hmm no thanks

The three kingdoms of Inaco, Milidonia and Selenfalen are to sign a peace treaty in the neutral Selenfanen – and as the king of Inaco is currently injured, princess Ani and her trusty knight Teo go instead. Representing Selenfalen is the gentle Prince Ruze and the prime minister, and representing Milidonia is the egotistical Prince Narek and his entourage.
Ani finds the princes a little weird, especially Narek, and also manages to meet some other annoying people during her stay. After the treaty is signed, she heads back home.
However, the peace treaty may not be all it seems, and Selenfalen may not be the neutral country everyone thinks. Whatever is going on, Ani’s mother – the queen – suddenly tells her she must head to Milidonia immediately…

ruze’s design is really really cute though

I knew exactly two things about DamexPrince going in – first of all its based on some otome mobile game that I kept getting ads on twitter for a while back , and secondly it’s apparently meant to be a parody where the joke is that all the romantic options suck. (‘dame’ means ‘no good’).  Yet…I don’t get it. Narek is clearly written to be as cringey and annoying as possible with how egotistical he is, but what exactly is wrong with Ruze? Unless there’s some big reveal coming, Ruze not only has zero flaws, but he’s perfect to the point of being extremely bland (which is a shame, because he has a really cute design). I’m not sure if there’s supposed to be a joke about how he cant seem to think for himself and will do whatever the prime minister says, because to be honest it was really hard for me to be able to tell what was and what wasn’t supposed to be funny. The humour was just that weak. It was like watching a really shitty sitcom with the laughtrack removed. And if I’m going to be honest, annoying and lame as Narek is, he’s only barely more grating than your average otome romance option that isn’t meant to be a joke.

And herein lies the problem with DamePuri and so many other anime/games like it. If your attempt at parody is indistinguishable from the thing you’re parodying, then it isn’t a good parody. It also isn’t good comedy, or a good show. The other attempt at humour comes from Ani’s narration and occasional asides, which also falls flat. Having her merely point out to the viewer that something was silly doesn’t make it any funnier if it wasn’t funny to begin with!  I’ll admit that it makes her a slightly more likeable character than your average otome heroine, but she still comes across as a non-character as much as the rest.

But the worst thing about this show – to me – is how bad it looks for the most part. It seems to have been animated on a very small budget, so there’s very little animation to speak of – half of the times I felt like I was looking at some illustrations with animated mouth flaps. The characters frequently go off-model, which is just off-putting in a first episode. And furthermore, a whole lot of characters look extremely unappealing, particularly the older ones – with ridiciculously long faces that all look exactly the same. (the Prime Minister and the weird blond guy that came to see Ani are particularly badly drawn).

The end theme features a duet between two princes complete with a video clearly designed to make you ship the two in question – while I assume that this will change with each episode, the first episode has the downright puzzling choice of having the duet be between Ruze and the chuunibyou-looking prince who wasnt even in this episode.

I like cute princes so I was hoping this would at least be dumb fun, but it’s just dumb. Even if I was interested in these characters, which this episode did a pretty poor job of making me – I would just play the game, because this adaptation just reeks. And honestly, if I really wanted to look at cute anime princes that badly I’d rather just rewatch Oushitsu Kyoushi Heine than any more of this.

gutbusting comedy here folks