Something I’ve always respected about Princess Principal is how unabashedly it likes to just do its thing time and again. From its first episode, it tossed us into its high-flying world of steampunk technology, deception, and espionage and essentially told us nothing except to buckle up. It asked us to trust it with its narrative, its characters, and its fascinating world, and to just let it take us where it was going, wherever that may be. If the final three episodes are any indication, this show did indeed go places, and it escorted us through them in a masterclass style.
Following on the heels of the last two episodes, Princess Principal 12 picks up right where 11 left off, and it’s only fitting for the rollercoaster ride that this finale has been shaping up to be. The show decides to ask us again to simply sit back and take in the sights one last time, and it truly is worth it to do so. The major happenings of episode 12 aren’t necessarily surprising, per se, but they are cathartic, and they work to bring an all-around satisfying conclusion to Princess Principal.
God, what a bummer of an episode.
This episode of Princess Principal, Case 18 – Rouge Morgue, is by all regards a fantastic episode, but is by far the heaviest that we have seen thus far. It follows in the footsteps of episodes 3 and 5, in which we got to know Beatrice and Chise through their own focused episodes, respectively, and this time, our sights are set on Dorothy. Unlike the other character-centric episodes so far, however, this one has little high-octane action, if any, and instead hones in on story. What also sets this episode apart, however, is how decidedly somber it is, and how tonally different it seems to be from the previous episodes. Personally, however, I believe that this brief departure from the show’s established norm makes for a solid, deeply interesting episode, dealing with love, betrayal, and ultimately, death.
In a development that I have found not at all surprising, Princess Principal episode three serves as yet another thrilling romp through steampunk London with our spy ladies, and it most certainly does not disappoint in any aspect that the previous episodes have lead me to expect. Its quality has remained one of the most consistent among this season’s offerings, and it certainly does not leave me at the end of the episode feeling lacking. Rather, episode three follows a pattern episodes one and two have set in place for us, and it goes to town. Or the sky, rather.
After watching various anime premieres this season, Princess Principal (or PriPri, if you’re lazy like me) was the one that took me by the biggest surprise in terms of its sheer uniqueness compared to many others of the season. That’s not to say the season is lacking in creativity, or that previous seasons had more creativity than this current one, but in this season with many anime seemingly attempting to ride waves of popularity based on other popular ones, I expected PriPri to fall in line with them in terms of having difficulty differentiating itself from shows such as Baccano! or Joker Game.