Princess Principal is the latest thriller spy anime by Studio 3Hz and Actas, and boy is this an exciting one.
The story takes place in Albion, which has been divided by the London Wall into a Kingdom and a Commonwealth. These two different states are practically enemies and there is this war of spies going on in London.
The focus is on the spies of Black Lizard Planet who work for the Commonwealth and are stationed in the Kingdom disguised as high school girls. And they aren’t in just any school, they’re in a school which is attended by members of the royal family. And what’s more, the princess is also a spy working for the Commonwealth instead of her own country. She is part of the “Principal team” (hence the name of the show “Princess Principal”). They’re hiding in plain sight.
They’ve got a good setting going on here and in this episode we follow one mission of the bishoujo and loli spy team as they help a researcher migrate to the Commonwealth. The chase scene is exciting as we see Ange take away the man and fly off into the sky, followed by a ninja loli giving them cover before they get into their getaway car. There isn’t any mind-blowing sakuga here, but things look neat enough overall.
Later on the man says that he won’t cross the wall unless his sister is with him, which prompts the spies to go and try to bring the imouto home. There are more interesting things here as we see Ange stealthily swipe a nurse uniform and some drugs, which she ends up using on a girl lying in the bed right next to the imouto. The identity of the girl who is taken out isn’t explicitly told but, based on future developments, one can infer that she was most likely there to observe the imouto and anyone who would approach her.
It is revealed later that Eric is being used by the Kingdom’s spy agency to lure out the Black Lizard Planet spy girls and take them out. But instead, the spy girls launch a counterattack and take out the enemy before they could.
This was an encouraging debut. Watch the heights of cute girl spying action below:
There’s this focus on lying here as deception, fabrication, and other related words are all part of a spy’s job, and these girls are all masters at them. Ange especially takes the spotlight with lying; from saying she’s an extraterrestrial on making contact with Eric, to saying she made the omelet for Eric, to saying she won’t kill the man while shooting him once for each “no” she says, it’s hard to tell where she didn’t lie.
Apart from Ange, the other spies also lie on a regular basis. They don’t know each other at all as they’ve lied about many things about themselves to each other.
Princess Principal has successfully made quite an exciting world here in just one episode. There are a number of things to look forward to in this show with the spy wars taking the cake for how exciting they made this first outing.
The main question here is what will happen in the coming episodes? Will this be an episodic adventure where each episode has a new task for the girls (similar to Joker Game)? Will this have some focus on the girls in a “girl of the week” fashion? Will this have an overarching plot?
We hope it’s the last of those because it’ll be far more interesting if they have some sort of story going on.
One thing which we can deduce here is that the Princess is going to be very important. Her reasons for betraying her own Kingdom should be interesting. There’s also this focus on her in the opening sequence which makes us feel that she’ll be taking the spotlight at some point.
There’s also Albion’s monopoly on Cavorite, a green substance of incredible power which Ange is also seen to use. With the country divided, there can be some fighting over control of all the Cavorite since it is very important to Albion’s air fleet. Other countries can also make use of this internal fighting but that’s probably not the focus of this show as it’s only concerned with the spy wars between east and west Albion.
This episode was exciting with all the action and if it remains episodic in nature, it may be able to be somewhat entertaining for some time. But it’ll be way better if it has some form of story going on, as it’ll make things far more interesting.
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