Princess Principal‘s latest episode has another boring mission but it more than makes up for it by telling us everything we needed to know about Ange and the Princess.
The mission this time is observing a minister. The girls divide the work and observe him from different places. Ange comes across a poor little girl who tries to make her living as a pickpocket. Ange teaches her the way of the pickpocket to help her out. And to this girl she tells her story.
Ange’s (or should we say Charlotte’s?) story is that of the Princess and the Pauperess gone slightly wrong. She was the Princess and the current Princess (or Ange) was the Pauperess. Current Ange had gotten fed up of being stuck in the big castle when she met a girl who looked almost exactly like her. She invited the girl in and quickly became friends with her.
And as the story goes, the royalty switches places with the commoner to go and see the outside world, only to discover that things aren’t as beautiful as she had thought they would be. Their timing couldn’t have been worse as the revolution almost immediately breaks out. The two get separated due to the castle being bombed and end up having to live each other’s lives.
We learn some things about the current Princess too. Since she wasn’t exactly the Princess, she had to become one so that she didn’t get found out as the guards back then dismissed her as being too scared. She had a lot of learning to do in order to fit in.
Living as a princess in a castle only sounds good on paper; it isn’t fun in practice, especially when you’re not supposed to be there during a civil war of all things, with the fear of being caught at any time looming over your head. Ange left her difficult royal life in her hands and in return, she took up a different kind of difficult life out in the streets.
This Princess’ desire to become queen isn’t her own, but is Ange’s from when she was the princess. Ange had seen how the outside world was and wished to change it for the better but couldn’t get to it.
The little thing we mentioned in the second episode review about the distance between the nobility and the commoners comes into play here as a reason for the revolution is that people don’t like how the royal family is living such a luxurious life while being ignorant of the conditions of those below them. Even Ange didn’t know about the life outside the castle walls until she went out to see for herself. And this kind of treatment towards the poor still goes on in the Kingdom as seen last week with the laundry girls and this week with the pickpocket orphan and her friends. This kind of hierarchy is also why Ange wanted to change things by becoming queen.
Both girls experienced life on both sides of the castle walls. The two know the castle inside out which makes their desire to change the country understandable. It also makes sense why they’re helping people escape to the Commonwealth; people are probably better off on the other side of the London wall.
This story time about the relationship between Ange and the Princess was very much needed. It explains how the two are in the state they are in now and thanks to all this information we know why the two want to change their country. This isn’t the betrayal story we so wanted (it was kinda foolish to expect something like that anyway), but it still works, though it was somewhat predictable.
Will this lead to the two’s cover being blown soon? We do hope so, since it’ll make things more interesting if it follows what the opening sequence hints at (Ange falling down, grabbing the Princess, turning around in the direction of her falling comrades to point a gun at them). Beatrice is questioning why Ange has a soft spot for the Princess and Chise has noticed that the Princess is forcing herself to become someone she’s not.
Regarding the mission itself, surveillance missions aren’t exactly the most exciting type of missions. It’s boring to just sit around looking at a man live his life in a hotel room waiting for a suspicious person (but as we’ve said before, not all spy missions are supposed to be life-threatening adventures). Thankfully, the mission wasn’t the focal point of this episode as Ange’s history took the spotlight. She also ends up disposing the witness to whom she told her story and used to see the face of her target (the poor pickpocket orphan) by sending her off to another orphanage on Stamford Hill with a letter (is this the orphanage Ange was once at?).
We have four or five episodes left in this show. They’ve regained some footing with this back story, but the mission was still lackluster (which doesn’t really matter anymore). It’s all heading in an interesting direction and we really hope that this direction is pursued. Revealing who Ange and the Princess really are to the others will surely make things more exciting, and we hope to get that excitement.
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