Imagine all fairy tales you have read in your life. They all share the same formula: A dashing prince, a princess in distress, love at first sight and after some difficulties, a loving wedding and a happily ever after. Well, this fantasy story is not like that.
In a World… where women are the dominant gender and men serve under them; Princess Amaltea is given the task of find and rescue a prince in order to marry him and inherit his mother's Queendom since as the second born, she's unable to inherit her mother's. Our young heroine is all but excited at the idea but accepts in order to prove her value.
After being guided by an old woman to a tower guarded by a dragon, Amaltea realizes her time to shine has come! She slays the beast, goes into the tower and finds a sleeping, beautiful prince and wakes him up with a kiss...For then the prince freaks out and declares he's not marrying her!
Sword Princess Amaltea is a Fantasy manga created by Sweden artist Natalia Batista and published by Kolik Förlag since Fall 2013. It used to be published in Inkblasters until its shutdown in February 2015 and has now its own web page here. The English translation was available there until the manga's American license was picked up by Tokyo Pop in 2017.
The story presents a curious flip in the Gender Code: All normally-male positions are held by women and vice-versa. Women are dominant, intelligent, powerful and commanding while men are demure, passive and don't hold much importance unless they're royalty. Yet, in this world where traditions are law and the Status Quo Is God, some dare to slide out of their role and long for more than what it's dictated by the code...
In June 2020, Natalia Batista announced a Kickstarter to fund a visual novel set after the events of the manga. The campaign was successful and it's expected to release in Spring 2021.
Expect many of the gender coded tropes to be flipped.
Sword Princess Amaltea provides examples of:
- Anachronism Stew: Mild case; on Page 289, Dorotea refers to Ossian as "hot", using the word in a modern context despite the medieval setting.
- Attempted Rape: Dorotea on Ossian on Page 289. Even more horrifying, it's heavily hinted she's not the first person to do this.
- Badass in Distress: Despite all her skill, Amaltea really can't do much against Herodun. She gets off her grab by kicking her on the boob. That must hurt.
- Battle Ballgown: Amaltea's first outfit was a lightly armored dress. She had to sell it after Titus stole her purse.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Amaltea and Ossian, obviously.
- Comically Missing the Point: Ossian confesses he wishes to stay female for the respect he receives; Amaltea says that Ossian wouldn't endure periods, as only women are tough enough to cope such pain.Ossian: Even after all that happened today, she still degrades men...
- Cosmic Deadline: In the third and final volume, Dorotea's attempted rape on Ossian is swept under the rug as some ill conceived attempt to make him and Amaltea closer. Likewise, the various villains of the series are revealed to have been Ossian's mother testing the couple in magical disguise, even though it makes little sense upon any kind of examination.
- Declaration Of Protrction: Amaltea makes this promise of Ossian after saving him from the wolves.
- Distressed Dude: In A Prince In Need, Ossian is captured by a gang of thieves and Amaltea needs to rescue him. It happens more than once in-story and in his backstory, getting into this kind of situation is implied to have gotten him raped and Page 289 features Dorotea forcing herself on him, even planting a Forceful Kiss to shut him up.
- Double Standard: The Enchanted Prince chapter is basically a big discussion about the double standard, for both men and women.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Inverted. From the beginning of the story, it is obvious that men are treated as property and summarily abused. When Amaltea and Ossian switch genders it becomes quite clear that if a male ever retaliates or dares to refuse overly aggressive sexual advances, he can find himself lynched in the public square.
- Spotlighted after Amaltea and Ossian join up with Dorotea and her group. Dorotea pulls the classic There Is Only One Bed and ends up forcing herself on Ossian and when he protests, both because he's scared due to his Dark and Troubled Past and because it feels wrong, makes it clear that not only does she not care what he says but that she doesn't think he should GET any say.
- Family Theme Naming: Princesses Amaltea and Dorotea are daughters to Queen Galatea.
- Forceful Kiss: Dorotea plants one on Ossian right before she starts trying to have her way with him just to spite her sister. Most decidedly not Played for Laughs.
- Genderbender: At the end of Chapter VI, Amaltea and Ossian suddenly switch genders.
- Gender-Restricted Ability: Women are the only able to wield magic, which allowed them to became powerful and create Queendoms. No confirmation yet but it's possible as of page 315, the restriction is only on being born able to use magic rather than being unable to use it period.
- Generic Cuteness: Since the females, despite not being top priority, are still quite attractive and males pretty much have their looks and sex appeal, there's truly not a single ugly person in this work.
- Girl, He's like, in a Coma!: Thanks to all the fairy tales she read and her father's story about how her mother found him, Amaltea tries this on Ossian. The guy freaked out since he was kissed by a strange girl.
- Guy in the Tower: How Amaltea found Ossian; he was in a tower in the middle of the forest, guarded by a dragon.
- Heir-In-Law: Amaltea hopes to evoke this since she can't or believes she can't inherit her mother's queendom and her only chance of making something of herself is to find a prince, marry him and inherit his mother's queendom.
- Herald: Amaltea only manages to know about and find Ossian's tower thanks to Samyra Hadi Martuk.
- Heroic Second Wind: Remembering her mother chastising her for giving up so easily gives Amaltea a second wind to fight back Herodun's grab.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Despite technically being a hero, Dorotea's treatment of Ossian on Page 289 gives off vibes of this trope, especially since she ignores his mounting terror at what she's trying to do.
- I Just Want to Be Free: Both Amaltea and Ossian want to live their lives free from responsibilities and expectations put upon them by their mothers. Ossian also wants to be free of the sexism and be treated as a person.
- Impractically Fancy Outfit: In The Enchanted Prince, Amaltea comments on how impractical men clothes are; they only focus on being pretty and form-fitting, making them really awkward and uncomfortable and they don't have any pockets. Ossian responds by saying that most of them are designed by women with the only purpose of showing off men's bodies, practicality be damned.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Amaltea has been always under the shadow of her big sister Dorotea and considers herself to be a pipsqueak at her mother's eyes so she always tries to act tough and arrogant in front of people to compensate and show she's a powerful and proud princess.
- I Want My Mommy!: On page 315, Ossian fearfully calls out for his mother in his mind, referring to her as "Mommy". As a result, some kind of magic seems to have activated.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Despite everything she's said and done up to that point, Dorotea's speech about how, if Amaltea truly cares about Ossian, she should be rushing to protect him in the woods instead of dueling over his honor is right on the money.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: All the men, to the point it's difficult to distinguish them from the females.
- Man, I Feel Like a Woman: In The Enchanted Prince, after Ossian gets turned into a woman, he squeezes one of his new breasts in awkward confusion. Amaltea, on the other hand, makes the gender-flipped version by inspecting her new equipment while wondering how does it even work. And later on, when the spell broke, Amaltea welcomes back her boobs by squeezing them.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": The faces of Lokis' gang are priceless.
- Men Are Strong, Women Are Pretty: Gender flipped, to the point girls are called "handsome" and "dashing" and men are the "beautiful" or "pretty" ones.
- "No Peeking!" Request: Played With. When Amaltea and Ossian find a nice river and, since they have no money to pay an inn, Amaltea just strips right there to take a dip, unbothered by Ossian's presence. It's only when he freaks out that she tells him that if he's that much of a prude he can just turn away and not look.
- Parental Favoritism: Queen Galatea favors her first born daughter as her heir and was only willing to teach her magic to give her an advantage over her sister. She deliberately manipulated her daughters into becoming enemies, and treats her second daughter as a tool to push her first daughter further via Sibling Rivalry.
- Outdoor Bath Peeping: Amaltea looks to peep on Ossian while he cleans himself in the lake. It helps to reveal that both has switched genders.
- Princess Curls: These are ever present in both royalty-born women and men.
- Rape as Backstory: Ossian is heavily implied to have suffered from gang-rape in the past.
- Real Men Eat Meat: Gender flipped. In the few times the two princesses ask for food, they ask for a big plate of meat. To drive the point home, Ossian asks for a salad.
- Rebellious Prince: Ossian is an oddity among the princes: he cut his long hair though that might not have been entirely his choice, speaks his mind, rejects the idea of being a Meal Ticket, wears pants and longs to travel around the world and have adventures.
- Rebel Princess: In the other hand, Amaltea is sick of being considered a failure and that her only value is marry into another family in order to form an alliance and expand her mother's domains. She would rather travel around the world and have adventures.
- Rescue Romance: Subverted. Amaltea thought this was the norm since her father told her but unfortunately Ossian straight out refuses to marry her and there are subtle hints that Ossian may not have been in distress at all.
- After what her sister started attempting on Page 289 and Ossian's ultimate reaction to it, she gets another, more legitimate shot at this trope which is very successful.
- Shout-Out: The Genderbending water is a shout out to Ranma ½.
- Sibling Rivalry: Enforced by Queen Galatea no less. Before, Amaltea and Dorotea were normal, loving sisters but Galatea fueled the rivalry by negating Amaltea magical training and forcing Dorotea to learn despite Dorotea don't wanting without her sister.Galatea: Dorotea, as my firstborn, you are the heir of my throne. That day, you and Amaltea will not be friends anymore...You will become rivals.
- Sibling Triangle: Despite Dorotea wanting Amaltea to marry into another family, she's sabotaging Ami's relationship with Ossian out of lust for the boy and a feeling of entitlement over having him before her sister.
- Slave Brand: The dragon-riding princess Ossian was sold to placed one on him and is able to use it to track him. We don't know yet if it can be used to control him but given the setting, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility.
- Standard Female Grab Area: Dorotea does this to Ossian while trying to have her way with him. Given his Non-Action Guy status, more plausible than most examples, especially since she's actually pinned him down instead of trying to drag him around.
- Succession Crisis: At first, it seems that it's pretty obvious that Dorotea will inherit Queen Galatea's queendom but we found out that Amaltea, somehow, has the right to fight her claim for the throne.
- Surveillance Station Slacker: In page 291, Ossian gets away from Dorotea and plans to escape. It was easier when he finds the guards asleep...while standing.
- Swapped Roles: The Enchanted Prince chapter thanks to an unexpected gender flip. Amalthea, thanks to being raised as a princess, is very annoyed and offended at how women treated her now that she's a male and Ossian is weirded out at the respect women show now that he's female. This chapter is basically a way for both of them to understand the other's point of view and how the world works for the opposite sex.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Averted. Men aren't put on a pedestal or "protected"; they're just inferior, and their social place is maintained through societal terror; they're targeted for rape by any woman and lynched if they fight back.
- There Is Only One Bed: In Chapter VIII, Amaltea and Ossian join Dorotea's group; she offers to share her tent with Ossian. Ossian is so enamoured with the thought of sleeping on an actual bed that he fails to grasp the implications.
- Traumatic Haircut: Ossian's dialogue when he's asked about his Boyish Short Hair indicates the circumstances under which his hair was cut qualify for this. Considering that the accompanying flashback indicates it happened during a gang-rape, it's not hard to imagine why.
- 24-Hour Armor: Amaltea even gets to sleep with her armor on.
- Unusual Euphemism: When Amaltea finds out what Dorotea tried to do to Ossian, she starts calling her a "sow", which seems to be the in-universe equivalent of Witch with a Capital "B".
- Warrior Princess: All princesses are trained and expected to be proud and powerful warriors.
- Well, Excuse Me, Prince!: Amaltea sometimes gets in troubles for being so arrogant and Ossian has to call her out.
- Wham Shot: Seeing Ossian with breasts at the end of Chapter VI is quite a shock.
- Page 289 features Dorotea forcing herself on a visibly terrified Ossian to spite her sister and because she thinks he's hot, even saying so. And it's clear she won't take no for an answer.
- Worthless Yellow Rocks: Averted. Amaltea once paid a meal with a single gold coin and even said to the inn owner to keep the change.