Princess Connect! Re:Dive – 1st Episode Review

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Synopsis: In the beautiful land of Astraea where a gentle breeze blows, a young man named Yuuki awakens with no memory of his past. There he encounters a guide who has sworn to care for him—Kokkoro, a lovely swordswoman who’s always feeling peckish—Pecorine, and a cat-eared sorceress with a prickly attitude—Karyl. Led by fate, these four come together to form the “Gourmet Guild.” And so their adventure begins… (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)

Get this man a parachute or the show will end before it begins.

1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):

Tom: Princess Connect opens like it’s nothing more than another low effort game to anime adaptation. Heck the first couple minutes feel like they could’ve been ripped right from the game’s opening monologue (I wouldn’t know, I’d never heard of this game until today.) However that opening is but a ruse, as what follows is anything but a standard, ho-hum, by the books, oh my god they didn’t even bother to hide the game mechanics, adaptation.

Linny: In a season flooded with subpar or shallow game adaptations, Princess Connect! Re:Dive is here to steal the limelight. As Tom described, Princess Connect’s opening minutes are so very deceptive, fooling you into expecting yet another generic and bland story. Instead what you get is a show that takes tropes and cliches and turns them into its strength. Our silent protagonist, a staple of video games, becomes someone whose silence is a bit of a novel gag in and of itself. Then the whole trope of a game throwing the most basic info at you/the protagonist is taken to the extreme as we see just how basic the hero’s knowledge of this new world is, making for yet another great joke as he attempts to eat the money given to him by his guide.

If that’s what you call fine looking fish, do not show me your worst.

Tom: Despite being billed as a straight fantasy, Princess Connect is so much more a comedy than anything else. Once we glance at the credits however it becomes clear why that is. Princess Connect is being brought to life by the talents of none other than Konosuba Director Takaomi Kanasaki. It’s clear Takaomi wasn’t quite done with Konosuba, as so much of that series’ comedy, visual style and tone is replicated here. For fans of Konosuba that should be a real treat to hear (especially after word came that the Light Novels were ending and that kind of news doesn’t bode well for additional anime seasons.) For the more skeptical let me assuage fears that Takaomi is merely ripping himself, and Konosuba’s creator, off.  While our lead, Yuuki, the near silent protagonist does strongly resemble a palette swapped Kazuma, the cast isn’t our tried and true deviants/self-obsessed assholes. Instead Yuuki and Co. are full-fledged idiots through and through.

Linny: Indeed, Princess Connect’s cast are blatant idiots, very lovable idiots mind, who once brought together will save the day through a mix of sheer innocence and random skills. Sure, none of the characters are all that original; a blank slate protagonist, a loyal and devoted pure elf maiden and a highly combat skilled but thick as a brick princess. But its what the show does with the characters that makes them sparkle. Our blank slate protagonist takes the concept of a blank slate to the extreme, becoming the biggest idiot and a source of comedy. Our thick as a brick princess comes in to save the day with her skill and appetite yet never even realizes she’s been swindled once the entire episode. And the devoted little elf becomes the character you can’t help but adore due to her kindness and innocence, even when that trusting nature is sorely misplaced.

Have a reaction face because I couldn’t come up with a good joke without spoiling the show.

Tom: Princess Connect is a hell of a ride. There’s loads of humor here with only the scantest of sequences devoted to telling us anything about the game’s world or the source material that it’s supposed to be adapting. It’s likely to upset fans of the game series, hoping for a straight and true adaptation. Honestly though? A second third fourth coming of Konosuba, even an off-brand version, is leagues better. It’s a mix of obvious, yet still well crafted humor, and jokes that take expectations and completely subvert them. If the rest of the episodes are anything like this one then I think we’re in for a real treat.

Linny: Princess Connect! Re:Dive’s comedy shines through its visuals; which not only look good throughout but also deliver a number of hilarious visual gags. A solid example of this is a pair of derpy looking wolves who keep returning to pull our hero away as their snack. Their looks alone make for a good chuckle, not counting the amusement of their ongoing goof. Or there’s the use of slow motion to really sell a hilarious twist reveal. It’s not just that the show has good jokes but it knows how to execute those jokes for maximum hilarity. For lovers of comedy, Princess Connect! Re:Dive feels like THE show of its season and one I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a solid chuckle.

Recommended: Princess Connect! Re:Dive jettisons much of its source material in favor of Director Takaomi Kanasaki offering up off-brand, but not off the mark, Konosuba.

Recommended: A stellar case of game adaptation, Princess Connect! Re:Dive takes popular cliches and tropes and turns them into comedy gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Princess Connect! Re:Dive is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com

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