We start with a pretty girl who looks like she’s in trouble, surrounded by horned wolves. A young adventurer rushes to her aid, but she tells him not to butt in, then hops on her broom, whips around, pulls out her magical swords, and ices the entire wolfpack. This is Anisphia, the Princess Maurader, and no one comes between her and her loot—not even the inability to use magic without tools!
But while Anisphia’s loot is her own, she also believes it her duty to protect the smiles of her subjects. Her straight-laced royal family would disagree, and find her to be a huge pain, even if some of the court is intrigued by her development of magical items (called “magicology”). Her tomboyish expliots are distasteful to both her father the king and her brother, Crown Prince Algard.
He is prince because Anisphia renounced her claim to the throne. The episode doesn’t go into exactly why, but the end result is clear: she is allowed far more leeway to live her life as she sees fit than if she were next in line. Far more than ruling, she’s always been chasing her dream of flying.
She also believes the kingdom is in good hands with her brother Algard, who is marrying Lady Euphyllia, the genius daughter of a powerful duke. She doesn’t share this with her goth friend and fellow researcher Tilty, but the day she met Euphyllia may also be the day she fell in love!
But is the kingdom in good hands with Algard? The sight of him flaunting a relationship with a girl born a commoner at school would suggest a lack of judgment, and when he grudgingly shows up for tea with Euphyllia, he couldn’t possibly want less to do with his fiancée, whom he describes as “so perfect it’s disgusting.”
Here is Euphyllia, established as a genius, doing her duty as a duke’s daughter and making the best of the situation to try to engender trust in her future husband and learn more about him. But Prince Algard finds his royal obligations and lack of free will intolerable, and her obedience to hers only make him loathe her more.
Algard is a huge piece of shit, as exhibited when he shows up to the big academy graduation ball with a reluctant-looking Lainie Cyan in matching white. He then declares to all assembled that he’s calling off his engagement to Euphyllia, and then accuses her of plotting a campaign of bullying and other horrible atrocities against Lady Lainie.
By assassinating an unprepared Euphyllia’s character, Algard hopes to smooth over the fact that he’s rejecting the arrangement his father the king had made for him. I could almost sympathize for Algard’s inability to choose someone he loves, and the fact his sister left him with the responsibility of the throne.
In other words, I understand his motivations and frustrations. But when he pulls shit like this, it’s pretty hard to take his side!
This sudden series of developments comes as such a shock to Euphyllia that she can do little but fall to her knees and start crying. After all, she hasn’t actually done anything wrong, and believed she was doing exactly what was expected of her. We may have just met her, but I felt horrible for Euphyllia, and hoped that she could find some comfort, even if revenge is farther off.
So color me tickled pink when Princess Anisphila, who loses control of her broom on a test flight, flies right through the window and lands between her brother and Euphyllia in a most unladylike way possible. Anisphila may be eccentric, but she reads the room pretty darn fast, and decides that the best thing to do is toss the distraught Euphyllia over her shoulder and get out of there.
When Euphyllia is done screaming from the shock of suddenly being in flight, she asks where they’re going. Anisphila told her brother she’d be reporting what she saw at the ball to their father to see what he thinks about it (thus potentially ruining Algard’s careful planning to get what he wants).
But she also wants to meet with Euphyllia’s father Duke Grantz, to ask them if she can keep her! It’s a beautiful subversion and reversal of rescuing the princess from an unwanted marriage, and the start of a revolution for both girls. After all, it looks like the wrinkles in the broom project are being ironed out.
The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady is way too long a title, but otherwise, this show, and its first episode, ruled hard. It looks great, its lead is a seething ball of energy and vivacity (wonderfully voiced by Senbongi Sayaka) and her friend-and-maybe-more?-to-be equally charming, and the evil prince is the kind you love to hate.
Each of these three characters is very effectively introduced so you know their personalities and goals, which of course all butt up against each other. The animation and direction is attractive and clean, and the writing is solid. Definitely looking forward to more!
3 thoughts on “Tenten Kakumei – 01 (First Impressions) – A Bundle of Unexpected”
Yes, this was so awesome for a first episode! I couldn’t help but start cheering at the end when the princess swooped up the damsel in distress and flies away.
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