Reviewby Josh Lipowsky,
DVD 2: Double Header
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!
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.
+ Pure family fun without a lot of worry or thought
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