If animes could be compared to different kind of meals, then Princess Princess would be described as dish without any flavour. You know the kind of food, that would get very tasty if the chef decided to make it spicy or sour, but he didn't. You eat it and have completely no emotions towards it. It's neither bad nor good and after you finish the meal,you will forget about the taste very soon.
Story - 4/10
Once again anime ventures into mysterious world of all-boys high school, or at least the womans dellusion of what this place should look like. In order to calm the raging desires of young boys, cut off from supply of girls, an institution of "princesses" is born. That function is offered (or forced in one case) to beatiful 1st years, with girly features. Their task is to brighten the school mood, by putting on girls clothes and makeup and pose as school idols. Of course it's not unprofittable labor. The benefits for claiming the position of princess greatly outweight the sacrifice of male pride - at least, that's how the transfer student, Kouno sees it. With him joining the other 2 princesses, who are already working, the exciting and full of suprises high school life begins.... is what I'd like to say. Unfortunately the basic idea behind the show is pretty much the only interesting part of Princess princess.
Lack of solid plot is not unusual occurence for high school comedy type of anime. Not looking far away Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru, a fellow gender-bender anime is in the similar situation. However where Otoboku entertains with small but cute dramas and some romantic developments, Princess Princess have nothing to offer. The gender-bending idea is almost completely left alone, as it comes down to repetetive shots of princesses waving and smiling (only the costumes they're wearing changes).There are some tries at bringing drama to this show, but they are shot down by poor execution. Either blown out of proportions, too slowly paced or resolved in ridicolous fashion - those attempts at serious content fail miserably. The comedy, despite the great potential gender-bender genre brings, is at non-existent level. Unless of course someone finds putting a bucket on a person head, in order for him to learn how to sing, a hilarious joke.
At some point I started wondering what is the purpose of this anime. It's not the story, that's certain. It's neither comedy nor drama, since they're both weak. Than what's left? Warm, slice-of-life fun? Not really, they would need to create mood to achieve that, and there isn't any. Shounen-ai romance? Nope, there is hardly any of that in Princess Princess (one non-sincere kiss and close friendship can't be called shounen-ai).Then... bishounen fest perhaps? Again wrong. If female oriented fanservice would be the purpose of this show, than it should put more focus on providing some visually appealing shots of the boys. And apart from repetive "smile + waving hand" and few shots of student counsil president/former Sakamoto-sama there is hardly anything of that kind in here. Basicly - this show serves no real purpose. It provides an interesting start and nothing beyond that. For 12 episodes it tries to find a path for itself, but in the end it's simply a failure.
Animation - 5.5/10
One of the most annoying thing about many animes, is the belief, that character hair should be done in paint, by randomly picking colors. If the show manages to defend itself with the great story (like Higurashi did) than this may go ovelooked. But in case of this show, that is already unimpressive enough, the green and blue hair is just a final nail in it's coffin. Now combine it with lots of long, still frames with minimal movement and you get quite a pathetic result. The most appealing part of the animation where the chibi versions of main trio.
Sound - 6/10
Lack of flavour that follows the whole anime, can be noticed in sound quality as well. There is no remarkable background music, but no crappy one either. Both opening and ending are weak, j-pop pieces - the kind that makes me skip past them. Finally the voice acting is good, but again - nothing oustanding. Basicly the sound of the anime is proper, but I wouldn't want to hear it outside the show.
Characters - 4.5/10
With their unimpressive personality I figured, that characters were based only on their looks. Kouno looks normal, so he is acting the most rational of the three. Mikoto is a redhead, so he is playing the tsundere role ( actually watching him being teased is the only amusement I had in this show). And finally Shihoudani is a long-haired pretty boy, so he is the most dishonest, yet the most insightful of them. Their past could be interesting, but it's ridiculed by the "blow it out of proportions" approach. Rest is hardly worth mentioning, since they are even more one-dimensional.
Overall - 4.7/10
This show is watchable. Just like commercials before the movies in the cinemas are watchable. But would you go out of your way, and watch them if not for the fact, that you came there to see a movie, that will be played just after they end? I don't think so. And this is the case with Princess Princess. You can go, and watch it - but what's the point? The show have absolutely nothing to offer and just slowly wastes your time. Not reccommended.
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