sure when it exactly happened. But, all of a sudden, its characters got interesting and its plot thickened. It was able to push beyond its cliched “girls with guns” theme and transformed itself into a mature show with a deep concept about life and death. Before I knew it, I was sleeping at 3 AM because I couldn’t stop watching the series.

There are many things to like about Shikabane Hime. But one thing I really love about it is its characters and their relationships with one another. The main protagonist, Makina Hoshimura, is one of my favorites. She’s quiet and angry, but not in an emo/loner way, which I think makes her adorable. The bond of the undead girls with their contracted monks (their partners) is also the selling point of the show for me. While the relationship varies in each team, it still remains complicated in general. Just think about it. A monk, holy and is sworn to celibacy, partnered with a hot, undead girl. That’s torture.

Shikabane Hime is definitely one of the best anime I’ve seen. The animation is excellent, the action is fast-paced, and the characters are interesting. The story, while it had a lame start, it picked up pace in the middle of the first season and went uphill from there. While it can still be labeled as a “girls with guns” series, it has some nosebleed concepts about death and life that separates it from your average anime with the same theme. Like I said earlier, there are many things to like about this anime. So, overall, I highly recommend it.

Score: B+

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