First Impressions of Fall 2023's Princess Anime

The new anime season has begun, and yet again, there are three new princess shows to follow for the next three months. Each of them has only aired a single episode so far, so opinions may change over time, but I believe I've already picked a favorite. Even though there are so many new shows each season, many of them follow similar formulas such as the isekai trope, in which a character is reincarnated into a story they are familiar with and must try to change the outcome in their favor, and the yuri harem trope, which often features an all-female or mostly female cast, most of whom idolize one specific heroine in a romantic or sexual way. Two of the princess shows this season follow these archetypes, making them familiar and trite despite boasting new stories and characters. The third is unique and stands out as my favorite new show of the season.

You wouldn't think that a show called I’m Giving the Disgraced Noble Lady I Rescued a Crash Course in Naughtiness would possibly come off as wholesome, yet that's the only way I can describe this adorable love story between a classic fairy tale princess archetype and a demon lord. Charlotte may not be a princess in title, but her personality and backstory are nearly identical to that of Cinderella. She is a kind and beautiful maiden who grew up in a noble household where she was bullied and forced to serve what was left of her family until she became engaged to a prince by a stroke of luck. In the vein of Just Ella, the prince turns out to be a jerk who decides her mixed bloodline makes her not good enough to be his wife, so he frames her for a crime she didn't commit and sends the whole kingdom after her. To her great fortune, she is discovered by Allen, a powerful demon sorcerer who decides she needs to learn a few lessons in naughtiness to become less subservient and stop letting people walk all over her. The first lesson involves a buffet of delicious cakes and desserts that make her eyes water in delight. It is a sweet and charming show that celebrates femininity and self-indulgence, and I can't wait to see what the future lessons will be.


The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess is this season's queer harem anime that is significantly more naughty than the one about the disgraced noble lady. Komari is a meek vampire noble who spends all day in bed with her plush dolphin and has no motivation to do anything until she mentions to her father that she'd be willing to work if it would put her in line for the throne. She never expected the shameless lesbian empress to make her a general to begin her rise to power. How can a shy and petite little vampire inspire an entire army to victory? As it turns out, pretty easily. In addition to the empress, Komari's handmaid is also crazy about her and writes her a compelling speech that strikes awe in the hearts of all the soldiers in the kingdom, who are an easy crowd to convince. The problem is that everything Komari said she was capable of was a complete fabrication. Will she be able to prove herself as a powerful general or find more ways to cheat through the efforts of her supporters? The answers will be revealed in the rest of the season.


Tearmoon Empire is one of several isekai series this season, although it takes this trope in a new direction. Instead of someone from the real world dying and being reincarnated into a fantasy world, the show features Princess Mia dying at the guillotine for her failures as a monarch and waking up as a child in her own body. Being intimately aware of her mistakes of the past, she sees this as her opportunity to redeem herself and prevent repeating the same fate this time around. Her personality and kingdom are very similar to that of Marie Antoinette, making this show similar to the Marie Antoinette visual novel in Time Princess, which also features a girl with knowledge of the future living in Marie Antoinette's body. The series focuses on Mia learning the positive personality traits that classic fairy tale princesses possess such as kindness, humility, and selflessness, essentially a reversal of the plot of the Disgraced Noble Lady show.

In a season filled with familiar tropes and archetypes, the standout princess show that breaks the mold and captures my heart is I’m Giving the Disgraced Noble Lady I Rescued a Crash Course in Naughtiness. Despite its unconventional title, the show manages to weave a charming narrative filled with lessons of self-discovery and empowerment. On the other hand, The Vexations of a Shut-In Vampire Princess offers a daring twist on the traditional harem genre, exploring themes of queer romance and ambition in an entertaining way. Lastly, Tearmoon Empire takes a unique approach to the isekai concept by placing the protagonist in her own body, giving her a chance at redemption and personal growth. These three princess shows, each with their own distinct qualities, demonstrate the richness and diversity of storytelling within the anime genre. What is your favorite standout anime of the new season? Let me know in the comments!

Comments

Missingnoleader said…
Tearmoon Empire is definitely going to be a sleeper hit given the current lack of reception. Underneath her enlightened self interest, lies a girl who's capable of learning if only given the opportunity. The next episode will pretty much show the formula that the series works off of to great effect.
Tearmoon Empire looks interesting, I'll add it to my watch list. Your blog is fantastic! I would love to know your thoughts on the show Lolirock which features three princesses that are also magical girls as the protagonists. It's a french animated series that's heavily inspired by anime (there are several homages to Sailor Moon in it.) So far the show is two seasons long and a third season is on the horizon. All of the episodes can be watched for free on the official youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@LoliRockOfficial

I've been watching Jewel Riders for the first time and I can't help but wonder if the people that worked on Lolirock were also fans of it.
Lisa Dawn said…
Hi Peach,

Thank you for the compliment! Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of Lollirock. I like the concept and love the character designs, but their personalities and stories fall flat for me. I thought Jewel Riders did a better job in terms of worldbuilding because it took the old King Arthur myths of Camelot and Avalon and modernized them to create a unique fantasy world. Lollirock felt kind of lazy to be because it takes place mostly in the real world. Even though the main character learns she's a princess from another planet, we learn very little about her heritage and the culture of the worlds that the three main characters came from. I also felt like it was copying heavily from other shows like Sailor Moon and Winx Club without much new content to add. The three girls forming a band together would have been a nice touch if they played better songs, but I can't stand that style of music.

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