Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Princess Nine

Go To

A baseball team of high school girls attempts to make it to the national tournament. The National Boys Tournament.

Also known as Princess Nine Kisaragi Girls High Baseball Club, Princess Nine is a 26-episode television anime series first aired on NHK-BS2note  in 1998. It was dubbed by ADV Films from 2001 to 2002 and is currently licensed in North America by Lucky Penny Entertainment. Crunchyroll has its available for streaming.

Keiko Himuro, president of Kisaragi Girls High School (and its brother school for boys), has a dream. She wants to prove that girls can compete in baseball (not merely softball), and forms a team around Ryo Hayakawa, a brilliant young pitcher. A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits is quickly assembled. They must then overcome sexism, personal problems and oh yeah, an Opposing Sports Team or two on their way to respect and baseball victory.

Compare with Taishō Baseball Girls and Tetsuwan Girl.

A Character Page has been started. Contributions would be nice.

Princess Nine provides examples of:

  • Acquitted Too Late: Hidehiko Hayakawa's eventual fate, if his real-life counterpart's reinstatement in 2005 (several years after the series ended on a vague cliffhanger) is anything to go by
  • Affectionate Nickname: Hiroki Takasugi constantly calls Ryo "Ganmo-chan" (Tofu in the English dub) as it's his favorite part of oden. He persists on calling her that despite her vocal objections to it. Late in the series, his grandfather informs Ryo that Hiroki only gives such nicknames to girls he truly likes.
  • Bad Guys Play Pool: One of the players, Seira, is recruited while playing pool; she's naturally the team rebel.
  • Big "NO!": Seira Morimura yells "No!" at the end of the fourth episode when she found out after the fact that she was tricked by Coach Kido into joining the team.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Kisaragi Girls' baseball team is unable to advance to the championship finals due to Hiroki hitting a last minute home-run in the semifinals. However, Hidehiko's name has been cleared, Hikaru gets together with Seishiro, Hiroki finally professes his love for Ryo, Izumi and Ryo settle their differences and the baseball team has won over the public.
  • Blank White Eyes: Shown by Ryo when she sees Hiroki Takasugi and Izumi Himuro kissing (though it was meant as a "goodbye" kiss, but Ryo misinterprets it and thought Hiroki was cheating on her).
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Yuki Azuma, who is never without her faithful "alien" companion Fifi. Nene is pretty out there herself.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: Nene Mori.
  • Death Glare: Izumi gives an effective one to a drunk who hits on her on the street.
    Drunk: I think I just sobered up.
  • Delinquent: Seira Morimura, red-haired dropout (and world class sprinter) who has to be tricked (much to her disappointment) into joining the team. The Kanji for her name effectively mean "A good saint from a forest village". She is not like that at all.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Ryo hits one when the revelation of Hidehiko Hayakawa's scandal leaves her on the brink of being expelled from Kisaragi Girls High School. Later, Nene is hit with this trope when she is faced with the imminent dissolution of the team.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Ryo's father Hidehiko Hayakawa was a professional baseball player before being banned for a scandal and dying. Seira's parents are going through what is implied to be a very nasty divorce.
    • If you read between the lines the divorce of Seira's parents is so nasty that the only adult she actually trusts is Coach Kido because she knows he won't hurt her.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Seira tempts the coach... with beer.
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted with Yuki. She tried killing herself when she was traumatized by her mean, jealous softball teammates during her Junior High Years for being an MVP and when they were claiming that she was taken all the credit. She couldn't kill herself despite the different attempts that tried.
  • Exact Words: Principal Mita tells his daughter, Kanako (who he grounded earlier) she can have anything she wants for her birthday, "anything within my power." To his surprise, she demands that he reinstate the baseball team. And he does, to everyone's surprise. And he also ungrounds Kanako.
  • Fallen Princess: Izumi Himuro, who takes a substantial demotion from star tennis player to join the team. She's the clean up hitter but doesn't get to play an important defensive position. For her it was either 3rd base or right field and Yoko would have to be hidden at the other position.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Kanako's father, the school principal, objects to her involvement in the baseball team. At first. Thanks to Kanako's birthday wish, he pulls a Heel–Face Turn and reinstates the team, allowing her to play once again.
  • Feminist Fantasy: The show is a full-on broadside at Japanese chauvinism.
  • Fiery Redhead: Seira Morimura.
  • Girls vs. Boys Plot: The whole series is the story of a group of girls who want to play high-school baseball, but as there is no girls' baseball in Japan, they must play baseball in the boys' league, against exclusively male teams. The "battle of the genders" trope also extends to a more systemic level, as the girls' team must contend with discrimination based on gender — in fact, were it not for some interested parties in high places, their team would never have gotten off the ground at all.
  • Genre Savvy: It's clear that everyone on the team has grown up on sports cliches, but no one more so than the team manager/gofer, Nene.
  • Girly Girl: Yoko Tokashiki, who isn't really into baseball, or sports in general, but is on the team to get attention for her modeling career.
  • Gratuitous English: The first few credits of the opening sequence (of the masters of the series that were sent to Lucky Penny, at least) are in English.
  • Heroic BSoD: Yuki Azuma gets this when she loses her Companion Cube "alien", Fifi.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Initially, it's Seishiro, Ryo's best friend since kindergarten, who has a crush on Ryo that he can never adequately express - so she remains completely unaware of his affections. Later in the series, though, he falls for Hikaru instead, and this time it's reciprocal and they share a First Kiss.
  • Hot for Teacher: Seira and the coach have a certain chemistry going. Would be a lot more disturbing, if she didn't look like she could kick his ass.
    • It's actually a lot less disturbing than that. Seira, at 5'7" tall, is taller than about half of all Japanese men. She probably wants a 6'0" tall guy. Kido may be the only guy of that size she both knows and trusts.
    • Also in her debut episode, remember Seira was cornered by a big gang and not only did coach Kido save her ass, they were both barely bruised in the escape and Seira comments on how good of a fighter Kido is (on top of also dodging and catching her thrown billards with ease and armlocking one of her friends before the gangbangers arrived). It should be noted that the billiards balls Seira threw did badly bruise Coach Kido's hand.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Mao Daidoji, a large but shy girl picked from the judo team to become the catcher for the baseball team. Mao is 5'9", Seira is 5'7", Izumi is 5'6", and Yuki is 5'5". A huge chunk of the cast is taller than average.
  • Important Haircut: Though not shown onscreen, Izumi cuts her hair shorter when she becomes a member of the Kisaragi Nine baseball team.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even though Izumi, Seira and Coach Kido are jerks, they still care about their friends.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The show fairly drips with it, no sports cliche is safe.
  • Large Ham: Yoko Tokashiki.
  • Mad Libs Thriller Title: Episode 13, "The Girl Stratagem".
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Yuki's Companion Cube Fifi. We don't have any reason to believe she's actually an alien...until what looks like a UFO appears in one episode to take her away, in full view of the entire team.
  • No Antagonist: While Principal Mita is opposed to Himuro's plans for a baseball team, there's no main villain against Ryo and her friends.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Ryo's father Hidehiko is based on Masaaki Ikenaga, a promising pitcher in the Nippon Professional Baseball league whose career was cut short by the Black Mist Scandal in the '70s. Along with several other high-profile players, Ikenaga was implicated in a gambling and game-fixing scheme which resulted in his being banned from professional baseball. Ikenaga admitted to taking money from gamblers but denied that he allowed it to impact his play. Due to a long-standing campaign by baseball fans,note  Ikenaga was ultimately exonerated by NPB in 2005 and received an honorary reinstatement.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Chibi-Izumi seems to laugh this way in the eyecatch.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Izumi's hairstyle.
  • One-Book Author: The English dub was Aninda Praptiningtyas and Margeaux Baulch's only anime roles as Kanako and Yuki, respectively.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The show itself. It premiered in Spring, 1998. Same season as Cowboy Bebop, Cardcaptor Sakura, Initial D, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Trigun. Probably one reason it didn't get renewed.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: most of the Kisaragi Nine fall into this, with only Yoko and Yuki not really fitting this trope to some degree.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Izumi Himoru rarely smiles.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Izumi delivers a variant of one to Ryo Hayakawa not to give up and die.
  • Rousing Speech: At the general meeting in the second half of "The Gift", the principal gives one of these about giving the girls' baseball team a chance to play when he withdraws the motion to expel Ryo and dissolve the team for good.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Kanako Mita disguises herself as Tami Konaka (syllables reversed) so her father won't find out about her whereabouts. It lands her in very hot water when her father learns about it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Mao's debut in Episode 6 is accompanied by a few bars of "Charge! His name is Giant Robo" from Giant Robo. Both Giant Robo and Princess Nine were scored by Masamichi Amano.
    • The opening refrain of the theme song is reminiscent of the Field of Dreams score.
  • Show Some Leg:
    • In episode 13, Seira and Hikaru do this to a team from a boys-only school. It works for a couple innings, then the boy's coach points out that girls that pretty probably already have boyfriends. The atmosphere gets ugly REAL quick.
    • Also played for irony since at that point in the story, none of the team has boyfriends.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Koharu Hotta, who disguised herself to play on a boys' baseball team before being found out.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Couple Examples:
    • Ryo Hayakawa is the Tomboy to Izumi Himuro's Girly Girl (despite that she played tennis), while Ryo herself is Girly Girl to Koharu Hotta's Tomboy.
    • Seira Morimura is Tomboy to Yoko Tokashiki's Girly Girl.
    • Hikaru Yoshimoto is the Tomboy to Yuki Azuma's Girly Girl.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A reporter at Teito Sports tells the lead editor, Hashimoto, about Ryo Hayakawa's relationship with her father Hidehiko, who was involved in a scandal years ago. It lands Ryo in hot water when it is leaked to the press.
  • Vision Quest: Ryo has one while in critical condition in the hospital, encountering her late father and hearing her teammates (including Izumi, who delivers a variant of "The Reason You Suck" Speech) telling her not to give up.
  • Wax On, Wax Off: Instead of teaching her to throw her father's "lightning ball," Coach Kido has Ryo till an entire lot all by herself, an exhausting task that she finishes by sheer willpower. Turns out that exhaustion and force of willpower she needed to finish the gardening is exactly what she needs to duplicate the "lightning ball" at the end of a difficult game.
    • Subverted when he later claims that he was just abusing his position to get her to do his dirty work, then Doubly Subverted when Takasugi points out that the chore was still the best way to train a pitcher's wrist muscles how to snap properly without overstraining.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: Kanako Mita has to disguise herself with a green wig to avoid having her father - the principal who disapproves of the team - find out she's on the roster. Lampshaded when she mentions how odd that all it takes is a wig for a father to not recognize his own daughter. Unfortunately for Kanako, she's discovered by the principal anyway.
  • Yes-Man: The Vice-Principal to Principal Mita.
  • You Go, Girl!