A Space Opera Worthy of its Crown
I love science-fiction, a whole lot in fact. Yet when the three big sci-fi shows of Spring Season were announced, this was the one I cared the least for. Admittedly, I kept mixing all the shows up at first, so that doesn’t hold much meaning, but having spend twentyfour episodes with Majestic Prince since then makes me realize just how wrong of me it was to expect the least out of this show.
Majestic Prince is a mecha show, but it’s more than just that. The show is framed more as a space opera than it is a standard mecha action series. While the story is about a ongoing war against a alien force, the Vulgaru, it’s not your standard fight-of-the-week type deal, but rather a complete journey through a futuristic society. Throughout the show we follow Team Rabbits. They are five young pilots, Izuru, Toshikazu, Tamaki, Kei and Ataru, who have been chosen for the new military program, codenamed MJP.
The MJP program gets them access to the ASHMB suits, mecha suits that are far more advance than the ones in use by other pilots. The suits themselves have a lot of interesting bits to them, many of which are explored in more ways then one as the series progresses. I don’t wish to dwell to much on the plot as I would have to get into spoilers, but while the show may sound formulaic, it deals with all the expected tropes in unique and clever ways.
It’s interesting to see a show that’s very clearly science-fiction, yet wants to try to inject some actual science fact into the mix. A feat often hard to do without having it come off as something that’s out of place. Majestic Prince manages to do this mixture with utmost care however, causing for some great moments for people who are into astronomical things like myself. Just hearing them giving correct geometric details regarding the planet Mars was enough to make me squeal with glee. And that is just one of many cool things they inject into it all.
That’s not to say the show is devoid of techno-babble, because it definitely has its share of the made up stuff as well. After all, we are talking about a show about humans fighting aliens with giant mechanical suits. But at the times it does decide to whip out the made-up science it always manages to stays well within the rules set up by the show and never actually feels out of place. The show even makes fun of the more nonsensical kind of babble in one of the later episodes, but does it with love and respect for the practice. There’s no hate in Majestic Prince, just love.
The show has a very good taste in visual design as well. While the art-style might cause some people to turn away from the show, I personally really felt at home with how the show looked after my initial surprised reaction to it. It has a charming feel to it that helps to make those less serious moments of the show work better. And since the show, and the manga it’s based on, wants to balance the tone as much as it can, this was probably the best decision they could have made for it.
Dogakobo needs to be praised for their use of CG in this show, because I can honestly say that I have never seen CG integrated so well into a mostly 2D animated show before. All the suits, human or alien, are CG renditions but they never look out of place. They’re also animated with beautiful choreography allowing for some of the best looking and most well directed fight scenes I’ve ever seen in a sci-fi show, all without falling to the practice of quick cuts and shaky-cam.
But even beyond art-style and CG implementation the show excels in its visual presentation. While the alien race are humanoids like us, the fact that their suits are so different from the human suits make for a great looking contrast. All the alien suits have this organic and weird feel to them, and while organic versus mechanical certainly isn’t original in any sense, it’s refreshing to see the organic side be the evil side for once.
That’s not to say the mechanical designs of the human suits aren’t good and interesting in their own way, because they certainly are. All of Team Rabbits’ ASHMB suits have a unique and different look to them, not just in colour scheme, but in their entire set-up. It’s honestly a true shame they’ve not released any model-kits for the suits yet, because I think they would all be a blast to build, and they’d look beautiful on display.
Majestic Prince got some great voice-talent working on the show as well. Team Rabbits’ members all sound different enough to be easily distinguishable, and they really manage to nail the natural feeling of having been friends for years in the manner and tone they speak to each other. The rest of the cast does a great job as well, it’s just a shame that no voice really stands out too much except for Yuka Iguchi who voices Tamaki from Team Rabbits, but that could just be my biased love towards Yuka Iguchi talking, she is one of my favourite voice actresses after all.
The soundtrack is great as well, both battle sequences and calmer scenes are scored with great care. It gets to the point where you’ll hear the first few notes of a track during a battle and just know that you’re about to see something amazing befitting of the mood set by the music, and it never fails to deliver. The two opening themes, Watashi wa Souzou Suru and PROMPT, performed by Kon Natsumi, are songs perfectly made to fit the tone of Majestic Prince’s serious side, and compliments the show better than many other opening themes will do, even if they’re better songs on their own.
There are quite a few ending themes as well, the most memorable one being the second one, Arigatou Tadaima, performed by Yuka Iguchi and Yoko Hikasa as their characters, Tamaki and Kei. All of the ending themes are very calm in their nature, which is a good contrast to the more “epic” sound of the opening themes. I really hope they release a complete soundtrack soon, because this is a show I would love to own the physical soundtrack disc from.
I could keep on praising Majestic Prince for so many more paragraphs, but in the end I think it’s better I just make my point very clear about this show. Majestic Prince is not only one of the best sci-fi shows I have seen, it’s my favourite mecha show of all time. If you pass up your chance to see it, even if you’re not a mecha fan, I think you are making a great mistake. Majestic Prince is exciting, dramatic, emotional, funny, intellectual and badass.