Steampunk Spy Girls, a.k.a. Princess Principal, is a fascinating show that left me with a lot to think about. As stories based around espionage typically do, this anime raises a lot of questions to captivate a viewer’s interest. Throwing into play the mystery of what characters you can trust gives off an extra layer of tension, one that causes me (and audiences like me) to become extra vigilant in hopes of finding sly details and slip-ups that reveal plot twists before they happen. The knowledge/presumption of a surprise however, can often leave you open to something even more unexpected. Shows like this tend to be a game of playing with an audience’s anticipation and expectations. They want to leave you a bread trail, but certainly not an easy one to follow, throwing in a bunch of twists and turns to confuse you, and waiting until the absolute end to make clear of everything.
The show is about a group of girls bonded together through what seems to be a simple “enemy of my enemy” relationship. Right now, they’re working together to overthrow one side of the split Kingdom of Albion, but no one knows how long that’s going to last. The group itself is a precarious mix of infiltrators and the princess of the kingdom they’re trying to bring down. Ange seems to be the core of the group, possessing all the physical and mental skills one might associate with being a master spy—abilities ranging in combat, deception, adaptation, and so on. She also uses a magic orb to fly.
Then there’s the seductress, the assassin, and the voice modulator. Hopefully it all ends in a spectacular fashion, because as for now, I’m pretty impressed by the presentation of it all, and the OP is fantastic.
Love and Lies
Damn, their pupils are fucking huge! It’s like they have billiard balls for eyes!
Once you get past that though, Love and Lies seems to be an okay romance drama with an okay premise and okay characters and an okay OP. I’m surprisingly not turned off by the silly reason the main couple fell for each other (it’s pretty dumb), and right now I don’t feel any urge to stop watching. I’ve only watched the first two episodes though, so we’ll see.
I also kinda wish it was more like Scum’s Wish in a sense, being more ecchi and less tropey about it. I mean, he already tripped and fell on a girl, straight into a compromising position in the second episode.
My Hero Academia
Deku has more control over his powers now, which is cool because it opens him up to do a lot more in fights (though I’ll miss the heroic leaps into action despite being powerless). Hero Killer: Stain is thrown into the mix, along with the compelling and complex theme of hero purity. What have today’s heroes lost that Stain an only see remaining in All Might? Things like being paid to be a hero, having reasons to be one other than the pure urge to help others, and so on—all intriguing ethical issues. An extreme absolutist spurring an uprising that throws into question the system itself…it’s so awesome! Very akin to certain real world examples, no doubt there is an injection of politics in this story that just makes me more eager see the outcome.
One downside I’ll knock this show for is it’s slow leaning into bad, shounen pacing. The Hero Killer fight took three episodes featuring a lot of talking and flashbacks, Iida laying down for the entire middle episode only to finally start to get up at the end of it, leaving us to wait until next week to see how it all ends. Cliffhangers aren’t inherently a bad thing, but through overuse it starts to feel like you’re a junkie and the showrunners are your dealer. Enough with that shit, fights shouldn’t take 3 episodes.
I haven’t caught up with Re:Creators at all, though it seems to be one of those “blow your load” type of shows that blow their animation and “creative” budget on the first episode, leaving nothing but boring exposition for the next three or four. I’ll give it another chance, but I have a feeling it might be dropped. You can read my last post for thoughts about Sakura Quest, and as for Owarimonogatari, you can bet your fucking ass I’m hyped. Feel free to tell me any shows you think I shouldn’t miss out on in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading.
3 thoughts on “First Impressions of Anime Summer 2017”
Princess Principal is a sleeper… from the trailer and the description is sounded like it was nothing but moe action thriller – but it’s turned out to be so much more.
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My Hero Academia kind of stretched that fight a bit, but I think there was enough going on to keep it interesting and once Midoriya and Todoroki were on the scene, the fight ended pretty swiftly. Still, it was a lot of set up for one fight.
Of the new shows this season, Princess Principal is definitely my favourite so far. Hopefully it continues to build on its strengths.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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This made me pick up princess principal thx