6 Princesses Still Waiting in Another Castle
by Lynzee Loveridge,
Over the course of writing this column, I've highlighted many series that remained outside of North American audiences' grasp. This includes mystery stories, magical girls, idols, and all around obscure series and films. This week's column is taking on a similar premise but focusing on royal ladies that still need to be license-"rescued." These anime series star princesses of all stripes that failed to find a knight-in-shining-armor in the west.
Sisters of Wellber Directed by Prince of Tennis's Takayuki Hamana, this original anime story follows Rita, a royal on the run after she murders her fiance. The arranged marriage was meant to prevent further war between her home country and Greedom, so she enlists cat burglar Tina to help her escape and act as her bodyguard on their way to Greedom to prevent a war. The anime received two seasons, the first dealing with the political turmoil of the two countries and the second focusing on Tina's backstory as an orphan of murdered parents. It's hard to say why this series was never picked up for distribution, but the most likely culprit is timing, since the show aired in Japan in 2007, a dark time for the western market.
Princess Lover! This series marks one of the last gasps for eroge adaptations. The practice has never completely stopped, but there was a time when every romcom fanservice harem was adapted from an eroge instead of the currently common light novel sources. The "Princess Lover" in question is high school orphan Teppei Arima, whose grandfather is a major bigwig. He enrolls Teppei in an elite academy populated by the scions of nobility and prestige, which include a busty princess, a knightly noble named Sylvia, a maid, and a tsundere aristocrat. The show's approach is very low-stakes harem fare. There's a school dance and eventually a kidnapping plot, but it's all secondary to the show's fanservice.
D4 Princess She's got drill curls for days! Please Teacher and Burn Up director Yasunori Ide adapted Shotaro Harada's manga about a self-appointed princess in training to use her drill-like weapon in combat. Weapon wielders are known as Panzers, but they aren't particularly special. In fact, anyone can become a Panzer by purchasing the appropriate kit. Panzers than duel each other in official matches. The anime is made up of half-size episodes and aired in the same block as Steel Angel Kurumi, Kurogane Communication, Neo Ranga, and Risky Safety. Of those titles, this was the only one not to be brought stateside.
Puppet Princess Princesses that fight their own battles are some of my favorite, so it's disappointing to see Puppet Princess has fallen out of print for the last 15 years. Set during Japan's civil war period, Princess Rangiku is seeking revenge against her father's murderer, the evil Karimata. At her side is a ninja and her father's puppets, which she controls to do her bidding. Together they go on a bloody journey for vengeance, which isn't overselling the gore involved whatsoever. Puppet Princess takes a page from Ninja Scroll's book, with plenty of violence, child abuse, and puppets.
Outlanders Hentai manga artist Johji Manabe's early career is made up of sci-fi and fantasy vixens like Caravan Kidd, Capricorn, and Drakuun. One of his heroines is Kahm, the princess of an invading alien race. Photojournalist Tetsuya Wakatsuki finds himself in a rough spot when he's captured by Kahm to become the princess' groom, but the magical girlfriend aspect is just the tip of this story. The couple soon find out the real origins of the alien Santovasku Empire, whose invasion plan is wracked by in-fighting that threatens not just mankind, but the planet as well.
Cosmic Baton Girl Comet-san The Comet-san manga has quite the pedigree. Penned in the late 60s, the story is by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, the same artist behind Sally the Witch and Giant Robo. While the manga is decades old, the anime adaptation aired in 2001 with Cardcaptor Sakura episode director Mamoru Kanbe on board. Yokoyama actually worked closely with the anime team to update the style for modern audiences, and it was one of the last works he personally touched before passing away just three years later. The series follows Princess Comet, an alien princess who comes to Earth in search of her prince but also finds herself connecting with the people of Earth along the way.
The new poll: The end of Naruto Shippuden was many years - and episodes - in the making. Now that it's said and done, who is your One True Naruto pairing?
The old poll: What's your favorite Fire-type Pokemon?
When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Managing Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her sons on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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