Intrigue, action, a well-written story and, of course, cute girls. Princess Principal, from the description alone, is a show I was extremely skeptical about watching this summer. I mean, cute high school girls spies in dystopian London? Seems like a recipe for an enormous amount of things to go wrong. However, with an incredible first episode, and a great show to follow, Princess Principal ended up being one of my top 3 shows during the Summer 2017 season.
Princess Principal follows a group of young girls performing their secret job as a team of spies in dystopian London, where a kind of “Berlin Wall” scenario is dividing the country in two. With an initial feeling of a typical cute girl show, Princess Principal quickly grows dark and serious as the corruption of the scenario makes itself shown. The incredible disconnect between the expectation and the reality makes a great initial hook, and the well-written plot kept me engaged to the end.
Visually, the show is amazing to watch. The beautifully drawn city of London, separated into the pristine and clean upper crust and the dirty, sweltering slums is so pretty, and the steampunk setting helps enhance the atmosphere that much further. The animation is crisp and clean, the soundtrack is great, and both the opening and closing themes were among my favorites this season. The characters could have been better, with the exception of Ange, but their interactions with each other make for some great scenes, breaking up some of the darkness with comedy, or displaying touching scenes that may move some to tears.
All-in-all, Princess Principal managed to stay near the top of my watchlist all season long. If you like steampunk, dark, gritty action, an intriguing plot, or cute girls, this show may just be for you. It’s certainly not the best show out there, but it’s still pretty dang good, and i’d confidently recommend it to anyone any day of the week.