We were both left stunned and distraught by Carrie Fisher’s death in December. It seemed she was gone before we really had a chance to appreciate all the hope and joy she brought to the world. As you might know, we’re both huge fans of Star Wars and the Princess-General Leia, and so for a while we were stuck on how to honour her memory through this blog. But though we could never capture everything she meant to us with words, this dawned on us as a good way to try. So, join us in reflecting on the image of grace and power that is her legacy, as we shine a light on the anime princesses who we feel best follow her example.
Euphemia li Britannia – Code Geass
A true leader with the compassion and honour many lack (looking at you, Lelouch) this woman is beautiful inside and out. A veritable Lady Di of the anime world. She believes in acting out of faith and for the good of the people, Britannian or not, and no matter how small the stakes. Cornelia may be the badass of Geass, but Euphy remains our princess of hearts.
Serenity – Sailor Moon
Seeing her in the pages of Naoko Takeuchi’s empowering manga reflects any girl’s young dreams of being a fairytale princess with the love of a handsome hero. Though Usagi Tsukino is struggling with the strife of being a teenager, as well as fighting evil by moonlight, Serenity is the proud and graceful young woman dormant inside all girls. She assures us we can all be as kind and dazzling, and that you will find your way in the end.
San – Princess Mononoke
San was my first ever Ghibli princess, and boy was I bowled over by the distance between her and the Disney kind (of course, Leia doesn’t count here). She is a real force of nature, its brutality embodied with a heart that hopes for peaceful coexistence with humanity. She makes us want to put on our war paint and fight for a better world.
Raynesia – Log Horizon
Raynesia is a member of the most powerful clan in the League of Freedom Cities Eastal, but despite her status, and as a woman, she still had to fight for her power. She could have let boredom and apathy drive her actions, played it safe for the sake of her standing, but she pushed for more. In forging an alliance with the Adventurers, she paves the way for the equal treatment of women in the League, an example to otaku girls everywhere that we, too, can and should strive to be brave for own sake, and inspiring for others’.
Yona – Yona of the Dawn
We loved watching Yona blossom into a warrior, even out of the adversity she’s left behind, and the grief over the loss of those she loved. She acts from a fierce place inside herself, cutting the crimson hair that made her a treasure to the love who betrayed her. But while she could easily have lost herself to blame and hatred, she still keeps her tender heart; a flame of the dawn light.
So there, in no particular rank, are the anime princesses we find most inspiring. I think, in every one we look up to, we should see a facet of Leia, or Carrie Fisher. If you admired her, what will you most miss? And if not, which anime princess do you aspire to, and why?