A lot of the series that I have been watching lately have been either comedy or drama based. I had the feeling that I needed to watch something a little more serious and violent. I really love the whole ancient Japan scene and wanted to get back to a classic style story like Ninja Scroll. I wasn't in the mood to watch a full 2 hour movie either so I figured I would give The Puppet Princess a try (after looking it up on animenewsnetwork.com). Needless to say I was very impressed. It had exactly what I was looking for. Lots of fights, blood, and ridiculously high jumping ninjas.
The whole OVA is based around this girl whose father was a puppet maker. He had this obsession with puppets and was developing them as super strength fighting machines. When the father was killed during an attack on their family's castle, a special puppet that he developed that could move on its own was stolen. This puppet was made using human child skin for the springs. This is one of the things that allowed it to move on its own and quicker than any other puppets developed before it.
The girl in the story finds a ninja who is now a wanderer because he is so strong that none of the lords want to hire him. What he does is changes his identity so as to not draw attention to himself. The Puppet Princess employs the wandering ninja to be her bodyguard as she attempts to destroy the puppet made with her skin.
As the story unfolds the ninja's identity is revealed as is some of the back story about the princess and her father. The fights in this movie using the puppets are pretty amazing and different. They are all modeled after samurai, monks, ninja, and priests. The animation style in this movie is very much like Afro Samurai. There is a lot of gore and blood, white eyes, and demonic facial expressions. If you are looking for a good action based anime to watch with not too much story to follow check out The Puppet Princess.