Japanese Title: Karakuri no Kimi
English Release Title: Puppet Princess
Also known as: The Clockwork Ones
Creator: Fujita Kazuhiro
Released by: Toho (originally) and Media Blasters
Length: 40 minutes
Available in VHS and DVD format.
Rangiku is the daughter of a very talented man. His lifesize puppets are more than works
of art or entertainment, they are weapons. General Karimata has heard of these mechanical
warriors and will do anything to get them, including murdering their creator! Now Rangiku,
with the assistance of a wandering ninja named Yasaburo, is determined to have revenge.
This story features marionette style karakuri (very popular in anime and manga). The
control strings are tied to the puppeteer's fingers and toes, and are threaded through a
box-like control bar.
After having my initial copy I ordered stolen from my apartment complex (no thanks to the
local mail carrier) I finally viewed this film two months after it was released here in
the US. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Granted, it has quite the share of blood
and violence. But the story is pretty good (though a basic revenge plot) with a nice
twist on the purpose of her vengeance. I was also highly impressed with the detail
and background given to the puppetry here. Kudos to them for slipping in a bit of
educational history. I think to want to own it, you'd better love puppets or ninja
gore. But I definetly recommend renting it.
I first came across this series when Animerica ran a review of it (Vol. 8, No. 7). The
review was very good and the magazine gave it a nod a couple more times. I tried to
research it, but could only find an article concerning
Toho's screening of the short film. I did manage to scrounge up some images and info,
only to be surprised by the unexpected release of it here under the new title "Puppet
Princess." The things an obsessed fan will go through...