Princess Connect! Re:Dive
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Princess Connect! Re:Dive ?
“In which we learn that superpowers are a thing in this magical world.”
Continuing from where we left off last episode, Rima's party has been attacked—first by strange shadow creatures and second by Dark Knight Christina. While they make it in a heavily injured state to the small town where our heroes are questing, they are down a party member: Shiori. Thus Yuuki, Kokkoro, Rima, Aoi, and Hatsune set out to find her and rescue her. All too soon they discover that, being sickly and unable to run away from the shadows, Shiori has been drawn into them—allowing the all-consuming force to use her body as a weapon.
In large part, this episode is focused on the sisterly relationship between Hatsune and Shiori. Hatsune is a powerful mage—more so given the fact that she has a legitimate superpower: she can fly without the use of magic. Shiori, on the other hand, while a powerful archer in her own right has a limited constitution—causing her to grow sick easily.
This creates a bit of an imbalance in the relationship between the two with Hatsune always being the protector and Shiori the protected. It makes Shiori feel like she is a burden to Hatsune—and this misplaced guilt makes for the perfect mindset for the shadows to worm their way in.
And the resolution is about what you would expect. While neither Shiori or Hatsune is able to overcome the shadows on their own, together they are able to free Shiori's body from the shadows. In the process, Shiori learns that she is as necessary to Hatsune as Hatsune is to her.
While all this is going on Karyl attempts to fade into the background. It's clear that she knows in general what is going on and who is responsible: her own master. This serves as a rude awakening to Karyl.
Up until now, she has been able to basically forget her mission and just play around with Pecorine and the others. But knowing the shadows are coming, she is forced to confront the fact that she is not with her guildmates because they are her friends—she's with them to observe Pecorine. Thus, she refocuses on her mission, removing herself from the situation and simply watching the town's impending doom.
Of course, this is not how Pecorine sees their relationship. So when Karyl sneaks away, instead of going with Yuuki and Kokkoro, she stays behind to make sure Karyl is okay. She follows and tries to comfort her friend—snapping Karyl out of her dower mood. While Pecorine may seem like a ditz, it's clear she knows something deeper is weighing on Karyl. All she can do is simply say that she likes the Karyl she spends her everyday life with—and this is exactly what Karyl needs to hear.
As the shadows attack the village, Pecorine goes right into combat alone while Karyl struggles with her feelings—and eventually comes to help. But what's interesting is that she doesn't rationalize why she is helping—i.e., how can she observe Pecorine if she's dead. Instead, she helps in response to Pecorine's own heartfelt feelings. Deep down, Karyl wants to be the person Pecorine thinks she is.
This episode has it all: world-building, a tight plot, stunningly beautiful action, and development of both main and ancillary characters. Like the previous episode, it relies strongly on past episodes—making both it and them better as a result. It even has some tantalizing hints about Yuuki's life before his amnesic rebirth. Now, all that's left is to see where things go from here—especially once the villain learns of Karyl's involvement.
• Can a white tiger beast-girl and an elf be sisters by blood?
• Why does Rima turn into a “human” in their battle with Christina? Wouldn't her normal body be not only physically stronger but the one she'd be more comfortable fighting in?
• Is it just me, or is everything building to a Christina versus Pecorine fight?
• All the revelations about superpowers and magic have me questioning everything we see. Is Hatsune's mind meld a superpower too?
• This week's “How Crazy is That?” count: 1! (It's back! I was worried for a bit there.)
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