Princess Connect! Re:Dive
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 9 of
Princess Connect! Re:Dive ?
“In which our heroes go to the beach.”
This episode features the return of Suzume and Saren from episode four—and is the weakest episode in the series besides that one.
After winning a raffle while out shopping, Kokkoro, Pecorine, Yuuki, and Kayrl take a trip to the beach and end up helping a beachside restaurant beat their rival. Along the way, they meet a new guild and fight a kraken—you know, before they eat it.
There's honestly not much to this episode plot-wise beyond that. The new characters get a line or two each (which is not nearly enough to have any kind of investment in them) and Kokkoro's returning friends don't even get that. I actually had to go back to my episode 3 review to remember what their backstories were.
However, the reason that this episode is better than episode four is that it does two things right: further develop Kokkoro as a character and set up Karyl's looming personal crisis.
Much of this episode we are privy to Kokkoro's thoughts and get a fair sense about why she is so attached to Yuuki—despite him being a non-character in the vast majority of episodes. Kokkoro's world before being given her divine mission was a small one—i.e., just the village she was raised in. She would dream of sights and adventures but had no chance to experience them. But in her time with Yuuki she has seen things and done things beyond her wildest imagination. And in her mind, he is directly tied with these experiences—if he had never appeared, she would have never been needed to guide him.
The other important bit to come out of this episode is that Pecorine divulges her weakness. Her super strength—and super hunger—come not from her body but from the armor she always wears. Wearing anything else, she is without these enhancements and is far more vulnerable. In Percorine's world where everyone is as good and honest as she is, there's no issue sharing this information. Unfortunately, Kayrl is from another world entirely.
With Pecorine's weakness out in the open, Kayrl faces a major crossroads. She's been spying on Pecorine for weeks by this point and all the information she's sent back to her master has been meaningless—or at least she can tell herself that it is. But now she has a piece of information she can't ignore.
If she passes it on, there's a good chance it will be used to kill Pecorine. They'll attack her in bed or in the shower or on someday off when she's not wearing her magical gear. If she doesn't pass it on, then she'll be actively betraying her master. Sure, she can hold off on her decision for a while but all too soon she'll be forced to make her choice: her friends or her master.
• “Squeezing a random sea animal so hard its guts come out its butt” was indeed a joke good enough to be used twice.
• How forgettable is the new guild in this episode? Even now, all I can remember about the members is that one's a sad drunk, one's a one-percenter trying to be a self-made man, and one's a catgirl. …Wait, what do you mean there was a fourth one?
• I thought Saren was running an orphanage. What does the beach restaurant or becoming a merchant have to do with that?
• If we hadn't spent so much time with Pecorine, watching her in a swimsuit lift a massive boulder and judo throw a kraken would make me wonder if she's actually lying about her weakness.
• Pecorine's “How crazy is that?” count for this episode: 4 (with an extra bonus one from Karyl doing her best Pecorine impression.)
Princess Connect! Re:Dive is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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