By Former Contributor / November 19th, 2014
WARNING: The following article contains SPOILERS for Wolf Girl and Black Prince Episode 7. if you don’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading. You have been warned.
I feel like I am running out of ways to express how Wolf Girl and Black Prince continuously surprises me. When I saw that the episode description on Crunchyroll for episode 7 was “Erika tries as hard as she can to fall in love with Kusakabe, but her heart belongs to Kyoya, no matter what,” I was just about ready to assume this show was just about to jump the shark. However, it somehow managed to pull off this plot in a way that works. There are practically a thousand ways this plot could have gone wrong, yet Wolf Girl and Black Prince managed to do it right. So instead of going for the simple route of explaining what happened, I am going to explain precisely why it worked.
To try and quickly sum up the main plot for context, I will just say that Erika tells Kusakabe that she is not ready to commit to a relationship with him. She tells him this to avoid leading him on like Kyoya did to her, and she tells Kusakabe that she did want to fall for him, but still had feelings for Kyoya. Kyoya then comes to her and says that he wants her back. Erika makes it clear that he needs to stop giving her the run around and just spit it out already, which he does, albeit in a very anguished and tsundere-like fashion. It then ends with Kusakabe asking Kyoya to make sure he treasures Erika more this time.
Now, one may notice that this is how abusive relationships typically work. The abuser messes something up and later ends up apologizing really hard and tries to keep the other person from leaving. It also may not work in Kyoya’s favor that he was very emotionally manipulative and unpredictable. However, there are a few factors that really separate this relationship from most real life abusive relationships.
First of all, Kyoya legitimately did not realize how important to him Erika was until she left him. While expecting someone to be your dog normally sounds like a bad thing, the way this motif recurs in the series is a rather unique take on it. His vision of a dog is that they are the very kind and loyal type that care for their owners and love them unconditionally. In a way, Erika was actually fulfilling this role the entire time despite him treating her poorly. Despite everything, she constantly came back to him and expected him to love her in return. As a result, once she ends up leaving him for good, he realizes that he legitimately fucked up and realized he lost someone who otherwise really cared about him. It is clear that Kyoya has a lot of problems with how he views himself and others, hence why he seems so hesitant to admit he cares. As a result, this does mirror a lot of real-life abusive relationships, with the key exception that Kyoya legitimately does care about Erika.
However, considering that there are still five episodes left, it is kind of obvious that there are still going to be quite a few conflicts. While both of these characters are very well developed, it is clear that both of them have a few screws loose. Erika seems unnaturally obsessed with Kyoya when most people would have given up at that point. Kyoya also has some serious issues with social skills and has a lot of traits associated with narcissistic personality disorder — that is, a high sense of self importance, lack of empathy, and being unable to see the negative effects of his destructive and dysfunctional behavior. As a result, I am curious to see how these things get worked out.
It is at this point that I am reminded of a specific moment in Persona 3. It was after seeing a romantic movie with Mitsuru where she expressed how she was disappointed that these movies never show anything that occurs with the couple after the happy ending where the couple gets married. She ends up making the point that staying together is often the hardest part of any relationship. Just look at how many couples end up getting divorced after being together for twenty years. With Wolf Girl and Black Prince, however, the challenge facing how this relationship will form is not some type of outside force keeping them apart; it is their own incompatible personalities. Any other cheap love story would have probably ended after episode five, where they think, “Oh, all that matters is that they got together” (and yes, I have seen some series that actually did end on that note). Hell, even if this was the last episode, it still wouldn’t be a terrible ending, seeing as how there was some amount of closure provided. However, Wolf Girl and Black Prince still does not decide to take the cheap way out and realizes there are still a lot more subjects to explore, and I am looking forward to seeing how this series handles them.
Wolf Girl and Black Prince is available to watch on Crunchyroll, with new episodes coming out Sundays at 11:30 AM ET/8:30 AM PT. Non-premium users will be able to watch episodes free one week after they first air.
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