(Princess Nine Kisaragi Girls High Baseball Club)
|Genre||Sports, Romance, Drama|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tomomi Mochizuki|
|Original run||8 April 1998 – 14 October 1998|
Princess Nine (AKA Princess Ten), or Princess Nine Kisaragi Girls High Baseball Club (プリンセスナイン如月女子高野球部 Purinsesu Nain Kisaragi Joshikō Yakyū-bu?), is a 26-episode Japanese anime broadcast in Japan in 1998. The television series was produced by Phoenix Entertainment in Japan, initially released by ADV Films in North America, aired from April 8 to October 14, 1998 on NHK, ran for 26 episodes, and six volumes of the series were released on VHS and DVD. The show is listed at Animeondvd.com as a recommended series. At Anime Expo 2013, Right Stuf Inc. had announced that they have licensed the series for a 2014 release under their Lucky Penny label.
The story concerns the trials of nine girls at the Kisaragi School for Girls who form a baseball team for the purpose of playing on equal footing with boys' teams at the most prestigious high school tournament in Japan, the National High School Baseball Championship. Their aim to qualify for, and ultimately to win, the final rounds of the tournament which is held each year at the Koshien Stadium. They are led by ace pitcher, Ryo Hayakawa, a daughter of a former pitching star in Japan who was banned from Nippon Professional Baseball.
The team (in batting order)
- Seira Morimura (森村 聖良 Morimura Seira?), second base: A former school dropout, the red-haired thug had to be tricked by Coach Kido into joining the team. She was a star athlete in track and field, and established records for both the 100 m sprint dash and javelin throw. Consequently, she fits in as the leadoff batter on the team. Voiced by: Kyoko Hikami (Japanese), Kelli Cousins (English)
- Hikaru Yoshimoto (吉本 ヒカル Yoshimoto Hikaru?), first base: Hikaru is the energetic first baseman and switch hitter who was a former softball star recruited to the team. She is originally from Osaka (Kansai) region, this explains her accent. She was the MVP of Junior High School Softball Competition in Kansai. Voiced by: Naomi Nagasawa (Japanese), Cynthia Martinez (English)
- Koharu Hotta (堀田 小春 Hotta Koharu?), center field: The only members of the team with actual baseball experience, Koharu played for a boys' team before being found out as a girl. She grew up on the sea as a daughter of a fisherman, and has developed an extremely powerful swing, dubbed "Wave Motion Swing" from her years of fishing. Her batting is so strong that she occasionally hits out of the park home runs. She is originally from Tosa, a small city on the Shikoku island. Voiced by: Akiko Yajima (Japanese), Kira (English)
- Izumi Himuro (氷室 いずみ Himuro Izumi?), third base: Izumi is the daughter of the school's chairperson, Keiko Himuro, and was a star tennis player. However, she cast aside her talent in tennis to become Ryo's rival in baseball. Often caustic and difficult, her only goals pertain to her success. Alongside with Koharu, Izumi is one of the two strongest batters of the team, forming the primary offensive weapons of Kisaragi Girls' Baseball Team. Voiced by: Mami Kingetsu (Japanese), Monica Rial (English)
- Yuki Azuma (東 ユキ Azuma Yuki?), left field: Yuki is highly mysterious and quiet, possibly not even of this world. Never without her "alien" companion, Fifi, whom she keeps with her at all times, Yuki is nevertheless is a superb fielder who is always in the right place at the right time. Like Hikaru, she was also MVP of Junior High School Softball Competition in Kansai. Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Margeaux Baulch (English)
- Kanako Mita (三田 加奈子 Mita Kanako?), shortstop: Kanako is an excellent baseball player and is the daughter of the school's principal who is against the baseball team in the first half. During this, Kanako has to disguise herself as Tami Konaka (小中 多美 Konaka Tami?), a pseudonym which is an anagram of her name, to be able to play for the team. She has a kind of geeky attitude, and she wants to be a doctor. But she also likes baseball, and wants to play baseball during her high school years. Kanako was also previously a softball star in junior high, and Hikaru recognizes her from their previous encounters in softball games. Voiced by: Rumi Kasahara (Japanese), Aninda Praptiningtyas (English)
- Yoko Tokashiki (渡嘉敷 陽湖 Tokashiki Yōko?), right field: Recruited to fill a hole in the lineup, Yoko has very little athletic ability. Yoko is mostly interested in concentrating on a modeling career, but was looking to use the up-and-coming baseball team as a way to stand out from others. She is originally from Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture in Japan, which explains her tanned skin. She left her hometown, claiming to get rid of dozens of boys who wanted to be her boyfriend, and set her heart to a career in modeling. Voiced by: Mayumi Iizuka (Japanese), Tiffany Grant (English)
- Mao Daidoji (大道寺 真央 Daidōji Mao?), catcher: Plucked from the judo team, the imposing but incredibly-bashful Mao is the only person who can catch Ryo's pitches. An excellent team member when she can overcome her personal shyness. Voiced by: Kokoro Shindo (Japanese), Shelley Calene-Black (English)
- Ryo Hayakawa (早川 涼 Hayakawa Ryō?), pitcher and captain of the Kisaragi Girls High Baseball Team: Inheriting her father's pitching arm, Ryo has an innate pitching ability. She is left-handed player just like her father. She originally planned not to go to high school because she wanted to help support her mother at the family's Oden shop, but she is recruited to the Kisaragi Girls' High School to be the foundation of the new baseball team. Before playing for Kisaragi, she often played as relief pitcher for a local sandlot baseball team, the Wildcats. Voiced by: Miki Nagasawa (Japanese), Hilary Haag (English)
All of the team members are excellent athletes and in great physical shape, and this explain why the team becomes such a strong one despite their physical differences. In addition the nine players, there are two more members:
- Nene Mori (毛利 寧々 Mōri Nene?): Team manager and part-time cheerleader, Nene is a constant bundle of energy, but knows little of the sport of baseball (learning all she knows from sports manga). A perpetual ditz, Nene is constantly interested in any hobby or ability she can discover. She also sometimes act as a replacement coach, if Coach Kido is absent or late due to hangovers. Voiced by: Taeko Kawata (Japanese), Jennifer K. Earhart (English)
- Shinsaku Kido (木戸 晋作 Kido Shinsaku?): He is a moderately-lecherous drunkard who becomes the coach of Kisaragi Girls High Baseball team. He has connections to both Keiko Himuro and Hidehiko Hayakawa from when they were all younger. In fact, he was Hidehiko's catcher when they were in high school. Despite his very unconvincing and laidback appearance, he is actually quite observant person, a master strategist and has superior insights and judgements in baseball games. Voiced by: Koji Ishii (Japanese), Andy McAvin (English)
Other notable characters
- Hiroki Takasugi (高杉 宏樹 Takasugi Hiroki?): A star baseball player at the Kisaragi Boys' High School and son of a wealthy family, he was being groomed as a potential boyfriend and possibly fiancé of Izumi. However, Hiroki has an attraction to the spunky Ryo: he calls her "Ganmo-chan" ("Tofu girl" in the English dub) as it is his favorite part of oden. Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (Japanese), Vic Mignogna (English)
- Shino Hayakawa (早川 志乃 Hayakawa Shino?): Ryo's mother, the late Hidehiko's wife and owner/operator of an Oden shop. Her husband died several years ago and Shino and Ryo run the shop themselves now. Shino is highly supportive of Ryo's dreams to play baseball. Voiced by: Sumi Shimamoto (Japanese), Christine Auten (English)
- Keiko Himuro (氷室 桂子 Himuro Keiko?): Keiko is the cold and seemingly aloof President of the school and mother to Izumi. Solid in her ambitions, she forgoes seemingly everything to accomplish her plans. Her stated motivation behind the creation of the girls' baseball team is to see the pitching ability Ryo inherited from her father on the mound at Koshien Stadium. Voiced by: Yoshiko Sakakibara (Japanese), Kelly Manison (English)
- Hidehiko Hayakawa (早川 英彦 Hayakawa Hidehiko?): Ryo's late father and Shino's late husband. A left-handed, rising star pitcher in baseball many years ago, but he was banned from playing baseball for life because of a scandal he was caught up in (but had nothing to do with). He won the National High School Baseball Championship at Koshien a long time ago, and during his short stint as pro baseball player, he won the Japan Series with Towa Jaguars three times in a row before he was banned from baseball. He is famous for inventing and throwing the legendary Lightning Ball, an extremely powerful pitch which has struck out a lot of professional baseball players. Ryo later rediscovered the Lightning Ball with the hints from coach Kido, and she uses it as her ultimate weapon in her baseball games. Voiced by: Kazuhiko Inoue (Japanese), John Gremillion (English)
- Seishiro Natsume (夏目 誠四郎 Natsume Seishirō?): Ryo's best friend since kindergarten, and a total genius in high school. He had a crush on Ryo, but could never express it. At the end of the series, he finds himself falling for Hikaru, and she with him, even receiving his first kiss from her. Voiced by: Tetsuya Iwanaga (Japanese), Chris Patton (English)
Note on story source material
The story and character of Hidehiko Hayakawa is based on real baseball player Masaaki Ikenaga of the Nishitetsu Lions. Like Hidehiko, Ikenaga was a stellar, rising ace pitcher, he won at Koshien and entered pro baseball after finishing high school. He was sentenced guilty in the infamous Black Mist Scandal in 1970 (he was only 24 at the time), together with other five players, and banned from professional baseball for life. Many of his fans believed that he was innocent. In 2005, his sentence was revoked and his name was fully rehabilitated.
|01||"Hayakawa Ryo, Age 15!"
|April 8, 1998|
|02||"A Baseball Team at a Prestigious Girls’ School?"
|April 15, 1998|
|03||"In My Father’s Footsteps"
|April 22, 1998|
|April 29, 1998|
|05||"Wave Motion Swing!"
|May 6, 1998|
|May 13, 1998|
|07||"We Need You, Izumi!"
|May 27, 1998|
|08||"The Future on the Line"
|June 3, 1998|
|09||"Winners & Losers"
|June 10, 1998|
|10||"The Kisaragi Nine!"
|June 17, 1998|
|11||"Aim for Koshien!"
|June 24, 1998|
|12||"One Hundred Pitches"
|July 1, 1998|
|13||"The Girl Stratagem"
|July 8, 1998|
|July 15, 1998|
|July 22, 1998|
|July 29, 1998|
|August 5, 1998|
|August 12, 1998|
|19||"Hearts & Diamonds"
|August 19, 1998|
|20||"Back in Training"
|August 26, 1998|
|21||"I Hate You, Takasugi!"
|September 2, 1998|
|22||"You’re Not Alone, Yuki!"
|September 9, 1998|
|23||"Beauties vs, the Beasts"
|September 16, 1998|
|September 30, 1998|
|25||"Field of Broken Dreams"
|October 7, 1998|
|26||"Shine, Princess Nine!"
|October 14, 1998|
These are titles with a similar theme of baseball.
- Animeondvd.com Recommends
- "Right Stuf Adds Cat's Eye Princess Nine, Campanella, Sengoku Collection Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 5 July 2013.