For some reason I thought this show was on a one week hiatus and the final episode was this weekend. With egg still fresh on my face, I made sure to quickly watch the season finale. Who doesn’t love a fashionably late anime review? Need to catch up too? Read my review of the previous episodes here!
We finally learn where Dorothy and Ange had their training: a mysterious place called The Farm. The Farm was a place that worked to train young girls into spies, similar to a preparatory academy. The duo and Beatrice team up with a former classmate of theirs to steal documents from the First Lord of the Admiralty. Known only as Prefect, she and Ange were rivals back at The Farm, and she always came in second place to Ange. The girls are successful in their mission, and head to a pub to celebrate. While Dorothy and the Prefect reminisce, Ange and Beatrice break into the Prefect’s room. There, they confirm what Control suspects: Prefect is a double agent.
Ange deliberately triggers one of Prefect’s traps, causing Prefect to flee. They chase Prefect onto a train, where Dorothy holds her at gunpoint.Prefect admits to Dorothy that she has been poisoned by the enemy, forcing her to defect to work for her cure. She also tells Dorothy that the woman she looked up to the most at school wasn’t Ange, but her. In a moment of compassion, she tells Dorothy she doesn’t have to worry about shooting a friend, and kills herself. Dorothy and Ange return to Control to report their mission success only to find L has been replaced. Their new superior – General – congratulates them on their success and gives them their new objective: to assassinate Princess Charlotte.
This is where things get tense and start to unravel for our spies. After arriving back at the school, Ange finds that Control has assigned agents acting as bodyguards to Princess. Soon after, Dorothy and Chise are given reassignment order, leaving immediately. Alone and untrusted by her operation, Ange meets with Seven, who tells her the military has taken over and are following their own agenda. Zelda, one of Princess’s bodyguards, tasks Ange with carrying out the assassination as a loyalty test.
Ange soon proves why she was top of her class at The Farm. After leading Princess to a nearby airport, she creates a distraction using smoke bombs. In the confusion, she and Princess switch appearances and escape to a nearby airship departing for Casablanca. Princess refuses to leave, stating she still wants to become Queen to reform the Kingdom.
After trapping Ange on the airship, Princess impersonates Ange and returns to Zelda and the other agents. Zelda then reveals the military’s agenda and final plan: they are going to kill the Queen. Proving that she won’t be fooled again, Zelda admits that she knows the Princess isn’t actually Ange. Still, she will make the perfect scapegoat. The Queen will be assassinated at the Royal Cathedral, which will give the Commonwealth the chance to invade.
Meanwhile, Ange escapes the airship and heads back to the Academy, where she finds Beatrice and surprisingly Dorothy. Dorothy reveals she was given a separate mission to stop the General and Zelda’s plan. They work together to find Chise, and then head to the Cathedral to stop the assassination. Chise and Ange locate the Princess just as she is about to be fatally shot by Zelda. While Ange gets the Princess to safety, Chise scares off Zelda, and Dorothy and Beatrice disperse the crowd with smoke bombs. They all escape, and head to Casablanca for a well-earned vacation.
In the aftermath, the Duke of Normandy finds Princess’s hat in the Cathedral, and he immediately suspects her involvement with the assassination attempt. Back at Control, L returns as acting commander and is eager to give his Principal team their new mission.
I am both happy and disappointed with the way this season ended. I enjoy shows that end with things wrapped up, or with a major cliffhanger. Princess Principal tries to do both, and it just leaves me feeling unsatisfied. It’s just open-ended enough where it could be the end if it doesn’t get picked up for a second season. As of right now, it’s really up in the air if the show will have a second season. I hope it does, both because I like the show, and so I can have a definitive ending. Hopefully Sentai Filmworks will push for a second season to be made!
Looking back at the season overall, Princess Principal did a lot of cool things with the animation. There was a ton of depth to the scenes, which was great for immersion. The cinematography and way they were unafraid to rotate angles quickly was awesome. Every scene was animated smoothly and scenes flowed well.
Fans looking to rewatch season one during the hiatus can do so exclusively on Anime Strike.