In exactly one week it will be four years since Pulltop released one of the best eroge visual novels of the last few years, Princess Waltz. In 2008, I reviewed this title and wondered out loud and to myself, why isn’t this an anime? In 2010, I’m still asking myself the same question.
In the kingdom of Eldhiland, a fierce tournament is fought every generation between six princesses, the winner is crowned the new queen of the kingdom and rules alongside the prince making every princess enter this tournament with a life or death attitude. With a chance to be queen on the line, every princess from each of the six countries train their whole lives for the chance to win and will stop at nothing to get their wish.Meanwhile on Earth, the hero of the story is a high school student named Arata. After an odd first impression, Arata becomes friends with the new transfer student, Chris, who is actually rumored to be a real prince from overseas. As the two start to become closer, Arata stumbles upon Chris’ secret and his involvement with the latest Princess Waltz which is about to start. Joining the fight, Chris and Arata fight together and begin to unravel the mysteries of the waltz and its participants.
Moving in a linear path for over 20 chapters, the story in this title is one that could make anyone wonder why no one has even attempted to adapt it into an anime series. Driven forward by constant humor or intrigue, there are few moments throughout the playing experience that aren’t moving things forward or creating new story hooks that keep players going in their search for answers.
Leading the charge for always adding something new to the story, Chris and Arata are a pair that have been waiting patiently to be found by fans. I admit that Chris isn’t the easiest character to call a fan favorite. With such a strong and varied supporting cast carrying their own weight though, he doesn’t need to be.
Surrounding Chris and Arata are a cast of princesses which sometimes even overshadow their leads (which anyone who dances will tell you isn’t really a good thing but forgivable in this instance). For those who need a strong warrior and sometimes tsundere; the Princess of Dragons, Angela, or the Princess of Earth, Suzushiro, provide more than enough personality and attitude in their confrontations with the other princesses in the tournament. If you need a moe or meganekko (glasses girl) fix, the Princess of the Storm, LunLun or the Princess of Steel, Liesel, are right there as well.
While the leads in this series may be the ones finding out the truth of the tournament, it’s these princesses who provide some of the best moments of the game. Never forgetting their true purpose for fighting, a confrontation between princesses will always mean entertaining moments for those viewing from the outside. No matter if its an exchange of sharp insults or a challenge to a duel, the story would be nothing without the dazzling heroines just behind the leads.
Over the last couple of years, eroge adaptations have fallen into a very simple, sugary sweet mold and I’ll cite Tayutama, Princess Lover and Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka as examples right away (11Eyes and Tears to Tiara being recent exceptions). But more people outside of the core audience have been demanding the release of something that is out of the ordinary and different from the rest. With a story that isn’t afraid to twist and get a bit darker, it’s hard to imagine that any decent director and animation studio couldn’t adapt this writing into a series. After Fate/Stay Night and Higurashi: When They Cry, Studio Deen has already shown that they could produce something that looks good at least. All they’d need to find is a director who could do the same.
But with original material that already has characters that are so easy to bond with and writing that evokes strong mental images and feelings (seriously, the fight between Angela and LunLun would be an amazing way to spend half an episode), it’s amazing that no one has even said that they wanted to try at least.
Now coming up on 4 years since the release of this title, it’s very possible that its window of opportunity has closed. A title is only marketable for so long and every year that passes increases the difficulty just a little bit. However in one rare case of optimism, I’d like to think that there will always be a chance for Princess Waltz. As long as there are audiences for series such as IkkiTousen, Queen’s Blade or Fate/Stay Night, there is going to be audience interested in seeing this title given a proper chance at an anime adaptation.