Here’s something you don’t see every day: an original anime by Production I.G and industry veteran Kazuto Nakazawa (Parasite Dolls, Samurai Champloo, etc.), co-produced by Crunchyroll and Adult Swim. It’s a tale of high-seas adventure in an alternate 18th century, where an orphaned noble girl named Fena teams up with a clan of samurai to hunt down the secret of her own mysterious past. Crunchyroll Originals have been a bit hit-or-miss (they include Tower of God and Tonikawa, but also Ex-Arm), so we weren’t sure what to expect. However, after getting the chance to watch the first two episodes, we couldn’t be more excited to see the rest of it! Let’s see what makes Fena: Pirate Princess so captivating, and don’t forget to catch the premiere on August 14th on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim!
A Unique Take on the Pirate Genre
There aren’t actually that many pirate anime out there (maybe because nobody wants to compete with One Piece), but the traditional swashbuckling story of bandits in the Golden Age of Piracy is well and truly burned into our brains. That’s why we’re so glad that Fena: Pirate Princess has its own unique take on the genre! It starts by introducing the captive aristocrat Fena, whose plucky determination to escape the British nobles holding her hostage makes her immediately likeable from the start, and then throws her into the world of the secretive samurai who are duty-bound to protect her at all costs. Even though pirates and samurai technically both existed in the 1700s, it’s fascinating to see them together like this! And if the trailers are anything to go by, whatever Fena’s father was searching for so many years ago may be magical in some way...
Gorgeous, Expressive Animation
We’re always on the lookout for eye-catching animation, and this anime definitely doesn’t disappoint on that front. Fena’s wild gestures and eager expressions during her escape plan demonstration paint her as a naïve, but stout-hearted girl (and her seiyuu, Asami Seto, really sells her cheerful attitude), while Yukimaru’s deep black eyes convey his shock even through a full face mask. The action scenes are just as vibrant, showing off the stark contrast between the precise fighting style of the soldiers and the bumbling flails of Fena’s aging former retainers. If this level of quality continues, we can’t wait to see what sakuga moments will crop up in later episodes!
Even though we don’t exactly know where this series is going, its killer introduction has hooked us in for the long haul. What is “Eden”, what connection do Fena and her father have to the mysterious clear stone, and why is Yukimaru trying to distance himself from everyone? We’ll just have to tune in to find out!
What did you think of our first impressions? Will you be watching Fena: Pirate Princess when it premieres on August 14th? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!