Princess Principal Final Episode (12): Really asking for that second season

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I’m really unsure how to react to this ending. It definitely has an unsatisfying feel to it, but I almost prefer that over attempting to rush into a resolution. There were too many open questions to really cover. That being said, many of these questions remain, and it made me really want to know more (perhaps in a second season?).

So when all is said and done, I’m still not sure I understand Zelda as a character. Is she meant to represent a separate, competing faction within the Commonwealth? She seemed like such a strange addition at the last minute who got way too much focus…only to disappear into the night.

We haven’t gotten too many chances to see Princess act like an actual noble, so this scene was quite interesting. I’m assuming that Princess is referring to the current plans for revolution as evidence for her statement. The current revolution seems to be an attempt to right the wrongs of the one that separated Ange and Charlotte.

I get the whole idea of teaching Ange a lesson about friendship and whatnot, but this “message” feels more like the kind of lesson you show in an introductory episode, not the finale.

Once again, I feel like I’m missing a reference from a previous episode. Is this just the hat that Princess normally wears? I guess this scene is meant to indicate that the Duke now knows she’s involved in the plots interfering with his own plans. I was wondering if I missed some reference to the past or something…

As a final minor comment, I did have a question about this scene in particular. Why exactly did Chise come down on the rope to join the team if they were just going to fly back up into the rafters? Was it just for the grand entrance?

Final Score: 8/10


Princess Principal Episode 11: Ultimate betrayal

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In many ways, this episode didn’t quite go the way I expected, but I think I’ll wait to see how it comes together in the end to pass ultimate judgment. Honestly, I thought from the moment when Ange first accepted the mission that she would try to die in Princess’s place. I can understand that her plan to escape with the Princess is more reasonable given that she expressed her wish for that outcome in the first place, but I guess my head saw a different ending.

There are a couple pieces in this episode that didn’t sit well with me. First and foremost, I’m wondering how the Duke of Normandy plays into everything. He’s been a constant looming presence in this series, but he has very little setup himself. Given that his agent has been involved in many episodes now, I’m very much expecting that his character exists as a simple enemy. It seems to me like the ending will just prop him up as the mastermind behind the coup all along, which seems empty if we don’t know much about him.

Along the same lines, Zelda seems like a bit of a random introduction. It’s not unheard of for this series, but it’s odd that she’s being introduced so close to the end as someone presumably pivotal to the ending. It makes me wonder if she’s just a simple spy for the Duke.

Of course, the whole idea of splitting the team just feels like a setup for a grand reunion in the final episode. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, but it’s time that needs to be spent. Just how much is meant to happen in this finale?

The most interesting part of this episode was the statement from Ange that Operation: Changeling was her idea. It makes sense and has likely been said before in this series (knowing my track record), since it plays into her original plan to get close to Princess. But I find it interesting that the final conflict in the episode is that plan blowing up in her face.

I’m really shocked about the ending of this episode, though. It has nothing to do with the coup or the fact that Princess trapped Ange on the airship. I’m just surprised that Princess got away with pretending to be Ange so easily. Does the spy organization really think so little of her? They suspected Ange of betrayal, but take her word that Princess is dead without physical evidence? That just seems bizarre.

Princess Principal Episode 10: Role models

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This was a pretty enjoyable episode despite how rough it was. I think my favorite thing about this series is how it uses missions to give background for characters. It’s not the standard style of presenting a situation that is roughly similar to the character’s past. The missions are often directly use people from the past to stir up the memories, which is how memories work.

This episode did a good job of introducing the Farm, where Dorothy and Ange were trained. I’m really curious about this line, though. Did something tragic happen to the other spies? The description of the Farm suggested that girls were dismissed for performing poorly, but it’s hard to believe that only three spies were good enough.

I was really expecting this episode to be more boring after the premise of the double agent was revealed. It’s a pretty simple concept that’s pretty predictable when a random ally spy is introduced. But at the end of the day, the reversal on Dorothy was a nice touch. Though, I really should have seen it coming given that Ange is never mentioned by name. I definitely didn’t expect the episode to show the suicide on screen.

I’m a bit torn about the conversation between Dorothy and Prefect at the end, though. On the one hand, I like that the series gives you the clues rather than telling you the answer. From what we see in the episode, it seems like Prefect has been forced to self-administer some substance to keep herself alive or lucid.

Dorothy’s statement seems to make it clear that the enemy, likely the Duke, exploited a moment of weakness to force the Prefect’s dependence on that substance. I guess I was just hoping for more answers. Maybe I also wanted Dorothy to understand why she was being betrayed before losing her friend.

As for the ending, I guess we’re in the final stretch. Given that this episode was case 22, we’re probably on a normal timeline now. I would expect the final two episodes to complete the story with cases 23 and 24.

Final side note: this scene with Beatrice driving the card was unexpectedly hilarious.

Princess Principal Episode 9: One of us

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Although I generally consider Chise to be one of my least favorite characters, this episode focused around her worked pretty well. My general complaint is that she’s pigeonholed as the foreigner, but I think that trait is used well in this episode. As someone who is legitimately an outsider experiencing the world of the story for the first time, Chise acts as a great way to show the audience more about the actual setting.

The second half of this week’s episode was more focused on Chise. At first, I kinda shrugged off her “acceptance” into the group as pretty mundane. However, make sure to take into account the timeline of this series. This episode covers case 11, which chronologically occurs soon after case 9 in episode 4. One of the main points in that episode was Chise’s frustration about the team’s lack of trust in her. That made this episode seem much more reasonable in my eyes.

Quick note: this scene kinda bugged me. What kind of innocent person would ask for proof before being accused? But it wasn’t important to the episode overall.

I’m a bit curious about Chise’s conversations with her superior in this episode, though. Why are they continuing to focus on Operation: Changeling? Perhaps I missed it somewhere along the way, but are they still planning on going through with replacing Princess? Or is that just the name for the current state of using Princess as a spy?

This is kind of a random piece, but I found Chise surprisingly relatable in this episode. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never tried to hit a baseball like this…

Princess Principal Episode 8: What started it all

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For an episode with very little spy stuff, this week’s episode was very entertaining. Ange and Charlotte’s past was really well done even if we had been shown many of the pieces in previous episodes. I was mostly expecting to just get the rest of the pieces, but everything in this episode fit together much better than I expected.

The use of a revolt to swap the princess and the pickpocket was a nice way to explain the swap, especially since the pickpocket Ange would be less willing to force the princess into a pauper’s life. The “princess” was perfectly justified to keep her identity a secret in the chaos of the rebellion because the revolutionaries were targeting nobility, which gave the guards a reason to ignore her pleas.

My only real question would be why they never found a way to meet each other after that point? The simple answer would be that the princess was placed under much stricter guard or moved to some unknown location. It’s mostly just curiosity on my end, though.

I also appreciated Ange’s acknowledgement of the hardships that the fake princess would have suffered, despite how lavish her new life may have seemed. It’s hard to imagine that a random girl on the street could accomplish so much, but I guess desperation can be a pretty strong motivator. That being said, I’m also curious about what happened on Ange’s end. While I will agree that Charlotte’s life has been rough, I imagine Ange has had her own share of hardship. After this episode, I’m even more curious to see what happened to her.

Everything ends up culminating in a final acknowledgement from Ange that the fake Charlotte has become the real princess as a result of all of her perseverance. This scene was a great nod to the beginning of the episode too, where Ange tells Charlotte that she calls her “Princess” out of respect for the work she has done to become a real Princess.

But man I feel sorry for Chise. She had to hang upside down in the cold for the whole episode…

Princess Principal Episode 7: Hard at work

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I had a harder time figuring out the point of this week’s episode. It certainly felt like it was meant to characterize Chise more, but I’m not sure I’m fully convinced. I might have been biased because Chise felt a little too Asian. I guess she was introduced as a devoted and diligent worker. I also kinda wanted her to befriend Marilla more, but she probably can’t have too many attachments as a spy.

While Ange didn’t have too much of a role in this episode, her cover personality was probably the funniest part of the episode. I would have liked for the episode to give more of a reason to back up the personality change, as I think having a strong personality for investigation would be applicable in more cases than this. It was very entertaining, though.

Am I supposed to be remembering this guy? He’s done pretty much nothing, but he’s appeared more times than I would have expected. Does he have some future role? Also, he didn’t interact with Dorothy, so it makes sense that he doesn’t recognize her in case 18. I was watching for that.

Also, props to this guy for progressing the story…

Other than that, I don’t think I have too much comment on this episode. Princess did buy that mill randomly, but I’m not sure what to make of it. The scene with Control made it sound like she was able to justify it by turning a profit. Maybe it’s supposed to act as a future source of income or something.

Princess Principal Episode 6: More fathers

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It looks like this series will continue to jump through time for now as it introduces the main characters. Dorothy’s story has probably been the best of the backstories so far. Chise’s father was a bit of a side thought, and we only really saw the scars from Beatrice’s relationship with her father. Dorothy ended up having a genuine heartfelt episode with her father. It wasn’t that crazy of a story, but it sure was presented well.

It’s hard to even judge the father too since the episode seemed to suggest that he had a legitimate mental issue. But I guess the moral of the story is it sucks to be a spy…

Also, it looks like we’re up to case 18. Just how much is this show planning on jumping around? At this point, I’m not even sure how the gaps in time are going to hold their own.

Beatrice and Dorothy made for a good combination in this episode. We’ve seen them interact in previous episodes, but this episode really establishes as pretty similar characters. Whereas Beatrice latched on to Princess to deal with her past, Dorothy became a bit more cynical as a result. They’re a nice example of separate personalities forged from similar pasts.

The fight in this episode was also pretty surprising. We’ve seen Dorothy used largely as a glorified distraction, but she’s actually pretty strong on her own. It also makes her feel much more normal in comparison to the other spies. Ange uses crazy cyberpunk magic, Beatrice has a fancy voice-changer, and Chise is a literal ninja. It makes Dorothy feel like she just exists to ground the cast, which isn’t necessarily bad.

There was only really one part of this episode that I couldn’t follow. Why exactly was it okay for Dorothy’s identity to be revealed? I understand that she would have the most familiarity with the target, but it seems like it would be very easy for her to get exposed on a mission like this.

Princess Principal Episode 5: More surprising than it should be

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This series continues to be full of surprises. Of course, I don’t mean the whole deal with Chise and her father. That much was pretty obvious. This episode threw a few new things at us. I believe this episode is the first mention of the titular “Principal”, but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to gather from it yet.

The episode also showed Princess taking action for the first time, rather than acting diplomatic or standing on the sidelines. Granted, it might just be because Ange is usually overprotective, but it was still nice to see.

The episode started off with a pretty natural opening as well, introducing the disparity between East and West through the commoners on the street. We can easily see the stereotypes that are associated with the East in a way that doesn’t really distract from the episode.

I also respected that the episode went directly into Chise’s introduction after they skipped forward to a second mission with her in last week’s episode. That last episode raises the questions about her character and the next episode immediately handles them. The fights in this episode also looked pretty nice. It’s something you don’t see often in a show like this.

Was I supposed to be conclude that Chise only won the fight because of the sudden collision of the two trains? If would make sense that a sudden stop would fling her forward into Jubei. However, he would theoretically have moved as well, and they should have been affected by the brakes long before the trains collided. Hard to say, but not hugely important.

I also didn’t get this cards scene at all. It mostly distracted me from what the characters were saying because I couldn’t figure out why the soldiers weren’t reacting.

Princess Principal Episode 4: Jumping around

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The case numbers are really helping with the chronology of this series. I probably would have been a lot more resistant with the introduction of Chise in this episode if the first three episodes hadn’t conditioned me to look for the case number at the start of the episode.

And I think she gets a pretty good introduction in this episode regardless of the jumpy timeline. They mention that she’s on the team as a representative of some foreign entity, and her private conversation suggests that she’s an emissary of sorts to determine whether that foreign entity will side with the Commonwealth or the Kingdom.

The main piece of this episode that really bugged me was the whole deal with the Cavorite technology. I wish I knew enough about it to understand why the mission in this episode was so important. What about the miniature Cavorite device that the Kingdom developed makes it better than the one Ange is using? Is it just a matter of supply? Perhaps Ange has an experimental model or the Commonwealth is incapable of producing at a large enough scale. I would have liked to know that.

I also didn’t fully understand the line of deception in this episode. I understand that the episode was focused around further gauging Princess’s reliability, but what happened with the leak? Was there really a leak or did the Kingdom just happen to notice the spy camera? If it really was a coincidence, it makes the episode feel a lot weaker in my eyes.

And as a side note, the moment when Ange turned off Beatrice’s voice box was pretty hilarious. She was being a terrible spy, so it was well-deserved.

I’d say this was still a pretty fun episode overall.

Princess Principal Episode 3: We have the technology

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I guess this week’s episode is going back to normal (in a way) with a standard mission to introduce Beatrice as a character. And there will likely be more introductions to come given that we haven’t even met the ninja character yet. While I find Beatrice annoying, I don’t mind how she was presented in this episode. She’s traumatized by her past and permanently altered as a result, but she still manages to use it to her advantage in the episode.

The split between Ange and Charlotte is still pretty confusing. I’ll probably continue to refer to them by their public names. Charlotte’s self-esteem makes me wonder if Ange just thought her personality wasn’t appropriate for a princess. They make for an interesting pair too, since Ange wishes to use her spy training to run away with Charlotte while Charlotte wishes to become queen to gain the authority to be with Ange.

The main part of this episode that really stuck out to me was the fact that Beatrice was with Ange in the first place. I get that she’s part of the spy school now, but why wouldn’t she want to stay next to the princess in this situation? And the fact that she’s with Ange pretty much propels the episode forward, so this seems a bit important.

I was initially questioning how the voice imitation gimmick even worked out because Beatrice entered the room after the man had already killed himself. But I went back and examined the scenes. She probably got it from when she and Ange were listening in on the guy’s conversation in the switchboard room.

This episode also confirmed the direction of this series. It’s moving through the past events leading up to what happens in the first episode. That makes me wonder if the spies’ plans fail and the first episode is meant to show that Charlotte is still unable to become queen by the end. Maybe I’m just a pessimist, but it would explain why the first episode was so unassuming.