While waiting for the next season I decided to play with the random episode function of Crunchyroll. After skipping past School Days (already watched it thanks and never again), Crunchyroll came up with episode 1 of Majestic Prince.
Earth year 2110. Having expanded into space and secured many asteroids abundant in natural resources, it seemed mankind’s prosperous future was assured. However, Earth is now being invaded by Urgal, a mysterious galactic empire from Jupiter. Just as mankind is facing certain destruction, the secret military agency MJP undertakes a gene manipulation project to create humans who can adapt to life in space. The result is Team Rabbits, a group of children who are given combat devices called “Ash” and sent to the front line as shields for the Global Defense Force (GDF).
I’ve just direct copied and pasted the overview from Crunchyroll mostly because even though I had heard of this anime and remember reading about it when it was released, I wasn’t particularly interested at the time and paid very little attention. I even had to look up the year of the release because I honestly couldn’t remember if it was last year or a little bit further back (turns out it was 2013).
Well I’m not the biggest fan of mecha anime or inept teams that come together eventually to win whatever. I find it disconcerting how young soldiers seems to be in a lot of anime and why the adults all stand around wringing their hands and yet still send the inexperienced rookies into fight. So Majestic Prince was going to have an uphill battle to keep me watching right from the get-go.
And… I didn’t hate it.
The episode starts with what seems like a completely over-the-top scene from an 80’s sci-fi with alien like creatures (though the alien nature is not confirmed) shooting green lazers at very 80’s styled anime characters who range from ugly looking to featurely indistinct. The humans for their part scream the usual clichés and start ordering evacuations. At this point in the episode, I wasn’t actually sure if I was supposed to be taking this seriously or if this was some sort of parody and I’m still a little on the fence about that one.
Then we jump to a simulated fight (and it’s pretty obvious from the outset that it isn’t a real battle but I somehow got the impression that the anime thought it was revelation when we saw paint splatter instead of dead teenage pilots). We meet the dysfunctional members of Team Rabbit (s), never sure if that s is supposed to be there or not. Issue with subtitles. Anyway…
I don’t remember a single one of their names. There is the brash one, the arty guy who somehow ends up being gung-ho later in the episode, the flirty useless sniper guy, the flirty useless girl who falls in love at the drop of a hat and the aloof blonde girl. They have no chemistry as a team and very little audience appeal. By the end of the episode they have slightly more team chemistry and still almost no audience appeal. We’ve seen these characters before and done better and maybe they’ll have an amazing character arc and we’ll see some out of this world development but in honesty if the whole team had actually been shot to pieces I probably wouldn’t have been all that upset.
While they are feeling sorry for themselves about having the lowest scores and track record and anything else, they get called for a mission. Because of course when the invasion (remember we saw it at the start of the episode) occurs you call on your worst team of trainees to save the day and somehow already have their DNA loaded into the mecha that are somehow going to turn the entire battle around. Two issues here. Why does a machine need their DNA and if you have these super cool robot machine things, why are you losing the fight?
They go, they fight, they delay the alien thingies long enough for the evacuation but then they spot civilians left behind. There’s no more ships, but hey, success.
Not good enough. Charge! Off they go and leader guy fights the aliens off and they flee and so they’ve saved the day. End episode.
I’m convinced that in later episodes we are going to have to have a lot of exposition if this is going to make some sort of logical sense. Either that or we’re just going to be told ‘science’ and be expected to believe that somehow that makes the events of this episode sensible.
Despite all of that, I still didn’t hate this show. It has a good pace to it and certainly the plot problems already inherent might be resolved. The characters aren’t awful though they are going to have to do something in a couple of episodes to make them a little more appealing or sympathetic. It’s hard to say from one episode and normally I’d give something between 3 and 4 episodes but I’m not really in the mood to continue this right now.
Final verdict? I added this to my queue but don’t expect to get back to it anytime soon. I’ll save it for that rainy day and may rage quit it after another episode or two or might just happily buzz through all the episodes.
If you’ve watched Majestic Prince, let me know what you thought.