Do you know what a “Prinny” is? Well, I sure didn’t. But then I’m not a gamer.
I was alerted to the existence of these creatures by an e-mail urging me to get myself a Prinny T-shirt before Red Moon Day. Red moon day is coming. NIS America informs me that:
In the Netherworld, on the night of the Red Moon, Prinnies who have paid for their sins get to reincarnate back into humans. This is a very important time for us Prinnies, and we want to share this opportunity of reflection with everyone. As it draws closer, we are able to determine that this year's Red Moon Day falls upon the date of July 2nd, 2016!
Prinnies (プリニー Purinii) are a fictional race of creatures in Nippon Ichi's video games. First appearing in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, they have appeared in all later titles by the company, as well as on various merchandise such as hats and plush toys. With a few notable exceptions, they are voiced by Junji Majima in Japanese releases and Grant George in the English releases from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness to Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, and by Dave Wittenberg in Trinity Universe.
Concept and creation
The Prinny was created by Takehito Harada while he was trying to come up with a character whose thoughts players could not try to envision. He began by choosing to make it animal-based, eventually deciding on making something similar to a penguin. He was told that he could use this character as much as he wanted. While it initially started out as looking somewhat realistic, it eventually gained a doll-like form.
A prinny is a small, usually blue, pouch-wearing penguin-like creature with disproportionately small bat wings, two peg legs where feet would normally be and stitches next to the mouth. When thrown, they explode on impact. A common trait of prinnies is their upbeat attitude and frequent use of the word "dood" as an interjection. They constantly end their sentences with "-ssu" in the Japanese game versions' dialogue. Prinnies stand roughly three feet, three inches (100 cm) tall, though the weight can vary. Prinnies attack with knives, bombs, and occasionally other weapons stored in their bags. While rarely mentioned in the game, prinnies have been known to dispense a beverage known as prinny juice, which according to a Nippon Ichi Software America interview is produced from "the most flavorful and delicious parts of our fresh, vine-grown Prinnies".
In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, humans who have led a worthless life, such as thieves or murderers, or have committed a mortal sin such as suicide, have their souls sewn into the body of a prinny upon their death. Due to the unstable soul of a human, regular prinnies will explode when they hit something with great force, such as when thrown. However, Prinny suits filled with demon souls, as seen in Makai Kingdom or in the case of recurring boss Baal, will not. After being reborn, the newly created prinny will serve as a soldier, slave, or servant in the Netherworld or Celestia. The prinny remains until it has earned reincarnation by redemption through good deeds or earning enough money, and leaves its servitude in a ritual involving the Red Moon. In Celestia, prinnies mostly act as maids and domestic servants. The good deeds they perform there lead to their reincarnation. In the Netherworld, depending on the lord they serve, they spend their difficult after-lives doing excessively hard labor for very little pay, and are often thrown around just for the amusement of their lords. The pittance of money they earn in the Netherworld goes towards their reincarnation.
|...and cat Prinnies.|
Some prinnies live in Prinny Land, their own world in which prinnies do not explode when thrown. Some prinnies flee there to escape their lives in the Netherworld, and some may have rebelled or have been banished there. Another place prinnies can be found is the Land of Carnage. These prinnies live for battle and look down on newcomers. While prinnies manage all shops and such, an old friend can be found here too. Prinny Kurtis makes a comeback as a Land of Carnage only character. The player can summon Kurtis with cell phones and pass some bills from the Earth Defense Forces to aid him, it is not needed to gain access to Kurtis. In the Land of Carnage, the prinnies call warriors who fight hundreds of thousands of battles "Shura." Rumor has it, there is a prinny who has lived in the Land of Carnage longer than anyone else and is the master of the land.
Well. Now you know. If someone calls you a Prinny, you know how to feel about that. Oh, and this is the T-shirt design NIS America is peddling: