KAIBUTSU OUJO OAD
studio : Tatsunoko Productions
director : Keiichirou Kawaguchi
serial run : Dec 9, 2010 - ongoing
total episode : 03
preliminary score : ***1/2
my my, i didn't notice that we haven't posted our first impression commentary on the reboot oad series yet, though a draft was already in the work when the initial episode first came out december last year, yet it was later buried deep beneath our other piling drafts thanks to my usual procrastination as always. that said, i finally had the time to dig it out and do some necessary polishing according to my recent watch of the second episode - which has been released a few days back.
anyway, the oad basically is a reboot of the madhouse-produced [ 25 episodes ] tv series from 4 years back, although the reboot part by far should only apply to the first episode since the second episode however is a continuation of the story from where the tv series has left - if i am not mistaken [ as my memories aren't really strong on the series ]. but unlike the madhouse version which has a very thick b-movie feel to it, the oad series on the other hand is a much more refined work in contrast; with fluid animation on the action scenes [ as properly highlighted throughout the second episode ] as well as slightly better camerawork and art direction compared to madhouse's production indeed.
i recall my greatest concern upon the announcement of the oad was that ayako kawasumi will no longer be reprising her role as the titular hime for this oad. i admit i was slightly disappointed. however, as i had my watch on the first episode of the oad, i must say that saori hayami did a very fine job at voicing hime, especially since her vocal rendition of the character matches very closely [ if not perfect ] with ayako-neesama's take on hime; having retained the character's elegance, attitude and personality much to my best approval.
another improvement made to the series is that the producer has chosen to switch back to the gory, bloody nature of the original manga with the oad here, an aspect of which i believe is the key strength and appeal of kaibutsu oujo - and the very reason why i came to be interested into it in first hand. another thing to note is that despite me being a big fan of kazuya kuroda-sensei's works for the original tv series, i sincerely believe that hime's looking twice more badass in her new character design here; and the same can be said on the other characters as well over their redesigned look.
overall, tatsunoko productions did a really good job with their reboot version of kaibutsu oujo, giving much justice to the series unlike madhouse of which otherwise had butchered it up without mercy - save for the involvement of both ayako-neesama as hime and kazuya kuroda-sensei on the character design from then. frankly speaking, i'd love to see more of the new kaibutsu oujo anime beyond its three episode run; if possible tatsunoko production should definitely reconsider on churning this one out as full fledged tv series somewhere in the near future.