License Request Day: Princess Knight

PK1With her new job as tourism ambassador for Takarazuka, Japan, it seems like as good a time as any to call for English release of the adventures of Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Knight. The series is described by Frederik L. Schodt in Dreamland Japan as “the progenitor of the modern girls’ manga format,” a “sweet story with romance and adventure and a hodgepodge of elements from medieval pageantry, Christianity, and Greek mythology.”

It’s about a girl, Sapphire, who must pretend to be a boy so that she can inherit the throne of her kingdom, lest it fall into the wrong hands. Born with two hearts – a boy’s and a girl’s – she adopts a secret identity to fight crime. Kodansha published a bilingual edition of the three-volume series that’s out now out of print. (I could only find one volume listed on Amazon, used, and it starts at $48.) And Viz published a short sample in an issue of Shojo Beat, but it feels like something that should be readily available in English.

Here are some reasons why:

  • It sounds really delightful.
  • It’s only three volumes long.
  • It’s Tezuka. More Tezuka is always better.
  • It’s Tezuka doing shôjo and paving the way for complete reinvention in the process.
  • Now, don’t get me wrong. I want classic shôjo by Moto Hagio, Keiko Takemiya, Riyoko Ikeda and other legendary creators just as much, if not more. But Princess Knight seems like such an important building block.

    It’s available in French from Soleil.

    12 Responses to License Request Day: Princess Knight

    1. […] It’s license request day at Precocious Curmudgeon, and David Welsh’s wish for this week is: Princess Knight! […]

    2. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! I didn’t realize it was only three volumes; that’s not even that big of a commitment!

    3. gia says:

      Seconded. Seconded seconded seconded.

      And thirded.

      Can I four hundredth it too? (I guess I could, if I was going to buy 400 copies…)

    4. Grant G. says:

      Concur! I’m not planning to buy 400 copies myself, but I 401st it!

    5. Ed Sizemore says:

      I didn’t realize it was only three volumes long. Heck, either Viz or Vertical could do it as an omnibus. Perferably hardcover.

    6. You’d only wish someone would pick it up by n ow.

    7. […] later, a wish-list ensued. There were plenty of perennial would-be favorites (like Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Knight and Riyoko Ikeda’s The Rose of Versailles), and lots that I’d never even heard of and now want, […]

    8. […] contrarian reality allows. This would make a certain publisher the fulfiller of two of my license requests, not to mention the only publisher to fulfill any at all. It’s a good thing I don’t make any […]

    9. […] with me, that answer is always the same, but I won’t gripe if another title cuts in line. And the French have continued to lavish praise […]

    10. […] Princess Knight, written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka. Is there anyone who doesn’t want to see this book published in English? […]

    11. […] still so much of Tezuka’s work that has yet to be translated and published in English. Anticipation, you know what I […]

    12. […] as you may be of hearing me say it, I won’t be fully satisfied as a nerd until someone publishes Princess Knight in […]

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