First things first: had this anime been longer, it would have been perfect!
Fena: Pirate Princess starts like a familiar tale. The titular character was an orphan girl with distinct facial features who goes on a life journey with friends that took her as their own family (watch: Snow White With the Red Hair and Akatsuki no Yona). As the title suggests, it’s a story about pirates who travel by sea to find lost treasures. At least in that sense, this anime totally delivered what it promised.
The long and winding search for Eden was filled with dangers and puzzling mysteries. All they have are clues from Fena’s memories, and there’s nothing they could do but trust her instincts. Finding clues to those puzzles could have been more fun, but it totally felt rushed and quite convoluted. Fena was just right on the money all the time, and it didn’t feel exciting at all. It was a bit dramatic, though, because she was abducted and Yukimaru got injured while rescuing her.
Even so, the latter parts of the show were nothing short of majestic. Eden seemed like it was waiting for Fena to arrive because as soon as she looked at its direction, a giant and beautiful island sprouted out of nowhere. Apparently, Eden was a mixture of all lost and mythical places in the world.
The burnt Library of Alexandria, said to house all world’s knowledge, was there. The infamous El Dorado, known as the place abound in gold and precious stones, was there. The missing remnants of Noah’s Ark, a ship so vast and strong it was able to save humans and animals from the flood that drowned the world, was there. It was also the lost City of Atlantis, believed to have been submerged in the ocean. And most obviously, it was the breathtakingly beautiful Garden of Eden, a place that God himself created to shelter the first man and woman.
By the end of the series, Fena was forced to make a difficult choice, both of which end with the world getting destroyed. The only question is when: she can choose to destroy it right then and there and reset it, or she can just lie low and wait for the world to destroy itself.
Fena lost her memories after making her choice. There was no right option to such a difficult question, but there is no wrong one either. No matter what Fena chooses, Yukimaru and her friends will be there. Two dangerous roads lie upon her, but her friends will be there to keep her safe and content as she treads the path that she’s taken. In that sense, at least, this anime totally won my heart. It was poetically beautiful! It was breathtakingly painful, but it was charismatically hopeful as well.
One of the strongest characteristics of this anime is its high-quality animation. The details were so fine, and the character designs were quite playful to the point that it was almost childish in some parts. Fena’s old attendants resemble Disney characters with their exceptionally large noses, loose teeth, and other distinct facial features.
Abel, the sadistic antagonist, had a painful past concerning Helena, the love of his life and Fena’s mother. The two of them were separated by fate, but it was true that they love each other deeply. In a wild twist of fate, Helena was impregnated by the King (Abel’s father) and then eloped with the butler (Franz Houtman, aka the observer). She returned after giving birth to the child and was burned at the stake. Abel’s obsession with Eden and Fena is anchored with his undying love for Helena. On his dying breath, he dreamed that he was holding Helena in his arms again and she went on peacefully with a smile on his face.
It seemed like the two of them reincarnated. Fena, on her quest to find scraps of her lost memories, passed by two kids (see screenshot above), who have an uncanny resemblance with the young Helena and Abel.
Fena confessed her love for Yukimaru before she lost her memories. It took Yukimaru a while to answer, although his response would have been obvious anyway. After saying that he loves her too with his ears turning bright red, Fena hit him right in his head. That’s what he always did to her as a sign of affection. But more importantly, Fena quipped that she’d been waiting for Yukimaru to say those words for a long time. #