Ribon no Kishi (Princess Knight) – Retro Anime First Impressions

Ribon no Kishi 01Ribon no Kishi 02Ribon no Kishi 03Ribon no Kishi 04Ribon no Kishi 05Ribon no Kishi 06Ribon no Kishi 07Ribon no Kishi 08Ribon no Kishi 09

Before going ahead with the upcoming Summer 2006 anime, I thought I’d take some time to look at a very retro anime. The Ribon no Kishi anime was shown in Japan in 1967. Recently, it was subbed by a group called “Shibuya Fansubs.”

Ribon no Kishi 01Ribon no Kishi 02Ribon no Kishi 03Ribon no Kishi 04Ribon no Kishi 05Ribon no Kishi 06Ribon no Kishi 07Ribon no Kishi 08Ribon no Kishi 09

Before going ahead with the upcoming Summer 2006 anime, I thought I’d take some time to look at a very retro anime. The Ribon no Kishi anime was shown in Japan in 1967. Recently, it was subbed by a group called “Shibuya Fansubs.”

Ribon no Kishi 10Ribon no Kishi 11Ribon no Kishi 12Ribon no Kishi 13Ribon no Kishi 14Ribon no Kishi 15Ribon no Kishi 16Ribon no Kishi 17Ribon no Kishi 18

Ribon no Kishi tells the story of Sapphire, a prince of the land. The only problem is that she’s a girl! Sapphire has to pretend she’s a boy so that she can inherit the crown. Otherwise, the super-evil duke will take over.

Being raised as a boy, Sapphire acts really boyish. She runs around causing trouble and generally pisses people off. The duke suspects that Sapphire is really a girl, so he’s always sending thugs and assassins to find out her true gender. Sometimes the thugs get a little messy (this isn’t what it looks like!).

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In the first episode, Sapphire meets up with an angle called “Tink.” He says he’s an angel, and that his mission is to return Sapphire back to a girl. Later on, Sapphire is led into the dark forest where she has to battle the big bad wolf! Before the battle, she gets ready by getting all pretty-like. Apparently the wolf has a weak spot for the ladies.

Oh, and the evil duke tries to get the queen to confess by giving her truth serum, and saying that it’s wine. I think a whole lotta wine would’ve also worked for that…

The story is what you’d expect for a kid’s anime. There are a few issues during the show that are all completely resolved by the end. I was really expecting a cliffhanger ending, but maybe those hadn’t been invented yet…

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The character designs are really not that bad. The characters were designed by the same person who did the Astro Boy anime and manga, Tezuka Osamu, so if Sapphire looks like Tetsuwan Atomu, that’s why. To me, Sapphire doesn’t resemble a boy in the slightest bit. Fujioka Haruhi does a much better job at that.

The other characters are all fairly well done. The evil duke looks like a real Disney villain, and the evil count fills the much needed “long-nosed evil character” slot. I guess since the designs were done by the “father of manga,” I shouldn’t question them…

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Overall, this anime seems kind of average to me. I’m sure that in the day it was produced it was awesome. The colors are all really bright, and the quality rivals that of some old 80s cartoons I used to watch. Obviously Ribon no Kishi can’t compete with the digital animation techniques that are used today. I’d say this anime is worth watching for historical value, at the very least.

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21 thoughts on “Ribon no Kishi (Princess Knight) – Retro Anime First Impressions”

  1. I’ve never seen the anime myself, but I think you’re judging this series from the viewpoint of one who’s used to the flash and flair of anime made in the late 1990s and beyond. Ribon no Kishi is the gold standard for all the cross-dressing females in anime, from Rose of Versailles to Utena to Haruhi, as you mentioned.

    But thanks for the heads-up that a group is subbing this. This is one title that has been in my “should watch” pile forever.

  2. It’s great that you did something different. I’m very intrigued as to how anime’s changed over the years. I watched the first series Galaxy Express and I have to say that I wish anime were still like that today ;_;

  3. This is also on the “been wanting to see” list for me. I’m just constantly pleasantly surprised at the stuff that’s been popping up lately.

    And screw digital animation. Cel all the way! 😛

  4. I remember watching this in english as avery young child. I come from the UK… and I vividly remember it… the british name given to it was choppy and the princess. as far as i know you can by it off ebay and amazon…

  5. you need to open your self to more anime including the classics
    to be a much smarter critic or you would know that at that time Ribbon no Kishi or also know as princess knight in america was one of those animes a head of its time at the time compare to other animes. And I strongly disagree with you about this anime ’cause is a must watch anime. Understand that classic animes set the foundation of our later animes because with out this classics their prabably wouldn’t have the animes we do know.

  6. I watched that Anime when I was a little girl, how I loved that anime!!! And yes, it has changed over the years, some good some not so good, but I agree, older anime still rules!

  7. Hmm… it seems really good. I shall add it to my “Animes to Watch” list… though that list is really full.. XD
    But I must see it since it seems good, though I haven’t seen it. Girls who look like guys are pretty cool characters. Like previously mentioned Haruhi, or Kino from Kino no Tabi… and a few others out there that I can’t remember right now…

    So all together, my opinion of this anime is good and I can’t wait to watch it! ^^

    /Kidalanna/

  8. I watched the anime when I was a young girl and I am trying to find it on dvd or vhs to so that i can keep a memory a live. If any one knows where I can find it…please let me know!!!

  9. Osamu Tezuka died the exact year before I was born. Imagine my deotppsinamint when I discovered his works in late high school, wanted to meet him, only to discover I was born a year too late.He’s a huge influence on my writing, I once tried to illustrate my books but my drawing sucks. So they’ll just try to shape ideas with words I guess.I really liked this article, but it could have gone more in depth about each of the works other than just fanboy/girl squeeing over them. But considering what the article was trying to do, that’s just fine.

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