Princess Principal
Episode 3

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 3 of
Princess Principal ?

Episode two threw out some tantalizing hints about a long-term connection between Ange (or at least the girl currently going by Ange) and Princess, which episode three only coyly hints at more. All we learn is that there's some long-standing promise between the two of them, and their connection is strong enough that Ange had a plan in mind to run off to Casablanca with Princess, while Princess plans to become Queen so she can take down the wall and they can be together. It's not explained at all why Ange so uncannily looks like Princess when wearing a wig or why that note last episode suggested that they had switched names if not total identities, but I'm not surprised; it feels like that mystery will last most of the series. However, we do get one other important detail out of their exchange: for all that Ange is dry and professional otherwise, she can get quite emotional over Princess. It's telling that their emotional bond is strong enough for a girl who even lies to herself to break character.

Beyond that, the featured character of this episode is Beatrice, Princess's short and earnest attendant. (Or is she just a friend? The exact nature of this relationship is a little unclear, since we see a flashback of a young Princess befriending a young Beatrice.) I can't help but wonder if Beatrice isn't modeled off Eddelrutio from Aldnoah.Zero, as her absolute loyalty, behavior, size and hair color relationship to her princess are all identical. However, unlike Eddelrutio, she's not mostly useless. We saw in episode one that she has an utterly uncanny ability for voice mimicry, which could be tremendously useful in a world of spying, and this wekk we find out where that comes from. Her father was essentially a mad scientist, and because of experiments he did on Beatrice, she has some kind of device implanted into her throat, which she hides under the collar of her clothing. Given that such tinkering made her a source of ridicule from other children, it's easy to understand why she's so loyal to Princess without any standing family obligation.

It's also easy to understand why she doesn't trust Ange at all. Beatrice's association with Princess clearly began after whatever passed between Princess and Ange ten years ago, so she's not privy to their connection and doesn't know that Princess is the last person Ange would ever harm. Ange clearly isn't inclined to bring her into the loop, so she has to prove it through her actions. I liked how smoothly that was mixed into the action and espionage parts of this story, a fairly standard “recover the stolen plates to stop damaging counterfeiting” ploy which gets an extra thrill factor by taking place on an airship in flight through a storm. That part was executed well, though I'm now left wondering if the Cavorite device activation isn't giving Ange some kind of defensive shield when she has that green glow, since her otherwise not getting hit by some of that gunfire strains credibility. Whatever the case might be, the death-defying stunts they go through together see the two coming to an expected understanding.

So this week gave us nothing that wasn't fairly predictable, but it was still well-done nonetheless. Ange continuing the whole business with the Black Lizard Planet was rather amusing, as was seeing Beatrice start to play along with it. More than anything else, that was a great sign of them now seeing eye-to-eye.

Rating: A-

Princess Principal is currently streaming on Amazon's Anime Strike.

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