Princess Connect! Re:Dive
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 1 of
Princess Connect! Re:Dive ?
How would you rate episode 2 of
Princess Connect! Re:Dive ?
“How crazy is that?”
Based on the Japanese mobile game of the same name, Princess Connect! Re:Dive is the story of Yuuki, an amnesic young man who is dumped by an injured god into a fantasy world. Luckily for him, this god sends one of her acolytes, Kokkoro, to help and guide him. The problem is, she's not exactly the most world-wise person herself. Soon they're joined by the always-hungry warrior, Pecorine, and find themselves under attack by the monster-controlling witch, Karyl—though none of the other three even realize that fact.
In an interesting twist, Yuuki, the player character proxy, is just this side of being a silent protagonist. In the first episode, he speaks a few scarce words. In the second, he gets a few sentences out but they are still dwarfed by the number of lines that the three girls dish out. This in turns means that what we learn about Yuuki as a character comes not from words but from actions.
Yuuki isn't the most helpful of people in battle. He's not even really a meat-shield; he's somewhere between monster bait and a battery for the girls. This makes for a ton of slapstick humor at his expense as he tries to act like the fantasy heroes we know and love but usually ends up being eaten by some monster or another.
But the thing that's really interesting about Yuuki so far is the twist on the amnesic hero trope. Usually, an amnesic hero has basic knowledge—i.e., can read, write, speak, and understand basic economic and political ideas even if they don't know the specifics—aside from any sort of crazy muscle memory that makes them a terror on the battlefield.
Yuuki, on the other hand, is so far gone that he doesn't understand concepts like money and even expressing his emotions in words is often beyond him. But what this allows us to see is that, with everything else stripped away, he is still a good person. His kindness is an inherent, core part of his very being. It's easy to root for him at the very least.
Kokkoro, on the other hand, is the devoted servant. She believes in her god, her divine task, and the pure heart of the man she has been chosen to support. However, because of this, she consistently overestimates what Yuuki is capable of and believes his failures are actually her own. Or to put it another way, she's the earnest straight-man of the group.
And then there is Pecorine. She hands-down is the best part of the show. With the strength of the gods, she is as dumb as a box of rocks and trusting to a fault. This combination is what makes her so entertaining. She sees only the best possible interpretation of things—be that believing that the thieves stealing her family's sword are simply holding on to it for her or that the witch trying to murder her is actually her new friend.
But here's the twist. She is so physically strong, so unstoppable in her convictions, that it's like the fabric of reality itself is eventually forced to give up and fall into that shape. By the end, the thieves graciously return her sword and Karyl actually finds herself wanting to be friends with Pecorine—despite her better judgement.
It's interesting to note that all three of our main heroes are fish out of water. The main character has lost his memories to the point that he understands little beyond basic language. Kokkoro has lived her life in the clergy and knows little about the real world. And Pecorine lives in her own world and doesn't realize that everyone else isn't in it with her. This means they're learning about the world just as we are—making it easy to follow along as we learn more about this fantasy world.
The show also has its fair share of enjoyable humor, especially when it comes to the running gags: Kokkoro's shocked face when things don't follow her expectations; Yuuki being dragged off by ravenous, derpy wolves; Pecorina still trying to give the thieves the medicine they asked for as a distraction to steal her sword. It's not going to have you rolling with laughter but it should get a chuckle or two.
If there's any problem with the show so far, it's that we're two episodes in and nothing much has happened. In the first episode, they fought some mushrooms. In the second, a dragon. However, as far as any kind of greater stakes or any kind of overarching plot goes, we've seen only the vaguest of hints—and even those only really pertain to Pecorina.
Perhaps now that we have the character introductions out of the way, we can get the actual story going. Or maybe we'll just be forever stuck watching some low stakes comedy adventures. There are worse things out there to be watching.
• Pecorine has a great catchphrase (with an equally great translation) that she uses to reject reality and substitute her own: “How crazy is that?”
• This is one pretty looking show—especially that scene with the wind rolling over the grass. I hope it keeps it up.
• The scene that did have me laughing out loud? When Pecorine ate Kokkoro's mushroom “friend”—just as it was coincidentally trying to kill Kokkoro.
• I think starting next week I'll be doing a “How crazy is that?” counter.
Princess Connect! Re:Dive is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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