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Monday, July 25, 2011

Sister Princess (シスター・プリンセス Shisutā Purinsesu) is a popular Japanese seinen series written by Sakurako Kimino and illustrated by Naoto Tenhiro. It began as a serialized light novel series in 1999. In 2001, a manga series and a bishōjo game for the Sony PlayStation were released. Sequels to the game were released for the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance. Sister Princess was also adapted into a Japanese anime television series.

The history of Sister Princess can be traced back to March 1999, when it first appeared in the monthly Dengeki G's Magazine. Originally, there were only nine sisters, not twelve. Readers were able to vote for their favorite sister and following the tremendous response from the fans, the magazine decided to serialize Sister Princess.

In March 2000, a decision was made to renew the series, this time by featuring the short letters that the girls wrote to their beloved brother. Three more sisters were added to the mix: Haruka, who came from Germany; Yotsuba, who came from England; and Aria, who came from France.

A year later, on March 8, 2001, the game version of Sister Princess — about the older brother spending a month with all twelve sisters, and featuring original artwork by Naoto Tenhiro—was released on the Sony PlayStation. Priced at 6800yen (9800yen for the limited edition), the game was the third best-selling title in Japan in its first week of release.

In July of the same year, a new series of stories began in Dengeki G's, right up till April 2002. While the magazine was preparing for yet another renewal of the Sister Princess stories for its May 2002 issue, a premium edition of the game (the original plus two other Christmas and Valentine side stories) was released for the Sega Dreamcast on Mar 28, 2002.

Sequels include Sister Princess 2 and Sister Princess RePure.

In September 2003, the series was retired as G's Magazine premier flagship title (replaced by another popular series, Futakoi). Despite the urging of fans, no official story elements has been produced since then.

The portrayal of events in the first Sister Princess anime is not considered canon by MediaWorks or hardcore fans. It's more commonly accepted as an alternate universe setting. The Sister Princess RePure anime is more faithful to the original magazine stories than its predecessor, and was created to answer disappointed fans. In fact, the stories told in the "second half" of each episode are actually modified versions of the magazine stories or mini-novels. There is nothing in Sister Princess RePure that contradicts the games, magazine stories or mini-novels: thus it can be considered canon, despite not actually being so.

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