Before watching Fena Pirate Princess episode 5, I ran across Anime News Network’s Twitter post of their review. The Twitter post contained the opening sentence of the review and I really wish I didn’t read it. I want to come into these reviews with a blank slate but that was not possible here. Ultimately what I found was an anime episode that wasn’t as bad as what I was expecting. Episode 5 may have its problems, but it’s at least better than what we got in episode 4.
Where can I watch Fena Pirate Princess episode 5?
You can watch Fena over at Crunchyroll and Adult Swim. The anime was created in a partnership between the two companies. New episodes come out every Sunday at 12:00 AM. You can watch it at Cruncyroll’s site, Adult Swim’s site or watch it as it airs on T.V. during Adult Swim’s normal programming. I know if you’re reading this review then it’s likely that you have no problem staying up until midnight to watch an episode debut, but I won’t be joining you.
If you have a subscription to VRV you can also watch Fena over there. The streaming site has the permissions to carry this anime thanks to an agreement with Crunchyroll. I personally don’t see the benefit of signing up at VRV but it might work best for you. Feel free to give it a try.
How was the story in Fena Pirate Princess episode 5?
I’ve got a question that I think will set the tone for the rest of this review. If Yukihisa Sanada viewed Fena as a witch and is working with the British Navy, why is he going through all the trouble of following along with Fena’s journey? If the residents of Goblin Island were so loyal to the Houtman family, why would they betray them? I’m getting flashbacks to Joran The Princess of Snow and Blood with how fast the betrayals are coming.
Like Joran, the story has quickly turned from promising and intriguing to full of plot holes and unnecessary turns. That’s a shame because after how Fena started I was hoping we’d get an anime that was well put together. Why does it need all of the mysterious linking to historical people, places and events? Why can’t we get a story about the long lost daughter of a noble family escaping from those who would force her into a life of prostitution? That’s what I thought we were getting.
Fena Pirate Princess episode 5 took us further down the path of the mysterious link between Fena and Joan of Arc. With Fena seemingly getting possessed by her former self, she leads the samurai to the place in Orleans that they were searching for. The crew gets coordinates for what’s revealed to be the lost city of El Dorado. You know, the mythical city made of gold. It all just feels kind of hokey.
Why do you say that?
I like anime that link to past historical events. It adds an element of relatability to the story. The delicate line that has to be walked is that the anime can’t overdo it’s relationship with real life. If too many different historical events or people are added, it can feel fake. With Fena Pirate Princess episode 5 now adding in El Dorado and tying it to Joan of Arc, as well as the mention of the Battle of Dunkirk, we’ve crossed that threshold. It doesn’t help that Fena is also shown to have a mystical connection with her past.
Probably the most unnecessary historical mention was the Battle of Dunkirk. I know that it was mentioned to try and give us some perspective of how deadly the samurai really are, but the reference was clumsy. I’d be surprised if anyone in the audience caught the specific battle that was referenced correctly the first time. I know I had to go and look it up and I was even a History major in college.
When you mention Dunkirk, the most famous battle that will come to mind will be the evacuation of over 300,000 soldiers from the town during World War II. There was even an excellent movie that came out back in 2017 based on the evacuation. Who’s going to know that Fena was referencing the much less known battle that took place in 1658? It leads to confusion, which is not a good thing for a story to do.
What did Fena Pirate Princess episode 5 get right?
I actually don’t have anything written down in my notes for this section. It’s not that there’s not anything done well in episode 5, I was just waiting to see what could’ve caused the reviewer at Anime News Network to make the statement that they did. When I stop to think about it, the hostage scene was done pretty well despite some annoyance with how everything ended.
With everyone’s focus on the revelation of the coordinates, Fena wandered off and was caught by the pirates that were in pursuit. This, of course, leads to a tense face-off where the pirates extract the coordinates from the samurai. I really can’t think of another way for an interaction like this to take place so I believe it was well done.
The pirates were understandable cautious of the samurai who had shown themselves to be far superior in combat. They understood that the only thing keeping them alive was their hostage. Despite Karin getting kneed in the face, the pirates are careful not to be completely antagonistic. They also came prepared to cover their retreat. It was the little bit of excitement that Fena Pirate Princess episode 5 desperately needed.
What did Fena Pirate Princess episode 5 get wrong?
Unfortunately, I’ve also got a problem with how the pirates escaped. Do you really expect me to believe that the pirates got a safe enough distance away from the explosion in that short of time? We’re talking about boxes and boxes of explosives. I’m guessing that they needed to be much further back up the tunnels than what they got. I’m no expert on underground explosions, but it just didn’t seem right.
I also wasn’t a huge fan of El Dorado getting mentioned. How did we go from a story about Joan of Arc’s reincarnation to a search for the mythical city of gold? Are we going to jump into the mystery surrounding Stonehenge next? Why not add in the lost city of Atlantis while we’re at it? Can we please just stick to one historical story? I couldn’t help but give out a big sigh of disappointment when El Dorado’s name was mentioned.
Was it really that disappointing?
I think my frustrations comes from the fact that there’s no clear picture of where things are going. Is Fena running away from a life of prostitution? Is she trying to get away from a British commander who has some connection to her past life as Joan of Arc? Are we on an adventure to find a mythical city? How do the residents of Goblin Island tie in to all of this? With no clear picture of where we’re going it’s hard to get into the story.
That’s a shame too, considering how well this anime started. I liked watching Fena escape from a life of forced prostitution. Things were a lot more simple and straightforward, even with the samurai watching over every move. Once Joan of Arc was introduced, it was like the story decided to go in a strange direction. I’d be surprised if it’s able to recover from here.
Is Fena Pirate Princess episode 5 worth watching?
I don’t want to say no, but at the same time it’s hard to recommend this anime episode. Fena Pirate Princess episode 5 continues taking us in a direction that I don’t think is good. At the end of this journey I get the feeling that we’re going to be disappointed. It’s starting to feel like a lot of other Crunchyroll originals with a promising start and a disappointing end. I really don’t want to spend more time watching an episode like that, but I get the feeling that’s what I’m in for.
I guess what I’m saying is that Fena Pirate Princess episode 5 is a mediocre anime episode, but the anime as a whole is headed in the wrong direction. You might enjoy what it has to offer or you might not. If you’re looking for something new give Fena Pirate Princess a try and see if it works for you. Don’t feel bad if you abandon it though. I get the feeling there are many people who will do the same.
Now go watch some anime!