Princess Knight Manga, Volume 2 (English)

February 21st, 2012

Handsome.

Manly.

Feminine.

Pretty.

Think about those words applied to a man, then a woman. For a woman to be “handsome” is perhaps not an insult, but when a woman is called “Manly” it almost assuredly is.

A man who is called feminine is probably not particularly thankful for that, and while pretty boys often get the girls, you don’t want your son being called “pretty” by the bully in school.

Sapphire is both pretty and handsome, and manly and feminine – but not at the same time and only at the exclusion of one or the other.

Sapphire’s boy heart makes her strong and confident, gives her hope and heart, but her girl heart makes her weak, hopeless and incapable.

Volume 2 of Princess Knight is less about imposed gender roles and assumptions than Volume 1 was, and yet is more problematic for those of us who want to see Sapphire the girl be the Prince we know she can be.

Aside from this nagging problem with this story – which is to say, the story – the rest of Volume 2, seems like a Boy’s Own Reader, with witches and demons and even Satan, Princes and Kings and Queens and pirates and a tournament.

The story ends (somewhat abruptly) with the reunion of Franz and Sapphire. I’m going to pretend that they will return to Silverland and find that Plastic has indeed declared Sapphire the true ruler, and that Franz is supportive and he and Sapphire co-rule over Goldland and Silverland and usher in a new age of equality…which is the exact opposite of the ending Tezuka implies here, but I don’t care, he’s dead and I’m not. ^_^

Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 7
Yuri – 1, if you pretend that Friebe might have come around after time
Service – 1, on principle only

Overall – 7

Oh Friebe. You are both a knight and a woman and there is no nonsense about girl hearts and boy hearts with you. Why do people do not love you more?

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4 Responses

  1. Lady_Rufus says:

    “Manly” an insult to women? I am not sure. But i suppose that’s what the word ‘androgynous’ is for now!
    And i am just after coming to this after watching a vid of that Femininity song from Summer Magic on YouTube. Eughy!

  2. Jackie says:

    I love Friebe! If I were into shipping totally random, completely-unrelated-to-canon pairings, Friebe and Hecate would make a great pair. I imagine them riding off and just doing their own thing, leaving behind all the silly/hopeless/incapable/frustrating/sometimes flat out idiotic characters in this series behind… It wouldn’t even need to be a romantic pairing. It would just be a great pairing of two characters who seem to know who they are and what they want. *Sigh*…

    That thought just kind of randomly came to me while reading your review. :)

  3. Aside from this nagging problem with this story – which is to say, the story (…).

    Heh. Heh-heh-heh. Heh. I adore you. 8)

  4. @Jennifer_Linsky – One of the risks I take when I write what I think like that, is that I invite hordes to pile on weirdness. I laughed when I write it, my wife laughed when I read it to her and now you laughed, so bring on the hordes, I’ve done what I set out to do. ^_^

    @Jackie – Yes, that’s a great story idea. I too will imagine that now, and be much happier for it. Thank you. ^_^

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