In the budding industrial age of a steampunk steering London sits the prestigious Queens May Fair School. It’s here that five beautiful young girls, one a princess, attend school and also work as spies for the government performing various activities across the city.
The show is able to move quickly through plot without leaving the audience behind and confused, and it’s got an uncanny ability to make you think just a little harder about each girl’s action- especially after Ange’s reveal.
It’s time to delve into the overarching how and why of Princess Principal, and episode two starts us off with some shocking events.
Beatrice and Ange are given common ground in this episode through a mutual love of Charlotte. However, I am left to wonder if there is some dissension in the ranks and Control wishes to take out the Princess, would Ange keep her promise to Control or would Ange keep her promise to Charlotte?
Instead of residing in the past this episode, Princess Principal forces the story forward in the current present with all the girls (including Chise) in action. There’s still a fair bit of suspicion on Princess Charlotte, and Control may have an inkling of Ange’s loyalty to the princess as all dealings with the Princess’ allegiance are secreted through Dorothy.
Princess Principal’s time jumping is giving me whiplash- not like the kind from a car crash, but like the kind of whiplash you get on an old rollercoaster. It’s fun, but a little painful and exhausting.
Each episode thus far has had some relative focus on one of the girls, and this round it’s time for Dorothy to shine. Since Beatrice has become the viewer’s perspective character when it comes to backstories and understanding the Albion world- it’s time for another adventure featuring the adorable Bea and a spy friend!
This week’s mission takes place at another warehouse, and we even have a cameo from everyone’s favorite loan shark: Franky! This episode seems to focus on Chise’s feelings, her cultural exchange, and newfound understanding that the life of spy is lonely one. We’ve settled into a rhythm of “mission of the week,” which I don’t consider a bad thing at the moment; however, I do feel like Princess Principal has the ability to do more than offer us this slow life spy story.
At this point in the show, I think we’ve all guessed the basics of Charlotte and Ange’s backstory, but it’s nice to be presented with the entire picture so we can fully understand each girl’s raison d’etre that I’ve been wildly guessing this entire time. Not only does Princess Principal offer some insight into our main players, but we are also given a very real look into the poor’s life and conditions within the Kingdom which helps us discern why the uprising happened in the first place. It’s a very learning heavy episode, but it doesn’t feel weighted, slow, or cumbersome because the information download is spread out through the entire 20 minutes.
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.
Removing the focus from the main cast and focusing on a separate party to add more depth was a solid move, especially considering the new orders from Control which will likely throw everything into chaos. I’m worried about Ange since she will likely not attempt to kill her best friend, and I truly hope Dorothy will understand when the time comes.
Episode eleven begins directly where we left off with Dorothy asking why plans have changed to killing the Princess. General reminds the girls that assassination was always on the table since the inception of Operation: Changeling, and though Dorothy attempts to convince General otherwise- the girls are ordered to begin the assassination plot.