by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Bibliophile Princess ?
Community score: 4.0
Although Bibliophile Princess has been doing a good job of disguising itself as a romance, this story arc shows anime-only viewers what novel readers know: that, despite the romance plot between Elianna and Christopher, this is actually a very political story. Now that Eli and Chris are separated carrying out different duties as Crown Prince and Princess, we get to see that there's a lot more to this than the simple fact of Chris being in love with Eli and wanting to marry her – it comes with a host of other issues, not the least of which is that not everyone is onboard with their relationship.
As with our would-be villainess earlier in the series, Eli is going to bear the brunt of this, because she's frankly the easier target. Lady Sophia (an obvious villainess with her blonde ringlets) has zero intention of just letting Christopher marry the woman he's been in love with since childhood, and even if she and her maid Rona aren't the most obvious source of danger for Elianna, they still stand to be able to do some damage. In fact, I think there's a fairly solid argument to be made for the idea that Sophia and Rona were actively trying to kill Eli this time – between trying to put her on a horse that was likely to throw her and then setting up a wild boar to charge her, her life was absolutely in danger. Maybe their goal was more to maim her (a handicapped or physically scarred Crown Princess might be a harder sell to the populace in the story's time period), but either way this wasn't anything so harmless as accusing her of spraying someone with water.
The real danger, however, is that Rona may be working for someone else, or is at least being paid by Sophia's family to encourage her to do worse and more dangerous things to Elianna. There are clearly a lot of political undercurrents going on, and the fact that the daughter of the previous tenant of the estate where Eli currently resides was accused of treason is likely powering the turmoil. That makes this a region where unrest is relatively recent, and as the Crown's representative, Elianna has a lot riding on her behavior and words. Yes, Theodore is there as well, but it seems as if Eli is the face while he works more behind the scenes. Whether this was the initial plan or not isn't known, but at least Christopher is plenty nervous about how things will go for Eli, and it feels like there's more to it than concern about how little she enjoys social events.
A saving grace may turn out to be that Elianna isn't the only socially awkward young woman present. Lady Anna takes exactly zero crap from anyone and appears to be highly competent in a different way than Eli is, so the two of them could be a powerful pair. Eli's also got Lilia on her side, and she's just won over Caroline, one of Sophia's cronies. She's also made an enemy of Owain, which could come back to bite her, because even though she's of a much higher social standing than he is (even without the whole Crown Princess thing), he's also a misogynist piece of garbage, and he directly resents the power that Elianna has as a woman. Seriously, no one has deserved a kick to the crotch as much as he did in this show, though I do wish she hadn't had to sacrifice the antique embroidery text.
Add in Irvin's unclear motivations and Elianna could be in much hotter water than she thinks she is. She's been very good at applying book knowledge to real-life situations, but she needs to know exactly what those situations are before she can put her powers to good use. This may not be as good as the source material, but it's definitely heating up for Elianna in her first solo task as Chris' fiancée, and she'll have to figure out the ways that the dead are impacting the living if she's going to get herself out of it in one piece.
Bibliophile Princess is currently streaming on HIDIVE.
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