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Shamanic Princess

OAV 1: Yord no Za

Copyright: © 1996 Princess Project, Bandai Visual, Movic; © 2000 Central Park Media, US Manga Corp.
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: 16 and up, Recommended for Mature Audiences
Format: Original Japanese Dialogue, English Subtitled, English Dub (VHS, DVD)


vhs jacket

Tiara, sent from the Guardian World to search for the Throne of Yord, disguises herself as a young schoolgirl. However, unbeknownst to Tiara is that someone has been sent from the Guardian World before her. Lena, and her partner Leon, have been in the town for some time before Tiara and are likewise seeking the throne. Or are they? Mystery abounds as Lena interferes with Tiara's search for the throne and otherwise blocks her from finding the one who stole it in the first place; Kagetsu.

capsule review:

What is it about having cutesy animal critters in anime as sidekicks? It's getting to be a bit of a peeve given that so many anime have these cute animals who may serve a purpose or more often just look adorable. Unfortunately, Shamanic Princess also follows this cliche regardless of how the story itself develops.

This first episode of Shamanic Princess quickly introduces several key characters to the series; Tiara and Lena and their partners Japolo and Leon. Also introduced are Sarah and Kagetsu; not so many characters that viewers get confused trying to keep track of everyone. Viewers are quickly introduced to the story at hand as we are dropped into a minor skirmish between Tiara and a minor power.

Perhaps the first thing to catch viewers attention as the video begins (other than the boppy j-pop opening theme song), is the animation. With surprisingly good animation and detail, viewers are treated to some quality animation and as a result are quickly drawn into a surprisingly good anime story despite it's fairly basic premise. The music, what music is present that is, is well suited to the characters and the scenes. However, there are a number of scenes without background music.

Character personalities are quickly made apparent through antagonistic skirmishes bringing up many questions. Why is Lena interfering with Tiara's investigation? What is the meaning behind Tiara's dreams? What is the throne anyways, and why did Kagetsu steal it? And what does this all have to do with Sarah? Of course, there's also the question of just why Lena and Tiara seem to hate each other so much, but that seems to be something from the past. So many questions abound, will they all be answered?

The action is fast paced, and if you've ever played any of the more detailed RPG games, watching Tiara and Lena summon the different powers is highly reminiscent of certain aspects of magic use. Especially the idea of summoning time, ritual etc., affecting the strength of the summoning, as well as being indicative of overall ability.
- JN, 2001.10.15

café rating (english subtitled):


4 star

[4 / 5] - Starting with a basic story premise, mystery abounds. With hints about the characters and their relationships with one another, there is more to this than the basic "hunt the fugitive" beginnings.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - The direction itself is solid and there's a good sense of tension and action as viewers watch this first episode.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - Typical of most Japanese efforts, the seiyuu are well into character and do a good job with their lines.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - The animation is quite crisp and sharp with some really good detail. My only question is where do these people come up with these hair designs?!


3 stars
[3 / 5] - All in all, not bad, but nothing to write home about either. As per most anime features, there's a really good opening j-pop theme song for this anime.


4 stars
[4 / 5] - Some instances of being a touch too literal which affects flow, mixed with occasions of looser idiomatic translations. The mix is a bit strange since it's inconsistent between the two. Despite this, the translation overall is well done.

Overall Rating:

4 star
[4 / 5] - All in all a very good watch. I'm really curious to see where the story goes next. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they left us hanging to see what happens next. On to episode 2 say I and more story!

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Page last modified 2001.10.15