Princess Sarah

Princess Sarah (小公女セーラ, Purinsesu Sēra) is a 1985 Japanese Anime series produced by Nippon Animation and Aniplex, based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's 1905 novel, A Little Princess.[1] Spanning 46 episodes, it originally premiered in 1985 across Japan on Fuji Television as the 11th series of Nippon Animation's World Masterpiece Theater.

Princess Sarah
Shoukoujo Sera.JPG
Title screen of Princess Sarah
(Purinsesu Sēra)
GenreHistorical, Drama, Slice of Life
Anime television series
Directed byFumio Kurokawa
Produced byJunzō Nakajima
(Nippon Animation)
Taihei Ishikawa (Fuji TV)
Written byKeiko Mukuroji
Ryūzō Nakanishi
Music byYasuo Higuchi
StudioNippon Animation
Original networkFuji TV
English networkAnimax Asia
Original run 6 January 1985 29 December 1985
Episodes46 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

It was also later aired across Japan by the anime television network, Animax, who also later broadcast the series across its respective networks worldwide, including its English language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia, dubbing and translating the series into English under the title Princess Sarah. Animax's adaptation was the series' only English translation, and the series has yet to be commercially released in the United States.

In the Philippines, Princess Sarah was aired on ABS-CBN in 1993 with some rebroadcasts since then. Its popularity inspired a live-action film Sarah... Ang Munting Prinsesa, and a primetime TV drama series. The show was also a huge success among Arabic viewers and widely popular.


In the year 1885, the story follows Sarah Crewe, a young daughter of a wealthy French father, Ralph Crewe, living in British-ruled India. She starts attending an all-girl's seminary boarding school in London, where she excels in her studies and is loved deeply by many of her friends and classmates. Tragedy strikes when Sarah's father passes away and her family goes bankrupt, leaving her to become a poor orphan. The school's headmistress, Miss Minchin, takes advantage of this situation and makes her a maid in the school, trying hard to make her life as miserable as possible. However, Sarah, with the help of her friends, perseveres and tries to endure all her hardships until redemption comes at last.

When Miss Minchin continues to mistreat her further, Sarah befriends Mr. Carmichael who wanted to rescue her from Miss Minchin's mistreatment until she meets her father's lifelong friend Tom Carrisford who lives next door to the seminary. Tom decides to adopt Sarah to redeem himself over his guilt for the loss of her father and to restore her status as a diamond princess. Miss Minchin angrily confronts Tom to get Sarah back to the seminary but to her dismay Sarah has already been adopted, causing her to return to the seminary in shame as her younger sister Amelia angrily berates her for the mistreatment she had put on Sarah by making her a maid and forcing her to stay at the horse stable, making Miss Minchin emotionally regretful for her actions.

In the end, Sarah waved goodbye to her friends in the seminary as she returns to the British-ruled India by travelling in the cruise ship.


Sarah Crewe as she appears in the series
Sarah Crewe (セーラ・クルー, Sēra Kurū)
The story's protagonist, who is brought to Miss Minchin's seminary in London to learn how to be a proper lady, after being raised in India. Due to being pampered and doted on her entire life, Sarah's knowledge of the world is limited, but she is still a friendly girl. After her father dies and she is left destitute, Miss Minchin forces Sarah to work as a servant in the seminary, but Sarah instead feels like that she is a princess inside; while not looking as one. She refuses to lose hope and remains thoughtful and compassionate.
Maria Minchin (マリア・ミンチン)
The main antagonist is severe headmistress of the seminary where Sarah is sent to. After a misunderstanding where Minchin believes that Sarah purposely undermined her, she subsequently holds an intense grudge against the girl. However, she is very willing to use the noble, talented Sarah for the sake of the appearance of her seminary and herself. When Sarah is no longer wealthy, Miss Minchin stops masking her hatred, and takes every opportunity to break Sarah further.
Becky (ベッキー, Bekkī)
A country girl who comes to work at Miss Minchin's seminary in order to support her mother. Despite her situation, Becky is optimistic and something of a dreamer. She is mistreated by Miss Minchin and her fellow staff, but befriended by Sarah.
Lavinia Herbert (ラビニア・ハーバート, Rabinia Hābāto)
The secondary antagonist. A prideful and very manipulative girl, Lavinia was originally the most popular student at Miss Minchin's seminary, and thus becomes madly jealous when Sarah begins to get more attention than her. Even when Sarah becomes a servant, Lavinia continues to make her life miserable and tries to break her spirit.
Ermengarde St. John (アーメンガード・セントジョン, Āmengādo Sentojon)
A girl who becomes one of Sarah's friends after Sarah defends her from Lavinia's abusive treatment towards her. Ermengarde frequently does poorly in her studies, while her father, a university professor, pushes her to excel. She has an aunt, Eliza (イライザ, Iraiza), who is somewhat absentminded, but is quite skilled in Herbalism, which proves pivotal in curing Sarah when she becomes seriously ill.
Lottie Legh (ロッティ・レイ, Rotti Rei)
The youngest student at the seminary who is four years old. At first, Lottie acts contrary, but the little girl calms down significantly after Sarah becomes her surrogate mother. Following Sarah's descent into poverty, Lottie proves herself one of Sarah's most devoted companions.
Amelia Minchin (アメリア・ミンチン, Ameria Minchin)
Miss Minchin's gentle but submissive younger sister.
Peter (ピーター, Pītā)
A street-smart boy who becomes Sarah's carriage driver when his father cannot accept the job. Peter thinks very highly of Sarah, continues to call her "ojou-sama" (princess) even after her demotion from student to hired help, and harbours a crush on her.
Jessie (ジェシー, Jeshī)
One of Lavinia's friends. She and Gertrude are initially somewhat in awe of Sarah, much to Lavinia's consternation. But once Sarah is demoted to live-in help, they willingly join in Lavinia's tormenting of Sarah.
Gertrude (ガートルード, Gātorūdo)
One of Lavinia's friends.
Molly (モーリー, Mōrī)
A harsh assistant chef.
James (ジェームス, Jēmusu)
A chef that is picky on what he cooks. Like Molly, he is also harsh on other servants, especially Becky.
Ralph Crewe (ラルフ・クルー, Rarufu Kurū)
Sarah's devoted father. He invests in a diamond mine in India, but finds them failed, leaving himself, and therefore Sarah, utterly bankrupt. He dies from fever shortly after.
Monsieur Dufarge (デュファルジュ先生, Dyufaruju-sensei)
The seminary's French teacher. He is impressed by Sarah's aptitude at speaking French from the start, and is the only member of the faculty who continues to treat Sarah with unqualified kindness and civility after her demotion.
Ram Dass (ラムダス, Ramudasu)
An Indian man who serves Mr. Carrisford. He keeps a sweet but mischievous monkey named Surya (スリャ).
Tom Carrisford (トム・クリスフォード, Tomu Kurisufōdo)
A lifelong friend of Ralph Crewe who convinced him to invest in the Indian diamond mine. Believing himself guilty for Crewe's death, Mr. Carrisford makes it his mission to find Sarah and reinstate her wealth.
Mr. Carmichael (カーマイケル弁護士, Kāmaikeru-bengoshi)
Mr. Carrisford's solicitor and confidant. He journeys across Europe to find Sarah Crewe in the bedridden Carrisford's stead.
Donald Carmichael (ドナルド・カーマイケル, Donarudo Kāmaikeru)
Mr. Carmichael's polite and generous son who befriends Sarah, unaware of her connection to his father's client.


  • Original work: Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess
  • Planning: Shōji Satō, Eiichi Kubota (Fuji TV)
  • Director: Fumio Kurokawa
  • Screenplay: Hidemi Kamata, Keiko Mukuroji, Ryūzō Nakanishi
  • Storyboard: Eiji Okabe, Fumio Kurokawa, Jun Hirabayashi, Kenjirō Yoshida, Kōzō Kusuba, Masakazu Higuchi, Norio Yazawa, Shigeo Koshi, Takayoshi Suzuki, Yoshio Kuroda, Yukio Suzuki, Yûsaku Sakamoto
  • Character design: Shunji Saida
  • Animation directors: Atsuko Ōtani, Kuniyuki Ishii, Shunji Saida, Toshiki Yamazaki
  • Assistant directors: Jiro Saito, Shinya Hanai, Takeshi Yamaguchi
  • Art director: Nobuo Numai
  • Art setting: Shōhei Kawamoto
  • Color design: Kaoru Uno
  • Director of photography: Toshiaki Morita
  • Editing: Shinichi Natori, Takeshi Seyama, Yoshihiro Kasahara
  • Layout editing: Yasuji Mori
  • Music: Yasuo Higuchi
  • Sound director: Nobuhiro Komatsu
  • Sound effects: Akihiko Matsuda
  • Sound mixing: Hideyuki Tanaka
  • Special effects: Masao Yoshiyama
  • Producers: Junzō Nakajima, Taihei Ishikawa (Fuji TV)
  • Executive producer: Kōichi Motohashi
  • Production desk: Shunichi Kosao
  • Production manager: Mitsuru Takakuwa
  • Production: Nippon Animation, Fuji TV


  • Opening theme: "Hana no Sasayaki" (花のささやき, lit. "Whisper of a Flower")
Lyrics: Rei Nakanishi
Composition: Kōichi Morita
Arrangement: Katsuhisa Hattori
Performance: Satoko Shimonari
  • Ending theme: "Himawari" (ひまわり, lit. "Sunflower")
Lyrics: Rei Nakanishi
Composition: Kōichi Morita
Arrangement: Katsuhisa Hattori
Performance: Satoko Shimonari

Theme songsEdit

Two songs, performed by Satoko Shimonari, were the opening and closing themes of each episode. The opening theme song is "Hana no Sasayaki" (花のささやき, "Whisper of a Flower"), and the closing theme is "Himawari" (ひまわり, "Sunflower"). Both have lyrics by Rei Nakanishi, music by Kōichi Morita and were arranged by Katsuhisa Hattori.



The anime was remade into a live-action film by Star Cinema in the Philippines under the title Sarah... Ang Munting Prinsesa ("Sarah... The Little Princess") in 1995 starring Camille Prats as Sarah Crewe. The movie was also dubbed in several languages and subbed in English. In 1996, Camille Prats was nominated for Best Child Actress at the FAMAS Awards. The movie was digitally restored and remastered by ABS CBN Film Restoration Project (which to date are restoring old damaged classic Filipino films) to a more high depth 1080p HD format, and was also released back into the cinemas along with a Red Carpet premier. The movie is also set to be sold on DVD by ABS CBN.

The anime was remade in 2007 into a television series, also titled Princess Sarah, by ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Starring Sharlene San Pedro as Sarah Crewe, the drama was aired on ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida evening block and worldwide on The Filipino Channel from November 12, 2007 to December 21, 2007. The series was shot in Camp John Hay in Baguio City and the Coconut Palace in Manila. Unlike the 1995 Filipino film and the Japanese anime series it was based from, which in turn was based on Burnett's original novel, the "teleserye" adaptation took further creative liberties from the original story, with Lavinia as Miss Minchin's daughter, Ram Dass being depicted as a female sorceress, and fantasy elements being introduced in the story.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Princess Sarah – Animax Asia". Animax Asia. Archived from the original on January 3, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2013.

External linksEdit