Princess Lover! – 01
After both of his parents died in a supposed accident, Arima Teppei is on his way to his grandfather’s place when he spots a girl in a horse-drawn carriage being pursued by a car full of thugs. He decides to help her and gives chase on his motorcycle, but the thugs get ahold of him and point a gun at him. Luckily for Teppei, the girl’s butler attacks and takes out one of the thugs. While the butler struggles with another thug, Teppei sees the carriage about to crash and jumps onto it to save the girl. The two of them get flung into the forest below, and the butler can do nothing but finish off the last of the thugs. Teppei wakes up relatively uninjured beside the girl, and she regains consciousness after he inadvertently gropes her breast. She introduces herself as Charlotte Hazellink, and even though she had noticed that he had been touching her breast earlier, she decides to trust him. The two then make their way back to the road where Charlotte is reunited with her butler, though she first gives Teppei a kiss on the cheek.
Afterward, Teppei heads to his wealthy grandfather Isshin’s place. Isshin confirms that Teppei’s parent’s deaths weren’t the result of an accident, but he tries to warn Teppei against revenge because it wouldn’t be the life that his parents wanted for him. When his grandfather finds out that Teppei is all dirty because he helped someone in trouble, he presents Teppei looking like that to all his party guests. What surprises Teppei is that his grandfather announces him as the successor to the Arima business conglomerate, and he’s further surprised when his grandfather makes him realize that the girl he saved was the princess of the Hazellink kingdom. After getting cleaned up, he protests against being the successor, but his grandfather points out that he can use this to figure out who was responsible for his parents’ death since his mother used to be the successor. Back at the party, Teppei is surrounded by people who want to get close to him until he’s helped out by Vincent van Hossen who’s with there with his young daughter Maria.
Teppei is eventually able to get away from it all and gets better acquainted with his grandfather’s maid, but what really gets his attention is the sight of another girl outside practicing with a sword. Grabbing his own set, Teppei decides to go get some exercise, and the girl ends up unexpectedly attacking him because she thinks he’s a suspicious-looking. Teppei is able to match her sword skills though, and they’re eventually broken up by Isshin and Vincent. As it turns out, the girl is Vincent’s other daughter Sylvia, and Isshin reveals that she’s Teppei’s fiancée.
I really don’t have much to say about the OP and ED. Whereas the opening song is kind of catchy, the ending song just didn’t appeal to me at all. Neither of them are anything special though. In fact, based on just what the opening sequence showed and what I had read about the series prior to watching this episode, I was fully expecting an average based-on-an-adult-game harem series. And so I was very pleasantly surprised by what it actually turned out to be: a cute romance series with a good deal of action and a little bit of intrigue. I certainly didn’t expect to see an extended chase scene, guns, swords, and even a combat butler. Of course it’s entirely possible that the action will be nonexistent in the rest of the series, but it made the first episode a lot of fun.
That action plus the beginnings of a love triangle – even though I think it’s pretty clear who Teppei will end up with – plus a couple of strong & likable female characters along with a strong male lead plus Wakamoto Norio voicing Isshin (he had quite a few lines too) were what made this a treat to watch. It did take a little getting used to the animation style though; I initially didn’t think it looked that great but came to appreciate it more as the episode went on. And there was some apparent censoring where they tried to cover up any panty-shots, but it was so brief that I didn’t think it was a big deal. Regardless, the first episode did its job in getting me interested in the series, and I’ll definitely be watching at least a couple more episodes to see what direction it goes.