Posted on 24 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Princess Principal

We have another fun action-spy time this week. While this week isn’t as great as the week before, the decision to group the girls in different pairings make this one entertaining to watch. This means Ange is pairing up with Beatrice, and the Princess with Dorothy (just to make it more consistent I will address Ange the spy as Ange, not Charlotte and the current Charlotte as the Princess). Admittedly, the first pair receives a larger amount of focus than the other duo since this week is all about their first mission together and in Beatrice’s case, accepting those girls as her companions. Beatrice has a decent DARK backstory here, but her character is still the simplest out of our main girls and the way she’s obsessed over the Princess is way too much for me. On that I think all the clues have been suggested regarding how those girls’ relationship gonna pan out. The Princess really intents to become the next Queen so that she can order the fall on London wall. Ange agrees to play along with her even if it means she’d deceive the Princess and deceive herself. Of course, when she’s going to deceive the Princess she has to deal with Beatrice so that development can create an interesting crack between the main cast. Take heed that even work together as a team, each girl has different agenda and at the end of the day it’s a matter of who achieving their objective, so I expect the last “conflict” would be within the group.

Their mission this week is to retrieve a stolen printing plate (make me wonder what’s the currency they use in that fictional world? Do the two divided nations use the same currency? North Pound – South Pound?), and that somehow involve dodging bullets outside of a floating airship, explosions and tandem parachute jump because… when you’re a spy so you just have to make some noise huh? Dorothy again steals all the limited screen she has here with her seduction femme fatale technique (looking forward to her arc), and I’m glad to see many events don’t go as Ange’s plan during the mission, thanks largely to Beatrice. Still, she possesses an amazing superhuman skill of listening to multiple phone lines but still be able to remember all the conversations. As far as this mission goes it’s fun to follow at best, but gives little insight for us to delve into. On that note, how the hell Beatrice can intimate voice from some random caption that she has never meet before?

The reason why Beatrice can alter her voice has been revealed this week, and well, it certainly is sad and twisted. Her father uses her as a lab rat and he changes her vocal chords into a mechanic one. That explains her unnatural high pitch “himesama” voice but it would prove to be useful for spying. Ange and Beatrice share nice chemistry together, although I don’t really like the way they’re linked together by the Princess. Indeed, the Princess role plays a great impact here since as soon as Beatrice realizes how Ange truly cares about the safety of the Princess, she lets her guard down and agrees to join the spy team. Chise is nowhere to be found in this episode but from the look of it, I expect her to make an appearance soon, probably next week and it will be interesting to know her stand and her role in all this. A fairly enjoyable but a bit forgettable episode. Still my muse of this season. And like Rick remarks at the end of Casablanca: “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Posted on 18 July 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Princess Principal

Man, plot twists. Through many twists and turns within the episode, we have a big switcheroo Sixth Sense-size at the end that completely change the context of what come before. I mean, Princess Principal walks on a really thin wire here. On the one hand, deceive and betrayal are the backbone of spies, guessing the motives of each character and how they double-cross each other make this show intriguing to watch. On the other hand, major plot twist like this is always tricky, you can’t make viewers invest on something and then pull the rug from under their feet. It has to deepen the narrative. This revealing works because it deepens the narrative, but I feel more worried than happy to be completely frank. It seems to me that Princess Principal relies too much on such twists and if that is the case, they will fall quickly because the plot won’t hold up anymore. If what I was ranting above doesn’t make it clear enough, there are spoilers down below so you might give this episode a watch before continue reading. Now, for those who remain, let’s head down to the episode.

We’re heading back to case1, the start of it all – when the spy and the princess agree to make a pact deal together. Let first begins with the Control, the headquarter that consist of 4 important figures from the Commonwealth- Military General, head of Spy, a Governor and the other that I assumed is a Duke – to plan out all the spy affairs. They come up with the bold (and ill-fated) Operation: Challenging, intend to replace Ange for the Princess. This episode not only deals with the outcomes of that Mission, they also cram in “retrieving some important key” mission somewhere in the middle and then flip them all over again with the reveal that the Princess already knows everything and then Ange single-handed controls everyone to get the results her way. Pacing-wise, it’s too much to take in that the key-subplot don’t have time to sink in. When you really think about it, the plot’s development starts to reveal some inconsistencies. For example, the guards serve more as a bunch of mannequins than actual guards because they should’ve figured out Dorothy as a spy the moment she came close to the guy and picked her immediately after finding out the key was disappeared. The Operation: Challenging sounds pretty implausible at best, and I’m already taken into account Ange’s impressive ability; but, how they gonna deal with the real princess when the plan succeeds? Lock her away? Kill her? What about Ange’s cover as a student then? Moreover, the moment when the bell chimes and everyone was distracted (as plan? I guess) was too much of “luck” factor involved to be taken seriously. I honestly don’t buy any of these.

Now, let address the elephant in the room. Ange and the Princess (Charlotte) have a history together and it’s heavily implied that they swapped roles as a young age due to some accidents. So, Ange WAS the real princess – Charlotte, and Charlotte’s real name is Ange. I swear it’s a goddamn effective twist because all the hints have been planted well before. Now that all the vague conversations from last week, like “some lies become truth in the telling” or “Because we’re complete opposites” from their introduction have a new deeper meaning. But then, who else know about this? For me, it’s no coincidence that the Control advises Ange to replace Charlotte in a first place. From what I gather in the first episode, the remaining girls don’t aware about it either. It’s interesting to see how the show goes from there as if anything, Ange’s chain of actions heavily shows that she has a more personal objective than following higher-up’s orders and I would say that the main chemistry between Ange and Charlotte is the show’s central emotional development.

The show’s aesthetic remains distinctive and overall stylish. I dig many shot compositions and I even like the high shot angle when Ange and Charlotte introduced to each other; but whenever the CG panning appears it does distract me from the show a bit so I hope they tone it down. Character-wise, Ange and Charlotte steal the spotlight and at least Dorothy is watchable (her smoking scene is hilarious), but Beatrice is under-developed thus far and others function more as a plot device than actual characters. I’m fine with that though, as long as they develop the five girls I won’t have any complaint, and I suspect the Japanese samurai girl Chise will have a proper introduction next week (while at it, did anyone else notice that we have A, B, (double) C, and D for our lead? Interesting). So, with all the rambling, did Princess Principal deliver a great episode? Well, again, yes and no. I’m not fond with too many twists and turns, especially with this series since those twists could potentially destroy the emotional investment you have for the characters and the spy case of the week is frankly, weak but this particular plot twist is a game-changer, and makes me really excited for the next episode. Love it or hate it, let’s all see how the mystery will unfold.

Star Crossed Anime Blog

6 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 20 [Pretend Family]

After last week’s episode, I had high hopes for Kimetsu no Yaiba this week. Sadly, I think I came away from it with more criticisms than complements. Perhaps natural, since living up to last week was nigh impossible. But I wasn’t prepared for Yaiba to undercut its best episode either. Welcome to Yaiba, episode 20, […]

Dr.STONE – 7 [Where Two Million Years Have Gone]

Ah today is a good day. The day where Dr.STONE reinforces what I loved about it when I first read it. You see this week Science takes center stage, we meet the ancient sorcerer Chrome, and the legendary Kinro gets his fabled weapon. Enough with the preamble though, welcome to this weeks Dr.STONE and lets […]

Mononoke – 2 [Zashikiwarashi – Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

There really isn’t a good way to introduce this episode. Nothing is really going to soften the madness of what I just watched. As this week Mononoke has given us one of the darkest/creepiest yet most endearing episodes I have seen in a long time. So let’s just get on with it. Starting off, a […]

Cop Craft – 06 [Need For Speed]

Cop Craft mixes up many unusual elements such as porno magazines, gay policeman, car chases and even romance into its trip this week. The result is that while it’s light in content, it proves to be more entertaining than when it deals with serious plot. While at this point I still prefer the relationship between […]

Kanata no Astra – 08 [Past]

There sure is a lot to unpack in Kanata no Astra this week. Kanata no Astra loves to give clues, and with every reveal it opens up more questions and make it think how all these puzzles fit in a big narrative frame. I must say that I am enjoying the ride so far, it’s […]

Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – 6 [A Girl, a Department Store, and a Gift ]

It turns out that next week will be the beginning of the adaption of the source material of volume four and five and this episode marks the end of original anime content. I rather like this episode as it breaks away from Waver solving cases and has a fun little shopping adventure with the three […]

Vinland Saga – 6 [The Journey Begins]

Another week, another dose of Viking murder, courtesy of Vinland Saga. This week we watch our baby boy grow up, learn a bit about Viking history, and get into the series proper. Let’s dive in! Starting off, as always, the production aspect. This week showed us some of the cracks in Vinland’s production. For while […]

DanMachi2 – 5 [The Hearthfire Mansion (Home)]

DanMachi, you have me scratching my head. It takes you less than 20 minutes of air time to wrap up a 4 episode built, fortune changing battle – and then you spend the next 20 discussing Hestia’s Homebuilding. And what’s more – it was a very enjoyable Fixer-Upper-At-Your-Enemy’s-Expense episode. Just…a bit puzzling pace. Let’s take […]

Fire Force – 5 [The Battle Begins]

For the second episode in a row, Fire Force has quietly impressed me. Obviously the episode of the week would have to go to Yaiba (see Lenlo’s excellent post on it!), but Fire Force turned in an admirable performance. With the mess of Episode 3 still looming, I was quite happy to see an episode […]

Latest Reviews

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]