Princess Knight, Parts One and Two
written by Osamu Tezuka
If you’re a person who loved watching Disney princess movies as a child, then you will love Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Knight.
It all started with a mischievous angel named Tink, who placed a second heart (from a boy) into a soon-to-be-born girl. To make matters worse, this child with two hearts was born into the royal family of a kingdom in which a woman may not inherit the throne, so the child, named Sapphire, must lead a double life, both as a prince in the eyes of her kingdom and as a princess in the eyes of her family. Soon she meets the prince of a neighboring country, Franz Charming (yeah, he went there!).
However, treachery engulfs Sapphire, in the form of a conniving and jealous lord who wishes for nothing more than his lazy, good-for-nothing son Plastic to inherit the crown. Together with his vassal, Lord Nylon, he hatches a nefarious plot to reveal Sapphire’s true gender to the kingdom and thus usurp the throne. An evil witch also appears with the desire to steal Sapphire’s girl heart so her daughter can marry Prince Charming.
This tale is one of love, friendship, tragedy, betrayal, heroism, and so much more. With situations constantly changing, Tezuka succeeds once again in keeping the readers on the edges of their seats. This story set the stage for the entire shojo manga genre, and in true Tezuka fashion, it set the bar as high as it could go, right from the get go. Sadly, there are only two volumes. It leaves a couple of things open, but is overall very entertaining.