Princess Rouge: Legend of the Last Labyrinth
One day, an average anime guy named Yuusuke (like every -other- average anime guy, it seems) is biking to school when, lo and behold, a girl falls from the sky and lands on him. Of course, she can't remember much, but she's really cute. It turns out, naturally, that she's a magical princess, and there's some villains out to get her. And then there's her sisters, who wonder why she's shacking up with Yuusuke ...
You know, I wasn't expecting much out of this title. I picked it up on a whim at a Comic Con a few years back (with a bit of urging from my better half) for the express reason that we'd never heard of it before. And when the first scene came in with the oh-so-cliched angel-falls-from-the-sky routine, well, I was about to write Princess Rouge off as a total rehash.
Well, not so fast. Princess Rouge may be quite unoriginal, but let's examine its positive qualities before moving on here. The characters are fairly appealing, and Rouge does a fair bit of learning how to live as a normal Japanese girl, which leads to a few cute scenes of interaction between her and Yusuke. Rouge is also not a total moron, which compares quite favorably with, oh, say, Mamotte Shugogetten. The character designs, too, are nice, kind of a fantasy-does-Oh My Goddess vein.
The animation is passable, on the glossy side, but not with a great amount of detail. The music is unobtrusive, and serves to gloss over a few still scenes which probably would have been animated had they the budget to animate them. Though the end song is pretty nice.
And then, just as we're starting to find out who Rouge is, who those sisters are, and realize that there actually is a villain to beware of, the tape ends. (Another unfinished series? AARGH!) That's it. Nada. Zilch. The only continuation of this series you'll ever find is fanfic.
Remember Anime Release Rule #52: A series is well and truly over when the art portfolio comes onscreen.
Like Ninja Cadets, this series seems to have been a project for journeymen animators and voice actors to cut their teeth on. In fact, a quick scan of the credits reveals its animation-school pedigree. So what we're left with is a somewhat charming, but ultimately unfulfilling series that's pretty darn good for a school project, but really doesn't hold much water as a full anime series.
Cute, but ultimately, just average. And, yes, a total rehash. (AARGH!)
I might be a bit generous here, but this had potential, darnit! — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Nothing too harmful, just a couple of awkward scenes with Rouge not wearing much, and a bit of sword-slinging here and there. The villains may be a little too creepy for young children, but it's okay for older children and above, I guess.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (2/2)
Princess Rouge: Legend of the Last Labyrinth © 1997 COSMIC RAY / Nippon Narration Kenkyujo / Voogies Project
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