Princess Connect! Re:Dive
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Princess Connect! Re:Dive ?
“In which our heroes get their drunk on.”
This episode can be split cleanly into two halves—one following Yuuki, Pecorine, Kokkoro, and Karyl on their first quest as a guild and the second introducing (and reintroducing) a slew of characters before shifting gears from comedy to horror.
While much of the first half is simple, light-hearted comedy, it also contains a bit more development for the series' most complex character: Karyl. As they set off on their quest, Karyl accuses Pecorine of pretending to be sad to get her way and have Karyl come with them—though this is almost certainly not the truth. However, it does speak to Kayrl's conflicted loyalties.
Kayrl wants Pecorine to be a worse person than she is. She wants to believe that Pecorine is consciously using emotional manipulation to get what she wants. If so, then Karyl's ever-looming betrayal would be all the more justified. Of course, Karyl knows in her heart that Pecorine doesn't play mind games. The reason Pecorine's “manipulation” works on Karyl in the first place is because the emotions behind it are genuine—Pecorine is legitimately saddened by the idea of doing their first guild quest without Karyl.
The following camp scene—where everyone but Kokkoro gets drunk on wild berries—also gives us some brief insight into Karyl's mindset. Karyl, despite trying to act so serious herself, sees that Kokkoro is doing a better job at it—so much so that she is jealous. She feels that she should be more hardworking in serving her own master. Instead, however, she is spending time goofing around with the people who are supposed to be her enemies (and is deep down enjoying the newfound comradery).
The second half of the episode is more of a mixed bag. In it, we are introduced to a prohibitively large amount of new characters—six to be exact. And that's not counting the two others we are reintroduced to: Rima and our shadowy villain.
Of these, Aoi gets the most development due to an extended (and exceedingly funny) scene of her interacting with Yuuki. However, it's Rima who does the heavy lifting.
Because we already know Rima from a previous episode, there is some attachment built-in. We know her and so we don't want anything bad to happen to her—and by proxy her newly introduced party members. It's narrative shorthand but at least it gives us some reason to care about these new faces. The remaining two new characters, on the other hand, have no such crutch and thus appear to be little more than fanservice to those who play the game.
Simply put, this episode is not as good as last week's episode when it comes to introducing the game's myriad of characters—but it is still far better than Rima's introductory episode. And overall, it's about on par with last week's episode, despite the weaker character integration. In large part, this is thanks to the humor. It is the first episode in the series to get me to laugh out loud—and more than once at that. It also does a darn good job at horror—something more than a little difficult in a comedy series and more so in an episode taking place in the daylight.
Next episode we'll see how our heroes deal with being thrust headlong into the horror genre.
...I predict lots of screaming and panic.
• The parts that made me laugh?
➤ Kayrl's “feeling 30% better” face as she announces she is going straight to bed.
➤ Yuuki being saved from being eaten only to fly headfirst into a tree.
➤ That wide shot of Hatsune hitting the tower and falling out of the sky.
• I find Aoi confusing. At first, she is presented as a girl who is so lonely and socially isolated that her only companion is a wood stump that she practices being friends with. Yet, at the same time, she is also part of a guild that seems to care for her. If they aren't her friends, what are they to her?
• First it's not eating bugs, now it's being terrible at fishing… Karyl is really bad at being a cat, isn't she?
• So Rima's guild is all animal-themed. But are they all actually like Rima and using the golden apple? Or are they just half-human-looking animal girls like Karyl?
• I like the focus on continuity this episode—especially the little callbacks to “feeling 30% better.”
• Honestly, having Rima return to the spotlight makes her previous episode better in retrospect as it evolves from pointless meandering to future plotline setup.
• This week's “How Crazy is That?” count: 0! (Two weeks in a row! Maybe I should dock the episode an extra star for that.)
Princess Connect! Re:Dive is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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