Update (11/1/2017): Re-arranged screencaps
Looks like the final three episodes of Princess Principal really are sequential. It’s a slight shame that this anime isn’t actually 24 episodes long. I’m not sure what exactly happened behind the scenes but I can’t imagine the decision to go up to 24 cases in a single cour was an entirely creative decision. At the very least, this is the perfect endgame for Princess Principal.
Ange is in a predicament now that military has gained taken over Control and Operation Changeling has been altered with assassinating Princess in mind. While not confirmed, I do think the Duke of Normandy is involved in some way. The darn guy has been plotting to kill Princess for a while now and there is something suspicious about his men working as guards for Princess and him not blinking an eye at colonist soldiers plotting a coup on the Queen. There is no way it’s pure coincidence that both the Duke and Control are plotting something at the same time.
Regardless, there’s a lot of new and unfamiliar spies handling the operation and Ange has no idea who to trust. To make matters worse, Dorothy and Chise have been reassigned and therefore cut out of the picture. I’m not sure what happened to Beatrice; she makes a cameo and then she kind of just disappears from the plot. That I admit is a bit strange or perhaps just plain funny if Control isn’t bothering to deal with Beatrice.
At first, Ange does hatch up a scheme; in fact, she flips Operation Changeling upside down by having both her and Princess switch outfits (and wear wigs) to trick the guards and escape. It’s a pretty entertaining scene since we get to see “Princess” beat people up and even use the C-Ball. Everything seemed to be going well up until the point where Princess realizes Ange is taking her away from Albion. Once again, Princess doesn’t want to leave because she’s hellbent on becoming Queen and restore peace to Albion. We’ve always known that Ange would help Princess no matter what but evidently, that feeling isn’t exactly mutual when it’s the other way around.
I get why Princess acts so frustrated with Ange. From her point of view, it really does look Ange has done nothing but run away from her royal status. Even in an operation where she’s supposed to replace Princess and technically regain her birthright, Ange still backs out of the plan (and Operation Changeling was her idea!). It isn’t like Ange can disagree since she herself admits in an inner monologue that she wanted to run away and disappear from royalty when she was little. Both Ange and Princess said that the latter befits the role of, well, a princess more and that couldn’t be understated in this episode.
At the same time however, I do think Princess went a bit far in accusing Ange of taking control of her life. Ange has always regretted putting her best friend on the path of royalty and instilling the dream of changing Albion into her. Besides, it wasn’t like Ange truly intended for the two be separated on the eve of the revolution; neither girl was in control of that situation. I’m stunned that Princess fails to recognize how her best friend felt in all of this but I want to say she got hung up and desperate over her goal and got carried away. I’d be shocked if she didn’t regret her words in the next episode.
I’m like 99% sure that it is Princess pretending to be Ange pretending to be her (wow, that’s confusing). There’s like 1% of me that is a bit skeptical since Princess Principal has pulled a few twists in the past. And I have to wonder how Princess got her outfit if Ange was technically wearing it and she locked her in the plane….That aside, I just feel like things are going a bit too well for Princess. A coup just so happens to be in the area and the Duke of Normandy just so happens to bat an eye over it? I have this nagging suspicion that Princess is being played which would be a huge problem since she doesn’t have Team White Pigeon to back her up.