Princess Principal 02

It’s time to take the spy games to the ballroom, as an unexpected team is formed between supposed enemies. But are the stakes really that high?

“case1 Dancy Conspiracy”

This is already a far more interesting series than even its intriguing premise let on. With the introduction of the West’s plan to replace the princess with a spy, we are treated to the actual set-up that lead to the spy status-quo of the premiere that worked so well. As it turns out, the princess and her best friend weren’t originally on the same team as Ange and the femme fatale, Dorothy. Well, not quite at least. More on that later. But for the most part of this episode, the lead in to their cooperation and the dealings at the ball are quite exhilarating.

There really is no better setting than a fancy ball for female spies in this period setting. Extravagance hides many dangerous things, and old men are so easily fooled by their eyes and… well you know. The character designs are nice, even if they do each fit in to a certain kind of trope, and the outfits all around are quite wonderful. The Duke of Normandy’s look is so devilishly dapper – it’s not all just about cute girls in cute dresses (that is a lot of what it’s about). The use of 3D CGI, a continuous source of ire from this site and many anime watchers, is actually handled rather interestingly here. While the characters remain in the usual anime style, it is only the camera and backgrounds that shift to obvious CGI to facilitate some interesting angles. If anything, probably because of the setting, this reminds me a lot of the original animated Beauty and The Beast (1991) and its sweeping shots in the ball room.

Well that is quite the twist at the end, if it is what it appears to be. Ange is the one who gives up their identities to the princess, but in fact it seems she already is the princess. It’s not exactly clear from that one little exchange, but from the letter she handed the current princess (names are going to get confusing here) it is addressed to Ange from Charlotte. The top brass running the spy show in the West seem to have no idea of the princess’ true identity either. This plot twist takes what was already an intriguing expansion to the theme of the first episode and adds yet another layer. This also clarifies why Ange seemed to be the main character with little focus on the princess. Now she is the coolest character and the princess! Win-win.

Episode Score
8.5/10 (Very Good)

Princess Principal - 02 - The Direct Approach
Spies will be spies.

Extra thoughts:

  • Incognia is the most spy-sounding piece of obviously made-up crap I’ve heard for a fake town name, ever. I love it.
  • Holy cleavage, that is the very direct approach indeed!
  • The note about the Highlanders and how they march at 80 paces per minute is a rather nice touch. Talk about attention to detail.
  • Well clearly the Duke is a stand-up guy, shooting diplomats and all.
  • Depending on how, uh… thorough that search is, there are a few places you could hide a key.

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