I couldn’t think of how to start this post. Majestic Prince (and I keep accidentally putting ‘Marginal’ there) is a so-so mecha show with a mildly-engaging if wholly archetypical cast that is perfectly entertaining enough to compel me to try the next episode, but not so much so that at this point I can picture myself following it for a full twenty-four episodes. Or, well, it was for about 85% of the episode before it ended in a sequence that was so head-smackingly idiotic that it made stuff like G Gundam seem a work of genius.
Y’know, I get it – its a mecha show targeted at sixteen year old boys, its going to have deus ex machina and people pulling things off purely on the strength of their pure feelings of conviction and guts. Fine. But when you dial it up this much at the end of the first episode, it really makes me leery of what obnoxious shit is going to follow in future episodes. Look, folks, the male lead has already managed to scare off a massive element of the evil bad guys who had, prior to his GUTS moment, been wiping the floor with experienced combat units – where the hell does it go from here? And, honestly, after watching the smirking, smug, gung-ho hothead get his ass handed to him early on in the episode, I was expecting a little more. I’ll admit that I was probably too quick to think well on the show for doing that, but it still left me with a different expectation than I would’ve otherwise had.
…ok, look, what I really am trying to work my way around to is just how… ugh, here:
So, Izuru, when asked what his dream is right before the mission, says he wants to be a hero. WHOA WHOA slow the fuck down there kid, what the fuck did you just say? Ok, you know what? Your ass would be kicked off that sort of mission in real life faster than you could blink your stupid, dopey little eyes. Holy hell, there is nothing, nothing more guaranteed to get people killed for no reason at all than having a person who wants to be a hero playing pilot or soldier. And of course from here we’re going to watch Izuru be lauded and admired and not punished at all for ignoring direct orders from superiors with years and years more experience than he has. Nope! Izuru – you were a hero!
And there’s just the whole way its depicted – Izuru sees civilians still on the ground, and we, the audience, are supposed to recoil in horror at how utterly heartless the military leadership is – look at those poor people! Never mind that there isn’t a way to actually evacuate those people and that there are only five robots standing between them and a massive onslaught, that the actual likely outcome is that, oh, wow, great job, hero, you got yourself and your entire team killed, AND everyone still dies. But, hey, this is anime, so even though you’re an insubordinating, insignificant piece of milquetoast who aspires to some weepy idea of heroism, the safety and lives of those under you be damned, you get to deus ex machina and GANBARE your way to saving the day. Great job.
Folks, I am absolutely willing to accept some Magical Anime Moments where the leads overcome great odds to save the day. If Izuru and his team had stubbornly insisted on stalling for more time while the military sent some evacuation ships to get the remainder of the civilians out, I would not be expressing so much ire here. But the bar is already set so sky-high in terms of absurdity, and done so with such utter seriousness, it stretches credulity too much.
So we’ve got a bland mecha show with an obnoxious male lead. Wow. We sure didn’t have a zillion of those lying around! Early relief that the show didn’t opt for the hard-charging guy was apparently frying pan to volcano-type thinking, given the idealistic milquetoast we get instead. I sure as hell hope that shit backfires on him hardcore.
By the way, for whatever its worth, while it seems the character designs here remind everyone of Gundam Seed, they brought Fafner to my mind first. Hisashi Hirai did both, and is in charge here, but its a bit interesting to me which thing people think of first (he also did the designs for Kurogane no Linebarrels, Ryvius, s-CRY-ed, and Heroic Age).
Ok, so, yeah, I am watching this in the hopes that I get to watch Izuru’s world get torn to shreds because of his terrible decisions. HAHAHAHA because that is so going to happen.
Fuck, just, here, have everything else I want to say but haven’t yet:
- As usual, the female cast has to have at least one utter dope who, also as usual, has massive boobs; her special idiot skill is falling in love with anyone who shows her the tiniest shred of decent behavior, like offering her a hand when she trips on air and falls on her face. She eats her feelings when she’s rejected. Of course.
- every scene involving all five of the core cast requires that every single one of them comment on every single thing, camera panning back and forth as each member adds their two cents; it feels totally contrived and sticks out like a sore thumb
- why is the control mech not also the leader mech? this makes no damn sense – its called “command and control” for a reason… but its probably just so HEROIC LEADER gets to shoot stuff… also, why give the competent girl in the group the chance to shoot stuff?
- I had this feeble hope that Team Usagi/the Fail Five were being sent forth on the mission because the leadership figured they were probably going to get killed anyway, so why waste the good pilots? And then have things go really sideways and end up having a higher-stakes story wherein the kids basically get cut loose and left to die. But, nope, they were just sent out because, um, the plot needed it to happen.