It has been quite a while since I last reviewed a whole series, mainly because I just have not been watching too much anime lately. Anyway, a while back, I decided to pick up this rather short series, which I finished a few days ago.
If a person were to die with a lingering attachment to the living world, whether it’s unrequited love, unfinished business, or simply a desire to continue enjoying life, the dead may return as corpses. Shikabane Himes, corpse princesses, are such corpses who have made contracts with Buddhist priests. Paired with another priest, these undead woman kill rogue corpses who harm the living. Ouri Tagami, the younger brother of a priest, is unexpectedly dragged into the undead world when he sees his brother fighting along with Hoshimura Makina, a Shikabane Hime.
I love both the supernatural genre and girl with guns anime, so I watched the opening sequence to get a feel for what Shikabane Hime is like. After that, I thought I must view this series. The premise and the opening sequence are simply too awesome.
However, after the first few episodes, I was already a bit tired of it. This anime makes the fatal mistake of cliche personalities. Once again, I am watching the boring internal struggles of a limp, weak, but very nice and goodhearted boy. Ouri’s constant whining and wishes to be strong enough to protect Hoshimura Makina is a character development I have seen in countless animes. I did not like such character type and plot the first time; I certainly hate it by the millionth time.
Hoshimura Makina and other Shikabane Hime saves the anime somewhat. Hoshimura Makina has a pretty great character design… gun wielding school girl killing undead with a cool demeanor. She is the highlight of the series. The supporting characters and the antagonists are also quite fantastic. They are all curious and engaging, and makes me want to know more about them, especially some of the bad guys.
The action is decent. There were a few pretty cool parts, but nothing too amazing. The OP and ED are kind of nice. Angela has a pretty unique voice, and I rather enjoyed listening to the soundtrack. (I guess in some ways, I got tricked into watching the series…)
Shikabane Hime Aka is kind of a disappointment. Unfortunately, despite having some good points, the series should have less (or no) Ouri and more Hoshimura Makina and Shikabane Hime. I guess that is kind of why I took so long to finish the series.
Lastly, the series ends at sort of a cliff hanger. Without spoiling anything, the next season, Shikabane Hime Kuro, seems like it can only be worse…
Edit: Shikabane Hime Kuro is actually much better than I had expected.