Review

by Josh Lipowsky, Aug 5th 2002

Princess Nine

DVD 2: Double Header

Synopsis:
Princess Nine DVD 2
The Princesses are starting to come together, but they're still four girls short. As the crucial first game approaches, Keiko and Kido scour Japan for more players, but ultimately it's left to the girls themselves to recruit their final members.

Charged with leading the Princesses to victory, Ryo must find a way to conquer her own personal demons and forge the band of rag-tag misfits into a real team - but before she can do that, she'll have to face off in a bitter grudge match against her arch rival Izumi!
Review:
Volume 2 of Princess 9 brings our gals closer to something resembling a team. This volume fills in the remaining holes and gives some important background for the series as well. And, as usual, Princess 9 carries impressive art and outstanding music.

The interpersonal relationships are really tested in this one. That is what makes this series stand out from others: it is almost completely character-driven. Not only do we get to see the struggles of putting together this rag-tag baseball team, but also what happens in the girls' personal lives, and it's all done without gimmicky super powers or giant robots. To add to the mix, the series carries the same weight it would for a high school-er, meaning the threat of utter failure is there. The audience is not guaranteed that everything will succeed. Granted we "know" the baseball team will continue, because otherwise there is no more series, but the thrill of the moment is still there through each of the trials the girls face to keep it going.

There is nothing singularly outstanding about the artwork, but it certainly does not lack anything. The scenery has moments of greatness and normalness intertwined. But there are some scenes, when the focus is on one character in particular in fierce competition, where the art just stands out. And just like the artwork during the competitive scenes, the music keeps the audience thoroughly psyched up for the next scene. Princess 9 has some of the best music for competition since Chariots of Fire.

Unlike other DVDs put out by ADV, this one comes with some extras on it. The Oden Cooking Special is entertaining and the player statistics are a helpful way of keeping all the characters straight.

At first glance this series may seem like an animated version of A League of Their Own, but it is far from it. Those girls never had to deal with the problems this girls do and that helps make Princess 9 more realistic and a definite must-see.

In addition to the thrill, there is a solid message in the series that many contemporary anime series lack. The series teaches the value of friendship and perseverance. While some fans probably won't be attracted by this, it's noteworthy for parents looking to Otaku-ize their young children. The messages aren't subtle so those looking for something with deep hidden meaning should try something else. But those who just want something fun with a bit of excitement, should definitely pick this up.
Grade:
Production Info:

+ Pure family fun without a lot of worry or thought
This volume could become a little boring since it deals mainly with the question: "will the team survive?" ... of course, we know it will because there's a third volume..

Director:Tomomi Mochizuki
Series Composition:Hiro Maruyama
Screenplay:
Takao Kawaguchi
Hiroaki Kitajima
Hiro Maruyama
Storyboard:
Shinichiro Aoki
Hiroshi Hara
Naoto Hashimoto
Susumu Ishizaki
Kazuyoshi Katayama
Takashi Kobayashi
Tomomi Mochizuki
Yukio Nishimoto
Ryo Tomoki
Yasunori Urata
Episode Director:
Shinichiro Aoki
Shinya Hanai
Hiroshi Hara
Naoto Hashimoto
Susumu Ishizaki
Tomomi Mochizuki
Kaoru Suzuki
Yasunori Urata
Atsushi Yano
Koji Yoshikawa
Senhou Yoshioka
Music:Masamichi Amano
Original creator:Kensei Date
Original Character Design:Akihiko Yamashita
Character Design:Yoshimi Hashimoto
Art Director:Hiroshi Kato
Animation Director:
Masaya Fujimori
Yoshimi Hashimoto
Kenichi Imaizumi
Yu Kaido
Hiroshi Kawaguchi
Akio Kawamura
Mitsumasa Kimura
Kouji Matsuyama
Nobuhiro Okasako
Yuichi Tanaka
Yasunori Urata
Akihiko Yamashita
Art design:
Hiroshi Kato
Yoshinori Shiozawa
Director of Photography:Yoshiaki Yasuhara
Executive producer:Yasuhito Yamaki
Producer:Katsuhiko Goto

Full encyclopedia details about
Princess Nine (TV)

Release information about
Princess Nine - Double Header (DVD 2)

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