Princess Knight, Part Two Paperback – Dec 6 2011
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"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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The artwork in this is classic Tezuka, so fans of his style will love every single panel of this series. I have to say that my two favorite characters as far as artwork goes was Heckett (the witch's daughter) and the pirate (can't remember his name off the top of my head). It's a good thing that both of them get a lot of face time in this volume, as they're also my most favorite characters overall.
The story is excellent and like the first volume, I'm very struck by how progressive Tezuka was for the time period, which was 60s era Japan. (They weren't cavemen, but women's rights weren't exactly as far in Japan during that time as you'd think.) I was a little heartbroken to see that some of the characters die (slightly spoilerish, but I won't tell you who bites it), but they die well.
This will absolutely be something I'll re-read in the future and if we ever get any of the other versions of the series, I'd absolutely buy them. (Now I just have to catch up on my BlackJack!) Vertical is swiftly becoming one of my favorite publishers for their fine treatment of the manga they release. I'd almost recommend this as a purchase for that reason alone!
In the second volume, Prince(ss) Sapphire's adventures continue from where they left off before. Entangled with pirates and on a quest to save both her mother and Silverland, she squares off against her old nemeses and new. This half of the story has even more gender confusion, secret identities, and strange romantic entanglements than the first. But never fear, for this is a comedy and in true comedic style, there's a happy ending awaiting.