|Okay, I've been watching Princess Nine for a year now so I thought it might be time to review this shojo slice-of-life baseball drama.
The Kisaragi High school baseball team is headed by star pitcher 14 year old Ryo Hayakawa an emotionally disturbed who contantly questions the scandals and rumors that plagued her late father an all star pitcher for the national baseball league, her chrisma immpressed Keiko Himuro the head chiarwoman of the school baseball league and prompted her to challenge the blantantly ual discriminitive baseball league and apoints her daugther Izumi a skilled batter to join the team but the plot becomes far from from stellar as we are introduced to some of the most well known attempts at making a drama.
The Anime itself starts off weak,Imuzi develops a love-hate sisterhood with Ryo, They face alot of offensive ist stereotypes with the macho coach Kido who has a crush on Ryo's mother,Nene the enterjetic and high strung manager dubbed by the oh-so-wonderfully-talented Jennifer Earnhart(She Shined in Nadesco)Mao the big boned but gentle umpire,Hikaru an MVP from junior high,shortstop Hokaru,Seira the busty rebellious track star,Yoko who looks like Ryo,Kanako the high school principal's daughter who plays behind his back wearing a wig and hiding her glasses and the lamest excuse for a character Yuki a depressed and low self esteem left fielder who takes some much pride and confidence in Fifi her little doll that she believes is an alien and confinded in after atemtping sucide.
Early on, we see Ryo questioning her father's lifestyle and being comforted by Seishiro her childhood friend and one who should be her boyfriend. The first ten episodes dissapointed me because there were obviously way to many cliche's, first the league refuses to let them play in the school baseball pennat, then Izumi grows to loathe Ryo even more after discovering that Keiko had an affair with Mr. Hayakawa before Ryo and Izumi were born and before he met Ryo's mother,The 16 year batter and tennis player becomes even more indignant when she discovers that Hayakawa is her biological father and Ryo is her half sister.
By Episode 11 Izumi joins the team, and by 13 the team faces off against a all male high scholl team,flirting with them at first to win, but then losing 1 game after Ryo becomes disturbed by the Lighting Ball scandal. She ends up almost dying of hypothermia after rescuing to kids from a cold rushing river and by the end of the series has a love triangle with Tagasuki the star batter of the all male Kisaragi High School and who's Izumi's childhood boyfriend. Tagasuki tries to put the moves on Ryo who unfairly overlooks Seishiro(her one true love)and annoys Izumi who wrongfully accuses Ryo of stabbing her in the back by Episode 24 Hayakawa begins to have affection for Seishiro and Himuro forgives both Ryo and Tagasuki for their infidelity.
Princess Nine is an well put anime itself,but the poor animation and outdated music (I swear I heard the Passionate Days ending them from Rainbow Brite back in 1986.) It's not a mediocre anime but a good one, one that was almost overlooked by the Japanese because in 1998-1999 many Anime companies were going bankrupt due to expensive production budget,causing the market to be flooded with rehases of older series,O.A.Vs and movies such as Silent Mobius, Jubei Chan and the horrid Tenchi Muyo.
Had it come out back in 1985 it would have really been very successful but, the concept of it being compared to 1992's "A League of Thier Own" on 1984's "The Natural" is too cliched'
I apologize is my review sounds too cynical, but the dub is great. Ms. Haag fits perfectly with Hayakawa and so does Ms. Rial with Izumi in fact these two has dubbed constant animes together at A.D.V. studios in Houston, Texas.
+Very enduring drama.
-Uses same cliches' over and over again, lackluster animation.