December 26, 2011

Princess Nine

Princess Nine is a series about a group of multi-talented young females who are recruited to Kisaragi Junior High in order to form the first girls baseball team that will compete at the Japan high school championships. The story follows Ryo Hayakawa, a run of the mill young girl with a monstrous pitch which nobody seems to be able to hit. She is secretly watched and recruited by the Chairperson of Kisaragi, who turns out to be a love interest of Ryo's late father. The Chairperson uses her influence and manipulation to get other young girls to join the team in hopes of fulfilling her own desire to watch her former lover's daughter pitch at the Japan high school championships just as he did. Through many plot twist and turns, the relationship and connection that many of the characters have with each other begins to surface.

While I had no real idea (other than this was a sports anime) what Princess Nine was all about. While the show has a sports centric theme, there are many elements beyond just the athletics that are displayed. Much of this series focuses on the development of relationships (both friendships and romantic), as well as personal growth. I have to admit that even as I was watching this there were some moving moments.

There were many positives that this series brought to the audience. The story line was very engaging and the twist ending really made it feel "real". The music was well used throughout the episodes, despite the average intro theme. The animation was nothing out of the ordinary, very much on par with what you would expect to see in a mid-90s anime. At first glance it actually looked like it was early-90s' late 80's (I had to look it up just to be sure). The strongest aspect of this series was the character development. The way that the characters grew together and as individuals was what really made the series so enjoyable to watch. My only small criticism is one that we experience with many dubbed series, some of the lines were really cheesy and the voices were a tad annoying.

Overall, this was a great series and highly recommended. Whether you are into sports genre, slice of life, or something inspirational, Princess Nine delivers on many fronts.

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