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Princess Knight

Japan, 1956 (MIFF 1995, Buried Treasures - Osamu Tezuka)

Director: Osamu Tezuka

Acknowledged as the first anime for girls (and indirectly leading to some of the most mind-boggling gender-specific girls titles {shojo manga & anime} which have proliferated in Japan over the proceeding 30 years), Princess Knight is a truly confounding tale. Set in a lurid fantasy-Europe, which makes Disney's penchant for Bavarian castles seem restrained, this is the story of Sap­phire who cannot succeed to the throne of Goldland because she is a girl. Thus she parades as a boy, and smites one Franz Charm­ing when she redisguises herself as a blonde girl for a journey into Silverland. If this already doesn't already sound like one of the wild romantic scenarios from the female cross-dress­ing Takarazuka Revue, complications further arise because when Sapphire was born, a mis­chievous angel (Tink in the original; Choppy in the American) pushed the heart of a boy into her mouth-so she actually has the hearts of both sexes within her.

See also...

Astro Boy

The TV series that started it all, from the infiltra­tion of Japanese style into Western TV anima­tion to the tradition of cartoon robots still strong in Japanese amine today. The success of ... More »

Kimba The White Lion

The 3rd TV series Tezuka created with Mushi, Kimba was the first colour anime series made in Japan. Highly memorable for Australian kids who saw it during its early 70s broadcast, Kimba ... More »

Tales of the Street Corner

Tezuka's work can loosely be divided into three distinct modes of production: his manga—where he could elaborate his ideas with total control, his TV series and manga derived features-which ... More »

Marvelous Melmo

If Princess Knight sounds wiid, Marvelous Melmo is all the more so because Tezuka's intentions were that this TV series function as sex educa­tion for young children. Never released in the ... More »

Mermaid

A whimsical tale of impossible love rendered in severely simplistic stick-figure technique. Tezuka explored a vast range of styles and tech­niques in his animation which he could not do with his ... More »

Pictures at an Exhibition

Tezuka's second major animation short. Pictures at an Exhibition is Tezuka's inspired response to Disney's Fantasia. Much of Disney's works did not reach Japan until the late 40s, and the advances ... More »

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