Princess Connect! Re:Dive
Falling from the sky, a boy wakes up with no memory except for his name, Yuuki. Upon revival, Yuuki meets the elf archer Kokkoro, who introduces herself as Yuuki’s guide.
Yuuki and Kokkoro begin their journey together and are soon joined by powerful sword master Pecorine and the dark mage Kyaru. These four grow close and decided to form a guild, Gourmet Food Palace, and set off to find the most delicious meals.
Although I am willing and will review most any series from any genre, not every story concept can grab my attention. Sometimes a show will be unable to resonate with me, despite how good it may technically be. I try to see if an anime has merits, regardless if it matches my tastes or not.
With that said, I do intend to recommend Princess Connect! Re:Dive (Princess Connect) even though I don’t think I could have cared less about it.
I might have sat through this series without much enthusiasm, but there were aspects of Princess Connect that, I can’t deny, impressed me. For starters, even though I had never heard about it (let alone played it), Princess Connect’s mobile game roots were on full display.
Getting an anime adaptation of a smartphone game is nothing new, and these types of shows run the gambit between decent and oh-my-god-I-want-to-bash-my-head-in. The latter cases, from my experience, have involved stories where in-game mechanics are ham-fisted into the narrative. Usually, it’s the equivalent of getting somewhat more elaborate cutscenes.
I won’t lie; the first episode of Princess Connect felt as such.
However, as this series went on, it was amazing how much charm and personality began to grow. Princess Connect was much livelier than I had initially expected it to be. I am going to go out on a limb and say that this was both a faithful and well-conceived adaptation. I’m not sure how the source compares, but after a while, I forgot this show was based on a game. It played out more like an original idea than it did a story based on something from another medium.
Something else that worked in Princess Connect’s favor was its animation. This show’s art style was bright and colorful. There were plenty of action scenes, and they were all smooth and fast. Plus, there was a healthy dose of CGI that didn’t look too bad either. It surprised me how much effort seemed to go into this series, something I don’t often see in mobile game adaptations.
Lastly, Princess Connect’s cast reminded me of KonoSuba. The similarities were mild but present all the same. In particular, Princess Connect’s Yuuki was a kinder, much less talkative, and far less abrasive version of KonoSuba’s Kazuma. At the very least, Yuuki was the character who got me to laugh.
As for everyone else, especially the other members of Gourmet Food Palace, they could be quite fun. This team – and by extension, this show – was at its best when they were off doing side quests and silly day to day tasks. Although there was enough personality to make some of this series’s more dramatic moments stick, everything was more entertaining when everyone was goofing around.
I suppose what I am getting at is: I wouldn’t fault someone for liking this show. There were many things to like about it. I also won’t pretend I hated this series. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, I couldn’t get into it as much as I would have liked.
I think the thing that turned me off the most about this series was its story. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t give two s@#$s about it. Princess Connect was one of those shows that you can watch on fast-forward and still understand everything that is going on.
The narrative wasn’t deep, and it played out pretty much as you would expect it would.
Now, I’ve seen and praised shows that have had a by-the-book story before. So then why don’t I feel the same way about Princess Connect? Simple. The main narrative was significantly less impressive than all the single plotline episodes.
I much preferred watching Gourmet Food Palace do random nonsense. But when it came time for them to start saving the world, again, since the story was a dime a dozen, I had already mapped out everything that was going to happen. Every reveal, every “surprise,” simply wasn’t one.
Also, since all the non-plot episodes were this show’s best, that caused Princess Connect to run into a different problem.
Having character-building moments is excellent. However, the characters of Princess Connect weren’t anything special. None of them grew all that much as the show went along, and you got a full sense of who everyone was just through their introduction. Therefore, I ask you:
If a story isn’t very interesting and all the secondary plotlines don’t go anywhere, what is there to get excited about?
That is the issue I had with Princess Connect. Even though it had plenty of well-done and well-crafted qualities, the whole thing felt like a flashy waste of my time.
As far as mobile game-based anime go, this one was pretty damn good. The animation was great, and the characters could be a lot of fun.
However, if you’re someone like me who is watching anime after anime, something does need to catch your attention, and his show didn’t have that.
But, if you are not in my situation, then I see no reason not to recommend Princess Connect! Re:Dive.
Princess Connect! Re:Dive Series Review: Fine, But Thin
Writing - 6/106/10
Plot - 7/107/10
Character Development - 6/106/10
Production - 7/107/10
Music - 6/106/10
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