Princess Principal #01 — Magic Ninja Girls vs Steampunk

July 9th, 2017


What? No pirates too?


This, like many a Japanese show, is a little too in love with its own premise, and I'm not sure it's in the show's best interest to call a lot of attention to it. A steampunk London where high school girls are ruthless spies (and it loves saying "spy"), and also, one of them has magic gravity powers. I wonder if perhaps our dear writer (of Guilty Crown/Geass/Kabaneri fame) has been playing Gravity Rush Gravity Daze lately. Or perhaps it needs to throw itself more wholeheartedly into it. The weakest parts by far are when the simpering sidekicks take center stage to bubble and simper, and especially the titular princess character, who cheerfully chirps about how she's a spy. You're working against yourself here, show. Be smarter than that.

Which isn't to say that the tradecraft parts are particularly strong either. They're definitely atmospheric and the show's at its strongest when it's just little girls being badasses on the job, but it has a real crisis of identity between heavy drama and ninjas vs steampunk. There's quite a bit of daylight between the two, especially with magic in play. I would be on the side of leaning into the fun parts and going full on spy/heist-like popcorn show, especially since it doesn't really feel like it has the balls to do anything particularly nasty to the main girls that would give the dramatic parts a bit more oomph. It'd be nice to be proven wrong though.


Posted in Princess Principal | 6 Comments »

6 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Neclord X says:

    This one was actually…pretty good. The only thing it could be even better is with some Nazis or vampires or Nazi vampires, aside of that…was pretty much perfect.

    Now, the only thing that we need is that the Lupin Ninja spies lolitas continue to do Lupin Ninja Spy things and not to sit around doing nothing. If all the show is like this episode, I’m totally in.

  • LoliHat says:

    “magic gravity powers”

    It’s cavorite, which is from an old H. G. Wells story. It’s inclusion is probably the best thing about the show.

    Also, the insurance thing was a total dick move.

    Paulo27 says:

    How was it a dick move? She used the money to cure his sister.

  • anise_punter says:

    Seconded on that being good.

    wonder if somebody got mixed up somewhere in production

    anise_punter says:

    this is actas? RIP my hopes of this turning out well

  • Opulent Rag says:

    Yeah, I think I found my show for the season. Here’s hoping they keep up the intrigue for these characters rather than rubberbanding back and forth between competent and badass and annoyingly girly/cutesy and/or dumb.