Aya SuzakiIbuki KidoMinori ChiharaRika Tachibana
Princess Connect! Re:Dive season 2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2022
Writer/director: Takaomi Kanasaki
Actor: Ami Koshimizu, Atsumi Tanezaki, Atsushi Abe, Aya Suzaki, Ayaka Fukuhara, Ayane Sakura, Ayumi Tsuji, Chiaki Takahashi, Ibuki Kido, Inori Minase, Jun Fukushima, Juri Nagatsuma, Kana Hanazawa, Konomi Kohara, Maaya Uchida, M.A.O, Mikako Komatsu, Miku Ito, Minori Chihara, Misaki Kuno, Miyuki Sawashiro, Naomi Ozora, Natsumi Takamori, Rika Tachibana, Rina Hidaka, Satomi Satou, Shizuka Itou, Shota Aoi, Sumire Morohoshi, Sumire Uesaka, Tetsu Inada, Yoko Hikasa, Yui Ogura, Yuka Aisaka, Yuka Iguchi
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=21808
Website category: Anime 2022
Review date: 26 October 2022
Princess Connect Re Dive
There's a lot to like here and it ends well, but ultimately it never came together for me. It's okay. The show's problem is that it's:
(a) a light, pointless piece of fluff based on a mobile phone game, in which our heroes are all likeable but underwritten airheads and the show keeps going off on a tangent to show us yet more airheads. Sorry, that should have said "playable characters". Our four heroes (Pecorine, Kokkoro, Karyl and Yuuki) are the Gourmet Guild, but the internet says that other guilds include Twinkle Wish, Labyrinth, Carmina, Little Lyrical, Forestier, Diabolos, Nightmare, Sarendia Orphanage, Caon, Elizabeth Park, Mercurius Foundation, Twilight Caravan, Lucent Academy, Friendship Club, Dragon's Next, Wisdom, Rage Legion and... look, I can't remember all these girls. Some of them are amusing (especially the not-so-evil idiot spies in ep.6), but that's as far as it goes.
As for the Gourmet Guild, they want to eat food. That's it. They go on adventures, but it's all basically for the sake of food. Yuuki is literally brain-damaged. He's had a memory wipe that left him as a good-natured simpleton who's okay with everything and will give a thumbs-up to anyone. Kokkoro doesn't really have a personality this year, beyond having her mouth drawn as an "X" when she's surprised. Pecorine has a secret identity. Karyl is the only interesting one, because she's a reluctant, grumpy friend of the other heroes, but also an agent of evil and apparently in love with the Evil Boobs Witch Queen who kicked out Pecorine.
It doesn't feel as if it matters. It's like a kiddie anime, which to some extent is by design. Even reviewers who like this series are capable of calling its episodes "monstrously, beautifully stupid"... and that's when the plot's about to get started.
(b) the plot's quite good. The last few episodes have a shadow-pocalypse, an evil queen who's a ridiculous cartoon until she isn't, the truth being revealed to the people and Karyl being ordered to commit a massacre. I liked the ending. It's nice and it works, despite all the cameos for lots of supporting characters I couldn't be bothered trying to remember.
But those two halves don't gel. There's a bit of emotional weight, occasionally, for our heroes... but they're still airheads who spend most of their time wandering around aimlessly and agreeing with any suggestion that's made to them. (Except Karyl, who'll refuse at first.)
It looks nice and has an off-the-charts animation explosion in episode 4. The show's chief director, writer and storyboarder (Takaomi Kanasaki) stepped in to pull quadruple duty as episode director as well and recruited lots of huge industry stars to do something amazing with this particular episode of this somewhat forgettable show.
This show has charm. Its heroines have a huge fanbase and presumably they're not as bothered as I am by, say, the stupid pop-eyed wolves or those two instantly forgiven thieves who've become goofy semi-regular supporting characters. I like the Karyl-Pecorine relationship. The writing can be a bit basic and "Saturday morning children's cartoon", but the finale works. I don't dislike the show at all. I just don't, personally, find its formula successful.