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Anime / The Story of Cinderella

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You won't see her like that for most of the series.

A 26-episode anime adaptation of the famous fairy tail, co-produced by Tatsunoko Production and Italian animation studio Mondo TV. The Story of Cinderella opens as Cinderella's life changes for the worse when her father leaves on a business trip. No sooner is he out of sight than Cinderella's stepmother has unceremoniously moved her own daughters into Cinderella's room, thrown out her things, handed her a servant's dress, and put her to work doing all manner of menial labor. The series covers Cinderella's trials and tribulations as she tries to adapt to her new life while suffering the abuse of her mother and sisters. All the while, her fairy godmother, Paulette, subtly watches her and tries to influence events to fix Cinderella's life without her noticing. One of her first acts in this is to grant several of the animals of the house the power of speech, thus giving Cinderella companions in her dog Patch, a pair of mice named Chuchu and Bingo, and a bird named Pappy. The animals provide her company as well as help with her chores. The biggest twist in the series is that Cinderella meets her Prince Charming early - except here he's the roguish Prince Charles, who has a habit of sneaking out of the castle and meets Cinderella by accident while disguised as a commoner. The two have a few misunderstandings before becoming friends and start having adventures together. Meanwhile, the villainous Duke Zaral plots against the royal family throughout the story, at times working Cinderella into his plots and machinations. The series eventually culminates in the ball in which the fairy tale ends, but with its own unique twist.


The Story of Cinderella originally aired on NHK in 1996 under its Japanese title of Cinderella Monogatari. MondoTV aired the Italian version (retitled "La Cenerentola") on Italia 1 in 1997 and also produced at many more foreign language dubs, including an English language version that appears to have been dubbed in Canada and simply titled "Cinderella". It's unclear when and where the various dubs aired - the Italian version bears a 1995 copyright despite its initial broadcast being two years later. MondoWorld's official Youtube channel now streams ten of the foreign language dubs they produced for free, including the original Italian dub and the English dub.



  • Adaptation Expansion: The 26-episode series is based on a relatively short story. To fill all the extra time, many new characters are added and the nearby town is heavily featured. The series spends a lot of time dealing with the stepfamily's mistreatment and developing Cinderella and Charles's relationship, (though the former is somewhat Bowdlerized, as described below). There's also an entirely new subplot about a greedy duke trying to usurp the throne.
  • A Day in Her Apron: Downplayed when Cinderella gets sick and her stepfamily dumps all her chores on Charles. He clearly struggles to figure out exactly how to complete the tasks they give him, but is able to muddle through to their satisfaction with the exception of cooking an edible meal (see Lethal Chef below). By the end, he's amazed that Cinderella does so much work on her own every single day. Justified since he's a prince and has never had to cook or clean before.
  • Adult Fear:
    • The stepmother's threats to kick Cinderella out of the house, sometimes for minor offenses or no real reason at all, seem calculated to rouse the fury of any actual parents who might be watching.
    • In the fifth episode, Jeanne and Cinderella go running into the woods after Jeanne's hat when it blows away. Then a thunderstorm comes in, forcing them to take shelter. Cinderella goes back to the carriage to let her stepfamily know where they are, but Pierre has already gone looking for them, and in the meantime Jeanne wanders off and gets lost. The stepmother seems genuinely worried about Jeanne as she sends Pierre on his search.
      • Even worse, Jeanne spies the campsite where the royal hunting party has set up and heads toward it. While her logic is sound, Charles and Alex mistake her for a bear in the dim light and fog and nearly shoot her before Cinderella intervenes.
    • The entirety of the episode where Isabel runs away, but it's most prominent when Duke Zaral reaches the lake house where he knows Isabel would have gone and breaks down on the front steps upon realizing she's not there. The man may be a controlling father and general Magnificent Bastard, but he really does love his daughter and is horrified that something might have happened to her.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Lots! The Japanese version uses a perky JPOP song, "Love Plus Love", as well as a somber ending song, "Newborn Love". Mondo TV's Italian version used a new opening sung by Cristina D'Avena for the initial television broadcast, and later home video releases used a completely new song. Other dubs handled by Mondo TV used an instrumental version of the same song, likely to cut costs of redubbing the song. A Polish dub of the show created a new version of the second Italian theme in Polish, written and performed with adult female and male lead singers as a duet instead of being sung by children. The French dub used a completely new song altogether, which was then redubbed for both Arabic dub and the Catalan dub. The Korean dub used yet another new song. The Tagalog dub used a shortened dubbed version of "Love Plus Love".
  • An Aesop: In episode 16, Charles takes over Cinderella's chores for a day while she recovers from a fever. Come the end of the episode, he ruminates to Alex about how the experience has driven home that a lot of people work hard to make his life of luxury possible and he needs to do his part by taking his royal responsibilities seriously.
  • Arranged Marriage: Cinderella's father sets one up for Katherine, but as their mother wants one of the girls to be available to marry Prince Charles, she tries to pawn him off on Cinderella instead (by lying, of course).
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: At the end of the episode where Cinderella is Wrongly Accused of stealing grapes from the royal vineyard, all of her animal friends are shown eating some of the grapes the vineyard keeper brought as an apology gift, including Patch the dog. In real life, dogs should never be fed grapes, as they can cause kidney failure.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis:
    • The stepmother pulls this off in the third episode. She deduces that the story Charles told Cinderella was likely true by first following him back to the castle to confirm that he lives there and then, when her daughters voice their doubts, pointing out that his clothes are far too fine for anyone but a higher-ranked servant like the prince's page.
    • In episode 14, the castle's housekeeper can tell just by looking at the stitching on a pile of mending that the same person did all of it. From there it's a short step to deducing that Katherine and Jeanne ran off and left Cinderella to do all the work.
  • Big Eater: Jeanne, the younger stepsister. She makes frequent Bratty Food Demands of Cinderella, and her Big Sister Bully Katherine teases her about her weight even though she's not actually fat.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The stepsisters aren't actually ugly here but Cinderella is considered more attractive than them and is, unsurprisingly, the kindest.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: It is very obvious the production of the English version was not handled by English speakers, if the title cards are anything to go by. For example, the very first episode has the on-screen title of "I wont to be come a splendid young lady". The episode after it is entitled, on screen, as "The fowers from my dream". As seen, the title cards use "sentence case" capitalization which is correct in Italian but incorrect for English.
  • Bowdlerization:
    • Considering how much this series is derived from Disney's version of the story, many of the darker aspects are toned down. Unlike Disney and most other retellings, Cinderella's father is alive, nor is he a Henpecked Husband who does nothing to help his daughter as in the original Perrault version, but simply away on business.
    • The scene from the Disney version were the stepsisters destroy Cinderella's translated into a similar scene where they destroy her invitation.
    • Unlike in many other versions of the tale, Cinderella is the protagonist's actual name instead of a cruel nickname given to her because of how dirty she gets doing all the household chores.
  • Brick Joke: In the very first episode, Cinderella's first attempt at cooking for her stepfamily goes awry when the tops of the salt and pepper shakers pop off, dumping their entire contents into the soup she's making. Fifteen episodes later, Charles has taken over Cinderella's chores for the day while she recovers from a fever. When he decides that the soup he's been ordered to make could use some seasoning, the exact same thing happens to him.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Chuchu, the hot-tempered female mouse, has a Brooklyn accent in the English dub.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • During their second meeting, Charles tells Cinderella about going pheasant hunting in his garden. Cinderella refutes him by pointing out that the only garden big enough would be the one at the palace. Charles quickly backpedals to avoid giving his identity away, but Cinderella just takes it as confirmation that he's making things up and refuses to believe anything else he tells her.
    • Charles finally tries to tell Cinderella who he really is, but because he's been lying so much to her, Cinderella doesn't believe him and nicknames him "Charles the Fibber."
  • Cats Are Mean: Misha was inspired by the Disney cat, Lucifer, but she turns out better than Lucifer in the end.
  • Celeb Crush: Every woman in the kingdom seems to have one on Prince Charles. An important part of Cinderella's Character Development centers on letting go of her idealized image of the prince and learning to love him as the ordinary boy he actually is.
  • Character Development:
    • Though he's a genuinely Nice Guy from the beginning, Charles doesn't take his lessons or his responsibilities as the prince very seriously and finds life in the palace boring. Over the course of the series, he starts to put a lot more effort into both, thanks to a combination of the need to thwart Zaral's plotting and his relationship with Cinderella helping him develop a greater appreciation for the struggles of the lower classes.
    • Cinderella starts out with a massive Celeb Crush on Prince Charles, like most other women in the kingdom, but over time realizes that he's a flawed person like everyone else and falls in love with the ordinary boy Charles the Fibber.
  • Clark Kenting:
    • When Prince Charles wants to be pretend to be a commoner, he simply steals Alex's jacket, changes his shirt, and slightly ruffles his hair. Nobody recognizes him, even though he even uses his real name. Considering the nickname Cinderella gives him after one Cassandra Truth too many, it's likely people believe the prince isn't actually reckless enough to run around in broad daylight and assume he's just a cocky peasant.
    • Prince Charles also doesn't recognize Cinderella at the ball. Neither do her stepmother and stepsisters - they don't even know it's her until she tries on the glass slipper.
  • Compilation Movie: Licensed by Mondo TV alongside the show itself.
  • Condemned by History: In-Universe. Cinderella plans to go to the ball in a dress her mother wore when she was young. However, fashion trends have changed since then. The stepfamily call the dress outdated when they see it, and the stepmother states that the ridiculous style had been out of date for years. Jeanne is worried that Cinderella would be the laughingstock at the ball, and refuses to be seen with her in the dress.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: When the villagers chase after "Prince Charles' carriage", Charles instantly knows that it's an imposter because he's the real prince.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Both of Cinderella and Charles's first two meetings, and a few of their other meetings later on, have one of them bump into the other and both fall down. It becomes a minor Running Gag between them.
  • Dances and Balls: There are a few throughout the series, as might be expected given which fairy tale it's based on.
    • In episode 10, Charles swaps clothes with Alex to get out of going to a birthday ball for Isabel, but has to sneak in and swap back when Duke Zaral insists Alex remove the mask he wore to hide the deception.
    • The plot of episode 12 revolves around a ball Charles's parents throw for him without his knowledge, at which Duke Zaral blackmails him to name Isabel his fianceé. Cinderella overhears Charles discussing the blackmail attempt with Alex while sneaking in (she was invited, but her stepfamily left her behind anyway) and enlists her animal friends to disrupt the proceedings before Zaral can make the announcement.
    • Finally, the famous ball from the original fairy tale, which Cinderella attends with her fairy godmother's help and where she loses her glass slipper, becomes the climax of the series in episode 24.
  • Dance of Romance: Averted, since Charles and Cinderella actually know each other by the time of the ball. Furthermore, while Charles doesn't recognize her at the ball and Cinderella hides her identity, his attraction to her is because of her familiarity.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Cinderella has one with her late mother in episode 21.
  • Description Cut: Katherine and Jeanne watch Prince Charles and Alex step into a room and immediately press themselves against the door, speculating on how Charles must be doing something dignified and princely, such as reading poetry or playing an instrument. Cut to inside the room, where Charles is making off with Alex's jacket so he can sneak into town and buy bread.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Subverted. Cinderella's stepfamily get to live the high life while she does all the housework, but they clearly never stopped to consider what would happen when her father inevitably returned home to find them treating her like a servant. Luckily for them, by then they've made a very abrupt Heel–Face Turn and Cinderella is presumably too forgiving to bring it up, meaning they get off scot free.
    • Isabel's plan to get Prince Charles's attention by running away. She assumes she can reach her father's second house on foot while carrying a heavy suitcase full of jewelry, doesn't bring any money for food, and doesn't consider the fact that her bag might attract thieves. Needless to say, it doesn't work out well for her.
  • Disney Villain Death: Duke Zaral gets rocks in his eyes while trying to kill the happy couple and goes tumbling off a tower to his death.
  • Domino Mask: Alex wears one when Charles gets him to pretend to be him so he can get out of a ball.
  • Dramatic Shattering: One episode features Cinderella and her stepsisters being hired to clean the castle. While cleaning, the stepsisters get into a fight and knock over the royal china doll, breaking it to pieces. They're promptly fired for destroying a royal heirloom.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Bingo believes that Cinderella's dream about a field of clover in the second episode is a sign that she's about to experience good fortune. After getting in trouble and saddled with a pile of extra chores, Cinderella decides that maybe the dream didn't really mean anything after all. However, she had earlier bumped into the disguised Prince Charles by sheer chance, leading to the start of their friendship and eventual romance, and Paulette confirms that Cinderella is indeed due for some good luck, just not quite yet.
  • Dresses the Same: Katherine is so paranoid of this happening at a party that she drags Cinderella along to sit in the carriage and redo her hat when she discovers Isabel wore the same one.
  • Dub Induced Plothole: Episode 4 of the English version inexplicably has several characters with the wrong names. For example, Charles is called "Charming" and Paulette is called "Penelope." In the same episode, Cinderella introduces herself to Charles by name, yet when he hears her name again in the next episode, he says "Now I finally know your name!" as if he'd never heard it before. As the voice actors for some of the characters are also different in Episode 4, there's a chance this was a pilot for the dub that never got redubbed.
  • Entertainingly Wrong:
    • One of Charles's favorite things to do in town is listen to all the ridiculous rumors people make up about him, such as one that claims he never wears a pair of shoes more than once. Upon hearing that one, Charles looks down at his very worn shoes and can't keep himself from laughing out loud (he later admits to Cinderella that if he likes a pair of shoes, he'll wear them until they fall apart).
    • During the Flower Festival, many of the townspeople, including Cinderella's stepfamily, are convinced that the King is attending in disguise to find a beautiful wife for his son. As it turns out, a disguised member of the royal family is at the festival, but it's Prince Charles himself instead of the king, and he's not looking for a bride—he's just there to escape his stuffy life in the palace and have some fun.
      • The bride-hunting rumor becomes even more amusing in the next episode, which opens with Duke Zaral suggesting to the king and queen that a fianceé might be just the thing to make Charles settle down and take his lessons more seriously. Their reactions make it clear that they've never considered the idea before.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Duke Zaral is a villain through and through, but he's still truly distraught when his daughter Isabel runs away and terrified for her safety. Cinderella stepmother is also genuinely worried about Jeanne when the latter gets lost in the woods and holds her comfortingly as they ride home after she's found, and in a later episode, when the stepmother becomes dangerously ill, Katherine and Jeanne are in anguish and never leave her bedside, then sob Tears of Joy when she recovers.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Averted for most of the main characters; the stepsisters, prince, and Fairy Godmother are all given names, as might be expected for such a long-running adaptation. Interestingly, the trope is played straight with Cinderella's father and stepmother.
  • Evil Chancellor: Duke Zaral falls neatly into this - though not explicitly a Chancellor, the King and Queen frequently rely on him in this sort of role when he's trying to usurp them.
  • Extreme Doormat: Cinderella herself. She lets her step-family repeatedly abuse her, take her things, destroy her invitation to the ball, and basically ruin her life...all the while making her feel guilty for upsetting them. Strangely, she's extremely bold when dealing with Charles - though only when she thinks he's "Charles the Fibber" and not "Prince Charles."
    • Justified by the fact that Cinderella's stepmother has complete authority over the household while her husband is away and can easily throw Cinderella out, leaving her homeless. She makes a point of holding that threat over Cinderella's head to frighten her into line in the very first episode, and later comments that the only reason Cinderella isn't already out on the streets is because there's nobody else to do the housework. It should be noted that in the time period when the series takes place, being a homeless young girl had almost no chance of ending well and would likely have been even worse than the stepfamily's abuse.
  • Fairy Godmother: Paulette, though she never lets on until the very end of the series. Unlike the one in the fairy tale, Paulette stays involved in Cinderella's life as opposed to just appearing out of the blue. Cinderella helps her out at the start of the series, but doesn't realize who she is. Paulette spends most of the series in the background using subtle magic to nudge things Cinderella's way just enough that she can manage on her own. The animals stay in touch with her without telling Cinderella.
  • Faking the Dead: In the finale, Charles is nearly poisoned by the Duke, but he and Alex are suspicious and instead fake his poisoning to throw off the villains.
  • Fashions Never Change: Averted. Fashions do change in the kingdom. When Cinderella decides to wear her mother's favorite dress, she doesn't realize that it is outdated until her stepmother points it out.
  • Find the Cure!: In Episode 21, Cinderella's stepmother becomes gravely ill, and Cinderella ventures into a haunted forest to find the only herb that can cure her.
  • Foregone Conclusion: It's a show about Cinderella. Of COURSE she'll get the guy after losing a glass slipper at a ball. The real catch is that the journey to that ball is elaborated on.
  • Fortune Teller: Yan is a mix of this and a Phony Psychic, as his predictions are a combination of luck, cold reading, and genuine clairvoyance. He disguises himself as a stereotypical fortune teller. He even uses a Crystal Ball.
  • The Girl Who Fits This Slipper: Well, duh. Subverted though - at the pivotal moment, Cinderella, still believing that she isn't good enough for Prince Charles, lies about attending the ball and refuses to try on the shoe. Similar to the Disney version, she is discovered because she still has the other shoe. Unlike the Disney version, it's the work of the animals that unveils the shoes after Alex has already left assuming she was telling the truth. Then she still needs some coaxing. Also subverted in that the final episode takes place after the original story's climax.
  • Gold Digger: The stepmother certainly enjoys spending money on herself and her daughters, and at one point implies that she married Cinderella's father solely for his money and title. She also goes to great lengths in her attempts to ensure one of her daughters will marry Prince Charles, including forcing Cinderella to invite the prince (disguised as his page) over to dinner so she can pump him for information and trying to pawn Cinderella off on the groom in an Arranged Marriage in place of Katherine.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Many of the characters, especially the female ones. Clothing is mostly based on late 1600s styles.
  • Grand Finale: The story doesn't end with the shoe fitting. More like a big action set piece with Duke Zaral coming back for one last attempt at the kingdom.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Zore, the Mad Artist in the episode "The Disturbing Painter," is cleansed of his dark powers and impulses by a magic rain conjured by Paulette at the end.
    • Misha the cat. This is symbolized by her offering the other animals food and Paulette finally granting her the power of speech.
    • Cinderella's step-family after she tries on the glass slipper. Probably because the real conflict of the final episode is Duke Zaral's last stand and having Cinderella's family convert from villains makes things neater.
  • Hypocrites: During their short tenure as maids in the castle, Katherine and Jeanne complain about being put to work with no warning or explanation, being told to change out of their fancy dresses and into plain clothing, the housekeeper constantly breathing down their necks, and being punished for slacking off with more chores. Neither girl appears to realize that all the things they complain about perfectly describe their own treatment of Cinderella.
  • Idiot Ball: Cinderella blows off things as a "coincidence" rather frequently. For example, when Charles tells her his identity, she assumes he must be another guy named Charles...that looks exactly like the Prince and lives at the castle. Even though she does briefly suspect that he's the prince, after she sees him stealing grapes from the royal vineyard she dismisses the idea. Later, she overhears Duke Zaral's plot to "overthrow the king"...and assumes it must be "some other king". Fortunately for Charles, she blurts this out to him anyway and he starts being more cautious.
  • Identical Stranger: Yan's friend Marcel bears such an uncanny resemblance to the Prince that Zaral tries to use him in a scheme to replace the real Prince. Later, Marcel dresses up as the Prince for a costume party and gets mistaken for him by Zaral's henchman during a coup...which buys Charles time to safely take his home back.
  • Ignored Epiphany:
    • After getting a good view of Prince Charles for the first time, Cinderella notices his "resemblance" to "Charles the Fibber" and suspects that her friend might be the prince in disguise. But after she sees "Charles the Fibber" steal grapes from the royal vineyard, she assumes the prince would never do such a thing and gives up her suspicion.
    • In one episode, Cinderella and her stepsisters are hired to work as maids in the palace. While Cinderella gets along just fine (she arguably has it easier than she does at her stepfamily's house), Katherine and Jeanne struggle to keep up with the heavy work and the demands of the strict housekeeper, and by the end of their first day are sore and miserable. Despite outright acknowledging that Cinderella is faring better because her daily life is already exactly like this, the stepsisters don't quite manage to translate that into any actual empathy for Cinderella or misgivings about what they put her through on a daily basis.
    • Subverted by Isabel. During the episode where she runs away in a ploy to get Prince Charles's attention, she comes to the realization that he doesn't reciprocate her feelings for him. At the end of the episode, she starts whining about the fact that a dirty servant boy (actually Charles in disguise) came to her rescue instead of Prince Charles, making it look like this trope. However, in the next episode, she's shown reading love letters from other bachelors and tells her father that she'd rather marry someone who actually cares about her.
  • Informed Attribute: Mondo TV's website says that Jeanne is less cruel than her sister...this is never shown in the series proper. If anything she's more loud-mouthed and impatient than Katherine.
  • Instant Illness: In Episode 21, the stepmother seems to be her normal self at first, although slightly more irritable than usual (not that she's un-irritable to begin with), but then she suddenly becomes dizzy, collapses, and in the next scene is lying comatose and in danger of dying.
  • Karma Houdini: Cinderella's step-family gets no repercussions for treating Cinderella like dirt...simply because at the very last moment, they decide to be nice to her.
  • King Incognito: Prince Charles does this frequently. This causes problems early in the series since Cinderella doesn't believe his cover story, and hence doesn't believe him about anything else. This also causes problems for his page Alex, since Charles frequently borrows his clothes and occasionally his identity as well.
  • Lethal Chef: When making a stew, Charles carelessly puts in vegetables without peeling or cutting them and uses the entire containers of salt and pepper. Justified in that, being a prince, he is used to servants cooking for him instead of doing it himself.
  • Lost in Imitation: Borrows the talking mice from the Disney film and adds on a talking dog and bird. Unlike in the Disney version, though, the animals' speech gets an explanation: the fairy godmother gives them the ability to speak with her magic.
  • Lost Love Montage: Cinderella has this as she remembers her entire friendship with Charles after she learns that he's the prince and thinks they can never be together because she's below him. Though of course, in the end, he's not so lost to her after all.
  • Mad Artist: Zore creates paintings that suck the life out of their subjects.
  • Meal Ticket: Some of the stepmother's dialogue implies that she married Cindrella's father, a duke, solely for his wealth and title. The prince is also regarded as this by Cinderella's stepfamily, and to a lesser extent by many of the ladies in town.
  • Meaningful Name: Paulette is a play on "Palette", as she lives as a painter (when she's not using magic to meddle).
  • Meet Cute: Cinderella and Charles first meet when she crashes into him and knocks him over while trying to avoid her stepfamily. It likely would have ended there had she not dropped a handful of his (and her) favorite flowers in her haste to get out of her stepfamily's sight, prompting Charles to chase after her so he can return them. Cinderella points out that a handful of flowers is a silly reason to chase someone, at which point Charles reveals that she also dropped a far more important item: her house key.
  • Motivation on a Stick: Played with. When the spell Paulette used to make a horse look like Prince Charles wears off inside Cinderella's house, her stepmother gets rid of it by tying a carrot to a stick and tying the stick to Cinderella's back. Cinderella is forced to flee as the horse chases the tasty morsel and, by extension, her.
  • Mukokuseki: Inverted. Despite the fact that the characters are clearly European (likely French or some Fantastic Equivalent), most of the background characters are given dark hair and Asian features.
  • Never Say "Die": The villains, at least in the English dub, tend to talk around actually trying to suggest they're trying to kill other people. Particularly awkward as they try not to say that Charles is "dead" after they poison him, instead saying that he's "in a very deep, permanent sleep" and "no longer."
  • Nice Guy: Charles establishes himself as one when he goes out of his way to return Cinderella's house key after she bumps into him and knocks him into a puddle, as well as wholeheartedly forgiving her for yelling at him when she thinks he's following her because he's angry. When he initiates their second meeting by tripping over her, he's quick to apologize and offers to pick up the packages she dropped even before recognizing her as the girl he met earlier.
  • Nice Mice: Bingo and Chuchu are helpful and friendly to Cinderella.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Bingo, Chuchu, Patch, Papy, and Misha all count because they all assist Cinderella in the episode's conflict.
  • Obviously Evil: Duke Zaral is sporting the usual "evil chancellor" look. The painter Zore looks like a demonic Howard Hughes.
  • Ojou: Isabel is the daughter of a lord and so she acts like an upper-class snot.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Averted for Cinderella, because Cinderella is her name in this series.
    • Double subverted for Charles. He finally tells Cinderella his real name, but because he's given her a false name before, she's skeptical and dubs him "Charles the Fibber."
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Paulette is a seemingly normal woman who makes her living as an artist and art teacher. Through most of the series, only Cinderella's animal friends know she's really a fairy. Nor can she perform magic without her wand: if she loses it, she's effectively a Muggle until she gets it back.
  • Parental Marriage Veto:
    • In one episode, a poor young violinist named Nicholas and a nobleman's daughter named Lora are in love, but Lora's parents refuse to let them marry, so Cinderella and her friends help the lovers to elope.
    • Duke Zaral refuses to let Isabel consider any other suitor but Prince Charles. Again, Cinderella and Charles help her to reunite with her true love and elope with him.
  • Pair the Spares: Isabel is initially pushed onto Charles by her father, Duke Zaral, but eventually gives up on him when she realizes he will never reciprocate her emotions. Her father forbids her from marrying anyone else. Skip ahead and suddenly Cinderella has an engagement she needs to get away from...and lo and behold, the young man is Isabel's beloved childhood friend who still loves her.
  • Performance Anxiety: Mary the acrobat in Episode 8 has trouble performing in front of crowds, requiring Cinderella and Charles to come up with a way to help her get over it.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Cinderella dons one for the ball, as expected. It's an old dress of her mother's, and her stepfamily makes fun of it for being out of style. Paulette steps in to bring it up to date and add a few finishing touches.
  • Plenty of Blondes: Unusually for an anime with a European-inspired setting, this is not the case. The overwhelming majority of characters are various shades of brunette - both light (Cinderella, her stepmother) and dark (Charles, Katherine, Jeanne). Isabel, Mary, and Paulette are redheads. The only character who could be called blond is Alex, and even then, he's a dirty blond.
  • Prince Charming: Played with with Charles. He gets called "Prince Charming" a few times by other characters, and many people think of him like this but in reality, he's a pretty typical rebellious teenager. His parents want to invoke this and think a fianceé will do the trick. Their efforts fail, but he becomes more charming through his relationship with Cinderella.
  • Punny Name: The candidates in the Flower Festival's beauty contest include Virginia von Groundpepper from Spice County and Margaret Lemonrind from Citrus Grove.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • The housekeeper who oversees Cinderella and her stepsisters when they're hired to work in the palace. She pays close attention to who's actually getting work done and isn't afraid to take Katherine and Jeanne to task when they inevitably try to dump their share of the work on Cinderella (and lie about it for good measure).
    • The King and Queen are trying to find Charles a fianceé because they can't think of any other way to motivate him to take his duties seriously, to the point of pushing him together with Duke Zaral's daughter Isabel and throwing a surprise ball in his name with all eligible ladies invited. At the end of the day, however, they make it clear that they won't force him to commit to marrying someone he doesn't want to marry.
  • Redemption Rejection: Over the course of the series, Cinderella's stepsisters and stepmother encounter several situations that basically throw in their faces that they're bad people and the way they've treated Cinderella is wrong. Each time, they have at most a few moments of remorse and some empty words about trying to be better before going right back to their old ways until the last episode, when all three pull a very abrupt Heel–Face Turn.
  • Rescue Romance: Downplayed. Cinderella decides she doesn't want anything to do with Charles after she catches him lying to her face, but agrees to give their budding friendship one more chance after he saves her from a runaway horse.
  • Rich Bitch: Cinderella's stepmother and stepsisters are haughty, rude and spoiled; yes all three of them. Isabel is a mild example, since she has sympathetic moments but is initially another high-station antagonist.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Unlike the very passive Prince Charming of other versions of the story, Prince Charles is an active participant in the story. By the time the ball has come about, he's already fallen for Cinderella...and helped thwart a violent invasion of his country, among other things.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Cinderella decides to disobey her stepmother and go to the Flower Festival after Bingo tells her that a dream she had the previous night is a sign that good fortune is coming. It's at the festival that she meets Charles, setting their relationship and her eventual escape from her stepfamily's cruelty into motion.
  • Series Continuity Error: In the first episode (at least in the English dub), Cinderella's mother is said to have died just four years before the main storyline, meaning Cinderella was about twelve when it happened. But in a later episode, a flashback to her mother's death portrays her as only about four or five at the time, and she claims not to have many memories of her mother because she was so young at the time.
  • Shout-Out: Charles is very clearly named for Charles Perrault, the man who collected the most famous version of the fairy tale.
  • Sick Episode: Episode 16, where Cinderella comes down with a high fever. Prince Charles comes to Cinderella's house in disguise and is given all of her chores.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Cinderella has shades of this; though she's an Extreme Doormat to her stepfamily, lest they make good on their threats to throw her out of her own house, and goes out of her way to be kind and helpful, her interactions with Charles-in-disguise show that she's willing and able to stand up for herself and won't tolerate being lied to. Likewise, she's very firm with Misha whenever the cat starts making trouble.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Cinderella is initially attracted to Charles because of how nice he is to her during their first few meetings, though it doesn't stop her from deciding to end their budding friendship when she catches him lying to her (luckily, she agrees to give him one more chance and Charles is careful to be more honest with her).
  • Soul Jar: Zore has the power to capture a person's soul in his paintings of them.
  • Spoiler Opening: The guy in the mask that duels Charles in the opening of the show? You don't see those guys until the final episode.
  • Status Quo Is God: Zig-zagged; while for the most part the series respects advances in its storyline and Character Development, there are some moments where the trope is played completely straight.
    • Any episode that revolves around the threat of Cinderella being thrown out of her home is sure to end with Cinderella completing whatever task her stepmother gave her and continuing to work there as always.
    • In the fifth episode, Cinderella recognizes Prince Charles as her new friend Charles the Fibber, and declares this with certainty to her animal friends. In the very next episode, she's easily convinced that he can't possibly be the prince.
    • At the end of the seventh episode, Yan gives Cinderella's stepmother a false fortune, warning her that her only path to a bright future is by learning kindness and hard work. The stepmother appears to take this fortune to heart and tells her daughters that they'll have to change their ways. This exchange is never mentioned again, and the stepfamily remains as cruel as ever until their sudden Heel–Face Turn in the final episode.
    • Episode 21 sees Cinderella risking her life to retrieve an herb from a dangerous forest in order cure her stepmother of a life-threatening illness. The stepfamily seems genuinely grateful for once, but in the very next episode they're back to treating Cinderella like dirt.
    • Inverted in the very last episode, when Cinderella's stepfamily completely change their ways and start treating her nicely with no buildup from prior episodes to justify this sudden Character Development.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Charles justifies taking grapes from the royal vineyard without asking because they belong to his father anyway and isn't worried about getting caught because he's too fast for the gardener. Eventually, Cinderella winds up in the wrong place at the wrong time and is blamed for the thefts instead.
    • Jeanne and Katherine jump at the chance to go to the royal palace and meet Prince Charles, even when they realize they'll be working as maids instead of staying as guests. However, their bad attitudes and general laziness quickly earn the ire of the housekeeper, who outright says that the only one of the three she'd even consider letting near the prince's rooms is "that sweetheart Cinderella."
    • When Patch and Pappy go to get a doctor for Cinderella, they aren't even allowed into the clinic because they're animals. Luckily, Charles happens to be in town and they're able to get the message across to him.
  • Talking Animal: One of the few comforts Cinderella has are her talking animal friends, who are granted the power of speech in the first episode by Paulette. Apparently others could hear them speak as well, they just pretend to be normal animals around other humans.
  • Tsundere: Cinderella is Type B: normally all sweetness and innocence, but cold to Charles at first to mask her sense of inferiority, and then harsh because she thinks he's a fibber. Fortunately, she soon gets to know him better and warms up to him, although she stays prone to snapping at him at times and denying that she likes him.
  • The Ingenue: Cinderella fits this trope to a T. She's beautiful, good-natured, and kind to the point of naivete; multiple other characters rely on this to let them manipulate or outright take advantage of her.
  • Ungrateful Bitch:
    • Cinderella saves Jeanne from nearly getting shot by Charles during a fog in his hunting thicket. Jeanne's response is to keep chewing her out like always. Even Charles is stunned at how ungrateful she is.
    • Charles saves Cinderella and her stepfamily from Zaral's band of bandits when they attack them in their house, but only Cinderella is grateful: by the next episode, the stepfamily has gone back to regarding Charles as nothing but trouble.
    • Cinderella risks her life to fight through a haunted forest to save her stepmother. Come the next episode, said stepmother snaps back to hating her.
  • Uptown Boy:
    • The romance between title character and Charles. Cinderella gives up on staying with Charles due to the class difference and assumes he feels the same. Even to the point of refusing to try on the glass slipper as she doesn't believe she's good enough for him.
    • There's also a short story arc in which Cinderella and Charles try to help out Nicholas, a poor violinist, and Lora, a noble's daughter, who have a similar problem.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Retained from the original story, but it only applies to the elements Paulette enchanted for the ball.
  • Wicked Stepmother: As expected, though the version present in this story puts them to shame because there are over twenty episodes of nastiness instead of a film.

Alternative Title(s): Cinderella Monogatari


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