If we’re going strictly by the Disney versions, most people could tell you that the respective heroines of The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White are respectively Ariel, Aurora, and Snow White. A tougher trivia question, though, is to name their three princes.

As the most recent of the bunch to appear on the screen, Ariel’s Eric might not be too hard to recall, but how many remember that Aurora’s betrothed is named Phillip? And as for Snow White, we never learn the name of the man who wakes her with a kiss, as not once in the movie is he referred to as “Prince Charming.”

Actually, if we go back further, to the original fairy tales these Disney classics were based on, many times the male lead is simply called “the prince.” While it’s possible this is because of their relatively small and interchangeable roles in those stories, one mother in Japan has another theory: the same prince stole the heart of the Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White.

While Disney is tremendously popular in Japan, their intellectual rights to the above stories aren’t absolute, of course. Japanese publisher Poplar released picture books of all three as part of its Great Fantasy Stories of the World line, which consisted of 60 books of legends and folktales from both Japan and abroad.

Recently, Twitter user Sachimi Riho noticed something when flipping through the Poplar editions of The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, all of which she had bought for her daughters. The books are filled with illustrations, and whether to avoid getting into a legal beef with Disney or to appeal more to local tastes, Poplar’s illustrations have a much more anime/manga vibe to them.

Japanese comic art tends to have a greater economy of line use than Western designs. When done well, this can give its characters a clean, streamlined look. On the other hand, if the drawings are too simplified, it can be hard to tell one character from another. For example, here’s the prince from Poplar’s Snow White.

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And here’s the totally not the same prince (really, guys!) from the publisher’s Sleeping Beauty.

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Whoa, either the prince has a twin brother, or these kingdoms have some very relaxed attitudes regarding polygamy.

Now, this could be an honest mistake on the prince’s part. Both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty fall under a spell and can only be woken up with a kiss, which in most cases is a pretty rock-solid identifying trait. Maybe the prince married Ms. White first, and later mistook Sleeping Beauty for his new bride when he came across her in her magically induced slumber. Assuming his princely wake-up kisses needed to be reapplied regularly, he could have planted one on the maiden, and even after she woke up and he realized she wasn’t Snow White, it was probably too awkward to admit his mistake, so he decided to just go with it.

Or, perhaps the prince is just a stone cold player. As proof, here’s a scene from Poplar’s The Little Mermaid.

▼ “Haha, what? No baby, that wasn’t me marrying those two other girls. I mean, did either of those guys have a hat?”

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Here’s hoping that slab Snow White slept on in the forest is still vacant, because in light of this damning evidence, we doubt she’ll be lowering the drawbridge to the castle when the prince comes home tonight.

Source, images: Hachima Kiko