Thoughts & Feelings Column: Princess Principal- Episode Nine

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While Chise has taken up the role of perspective character the past couple of episodes, she shines in her own personal journey this round. Chise is having a ton of trouble adjusting to her new life, and most of the episode revolves around her letters to her sister back in Japan. Learning more about Chise is nice, but not quite as nice as seeing her friends cheer her up after a series of awkward misunderstandings.

aOur story begins with Chise writing to her sister while the rest of the girls are sleeping in their dorm room. She freely admits to her sister that she is a spy, which is a little odd since letters are easily intercepted. Chise also talks about how strange western society is just as Beatrice wakes up to the smell of nukazuke. Now, for those of you who don’t know what nukazuke is (I totally didn’t, either), it’s vegetables pickled in rice bran. The pot that Chise keeps the food in reminds me of the kimchi fermenting pots that Koreans would bury, so I assume this is also how nukazuke is made… And now we know why Beatrice would loath the smell of nukazuke as it permeated and woke her from pleasant dreams. 

Speaking of food, Chise doesn’t much like the meals available in the mess hall, and to be fair, the food there looks deplorable and burnt. Instead of suffering, Chise sneaks her own food like natto and rice balls for meals. Where and how Chise is getting this Japanese-specific food, I have no idea. Of course, maybe Lord Horikawa is giving her these rations.

bThroughout the day, we see Chise use a calligraphy brush and ink set to write in class, be amazing at sports, and paint in ukiyo-e. She is talented to be sure, if not a little temperamental. Chise discusses how she views each member of her spy family and calls some girls out on their terrible personalities. Unfortunately, we revisit the sad fact that Chise isn’t being used to her perceived potential in on the spy team.

Chise often meets with Lord Horikawa about her specific mission to feel out the Commonwealth, and from her experience with the spies, Horikawa hopes to solidify a decision on who to back in the war. Chise tells her sister that she is “spying on the spies,” and though Chise believes she is keeping this a secret from the rest of the girls- something tells me that at lease Ange knows what’s going on.

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Our final sect of action for the episode kicks off when Chise is bullied by a group of racist trash men who kill a butterfly Chise was watching hatch. After a slew of terrible slurs, Chise challenges the lead trash man to a duel. The man attempts to place blame on Chise when the Princess appears, and Ange in turn rebukes Chise for her behavior. However, instead of condemning Chise, Charlotte later holds a quick session on dueling conduct. The Princess gives Chise the encouragement she needs to take on the racist.

dWhen we reach the fated duel time, the men are the ones who provide the guns. It’s terribly obvious that the guns are tampered with, but the Princess, Ivy (who is acting as a witness), and Chise allow the suspicious activity to go by. Chise is allowed to shoot first, but her bullet simply slides out of the barrel- tampered gun. Instead of calling off the duel, though, Chise continues foward. The racist missed his shot, and Chise is up again. Using her ribbon as a propulsion device, Chise slings a bullet and managed to bury to projectile deep in his right shoulder. After some shouting, the boys surrender.

During the duel, Chise notices the absence of her friends, and seems very upset that they didn’t make the event. Later, we see the girls greet Chise with misunderstood and convoluted Japanese customs to celebrate victory at the duel. As it turns out, the girls used Chile’s distraction as a way to bug Ivy’s room, and they learn that Ivy had a second phone line of which she is using to speak with the Duke about the Princess.

fJust before we leave, Chise meets one last time before Lord Horikawa before he makes his decision on who to back in the war: the Kingdom or the Commonwealth. Chise delivers an empassioned bit stating that while she isn’t sure if Operation: Changling will work, she is certain that she wants the girls to succeed.

I loved this look into Chise’s side of the story. We haven’t gotten a lot of play time with her until now, and I’m hoping we will see more of her now that we’ve been given more information on her personality. Also, now that all the girls have undergone their specific backstories and introductions, for the most part, I’m wondering how these next few episodes will go. I’m personally hoping for some Ange action!

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Read about episode ten!

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