This is a typical OVA in some ways – violence and nudity (or the threat of rape being passed off as ‘comedic’), all predictable things about certain anime genres, some of which have certainly come to tire me after a couple decades.
Puppet Princess (Karakuri no Kimi) 2000
That isn’t to claim Puppet Princess is terrible, or that I think it’s impossible to take on serious themes in anime either, but Puppet Princess feels too casual with its application of that content for me.
I should talk about the story sooner or later – but first, Puppet Princess almost seems bit of a warm up for Karakuri Circus, especially when it comes to the puppetry (which was probably the best aspect of the anime).
An adaptation of Kazuhiro Fujita’s one-shot manga, it’s a straightforward but still at times exciting story of vengeance. Rangiku (the Puppet Princess) recruits warrior Manajiri and together they seek and eventually take on Lord Karimata, who murdered her family.
There are a few fun surprises, especially toward the end, and the art and animation works for me, though this 2000 OVA won’t deliver things you might be used to if you favour modern action sequences and techniques.
Is it worth chasing down?
Maybe if you’re a fan of Kazuhiro Fujita or the era of production perhaps, or just if you really love swords and shinobi.