Anmitsu Hime From Amakara Castle – Episode 1 (1986)

Anmitsu Hime

Funny and charming Studio Pierrot adaptation of the 1949 manga Anmitsu Hime by Shosuke Kurakane. Directed by Masami Anno (Wonderful Adventures of Nils) and written by Yoshio Urasawa (Nintama Rantaro).

Establishing shot of Amakara Castle
Establishing shot of Amakara Castle

In this first episode, Princess Anmitsu is turning 11, and her parents have bought her a special present from Europe. When the present turns out to be a tutor, Mrs Castilla from the Pudding Kingdom, Anmitsu thinks her birthday is ruined.

Mrs Castilla emerges from a birthday present.
Mrs Castilla emerges from a birthday present.

However, Mrs Castilla is a Mary Poppins-esque figure, who lets Anmitsu decorate the castle with giant paintbrushes. This brings them into conflict with the chief retainer and the hand maiden, who disapprove of fun and wasting money.

Chief Retainer and Hand Maiden
The Hand Maiden makes a move on the Chief Retainer.

Laden with gags throughout, it starts with Anmitsu taking over the kingdom’s public address system and declaring her birthday a holiday. This leads to all sorts of physical comedy from how the populace reacts.

Hearing it’s a holiday, the fire fighters clock off for the day.

The biggest part of its charm though lies in the big, open, expressive faces of the Koji Nanke character designs. As well as doing opening and ending animations for Studio Pierrot shows in the 80s, Nanke also did character designs for this and Spoon Oba-san (the Mrs Pepperpot adaptation).

Shigeru Chiba
Your obligatory Shigeru Chiba character

Plus, being an 80’s Studio Pierrot show, they invented a character for the show so that Shigeru Chiba has someone to voice. In this case it’s the swordsman Tanesuke, who repeatedly claims he’s the reincarnation of different historical figures.

Hang gliding!
Hang gliding!