Princess Knight, Part One
By Osamu Tezuka
(Vertical, Paperback, 9781935654254, 382pp.)
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: Manga - General
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Set in a medieval fairy-tale backdrop, Princess Knight is the tale of a young princess named Sapphire who must pretend to be a male prince so she can inherit the throne. Women have long been prevented from taking the throne, but Sapphire is not discouraged and instead she fully accepts the role, becoming a dashing hero(ine) that the populous is proud of.
The playful cartooning style of Princess Knight is comparable to that of Disney, à la Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Considered by many as one of the first major shojo works, inspiring comics for girls such as Revoluntionary Girl Utena, Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon for generations to follow. A rare shojo property from the godfather of manga, Princess Knight has been long considered one of Tezuka's most popular works worldwide.
Osamu Tezuka was born on November 3, 1928, in Osaka. He grew up in an open-minded family exposed to manga and Walt Disney. Having developed an intense understanding of the preciousness of life from his wartime experience, Osamu Tezuka aimed to become a physician and later earned his degree, but ultimately chose the profession he loved best: manga artist and animated film writer.
Tezuka’s work changed the concept of the Japanese cartoon, transforming it into an art form and incorporating a variety of new styles in creating the “story cartoon.” Osamu Tezuka lived out his entire life tirelessly pursuing his efforts, producing more than 150,000 pages of graphic storytelling before his death in 1989.
"PRINCESS KNIGHT is regarded a defining masterpiece of the [shojo] genre." - Shojo Beat magazine
"Princess Knight has the structure and feel of a Disney cartoon, which is not surprising, as Tezuka was a big fan of Disney's work. The story has a classic fairy-tale setting, a vaguely European country during the middle ages, with a king and queen, a Royal Guard who are a bunch of bullies, and quaint villages filled with peasants. The characters have the rounded, big-eyed look of classic Disney characters, and the pacing and slapstick humor conjure up such classics as "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."...Still, Tezuka's story seems to have caught the popular imagination in a way that earlier shoujo manga did not." - MTV