AKA Puchi Puri Yuushi
This anime is really cute! Like, seriously! I could go on for eight pages about how great it is, but I’m going to keep it simple this time around. I’ll cover the five basics: Animation, Sound, Characters, Plot and Overall.
Animation: One of the most charming things about PPY is that it has really awesome animation! Cutesy outfits, clean coloring and otherwise fabulous animating make for a great visual presentation. Sometimes, certain angles make faces look strange or inhuman, but most anime do have moments like that. The character designs are somewhat cliche (Grenda is a mini-Urd, Elmina is a typical angel-b****) but also alluring and wonderful in their own way. The backgrounds are detailed, but not too much that they overwhelm, and the touch of glitter and pink at the girly moments is just perfect!
Sound: The voices were pretty good, if not extremely annoying at times. Although, for a bunch of preteen girls, the high pitched squeals are to be expected. The opening song is pretty catchy, and the ending theme is cute. Sound effects can be reallllly annoying at times, and often overused, but if you turn the volume down and focus on the animation over sound, it all works out. The English dub is awful, though. Don’t watch the English dub.
Characters: The characters follow a typical formula for a group of young girls (Tokyo Mew Mew, Sailor Moon, etc). Although, these girls are seventeen, stuck in ten year old bodies. The leader, a cute, strong, and unique girl with a big heart, a bit of attitude and a lot of adorableness. The overly nice girl who is often taken advantage of (Like Lettuce, from TMM). The cowish rival who becomes a friend (Similar to Sailor V, only a bit more beotchy). The characters were developed nicely, each having episodes dedicated to them, although often filler, and change from young girls into young women throughout the story. The love interest of Yucie is a guy named Arc, who is kinda Tsundere, but only starts showing up in later episodes. He is more static than the girls, along with Yucie’s father and the Queen, who are minor characters that become important at the end.
Plot: (From Wikipedia) Petite Princess Yucie follows the adventures of country-girl Yucie as she is admitted by chance to the prestigious Princess Academy, where the daughters of royalty and nobles attend to learn magic, dance, etiquette, defense, art and music. There, she experiences many things in her quest to collect the “fragments” of the Eternal Tiara in hopes that she may become the legendary Platinum Princess, who is chosen every 1,000 years. Yucie, along with the four other Princess candidates who are initially her rivals but are won over by her offer of friendship, must grow in heart—if not in height—to become worthy of the Tiara. Yucie is a spunky heroine who is a genius of smiles, and who, despite her common lifestyle, is actually the daughter of a noble and former hero who has retreated from courtly life and lives in the countryside.
The plot of PPY is slow moving for the first two thirds of the series, with a lot of filler, pulling in new characters, and otherwise setting up for the climax. Which was worth the wait. The filler is usually heartwarming or morally themed, which is cute, and isn’t so overused and retarded like in a lot of anime. Once the plot really gets moving, you find yourself drawn in, feeling the pain, the smiles, the laughter and the tears. The friendship between the girls (especially Yucie and Grenda) is adorably reminiscent of a feeling we all know, and the romance between Yucie and Arc is d’aww worthy. By the time the final episode ends, you’ll be begging for more.
Overall: I’d give PPY a 9/10. Its cute, fun, and heartwarming. I watched it all in two sittings and even bought the DVDs. Sadly, there is no manga, but the anime is so amazing, I’m glad there’s nothing to compare it to! (Or I may find plot inconsistencies between the two that I don’t like!)