Manga-ka: Mikiyo Tsuda
Publisher: DMP Books
Rating: Teen (16+)
Released: November 2007
Synopsis: “Thought Akira would have no competition in the election? Think again! A new face has come to town and he’s dead-set on winning the Presidency. Transfer student Mitaka has declared war and is steadily rallying the support of more and more students. Even the support of Mikoto? But Akira’s die hard supporters Tohru and Shihoudani have a secret plan to ensure Akira’s success. The tale of our beloved princesses has finally come to an end!”
Five volumes of cross-dressing later and Princess Princess has come to and end. Mikiyo Tsuda pulls together all that made previous volumes entertaining for one last get together with this vibrant and diverse cast.
The student council president elections from volume four are back for conclusion in volume five as the loyal and loveable Akira Sakamoto is up against the firm and focused Mitaka. The student body is torn between the two and the Princesses feel it’s time to use their ‘powers’ for the greater good. Akira doesn’t seem as against Mitaka as people would like him to be but how does Mitaka feel about his caring competition? If that wasn’t enough to keep everybody busy, it’s coming to the end of the school year, which means Tohru, Shihoudani and Mikoto’s time as Princesses is coming to an end. It’s time for the grand finale of both the trio’s cross-dressing careers and the series.
Fans of Princess Princess will find a little of everything they’ve come to love about this series tucked away in this final installment. The conclusion of the student election gives a last look at the inner workings of the school and allows the newly transferred Mitaka to find his place among his new classmates. The overhanging drama of Shihoudani’s family life is readdressed when he invites Tohru to his house for emotional support and it’s a nostalgic revisit to the outfits of yester-manga in the Princesses’ grand finale performance of the year. Mikiyo Tsuda continues to treat her fans with numerous pages of bonus content including short side stories, afterwords and entertaining, as well as increasingly personal, comics about herself and the series. Everything comes together to make volume five a satisfying end.
The artwork in Princess Princess is as charming and fun as it’s ever been. Readers may notice a slight variation from volume one, showing how the artist has progressed over the years of drawing the series, as well as the slight variations in the character’s designs (such as Tohru’s hair) showing the passage of time over five volumes. The characters all remain diverse, expressive and most of all, entertaining. Pretty faces, solid artwork and frilly, detailed dresses fill the pages and won’t disappoint.
In the end, Princess Princess is, and was, an entertaining and attractive romp through a unique school with a unique bunch of characters. Drama, comedy and pretty boys all mix together for a series that can be, and has been, enjoyed by many. Mikiyo Tsuda took a cross-dressing gimmick and made a series that was truely fun. For those looking for more than five volumes had to offer, there remains the numerous crossover series currently being released by DMP and the yet unlicensed sequel, Princess Princess + (Edit: Sequel licensed by DMP).