Princess Connect! Re:Dive Season 2
Episode 3

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 3 of
Princess Connect! Re:Dive (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.3

There's a lot of things going on at once in this week's episode of Princess Connect—perhaps a bit too many for the episode's own good. Pecorine and Karyl clean house while Yuuki and Kokkoro go out shopping. Aoi is having a tough time finding friends and the Friendship Club wants to solve the mystery of the haunted forest. Oh, and Yuni is basically spending her time fighting god. These stories all somehow come together into one giant snafu to form this episode's back half.

When it comes down to it, this is basically a horror episode on two levels. Operating on the first is all the horror movie clichés you'd expect. Our heroes go to investigate the supernatural, but get themselves lost, split up, and picked off one-by-one, eventually learning the reason supernatural forces are haunting the area. However, what makes the whole sequence so entertaining is the comedy. We have Pecorine not even slightly afraid, Yuuki too innocent to be afraid, Yuni too interested to be afraid, and everyone else at various levels of freaking out. There's also the great double-payoff to the mystery, which is a great mix of the supernatural (the ghost of a tragically cursed king bleeding in from another world) and the hilariously mundane (Aoi taking out anyone who might have seen her manufactured friends).

Then there's the other layer of horror: the existential kind. Something is straight-up messing with Yuni's mind. Her memories are altered whenever she gets close to figuring out the secret of their world—that it's not quite the fantasy world it seems to be at first glance. This has caused Yuni to live an objectively terrifying existence, knowing that at any moment she might forget hours, days, or weeks of her life. To me this is far scarier than fictional things like ghost and curses. After all, as well get older, we all face the very real possibility of this happening to us naturally.

Unfortunately for Yuni, losing her memory is only the start. The god-like force acting upon her can do more than mess with her mind—it can change the physical world as well, deleting even the meticulous notes she spends her days writing down. She's in an unwinnable situation, despite her swiss cheese memory implying that she's figured out what's going on numerous times only to have it torn from her mind again and again. It's equal parts terrifying and heartbreaking, even as she comes to peace with it and gives up on her goal. In the end, however, she at least feels proud at having caused “god” to waste so much time and effort on her. And besides, to Yuni, it is the journey, not the destination, that's important, and this journey has given her a group of friends if nothing else.

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• There's some good visual storytelling in this episode, especially when it comes to the cursed king and why he became undead.

• Aoi snapping Karyl's neck and burring her in leaves while talking with her imaginary friends is somehow both disturbing and hilarious.

• I don't know which is better: the talking rock, or the fact that Yuni spins it around in a sling as her weapon despite it being a sentient being.

• Did everyone catch Ayumi in the background stalking Yuuki in the market?

Princess Connect! Re:Dive is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.


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