First Impressions – Circlet Princess

Circlet Princess (サークレット・プリンセス)
Animation Studio: SILVER LINK Premiere Date: January 8th, 2019
No. of Episodes: 12 Airing Time: Tuesdays at 23:00 (JST)
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Sports Airing Channel: Tokyo MX
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia , Circlet Princess Official Website

Based on a browser game with the same name, Circlet Princess tells the story of teenage girl, Yūka Sasaki (Juri Nagatsuma) who comes to a new city hoping to find something fantastic to do. Getting lost, Yuka uses her app and bumps into the disguised reigning circlet bout champion, Chikage Fujimura (Atsumi Tanezaki), a fiery red-head who loves heated battles. After saving Yuka from a hologram, Chikage introduces Yuka to Circlet Bout, a new sport where players fight using virtual weapons and brute force to try and defeat each other. However, just before Chikage can show Yuka what a tournament is like, Yuka gets mistakenly dragged into a match by one of the staff and the two are forced to compete against each other with Chikage also instructing her. Though the match ends in a draw due to the system shutting down, Yuka leaves the match wanting to compete more. Two years later, Yuka enrols in St. Union College, a sports-centred school hoping to join its Circlet Bout club, only to discover from the Student Council President Reina Kuroda (Hitomi Nabatame) that there is no such club. Not discouraged, Yuka decides to form her own club with her new friends, tech genius Ayumu Aizawa (Kaori Mizuhashi) and sports fanatic Miyuki Kasahara (Saki Nakajima) and the story continues from there.

While Circlet Princess doesn’t have a bad premise and has a cute and exciting opening and ending sequence, the first episode doesn’t really deliver on what was promised. Animation-wise, the colorful animation and battle sequences are rather decent and deliver the right kind of excitement, however, the lack-luster colors of the animation makes it look amateurish and slightly unappealing to an extent. The writing is also a little flat and plays to standard stereotype sport show tropes and the episode doesn’t really explain what the sport is about, besides the fact that its a martial arts battle game.

On the plus side, the opening and ending songs are fairly good and the characters look appealing. So I recommend that viewers give the show a try, even if its just the basic three episode rule and I hope that you will all enjoy it.

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