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.

Princess Principal Episode 2: The lies have escalated

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Okay, this episode convinced me to stick with this series. Should I have seen that twist coming? Maybe I should have, but boy did it hit hard. The revelation doesn’t just change how I view this week’s episode, but also has implications for the first episode. So many things in this episode make much more sense after seeing three words at the end of the episode, like the princess’s words to Beatrice about befriending a devil and the fact that Ange was so quick to reveal herself as a spy. I can’t help but want to continue watching a show that does something like that.

So, is the Ange from last week’s episode also Charlotte? This might not truly be a good question, because there’s a lot of evidence that she is. First off, it’s safer for Ange and Charlotte to continue using their swapped roles. The princess is out of danger and it’s less likely that Ange’s superiors and comrades notice a change in her behavior. Plus, the title of the series would suggest that the main character (introduced as Ange) should be the princess. Still, you can’t discount the possibility given how well the two were able to imitate each other.

Another fun piece from this week’s episode was the numbering of the episodes. This week’s episode is marked as “Case 1”, while last week’s episode was “Case 13”. This suggests that the remainder of the season will be a progression leading up to that first episode. It’s interesting, but also strange. That first episode doesn’t seem to be anything close to a final episode. Shouldn’t there be something more after that? Will there be 14 episodes?

I felt like the episode even did a good job with the mystery surrounding the “traitor” in the organization by introducing a red herring among the higher-ups. That military guy looked pretty jumpy when they were talking about the traitor who informed the princess, so he seemed like the best bet.

Alright, I’m on board. What’s next?

Princess Principal First Impressions (1): The scout is a spy

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I think the draw of this series for me can be summed up pretty easily. I think spies are cool and the music is good. Heck, I’ve watched Joker Game for less. And to be honest, I don’t have all too much to say about this first episode. I thought it was entertaining overall and I’m thoroughly confused as to whether the correct English title should be “principal” or “principle”. Given the romanized form, it could probably go either way, but I’ll stick with “principal” because that’s what is used everywhere.

I know that the background is a bit blurry and has almost an oil painting quality to it, but I was surprised to see such a convoluted background in a series like this. The Victorian London style is interesting enough, and stuff like this seems to add to that. I’d say the episode looked pretty good.

Lying was pretty much the big thing in this episode. I found it a bit forced to have these two characters joke about how they can’t be honest with each other, but I guess it’s meant to further the introduction of Ange when even characters like this find her lying hard to understand.

It’s not too hard to guess that a story about espionage starts with a lying victim character. I wasn’t sure if this series was going to take the “cutesy” route, so I’m glad that he ends up being executed. Maybe we’re in for some quality spy stuff.