Anime Taste Testing: Kaizoku Oujo

Swash swash buckle buckle.

Anime fans rejoice, there’s another decent title to add to the extremely small list of genuinely enjoyable anime airing this season. As I’m currently in way over my head with RL stuff, my impressions will be fairly brief, but that shouldn’t be mistaken for dislike of this title – although somewhat wary going in, Kaizoku Oujo (or Fena: Pirate Princess if you prefer) has quite a bit to offer.

My initial reservations mostly stemmed from the fact that, while I’m happy to get an anime that doesn’t take itself too seriously and isn’t afraid of busting out some comedic moments to make the most of its slightly wacky pirate/samurai adventure-style romp, I wasn’t overly keen on Fena’s near-sexual assault scenes being played for humor. Moreover, while Fena herself clearly isn’t supposed to be seen as your stereotypical damsel in distress thanks to her stubborn and adventure-seeking personality, a lot of her screen time still involves being saved in the nick of time by her dashing male counterparts. This isn’t to say I want her to be inexplicably depicted as some ass-kicking heroine when she’s obviously still learning what it’s like to live life on the high seas, but I could also definitely do without nearly every single background male character being portrayed as some kind of lecherous potential rapist.

My other more minor gripe is that Kaizoku Oujo could have just as easily been set in a fictional universe, but the writers have instead insisted on providing real locations and a clear time period, which unfortunately means I can’t help but scoff at some of the anachronisms, particularly the outfits. Don’t get me wrong, I dearly love my historical fiction, but if you’re going to go that route, I prefer at least a hint of accuracy. Kaizoku Oujo, on the other hand, is throwing around real-world settings like America, the British Empire, and Turkey, but with pretty much zero in the way of research into what the 18th century actually looked like.

All that being said, I feel that the positives largely outweigh the negatives here. The show is an anime-original that looks pretty great (thanks, Production I.G!), sounds even better (thanks, Kajiura Yuki!), and is quite a bit of (usually light-hearted) fun. Plus, three episodes in, and some of the characters are already shaping up to be surprisingly more complex than you’d think at first glance. In all, it’s a solid piece that I think will appeal to a fairly broad audience, so I’m happy giving it my stamp of approval, whatever that’s worth.

Score: 7/10

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5 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Kaizoku Oujo

  1. I agree, I’ve only watched the first 2 episodes and I already like it. I mean, it isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn good. I think the only thing that annoyed me a little bit was that the main character depended on others to save her way too much, but that didn’t really get in the way of the story, so I can over look that. I would give it a score of 8/10

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  2. It’s fun, and this season sorely needed something fun. I like to think Yukimaru’s constant sour expression stems from him having to always wind up the stpring based submarine…

    I didn’t even notice that this was supposed to be set in our world. The Germanesque place name in episode 3, for example, sounded rather strange to a native speaker of German. I don’t remember the details, but they seemed to have strung together two words or morphemes that’d usually only come last in a place name, like calling an English town Villeton, or something. I really don’t care too much about that.

    The casual sexism that rears its head now and then, though, is worth a few eye-rolls. Episode 3 taught me that them slim girls are treasures, but you can beat up them tough ones. Twin wisdom. I’ve been trying to interpret stuff charitably initially, but I really can’t anymore. Not a deal breaker; I’ve seen worse in shows I still managed to enjoy, but, yeah… anime.

    I really enjoyed the soundtrack, but didn’t realise it was Kajiura. She’s scoring Vanitas, too, this season. Anything else, I wonder? The visuals are nice, but they’re more generic pretty than memorable to me; more servicable than a draw.

    All in all, I’m glad to have the show, especially this season where fun shows are scarce.

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    1. It is indeed fun. Depending on how the rest of the series shapes up, it might even become my favorite of the season – I find myself growing more and more tired with Aquatope, which I originally felt pretty okay with. The only other two shows I’m currently still watching (Fumetsu no Anata e and Night Head 2041) are pretty dark, so Kaizoku Oujo feels like a much-needed breath of fresh air in that regard.

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