「奇襲」 (Kishuu)
“Surprise Attack “

It’s definitely a tale of two halves with the latest episode of Majestic Prince. The first half was decidedly light-hearted, offering a fine blend of comedy and character development, while the second half was bracingly action-packed, introducing new enemies and laying down the foundations for future exposition. There’s one piece of information that we weren’t told until now – why was Team Rabbit sent into battle when there are clearly more qualified personnel in GDF? The question has been a topic of intense debate among the naysayers and just as I suspected, there is a reasonable case to be made behind the choice. It’s hardly surprising the raison d’être is the JURIA-system, which of course, relies heavily on the pilot’s survival instinct to control the AHSMB units. Evidently, that’s an area that the Zannen 5 excels in and if the first two episodes are any indication, their endurance and keen survival impulse are the only reason they’re even alive.

I’ve said last week that fundamentally, the show boils down to its five main characters and two of them – Izuru and Kei, stood out above all. It’s not hard to imagine my utter delight to see the both of them received a fair share of attention in this episode, starting with Kei’s baking adventure in the kitchen. The simple conversation between the two revealed an awful lot about the current state of affairs for the humans and one line sticks out to me in particular – “Sometimes it’s too hard to bear, just what am I”. That’s somewhat poignant but hits the nail right on the head, for it sum up the identity crisis that our protagonists are suffering through. We’re still in the dark about where did these genetically-modified teen-soldiers come from and why did they enlist in the army. Those are some of the questions I hope the series would address in the future and the closest thing to a common thread that I can see is Cdr. Simon, who is directly linked to the MJP project and perhaps even the design template of the JURIA-system.

As things end in this episode, I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t see that cliffhanger coming. While surprising, what we’re witnessing is a logical development for Majestic Prince – the Zannen 5 are soldiers in the middle of a war and it’s only natural that physical threat is part of the package deal. That said, I fully expect Tamaki to survive this adversity, most probably with some bumps and bruises. It’s still way too early to kill off a main character and while her childish personality might not always be the most agreeable, both Tamaki and Ataru are in an enviable position of being the comic relief of the show, and their roles are essential to maintain the balance  between humor and seriousness. This is indeed a series that presents some very contrasting tones from an episode to another, and even within the episode itself. The fast-paced action sequences are prominently featured in every episode, but there are some lightweight comedic material inserted occasionally as well. No question, the storytelling in Majestic Prince remains one of the most articulate and fascinating of the season, and I’m very interested to see where the show goes from here.

Random tidbit:

  • I just can’t sing enough praises for the absolutely brilliant themes songs in Majestic Prince. Both the opening and ending themes are composed by the tremendously talented Ishikawa Chiaki, best known as the one-half of See-Saw. Her vocal works and musical composition in anime are legendary and some of my favorites include Gundam 00’s Prototype“, Gundam Seed Destiny’s Kimi wa Boku ni Niteiru”, .hack//SIGN’s Obsession“, Kamisama Dolls’s Switch ga Haittara” and Sengoku Basara’s Gyakko“.

tl;dr: @SeishunRC – Now we know why the Zannen 5 were selected and wow, that’s how you do a cliffhanger! #MJP #Anime

Shameless Plug: I’m on twitter now! Follow me @SeishunRC for comments on anime (18 shows this spring) and manga (Magi, Fairy Tail, Claymore etc). If you have any feedbacks or simply wish to have a chat, you can also reach me at Seishun@randomc.net. I promise I won’t bite!

Full-length images: 01, 10, 11, 14, 15, 20, 22, 23.

 

Preview

53 Comments

      1. As soon as I saw the white haired girl I knew she was the lead’s love interest, good friends rarely become lovers in these type of shows but mysterious girls almost always do.

        sortedevaras
      2. Izuru x Kei would be cute, but he seems to be a breast-man so I think it would be really funny if he got together with the mechanics chief :p

        I’m pulling for Tamaki x Ataru myself.

        agr0n
    1. Dammit… You’ve just reminded me of Wally’s death in Young Justice.

      *He’s just trapped in Speed Force. He’s just trapped in Speed Force. He’s just trapped in Speed Force. He’s just trapped in Speed Force…..

      Terrorhunt
  1. Character development I wanted, character development I got.

    There was a little bit of tension building up in terms of their identity here. While the simplicity and atmosphere of the conversation between Izuru and Kei did not highlight the seriousness of their situation, the scene with the contemptuous commander did the trick. How would a teenager really feel when he gets ‘brainwashed’, literally, having their entire identity wiped to serve the cause of someone or something you probably never had a chance to say ‘no’ to?

    And then the quirkiness of their behavior is suddenly a little more understandable, their childish aspirations and characteristics a little more comprehensible. The question here is whether they are the only ones who had to go through that experience just because of their compatibility with the AHSMB units.

    Gotta agree that I was a little disappointed with the meeting between the silver-haired princess and the (wannabe) hero. Still, this episode more than makes up for it with a balanced mix of humor and seriousness (something I admit I thought the show wasn’t capable of) the way the story goes so far (protagonists struggling to find their place or establish themselves in their own world) and that cliffhanger.

    Not bad, not bad at all. At the very least, it should be worth watching the way it goes.

    Owaranai
    1. +100 Seishun Points! Couldn’t have said it better myself 😉
      There’s so much more about the characters that I would like to talk about (Kei in particular) and fortunately, there’s more than enough text space in 24 episodes that would allow me to write about every single one of them.

      Seishun
    2. I have to wonder if they actually had a past before the academy. The Deputy chief of staff said something about creating them and personality erasure is an awfully convenient way of hiding that they are in fact say force grown genetic constructs.

      Adam
  2. “Stop trying to randomly console people” No Kei, Izuru is a broleader and all broleaders have to keep their team in high spirits!

    You should’ve had a pic of that nasty looking green “Cake”.I think Izuru was telling a white lie, that cake was bad and Kei should feel bad.

    Funniest part of the episode was the constant footage showing of Asagi’s failure.All the monitor around showing his failure to dock was just hilarious.

    That action scene with Asagi and Izuru back to back shooting at the enemy was epic.

    The cliffhanger can’t fool me, Tamaki isn’t dead, you don’t kill big breasted main characters off so early in the story, you just don’t.Especially in a mecha story, it’s impossible.

    Magoiichi
  3. The transition from humor to the serious moments in this show is just flawless. This gives it a very balanced feel that few shows have. It gives you the dose of humor at the right time and I give the writer props for that.

    I think the highlight of this episode is isuzu and kei’s conversation. They get to relate at an emotional level and opened up more to each other.

    I like the fact that its telling the viewers that its not going to be all smiles in this show. There are serious moments and I’m looking forward for more.

    FiveOVER
    1. Those two are just so cute together 😉
      Yes, I do believe the show will have a focus on the more serious side of things. The attention to detail of its mecha designs and the dilemma surrounding the deployment of teen-soldiers into war are examples of those.

      Seishun
  4. Tamaki – I wonder if her “flight or fight” instincts will trigger some heretofore unmentioned
    capability of their suits. I mean, they practically showed her field collapse which would expose
    her to the vacuum of space – well endowed or not, humans can’t survive those conditions.

    This has the earmarks of the “evil” team leader actually turning out not so evil if he pushes the
    envelope of their abilities to make them stronger (by forcing them in this battle situation).
    I mean, I can’t read it any other way unless they:

        ⊕ really want to kill off her character,
        ⊕ perform a “save” using some random reason in which case it’ll just be a cartoon.

    It’s got me hooked, can’t wait to see how it ends up!

    mac65
    1. Izuru would probably sweep in and save the day, just like a super hero 😉
      The force field has collapse but that doesn’t mean the mecha’s armor has been destroyed 😡

      Seishun
  5. This show is interesting. I have a love/hate relationship with it, as I love mecha shows and main characters that are a little “off”. And those mecha designs? Fantastic. Just not the biggest fan of some of the main characters (and I’m trying really hard to get over the character designs) it doesn’t take away my enjoyment of the show, as we’re only 3 episodes in and there’s still plenty of time to develop the other 3 that aren’t Izuru and Kei. I hope Kei’s unit is capable of fighting, as it would be cool to see it in the Gawain/Shinkirou role- a strategic mecha that could potentially kick ass if the situation called for it. Looking forward to episode 4!

    katsudon
    1. Come on, you gotta admit Kei’s character design is pretty cool 😉
      I’m sure Purple 2 has some long-range weapons equipped, missiles or laser canon, something like that

      Seishun
      1. Hahaha, Kei’s design definitely looks more distinct than some of the others! Plus the fact that Kei is played by Hikasa Yoko means by default her character is my favorite. (big fan of hers) And hey, I’m totally all for purple having a laser cannon, because laser cannons are awesome. =D

        katsudon
  6. This episode was really fun, and I’m really curious about the white haired woman. It was funny that he couldn’t swim :p

    I hope that asshole general loses his job after sending Ataru in and not ordering a retreat, on another note after seeing the enemy in action we can expect some great fights coming soon.

    If Ataru dies…………

    agr0n
  7. ha! who said majestic prince isn’t taking itself seriously?

    I like how the contrasting tones are being used on this series so far. The comedy bits only make the more serious parts all the more heartbreaking. Imagine that, the heroes all act goofy like normal teenagers with the newfound fame, yet they don’t realize that they are slowly killing themselves in every mission. And the the higher ups treat them as nothing more than expendable weapos.

    I have to say that the series is slowly matching up to gargantia in terms of storytelling.

    flamerounin
    1. I agree, I find the storytelling in MJP quite gripping and the characters are growing on me fast. Fortunately for us, we have two cours to work with, so the writers can roll it all out in a seamless manner 😉

      Seishun
  8. I think the soundtrack here is pretty good. Can’t help nut think Majestic Prince has underlying stories yet to be unfolded. The commander’s intentions, why the Fail 5 were selected for examples..

    Dunn
    1. Whhy they were selected has already been explained, didn’t you read my post? I dedicated the entire first paragraph for that 😛
      Good point, I love the OST. Fun fact, Watanabe Toshiyuki is the lead composer for Space Bros as well 😉

      Seishun
  9. I’m starting to really like this series. Although the first episode gave off a comedic, childish super robot vibe, the past 2 episodes seem to hint of a lot more depth behind the plot while also tackling the issues that surround using children as soldiers to fight in wars.

    At first I thought this was a Xebec production, with the setting and character designs that looked so like a typical Xebec sci-fi space opera series. In fact, I find it shares some interesting similarities with Xebec’s underrated Soukyuu no Fafner, especially with regards to how both the good guys in the series are dependent on children as pilots for their mecha, and how this situation affects the lives of the children and their adult handlers. The soundtrack is also really good, with the OP by Natsumi Kon echoing some of Angela’s songs in Xebec sci-fi shows, while the ever amazing Chiaki Ishikawa provides the perfect closure to an episode.

    As for characters, I’m really starting to warm up to Kei and Izuru. They seem to have some great chemistry together judging by their conversation over Kei’s freshly baked cakes, although its pretty obvious that he’ll end up with the silver haired girl judging by the OP sequence.

    1. It’s also Ishikawa Chiaki brilliance that brought us the composition for the OP and Kon Natsumi is doing a bang up job with the delivery 😉
      To be honest, I’m not a fan of making comparisons and I prefer to let the show stand on its own. But nothing is too original in sci-fi (or anything for that matter) and there are elements in MJP that are similar to Soukyuu no Fafner, Vandread, Kidou Senkan Nadesico or even Mugen no Ryvius that shares the same character designer as MJP.

      Seishun

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