Princess Raccoon (2005)
"Operetta tanuki goten" (original title)

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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 593 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 30 critic

Amechiyo (The banished prince) falls in love with Tanukihime (a princess of raccoon dog disguised to human). This is an Operetta which includes comedy, singing and dancing, and a love story.



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Credited cast:
Joe Odagiri ...
Hiroko Yakushimaru ...
Ohagi no tsubone
Mikijirô Hira ...
Azuchi Momoyama
Gentaro Takahashi
Saori Yuki
Miwako Ichikawa
Hibari Misora ...
CG appearance
Eisuke Sasai
Papaiya Suzuki
Taro Nanshu
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Federico Aletta ...
Nan-bannjin (painter)
Akira Matsushita
Noriko Shiina


Amechiyo is being hunted by his father for being too beautiful and as he tries to escape he runs into Princess Raccoon, a raccoon in human form. They fall for each other, but humans and raccoons shouldn't mix so the raccoon court causes some trouble. She saves his life, then he saves hers by finding the Frog of Paradise on the Sacred Mountain and so forth, until the tragic finale. Written by poco loco

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Plot Keywords:

raccoon | love | singing | frog | dancing | See All (6) »


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Release Date:

28 May 2005 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Princess Raccoon  »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


Ziyi Zhang spent half a month in Japan training in dance and voice. While her speaking part is in Chinese, she sings in both Chinese and Japanese. See more »


un'mei no wana
Written by Michiru Ôshima
Performed by Ziyi Zhang
See more »

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User Reviews

Sharply funny cultural deconstruction
21 November 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I use "Princess Raccoon" (to give the film its not-quite accurate English title) as a litmus test for my friends' sense of humour. It either leaves them cold and baffled - as it clearly did several other commentators on this site - or results in doubled-up laughter, unassailably huge grins and occasional gasps of admiration.

The laughter comes from the film's consummate mixture of parodies in contemporary style. Targets include a bouquet of Japanese and Western classical stage drama forms, from Kabuki to Late Shakespearian and Spanish renaissance Christian fantasy; the naff vacuity of the modern American and European musical, as witness a host of random tap- and rap- dance songs and some very funny banal lyrics, all choreographed with loving "amateur" cliché; Japanese anime and samurai live-action clichés; portentous Buddhist ritual; and the overweening sweetness of Viennese operetta. I've not laughed out loud so much at this type of film since Ken Russell's outrageous musical deconstruction in "The Boyfriend".

The grins come from the clever textual subversion of the Japanese legend, told in a traditional 5-act structure reminiscent of the plays of the 17th century master Chikamatsu. As in his work the narrative is advanced in a mixture of song, recitative, high-flown poetry and low comedy relief - here the pot-broiling of the incompetent ninja, Ostrich, by peasants under the illusion that he is a tanuki-raccoon in human guise. All of this somehow does hang together, and even more remarkably does manage to engage the watcher's emotions through the welter of cultural references.

In truth "Princess Raccoon" wears its pan-cultural garb with alluring lightness, and that's where the gasps of astonishment come in. Visually

  • again, as with Russell's masterpiece - the film is a treat, a riot of

colour with its digitised backdrops of classical Japanese images from screens and prints, over-the-top costumes and stage sets, mixed with some breathtaking live action sequences in summer fields and seashores. You'll love it or loathe it, but there's no point castigating chalk for being cheese; and "Princess Raccoon" stands, first and foremost, as a wickedly funny as well as affectionate put-down of our contemporary cultural vacuity, in both East and West. Bravo!

20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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