It was also later aired across Japan by the anime television network, Animax, who also later broadcast the series across its respective networks worldwide, including its English language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia, dubbing and translating the series into English under the title Princess Sarah. Animax's adaptation was the series' only English translation, and the series has yet to be commercially released in the United States. The series has also been selected as one of the best 100 Japanese anime series of all time by viewers of TV Asahi.
Princess Sarah tells the story of Sarah Crewe, In the year 1885, Sarah Crewe is a young daughter of a wealthy English family in India, who starts attending an all-girl's seminary selection boarding school in London, where she excels in her studies and is loved deeply by many of her friends and classmates. However, tragedy soon strikes when Sarah's father passes away and her family goes bankrupt, leaving her to be a poor orphan. The school's headmistress, Miss Minchin, takes advantage of this situation and makes her a maid in the school, trying hard to make her life as miserable as possible. However, Sarah, with the help of her friends, perseveres and tries to endure all her hardships until redemption comes at last.
The young heroine, who is brought to Miss Minchin's seminary in London to learn how to be a proper lady, after being raised in Bombay, India. Due to being pampered and doted on her entire life, Sarah's knowledge of the real world is limited, but she is still a friendly and imaginative girl. After her father dies and she is left destitute, Miss Minchin forces Sarah to work as a servant in the seminary, but Sarah instead pretends that she is a princess inside; while not looking as one. She refuses to lose hope and remains thoughtful and compassionate.
The main antagonist. Miss Minchin is the severe headmistress of the seminary Sarah is sent to. After a misunderstanding where Minchin believes that Sarah purposely undermined her, she subsequently holds an intense grudge against the girl. However, she is very willing to use the noble, talented Sarah for the sake of the appearance of her seminary and herself. When Sarah is no longer wealthy, Minchin stops masking her hatred, and takes every opportunity to break Sarah further.
Also a main antagonist. A proud and manipulative girl, Lavinia was originally the most popular student at the seminary, and thus becomes madly jealous when Sarah begins to get more attention than her. Even when Sarah becomes a servant, Lavinia continues to try to break her spirit.
One of Lavinia's henchman-like friends. She and Gertrude are initially somewhat in awe of Sarah, much to Lavinia's consternation. But once Sarah is demoted to live-in help, they willingly join in Lavinia's tormenting of Sarah.
A plump girl who becomes one of Sarah's closest friends after Sarah defends her from Lavinia's abusive treatment toward her. Ermengarde frequently does poorly in her studies, while her father, a university professor, pushes her to excel. She has an aunt, Eliza (イライザ,Iraiza?), who is somewhat absentminded, but is quite skilled in Herbalism, which proves pivotal in saving Sarah's life when she becomes seriously ill.
The youngest student at the seminary who is four years old. At first, Lottie acts contrary and throws many temper tantrums, but the little girl calms down significantly after Sarah becomes her surrogate mother. Following Sarah's descent into poverty, Lottie proves herself one of Sarah's most devoted companions.
A country girl who comes to work at the seminary in order to support her mother and younger siblings. Despite her situation, Becky is optimistic and something of a dreamer. She is mistreated by Miss Minchin and her fellow staff, but befriended by Sarah.
A street-smart boy who becomes Sarah's carriage driver when his father cannot accept the job. He thinks very highly of Sarah, continues to call her "ojou-sama" (princess) even after her demotion from student to hired help, and harbours a crush on her.
The seminary's friendly French teacher. He is impressed by Sarah's aptitude at speaking French from the start, and is the only member of the faculty who continues to treat Sarah with unqualified kindness and civility after her demotion.
A lifelong friend of Ralph Crewe who convinced him to invest in the Indian diamond mine. Believing himself guilty for Crewe's death, Tom makes it his mission to track down Sarah and reinstate her wealth.