It has been a while since I wrote anything in this blog, so I thought I would write a bit about a manga I just got my hands on.
It’s Murder Princess vol. 1 and 2.
I have been wanting to read this manga since reading an advertisement of it at the back of the last Comic Party manga, and seeing another advertisement for the anime on a leaflet that my japanese friend send me. And so I finally bought the two volumes a couple of days ago.
The art is really nice and clean and generally looks wonderful, I think the artist (Sekihiko Inui) improved a lot since Comic Party. The character designs are very detailed, and it looks like he never cuts any corners when drawing the pages.
The book itself is also of good quality – I bought the first 4 volumes of Tsukihime at the same time as this one, and where the pages in Tsukihime has a disappointing printing quality and yellow-ish paper, the Princess Murder books are of great quality on thick, white paper. The cover is also all nice and glossy. I love stuff like that.
When it comes to story, Murder Princess is decent as well even if the premise can sound lame. It tells the tale of a princess and a bounty hunter who switch bodies, and then decide to join forces in protecting the Forland kingdom. Falis, who is now inside princess Alita’s body, has a very strong and blood-thirsty personality which is how the “Murder Princess” is born. As the title implies there is a lot of fighting and some gore in the books, especially in volume 2. But it can also be very cute and lighthearted at times, and not exactly as dark as one would think. The very clean lineart in the manga also prevents it from ever looking too dark and gloomy.
Even if princess Alita (or Milano as she is later known as) gives me strong Hisui-vibes, I still like the two female characters in the manga a lot. I mean, the princess herself is just too cool when she starts fighting 😉
The villains aren’t anything special in the first book. We are introduced to a scientist who is angry that his project got denied by the king, and he then tries to throw a coup d’etat with his cute android twins Anna and Yuna. They all get blasted off in true Team Rocket style, and I didn’t especially find them very impressive. In the first volume it also looks like these three will be returning with boring cartoony attacks on the princess every episode, but in fact that problem is firmly taken care of in volume two, and some true villains finally enter the scene.
Yes! Things were finally getting interesting, and some true backstory to Alita and Milano was introduced to make everything better… and then it ends.
I was finally getting into it, when suddenly there is a lot of strange happy-happy wrap-ups, and the books is over. In the back I find a depressed after-word manga where the manga-ka apologizes because he wanted to expand the story more, but that the magazine closed down.
…. Was that it?
I desperately logged on to the internet, and alas it looks like it really ended right there.
I must say, that was a real let-down. We never even got to face the true villain. Damn.
Even though Murder Princess wasn’t the next greatest manga out there, I did enjoy reading it as far as it went. The final chapter cut everything off really quickly, and gave a very unsatisfactory feeling. A story that obviously plans to be very epic definitely can’t get away with that kind of resolution.
Guess there’s nothing to do about that. I’ll give the anime a try and see if that ends any better….
(Note: I found it a funny coincidence that as I bought Murder Princess and Tsukihime together, there even was a drawing in the back of MP vol. 1 drawn by the artist of the Tsukihime manga….nice.)