Lapis is the Princess of Sorcerland. Her lone magic power is to erase magic (the Magic Eraser). She's rather ditzy and childish, so her mother sends her on a journey to grow up and learn the importance of her stature in life. Of course, her mother's none too smart herself, and sends Lapis (as well as her teacher and bodyguard) a little farther out than expected. Of course, Lapis has a "mortal enemy", Topaz, who would want nothing more than to add Lapis to her "cute girl collection". Did I mention Lapis gains her strength from eating pudding?
This is the funniest thing we've seen since Shinesman and Dragon Half. Cute, slapsticky, heavily laden with horrible puns that would make Piers Anthony cringe, this anime even parodies Tex Avery in its widespread slaughter of every animation cliche ever made, while adding elements such as mecha made out of konyaku jelly. Bizarre, yes. Funny? Heck yeah.
Lapis is a total airhead, but she's sure camera-savvy, always posing and mugging for a camera she knows is out there. She has but one power, and a very pretty, if probably useless magical staff, but it's useful enough, as in a world of magic, she knows how to cancel anything sent against her, to a point. Oh yeah, and she does nifty magical girl sequences just for fun. (In the first two episodes alone, look for Sakura Wars and Card Captor Sakura references.) Then there's her hapless bodyguard, the immortal Kohaku, who brings a new meaning to the phrase "put-upon". Handsome, and kind-hearted, and totally in love with Lapis, Kohaku, by his very invincibility, is often thrown in battle (literally) as a "shield of meat". Just because he's invincible doesn't mean he can't feel pain - and he often does. (Sharp objects seem quite attracted to poor Kohaku, and I'm not going to tell you anything more except that he's much like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.) It doesn't help that he's useless as a swordsman. And then there's Lapis's teacher, an elderly man who carries the world map for the party and fights by giving the enemy math tests. And of course, there's the adorable little fairy, Nandra-chan, who serves as Lapis's personal yes-man. "Ui!"
Of course, there are many bad people in Lapis's world. (Bad being a bit of a subjective term.) First off is Topaz, who seems like a bizarre mixture of B-ko, Naga, and Kyouko from Nuku Nuku. Topaz *wants* Lapis in the worst way imaginable. And she uses various servants (with silly names) and alliances with corrupt local officials to catch Lapis. Did I mention she's the Wicked Witch of the West? Along with ogres that look suspiciously like Sweetums from the Warner Brothers cartoons, "hentai konyaku otaku" (yes, that's quoted verbatim), and falling once-floating landmasses, you'd think Lapis's party would never have a chance.
But then again, Lapis's parents are always there to steer their little "pudding-cess" (er, princess) in the right course. With their secret identities, naturally. (I'm not going to spoil this one, but believe me, it's strange.)
Did I mention Lapis likes pudding? So much so that it drives every single episode of this series. (Yes, even the title is a horrible pun.)
With beautiful animation, funny characters, a healthy dose of fan service (Lapis and Topaz do their fair share of bouncing, sometimes in compromising positions), and references to just about anything you can imagine, Detatoko Princess is a lot of fun and utterly, utterly, utterly silly.
Sure it's pointless, but it's a good pointless.
If they'd made more, we would have added another star, but it probably ended soon enough to not run out of material. Not terribly original, but very funny. People seeking more original material may drop this down a notch, maybe two. — Carlos Ross and Christi
Recommended Audience: Well, Lapis and Topaz do have a bath scene in the very first episode, but boy, do they dress quickly. Still, there's quite a bit of fan service, and poor Kohaku loses blood every single battle. ("But it's only a flesh wound.") So it wouldn't be a good idea for small children, but teens and above (with proper exposure to *both* Japanese and American animation) would get a kick out of it.
Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Full (3/3)
Detatoko Princess © 1997 Hitoshi Okuda / Kadokawa Shoten • VAP
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