Princess Princess is an manga, anime, and live-action series by Mikiyo Tsuda.
Basically: What if you suddenly transferred to an all-boys school, only to see girls attending? That's what happened to Tooru Kouno. But he soon finds out they're not girls. They're actually guys: Mikoto Yutaka and Yuujirou Shihoudani, who are cross-dressing as part of a "Princess" program to let out the straight male student population's sexual frustration. In addition to that, Tooru's been chosen to become the third Princess. At first he doesn't want to, but he finds out there's lots of benefits to becoming a Princess, so he accepts.
Along the way, we meet Akira Sakamoto—a boy who's revered by most of the school but has low self-confidence, Sayaka, Tooru's "sister" (who's really his cousin and also happens to be his stalker, who's madly in love with him), Natashou, the Princesses' costume designer, and Arisada, the Student Council president who organizes events for the Princesses (and who was a Princess himself before).
Originally a manga which was serialized in the Shoujo magazine Wings from 2002 to 2006, Princess Princess had a manga sequel, Princess Princess +, which also ran in Wings from 2006 to 2007. It was adapted into a 12-episode anime in 2006, and the live-action show (which focused on Mikoto and introduced a whole new set of Princesses), Princess Princess D, also aired in 2006.
Not to be confused with Puri Puri, a manga featuring an Unwanted Harem. Or Princess Prince, another manga featuring cross-dressing (but this time with an actual royal in the role). OR the webcomic of the same name. Nor the popular all-girl Japanese band from the 90s. Nor, for that matter, the character from Adventure Time.
This show provides examples of:
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council: From the point of view of the Princesses, anyway, who live in fear of Student Council President Arisada's next command. Not only that, but the people who used to be a Princess end up having so many utterly devoted fans that they easily glide into positions of power. Eventually they all seem to end up being extremely rich and successful, such that there is only one man on the board of directors that governs the school who was not once a Princess himself—and he had to inherit his position from his father, who was a princess when he attended the school.
- Ambiguously Bi: Yuujirou is very flamboyant and has frequently toyed with the idea of being in a relationship with Tooru (even if it's mostly to drive away the latter's Stalker with a Crush). However, he has also mentioned that he likes girls with big boobs, and the first time we see him get truly angry is when a couple of guys got in his way when he was trying to chat up a pretty girl he saw.
- Beautiful All Along: In the manga, Sakamoto unwillingly gets a Princess makeover for his final speech in the election for school president. He wins by a landslide.
- Birds of a Feather: Tohru, Yujirou and Akira develops close bonds with one another due to their similar family circumstances (i.e. They have a loving family, but because of their personal issues feel isolated from them).
- Bishie Sparkle: Happens at least Once an Episode! Generally invoked by the characters doing it.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Somewhat, because Tooru has blue hair and Mikoto's Princess look has pink hair. They fit the trope by proxy, at least.
- Character Overlap: Mikoto, Megumi, and Makoto from The Day of Revolution, and Akira Sakamoto, as well as the whole Sakamoto family, from Family Complex.
- Covers Always Lie: The earlier cover depicts the guys in embrace with their female versions, because of this, many mistakenly concluded that it is devoted to Half-Identical Twins.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Although Mitaka has pretty much succumbed to Sakamoto's healing aura and hypnotic smile by the time the presidential election rolls around, his defeat turns him from Sakamoto's rival to his devoted Vice President.
- "Double, Double" Title: Princess Princess.
- Dragged into Drag: Mikoto and Yuujirou, who never got to choose whether they wanted to be princesses or not.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Even when they're not in Princess garb, the Princesses still get mistaken for female. It also serves as a Berserk Button for Yuujirou (who takes his Princess role more in stride than the others) if it prevents him from making a pass at girls that catch his eye:"Dudes, you must be either blind or gay! We're guys, dammit!"
- Dude Magnet: Akira may not be considered particularly good-looking or charming (by the series' standards anyway), but his soothing personality draws people to him, and Tooru, Yuujirou, Arisada and later Mitaka are all but crazy over him.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Natashou's design style is frilly, poofy, and generally a bit gothic. The princesses wind up wearing EGL versions of maid outfits, nurse uniforms, and the invitable Alice Allusion costume.
- Foregone Conclusion: If one has read Family Complex, one would know that Akira will win his run for student council president against Mitaka.
- Gender Flip: The Prince Prince mini-comic under the dust cover of each volume, which shows a parallel dimension where female versions of the main characters dress up as princes to soothe the lonely hearts at their all-girls' school.
- Heroic BSoD: Mikoto's despair about being a Princess ramps up to a full-blown BSOD when his big sister and girlfriend find out about it. Fortunately Megumi snaps him out of it with a kiss.
- Hero of Another Story:
- Homoerotic Subtext: Between Tooru and Yuujirou. It's also insinuated that Akira is Tooru's "type". Also, in the live-action drama, Mikoto and Otoya are hinted to have feelings for one another after being Locked in a Room. Helped along greatly by the fact that the mangaka moonlights as a yaoi dojin artist.
- The sequel, Plus, basically runs on Ho Yay. Seriously, the whole thing is about the relationship between the two new princesses.
- Let's not forget the "kiss". To convince Tooru's cousin that he's not into girls, he kisses Tooru right in front of her and threatens to do it again if she still doesn't believe him. He even suggested that they do something else when she comes back.
- Basically, the entire concept is Yaoi fuel. An all boys school has a program available for three selected individuals to dress up as girls and cater to the students' desires. Even before Tooru became a Princess, students were blushing and smiling at him. Talk about an awkward first day.
- And the anime ending. Oh god, the anime ending. Basically a slide show of Tooru and Yuujirou doing... Funny stuff.
- Mitaka more or less proposing to Akira after the electionsMitaka: I have something to say to you as well...Akira: Oh? What's that?Mitaka: I want to be with you, now and forever.(then later, after being told off by Tooru and Yuujirou)Mitaka: I'm sorry, Sakamoto, I phrased that poorly.Akira: Oh? You did? Okay...Mitaka: I meant to say, will you have' me with you now and forever?Yuujirou and Tooru: THAT'S THE SAME THING!!
- Honorary Princess: None of the titular princesses are actual royalty, of course. But due to their status as School Idols, they are honoured as such.
- Human Traffic Jam: When the princesses leave the stage after the play, Mikoto suddenly stops, causing Tooru and Yuujirou to run into him from behind. His reason? His big sister Makoto and girlfriend Megumi, from whom he desperately wanted to keep his princess activities secret, were waiting for him.
- Inadequate Inheritor: The elder Sakamoto brother is a very handsome guy who projects a blinding aura of desirability and untouchability, which led to the legend of "Sakamoto-sama" at the school. Akira Sakamoto is a plain and fairly ordinary guy whom the Student Council President saddled with "Second-generation Sakamoto-sama" as soon as he enrolled and feels he can't live up to it.
- Insult Backfire: When Mitaka learns that his rival in the presidential elections, the glorious Sakamoto-sama who he's been hearing so much about, is a plain-looking, soft-spoken average Joe with no charisma, he publicly insults Sakamoto and speculates that he's merely riding on his older brother's reputation. While everyone else is outraged, Sakamoto is impressed (and possibly turned on) by his honesty.Akira: So for me, whether the person has a bad attitude or not, if they're up front about how they feel, it really puts me at ease. Ever since I came here I've never known what it was like to be attacked like that, so it was actually kind of refreshing." [cue blushing and floral background] It was exciting...
Yuujiro: That's just wrong...
- Kimono Fanservice: Arisada told the princesses that his costumer preferred this to the EGL of Natashou.
- Kissing Cousins: Sayaka gains a one-sided crush on Tooru after she learns that he is her cousin, not her brother. It's all but stated that Tooru transferred schools to try and ease the awkward situation between them. Didn't work: she followed him.
- Love Bubbles: Sakamoto-sama the First is surrounded by soft-focus sparkles and cascades of floating feathers. In public, anyway.
- Manipulative Bastard: Student Council President Arisada, who always gets what he wants, from roping the there protagonists in as Princesses to convincing Akira Sakamoto's run for election as the next president.
- Medium Awareness: In the manga, characters often comment on backgrounds and the size of panels
- Mum Looks Like a Sister: When Tooru and Yuujirou first met Sakamoto Akira's mother, they thought she was his sister and they started arguing whether she was his older or younger sister. When he told them she's his mother, he even had to clarify she's not a stepmother. Then, when Akira's father comes along, they quickly assumed that he was Akira's brother, the "rumoured Sakamoto-sama".
- Nice Guy: Sakamoto is such a Nice Guy that his excess niceness leaks out and forms a healing, soothing aura which refreshes everyone who comes into contact with him.
- Omake: In the manga, you get Yonkoma in the back and a minicomic beneath the dust cover.
- One-Gender School: Fujinori Gakuen is an all-boys school, and the lack of girls is the reason why the Princess program is established in the first place.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Most of the outfits Natashou designs for the princesses fall under this trope.
- Retcon: The princess system is implied to have existed for at least 2 generations, but they do not exist in the prequel, Family Complex, despite being set only 1 year after the latter.
- Shout-Out: In one episode, the princesses are forced to sing and dance to a song on-stage in order to encourage the students. The song they choose? The opening to Cutey Honey.
- Spell My Name With An S: Tooru/Touru/Tohru/Thoru/Toru—well, you get the point.
- Stalker with a Crush: Tooru's cousin Sayaka, who attacked a girl he went out with and followed him to school twice to convince him to come back.
- Transfer Student Uniforms: Mitaka doggedly keeps his old uniform in the manga. This is despite the fact it includes a pair of rather tragic checked pants.
- Sorry, I'm Gay: Yuujirou kisses Tooru to finally convince Sayaka to leave. Tooru does not react well afterward (not that this fazes Yuujirou—he suggests going even further in case Sayaka decides to return).
- Yandere: Sayaka and her habit of stabbing Tooru's girlfriends with scissors.
- When She Smiles: An important part of the job of the princesses is to cheer everyone up with their smiles. It's a very hard thing for Mikoto to do, as he hates the princess job, which make his few smiles so much more adorable and noticeable.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: The princesses.
- You Need to Get Laid: All the other boys at their school, who get all excited (to the point of ridiculousness) about the "princesses"...even knowing that they're really guys.