In the early 20th century, the discovery of the substance Cavorite allowed the production of advanced military technology and steered the country toward conflict. London is now divided by a wall, and the Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Albion battle a silent war where espionage is the only weapon that can destabilize the enemy. A group of girls from the prestigious Queen's Mayfaire school work as undercover spies for the Commonwealth.
Led by Dorothy, an experienced driver with a striking personality, their group includes the talents of Ange le Carré, a cold-blooded liar and expert sharpshooter; Chise, a proficient samurai; and Beatrice, a voice-mimicking specialist. They use their unique individual skills for the Commonwealth to survive in a dark world filled with conspiracy, mystery, and infiltration. In the shadow of the war, they have only one goal in mind: completing their mission.
#1: "A Page of My Story" by Ange (Ayaka Imamura), Princess (Akira Sekine), Dorothy (You Taichi), Beatrice (Akari Kageyama), Chise (Nozomi Furuki) (eps 1-11) #2: "The Other Side of the Wall" by Void_Chords feat.MARU (ep 12)
Princess Principal a title that could mislead any viewer. First, you could think that the show is about a school and girls. Then you could start considering any slice of life plot and girls related storytelling and few moments about spying. I must say, it is wrong.
Princess Principal has a very creative plot with an impressive storytelling that could surprise a lot of spectators. The story deals with espionage in a divided nation, nothing to do with a slice of life plot. The spies are young girls that use their student status as a cover. During the day, they are typical students and
when the duty calls they transform into dangerous and very skilled spies with particular abilities.
One of the possible issues found in the forums and some reviews is the lack of a plot sequence that changes between some episodes. I want to say that the storytelling focuses on "file cases" so each episode is a different mission and the principal idea (espionage) remains. This method helps with the pacing because the story is always advancing and changing. Also, the show doesn't need a sequence to connect the story. Furthermore, each episode keeps adding information to the main arc, and the characters background. I consider that constant additions a plus.
The art is "steampunk." It is stunning and formidable that goes well with the color palette, the mechanical design, and the character's concept. You can notice that some areas don't have the standard lighting because they like to create a dark ambient. Also, the art helps a lot with the storytelling, timeline, and the possible fantastic ideas such us the use of the mineral "Cavorite." For experience, someone could find the steampunk art weird or not attractive. However, it isn't a reason to drop the anime.
The sound is great. They elaborated a complex sound mix with a delightful soundtrack. The sound of each action sequence adds emotion to the plot and is played at the right time. The songs are good. For me, the OP is excellent, and the ED isn't bad.
We have five main characters. I decided to give them nicknames. Dorothy "The face," Agne "The liar," Beatrice "The voice," Chise "The stranger," and Princess "The usurper." With that original nickname, you can start guessing about their background.
In more detail, Dorothy is the leader of the group but is the one that enjoys the freedom; she is more the "sempai" of all them.
Agne. We don't know when she is lying or telling the truth but is a character that will give up everything for someone or the mission. She has some hidden secrets.
Chise has high values for her tradition and displays her unsatisfaction when she isn't considered as a useful part of the group.
Beatrice is the most insecure member of the team, but her skills are convenient on every mission.
Finally the Princess, she is more an actress but with a defined goal.
For me, each character is different and not generic. These girls have their problems, a painful past, they have secrets, and they take their own decisions to complete an objective. In other words, the characters have a spy profile that works with the plot.
Something I enjoyed is the extra background information given. On each episode, we could have more details about each character. I know that some of the outcomes could be predictable but not all them. Additionally, the characters emotions evolve during the story, and we could see unexpected decisions that indicate a proper background build.
In summary, I have few negative aspects about this anime and are insignificant for this review. Each episode left me a good sensation and entertained a lot. I enjoyed this animation. The pacing, the storytelling, the art, the sound blended well and created a show that deserves to be watched and repeated in the future.
Finally, the character design is stunning. We can't find this art quality (steampunk) in the recent original animations. The sound mix complements each episode. The story isn't weird and doesn't need a complicated plot to capture our attention. I consider this anime very attractive and unique. For example, the character backgrounds and the file cases weren't repetitive, and the extra additions to background keep the viewers hooked all the time. You should give the first episode a try. You won't be disappointed. Actas and Studio 3Hz did a splendid job.
Princess Principal oddly enough is kinda reminiscent of a popular cartoon, which gained popularity in all of the Western world’s kids’ programmes in one way or another and I’m sure you know which series I mean if you ever watched one episode of both shows. “Here we go again, we’re going on the road, till’ we stop. And then we’ll shop” might be the biggest clue I am giving you here, but if this lyrical masterpiece of an opening theme might still not manage to draw your attention to what I’m talking about, I might just spill the beans right here: Totally Spies. An already
pretty stupid kids’ show, mainly targeting a female audience with the estimated age of 10-14, gets its “anime adaptation” in a now pretty promising setting, leaving loads of potential to set up an intriguing political thriller including the spy-mechanisms unutilized. It fails to pack any sort of punch in this very serious setting, but unlike a kids' show like Totally Spies, its presentation does indicate that Princess Principal does not leave the slightest clue during the entire runtime, that it is even aware of how stupid it actually is, making me consider to put bitchin' Totally Spies as the superior work comparing these two with one another. So, what exactly did go wrong in the story which plays out in the split superpower of Albion, located in Europe and divided into the Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Albion, setting its border right in the city of London?
Minor spoilers, mostly about the first half ahead.
As the setup itself practically screams ‘promising’ right into your face regarding the potential a country-conflict like this could have regarding a literal “war of spies”, it makes it even more disappointing, that it would’ve been shut down by loads of conveniences one after another. It only appears decent on paper, rather than in the actual conversion of it. While we get a big info drop right at the start, explaining how Albion grew to be the powerhouse of Europe now riddled by lots of riots and an actual split of countries in terms of interest and territory in kind of a cool way, it more or less takes a huge backseat to the character conflicts our main team faces during their missions in an episodic fashion. This in itself can be great if executed correctly, but oh boy it sure doesn’t know how to do so, but we’ll get to that aspect later in this review. The core complain I have regarding the matter here is, that it basically betrays the idea we get from episode 1, which might’ve been riddled with inconsistencies in terms of writing writing all over the place (Ange literally silencing a patient by hand and drugging them dressed as a nurse, while the other patients not even trying to say anything about it in an open room, only leading to a hilarious reaction face by the woman lying in bed in vis-à-vis position) and the core conflict being cookie-cutter at best, it still gave me a somewhat thrilling ride to enjoy. My enjoyment for this probably only issued from some flashy choices in the presentation during the action scenes and a neat colour-palette though, which left the show any way in later episodes.
Nagging about the conveniences the team of spies faces in their individual missions, making the facade of this work crumble in almost every episodic conflict the characters face, wouldn't do me any good if I did not offer some more examples, which can be narrowed down to some general ideas on writing-mistakes made during the production. The first general complaint I have is, that the characters in the show are depicted as being in another league of intelligence when they finesse their opposing counterparts as e.g. several guards, but that’s mostly because those are almost always depicted as generally retarded from my point of view. Falling more than 5 times to the likes of a woman with exposed bosom, is just a sign that the writers were too lazy to think of anything else, leading to me not appreciating on how the team does things, but rather to me not being able to wrap my head about how easy their job is in hindsight. That doesn’t only apply to mere guards, core participants in the normally overshadowed political conflict act that way and seem to have no intelligence of their own. I’m aware that this is something a lot of works covering espionage fail to deliver well, but there’s such a thing as “going too far” with it for me. On the other side of things, there definitely are characters that know way more about what the spies are planning as they should and get the information the audience is getting too, from whatever source that is, as the show doesn’t bother to explain that. A good example for this is the devotee of the Kingdom of Albion, disguised as a soldier of the Commonwealth, experimenting with neurotoxins and eventually going full-rampage-mode against the company which does the laundry to hide his secret, as his uniform got picked up accidentally against his own will. Where he even should know that they’re doing chemical tests to find him here is beyond my knowledge, as there was nothing or even a hint that this paranoid fellow did know so.
The second big complaint I harbour towards the work is, that the gadgets of the team and insane fighting capability of our samurai loli just outmatch those of their opponents by a landmile, making thoughts like “wow, they’re not gonna make it for once” practically impossible. There’s one such as having a lipstick with an implemented laser in it or a Swiss Army Shoe (better watch The Naked Gun instead) to give the spies a little advantage, but in Princess Principle we have a “C-Ball”, that gives you power to literally control gravity to your will and a lot of other conveniences, depending on whether direction the plot wants to progress. Additionally, the series has no chill regarding its presentation, which leads it to make a fool out of itself most of the time. Victimization is omnipresent and trying too hard to make you feel engaged (Dorothy’s backstory, Ange’s meeting with the girl on the streets), leading to it trying to hammer the message of ‘the world is so cruel!!’ laughably hard into your head and failing at virtually every single attempt. Also, following up a supposedly meaningful commentary about political conflicts, basically referencing the Latin quote of “homo homini lupus”, with a casual talk about what name would fit a girly team of spies well during tea-time might not be the best of ideas in terms of presentation:
“This world isn’t black and white, only black and grey. And the princess is grey. Keep a constant watch on her”. *eerie music in the background*
Followed up by more precedent matters as “let’s name ourselves team carrot” – “I don’t like carrots”. Welp, this might really by the espionage-version of K-ON, they even dress the same way during their missions and concerts.
I already highlighted the problems surrounding these main character conflicts during its episodical storytelling, but these conflicts aren’t much to write home about either, ranging from pretty decent (Ange’s and Princess’ relation) to utterly terrible and cliché (almost anything else), which gets me even more salty about the fact, that they sacrificed the pretty promising set-up for it. These are mostly ruined by the constant victimization and the black-and-white style they’re presented by, sometimes redeeming itself through its somewhat creative ending, as we did with Dorothy’s conflict of her past. But even though these might’ve been executed pretty well through some evident skill direction-wise, they were by no means unpredictable or either very good from my point of view, as the series tried to hit you with a “plot twist” right into your face, even though all of it could’ve been gathered from the behaviour of the characters during said key moments leading up to the ending. The show mostly doesn’t know how to show emotions without the characters defining themselves as distinctive rage, happiness or sadness at the moment. Also, another thing I can't really wrap my head around is, why the show even bothered to implement the big mental strain Princess faces with the triple amount of work she has to do (serious spy work, school, and royal duties), when missions as the ones she's participating in time-wise shouldn't even be possible in the first place (especially the Laundry one), nobody in the family would smell the rat if the Princess of a powerful nation would willingly work full-time in a laundry shop, am I right? If the show didn't depict that as a noteworthy problem, I wouldn't have to hit at that fact, but sadly it did.
Additionally, what we gathered from her pasts doesn’t reflect on their behaviour when not confronted by it or how they formed them during the test of time, the creators rather just trying to serve the fans of a certain archetype of a girl more than anything else, making the experience of these backstories even more forgettable. We have the apathetic girl, the devoted girl, the more mature and way more experienced girl (in both, a supposedly sexual and work-related way) and last but not least, the Loli samurai of Japan, combining both of their supposedly greatest achievements all in one character, as it is surely been seen through the eyes of an unclouded otaku. I harbour an extreme disdain toward it, especially considering on which time-period the setting is reminiscent on, where Japan might've not even been the mysterious Elysium as the show makes it out to be, not even compared to most of Europe. This was close to some "Gate-level" shit in terms of how Japan gets depicted in international affairs.
Devoted and extremely skilled in the swordplay of a seemingly unbreakable Katana, defying the honor (“this is THEIR honor”) of Europeans as inferior to those of the Japanese in an incredibly cringe-worthy “cultural conflict” type of episode and superior to her devotion to work than any of her co-workers, Samurai "Chise" Loli-chan surely is something to be proud of compared to these European scoundrels! It even becomes more evident in how the Japanese depict themselves with their gracious attitude in this borderline new-interpretation of an altered history in Europe, when they all go down to the knees (approximately 50 men) as Albion offers some mean of transportation to the city, basically the standard of every state visit at hand…ever. Gracious attitude can only go that far without it coming off as an unintentional comedy there.
Regarding production-values, there is not that much to be said. It’s pretty decent all along, sometimes the animation quality is a bit shaky, especially during the “epic” Samurai fight in a moving train, where the production-team thought, they could basically re-create the hype surrounding Fate Zero’s fight by using an eerily similar soundtrack but failed pathetically to do so. This made the “card games on trains” or even “on motorcycles” scene in YGO seem like totally believable and even a masterpiece in terms of audiovisual presentation. Adding to the visual aspects, I have to admit, that some of the city and landscape shots harbour a pretty cool steampunk-esque vibe to them, too bad that's way too little to save virtually being messed up in the other sections. Character designs are alright from a visual standpoint, but never manage to feel unique in any way, as we come to see designs as these, which can be classified in one overarching archetype, all the time in modern anime.
The OP is your standard Engrish song playing behind a pretty well-directed visually-directing intro and also the ED doesn’t break any records, in fact, it is unimpressively generic and so is the OST of Princess Principal in general. Failing to encapsulate any hype during action-scenes, apart from episode 1, and also failing to hit the flair of what a 30’s espionage-thriller would need for an original soundtrack; it hits the mark a few times and is not terrible in the productional-sense, but that's all I can really give it praise for, since most of the time when the soundtrack keeps playing in the background, it strikes me as well as elevator music.
I certainly did not mention many positive aspects about Princess Principal, but maybe due to the reason: There are almost none! It may be considered as one of the best anime in a terribly underwhelming season like this, but that in itself doesn’t mean, that it manages to break the shell of its genericism, oozing from every corner of it. While it was not utterly terrible as some competent directing was going on from time to time, and the conflict of Ange and Princess being pretty meaningful in connection with the main plot, that doesn’t mean it lifts it to great heights at all, as these never managed to surpass the adjective “decent” for me in its runtime. A very unrewarding experience as a whole.
Art (6/10), Animation (5.5/10)
From James Bond to the Bourne Identity and John Wick, there is always a point in one's life when we've been intrigued by the mysterious, meticulous, and romantic nature of the cinematic spy. However, anime writers always have a way of answering the questions that nobody ever asks---
“What if spies, like James Bond, were replaced with… lolis?”
In an unusual twist, they created this interesting anime, where a wide array of political spying and assassinating ends up being left in the hands of a group of young schoolgirls (most of whom, actually have legitimate spy training.) If you were expecting a kiddy girl slice of
life drama, you will not find that here. This is a rather well-thought-out spy series that happens to have young girls as the protagonists.
One of the great things about this story is how unusual it is for the anime genre. Princess Principal take you on a journey with unusual young girls as they conduct espionage, all types of spy work, and even engage in assassinations. Under the guise of being students, these young spies are given orders by their superiors that must be completed at all costs, including one’s own life. It features a wide array of character personalities, most of whom are unique. The political climate is unique at this point of the story, as it is a sci-fi enhanced version of 19th-century England. In this setting, steam and coal often powered various mechanical devices. The queen of the nation, who is also a loli and a friend of the spies, is more of a figurehead than a person with actual power and various factions are in the process of deciding whether to either help or dispose of her.
How will the girls carry out these difficult missions?
What, if anything, will happen to the queen?
Which factions will align themselves with who?
What would happen if they are given an order that they can’t or don’t want to complete?
Find out by watching the show~
The story initially presents itself as episodic, as most anime spy shows do. The pacing is pretty good, but there is nothing that really felt profound about this series. The storytelling is very good, but it is still relatively bland and lacking profound qualities. Overall I think the story is pretty good and deserves a 7/10.
Overall, the characters are unique, but not too unique. They loosely fit some of the popular archetypes in anime. Their background stories were relatively interesting but they weren’t characters that were extremely memorable for any particular reason. I feel if the series had another 12 episodes, they may have been able to create a more memorable series through the characters.
The most interesting character in this series is undoubtedly Ange, and she is the character that the anime mainly follows. She’s a weird girl who talks in a monotone but likes to tell jokes and lies. For example, her most told joke/lie is “I’m from the Black Lizard Planet”. She’s a very skilled spy and performs amazing feats.
Chise is a girl skilled at various ways of fighting and swordsmanship. Her personality is very samurai-like.
The Queen is a typical queen. She knows many things and is skilled at being nobility, but she also has quite the daring side to her as well.
There is also the young adult, who uses her charms to seduce men and the queen’s assistant.
The art fits and enhanced the setting very well. The characters were designed well, the animation was fluid, special effects were great as well. I think they did a pretty good job overall and have no complaints in this category. The backgrounds aren’t as detailed as some more ridiculously detailed series, but they are still great backgrounds overall. There is also nothing particularly unique about the art.
The background OSTs come from the legendary Yuki Kajiura, my favorite composer. She’s known in the anime community for her works on the music of SAO, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, .hack, Tsubasa Reservoir and many other popular titles. I’ve never heard her do Jazz before, but the music is really good. Voice acting is great, special effects are all great.
I was very entertained by the uniqueness of the series and the fact that there were young girls doing espionage and spy work LOL. I’ve never seen anything like this and it was a worthwhile experience. I can’t say that I was very excited for each additional episode, but it was pretty interesting.
This series was definitely something that I could see myself recommending to some people. The good art and story kept my interest the entire series. There wasn’t anything that particularly stood out to me or was extremely memorable, but it was still something that I don’t regret watching.
Should you watch it?
If you’re interested in young girls being spies, like action, young girls, spies, 19th-century London, I would give it a shot.
If you’re looking for a slice of life or yuri series, you’re in the wrong place.
Hope this helps you make your decision, let me know if you agree by clicking “helpful~” thanks~
“This just isn’t a cover anymore, we’re real friends now...”
The spy. An archetype explored an incalculable amount of times, spanning across all forms of media. Whether it’s the dark and methodical approach of a John la Carre’ novel, or the more mainstream and charismatic James Bond film, each entity produces something that ensnares the senses and transports you into the action. I’ve always been a fan of secret agents and spies in cinema, so it’s no question that this affinity would translate into other mediums such as anime. The 2016 release of Joker Game helped affirm this assumption by offering a unique mix of action,
stealth and wit. Now, almost exactly one year later I was introduced to Princess Principal by a dear friend, an original anime directed by Masaki Tachibana (Barakamon, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0)... naturally I was intrigued. Through 12 episodes, PP dazzles with copious amounts of combat, deceit and supernatural elements. It may occasionally come across as muddled and has its fair share of negatives, but it doesn’t disappoint and may go down as one of the most overlooked anime of the year. Spoilers ahead.
From the beginning, PP may end up losing much of its target audience from the cast itself. Understandably I had trouble conceptualizing the idea of teenage moe girls acting as spies in 1800’s London (speaking Japanese no doubt), as it’s just not something I would list as believable. It's similar to the feeling I got from watching the dubbed version of Monster, as Tenma is a Japanese man living in Germany that just so happens to speak fluent English. What a total mindfuck. Aside from the acquired taste of the character models, the setting is quite immersive. The anime takes place in an alternative steampunk London, where weapons are rusty and mechanized, and airships rule the skies. In this parallel universe, a wall exists dividing the Albion Kingdom between the lavish capital and the dilapidated, unruly Commonwealth. This in itself pays homage to the Berlin wall, as in PP it can be difficult to discern which side is morally correct. Through the ensuing 12 episodes we follow the story of five female spies, from their relationships, to their loyalty to duty and underlying secrets.
One important point to note is that Princess Principal’s timeline can render the casual viewer confused. It’s not readily apparent that the anime’s story is told out of order. The writers seem to pen the script in a way that can come across as disjointed because of very minor details here or there that are easily missed. To better explain this, I’ve comprised a chronological ordering of each episode (stolen from MAL forums):
Episode 2 -> Case 1
Episode 3 -> Case 2
Episode 5 -> Case 7
Episode 4 -> Case 9
Episode 9 -> Case 11
Episode 1 -> Case 13
Episode 7 -> Case 16
Episode 6 -> Case 18
Episode 8 -> Case 20
Episode 10 -> Case 22
Episode 11 -> Case 23
Episode 12 -> Case 24 and beyond
When done right (which I wouldn’t necessarily say is the case here), non-linear narratives can be effective at showcasing certain qualities of a character or details to enhance the main story. Such is the case in Kurt Vonnegut’s Salughterhouse-Five or the cult classic Memento, one of my favorite films of all time. The main problem in PP is that the characters aren’t developed far enough to extract much from this method. What results is a plot that appears to jump around simply just to do so. I will say the aspect that benefitted the most from this was the relationship of Ange and the Princess, which for obvious spoiler reasons I won’t divulge any further on. Ideally, this method can also be used to better illustrate interactions between the main characters, and I believe that was the intent here. It just didn’t capitalize as well as it could have. An assumption by the writers is also made with regard to the gravity-altering Cavorite material used primarily by Ange throughout the anime. The only reason I even knew what it was, is because of an H.G. Wells novel (The First Men in the Moon) I read some years back. To someone unfamiliar with this sci-fi homage, the supernatural substance can appear as a gaping plot hole that’s never really filled.
Another point I feel necessary to address is the dramatic change of tone throughout the anime, both with the overall atmosphere and with the characters. From the first episode, I was captivated by the “cloak and dagger” approach the writers utilized with the spies. Ange as a main protagonist was ruthless and cold, sporting a succinct knack for taking out her foes. She also came across as a compulsive liar, assumingly normal for the trope of a spy. However, at certain points in the story her personality can shift from scene to scene and catch viewers off guard. It’s not extremely off-putting, but it’s there. While mostly well paced and envisioned, there are times where the writers spend an entire episode divulging a character’s backstory, and others only a few seconds of a flashback. Some episodes are actioned packed, like the first episode or the train episode while others serve to be endearing and relationship building like the laundromat anecdote. I think this change of tone, juxtaposed with the jumping timeline can make PP seem less cohesive than it really is. Overall it’s a smart show, and often has you sympathizing with the jobs these girls have to take.
The characters are the absolute best part of the anime. The squad’s unsung leader Ange is relentlessly devoted to duty, and relishes in the secrecy and importance of each mission. She is incredibly diverse with her emotions depending on who she’s addressing. Her relationship with the Princess is undoubtedly the focal point of the entire series, and her backstory is full of heartache and depression. She often quotes herself as being a former member of the fictitious “Black Lizard Planet”, in order to explain the reason for her peculiar behavior. Ange is an expert of her craft, and is the strongest and most consistent member of the group. The Princess has her fair share of secrets, and often plays the role of messenger or spokesperson for the group. In retrospect, I do wish more time had been given to fully expound upon her past, given the fact it plays such an important role in the show.
Dorothy, my favorite character of the entire series, is the oldest of the group and she’s often reminded of that fact. She also probably receives the most backstory, with the writers devoting almost an entire episode to her relationship with her father. She occasionally gets drunk or uses her body to help advance the situation (boobs=imperative to success as a spy), but also internalizes and many of the missions the girls partake in. She's like the mom of the group. Chise, the token Japanese ninja, is actually my least favorite character, though probably for selfish reasons . She undergoes a supreme transformation over the course of the anime and begins to learn the Western culture and the importance of friendship. Last but not least is Beatrice, the meek and often soft spoken friend of the Princess. Her demeanor is jittery, but her backstory (though short) is incredibly sad. Out of the entire main cast, I was impressed by the level of depth and detail put in place for each character.
If you told me that the same director as Barakamon and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 also led Princess Principal, I’d be hard pressed to call you a liar. I guess this a concrete indicator of Tachibana’s ability as an anime director, and certainly one that deserves more work. The somber, ominous environment PP exudes, coupled with the uplifting comradery of the main cast crafts a definingly unique atmosphere all around. The art is well visioned, and although the female characters are younger, they are evenly proportioned and attractive. I can’t recall any slip ups with framing during the action heavy scenes and even the still, dialogue heavy moments never seemed to come across as stale. While it may not technically be the best animation, its consistency is something to applaud in today’s anime world, where series are being pumped out left and right. The cinematography is some of the best I've seen in a long time, despite focusing less on atmosphere than other equivalent specimens. The way some of the scenes are constructed, either through POV animation or still impact shots. It also has the benefit of omitting the “unfaithful to the source material” argument so many disgruntled manga fans hurl around with each new adaptation. It’s a refreshing artsyle, contradictory to most of the bright and colorful anime in today’s world.
If I can make one recommendation, it would be to watch Princess Principal with headphones on. The sound is purely exceptional. The balance of sound effects and their position through the speakers is perfect, and helps add to the realism during some of the missions undergone by the girls. The background music is also fitting of the time period, as nothing is saturated with electronic tones and no chipper techno beats flood your ears. The OP (despite that fugly logo) is one that grew on me, but now exists as one of my favorites for the season. The strong female vocals in conjunction with the smooth animation sequences is pleasing to the eye, and it’s one I don’t think I ended up skipping once. The ending is a strong contrast from the OP, but helps remind the viewers of the minor points of maturity these female characters lack. It’s playful and fun. There aren’t any stand out seiyuu performances in the anime, but certainly nothing hitting below the mark.
Overall, I would suggest not judging a book by its cover and jump into Princess Principal with no preconceived notions. It's certainly not what I expected, and although makes some mistakes it is a worthwhile watch. Compared to most of the shows out nowadays, the script is actually given some thought and the characters are developed substantially for their short screen time. I think the show would have benefited significantly if it was doubled in length or had a second season. This would give ample time to fix the timeline issue and also fully explore Ange and Princess’ relationship. The series is plenty exciting, whether with raw action sequences or suspenseful moments of stealth. This is an easy anime to recommend, so if you're looking for something new and exciting, or we're a fan of series like Joker Game I would give it a try. It certainly surprised me and many others, and I look forward to more developments from Tachibana in the future. As always, thanks for reading and be sure to check out some of my other reviews from the season!