When he died 10 years ago, Ryo Hayakawa's father left more than the restaurant Ryo's mother runs: his daughter inherited his talent for baseball, including a jet-propelled fastball. Determined to overcome sexist opposition... more » and make a girls' team the national champion, Ms. Himuro, the head of prestigious Kisaragi High, gives Ryo a scholarship. Then complications arise: snobbish tennis ace Izumi dislikes Ryo; handsome baseball star Hiroki is smitten with her; drunken coach Kido has to find enough top players. Hiroki's attraction is understandable as Ryo's a very likable character. She's not a klutz or a whiner, as many anime heroines are; she's proud of her abilities but surprised at where they take her. As the series continues, the large-framed but timid Mao, shortstop Kanako, and the dim wannabe star Yoko join the team. But they need a power hitter, and Ryo focuses her attention on Izumi. Complicating the relationship between the girls is Hiroki's growing interest in Ryo, and the romance Izumi's mother (now the head of the school) and Ryo's father shared 20 years ago. The team scores an upset victory over the champion boys' team and earns the right to compete interscholastically. But their elation proves short-lived when reporters disinter a decades-old scandal involving Ryo's father, and Ryo struggles to understand if and how the scandal could be true. When the Kisaragi nine reaches the tournament semifinals, the girls find themselves facing the boys' team from their school, led by top hitter/heartthrob Hiroki. The game becomes a duel between pitcher Ryo and Hiroki, intensified by their attraction to each other. The series concludes on an upbeat note that is neither predictable nor pat. Princess Nine ranks as one of the best series for girls in recent years, with characters who are strong, capable individuals but who still exhibit human weaknesses. With any luck, the show will be continued: Ryo, Hikana, Yoki, Seira, Koharu, Yoko, Mao, Kanako, and Izumi--and Hiroki--deserve another season, at least. (Rated 12 and older, but suitable for younger viewers: Alcohol use, brief nudity, minor profanity, minor violence) --Charles Solomon« less
"Princess Nine crosses the boundry between guys and girls. In this brilliant series you'll see nine girls come together to prove that women can compete on equal terms with men. These girls will go on an emotional rollercoaster that will test their skills, their friendship, their trust and their willingness to achieve their dreams. This is an anime soap opera at its best and you'll be kept at the edge of your seat from start to finish. Each of these girls must overcome personal hardships in order to make their dreams a reality. You'll see Ryo try to deal with her father's tragic past. You'll see Yuki attempt to overcome her past of being alone and you'll see Kanako battle with her father (who happens to be the principle) in trying to allow her to even play...and that's just to name a few things of what to expect.
This is the kind of series that you'll definitely enjoy rather your an anime fan or not. I personally can't imagine anyone who collects anime to over look this masterpiece. Princess Nine is in a class of its own and I'm sure that for all those who have already seen it will agree that this is by far one of the greatest anime series ever!"
One of the best animes in history!
Kate | NH, USA | 01/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to tell you, this is one of the best animes I have ever seen! I can't stop watching it, seriously. Ryo is a great role model for girls. The love story in it is great. It's about a girls baseball team trying to get to Koshien in Japan. But the problem is baseball is a guys sport. Even with everyone going against them, they exceed in becoming the first female team to play in the championships. Hiroki Takasugi is great as the star slugger for Ryo's sister school. All of the girls on the team are so cool and upbeat (well most of them). The ending was alright but I would'nt have minded it ending up differently. I beg them to make a sequel, I mean they really leave you hanging in the end and I think we all deserve more!!!"
An Underrated Masterpiece for the Sports or Anime fan
Michael Sinatra | Santa Barbara, CA USA | 11/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I first saw the trailer of "Princess Nine", I wasn't at all convinced of the series' potential. Being raised with baseball however, it never ceased to attract my attention as a lifetime fan, player, and student of the game.
When I finally took the plunge and forked over the $54 to purchase it, I was optimistic. When I began watching the series, I was hooked instantaneously. I was thrilled as the series unfolded into a complete Anime - a compelling story, a cast of individually unique and extremely interesting characters, and the perfect blend of action, suspense, drama, comedy, romance, and inspiration. It is often said that true masterworks of Anime are those which the viewer wishes to never see end - "Princess Nine" is without a doubt a member of that category.
Although not all may understand its message, its symbols, or its true meanings, this is an Anime you will regret missing for as long as you own a DVD Player or any other form of Media Player. With a "not what you expected" ending which may leave some unsatisfied, and the extreme disappoint which follows when discovering there is no sequel - some may find this series to be disappointing. But in this case, the pros outweigh the cons by 100-fold.
This is a truly inspirational anime. Even the non-sports fan will appreciate the message of triumph over adversity, and the fight to break the stereotypes of a national culture. As "Princess Nine" teaches us: those who never give up never lose."
You Don't Have To Like Baseball...
L. Peanut | 04/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You don't have to like baseball to enjoy this series. It's excellent - great character development, no filler episodes, and a SATISFYING ENDING (sometimes disappointingly rare in the anime world). I watched the whole series in 2 days and my only gripe is that I wanted more. Princess Nine is definitely one of my best anime purchases. I just hope that the next series I watch is near as good!"
Good multi-themed message without being preachy for ages 9+
Reader | Cheverly, MD | 01/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Princess Nine is a story about 9 girls who strive to gain recognition at a male-dominant game in a male-dominant culture. Apart from this main theme, I am also very impressed with many of the sub themes presented in the series, especially given the fact that this is a children's series. Throughout the story, you will see each girl faces and finally overcomes her own handicaps/insecurities without whinning and self-pity -- one girl must overcome her father's objection to baseball, another girl must overcome her reliance on an (imaginary?) alien friend, etc. Another sub-theme I am impressed with is that even though both mothers are strong-willed heroines in the story, it is Hiakawa's low-key and wise mom who outshines Izumi's high-profile high-powered mom -- goes a long way to show kids that you don't necessarily need to claw your way to the top to be respected. The story is also peppered with many likable, albeit imperfect, characters (eg. the coach who drinks constantly and Sara who uses profanity quite a bit). I also like how the characters handle their boyfriend/girlfriend feelings in the story -- much healthier and more mature than you would see in regular American sitcoms. There is some mild profanity in the show so it is not suitable for very young children but then again, the very likable main character Hiakawa (who is the real role model in the story) never used profanity (except in the very last scene and then she said only one word). My 8-year-old daughter loved it and I am glad we watched it with her."