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Anime / Princess Principal

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I will never be deceived. I'm a girl who sees through lies From front to back: Ange, Dorothy, Beatrice, Chise, and Princess Charlotte

Princess Principal is an original anime series produced by Studio 3Hz and Actas, released as part of the Summer 2017 anime season. It was directed by Masaki Tachibana, with scripts written by Ichiro Okouchi, character designs by Kouhaku Kobayashi and Yukie Akiya, and its musical score is composed by Yuki Kajiura, who this time integrates elements of Swing and Jazz into her signature epic rock-opera style.

In an alternate universe set in the 19th century, the mighty Kingdom of Albion, the greatest power in the world, has been split in two. West lies the Commonwealth of Albion; east, the old Kingdom. The two nations are separated by a great wall that runs just west of the royal capital of London. In this shady world of espionage, violence and intrigue, a team of five teenage Commonwealth spies operate together, embedded undercover in the prestigious Queen's Mayfair Academy. One of them is none other than a royal princess.

On August 10, 2017, a mobile puzzle game for Android and iPhone launched in Japan: Princess Principal: Game of Mission.

On April 28, 2018, a second season was announced in the form of 6 theatrical releases. Production on the movie finished on March 30, 2020, with an initial theatrical release date of April 10, 2020, but was delayed due to the pandemic at the time to February 11, 2021. The second movie had its theatrical release on September 23, 2021. The third movie had its theatrical release on April 7, 2023.

On Sept 25, 2018, Sentai Filmworks released an English-language DVD/Blu-Ray, with an all-British dub vocal cast. Preview Here.

A few days earlier, on Sept 21, 2018, they started a weekly stream of the dub on HiDive.

Episodes order for anyone interested: note .

Princess Principal contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Ange, Dorothy, Beatrice, and Chise all had abusive fathers.
  • All Asians Wear Conical Straw Hats: Literally in this case, since Chise is the only Asian on the team, and she wears such a hat.
  • Alliterative Title: "Princess" and "Principal" share the same first five letters. Episode titles might get in on this as well, such as in the case of Episode 3, "Vice Voice".
  • Allohistorical Allusion: Chise's mission is to determine which Britain. Kingdom or Commonwealth, is worthy of alliance to Japan, a nod to the the Real Life alliance between Britain and Japan in 1902.
  • Alternate History:
    • The series takes in an alternate 19th century England known as the Kingdom of Albion. The discovery of a mineral known as Cavorite leads to a technological revolution in Albion, propelling the kingdom to the forefront of global power. However, discontent among the lower classes boils over, causing them to revolt against the nobility. A truce splits the island into two separate countries (the Kingdom of Albion and the Commonwealth of Albion) and leads to London being divided by an enormous barrier known as the London Wall. Both sides continue their conflict in secret, fighting a shadow war with the goal of defeating the other and uniting the empire under one rule.
    • Albion is implied to control parts of France, given the Duke of Normandy's title (and mention of a Duke of Aquitaine as well) as well as the presence of military forces in Rouen, situated in northern France.
    • The Geneva Protocols(here misnamed as the Geneva Conventions) were apparently ratified a few decades earlier than in Real Life.
    • Technology appears to be anywhere from roughly equivalent to the nineteenth century to some years in advance of reality. Most of the firearms shown in the series are period appropriate, though a few weren't available until a few decades into the twentieth century. Automotive technology is both far more common and well in advance of what was available at the time, with cars that start without cranking. Buildings are much larger than would be feasible and London features a system of elevated freeways supported by iron trusses; in our world, the first elevated roadways wouldn't appear until 1924 at the earliest, while the wall dividing London is easily far bigger than any concrete structure ever constructed in our world.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Ange and Princess's relationship can very easily be interpreted as a secret romantic one. While the show drops a number of hints (made more plausible by the sneaky-spies-and-espionage theme), it's never made explicit. They mention not wanting to have to hide their relationship; but that could just mean that they want to be friends without dealing with each of them pretending to be the other, and the many plots to assassinate Princess, whichever of them that actually is.
  • Anachronic Order: The episodes jump around the timeline, with the only obvious indicator of the proper chronological order being the case numbers in each episode name. note 
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Episode 10 takes place on Christmas, and the following two episodes (which are actually in chronological order) take place so soon after that the local mall hasn't had time to take down the tree yet.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The Duke of Normandy and Gazelle find Princess's hat in the debris from the firefight between Ange, Chise, and Zelda, giving them evidence that she was involved. Meanwhile, as Team White Pigeon recuperates in Casa Blanca, they are given their next mission.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Cavorite, a green-glowing mineral with Anti-Gravity properties. Albion's Cavorite monopoly, and the fleet of airships built using the stuff, allowed the Kingdom to establish itself as the dominant world power.
  • Artificial Gravity: The principal property of Cavorite technology, seen most prominently in the airships it levitates. Ange herself uses a C-ball, a Cavorite-based handheld spherical device that lets her effectively realign her own personal gravity. A C-ball user can fall "up" or walk on walls, and even extend that same field to people or objects around them.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Episode 3 is a particularly blatant example. Not only do Ange and Dorothy keep loaded firearms stored in their clubroom, but they let Princess, an untrained bystander, pick up and fiddle with an armed and loaded gun disguised as a pen. Unsurprisingly, the gun goes off, narrowly missing Ange and Dorothy. Not only do Ange and Dorothy shrug the incident off, they let Beatrice, another untrained bystander, keep the gun pen without giving her any instruction on how to use it properly. Perhaps it only had the one shot.
  • Audience Surrogate: Subverted. Eric is used this way initially, as a male everyman who gets caught up in the heroes' spy shenanigans. But at the end of the first episode, he turns out to be their enemy, and Ange kills him. The rest of the series goes without an audience stand-in character.
  • Beach Episode: Subverted, in a sense. The final scene does take place on a beach, but there's none of the usual beach-episode fanservice because all the characters are wearing old-fashioned, completely non-revealing swimsuits.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: L warns Dorothy that this is how the world works, and nobody is ever truly "white." Even if somebody like Princess proves that she is loyal and can be trusted, they will always be a potential threat in the future.
  • The Book Cipher: The first Crown Handler OVA involves coded messages hidden in government proclamations by the scriptwriter, using a code based on early edition Shakespeare folios.
  • Book Ends: The first "case" (second episode) and the last both involve pickpocketing a key and using Princess's social status to hide it. Though, in the latter case, it doesn't work.
  • Book Safe: Episode 4 (case9) features two: a library book titled "BIRDS" has a hollow for holding the Principal team's mission files, and a book used by another Commonwealth spy has a camera hidden in it.
  • Brain Bleach: The reaction of Beatrice looking at a photo of a nerve gas victim was a grimace, tearing up and being about to hug the Princess for comfort.
  • Call-Forward: In Episode 8, when Ange recalls how she and Charlotte met, the latter, the original Ange, asks if they can be friends, because they are "complete opposites." In Episode 2, after meeting her again for the first time in ten years, they repeat the exchange almost word for word to confirm their identities to each other.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The C-Ball used by Zelda is the one the Principal Team captured in Case 9.
  • Child Spies Of the five main characters, 4 of them are underage (17 and 16 years old). Ange and Dorothy and many other orphans were trained in spycraft in their early teens by the Commonwealth.
  • Crapsack World: Britain is divided and locked in a cold war which threatens to explode into a world war at any moment. Meanwhile, London is depicted as showing elements of the Victorian Age and Industrial Revolution, especially the dark sides such as rampant pollution, widespread poverty, and child labor.
  • Code Name:
    • While Control is actively overseeing the Principal team's missions, they refer to the girls (sans Princess Charlotte) with only the first letter of their names. A few members of Control themselves have codenames, such as L and 7.
    • Discussed. The subject of a team name is brought up at some point, and when Dorothy enters the conversation, she also brings up individual codenames and starts giving everyone liquor-based codenames on the spot.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The day Ange and Charlotte pull their Prince and Pauper switch is not only also the day Dorothy ran away from her father but also, in both Ange's and Dorothy's words, the day the revolution broke out.
  • Cool Train: Princess Charlotte's train in Episode 5 (case 7), based on the Real Life personal train of Queen Victoria.
  • Dartboard of Hate: The ashtray in L's office sports the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Albion, upon which the smoker can smother his or her cigar in contempt.
  • Defector from Decadence:
    • The first episode focuses on Eric, a researcher whom the Principal Team is helping defect to the Commonwealth. He isn't defecting for moral reasons, though; he just wants to be able to pay for his sister's treatment. In fact, he's a Fake Defector, set up by the Duke of Normandy to lure the Principal Team out of hiding.
    • Similarly, Morgan is only defecting to the Kingdom so that he can spend his last days with his wife, who is living in the Kingdom.
    • The Princess herself, leading a spy ring for the Commonwealth.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Prince Richard arranges to be wounded in a "failed" assassination attempt so that when his people start murdering the rest of the royal family, he will be above suspicion.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The closing credits song is sung by Team White Pigeon. What makes this notable is that the song is entirely in English, including (or even especially) the vocal performance.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: The character we know as "Princess" was born as "Ange", a penniless orphan who pickpockets to survive. The "Ange" we know was born as Princess Charlotte, fourth in line to the crown of Albion. They pull a Prince and Pauper which accidentally becomes permanent. Add on top to that deception the fact that, going into the final episode, Princess is posing as Ange posing as Princess.
  • Dramatic Irony: After seeing Ange disguised as Princess Charlotte, Dorothy says she can believe that Operation Changeling would have worked. This is due in part to the fact that Ange is the real Princess Charlotte, who switched with the original Ange prior to the series.
  • Dystopia: All the trappings of Dickensian London, with a divided nation and steampunk super science on top of it.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: When the team is assigned to try and locate a killer that's using poison gas, they decide their best option is to infiltrate the laundry mill that washes the uniforms of the soldiers their suspect is among, and test the uniforms for traces of the gas. A solid idea, since women wouldn't be able to infiltrate the barracks directly and the men don't handle their own laundry. What they don't realize is the man does, in fact, do his own laundry so they would never have seen his uniform if the other soldiers hadn't sent it to be washed without telling him first.
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: A bit of a variation, but each episode has clues that let the viewers guess the Twist Ending.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The second Crown Handler OVA has the team sent to find and recover three stolen Cavorite bombs. At first it appears that they were stolen for reverse engineering reasons because the Commonwealth beat the Kingdom in developing them, but then it turns out that they were stolen by someone who intends to use them.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: As Episode 2 draws to a close, the Princess reveals that Ange slipped her a note that told her she and Dorothy were spies. When we see the scene Once More, with Clarity, the note is from CHARLOTTE to ANGE, rather than the other way around. Less than a minute later, it is revealed that Ange and Charlotte switched places years ago.
  • First-Episode Twist: The first episode is the 13th case chronologically, establishing the protagonist team's style of operation, their personalities on the job, and the grittiness of their work. The second episode is the first chronological case, and contains the reveals that the two leads made a Prince and Pauper switch ten years ago, the Pauper-turned-Prince(ss) in the scenario is only in the team so they can help her go from fourth-in-line to rightful Queen, and since they're the only ones in the know about their identity-switch secret, pretty much all of their loyalties gain a few extra layers.
  • Foreign Queasine: Chise's reaction to an English breakfast consisting of a somewhat burnt fried egg, black pudding and toast with what appeared to be something similar to marmite on it. It was probably the marmite that did it. In the same episode Beatrice returns the favour to traditional Japanese foods that Chise keeps bringing into the dorm, mostly because they tend to be strong smelling fermented foods like natto.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the chess match in Crown Handler, Part 1, one can see the man who later kills Winston among the audience.
  • From Bad to Worse: At the end of Crown Handler, Part 3, Team White Pigeon's operation to extract Princess Mary to the Commonwealth is ambushed. The team is captured by the Duke of Normandy's men and thrown in prison, and Charlotte's affiliation with the Commonwealth is exposed. The Duke of Normandy then tells Charlotte that she must work for him as a double agent or he will execute the other members of her team.
  • Funny Foreigner: Chise, though it's played both ways; to her the weird foreigners are the rest of the cast. It tends to make her a Fish out of Water in school.
  • The Great Wall: The London Wall was erected ten years prior to the beginning of the story, separating the Kingdom of Albion with the Commonwealth following the revolutions due to the Kingdom's cavorite monopoly granting it a global rise in power. Becoming a spy was the only way for Ange (who was previously Princess Charlotte, allied with the Kingdom) to cross the wall to the Commonwealth, and the wall itself is representative of everything that prevents her and the Princess from peacefully being together in any way.
  • Green Rocks: Downplayed in regards to cavorite. Its main characteristics, which we see the most and drive the plot, are its green glow and antigravity effects, but it's also shown to be poisonous, and Ange's cavorite ball can be used to react with and detect cavorite in its surroundings even down to remnant traces in the air.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Despite the protagonists working for the Commonwealth, it's not clear if either the Commonwealth or the Kingdom are the "good" faction. Episode 2 shows that the Commonwealth in fact possesses secret airship blueprints that violate international treaties, and tasks the Principal Team with preventing the existence of said blueprints from going public.
  • Hope Spot: In episode 6, when Dorothy hears her father singing, it at first gives the suggestion that Danny survived his encounter with Gazelle. However, it's quickly revealed that it's only Beatrice manipulating her voice in an effort to raise Dorothy's spirits.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Ange, the most stoic and efficient of the team, and the Princess, whose motives and true loyalty are cryptic, have pale blue eyes nearly identical in hue, which is important if you're planning on having them switch identities. The enemy spymaster, the Duke of Normandy, has the same pale blue irises since he's the Princess's uncle.
  • Identical Stranger: When she was little, Princess met a random kid from the slums who looked exactly like her. A revolution broke out, and they unwittingly swapped places—"Ange" is actually Charlotte, the original Princess. 10 years after the mixup, their faces are still identical, though their hair colors diverged. Either can easily impersonate the other by wearing a wig.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title has some sort of wordplay, whether rhyming, alliteration, or punning.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the finale, Ange, Dorothy, and Beatrice manage to dodge a rain of bullets firing directly at them during a car chase. When the car breaks down and they hide behind it, the men still keep missing but Dorothy wonders aloud if they're out of options... until Chise arrives.
  • Industrial Ghetto: London is one. The sky is permanently hazy and smoggy, glowing orange at night; homeless litter the streets, and the city itself is a vast sprawl. Children as young as 6 are out working in factories.
  • In Medias Res: Episode 1 shows case 13, introducing us to the characters through the eyes of someone new to the group in the middle of the season-long arc. Episode 2 is instead case 1, bringing us to the chronological beginning of the story.
  • Jerkass Realization: Downplayed with Chise in Case 7. While she doesn't actually disrespect the girls at the laundromat, she does think they are lazy and lack work ethics, as they take long breaks between work sessions. She is forced to reconsider her opinions on the laundresses when one of them gets injured trying to iron some clothes. Marilla, the oldest worker at the laundromat, lectures Chise that the laundresses are forced to work with faulty machinery and they cannot risk overexerting it, lest they will get injured and won't get paid. Chise realizes she misjudged the girls and ultimately decides to help them improve things at the laundromat.
  • Kill and Replace: This is what "Operation: Changeling" is supposed to be — Control has the Princess assassinated, and Ange replaces her so the Commonwealth can gain a foothold in Kingdom politics. What they don't know is that Ange is actually the real Princess, and she's got goals beyond that.
  • King on His Deathbed: While the Queen isn't explicitly dying of anything, she has been ruling for sixty years, and is starting to fall victim to all the various health problems common to octogenarians as a result. As such, people are starting to form the opinion that she will die at some point in the near future, of old age if nothing else.
  • Military Coup: Most of the army is strongly implied to have joined the revolution, eventually becoming one of the major players in the government of the Commonwealth. As a result, the Kingdom is forced to rely on soldiers recruited from the colonies to make up for the shortfall. Mistreatment of the lower classes bites the Kingdom in the backside once again however, as disaffected colonial troops and labourers plot to kill the Queen and replace her with Princess Charlotte near the end of the first season.
  • Mundane Utility: Ange's C-ball is intended for gravity manipulation. However, the green glow its internal mechanism gives off makes it perfectly suitable for visually relaying messages in Morse code.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: Although she's never named, Albion's queen is clearly modeled after Queen Victoria in her later years.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The laundry mill the girls infiltrate is practically a death trap due to all of the poorly maintained and haphazardly placed equipment. Industrial irons will spontaneously combust after extended use, washer units constantly jam, and leaky water hoses are left lying on the ground to potentially trip people walking over them. Unfortunately, such safety hazards were a common occurrence in Industrial Age London.
  • Pet the Dog: A somewhat twisted version of the trope is used at the end of the first episode. Ange executes Eric for being a Fake Defector. Before she shoots him, however, she has him sign a life insurance form, thus ensuring that he'll be able to pay for his sister's cure in death.
  • Phlebotinum-Induced Steampunk: The discovery of cavorite fueled a technological revolution in Albion that allowed the nation to build enormous airships and become a world superpower. Albion itself looks very steampunk, with all the trappings of Victorian London.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Team White Pigeon wear fairly ornate gowns when infiltrating high society events.
  • Prince and Pauper: At the end of Episode 2, it's revealed that several years ago, Ange and Princess Charlotte switched places, each imitating the other. This may be part of Princess's motivation to be a spy for the Commonwealth.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Cavorite. First described as an anti-gravity material in H. G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon.
  • Public Domain Canon Welding: This anime is heavily implied to take place in the same setting as H. G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon due to the fact that the Steampunk technology in the anime is powered by cavorite, a mineral found on the Moon that was discovered by the book's two protagonists: Cavor and Bedford. In addition, the Selenites (Moon People) from the same novel are mentioned.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Dorothy forges some documents in one of the Academy halls, in plain sight of her fellow students. When two classmates ask her what she's doing, she replies that she's writing an essay and invites them to join her, knowing they'll refuse.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Ange, Beatrice, and Dorothy all use Revolvers: The Webley-Foster Automatic Revolver, a Bulldog .32, and a Colt .44, respectively
  • Revolving Door Revolution: Discussed. Princess Charlotte is against the idea of a revolution, as it will only invite further revolts. She prefers changing the system from the inside.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Charlotte. Whichever way you look at it.
  • Self-Deprecation: Culturally speaking. In Chise's introduction episode, the other spies, being Westerners, are a bit weirded-out by the Japanese visitors and their exaggerated bowing/supplication gestures.
    Ange: These Japanese people are peculiar.
  • Sequel Hook: The end of season 1 throws out about a metric ton of them.
  • Shout-Out: Several examples, mainly focused on turn-of-the century science fiction literature as well as Cold War spy fiction.
    • Cavorite is a nod to H.G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon. In another shout out to the origins of Cavorite, the Moon People, the Selenites, are mentioned in Episode 5.
    • The "Black Lizard Planet" that Ange mentions regularly might be a nod to the aliens of The War of the Worlds
    • The Pen-gun that Princess finds and Beatrice holds on to is a nod to the Q-department gadgets from the James Bond movies, though both refer to devices that actually existed in real life.
    • The Commonwealth's training facility for its spies is referred to as "the Farm", a nod to the CIA's own training grounds.
    • Ange shares a surname with spy fiction author John le Carré.
    • The spymasters in charge of the Commonwealth's operations are collectively referred to as Control, a character that appears in several of Le Carre's novels; their leader is a man known only as L, referring to the M of the James Bond films.
    • Chise saying that Jubei Todo killed her father is similar to what Obi-Wan told Luke about Darth Vader in Star Wars, except with Chise in the role of both Obi-Wan and Luke. Her ability to block bullets with her sword is also along the same lines.
    • One of the members of the royal family bears the title Duke of Arkham.
    • Two of the Commonwealth spies pursuing Princess in Episode 11 resemble classic depictions of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, with one wearing a deerstalker cap with an Inverness cape and the other in a bowler hat with a mustache.
  • Show, Don't Tell: The show relies heavily on this to convey details about characters and the plot. For example, most of the details regarding Cavorite and its anti-gravity properties are conveyed through imagery and off-hand remarks, rather than outright exposition. They only mention its effect on gravity once in Episode 4, saying it could be used for "large-scale gravity weapons."
  • Show Some Leg: Team White Pigeon's go-to move for distracting a guard is for Dorothy to pull her neckline down and chat him up.
  • The Sky Is an Ocean: Airships in the setting are functionally treated the same as their waterborne counterparts.
  • Space Cold War: Steampunk Cold War, to be precise, with London serving as a clear analogue to Berlin.
  • Spy Cam: One of the Commonwealth's other spies makes use of a camera hidden in a book.
  • Spy Fiction: Of the Dirty Martini variety. The Principal Team's adventures are outwardly glamorous, with car chases, fancy gadgets and a very stylish wardrobe. On the other hand, they're teenage killers who will Shoot the Dog if the mission requires it, and there are quite a few hints at the psychological issues their life brings with it. Beatrice adds some Bathtub Gin to the mix, being an amateur.
  • Spy School: The Commonwealth has one in the forest called "The Farm," named after the CIA training grounds.
  • Spy Speak:
    • Many characters are known by little more than the first letter of their name or a nom-de-guerre.
    • The narrative uses it in such a way that just revealing what section of dialogue and what it means is a spoiler. Ange and the Princess, upon meeting again for the first time in ten years, have a conversation to let the Princess confirm that the "Ange" in front of her is really "Charlotte".
  • Steampunk: Filled with this aesthetic.
  • Succession Crisis: The Queen of Albion has reached the point where death by old age is a matter of when rather than if. Princess wants the throne for herself, but as she's only fourth in the succession, taking the throne means supplanting the other heirs somehow. The Crown Handler OVAs reveal that she's not the only royal heir who wants the throne and doesn't care about the official order of succession, and Prince Richard is far less caring about collateral damage...
  • Suicide Attack: One of the British soldiers guarding Lord Horikawa was actually part of Jubei Todo's assassination plot. While heading toward the state carriage with Lord Horikawa and Princess Charlotte, he is intercepted by Dorothy. However, he manages to detonate a bomb concealed in his false leg, separating the VIPs from their escort.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • The show makes quite clear that teenage spies who have to lie and kill on a regular basis would be more than a little emotionally messed up. The girls don't even entirely trust each other.
    • Beatrice is an untrained civilian who gets pulled into the story by way of association with Princess Charlotte. Though she is shown learning several skills and eventually learns to read lips, she is initially a bit of The Load.
    • Chise's introductory episode features an unusual deconstruction of Flynning with the intense swordfight between her and Jubei. By the end of the fight, both their swords are badly chipped, if not outright broken, from being repeatedly smashed against each other.
    • When Dorothy and Ange decide to have a talk with their old classmate, they jump onto the train and leave their Cool Car to Beatrice, who outright says that she can't drive. She promptly crashes into a snowdrift.
  • Teen Superspy: The series stars a team of five girls who are spies in Steampunk London, who are incredibly badass (especially Ange), and teenagers (except Dorothy, who is 20, but undercover as a high school student). Episode 11 shows that this is the norm; they've got an entire facility where young girls are trained to be spies.
  • This Banana is Armed: The Princess picks up the only pen in a Wall of Weapons, twists the end around a bit, and fires a bullet into a stone bust a short distance to her right.
  • Toxic Phlebotinum: Victims of Cavorite poisoning are left bedridden with their eyes glowing a sickly green. They may or may not also gain some powers of clairvoyance.
  • Traintop Battle: This happens in Episode 5 between the team and some assassins.
  • True Companions: Played with. Defied when Dorothy jokingly suggests sharing secrets between them, Chise replies that it would probably destroy their friendship. However, as the series goes on, the five girls warm up to each other a lot, even if they're still keeping secrets from each other. This is one of the major themes of the series. Later this all comes to a head: after Ange and Princess have become compromised during the finale, Dorothy scolds Ange for not asking for help sooner, as she and Beatrice would have helped them either way. Even the aloof Chise ends up lending a hand. (Though Ange and Princess still don't reveal their original identities to the other three, since it would just put all of them at unnecessary risk.)
  • Unobtainium: Cavorite is responsible for much of the series' technological advancements, from the giant airships and buildings to Ange's gravity-defying C-ball.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses:
    • In the Episode 1 there is a brief view of Eric's sister's feet, which are bony, callused and deformed. It's easy to dismiss is just as another symptom of Cavorite poisoning, unless you just know how the ballerina's feet look in Real Life, and in the same episode there's a blink-and-you-miss-it shot of a Royal Ballet acceptance letter, which lets you guess Eric's Fake Defector's scheme long before the episode's finale. Note that Ange uses these clues herself.
    • Episode 2 requires sharp eyed viewers to catch the writing of the note that Ange passes to Princess Charlotte, which shows that the note is addressed TO Ange FROM Charlotte, pretty much giving away that the two girls had switched identities at some point.
    • Episode 3 suggests without saying it outright that Ange's C-ball causes bullets to miss by the way it messes with gravity.
    • The show does not go out of its way to let viewers know that the episodes are being aired in Anachronic Order. Viewers instead have to figure out the chronology either by observing the events of the episode or simply correlating chronology with the case number in each episode name.
    • In Crown Handler, Part 1, one can see the man who later kills Winston during the first chess match.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Beatrice's voice box enables get to impersonate any kind of voice. Extremely useful in infiltration, though Ange remarks it's unsettling to hear an adult male voice coming from Beatrice while trying to work out a cute team name.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Ange was shown (only her being hunched over the toilet and her running tears and drool were shown, not her vomiting or the "result") to throw up from the stress of pretending to be Princess Charlotte, because she knew that she would be executed if it was discovered that she was pretending to be the princess.
  • Waif-Fu: Chise easily mops the floor with trained soldiers twice as wide and several heads taller than her.
  • Wall of Weapons: The "club room" that Dorothy sets up for them has a revolving board that holds their spy equipment. Most of them are guns, but there are also some classic Shoe Phones: a walking stick, some wristwatches, and a pen.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 11. With the changes in leadership, Dorothy and Chise are pulled from the team and Ange is placed under heavy watch. She escapes with Princess, attempting to run away to Casa Blanca again, but Princess argues with her and locks her in the storage compartment of a departing airship. She takes Ange's place, and discovers that Control has allied with a group of soldiers who plan to revolt and make her queen.
  • Wham Line:
    • Episode 1: Eric: "Are you going to kill me?" Ange: "No." BLAM! "No." BLAM! "No." BLAM! "No." BLAM!
    • Episode 2: At the end of Episode 2, the Princess refers to Ange as "Charlotte"—which is the Princess's name.
    • Episode 10: General: "Assassinate the Princess."
  • Would Hurt a Child: In the second Crown Handler OVA, terrorists working for Prince Richard attempt to bomb a ship on its inaugural voyage because Princess Mary would be attending the ceremony. Judging by the height difference between Mary and Princess, Mary's age is in the 5-8 range.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Zelda's plan in episode's 11-12. If the colonists succeed in their coup and place Charlotte on the throne, then, since the Princess was supposed to have been killed and replaced with Ange, the Commonwealth now rules the other half of Albion through a Puppet King. If they fail (and Zelda expects that they will), then the mere fact that the Princess was involved in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne will cause enough chaos for the Commonwealth to invade and conquer the Kingdom through conventional means. It fails because Team White Pigeon refuses to cooperate with the plan and aborts the opening move.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Played with. Given that the series takes place around the turn of the century, the existence of airships isn't totally out of place, but they aren't dirigibles so much as giant flying ships kept aloft by Artificial Gravity manipulation.