spindizzy: Kyoko stretching and looking smug. (*smug*)
[personal profile] spindizzy
Lex found another show for us to watch together, which is exciting because there's very few things that we're both into? But this one's called Princess Principal, and it appears to be about teenage girls who are spies at boarding school in a magical gaslights/steampunk version of London where it's... Been walled off entirely from the Commonwealth? The "Kingdom of Albion" and the "Albion Commonwealth" are completely separated by this wall. ... Sure, show, I am gonna go with this because teenage spies with steampunk magic.

As the warning usually goes, this is written after the fact so things won't be in order/I'm going to skim over important things, and also ~spoilers!~

  • Lex hadn't actually watched any of this before he showed it to me, so he's really happy that he managed to pick out something I love from the description.

  • I was SURE that this opening was priming me for queerbait, but now that I've watched the first three episodes I THINK it's supposed to be that they're sisters? Or body doubles? ... I LITERALLY CAN'T TELL IF IT WANTS ME TO BE ROOTING FOR LESBIANS OR SIBLINGS HERE, WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. I haven't had this much of a problem since When Marnie Was There and we all know how that went.

  • It's such a good opening though, everyone looks like they're having an absolute blast. Especially Dorothy when she's driving the car over a cliff.

  • Me, episode one: ... Why does the opening have a creepy frog with teeth...?
    Lex: *shrugs*
    Me, episode two: ... OH, it's a LIZARD! Because they're from the Black Lizard Planet!

  • (AS YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO TELL, the opening/closing do not exactly match the tone of the show.)

  • Guys, guys, I've figured it out! All this time, I've seen people kvetching about the moé art style but I've not been sure what it is, and I've finally worked out what it is! If the men all get to have distinct individual faces, but the women only get one between them, that's moé! I'm very excited to have figured this out, and very sad that my show with minimal fanservice has instead swapped it for all of the girls not matching the art style of everyone else.

  • Okay, so, all of the girls are alphabetised, this is good to know! There's Angé, Breatrice (who is called that in the subs but not out loud; I think out loud they call her Beatro? Which makes sense, I guess.). Charlotte (the princess), Dorothy, and... Chise? I think? Which means that we have two Cs, I guess someone's going by a fake name?

    • Chise and Dorothy appear to have a mutually-respectful-frenemies thing going on, which is my jam. And I kinda ship it?

    • Dorothy is secretly twenty and passing herself off as a high-school student, which is the only reason I can think of to keep drawing the girls in one style and the dudes in another. ... Also I'm glad they explained that before they went with the "And now we're going to have this young woman hit on everyone to solve her problems, because it's kinda alarming to watch anyway, but it could be so much worse.

    • Angé and Dorothy are grouchy work colleagues who knew each other from an orphanage and are beautifully salty about having to work together again.

    • Beatrice adores the princess and only warms up to Angé when she realises that Angé loves the princess as much as she does.

    • Fuck knows what is going on with Angé and the princess! Is Angé intentionally a body double for the the princess? Is Angé actually the princess and Charlotte the fake? Are they in love but separated through the cruel machinations of fate? I don't know because the show has confused me completely!

  • ... I DON'T KNOW WHERE THIS WALL IS, GUYS. It appears to go through or around London? Maybe only around London, but it's hard to judge from the picture with the explanation at the start. But I assume it's just around the one city, because walling off the country seems excessive. We're a tiny island, if people wanna annexe us, it's easily done! I say, in the country that walled off Scotland that one time.

  • OKAY GUYS, THE INTRO TO THIS SERIES IS PRETTY GREAT. It involves Dorothy, Chise, and Angé "rescuing"/kidnapping a scientist who's trying to defect over the wall into the British Commonwealth, with Angé being a beautiful weirdo (she has a SPY TUTU, okay, and also talks about being from the Black Lizard Planet like it's a perfectly normal thing to do.) who uses her magic steampunk thing to clear tall buildings in a single bound (it appears to free her and whatever/whoever she's holding from the tyranny of gravity), and also flip a car by making it float and then leaping off it. *dreamy sigh*

  • (Lex may or may not have been laughing at how hype I was for these girls attacking people with swords, having a car chase, and using magical tech in creative ways. I ain't even care, that's the dream.

  • I feel really bad for the scientist even if his storyline is kinda predictable. He seemed nice! (Although I'm super glad that I managed to put together the clues about the sister's feet and the insurance office.)

  • Angé doing quick changes and picking up props that will be useful later/being completely ruthless with it is my thing. Yes, this is the content I'm here for!

  • Dorothy: *forging papers to smuggle people out of the city*
    Schoolmates: What are you doing?
    Dorothy: Writing letters of apology, do you want to help?

    And then Chise just being impressed at how bold she is, while Dorothy's like "Eh."

  • The Black Lizard Planet is her tragic backstory.

  • The scientist asking if his sister's accident was a deliberate ploy to motivate him, and Angé's answer being that she doesn't know. And he's just so bleakly amused, because she could have lied to him outright, said yes or no! And on this she chooses to be honest.

  • It's interesting to me that Angé in this episode is so "Stoic weirdo where no one can tell if she's telling the truth or lying" because they seriously tamp that down in episodes two and three. A deliberate ploy to get the trust of scientist dude? Just not having time to be a weirdo in the next few episodes?

  • I was wondering how Beatrice managed to mimic that guy's voice, I'm glad that gets explained in a way that isn't just "Really good mimic".

  • And Chise taking out the building with a sword was maybe my first clue that this series might be bleaker than the art style advertised.

  • THE BAD GUY LOOKS LIKE THE ONE FROM RAIDER'S OF THE LOST ARK, OKAY.

  • "On the Black Lizard Planet we make people sign their names before we kill them."

  • He's so resigned about his death, oh wow. And Angé looks like she doesn't want to kill him, but still makes sure that she's got his affairs in order before she does it anyway. ;_;

  • "Are you going to kill me now?"
    "No." *gunshot*

  • "Why did it take a week [to find the body]?"
    "Because insurance companies don't pay out if you die immediately after you sign up."

  • ... I can't tell if curing the girl's magic poisoning meant she won't be able to see and/or dance anymore, because her eyes were glowing green when we first met her and are bandaged now. Maybe she'll turn up later?

  • And then episodes two and three are... I think flashbacks to when Angé came to the academy and how the band got together! I assume that'll take up to episode four or five, and then the rest of the series will be back to the present day?

  • I think the contrast between Stoic Weirdo Angé and Giggly Clutz Angé is great. Especially because Dorothy's like "I can't believe you went with that as your cover." Like, no one's gonna guess the two are related! This is definitely the one occasion where I'll accept the glasses as a disguise on their own, because she's put the work into her character as well!

  • Dorothy in character as a trouble-maker just declaring the entire roof "occupied" is pretty great.

  • Okay, so let me see if I understand this; their mission was to attempt to kidnap and replace the princess, despite her being fourth in line to the throne and having no political power, to... Have a spy in the royal family? Maybe? And then they need to stop a guy handing over a key to the established series bad guy, which was so important that I promptly forgot what it was. Whoops.

  • I like how their master plan's first step is "We need two party dresses," if only because the army guy yelling at someone to bring them dresses is great.

  • ... Wow, Dorothy's idea of going to the direct approach involves pulling down her dress to expose more of her boobs. *stares into camera*

  • (Like, whenever I think that this series is aimed at women, I remember that they do in fact do the unnecessary pan up Charlotte in her underwear. Also I'm retroactively offended btw, because I'm SURE she should have at least one petticoat or something under that dress, which she either still be wearing (because it is unlikely to have been stained), or should have somewhere visible, because a) the bundle Angé's holding isn't big enough for the dress and petticoat, and b) Angé doesn't need to steal that, she'll be wearing one under her own dress. GOD DAMMIT MALE GAZE, WHY YOU GOTTA BE LIKE THAT.

  • The princess and Beatrice talking about whether they'd trust the devil (who's a liar) or an angel (who has to tell the truth) is ominous...

  • Angé combining two separate problems into one problem is really smart! I think? Although before the reveal I couldn't work out how she thought she was going to get away with being the princess for so long without any mentioning the dance to Charlotte after; now I know the shocking twist, everything makes more sense!

  • ... Angé was this your plan all along, is that why you have the wig there?

  • Do dyes work like that? I didn't think there'd be a way to get a red dye out of a pink dress without bleaching out the pink as well.

  • So Angé is good at the manipulation skills as well as kicking people in the face! This is good to know, because it's easier to remember her Black Lizard Planet side rather than the one that's good at manipulation. It's interesting.

  • NOT GONNA LIE I was watching the speech about how it would be so nice if he could retire to Cornwall for his health like "Wait, in this setting, has Cornwall finally achieved its dream of seceding from the UK? Is that a thing?" IT MIGHT NOT HAVE but I think it's on the other side of a wall to London so that's probably close enough.

  • (This scene is why I'm convinced that one of them is the body double for the other, even if I don't know which.)

  • ... And then of course the villain of the piece shows up, instantly realises what's going on, and shoots the guy Angé has successfully done an emotional number on. OF COURSE.

  • The princess threatening people with a smile on her face is so thoroughly my thing, o-oh my god, I pretty much keeled over when she did that, while Lex laughed.

  • I THOUGHT SHE WAS GOING TO BE THE SWEET NAIVE PRINCESS THAT EVERYONE WAS TRYING TO PROTECT

  • AND THEN

  • SHE CASUALLY THREATENS TO EXPOSE EVERYONE IF THEY DON'T AGREE TO HER TERMS, SMILING ALL THE WHILE. *_*

  • BURY ME WHERE I LIE.

  • Like damn, I thought Angé was good at manipulating people, look at Charlotte!

  • Angé desperately messaging that she'll kill the Princess to protect the mission if necessary, even if that's probably a lie bearing in mind what follows: my heart. It works, but holy fuck, holy fuck my heart.

  • The princess sweeping all of them out of the room because obviously she and her friends have done nothing wrong and no one needs to search her: YES. MY HEART.

  • Charlotte and Angé on the roof is such a good scene, especially because Angé is desperately trying to convince her to run away to Casablanca with her and Charlotte is adamant that no, she actually meant it when she said she wanted to be queen. GIVE ME THIS STORY, I AM DYING HERE.

  • STOIC ANGÉ YELLING THAT SHE LOVES CHARLOTTE IS KILLING ME, OKAY, I NEED IT I NEED IT I NEED IT.

  • Okay, episode three! We're nearly there! And there is no follow up on that becoming queen thing but they do have a club room together!

  • "Just say we're sisters from the Black Lizard Planet." LOOK I'M JUST SAYING THAT THIS COULD BE ANGÉ TELLING THE TRUTH FOR A CHANGE, OKAY, I THINK POSSIBLE THE POINTS WHERE SHE IS MOST TRYING TO BE A WEIRDO ARE THE POINTS WHERE SHE'S TELLING THE TRUTH.

  • Dorothy wanting the whiskey appreciation club just sounds like an adult who is so ready to not be hanging out with kids today, okay.

  • ... Oh my god you guys a) hide your guns better, and b) LABEL THINGS, BECAUSE THAT COULD HAVE KILLED SOMEONE.

  • Beatrice hates every single part of this, every single part.

  • The way they did Beatrice's voice fading out was really well done! And it's not a bad way to do the reveal (although holy fuck her backstory is grim, and I say this as someone who fully expects Angé's backstory to involve riots, murder and cannibalism.) Beatrice having to do maintenance on her own throat when she can't see is so grim, oh my god, especially because I keep thinking of the granddad in Pure, who has a fan in his throat, and has to worry about it getting clogged and cutting off his air.

  • So the princess IS in contact with her family then? I thought that was part of the civil war.

  • I love Dorothy's chauffeur outfit, that's super great. Even if she's barely in this episode (I think she flusters the hell out of a soldier, and then sneaks off to open a pipe so that Angé can sneak onto the ship.

  • Ange just CASUALLY SITTING THERE LOOKING AT A MAP while Beatrice is pointing a (probably unloaded?) gun at her, and then saving her life!

  • Me: I wonder if anything from that jumble of noise while Angé is listening to every radio at once is going to be relevant later.
    Episode: *shoves plot points back out of the way*

  • Like, I can't tell if these dudes just have awful radio discipline or the radios are just picking up everything nearby.

  • Angé looking at the map and then at Beatrice, clearly deciding whether to stash her somewhere or take a route that will keep Beatrice safe: ;_;

  • 1) Where did the lightning come from, it's mostly a clear sky before and after that point? 2) OH MY GOD YOU FUCKING IDIOTS, STOP SHOOTING AT YOUR OWN FUCKING SHIP, IF THAT GOES DOWN THEN SO DO YOU!

  • So the ships are running on the magic green goop, right? Because if that was anything else LITERALLY EVERYONE WOULD HAVE DIED.

  • ... This villain in this episode also looks like someone I recognise from films, but my brain has completely found and replaced him with anime Abraham Lincoln, so I can't work out who.

  • Angé trying to take on an entire ship while Beatrice frets! Aaaaah! *clutches face* And then Beatrice going for it anyway when she was so adamant that she couldn't do it and just – stranding Angé in mid-air in a firefight! D: D: D:

  • Angé: If I get caught, I'm just a spy! If you get caught it leads back to the princess!
    Beatrice: *penny drops of oh, she values the princess as well!*
    Beatrice: *saves the day*

  • You know what, I have no idea how a magitech voice box helps Beatrice flawlessly mimic people and I don't care. I am kinda surprised, because this probably means that she chose the voice she's using, at least to some extent, and... Hm...

  • I like how the suspicious dude tries to do an obvious test, and Angé and Beatrice manage to work together to solve it. Enemies to teammates, YES!

  • They share the only parachute to get down, and Beatrice spends the entire time yelling about how much she loves the princess to stop herself freaking out! And Angé says that she hates the princess, and Beatrice calls her out on her shit!

  • (Man, if I'd yelled that I loved someone and wanted to help them escape a nest of vipers, and they went "Nah mate, I want you to make me the biggest fucking target in this nest", I would also hate them a little bit.

  • But yes, I will be interested to see if Angé gets a replacement for her magitech orb between episodes, or if she's gonna have to do the next couple of episodes while actually constrained by gravity.

  • (... Seriously, if this series ends with Angé fighting literally every other character in the series to keep Charlotte safe I will not be surprised.)

  • There's not an official, out-loud ceasefire between Beatrice and Angé, it's done in little ways like Beatrice bringing Angé tea.
    Angé: On the Black Lizard Planet we like salt in our tea.
    Charlotte and Dorthy: O___________________________o
    Beatrice: *puts sugar bowl next to Angé*
    Charlotte and Dorthy: O__________________________________________o
    Angé: This salt is very sweet. :\ :\ :\

  • ETA: OKAY it looks like I COMPLETELY got the wrong end of the stick. Charlotte is Angé, the princess is not named, and E is actually C and called Chise I AM CONFUSED AND APPARENTLY VERY WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING I THOUGHT I KNEW. I have updated this to take out most of the Charlottes except where it makes no sense, and I THINK I have fixed the Chise thing; if not, this is what's gone on.


In conclusion, I suspect that this is going to be super male-gazey, but hopefully not enough that I need to nope out because I am really enjoying the characters and the schemes, and I need to know what is going on with Angé and Charlotte, I need it.
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Susan

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Hi! I'm Susan, I write for [community profile] ladybusiness, and I'm currently trying to post at least 100 words of fic every day.

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