Princess Principal Specials

December 14, 2018

A spy’s work is never done. Since I love the Princess Principal series, I had the opportunity to catch them a little more. Albeit they are just Princess Principal Specials. How long has it been since I have watched special shorts of a TV series that comes with the BDs? Even more so, picture dramas. They might not amount to much but at least something to remember these classy kickass female spies by.

Special 1
For the next infiltration, someone needs to dress up as a boy and infiltrate the boys’ school. Beatrice is the most likely of candidate because she can change her voice and well, she’s flat. Of course she protests and Dorothy would have been up for the job if not for her busty body. Ange seems eager to take the role but she is impersonating boys like as though they are delinquents from another era! When Princess wants to do it because she wants to try being a boy once, everybody else volunteers to take the part. Then Control calls and says the infiltration type will be a female teacher. I guess that solves the problem but everybody immediately picks Dorothy for the job. She has the body, right? But Dorothy is not pleased she has no say in it as she interprets that they pick her because she looks older!

Special 2
Ange calls Princess as she worries about Beatrice’s worth as a spy in the team. She doesn’t have proper training and can’t really fight. Princess believes she has a skill that the rest doesn’t have: Being timid. This means as a prudent girl, she observes all that is around her. She goes on to list her other specialities like loyalty and making the best tea in the world. Ange is satisfied and puts down the phone. But here is the twist. That Ange was actually Beatrice and the real Ange is with Princess! We shouldn’t forget about her impeccable impersonation skills too. Princess wonders what Ange is doing here since she is supposed to be on a stakeout. The date changed? Because today is the actual birthday of Princess who is the real Ange. She is the only one who can celebrate it with her. Princess corrects her as today is both their birthdays.

Special 3
Uhm, Beatrice is going to challenge this Indian exchange student girl, Chandony to a duel? All because she called Princess a plain girl? Well, that isn’t so far from the truth but you know how protective Beatrice is. Unfortunately Chandony is skilled in some Indian martial arts. Will Beatrice be alright? Chise offers to teach her swordsmanship but we don’t want to kill anybody, do we? Since Beatrice’s specialty is changing her voice, maybe shoot some ultrasonic wave? You’re kidding, right? How about making a scary sound? Hmm… This machine wheezing sound might do the trick. Princess then comes in and says she met Chandony. They became friends already so the duel is off. This has the rest thinking Princess might have heard them and approached Chandony to call it off. They think Princess is terrifying in this sense but Beatrice will not allow it and challenges Dorothy. It’s that machine wheezing sound! Scary!

Special 4
Chise talks to Dorothy that she doesn’t want to be in the next mission and won’t give a reason why. Dorothy explains their next mission is to leak battle plans for the Royal Army’s harbour and Port Arthur might be the target. If this port is attacked, Japan benefits and not interfering would be in her nation’s best interest. Chise refuse to say anything more and is adamant on sitting this one out. But both admit that they like each other but don’t trust the other’s handlers. Unfortunately they are their employers and cannot do anything much about it. Ange returns with info that Princess has received info that the harbour raid is at Africa, possibly Casablanca or Cape Town. Chise and Dorothy feel a sense of relief as they don’t have to fight each other now. After all, they are comrades in arms, a befitting term for them than friends or companions.

Special 5
The plot thickens… Because Chise believes the culprit is one of them! So each of them are accusing the other as the liar. Heh. I’d like to see a spy who isn’t a good liar. Chise notes that Princess is the best liar. Even her smile is fake. With Princess denying and everyone seems to be pushy for her to come clean, then Ange’s slip of a tongue of calling Princess a black hearted princess has Princess really want to hear what she really thinks of her. After she claims the irony of everyone here doesn’t lie (even though they’re spies), Chise then asks the question: Who was the culprit who ate her monaka snack?! Could it be someone outside this team? This room is laced with traps, you know. Then they hear squeaking rat sounds. I guess there’s your answer. Princess decides to treat everyone to macarons. But can Princess leave without making the guards suspicious? Well, just make Ange disguise as her and stay behind. So, this is revenge for calling her a black hearted princess? Better apologize now… You believe Princess wasn’t offended by that? Better safe than sorry.

Special 6
Ange shows Princess their very own private mansion at Casablanca. Looks pretty lovely. It is already usable since Ange wants it to be in working condition to moment they run away. Ange’s private moment with Princess is ruined when the other girls arrive. They’re a team, right? But Ange is distraught. This mansion is supposed to only be for Princess and her! This can’t be happening! Phew. Just a dream. Because Dorothy wakes her up from nodding off while on a stakeout mission. Ange confirms she didn’t sleep talk or anything so I guess it’s okay. Dorothy wants to go out and eat together once this mission is over but Ange doesn’t like the idea of spies fraternizing more than necessary. But Ange gives an excuse about that Black Lizard Planet anniversary this weekend and it is a must to eat mussels. You’re in luck. Dorothy knows a restaurant that serves great mussels.

Totally Spies!
Like I have said, even if the picture dramas do not amount to anything much, they are still very much enjoyable despite the specials only being confined to the quintet of Team White Pigeon. Even if the specials lack animation (that’s why they are called picture dramas, duh), the quality of the art style in them is top notch. Though, the girls do look slightly much cuter. There might be recycled scenes of using the same art in that same particular special but with the detail and quality put into each frame, I guess they are all worth it.

Among the quintet, I believe Princess is the one who still has the control over the rest. She is the one standing tall and staying ahead a few steps. It might not seem obvious but noticed that in many instances when there is some sort of conflict, Princess is the one who indirectly steps in or steps it up and somehow the conflict is resolved? And if you think you can outwit or outdo her, just make sure you don’t slip up yourself because you don’t know how nasty and black the depths of her heart is. That sweet smile is oh so deceiving. Wait. Did I just call her nasty and black hearted? I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to. The point is, you don’t really want to get on her bad side because you’ll never know what will hit you when she retaliates.

Not sure if these specials are desserts for the TV series or appetisers. Appetisers? Because there is a sequel coming out! Hooray! But wait. I read that the sequel are actually movies divided into 6 parts. Wait. WTF. 6 damn parts?! Do they actually mean 6 part OVA? No? It’s not?! Oh no. Why not make it another season? Trying out a different format? Are they trolling us? I guess it is an iron clad rule that spies must be good in deceiving everyone. Well, they can’t technically deceive me. Because they’ve already stole my heart in the first place!

Princess Principal

December 10, 2017

Long ago, Germany was divided into two and separating them was a famously known wall because of a different ideology. Though that is very much gone, we still have the Korea peninsular divided not by a wall but by a DMZ that still stands today. Imagine if another country was also split into this fashion because of different ideologies. Imagine that country is the United Kingdom. One of the biggest colonial masters and rulers split in their homeland. Or at least in the fictitious steampunk world of Princess Principal, a country that resembles very much like Britain. Hence a perfect setting for spies from both sides undergoing stealth and backstabbing operations and missions to outwit, outplay and outdo each other. Sorry, no James Bond here. So you’ll have to put up with a small group of cute kawaii spy girls that kick ass.

Episode 1
As narrated, the Kingdom of Albion became a powerful air force since it monopolized Cavorite. However a revolution split the Kingdom with the London Wall separating the Kingdom from the Commonwealth. 10 years later, both sides are engaged in a secret war of spies. Just as we see Eric Anderson is trying to defect to the Commonwealth. He is being hunted down by the authorities but a group of young spy girls kickass to help him escape. They bring him back to their base and he is shocked to see it as a school. It is only right since they are all students. He meets their leader and is surprised Princess is a spy. Eric talks to Ange about lies and such. Because the truth won’t be interesting. He has a request if there is someone he could bring over the Wall with him. So the girls are wondering whether to take the extra risk to bring Amy over as well. Dorothy disagrees with it but since Ange is willing to gather more information and Princess feels it is a pity the siblings are separated, I guess they’ll do what they can since they have time left. So Ange disguises as a nurse to infiltrate the hospital where Amy is residing to determine whether or not she wants to defect. But Amy throws a tantrum and believes they are just trying to use her brother’s name to trick her into something. Ange sees her eyes and other deformed body parts due to Cavorite poisoning. Ange returns to Eric to ask if he is defecting to get money for Amy’s operation. 10 years’ worth of salary and of course he can’t afford. Then a mysterious man popped up and told him he would give him money if he defected to the Commonwealth with his research. All too convenient. He wonders if Amy wouldn’t have to suffer if he wasn’t a scientist. For Ange, spies aren’t the champion of justice. He starts to feel guilty when he hears Ange’s story of watching her family being murdered and then being taken in by the Intelligence Agency.

That night, Eric is surprised the plan has been changed and they are going to bring him over the Wall now. What about his sister? Don’t worry about it. So when the team splits up and Eric realizes they’re not going to save Amy, was he being tricked? Ange points out he also lied to them. They know he tried to send data to his employer with this pigeon and they caught it. The one whom he wanted help for Amy’s treatment was the Duke of Normandy. This defection was all an act to lure them out. Ange can tell from the first time she met Eric, the contents in his bag then and the feet of Amy is that of a ballet dancer. He wasn’t going to take Amy to defect. Meanwhile Dorothy and Chise are already ambushing the hideout of Public Security Minister Kimble who is the one behind this plan. They arrest him since their boss has some questions to ask. Ange takes Eric to an isolated place. She tells him to sign an insurance contract for those who are to be killed as part of their organization’s policy. Since he cannot defect or go back to his lab and the fact Amy will never be cured, he signs it. He asks if everything she has said to him was a lie. Yeah. It all was. So now is she going to kill him? No. Bang! Pumped a few bullets into him. Eric’s body is found a week later in the river. They make it so as not to be discovered immediately because the insurance company won’t pay up then. (It’s for Amy’s operation).

Episode 2
In this flashback episode, we see Ange being introduced as a new student at Mayfair Queen’s Academy. Because she is a bit clumsy, others find her cute and funny. Of course that was all an act so people would underestimate her. Also masquerading as a spy in this school is Dorothy and they are both on a mission to capture Princess. They observe her and note she doesn’t make unnecessary moves to be friendly with others. Hence she is always only with Beatrice, a lowly ranked noble. Ange suggests a ball and that is where they’ll launch a surprise attack. Control approves it and in no time the ladies are in beautiful dresses. As they attempt to approach Princess, suddenly Control changes their mission. To prevent a world war, they need to dispose some blueprints in the hands of Foreign Affairs Committee Morgan before he delivers them to the West. He holds a key to a vault and is scheduled to hand it over to Normandy in 30 minutes. So the duo have to change their plans. Dorothy thought of using the direct approach of seducing him but he has tight bodyguards all over. Ange has this great idea of killing 2 birds with a stone. She laces a drink with something before going up to Princess and request to be friends. When Princess agrees, Ange pretends to spill the drink all over her dress. Ange promises to get rid of it so Princess waits while she does so. Dorothy understands her plan now. Ange put some washable dye in the drink. Now she dresses up in that dress to pretend to be Princess. Wow. She looks exactly. Now incognito, she seeks Morgan to dance with her. She analyses the way he talks and acts and can tell his health condition. She whispers she can help his wife defect if he goes home with the key. But with Normandy’s men around, he cannot move. Give it to her and she will deliver it and his wife to him later. At first he is sceptical but she asks why he trusts Normandy. Given the same circumstances, would he better not trust a goddess?

After Ange returns the dress to Princess and they all head back to the ball, Princess wants Ange to stop pretending. She knows she is a spy. Her uncle is Normandy and directs all spies in the kingdom. Ange drops the act and asks her demands. Princess is the fourth in line to the throne and wants to become the queen. She is willing to sell out her own country for that. As the spies do not have authority, she wants them to ask their superiors. Or else she will expose them. Morgan tries to make excuse that he is unwell and wants to go home. Normandy just arrives and sees this. He quietly shoots him. He alerts the guards of an assassination and orders the entire to be cordoned off for a body check. Normandy can tell Morgan doesn’t have the key. He didn’t kill him and leaves him alive enough for interrogation. As everyone in the hall lines up, Dorothy tells Ange to throw away to keep and she can save herself. Fight another day. But Ange wants Princess to take the key knowing she will be exempted. In exchange, she will drag that yes answer from her superiors. Time is running short as Ange sends her coded messages back to Control. They too are scrambling for the best solution. Ange is confident as she assures Princess the church bell will chime as her superiors’ yes answer. Normandy meets Princess’ friends and as he is about to have them examined, everyone is confused to hear the church bell chimes. Princess leaves with the key. In the aftermath, Ange and Princess meet. Ange tells her Control was frantically trying to search a traitor within the organization and couldn’t figure out Princess knew them as spies. Oh, but Princess pointed out when she took her dress, she left a note. Another twist is that, Ange and Princess knew each other and it has been 10 years since they have seen each other. Princess welcomes Charlotte home.

Episode 3
Now that they are together, Ange wants Princess to run away with her. However Princess reminds her she still wants to become queen. Ange doesn’t like that and tells Morgan was killed on his way to hospital for the higher ups fear he would speak. This doesn’t deter Princess so Ange agrees to do it. She will lie to everybody, the world, Princess and eventually herself. Since the girls need a reason for them to be together, Dorothy introduces their ‘clubroom’. Now they need to figure out a club for what. Then they get straight down to business with their next mission. The orders are to board HMS Gloucester and steal back the stolen plates as Normandy plans to mass produce pound notes in the colonies to create financial instability. This is where Princess comes in. She needs to board it for an opening for them to stow away. You have been noticing that Beatrice had been opposing this and that. Princess no this, Princess no that. So much so her voice gives way. Actually she has a mechanical voice! Her sad story is that her father likes to tinker with machines to a point he experimented on his own daughter. You can say she became a bully victim. The only person to talk to her was Princess. That is why she is so protective of her only friend. As Princess visits the airship, Dorothy gets to work to allow Ange to be stowed away. Even at this point Beatrice is being a brat trying to stop Ange. Can an amateur like her do it? Well, I don’t know why Ange didn’t put her to sleep or anything and let her bark away with her childish threats like Ange is only here to replace Princess. Even almost putting them in jeopardy. Still b*tching about it, Ange warns her that if Beatrice gets caught, they might link Princess as a spy. Shut up and cooperate, that’s what she’s trying to say.

In the communication room, Ange hooks up all the switchboards and amazingly in the cacophony of voices, she can pick out which ones are talking about the plates. Because of that, she can determine where they are being held. It is at the other end of the airship. Well, take the route less travelled. Outside. As Ange uses the Cavorite power to help her march through, the lightning knocks her off. The bridge spots an unusual intruder and sounds the alarm. The guards start shooting but Ange gets back on her feet. The Cavorite power enables her to run fast with agility and protect her from those bullets. So you can’t say they’re such bad shots. Once she is in the correct room, she fights off all the guards and confronts one of Normandy’s men who has the plates. By the time Beatrice decides to stop being a coward or risk being caught if she stays behind, she drops in and sees everyone dead and Ange injured. Ange wants her to take the plates and parachute alone. Once she reaches ground, contact Dorothy. Beatrice is pissed off with this spy job thingy that puts their lives on the line. Ange shuts her up if she dies, she’ll die a spy. But if Beatrice gets caught, Princess will be suspected. Always b*tching about Princess and protecting her so put aside your pride and help do a greater good for her. When the guards threaten to blow the door open, Beatrice imitates a voice to assure them. When one of them doesn’t believe and asks a secret question, Beatrice is lost. However Ange has her follow what she says and that guard immediately believes and leaves. Ange knew because she heard his voice as one of the many from the switchboard! So they both parachute down and land safely. Just in time before the Cavorite device breaks. In the aftermath, Ange and Beatrice are like ‘friends’ as they ‘lie’ to each other. Is this how spies get along?

Episode 4
Dorothy sees her superior, L. The Cavorite scientists from the Kingdom has created a miniaturized Cavorite control unit. This could be detrimental to the Commonwealth and change history. Their mission is to steal its prototype. Dorothy thought a better team instead of an inexperienced one like them should be use. But L says they have Princess. Use her position to infiltrate the ceremony at the Cavorite mine. The rest are practising a stealth game and what better way than to do it in public. Eventually they try to think up of a name for their team when Dorothy returns. Then they head to the mines and with Princess having that royal authority, they get through easily. As the queen who is also Princess’ grandma is there, she has to go seek an audience with her. Ange leaves Chise with her as she is the most capable fighter. The rest then begin their infiltration as they seduce and sneak their way past through the guards. Chise’s master, Lord Horikawa speaks to her to ask if she has been suspected. He reminds that they are here to find out whether they can trust the Kingdom or Commonwealth. Normandy reminds the queen they need to talk about Princess’ marriage. She would prefer to wait after she graduates but Normandy believes the sooner they bind their countries through marriage, it will crush possibilities of a world war as well as strengthening their relationship with Moscow to stabilize all of Europe. Princess returns to Dorothy who remembers what L told only her. She was warned Princess might be a double agent and if so, action will be taken. They have not abandoned the possibility that she is their enemy.

When Ange finally hacks into the research facility, there is nothing. Did somebody leak info? She then remembers one of the guards talk about moving. So they moved the entire lab? Using the Cavorite power, it leads her to a secret pathway as she sees the lab being shipped to a dock. She quickly returns to the rest as they make haste to catch it before it leaves on a ship. Hold on to your horses because despite how bulky this car looks, it runs fast, handles corners pretty well and zips through alleys! Beatrice is screaming her head off but the good news is that you can turn off her voice! Meanwhile the Cavorite scientists are baffled about this sudden movement. Several agents have discovered spy equipment and are going to thoroughly check a mole among them. Ange and Dorothy will infiltrate the ship. Chise protests as she is made to guard Princess again despite she is a better fighter than Dorothy. Ange can’t put her in danger as she came to us under the grace of Horikawa. Now Princess decides to come too. Can’t because it’s too dangerous? Princess says she has always been in danger. If any of them fails, her secret is busted. So she has to put her life on the line to succeed. Dorothy believes if she is a double agent, she would not have risk her life. So she can’t be the mole. So everybody boards the ship and kicks ass to save their fellow spy from being busted as well as retrieve the prototype. In the aftermath, Dorothy reports to L that their mission was overwhelming successful since they also apprehended the scientists. She though Princess would be cleared of suspicions but L doesn’t think so yet. She is still grey. Keep watching her. Finally, the girls decide to call their team as Team White Pigeon. Pigeon because Noah send out a bird as a scout. That’s like a spy, right? Dorothy is okay with it since it isn’t grey.

Episode 5
Princess greets Horikawa and his entourage arriving from Japan. They are here to revise some treaty but have to beware of a fearsome rebel named Jubei Todo rumoured to show up and assassinate him. The westerners are stumped with the easterners’ culture of prostrating themselves to thank others. On board a train to London, Ange spots Chise riding on top and mistakes her for Jubei. They both fight and Chise shows her skills by deflecting her bullets with her sword! Eventually they are stopped when the Japanese side identify her as not the enemy. Horikawa can’t send Chise back alone so he will have her accompany him. A more so reason since she knows a lot more about Jubei. Ange protests since she doesn’t trust her so Princess has Ange be friends with her. If Chise is a threat, wouldn’t it make sense to put the person she trusts to watch her? So the duo awkwardly get to know each other. Ange is stumped about her country’s mystic and supernatural ways. Chise reveals her obsession in chasing down Jubei is because he killed his father. It is revealed that Normandy despite not having interest in the eastern nation, hired Jubei to get Princess involved in an assassination plot since nobody can be sure someone won’t move her up the rank in line to be queen. Dorothy catches a spy among the royal guards. But her attempts to stop him were too late as he blows up and separates the front carriage from the rest. Then another train pulls up parallel with them. It is Jubei and his rebels. They hook both trains together and if one slows down, it will derail. Oh, the tracks will soon merge ahead.

Ange and Chise cooperate to fight and take down the rebels. Jubei makes his move as he boards the train to assassinate Horikawa. Beatrice tries to protect princess but gets her throat slashed. Thankfully we all know something mechanical is in its place. As Chise has a fine swordplay showdown with Jubei, Ange and Princess try to stop the train. When they manage to do so, Chise defeats and kills Jubei. Jubei pats her head and notes she has gotten stronger. In the aftermath, Chise is praying to Jubei’s tombstone. Ange can tell Jubei is Chise’s father. But Chise disagrees. Her father was the one who taught her the sword and is dead. This man resting here is nothing more than a traitorous assassin. She doesn’t need sympathy. She is proud she has surpassed her father. With her vengeance done, she cannot stop crying. Back at the clubroom, it seems Chise has joined them as their new transfer student. Their respective superiors have struck a deal to help each other and Dorothy has introduced Horikawa to Control. When Chise is about to prostrate herself to thank Ange for making it possible for her to fight Jubei, Ange won’t let her and teaches her their western culture on how to thank people: A handshake.

Episode 6
Dorothy teaches Beatrice to pick a lock. Because Ange is too fast. Because Chise just cuts it. Bad teachers… Dorothy meets 7 who is part of Control. She has a mission for her to retrieve a cipher from a corpse at a morgue. Thing is, they don’t know the name or looks of that person. So is she expected to search every body? Don’t worry. There is an accomplice working there whom she knows. He is Danny MacBean. Her father. Dorothy and Beatrice start working at the morgue. Dorothy instantly recognizes her father. He has not changed. Loudmouth and a scum. Danny is glad to see his daughter (whom he addresses as Daisy) but the feeling isn’t mutual. Dorothy notices a group of debt collectors led by Franky harassing Danny for his debts. He keeps assuring he will pay them but needs more time. So when they see his beautiful daughter, this prompts Dorothy how she doesn’t want to end up like daddy the loser. The tears are real. He starts throwing a tantrum and abusing the furniture. Beatrice tries to stop him but he gets rough with her and messes with her voice box. Dorothy pushes him away and Danny feels bad. Now he starts crying about being lonely and all. I can see why Dorothy dislikes him. Dorothy tells Beatrice about her past. After dad lost his right hand in an accident, he changed. He blamed and envied everyone and everything. Dorothy became his object of constant abuse. Mom couldn’t take it and abandoned them. (By the way, mom’s name is Dorothy). After every beating, he would apologize. But there is only so much she could take so she ran away. The same day the revolution happened and she was glad it did since she didn’t have to see him again. The only thing she is grateful for is that dad never abandoned her like mom did.

Dorothy carries Danny home. This rotting place still brings back old memories. When he sobers up, he tells her they’ll get rich soon. They need to find a corpse with a cross on his palm in which there is a hidden note in his tooth. If she finds that body, tell him. Later the debt collectors come by to harass him again. This time offering him a chance to sell his daughter and all debts will be cleared. Beatrice finds that body so Dorothy extracts the tooth for the cipher. She plans to make a copy instead of taking it so as not to make Normandy suspect anything. Also, she wants to help dad. When Dorothy hands it to him, he is so happy and praises his daughter. He takes it and makes his way. Not before telling her to meet him at the pub. They’ll be celebrating. Danny meets Normandy’s secretary, Gazelle and wants to see the cash before he gives it. Dorothy and Beatrice make their way to the pub. It seems the debt collectors are there. They think Danny threw in Dorothy’s best friend as well. Dorothy is seething with anger realizing Danny has sold them out so she beats the crap out of them when they make a move on Beatrice. When the wimps had enough, they reveal they thought Danny agreed to give his daughter to repay the debts since she popped up alone. However back then, Danny kept pleading not to take his daughter. Despite all the beating, he kept repeating that. Meanwhile Danny is ranting about his bright future with his daughter. We’ve seen this coming from a mile. Gazelle kills him. So while Dorothy and Beatrice wait at the pub, feeling really grateful to Danny despite being a worthless father, little do they know Danny’s body is now in the morgue… :’(.

Episode 7
The girls are on a mission working incognito in a laundry mill. Ange is acting out of character as angsty delinquent. There is a serial killer going around killing those who supports the Commonwealth. Going by the nickname Poison Gas Jack, they discover the nerve gas he uses is banned under the convention and thus such chemicals could only be obtained from the military. It could be the culprit is from there. Also, before the convention, there was gas produced and lying unused in military storehouses inside the Wall. There are military barracks there and a good chance the culprit lives there. However disguising as soldiers would be dangerous as being female makes them stand out. It is suggested the laundry mill since all men’s uniform are sent there for washing. So as they get to work, Princess will pour certain chemicals on the uniform to sniff out the culprit. However the machines often break down and malfunction so the laundry mill head, Marilla has the girls take breaks. This puts a damper in trying to catch the killer fast. So when Chise refuses to take a break even being forced, one of the girls, Rita almost gets burnt by a short-circuited wire. Chise realizes the scars on their arms as Marilla explains they have to take breaks because they can’t work these machines hard or there’ll be injuries. This means time out and no money. Franky comes in to see the foreman. Looks like he owes some debts and if he can’t pay up, the place will shut down. And you know what it means for these women’s livelihood, right? Princess then waltzes in and says she will buy this laundry mill. They think she is joking but when they try to get rough with her, Ange beats them up with her angsty teen attitude. Later the girls discuss about Princess’s actions. She doesn’t have enough to cover the entire mill but just needs to hold out long enough till they find the culprit. Also, she intends to make this mill into a profit one.

The first step is to rearrange the haphazardly placed machineries and service them so they work efficiently. Yeah, even Chise has some ideas. Now we have ‘Japanese technology’! So when the rest come in to work the next day, they are surprised at the changes. Heck, so efficient that they actually finish their job! Dorothy then suggests they can make more money by getting from other sources. They go source from the men at the coal mines. I’m sure they can’t resist the pretty ladies. Oh, they’re stripping right now! Before we drift too far into this happy washing business, we see the culprit does live in the barracks. The reason he is not caught yet is because he does his own laundry. But one day his comrades took the liberty to send it in on his behalf. Oh no… Soon enough, chemical stains are discovered on his uniform. Princess seizes this evidence. At this time the culprit tries to sneak in but is caught by Chise. They both fight and Chise knocks him out before he could blow the entire place up. Marilla sees this and is in shock. Chise and the girls have not appeared for work for a few days. Then Princess calls for a meeting. She tells them she is resigning as foreman. They are shocked but Marilla reminds them they have seen many come and go and believes they have their reasons. Princess hands over the foreman position to Marilla. At first she isn’t confident but with other girls volunteering for it, Marilla decides to take it because if they’re in charge, they’re going to introduce more breaks and increase the wage. Yeah… With that, our spy girls can be assured that the laundry mill ladies are strong enough to stand on their own.

Episode 8
Lord O’Reilly has been meeting someone in secret in a certain location. The girls are tasked to find out who that person is and a stakeout is more suitable because if they tail, the other person would most likely be a spy and they will be discovered. Princess wants to help do the stakeout but Ange disagrees. Princess argues she is tired of all the formalities she needs to do and once in a while needs to take a step outside. Ange relents. Everyone takes turns staking out. Princess spies from a rented building across, Ange masquerades as a painter while Chise hangs upside down like a bat from a tree? Ange notices a girl, Julie trying to pickpocket but always fails. So she teaches her how to ‘survive’ by telling her to attack from the front instead from behind. Julie is successful and becomes friends with Ange. She often hangs out as long as the stakeout is still in operation. Julie loves hearing Ange’s stories especially those from Black Lizard Planet. Today she will be telling a story about a princess and a pickpocket. Once upon a time, there lived a princess who was fed up living behind the walls and wanted to go outside. Accidentally she stumbled upon a pickpocket who resembled closely to her. They become good friends having fun together, learning together and pulling pranks together on the palace staffs. One day the princess really wanted to go outside the walls and switched places. But to her horror saw how gloomy, filthy and poor everything is. Instantly she is attacked by a man who claims to be her employer, she is beaten up for being lazy and if she doesn’t work, no dinner tonight.

When O’Reilly finally meets the secretive person, the girls cannot ascertain her identity because of her veil. As she is leaving, Julie tries to accidentally bump into her to pick her pocket but she swiftly takes it back. During that accident, her veil lifted slightly and Ange was able to identify her as Gazelle. Then she goes to ‘eliminate the evidence’. Julie is going to be beaten up by her master for failing at her job. That’s where Ange comes in to beat the crap out of him. Though grateful, Julie fears he will be back for revenge. Ange gives her a recommendation letter to a certain orphanage. Seek help there. Why is she doing this for her? Because Julie did what Ange told her to go after that veiled woman despite her failure. Julie wants to know what happened to the pickpocket girl in the story. A revolution broke out that day so the princess rushed back and was reunited with the pickpocket. The princess asserts she will become queen to change this country. A cannon blast separates them. The guards find the pickpocket girl thinking she is the princess and that she must be too scared to admit her own identity. It would have looked like a happy ending for the pickpocket girl but she heard how bloodthirsty the adults were. What if the royal family found out about the switch? Her head will roll. Thus she slogged extremely hard under intense pressure to learn what a princess should do. And she exceled in them all today. From one who couldn’t read is now fluent in 9 languages. From one who didn’t know music to one who is the Kingdom’s leading pianist. Princess meets O’Reilly and hints of the woman he is seeing. She tells him she works for Normandy and her plans of defection are lies. He wonders if he should turn himself in. Not really. Princess could do him a favour of getting him across the Wall. Later Princess and Ange talk. Princess still believes she is empty despite her princess-like skills surpassing Ange’s a long time ago. Ange reminds her that she wanted to run away together when they recently reunited. Now it was her who wanted to change the country just like Ange once wished to. She is a real princess now. Princess is happy to hear it as it means a lot to her.

Episode 9
Chise writes a letter to her sister in Japan on the everyday life of a student-cum-spy in the western world. You bet there is going to be a lot of cultural confusion. Like Chise loves her ‘smelly’ Japanese food but finds the western ones to taste ‘horrible’. She also mistook fencing as some easy western sword fighting and the poor teacher got hit on the head when he tries to stop her. As Princess has always a bodyguard following her, toilets are the only place for secret meetings. Like Lily Gaveston who is the daughter of the Kingdom’s chief justice. She isn’t trained as a spy but you can tell she is a snobby b*tch. On missions, Chise is usually left out as she is often left on standby. She feels she wants to contribute more. One day while admiring a butterfly emerging from its cocoon in the nearby forest, a group of boys led by Cameron kicks it away since Chise was ‘in their path’. She becomes upset and challenges a duel. However the boys are not interested as she keeps insisting. Ange and co arrive to see the commotion as they tell her to back down with Ange whispering to her to choose he battles wisely because spies are not supposed to make themselves stand out. Later Princess visits Chise not with the intention to reprimand her but to tell her how to actually do a proper duel. Wow. In the name of fairness there are sure a lot of steps. This means Princess wasn’t opposed to the duel.

Soon a duel is called between Chise and Cameron. The way the boys mock her tells Chise they still have much to learn about Japan. Yeah, that’s China they’re referring to, right? They will stand some distance apart and take turns to shoot each other till one is injured. After all 6 shots, bygones will be bygones. Lily is made to be the fair witness. Of course the gun that Chise was given is old and rigged but that can’t be proven, right? So Chise uses a slingshot for the bullet instead and injures gravely Cameron’s arm. The boys don’t want to give up at first but after seeing Chise’s determined looks and how she can aim the next shot to be between his eyes, Cameron is forced to admit defeat and apologize. Chise makes her periodical reports to Horikawa. He needs her opinion on this operation since the Kingdom is pressuring him to sign the treaty quick and he would like to use any information available to help determine it. Later Chise is called for a ‘meeting’. To her surprise, the girls are putting up some lame sumo entrance ritual as celebration. Cultural appropriation? Yeah, looks like this is how much they know about Japan too. However they want to thank her particularly because of her who ‘stood out’ as an oriental, their mission went smoothly. During the duel, Dorothy and Beatrice managed to search Lily’s room and found she has a hidden direct telephone line that reports back to the Home Secretary. Of course they tinkered with it. They hear one of Lily’s comments describing the weird oriental Chise is but to Chise, all you westerners are weird! Straight up Japanese honesty. Chise gives her opinion to Horikawa about the operation. She doesn’t know if it is possible but she wants them to be victorious.

Episode 10
Deep in the woods a training facility known as the Farm was used to intensively train young girls to become spies. If they weren’t up to it, the next morning they are gone and hence no time for goodbyes. Control briefs Dorothy and Ange about their next mission whom they will meet up with an ex-classmate from the Farm on Christmas. With Beatrice, they drive to the estate of the First Lord of Admiralty where Eleanor works as the secretary to retrieve some top secret documents. They sneak in to meet up with Eleanor and she is as strict as ever from those days. It seems the trio are the only girls left from that class. As they work together perfectly to sneak past guards and obtain access, the final obstacle is in a cellar but guarded by dogs. Don’t worry. Beatrice uses her voice with high frequency to order them to lie low. The documents are retrieved and they celebrate their success with a drink. Eleanor excuses herself to the washroom. It seems she is shaking from some syndrome and needs to inject herself with a serum. She returns to the rest but only Dorothy is there. It is past the kids’ bedtime so time for the adults to drink more. They talk about that Christmas exam in which Eleanor thought they had failed for good. Dorothy brought her to the funfair but thanks to Ange doing all the work during that time while they had fun, they passed. Eleanor asks if Dorothy has someone she looks up to. Not really. Eleanor has. Somebody whom she wants to be like badly. Meanwhile Ange tells Beatrice their real mission is to determine if Eleanor is a double spy. She is not told anything as her acting of the knowledge might give them away. So they are in her room searching for evidence. Since they find none, they leave.

When Eleanor returns to her room, she checks for footprints underneath the carpet trap. She knows she is on to her and packs her bags and leaves. Dorothy and co are waiting outside. Noting that she is on the move, it is true then she is a double agent. Ange purposely left those footprints so as to make her act. Their plan now is to surround and apprehend her before she gets to the train station. However Ange tells her to surrender as Eleanor realizes she fell into their trap. She still has a trick up her sleeve. Her luggage shoots bullets that ricochet off the steam pipes. The steam gives her the perfect cover to run away. Eleanor notes Ange has changed. She now has a heart because the old Ange would have just shot her from the back. Dorothy chastises Ange for jumping the gun. Does she think she can beat Eleanor herself? Is she trying to proof she is the better spy than her? Dorothy manages to get onto the train and secure a room. However Dorothy manages to catch up and jumps aboard. With Ange on sniping position outside, who is handling the car? Oh, Beatrice crashed it. Dorothy ‘congratulates’ Eleanor for ‘beating’ Ange but Eleanor reveals Ange was not the one whom she looked up to. It was you, Dorothy. She never cared about grades. She just wanted to be a good student not to disappoint anyone. Then she got tired of it all, took a break, got careless and they got to her. She claims that funfair time was her first and it was so fun she still dreams about it. Dorothy wants to bring her back to introduce her to her team but that’s not going to happen. Eleanor slowly reaches into her pocket and pulls out a gun. However she points it at her own head. This is her Christmas present. Goodbye Dorothy. She pulls the trigger. On the way back, Dorothy realizes Ange jumping the gun was trying to make sure she didn’t have to shoot Dorothy. She replies it was only to increase their mission’s success. When they return to Control, L has been transferred and General now takes over as the new head. He is impressed with their previous mission that he wants them starting on the next one: Assassinate Princess.

Episode 11
Dorothy opines Princess is their ally and have yet to see any intent of betrayal. However General puts it that they don’t want to take risks and didn’t ask for her opinion. Ange agrees to do it. Later Dorothy and Ange clash over their opinions. Dorothy doesn’t want to kill Princess but Ange views them as spies and are to follow orders. Dorothy calls her a liar. Later when Ange tries to sneak in to meet Princess, the security is heavy. This sharp girl, Zelda spots her. She is Princess’ new bodyguard sent by Control. She also tells her that with the reshuffling, she is now in charge of this operation. Ange is worried because what does this mean of Dorothy? Well, she is no longer around. Ange realizes it is very hard to get close to Princess since there are many bodyguards from both sides, Normandy and the Commonwealth. She even tests by slipping in a blank paper and Zelda could even seize that and check it out. It is too risky to contact her. Later Ange secretly meets with 7 to ask what happened to L. A shakeup in the top is all she can say. Follow your orders if you want to stay alive. Soon, Chise is transferred out but rather she is recalled by Horikawa. Zelda tells Ange they will assassinate Princess tomorrow and Ange would like the honours to do it. Meanwhile Normandy is with an audience with the queen when Gazelle seeks his attention. She received info that part of the army has gathered at London and many are from overseas colonies. He tells her to call back the Home Office forces stationed in Rouen. As for the queen, he will decide to tell her or not.

Princess and Ange go out together in what it seems like a normal outing. But Ange can tell there are spies everywhere watching their move. Zelda is also watching and this is all to test Ange’s loyalty. Oh, there the pair goes running away. The spies start chasing them as they hide in a shop. After that they switch identities and run in different directions to give multiple targets to confuse them. Finally a smoke bomb obscures the area as both the girls meet up and manage to give their pursuers the slip. Ange takes Princess to an airship headed for Casablanca. There will be a house there for them. Princess at this point is perplexed Ange has been acting strange so she reveals she has been targeted for assassination. However Princess can’t run away. She has things she still needs to do for this country. Ange tries to persuade her but ultimately she blows her top that if she wanted to run away, she should just leave her out of this. Her life is not hers to play. If the operation means one of them has to disappear, then Ange can disappear without her. This is goodbye. Chise returns to Horikawa to learn rumours of a faction in the royal army unhappy with the Kingdom. It seems Princess is the centre of it all. Princess returns to Zelda and the other spies. Or is it Ange in disguise? She claims to have killed her. Zelda then introduces her to Major Yngwie and the rest of his men. They lament the state of the country and are prepared to assassinate the queen to make Princess the next ruler. They’re going to war.

Episode 12
The plan for this revolution is to let the cathedral ceiling fall on the queen! It sounds funny but no joke, they’re doing it! Of course Princess doesn’t want this revolution but Zelda points out it will most likely fail. Even so, Control seems to be backing this despite it knows it is going to fail. Zelda warns her not to try anything funny or she’ll kill her herself. She will turn this revolution into a revenge war. Meanwhile Ange is really on a flight to Casablanca thinking of the old times. But she can’t sit like this forever. Hence she starts a fire in the room so that others could let her out! It seems Princess knew she would do this and left a parachute in her name in the parachute area! First she needs to find out where Princess is. As luck would have it, she overhears a guy talking about the queen’s assassination. Nothing like a bit of rough tactics would get him to talk. The plan is to assassinate the queen and put Princess in the centre of it. She would have actually killed him had not Dorothy intervened. That guy was actually having a conversation with Beatrice on the other end and Ange ‘interrupted’. Dorothy reveals their true mission as they are to figure out Zelda’s plot. Hence Control was playing musical chairs with the military and they got stuck in the middle. Ange feels disappointed when Dorothy mentions rescuing her friend wasn’t part of her mission. But she was just trolling her. That’s what you get for always lying and not by yourself, right? So they ride all the way to the cathedral. Princess tries to get Yngwie to give her hold the key that activates the ceiling. Zelda knows what she is doing and breaks them up. So when Zelda tries to keep the key herself, Yngwie finds it missing. Zelda warns Princess but the latter tries to make a run for it (smashing the key on the window as a mark for you know who). Zelda tackles Princess and gets the key back.

Ange tries to disguise as Princess at the gates. But the guards are suspicious as they heard Princess had already gone through. What’s next? Just barge through! A weird chase ensues because the train carrying the soldiers can pull right up next to the car but none of the soldiers can shoot straight at them at this close distance! WTF?! I know they’re moving but they are this close in the narrow tunnel! Anyway the car turns turtle and the soldiers are ordered to kill them by Gazelle since she got approval by Normandy to kill the infiltrators. Corpses are much better to deal with, right? They could have been done for had not Chise helped them out and take them to escape (she is at the cathedral with Horikawa to celebrate with the queen but she sought permission to go off on a personal mission). Princess tries to change Yngwie’s mind that if he starts a revolution via bloodshed, others will retaliate the same way. Zelda doesn’t want him to listen to her lies but he is willing to give her a chance to talk. However Zelda shoots her leg but Princess continues. She is adamant she will become the last queen and knows her fate will end in a guillotine. All she wants is to fulfil the promise of her friend. She never understood why she wanted the Wall gone but now knows why. Many people like them have been torn apart by it. Yngwie wants Zelda to give them more time to contemplate the best way but she shoots him! Before she could kill her, here comes Ange and Chise barging in. Ange is forced to take Princess away as she has lost a lot of blood. Chise stays back to fight Zelda. At the same time, Dorothy and Beatrice cause a ruckus in the hall by dropping smoke bombs. Zelda makes her escape. Ange and Princess take this time to reconcile and Ange showing some real tears. If the girls had only been honest in asking for help in the first place instead of being this discreet. In the aftermath, Gazelle reports her failure to Normandy but he is not fazed since they have uncovered something important from all of this. General is frustrated his plan failed. However L has returned and since General’s plans are uncovered, he is taken away. L is back at his usual spot as he wants to know the whereabouts of his spy girls. Holidaying in Casablanca, sir. Right. Contact them. There is a job they need to do. So our girls need to quickly finish their job and finding out what this African general is doing and then get back to their vacation.

Spy Vs Spy: Live And Let (Others) Die
It’s over? Aww shucks. It was getting pretty exciting. Forgive me. It has been exciting ever since from the start. It’s totally a shame that this had only a dozen episodes. Because as we can see that there are lots of potential development and things can go in any direction. It isn’t just the Kingdom versus the Commonwealth but there could be more parties involved each with their own goals. Like Zelda who conveniently escaped means she will be back in the future to realize her goal. But for now, let’s give the girls the break they all much needed while they still can. They’re going to really need it. A spy’s work is never done. I mean, have you ever seen a spy handing in her request for vacation? The only time she can go on leave is a permanent one. And when she’s no longer breathing!

The plot might not be new and mainly revolves around a group of spy girls carrying out their mission. However the execution done for each mission is what makes it interesting. There are lots of intense thrillers and the likes as one would expect from a spy movie. You’ll watch in baited breath wondering if they could ever it off despite in your heart you know they can because, main characters. Hence each mission never feels old with all the drama, espionage and stealthy moves going on. There are one quip liners that will make you smirk and there will be heart moving moments especially when it touches on the tragic pasts of the characters.

The episodes might feel like standalones independent of each other and sometimes the chronological order is jumbled up in terms of viewing order. For example, this week episode shows a future mission before jumping back to a past mission. Fortunately it isn’t confusing as you’ll notice each episode title starts off with a case number. If you rearrange all those cases in sequential order, the story makes a lot more sense in chronological order. With so many case numbers in between missing, I can only ‘regret’ not being able to watch what kind of stealthy and exciting missions they have to pull off. I am very sure they were 100% successful because had they not, they would have either made their maker or Control would have dismissed them with some sort of punishment and penalty.

The characters are quite interesting especially the main spy female quartet. Each has their own personality and back story to tell although I feel that more could have been told had not the series being just a dozen episodes long. Not just because they are kawaii and cute but their team effort and set of skills slowly want to make you root for them. So when the team somewhat unfashionably breaks up (not by their own accord), it broke our hearts that they aren’t together.

Ange and Princess are the main focus among the quintet. The swapped prince-and-pauper story isn’t original but it is amazing to note that the duo despite coming originally from very different backgrounds managed to pull through and become what they are today. It really took them a lot of effort and sacrifice. Because otherwise they would have been dead in this so called adult world. So while they have a tragic past, they do have a goal to work towards to for the future. Oddly, the original princess wants to only be with her look-a-like and get away from it all but the non-royalty who took her place has taken upon herself to change her country and improve the livelihood of her people. When you have pretended to be in a particular role for so long, you practically morphed into and changed into an entirely different person.

I want to add that Ange is a bag full of lies. Not in an entirely bad sense seeing that her normal face is the usual poker face lacking any emotions whatsoever. Not sure if her Black Lizard Planet which she always claims she is form and hence she is not a human is some sort of lame joke or poor cover up. Not funny. Not convincing. After all, you can’t blame Ange for being so as lying is part of her profession. So I have to caution myself from time to time on what Ange says sometimes. Could she be lying? Many would love to blame the Wall for this because it might have torn many others apart but it has also caused many like Ange to build another wall around her own heart. So you see the irony of having a physical wall and an invisible one? Yeah, walls really do keep people and things apart, do they?

For the rest of the other team members, I supposed Beatrice is often portrayed as one of those characters who isn’t like the rest. For starters, I believe she panics and flusters more than the rest of the team especially when they’re doing high stakes chases and things that are adrenaline pumping and dangerous. It’s amazing and lucky she is still alive. Compared to the rest, she is the most ‘useless’ character seeing her only real ability is to mimic voices. I’m sure she has a few set of other skills but what she can do, the rest can do better. You don’t often see her spearheading a mission, right? Plus, before she was part of the team, she was some sort of loli servant to Princess and lapping up to her. Dorothy’s running joke is that she likes to drink and how she has to rebuke others about her real age. Her greatest assets are her greatest assets. Get what I mean? Who else is as well-endowed as her? Chise tries to adapt to the western culture but without forgetting or replacing her eastern roots.

Despite their profession, I won’t outright label them as bad or even if this spy and espionage mission is all part and parcel of their job. Of course it is but in many instances we see that they could have not cared for anything else and just did what it takes to complete the mission. Like that laundry mill case. They don’t have to literally give a damn sh*t about the other female workers. They claim it is all part to smoothen their mission and increase its chance of success but being the veteran and pros they are, I’m sure they could have pulled it off without resorting to ‘playing nice’. In the end, the girls left Marilla and co a future that they are able to sustain themselves and be independent. Spies with a conscious and heart? Maybe we should ask if this is the norm on Black Lizard Planet. There was also Amy’s case and although Ange ‘gifted’ her with insurance money to pay for her operation, it was in a way rightfully ‘funded’ by her brother. His circumstances would have been pretty much dead wherever he goes so this was the only ‘dignified’ way he could go out and let his sister live. All would not have been possible had not the girls being this thoughtful. Aww, how considerate.

Normandy is a very suspicious character and it looks like he has lots of ulterior motives. He might look like he is aligned to the queen and against Princess in ascending the throne but it could be more than meets the eye. Therefore this kind of men are often the dangerous types to look out for as he is politically powerful and gets to pull a lot of strings behind the shadow. I feel that his loyalty isn’t to the Commonwealth or the Kingdom but himself and his own interest. I won’t even discount the fact that he might be a spy for a foreign European country, say, Germany. He could be a Nazi in disguise and a double agent for all we know! So whether he is the antagonist or the most unlikely of allies in the most remote of cases, he is a man whom you want to throw caution around. After all, Normandy and the spy girls have not directly fought each other because of their different methods of fighting. While the girls are more directly physically involved on the battlefield, Normandy plays his hand pulling strings and playing politics in the background. So I don’t think there would be a chance they’ll be facing off directly unless there is a mission that calls for his assassination.

The spy action thriller scenes are also one of the highlights of the series. Many are exhilarating to watch especially for a casual viewer like me who doesn’t watch spy themed movies. One of the exciting fight scenes I like was the one Chise fought her own father on the train. That was really good. One thing I have been pondering is the use of Cavorite. I only see Ange monopolizing it. It gives some excuse for her to perform some superhuman moves. I know there is some sort of limit that prevents her from turning it on all the time. But I don’t see other team members often using it. There are but very rare. Are only certain chosen people allowed to wield them? I wished more of this would be explained otherwise it feels like some sort of excuse to justify impossible action. Not that it is entirely a bad thing either.

The art and visuals are gorgeous. The steampunk environment of alternate Britain really gives you the chills as of how depressing and gloomy the state is. It is hence the perfect environment for such espionage thriller with all the detailed details. The gothic fashion of our spy girls are also good although I can’t help feel that some of the characters look pretty familiar. Like I’ve seen them from other anime. For instance, when I first saw Dorothy, I was shocked that Rozen Maiden’s Sousei Seki had returned! Desu?! Her usual dark green garb is another reason why she quickly reminded me of that doll. Also, doesn’t Ange look like Nagato from the Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu series? It’s like after she ‘disappeared’, maybe this was where she temporarily went. Is it me or does Beatrice look like Akari from YuruYuri? Or that Yuuki girl from Shokugeki No Souma? I find Chise also looking odd. Firstly, those eyebrows… Next, I thought there was something weird about her head and body proportion. Seeing her in her skimpy ninja outfit, she looks like she has a small body size and shoulders compared to her head. Maybe she is that skinny. And finally Normandy himself. I thought he had that uncanny resemblance to Michael Caine’s character in that Hollywood movie, Kingsmen: Secret Service. By a long shot, doesn’t Gazelle look like New Game’s Umiko?

Voice acting I only recognize Miyuki Sawashiro as 7 and Daisuki Ono as Yngwie. The rest of the casts are Ayaka Imamura as Ange (Yuriko in Sakurako-san No Ashimoto Ni Wa Shitai Ga Umatteiru), Akira Sekine as Princess (Miyabi Fujiwara in Aikatsu), You Taichi as Dorothy (Anzu in Prison School), Nozomi Furuki as Chise (Yukari in The Rolling Girls), Akari Kageyama as Beatrice (Ebina in Himouto! Umaru-chan), Takaya Hashi as Normandy (Inuarashi in One Piece), Mie Sonozaki as Zelda (Hazuki in Happy Lesson), Takayuki Sugo as L (Wanyuudou in Jigoku Shoujo), Yuko Iida as Gazelle (Mei in Witch Craft Works), Ayaka Ohashi as Eleanor (Momoka in Sabagebu) and Akari Kitou as Lily (Yonaga in Alice To Zoroku). On a trivial note, in addition to her original main seiyuu, Beatrice’s character has also been credited to numerous other seiyuus albeit only a few lines or so due to her voice imitating ability.

The opening theme is a very vocal powerful piece. The Other Side Of The Wall by Void_Chords featuring Maru is refreshing in a way because it does not sound like your typical anime song. Almost as though this song was from America seeing the entire lyrics are in English. That’s not all. With all the jazzy fanfare and the funky bassline, this is actually one exciting piece to listen to and it befits the nature and genre of this series very well. The ending theme on the other hand brings up a more nostalgic feel. A Page Of My Story is sung by the main quintet of the spy girls and another song totally in English (or rather, sounds like Engrish). This piece sounds so familiar to Spice And Wolf’s Ringo Biyori ending theme. Every time I hear this song, I am quickly reminded of the latter and I can’t get that song out of my head! It’s funny for this song to be here since it has this fun and relaxing feel to it but it isn’t all that bad. If the BGMs sound familiar, it is because they are written by the renowned Yuki Kajiura whose trademark sounds can be heard in Mai-HiME, Tsubasa Chronicle and Sword Art Online. But personally, these ones didn’t resonate with me.

Overall, this is a very exciting and enjoyable spy thriller. Maybe I didn’t have any expectations at first but it surely exceed all expectations (wait, weren’t there none?) and it shot right through the roof. And here I thought that the cute and kawaii girls would be the factor to appeal to the audiences but I was totally wrong. These girls could stand and kick ass highly on their own and for that reason you will respect and love them for who they are rather than how they look (on the outside, that is). I highly recommend people to watch this even if you’re not into the spy genre. It has likeable characters and the plots and actions are well planned out. Who knew a wall cutting in between a nation could create so much spying and espionage. We can only wonder what would happen had Trump actually built a wall between America and Mexico…

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