Scrapped Princess 01 (Light Novel)

Scrapped Princess 01 (Light Novel)

I put off reading TokyoPop’s adaptation of the popular Japanese novel series Scrapped Princess. TokyoPop told me (and others) that 1) there’d be no honorific usage in the novels and 2) the novels would be made to appeal to a wider audience beyond fans of the anime, and would be marketed to teens. That meant that they would be toning down or dumbing down any content that wouldn’t match U.S. teen standards. It really makes me ill and makes me wish I had completed my Japanese studies so I could read the novels in Japanese where I would know there wouldn’t be self-censorship.

***SPOILERS***

In brief, the novel establishes the prophecy of the Scrapped Princess and the doom she will bring on the world, and the young infant girl’s rescue by a man named Yuma. He and his wife raises the girl as their own with their own twin children Raquel and Shannon. The girl, named Pacifica, is like one of the family even though she’s adopted. Years pass and when Pacifica is roughly 15, their father is murdered (their mother having died a few years before). The will left by their father tells them the truth of Pacifica (she’s the Scrapped Princess) and the siblings soon discover that assassins have been dispatched by the palace to kill Pacifica. Their father had killed all but two of the assassins before being killed and the remaining two, Big Shot and the insane Sinner find that Raquel and Shannon may be young and not have vast experience, but Raquel’s magical gifts and Shannon’s sword (and magic from his sister) prowess are not to be underestimated as they protect their sister Pacifica.

Dispatching those guys is only the start and after being given a horse-drawn military carriage by the Duke, a year later, the trio has survived and the palace has upped the ante by dispatching a powerful boy warrior named Chris who is eventually defeated by Raquel and Shannon, but not killed.

OK, for starters lets compare the two covers.

 

Scrapped Princess Japanese Cover Scrapped Princess Tokyo Pop

 

TokyoPop, in an attempt to fool the public about the nature of the novel, decided to trash the Japanese cover in favor of their bland cover. From what they’ve told people who asked, the cover change was so the novels would appeal to a wider audience, so they didn’t want it to be associated with manga. This makes little sense seeing as how the book is filled with manga illustrations and the book is sold in the manga section of many (if not most) stores. Personally, I like the Japanese cover better and TP could have done it as they did the Slayers novels (keep the cover art but change the book style) but since they reduced the dimension size of book for the American public (which is still slightly larger than the Japanese version), the artwork could have easily been used.

I have a Japanese contact who’s providing me additional information, but I strongly suspect that the novel has been given a domestication workover. I’m not talking about making the book readable, but I strongly suspect that the book has been toned down (and possibly dumbed down) to make it fit with an American young teen audience. It just felt like this at times to me. If this is not the case, then my apologies to TokyoPop, but I figure that even after I hear back from my Japanese source, I’ll be proven right. When I hear back from this person with all the details, I’ll make an update (assuming they get time to break out the first volume of the novel).

Anyway, having read the accurately translated manga and seen the anime in Japanese, I know one thing that has been changed. The Japanese perspective on fantasy is gone in favor of a western perspective. This fits with TP’s strategy of wider audience appeal (apparently, the fact that the manga Fruits Basket is their best-selling manga and is an “otaku friendly” adaptation doesn’t factor into the equation).

The other changes that I suspect (the “Suppii-kun” summoning spell and the Thor spell) will have to wait for the report from Japan.

I don’t see a huge deal of buzz about the novel and I suspect that like the Slayers novels, this won’t prove to be a big seller for TP. But then TP’s marketing strategy for light novels have not been good to date.

Why couldn’t TP follow Seven Seas’ lead when it comes to the treatment of light novels? Along with proper marketing and advertising, I think light novels could take off and do well. Trying to force them to appeal to an American audience I feel will ultimately fail.

Will I read the 2nd novel? Possibly, but it isn’t a priority at this time.

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2 Responses to “Scrapped Princess 01 (Light Novel)”

  1. Do you know whether tokyopop is going to publish vol. 5 of Scrapped Princess

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I don’t know for sure, but RUMOR is that the series hasn’t sold well and there may not be any more novels published. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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