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The Winter 2022 Preview Guide
Princess Connect! Re:Dive Season 2

How would you rate episode 1 of
Princess Connect! Re:Dive (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.1

What is this?

In the story of the "anime RPG," the protagonist wakes up with no memories in an unfamiliar location. The protagonist then meets girls and comes closer to uncovering a hidden mystery.

Princess Connect! Re:Dive is based on Cygames' smartphone game and streams on Crunchyroll on Mondays.

How was the first episode?

Caitlin Moore

Remember how I said media mix projects are almost always terrible? I always whisper “Except for Princess Connect! Re:Dive” under my breath whenever I say that. It was one of my surprise favorites of 2020 thanks largely to Takaomi Kanasaki, who imbued it with similar comedic sensibilities to his KONOSUBA but gentler and less edgy. While it's certainly a comedy-driven series, more interested in telling jokes than weaving a story or developing its characters, I came to love the four weirdos of the Gourmet Guild with all my heart.

The story, if you can call it that, picks up some time after the first season concluded. Karyl, Pecorine, Kokkoro, and Yuuki have made their guild house into a warm and happy home. Not much has changed except that sweet Yuuki has learned to do some basic repairs, despite his cognitive and intellectual disabilities that resulted from brain damage. Good job, Yuuki! We're so proud of you! You're doing amazing, sweetie! Karyl is still a picky eater, Pecorine is still excited about everything, and soft-spoken Kokkoro is still the mom of the group.

Just… did it always feel so segmented? The summer of 2020 feels like it was decades ago, and to be honest my memory of a lot of the specifics has grown hazy. The episode's story is more a series of misadventures connected by a vague quest with a moral at the end. The effect is rather disjointed, and I ended up watching the episode twice to make sure I hadn't missed anything. It was funny to be sure, and I enjoyed the lovely art and animation as I laughed, but I just felt like something was missing. Or like there was a checklist – Karyl must freak out, Yuuki must get dragged away by wolves, Pecorine must try to eat something that definitely isn't food, etc – that mattered more than building a plot.

Still, it's nice to have these good kids back, and it was a nice way to spend some time after an especially difficult day. I doubt it'll pull in new fans, but those familiar with Astara will be happy to return to the Gourmet Guild.

Richard Eisenbeis

Princess Connect is an interesting show—especially as a tie-in to a popular mobile game. Rather than being a direct adaptation of the game it's based on, it's by and large a collection of original side stories. While the show does include pieces of character-specific stories found in the game, the main plot is avoided entirely. This proves to be a bit of a double-edged sword. While there is tremendous creative freedom for the makers of the anime—as is clearly evident in this episode—it also means that there can be little to no meaningful character growth or story progression. So, how does one keep an audience entertained under such limitations? Princess Connect's answer is simple: lean into the comedy.

Luckily, Princess Connect has pretty much the best director possible for this, Takaomi Kanasaki of KONOSUBA fame. Sometimes the humor comes in the form of simple sight gags—like Pecorine turning around to notice Yuki, who she's been having a one-sided conversation with, is currently in the process of being mauled by low-level wolves (who likewise seem to be more than a little embarrassed at being caught in the act). Other times, the comedic sequences are more layered: one example is the scene where Karyl realizes that the meat she's just scarfed down comes from semi-intelligent monsters who have just showed up and are super pissed she ate their friend and while wearing his skin as a fashion accessory, which is followed by the reveal that these monsters' meat is poisonous, leaving our heroes covered in their own rainbow vomit as they lie paralyzed and powerless before the monsters. Finally, there are all the little jokes about the fact that Karyl is part cat—which, as a cat owner, I appreciate.

All of this is to say that at this point, the story and characters are just vessels to carry us from one joke to the next. We have our Tsudere (Karyl), our Kuudere (Kokkoro), our meathead (Percorine), and our amnesic “stranger in a strange land” (Yuuki). All work well enough and serve as the butt of the joke at one time or another. If you're looking for a light-hearted fantasy/slice-of-life heavy on the gag comedy, you'll definitely enjoy this one. And as there's no real overall story progression, feel free to give this episode a watch even if you're unfamiliar with the franchise. While it may be the first episode of season 2, it's definitely a good litmus test as to whether you will like this anime or not.

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