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Princess Knight, Part One Paperback – November 1, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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

About the Author

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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Series: Princess Knight (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vertical; First Edition edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193565425X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935654254
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #780,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Newcomers to the 'manga' style of comic art as well as longtime fans will find Osamu Tezuka's groundbreaking work engaging and fun. The tone and story style of Princess Knight is deceptively simple, so when the plot takes a more weighty turn, (as when certain characters die,) or the message becomes sublime (female empowerment yes, but also matters of unresolved gender identity,) it comes as a welcome surprise. Of Tezuka's legendary work (Astro Boy, Black Jack, Kimba the White Lion, etc,) Princess Knight is one of the more under-recognized in English-speaking countries, and it's refreshing to see it made available again in this handsome squarebound paperback. Get one before the collector's market gobbles it up!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At long last, Tezuka Osamu's classic shoujo series, Ribon no Kishi (The Ribbon Knight) -- published as Princess Knight in America -- is published in English! This series is considered the first shoujo manga, as well as the first of the "magical girl" genre.

The book itself is in paperback format, and 384 pages long. There are no color pages, and additional content is kept to a minimum. The translation seems to be in top form; I found no glaring errors, and pronouns and such were consistent.

As for the story itself, it is a story well ahead of its time (it was first published in Japan in 1953), combating the sensitive issue of feminism. Quite a few characters are seen protesting the law that the heir to the throne must be male, and one particular scene involves a nurse calling the doctor out on his misogynistic behaviour.

The first part tackles the birth and upbringing of Princess Sapphire, born with both a boy heart and a girl heart, and raised as a boy because of a miscommunicated announcement; the identity struggles Sapphire has; her romance with the prince of the neighbouring country: Franz; and ultimately, the Duke's evil plot to have his son Plastic inherit the throne, which succeeds; and Sapphire's struggles to defeat the Duke and convince Franz that she is the girl of his dreams. The first part ends with Sapphire and a newly befriended pirate on their way to the Duke's hunting party so as to ambush him.

Overall, this is a wonderful manga; a timeless classic that should be read by all fans of the medium, and I am so very glad this was finally published in English, because everyone should read this milestone in manga history.
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I just love vintage manga like these. I grew up on watching Kimba the White Lion and this brought back my memories from those days. Even though the stories are totally different. It's an adorable read and often times you feel sorry for the characters who's always running out of luck. It's not your typical story and I find it to be a gem of a read. The unexpected always happens when you start exploring Tezuka's world. I finished reading in a day, but that's to be expected when it comes to a good book. This first volume is going straight on shelf of honor.
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Princess Knight is a lovely tale about a princess who was accidentally given both a "boy heart" and "girl heart" due to a playful angel's antics! Not only that, she was accidentally announced as being a prince instead of a princess, so she must keep her secret and maintain a farce as Prince Sapphire! It's a funny and sweet tale filled with suspense and gorgeous vintage art that is perfect for any fan of shoujo! Or if your aesthetic is vintage shoujo~ Although, I must warn anyone who is passionate about feminism, it does center around adhering to old gender roles and can be interpreted as "cissexist" if you choose to read that much into it. Keep in mind, though, it was written in a time when people weren't as aware of those issues as they are today. All that aside, the story is nice and easy to follow (a bit past paced and filled with ass-pulls, but I'll let it slide), the cover is simplistic and pretty and it's such a thick book, really worth the price.
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Not enough people give Tezuka the credit he deserves. On the surface Princess Knight looks like a girly comic that might not be too exciting, but the duality of Sapphire's character appeals to both girls and boys.

Right from the beginning Tezuka with draw you in with his interesting and almost risqué subjects and have you guessing and wondering all the way to the end with his unorthodox pacing and storytelling. This is a book I would suggest to anyone.
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Format: Paperback
If you're a person who loved watching Disney princess movies as a child, then you will love Osamu Tezuka's Princess Knight.

It all started with a mischievous angel named Tink, who placed a second heart (from a boy) into a soon-to-be-born girl. To make matters worse, this child with two hearts was born into the royal family of a kingdom in which a woman may not inherit the throne, so the child, named Sapphire, must lead a double life, both as a prince in the eyes of her kingdom and as a princess in the eyes of her family. Soon she meets the prince of a neighboring country, Franz Charming (yeah, he went there!).

However, treachery engulfs Sapphire, in the form of a conniving and jealous lord who wishes for nothing more than his lazy, good-for-nothing son Plastic to inherit the crown. Together with his vassal, Lord Nylon, he hatches a nefarious plot to reveal Sapphire's true gender to the kingdom and thus usurp the throne. An evil witch also appears with the desire to steal Sapphire's girl heart so her daughter can marry Prince Charming.

This tale is one of love, friendship, tragedy, betrayal, heroism, and so much more. With situations constantly changing, Tezuka succeeds once again in keeping the readers on the edges of their seats. This story set the stage for the entire shojo manga genre, and in true Tezuka fashion, it set the bar as high as it could go, right from the get go. Sadly, there are only two volumes. It leaves a couple of things open, but is overall very entertaining.

Reviewed by David Gromer
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