Reoccuring Antagonists and Kind Spies in a Dystopian World Where Men Don’t Do Laundry – Princess Principal Episode 7 Review

Princess Principal Episode 7 Review – “Case 16 Loudly Laundry”

(Spoilers in this review) Summary: Team White Pigeon are told to stop Poison Gas Jack, who has been killing  Commonwealth supporters. After reasoning that the mass murderer is a soldier, the girls infiltrate a laundry mill to search uniforms one by one. Due to a loan shark’s threats, Princess buys up the mill and becomes the foreman so the operation can continue smoothly.

The girls end up finding the stained uniform after they go out of their way to make the laundry mill more efficient, more safe, and more profitable for the workers. After Chise defeats Poison Gas Jack, who had arrived to cover his tracks, the girls then quit working at the mill. Upon announcing their retirement from the mill, however, Princess appoints Marilla, the eldest girl at the mill who had bonded with Chise, as the new foreman.

Review: I want to talk about two topics in detail before rattling off a list of comments

Reoccurring Antagonists

No, I’m not talking about the Duke of Normandy or his agent, Gazelle. Although they have appeared in several episodes already and are consistently Team White Pigeon’s opponents.

I’m talking about Franky and soldiers.

Since this episode features the words, “Case 16,” that means the events that take place in this episode actually happen before the previous episode, “Case 18.” And in Case 18, a loan shark comes and threatens Dorothy’s father. When she ran into Franky while he was shaking down her father, Dorothy expressed surprise – many viewers likely assumed she was taking offense at Franky asking about who she was, but it turns out that she actually recognized him from an earlier mission (this “infilitrate the laundry mill” mission) where he was pulling the same stunt on the laundry mill foreman.

From episode 6. Franky is asking who Dorothy is.
Also from episode 6. The face of recognition.

I initially had thought that the murderous soldier in this episode was the same solider in episode 5 (case 7) since both soldiers used explosives. Well, more like the solider in this episode attempted to use an explosive. Furthermore, he seems to have been horrified upon being confronted by Chise as if he knew that the lithe samurai/ninja was bad news (for him).

Yet the solider in episode 5 is probably dead since he seemingly blew up his leg, to which several explosives were strapped, in order to separate the trains. That seems fatal to me! Even though they share similar facial features, they’re probably different soldiers.

Team White Pigeon comes to the conclusion that Poison Gas Jack is acting on his own accord and is receiving no support, but I’m not entirely convinced. Sneaking into a warehouse to steal illegal substances seems quite difficult to do without getting caught. Therefore I believe Duke of Normady is weaponizing suicidal soldiers while not really caring if they die or not (so they won’t get traced back to him). Then again, Poison Gas Jack only had a Motolv cocktail whereas the soldier in episode 5, who was definitely working with the Duke, had a more professional means of detonation. Perhaps there was the matter of secrecy and urgency involved, but it seems like PGJ was underequipped compared to the other solider. Maybe I’m thinking too hard again.

From episode 5. The suicidal soldier.
From episode 5. BANZAI
pp 7 (41)
From episode 7. The appropriate response to have when fighting Chise.
pp 7 (42)
From episode 7. Oh, yeah, I am holding a knife.

Kindess is a Virtue

While spies are often as repugnant and vile (call someone a “Benedict Arnold” at your own disgression and if you’re in the mood to get clobbered), the members of Team White Pigeon has made attempts to help others if they’re in a position to do so.

Episode 1 has Princess maniuplating asking Ange to bring along Eric’s ill sister, Amy, so she and Eric can stay together and Ange opts to do so. Even when it turns out that Eric is trying to get them killed, Ange arranges it so that his death will benefit Amy by filing life insurance for Eric. It’s a cruel kindness, to be sure, since Amy truly loved Eric.

Episode 2 has Ange, who is disguised as Princess, promising Morgan that he’ll be reunited with his wife if he cooperates with her. To be fair, though, I’m not sure Ange could even guarantee this could happen and was just sweettalking the older man (not like that) to get what she wants (not like that).

Episode 5 doesn’t really count since Lord Horikawa joined them out of self-interest.

Episode 6 has Dorothy trying to help her father not be broke.

Episode 7 features Chise wanting to intervene and stop Franky, but Princess herself goes up and outright buys the laundry mill. The girls then proceed to make the workplace more lucrative and more effecient, to Control’s dismay since they believe the girls are wasting their time, before leaving the laundry mill girls to fend for themselves. None of this had to happen, but the girls did it, anyways. Well, to be fair, making the workplace more streamlined probably made finding the stained uniform more convenient, but going down to the mines to give the girls a means to increase their revenue was entirely selfless.

That’s part of the charm of the series – the girls have empathy and aren’t entirely stone-cold spies. The mission takes priority, of course, but if Team White Pigeon can help someone along the way, then they will. Meanwhile, the Duke and his agents are always killing people left and right. It doesn’t matter if one completes the mission or if one fails the mission – if one gets involved with the Duke, things tend to go very poorly. For all this talk about grey and grey, the series is making sure that TWP seems like the lighter shade of grey in comparison. But perhaps we should be comparing the Duke to Control, who receives relatively little screentime.

Other Comments:

  • The solider known as Poison Gas Jack wasn’t a moron – he was taking great care to wash his own clothes because he knew that nerve gas stains worn fabric. It’s just rather convenient that one of his fellow soldiers accidentially sabotages him by sending his uniform down to the laundry mill. If that hadn’t happened, then the girls would never had had a chance to catch him. I know some viewers may find this a bit disappointing, but sometimes accidents happen like that.
  • So it’s implied that Beatrice was the one who fixed up and replaced the laundry mill machines. Did her father teach her about electronics, too? That’s another point for Beatrice, folks. Please don’t hate her.
  • I’m rather surprised that the girls at the laundry mill didn’t recognizied Princess after she let down her hair. Perhaps they don’t keep up with news since they’re just common laborers.
  • Control (well, more like one of the members of Control) seems to value Dorothy’s opinion above the others. It’s probably because she’s the supposed leader despite the fact that Ange is almost always calling the shots.
  • All in all, I still think there’s no reason for this anime series to jump back and forth like this. It was nice seeing Chise befriend Marilla, but other than that the story didn’t really establish anything new. These standalone episodes are fun to watch but other than characterization I feel like there hasn’t been any sort of progress to speak of.

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