Monday, February 25, 2013

Anime Review: Princess Princess

Title: Princess Princess (プリンセス・プリンセス)
Alternate Title: PuriPuri, PriPri
Seiyū: Fukuyama Jun, Paku Romi, Kakihara Tetsuya, Kamiya Hiroshi
Genre: School, Comedy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Episode Count: 12
Synopsis: When Kouno Tooru transfers late in the semester to an all-boys academy, he's shocked to find the warm welcome he receives. Little does he know that his warm welcome is about to get a little more complicated. Tooru has been nominated to become part of the "Princess System". Three beautiful freshmen boys are selected each year in order to provide moral support to their fellow students. In order to do this, they must dress like girls!

Before you start this series, please remember that it is not a yaoi/shounen-ai series. There are hints of it, but it's not the overall drive of the series. If you're expecting character A to start dating character B while character C gets jealous, you're going to be disappointed. This is a comedic school series where three cute freshmen boys are required to dress as girls to up the school moral. It's not an ideal situation for those boys, but there are perks to the job. Free meals, uniforms and essentials are among those perks. For our main character, Kouno Tooru, those perks are enough to get him to sign on.

His fellow princesses are the gorgeous blonde Shihoudani Yuujirou and the reluctant cutie Yutaka Mikoto. While Shihoudani seems to easily embrace his job as a princess, Yutaka is frequently rebellious. There's a reason why he doesn't want to dress like a princess, but he isn't given much of a choice. He's afraid that being a princess makes him less manly. On top of that, what would his girlfriend think if she found out he was dressing like a girl?

The princesses aren't without leadership though. They have a mentor in the student council president, Arisada Shuya. He's a former princess, having served in the previous year's group. Along with Arisada, the rest of the student council frequently interacts with the princesses. Each has their own unique talents. Their class president, Sakamoto Akira, is sweet and kind, but easily intimidated due to feeling he's in his brother's shadow. Another person who stood out was, fellow student, Natashou Kaoru. He steals every scene he's in as the flamboyant leader of the home economics club. He's also a genius costume designer who only thinks in terms of his designs.

Underneath the silly premise, the characters are all well-developed. They have problems and issues that are quite normal for most kids their age. The way they come together and approach these problems often lead to comedic moments. If you can get past what may seem silly, you'll find yourself wanting to invest in their lives. There was one big issue with the series though. By the time you reach episode 12, you're left feeling as if there should have been more. What happens to the Princesses through the rest of the year?

Beautiful, sparkling characters are combined with soft coloring to create a romantic feel to the series. The voice actors were mostly people I recognized from series like Hunter x Hunter (2011), Bakemonogatari, Bleach, and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Give this one a try if you want a sweet, comedy series filled with pretty boys who happen to wear dresses. You may find yourself wanting to run off and buy the manga just so you can read more about them.

Rating: 3/5

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