Princess Principal Episode 4 – Name Pending

Here we are entering episode four of this journey into cute spies doing devious things and I cannot overstate how solid the quality of this show has been through and through.  The team behind this seem to know exactly what they’re doing and the purposeful telling of this story out of order has us guessing at every turn what side the individuals in our main cast are on.  I’m so excited to see where this goes and after being burned last season, I am hoping against hope that the crew at Studio 3Hz keep this up.  It just seems too good to be true.  …Almost as if we’re being lied to- I’m sorry for the crappy joke.

While the last two episodes actually had case numbers that followed each other, we’re back to jumping around again, going from Case 2 over to Case 9 now, a few cases before the first episode’s Case 13.  While the jumping around has made me sad because we had such great origin stories for a few characters and the team as a whole, this episode actually touched on similar ideas a little on its own by putting a bit more focus on two characters we know little about:  Dorothy and Chise.

[HorribleSubs] Princess Principal - 04 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_06.19_[2017.08.06_22.52.45]

The latter being this dork on the right.

While I wouldn’t say we’ve got a lot of backstory for either character, we delve a little deeper into both characters’ allegiances and lives this time around, which was something I greatly enjoyed given the heavy focus we’ve had on the other three so far, particularly Ange and Princess.  Although, what I’ve enjoyed is that even when the episode clearly focuses on a few characters, the show so far has yet to just abandon the others.  The group dynamic is always present and it’s genuinely enjoyable to see these girls develop by even small bits each episode, relying on and influencing each other.  I applaud the writing team here.

And speaking of that group dynamic, we start to see more concrete development of who’s loyal to who in this series.  It very much seems that Dorothy is supposed to be the diehard and trusted spy for the Commonwealth.  This might change but given our look at her inner monologue during this episode, it seems unlikely that she’ll be working against the team as a whole, at least.  So she’s the one seemingly constant we have as far as political ties.

[HorribleSubs] Princess Principal - 04 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_21.44_[2017.08.06_22.59.03]

Like two lovers in a library, these two are up to no good in the stacks.

However, what’s more interesting is we’re starting to see a shift in this episode as far as where those loyalties actually lie, specifically whether they are with country or with comrades.  It seems our characters have begun to develop loyalty to the Princess that may eventually rival their loyalty to country.  This is shown with both Dorothy wanting to trust Princess and glad when they decide that the team name uses “white” instead of “grey”, showing how conflicted she is with how her higher ups made the Princess out to be.  This is also similarly shown when Chise is questioned by her Japanese leadership about Princess.  Her resistance to her superiors cold mentality of Chise’s relationship with Princess has shown that we’re working with a girl of royalty who is building her own loyalty, potentially in case her own plans divulge from the Commonwealth’s.  I don’t think this is a cold, emotionless maneuver to stack her own side of the board but rather it serves a double purpose, which seems exactly like Princess’ style thus far.  She is both kind and calculating, treating her friends as equals, keeping them together, but also building a relationship with them that may end up at odds to what both the Kingdom and the Commonwealth want.  We may see a bit of that soon after the little foreshadowing of an arranged marriage to Russian leadership looming ahead.  It’ll be interesting to see if this show decides to head this direction, possibly pitting our Team White Pigeon against the Kingdom and even their own Commonwealth’s spies.

[HorribleSubs] Princess Principal - 04 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_06.22_[2017.08.06_22.52.52]

“How does your language even work!?”  I speak it, honey, and I still don’t know.

Something I’d like to point out as I felt it was super important is that on top of the incredible emotional points we’ve had so far (I was fucking bawling when I learned about Beatrice’s background last episode), this series also does a great job keeping things more light-hearted at times, especially this episode.  We had several visual gags, like the girls accidentally crashing into each other while sneaking around, as well as a tone deaf (heh) joke at the expense of Beatrice during the scene of the team speeding through the English streets after a boat.  There was also the fun exchange with Chise who was having a hard time figuring out the English language during her fortune telling.  However, I found myself giggling incessantly at the gag throughout this episode of the team trying to come up with a name for themselves, intent on arguing the point even when they’re pushing ninety in the middle of a car chase through London, finally ending in a great punchline at the end of mission.  These are small things on their own but having these jokes and more upbeat moments in the show helps to make what would be a very dark and serious setting all the more fun and interesting to watch.  I appreciate this immensely and it really helps to sell this series as my favorite this season thus far (I’m so sorry Tsurezure Children.  I still love you.)

[HorribleSubs] Princess Principal - 04 [1080p].mkv_snapshot_17.21_[2017.08.06_22.57.05]

Please don’t bully the little voice chameleon.

This was such a satisfying episode, blending small bits of backstory, foreshadowing, comedy, drama, and wrapping it all around a solid base of action and spy adventuring that keeps getting deeper and more complex.  Give me more of this, please.  In a season of surprisingly strong and deservedly praised hits, these spy girls are fast-tracked to potentially be the supreme queens of this season in my book.

2 thoughts on “Princess Principal Episode 4 – Name Pending

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