izumi himuro

Princess Nine and “Tradition”

princess nine group photo

When I first started Princess Nine, I was warned by others that it wasn’t overly concerned with baseball as it was with drama. Part of this is correct, as nearly all of the girls’ individual narratives have little to do with the actual sport of baseball. However, in a more nebulous way, Princess Nine has everything to do with baseball, because baseball in Japan is tradition. In fact, there’s a funny little quote attributed to the Japan Tourism Organization that Japanese people are often surprised to discover that the United States considers baseball its “national pastime.”

A lot of what Princess Nine aims to achieve is rooted in overcoming deep seated notions of tradition or family. Instead of looking at the series through a strictly feminist lens – it is girls playing baseball against boys, after all, so this option is rather easy – perhaps it would be better served with the framework of tradition above all, and what breaking preexisting tradition, or perceived familial obligation, entails. Hint, this also has a little to do with that aforementioned feminist lens.