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.