Anime, like many other forms of entertainment, is heavily riddled with cliches. Insert huge eyes and sharply shaped figures here, goofy humor there, plot-replacing fight scenes here, and voila! you have an anime series.
Scrapped Princess is one of those series that stands out from the rest. It has charm and a simple elegance that, combined with a reasonably complex plot, beats out just about any other recent fantasy series out there. Personally, I find every component of the series to be perfect.
Story- Scrapped Princess has no filler episodes. Every episode, while some may initially seem unimportant, is a vital piece of the story. The show does a fantastic job of creating a whole bunch of story elements and characters during the first half of the show and then throwing them around in the carnage that is the second half. Part of the reason why the story is so expertly told is that the series is based off of novels rather than manga. I would give a synopsis of the plot, but others here have done that, and I personally recommend watching the show knowing as little as possible.
Animation- The art style in this anime captured my attention before the story even had a chance to unfold. The character design and use of color are quite captivating- no slouch here. I might add that the action scenes, while usually brief until the last few eps, are very crisply animated.
Characters- Another great strength for Scrapped Princess, all of the characters in Scrapped Princess are very likeable- even many of the villains. The emotions, for once, seem very real, and at times, you almost forget you're watching animation. There are a couple of humorous characters, but the humor is clever, kept in check, and very well executed.
Score- The music in Scrapped Princess is fantastic; it's good enough that I often listen to it alone both for its beauty and to remember the anime (good soundtracks often evoke memories of their source material). The music is largely responsible for the epic feeling the series puts forth.
I don't actually buy much anime because it is so expensive, although sometimes I rent licensed stuff I haven't seen. I will make an exception for Scrapped Princess, though. I'm chomping at the bit to get the entire series, box and all. While I wish animes as mature and well-written as this were the norm rather than the exception, I am grateful that such a fantastic show exists at all. Don't miss this one!