Update (8/7/2017): Added the case number to the post title.
Update (9/29/2017): Re-arranged screencaps
Hey Anime Strike, thanks for delaying the simulcast by a day…..idiots
Alright, I think Princess Principal really is going the nonlinear route. In case anyone missed it (because Amazon doesn’t list the Case #s in the episode list…): Episode 1 is Case 13, Episode 2 is Case 1, and Episode 3 is Case 2. I was expecting Episode 4 to be Case 3 where we’re introduced to Chise but nope! We’re at Case 9, Chise has been a member of the team for quite some time, and the gang has grown so close that they’re brainstorming on a team name.
Knowing that this is chronologically closer to Episode 1 (the season finale?) threw me off a bit. If anything, this episode actually felt like set-up for the remainder of the series which will be an interesting effect if the next episode takes place before this one. There’s some cool action but more importantly, we learn more about Chise and Dorothy’s characters. There’s also the revelation that Princess will be married off to some prince in Russia which puts a time limit to her plan.
We also learn a little bit more about Princess and Ange’s relationship. It’s suggested that Princess is a little bit frustrated that Ange maintains distance from her in public and she seems to reminisce a lot on what Ange was like in the past. Ange seems uninterested in the past, preferring how she is now. I think Princess largely sided with Ange back in Case 1 because of who Ange was in the past and now that she knows what she is like now, Princess might have some second thoughts about her plan to become Queen. I imagine part of her arc in this show is accepting what Ange has become while they’ve been separated. Then again, Ange is prone to lying so maybe her quiet and unsociable personality is as fake as the clumsy and shy one she uses at school.
Lying is evidently the main theme of Princess Principal. Forget Ange, I think everyone has an issue with being honest. Chise is secretly a double agent for Japan to inform her home nation whether to side with the Commonwealth or Kingdom. Dorothy is ordered behind Ange’s back to kill Princess if the latter is a double agent for the Kingdom. And we already know that Princess is deceiving both sides so that she can become Queen. I guess Beatrice is perhaps the most innocent of the bunch but even then, she still lies in the sense that she mimics other people’s voices.
Something I notice is that while Ange constantly admits she’s lying to people, she is the only girl in the group to do so. It’s an interesting detail considering that she’s deceiving pretty much everyone about who she really is. But something about her admission to lying makes her seem more comfortable and “honest” with herself. It’s not like Chise and Dorothy who seem a little torn between following orders and having faith in their teammates.
There is clearly something going on in the grand scheme of things. A lot of other nations, particularly Japan and Russia, seem interested in the conflict in Albion. There’s even talk of a potential world war. The main cast seems to be caught up in this conflict but I wonder if it serves to be a test of loyalty for the girls. The gang certainly seem close with one another by Case 9. Moments such as Ange shutting down Beatrice’s voice during Dorothy’s reckless driving or when Chise asks her teammates how many brush strokes are in English letters certainly suggests that they’ve become a close group. Either this show tests their loyalties or I’m horribly off and everyone just backstabs each other in the end.