Ok, I am actually blogging this while watching the episode, so I’ll just be writing whatever pops up in my head. This will also probably make the plot description more detailed and thus more spoilerish. Now that you are forewarned, let’s begin…

The third ep is kind of boring in the beginning. We learn that the Himes have to cheer for 15 clubs. And the characters are also startled by the news that should any of the sport teams pass the preliminaries, the Himes will have to go and cheer at the higher level games. The Student President himself has cheered even at Nationals. One can imagine the enthusiasm that Mikoto shows at the news. Even Shihoudani and Kouno stop and think again. Not that they have any choice in the matter, so all that’s left for them is to hope that as many teams as possible will fail in their attempts to pass the preliminaries.

The constant pouting of Mikoto starts to get on my nerves, besides it’s three eps already and it is like high time the character development started. We got some minor development of Touno, and a tiny one of Mikoto in the previous ep, but in the case of the pink-haired we are now back to square one. He is still the childish, always sulking Hime that doesn’t smile cheerfully but rather offers some crooked expression that would make a person sick if one could see it closer and better.

But there’s no way back. One of the rules that the cunning Arisaka has come up with states that should one Hime pull out of the Hime-project, all of them lose their benefits, so now Shihoudani and Touno have all the reasons to not let Mikoto back out.

Then we get another dose of Natashou and his hysteric explanations of what perfect outfits he has created for the Himes. We have the nurse-outfits, which are supposed to ease the nervousness of those who reach the local preliminaries. And the cheerleader-mini-skirt costumes for the prefectural games. And then for the Nationals there are the gorgeous bride gowns. Mikoto freaked out at this. I do understand him. What I have more problems accepting actually is how Kouno and Shihoudani could take it so calmly.

Throughout the ep so far there’s the rather meaningless for me joke of Mikoto asking Shihoudani whether the latter hates him and getting the affirmative answer, followed by the calm statement that it had been a lie.

Even when Kouno tries to reason that cheering can only boost moral, but not skill, his blond friend disappoints him with the exhibition of the enthusiasm that everyone puts into training. Wow, and the ever inventive in the art of fine sadism Student President has given to the Himes a notebook full of instructions how to act to inspire the teams’ members further.

Maneuvers are such as holding the hand of the baseball player while he prepares to swing the bat (ok, if this sounds stupid, just bare in mind that I don’t know anything about baseball), or of the go player while he moves the pieces, or even lying atop of the judo player in a pathetic attempt to imitate some pinning technique. And Arisada watches form aside with a nasty smile. That manages to make me laugh, but not because I really find it funny, but rather because it looks so stupid that it is ridiculous. This somehow reminds me of how I felt when I watched Mai-Otome, not a good memory, you should know. But the thing that gives Princess Princess advantage over Otome is the fact that it has far less pretence to be anything more than it is.

Luckily in the middle of the ep we have some rather sensible words coming out of Kouno’s mouth, that show that this series might rise into the light of competence from time to time, if the script-writer(s) desire(s) so. And the glare Shihoudani gives the blue-haired Hime is such a nice combination of admiration, surprise and something like love. Love it! I rather approve of the BL references, no matter how small they are. That is the reason why I am watching the anime after all. It is hardly the plot or the animation that draws me in.

Ok, as anyone, who’s even seen anime and has any idea what a cliché is, can guess there are some teams that manage to pass the preliminaries, so the Himes are left with no choice but go and cheer outside of the safe walls of the school.

But what is best about this ep are two things: One – the fanservice we are treated with. We get a bath scene. And a bit later a furo scene too. I feel happy and rewarded. I also demand more.

And two –there’s one more sensible conversation between Kouno and Yuujirou on the matter of Shihoudani’s treatment of Mikoto. The conversation is abundant with suggestions that the blond Hime has his eyes set on the pink-haired one. Even if I prefer a blue x blond coupling I am still happy that there are some references of BL. Ok, they might most probably be references of friendship, but no one can mess with what I want to think, right?

And there are some vague hints that neither Shihoudani, nor Kouno had a happy childhood. I do hope this would pave the way for some actual character development and plot.

And I was as it seems too hasty in the beginning when I said that there had been no character development, After all there was some. In conclusion the first part of the episode is rather bad like C, but the second gets B+ easily, it might even pull it up to A–. Bear in mind that the marks I put are in accordance with the level of the series itself. This A– is hardly the level of a B– episode of series like Evangelion or Gundam SEED (ok I tend to put Gundam SEED everywhere, but that is because I am rather obsessed with it, sue me).

The animation is of noticeably lower quality and if that was any other anime it would have put me off watching it, but since I am only watching this one for fun and because of the BL aspect that smirks in here and there, so I am continuing following it. However I just don’t like how even the characters started to look worse. They are the main reason the girls (lets face it, I’d be surprised if there’s more than 1% of males in the audience) get the eps and watch them. Somehow the animators succeeded in making even the chibies look bad.

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