Princess Sarah/Shokojo Sera

Princess Sarah/Shokojo Sera

Updated Apr 06, 2016 at 09:32AM EDT by Huck Jones.

Added Oct 05, 2014 at 11:48PM EDT by Huck Jones.

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Princess Sarah (小公女セーラ Purinsesu Sēra) is a 1985 Japanese anime series produced by Nippon Animation which was based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel, A Little Princess.

The anime originally premiered as part of Nippon's World Masterpiece Theater, and was later broadcast by Animax in Japan and several other countries, especially in Southeast Asia, where an English dub was aired. Princess Sarah was also translated into several languages, including French, Italian, German, Arabic, Tagalog and Spanish.


Directed by Fumio Kurokawa, the series was made to be faithful to the original source material, doing away with the artistic liberties introduced with the 1939 Shirley Temple film, although it spanned 46 episodes and introduced new scenarios and characters exclusive to the anime. As mentioned earlier, the premise remains the same, with nine-year old Sara Crewe attending a boarding school run by Miss Minchin. Things seemed well during her stay, but Minchin hid a sense of disdain at the girl; she would pretentiously praise Sara due to his father's social status. When Sara's father went bankrupt and died from fever, Minchin used it as a leverage against Sara and mistreated her by any means possible. In spite of this Sara took it as an inspiration for her to stay positive, persevere and overcome her trials.


Princess Sarah gained a following especially in the Middle East and the Philippines, mostly due to its educational premise and social message. At the time when the series was first released, some have speculated that it, especially with Minchin and Lavinia's behaviour towards Sara, alluded to numerious bullying incidents in Japan, which was a contentious issue in the country during the 1980s, though director Fumio Kurokawa stated that the series was not necessarily about bullying and any parallels between the incidents and the show were merely coincidental.

In Saudi Arabia and several other countries in the Middle East, it was dubbed into Arabic and aired in various stations across the country as Sally (سالي), while in the early 1990s Philippine media conglomerate ABS-CBN aired a Tagalog-dubbed, or in local parlance, "Tagalized", version of the series under the title Sarah, Ang Munting Prinsesa. The latter was so widely received that it spawned two locally-produced adaptations of Burnett's novel, one a 1995 feature length film shot on location in Scotland[1] with Camille Prats playing the eponymous protagonist, and a 2007 fantasy-drama serial starring child actress Sharlene San Pedro.[2]

Online presence

Princess Sarah Abridged Series

On October 2, 2014, the Hambog Ng Sagpro Krew uploaded the first part of their Princess Sarah abridged series which currently has 1,288,763 views. This was soon followed by five sequels to make six parts to the Abridged Series. The last (part 6) was uploaded on January 20, 2015.

Princess Sarah Image Macros


In September 2014 a series of exploitable image macros using stills from the anime circulated on Facebook, Tumblr and other social sites, and spawned a fan page[3] dedicated to the meme, which has gained over 100,000 likes as of October 2014.

The macros either depict her as having a strange obsession with potatoes, similar to Senyora Santibañez and her preference for corned beef, or in a random, off-character or at times explicit context ala-60s Spiderman, usually with modern popular cultural references such as iPhones and local jokes thrown in the mix.

In addition to macros using Princess Sarah, the meme has expanded to using screencaps and other elements from various World Masterpiece Theater animes, such as My Daddy Long Legs[4] and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Characters from the aforementioned shows would also occasionally be juxtaposed or inserted into scenes from Princess Sarah for humorous effect.

ABS-CBN later announced in late September that they'll be doing another re-run of the series alongside the anime adaptation of Marcelino, Pan y Vino "for the newer generation" of children. Some netizens speculated that this was in response to Sarah memes circulating on the web, even more so as both ABS and rival television network GMA have cashed in on the meme, the former with using #TeamPatatas and other elements from the meme to further promote the re-run, and GMA with one of the hosts of Eat Bulaga!, Wally Bayola, doing a live skit of the Sarah meme in several episodes of the said noontime show.

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