By Former Contributor / November 16th, 2014
WARNING: The following article contains SPOILERS for Wolf Girl and Black Prince Episodes 4, 5, and 6. if you don’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading. You have been warned.
Due to spending some time on game reviews more recently (among other things), I seem to have fallen behind on anime commentaries for a few weeks. I planned on trying to commentate over each episode individually seeing as how it is allows people to look at episodes on an individual level (and also something about more articles drawing more traffic to the site). As a result, I am surprised I let myself fall behind to the point where I needed to cover two Denki-Gai episodes in one article, and now three episodes of Wolf Girl and Black Prince.
In my commentary for episode three, I pretty much stated that I did not think this series would screw up at all. It turns out, three episodes later; it is still as profound as it was before. This series continues to surprise me with just how well it approaches themes that I have very rarely seen approached in any media. It still shocks me how, despite this being a shojo series, (I.E. a series intended for young girls) this is one of the most mature series I have seen. It is easy to just create a shallow romance based on self-insert Mary Sue characters and supernatural love interests (usually of the sparkly vampire variety). However, it’s always great to see a series approach love from a realistic standpoint.
Okay, enough gushing for now, I will start with episode 4.
Seeing as how the previous episode had Erika confessing her love to Kyoya only for him to deny it, this episode would naturally take off after that. It starts off when Erika tries to convince Kyoya that her love is genuine. He responds by saying that he believes her but does not return the feelings. When Erika gets frustrated, he says that Erika should dwell over it and let it torture her from the inside out. While it was a mean statement, it still comes across as a pretty insightful remark. It basically shows that he thinks obsessing over love is pointless and that she should not do it; something that I myself agree with.
Most of the episode involves Erika trying to get Kyoya to fall for him with help from Takeru, a friend of Kyoya. These basically include a bunch of schemes based on Takeru asking Kyoya random questions and trying to determine what Kyoya likes based off them. It goes about as well as one would expect, as in nothing happens. After Erika is about to give up, Takeru confesses love for Erika in front of her and Kyoya. Unfortunately, Kyoya doesn’t care and Erika runs off in despair. Kyoya does comfort Erika by stating that she just needs to convince him harder, or something to that effect (to be honest, I can’t remember the exact quote but it probably sounded smarter than how I worded it).
Episode 5 basically follows the same basic plot, except Erika wants to spend Christmas with Kyoya (seriously, why are so many anime series in such a hurry to get to Christmas?). Of course the problem is that Kyoya hates Christmas just like every other misanthrope. This then ends up leading to another confrontation where Erika wants to know how Kyoya really feels about her. Kyoya reveals that he actually liked Erika but was too shy to say it, and that the only reason he kept her around was because of that. Erika is ecstatic to hear that, only for Kyoya to reveal it was a façade and gave a quip about how she is easily manipulated. Erika responds by dumping her ice water on him, telling him to die, and leaving.
For a while she is considering leaving him for good. Eventually when Christmas comes, Kyoya shows up and gives his usual tough guy spiel about how a dog should not tell her owner to go die and demands for her to put on her collar. He then reveals that the “collar” he was referring to was a beautiful necklace that he gave to her as a Christmas present. After Kyoya managed to somehow retain his asshole-ish nature while making a surprisingly heartwarming move, Erika says she will treasure it always.
Of course, that does not stay true once episode 6 comes around. This one involves Kyoya getting jealous over Erika giving some of the Valentine’s Day chocolate she made to another guy named Kusakabe. After getting in a fight with her over defending Kusakabe, Kyoya says that she should then have him pretend to be her boyfriend instead. This ends up driving the story into a typical love triangle conflict. You have the nice guy who is ignored and the douche bag that gets all the attention.
However, in this show’s typical fashion, it handles this conflict in a profound manner. Erika vents to Kusakabe about this whole situation, which leads to her wanting to just break up with Kyoya completely. Kusakabe then says that he loves her and promises to never mistreat her the ways Kyoya did. While waiting on an answer from Erika, Kusakabe confronts Kyoya and outright tells him off for being a stuck up douchebag with a superiority complex who only cares about himself. Kyoya, once again, makes it clear that he does not care what Erika does and leaves off. The episode ends with Erika and Kyoya’s relationship falling apart and Kusakabe trying to lend a helping hand.
What really is impressive about this series is that they manage to make you dislike Kyoya, yet they do not make him a bad character. He has multiple layers of personality and depth to him, yet his actions make you dislike him. He also has this air to him that makes it so that you can never really tell what he is going to do. As for Erika’s character, she is the naïve type, yet she behaves realistically and does not come across as shallow in the least. As for Kusakabe, he makes an excellent foil to Kyoya as a very timid person who has low self confidence but cares a lot about others. Yet what really makes this series is how so many lines just make you think to yourself. So far, Wolf Girl and Black Prince has not ceased to impress me, and I have confidence it will keep this up.
Wolf Girl and Black Prince is available to watch on Crunchyroll with new episodes coming out on Sundays at 11:30AM EDT/8:30AM PDT. Non-premium users will be able to watch episodes for free one week after it first airs.
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