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Majestic Prince Review

September 22, 2013

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Some shows just compel me to want to write something about them, and Majestic Prince is one such show – if you love classic mecha series, then it’s one you really need to watch.

Majestic Prince (Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince): A wonderfully endearing, action packed and fun mecha series – 9/10

PLOT: The world set-up in Majestic Prince is one most anime fans are familiar with – child soldiers with the fate of humanity resting on their shoulders, battling it out with alien invaders in highly advanced mecha.  Hardly the most original of plots but it is done with such loving sincerity in Majestic Prince that you forget to be critical of the rather standard scenario.  The show definitely takes it’s time to get going, so I really would recommend watching it in large chunks – I did and it was definitely the best way to experience the show in my opinion.  But yes, it does take a few episodes to get going, and at the start I was very doubtful that I’d ever like our central quintet of Team Rabbits, as they come off as throw-away comedy characters with little to no depth at the beginning. Thankfully Majestic Prince, while it never discards the comedic edge that makes it so endearing, does allow its characters to grow organically and they all become very likeable by the end.  Of course some characters receive much more development than others, certainly Izuru is the main character and receives the most attention, but each get their own time to shine at some stage.

It has been quite a while since I last enjoyed a mecha show to this extent.  While I adored Aquarion Evol that was mainly on the strength of its campness & flamboyant presentation and even if Gundam AGE’s 2nd arc was pretty damn good, it’s okay 1st arc & terrible 3rd arc kinda soured the entire show for me – so it’s been quite a few years since there was a traditional mecha series that captured my attention the way Majestic Prince did.  The show is extremely aware of the tropes and usual formula for mecha series, and it plays them with a straight-face for the most part.  It’s abundantly clear that the team working on the series love mecha shows and this shines through since nothing comes off as cliché or rote – everything about Majestic Prince feels warm and sincere, it’s a pleasure to watch and I was pretty sad when I ran out of episodes!  I am eagerly awaiting confirmation that there will be a sequel as there is so much scope for more – the ending is pretty open and I am gagging for at least an epilogue to cover the aftermath of that final amazing battle!

ANIMATION: I remember being put off by the Hisashi Hirai character designs at the start, but soon grew to love the random faces the characters pull – the rubbberfaced expressions they pull provide quite a bit of the levity in the series and are rather endearing.  The studio behind this is Dogakobo, who don’t exactly have the most illustrious of histories, but they really pulled out all the stops for Majestic Prince.  The battles are absolutely fantastic, both in animation and direction – you get to a point mid-season where you just go “these fights are fecking brilliant!”  There is an impressive amount of thought put into how each unique AHSMB should move and its role in the team, but there is also lots of attention paid to the manoeuvres of the capital ships and what’s going on in the battle-field as a whole.  It has to be said that outside of the battles (and all their CGI glory), there are some rather off model & cheap looking animation in the s’life scenes – it is abundantly clear that Majestic Prince did not benefit from having a massive budget, but the money was spent in the right places as the important scenes and battles are glorious.

MUSIC & VOICE ACTING: The music was pretty fitting for the most part and served its purpose well, but I’m unlikely to go looking for the OST.  I loved the first OP, but the second one was decent and suited the change in focus in the show itself.  There were a number of different of EDs – mostly seiyuu sung ones which are okay, but I will admit to skipping them the majority of the time.  The ensemble cast are a mix of experienced actors and newcomers, which is refreshing, and with a good script to work with they all put in sterling performances.  I think the voice actor for Izuru is going to be someone to look out for in the future.

So yes in case you can’t tell, I really enjoyed Majestic Prince – shows that are this much fun while still telling a convincingly serious story have become rather rare of late.  I highly recommend giving it a go if you enjoy mecha shows to any extent and will continue to hope for a sequel!

 

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2013 11:44 pm

    Tl;dr, better than Gargantia and Valvrave, If you don’t watch this then you can’t call yourself a mecha anime fan.

  2. September 23, 2013 1:22 am

    MJP is a fun series and I am so happy they ditched the goofy anime reaction faces after the first few episodes because honestly that turned me away, but after watching the first five episodes the story finally kicked in and made everything better and the animation/CGI during the battles kept me wanting more!

    Yeah as Joe said MJP > Valvrave/Gargantia xD

    • September 23, 2013 6:31 pm

      Yeah the extremely cartoonish reactions in the first few episodes was a bit off-putting – thankfully they toned it right back after that.

  3. September 23, 2013 3:35 pm

    Now, you get me curious. I have always like Hirai’s art but they characters were getting too similar.

  4. Rocco B permalink
    September 25, 2013 11:59 am

    I haven’t actually finished this anime yet, but for the most part it certainly likes to poke fun at the mecha genre. Hirai character design can’t be missed by a mile though. Valvrave has a much darker tone than MP. Both enjoyable.

    • September 25, 2013 8:25 pm

      It doesn’t really poke fun at the genre, for the most part MJP plays the tropes straight and with a lot of sincerity. However it does maintain a humourous edge throughout and is quite aware of itself without straying into parody territory.

      I can only watch Valvrave as a comedy – that show is ludicrous!

      • Rocco B permalink
        September 26, 2013 11:41 am

        What I mean by “poking fun” or as you would say “humorous edge”. It doesn’t take it self too seriously – unlike most mecha series that do. And that’s the charm about the series.

        Valvrave or “valvrape” – certainly has it’s moments of absurdities, over look that and it has its plus points. But each to their own.

        • September 26, 2013 4:42 pm

          I hugely enjoy Valvrave, but in no way can I take it seriously. I really enjoy Stupid Sunrise Mecha series and Valvrave is probably one of the stupidest of all.

          Majestic Prince however had everything I love about mecha shows without being super serious or pulling plot twists out of its arse. It was a traditional mecha show done well – which has become a rarity in recent years unfortunately.

  5. September 29, 2013 12:27 pm

    I’ve watched 13 episodes, but I haven’t found it particularly enthralling so far – if I don’t like it that much by now should I bother continuing? Not really the biggest mecha fan btw.

    • September 29, 2013 12:42 pm

      If you’re not hooked in at this stage, it’s probably not the show for you. A great part of my enjoyment of MJP stemmed from my love of mecha shows and the way MJP was so endearingly faithful to the tropes of that genre, so if you don’t have any great love of mecha shows, you may not get the warm fuzzies I did when watching MJP.

  6. October 1, 2013 7:00 pm

    That reminds me that I still need to finish this show. I think that the characterization is where it really shines along with the element of uncertainty they throw into all of the battles. It’s a wonderful mecha show!

    • October 1, 2013 11:55 pm

      It really was a joy to watch – been a while since I got that kind of feeling from a mecha show.

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