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Princess Arete (アリーテ姫 Arīte Hime?) (also Princess Arite) is a 2001 animated film released by Japanese animation studio Studio 4°C. The film is about the adventures of a fairy tale princess, and it is known in Japan as one of the most successful animated feminist works.[citation needed]


Princess Arete was released in theaters in 2001 by Studio 4℃. The film is 105 minutes in length. It was awarded the first "New Century Tokyo International Anime Fair 21" award for excellence in the "Theatrical Release" category. The film is based on an original story by Diana Coles entitled "The Clever Princess", renamed to The Adventures of Princess Arite (アリーテ姫の冒険?) in Japan. The plot of the film is changed substantially from the original, mostly because director Sunao Katabuchi, when he came onboard the project, felt uncomfortable telling a feminist story from a male point of view, and thus focused on more general themes such as the reason to live. The storyline itself remains that of a princess living in a tower pursued by suitors, and a wicked magician who takes her away.


  • Princess Arete (Hōko Kuwashima) - The young princess of the kingdom. Arete is filled with great interest in life, however as a princess she is expected to live a life she considers hopelessly mundane. As she has grown up, her role in the kingdom has grown in importance and she is moved to live on top of a high tower to enjoy a privileged seclusion from the facts and practicalities of the real world. From here she can only look down upon the vital town below and dream of traveling the world that she has read about in books she keeps hidden under her bed. This seclusion has engendered strong curiosity about her in the town, and knights compete daily for her hand by questing for magical objects created by an ancient race. To relieve her isolation, the princess begins to sneaks out of the tower to visit the town.
  • Boax (Takeshi Koyama) - A wizard who has suddenly arrived at the castle on a flying machine, and claims to have fallen in love with the princess. He is committed to marrying Arete. In fact, Boax does not love the princess at all, and only plots to kidnap her because a prophecy foretells that only she has the power to take away his eternal life. Boax changes her appearance to that of a more beautiful girl to persuade her father to allow him to take her away. He then imprisons her in a lonely dungeon.
  • The witch (Satomi Koorogi) - Witch meets the princess in the underpass of the castle. There she imparts a magical, wish-granting ring to Arete.
  • Ample (Minami Takayama) - A village woman who lives near the castle and helps Boax the wizard to magically supply the village with water. She believes in Arete and the two become friends.
  • Grovel (Yūsuke Numata) - Boax's servant. Arete discovers that even frogs can change in the face of magic.
  • Dullabore (Eiji Takemoto)
  • Young Boax (Akio Suyama)
  • Blond Knight (Norihisa Mori)
  • King (Takashi Nagasako)
  • Suitors (Tomohisa Asō, Takkō Ishimori, Masaya Takatsuka)
  • Guard (Yoshikazu Nagano, Kōhei Kowada)
  • Maid (Abigail?) (Naomi Shindō)
  • Master Tailor (Kazuhiko Nishimatsu)
  • Tailor apprentices (Umi Tenjin, nobuko)
  • Narrator (Yūko Sasaki)


  • Planning: Akira Yamashita, Takano, Tooya Nobuyuki, Eiko Tanaka, Toyoyuki Hama
  • Production: Fumio Ueda, Masafumi Hukui, Takehiko Tino, Mari Sakurai, Hiraku Ushiyama
  • Original Story: Diana Coles' "The Adventures of Princess Arete" (published 1983)
  • Director, Screenplay: [(Sunao Katabuchi]]
  • Character design: Satoko Morikawa
  • Animation Director: Kazutaka Ozaki
  • Art Director: Minoru Nishida
  • CGI Director: Kei Sasakawa
  • Color settings: Lin Ya
  • Sound Director: Hayase Susugi Hiroshi
  • Music: Akira Senju
  • Editing: Takeshi Seyama
  • Producer: Eiko Tanaka
  • Associate Producer: Ryōichi Fukuyama
  • Manufacturing: Production Committee Arete, Beyond C., Dentsu, Shogakukan, Imagica, Omega Project
  • Production: Studio 4°C
  • Distribution: Omega Entertainment

Theme Songs

  • "Wings of Gold"
    • Lyrics: Taeko Oonuki
    • Composer, Arranger: Akira Senju
  • "Krasnoe Solntse" (Red Sun)
    • Lyrics: Origa
    • Composer, Arranger: Akira Senju

External links