Every country has them. Those weird childhood playground rhymes, rituals, and urban legends. Passed on from generation to generation, you don’t really give them a second thought as a child. They’re just something you say, or do. They don’t really mean anything.

Yubikiri Hime (Pinky Promise Princess)
Sumomo Yumeka
One-shot, 2009
Horror; mystery
Read Online | Buy

Every country has them. Those weird childhood playground rhymes, rituals, and urban legends. Passed on from generation to generation, you don’t really give them a second thought as a child. They’re just something you say, or do. They don’t really mean anything.

Yubikiri Hime, or Pinky Promise Princess, is based loosely on one of those childhood traditions. Kiriko, a slightly creepy, lolita-dressed, goblinish looking young girl likes to make promises. Yamada likes to lead Kiriko on,  borrow money to take other girls out, and promise to ‘make things up’ to her. Each time he breaks his word and makes a new promise, Kiriko asks him to swear once more:

Pinky promise, hope to die. Swallow a thousand needles if you lie

Sounds slightly familiar? Anyone who has watched xxxHolic may remember the thousand needles version of this rhyme. Based on the Japanese act of ‘yibikiri’, or ‘finger cutting’, this appears to be the Japanese equivalent of a childhood rhyme that was popular while I was growing up in England; ‘Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye’.

As this is a horror manga, you can imagine how well this is goes – particularly as we soon discover Yamada only has one finger left to pinky promise Kiriko with…

Yubikiri Hime presents an interesting juxtaposition in the creepy but cute Kiriko; you can tell something is off about her fairly quickly, but as you see how she is treated, you start to feel less warey of her, and more fascinated about how she will get her revenge.


As of September 2017, Pinky Promise Princess isn’t available to purchase in english. However, there are several fan translated scanlation versions available to read for free online. The team over at Psychopandas have a great translation available to read or download for free.

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