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Japan is a nation fascinated with other-worldly myths, fables, and spirits which is why tales of Moon Princesses are so popular. Because of this vast - and constantly growing - interest in anime and manga outside of Japan, stories surrounding Moon princesses have been embraced by anime and comic fans all over the world.

This begs the question of where the fable of the Moon princesses all began. The answer to this question is purported to date all the way back to the 18th century, when a book called The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter was first published featuring Princess Kaguya.

As the story goes, a bamboo cutter called Sanuki no Miyatsuko discovered a tiny girl inside a magical bamboo shoot. Believing her to be divine, the cutter promptly brought her home where he and his wife named her Princess and raised her as their daughter.

She Was Nicknamed Little Bamboo

Growing quickly, the girl was nicknamed Little Bamboo by the other kids in the village. When Miyatsuko visited the place where he found his daughter, he found gold and the finest silk cloth. This proved to him she was worthy of a princess not only in name.

Who Are Anime's Moon Princesses?

Moving the family to the capital in quest to have his daughter recognised as a genuine princess, Miyatsuko uses the found gold to build them a life fit for nobility with all the trappings that come along with it. Despite this the princess was unhappy in her life.

When she came of age she was formally named Princess Kaguya - life and light – at a lavish party. However, after she overheard guests at the party ridiculing her father's plan to turn a country girl into a real princess she fled the city for her home village.

Princess Kaguya Attracted Five Noble Suitors

Discovering she no longer knew anyone at the village she fainted but awoke back at her party, demonstrating that she was unlike any normal girl. As Princess Kaguya got older, so she grew ever more beautiful and attracted five noble suitors from far and wide.

Unfortunately each of the five in their own way failed to prove themselves worthy of her affections and love, whereupon Princess Kaguya confessed to her parents that she was born on the Moon but was sent to Earth as a punishment when she broke its laws.

She told them that after the disappointment of her fifth suitor - the Emperor himself - she prayed for the Moon Kingdom to bring her back. Hearing her prayer, the Moon told Princess Kaguya that she would be magically be returned during the next full Moon.

The Princess Was Returned to the Moon

Sad to leave the world, the princess and her adoptive father tried everything to stop the Moon from claiming her. However their efforts were unsuccessful and she did indeed depart the Earth, but not before recognizing the unconditional love of her parents.

Some scholars have extrapolated from this early text that the Moon represents a ‘pure’ or perfect place and society, and the Earth just the opposite. In other words the Earth is an impure and imperfect place with impure and imperfect people so it was no wonder that the Princess’s proposals from her nobles were doomed to failure being unworthy.

That said there is another popular take on this ancient tale which is less romantic and moralistic and more science fiction. Many readers – then and today – see the story of Princess Kaguya as her being an alien sent to Earth as punishment for transgressions she committed on the Moon, before returning to her home celestial body later on.

Earth was Like a Prison for the Princess

In other words the Earth was her prison and only once she completed her ‘sentence’ was she permitted to return to the Moon - despite her clear reluctance to do so.

It makes no difference which version of the ‘Moon Princess story’ you believe in - if any – just that you appreciate the significance of having a beautiful princess from the Moon here amongst us, especially when portrayed by the talented anime illustrators.

If Princess Kaguya was the first true Moon Princess, she was not the last. For instance, in 2005 leading Japanese visual novel studio August released as a Windows-based video game (and later for PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable) based on a well-known Japanese adult visual novel translated as ‘A Brighter Blue Than That Before the Dawn.’

The Game was Based on Princess Feena Fam

The game was based on Princess Feena Fam Earthlight who hailed from the Kingdom of Sphere on the Moon. The powers that be sent her to Earth to live with the secretary of the President of the United Nations to learn more about Earth and its people to help prepare her for upcoming succession as the next queen of the Kingdom of Sphere.

As part of the game players had to read a lot of text to move the story along and make choices along the way as to how the plot would evolve and meander, resulting in the highly novel feature of multiple endings based on the plot decisions players made.

And the ‘nod’ to Moon Princesses doesn’t end there. These royal celestial beings have even transcended the online gambling world (as you’ll see on these popular free no deposit online casinos listed here where they’ve been immortalized on free slot reels.

Discover Moon Princess Slot from Play'n Go

Consider Moon Princess slot from Play'n Go, for instance, which features not one but three Moon Princesses named Love, Star and Storm respectively. With its unique 5 reel and 5 row ‘drop block’ and zero pay line format, Moon Princess is a bold slot game.

Who Are Anime's Moon Princesses?

The style of the moon princess has changed over the years.

Instead of regular pay lines to highlight winning combinations, this game relies on the matching of symbols - the more like symbols you match, the greater your winnings will be. Unsurprisingly, the Moon is the Wild which substitutes for most other symbols.

It is also packed with potentially high-paying features including free spins, multipliers and scatters. However the top feature is the ‘Princess feature’ that is randomly triggered on non-winning spins. All princesses can assist in making winning combinations.

Play for as Little as 20c a Round up to $100 a Round

The active princess changes after every trigger, whereafter the game rounds continue as normal. And best of all this Japanese-inspired game is suited to players of all budgets. For instance you can play the game from as little as 20c a round up to $100 a round.

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