Princess Connect Re:Dive Is Spring 2020's Anime Gem | CBR

Adapting the mobile gacha game of the same name, Princess Connect! Re:Dive follows Yuuki, who has been assigned an elf named Kokkoro to assist him on his journey through a fantasy world he has fallen into. Produced by CygamesPictures and directed by Takaomi Kanasaki of Konosuba fame, it is no surprise this fantasy adventure is dripping with a large cast of cute girls, great character animation and well-timed slapstick humor that will be sure to make you laugh. Though this show’s visual production value is off the roof, the part that shines the most is the cast’s vibrant and quirky personalities melding well with each other.

Yuuki is an amnesiac to the extreme; he’s regressed to being like a child, barely able to speak a full sentence and regularly gets chomped on by the monsters roaming the land. It’s rather unique the protagonist in this fantasy series is so weak, yet despite his uselessness, he lends an endearing charm to scenes with his goofy smile and overall positivity. Though his ineptitude is a constant joke throughout the series, he still demonstrates chivalry and heroism when protecting his allies. Generally, male characters in fantasy anime settings tend to be more on the louder and abrasive side, so seeing a quiet yet nice male protagonist here is quite refreshing. 

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Yuuki first guildmate is Kokkoro, his ever-loving caretaker. Kokkoro makes sure Yuuki doesn’t get eaten by orcs and wolves. A little shy but good-natured, she brings up the idea of forming a guild. One of the guild members, Pecorine, is a naive yet strong girl who loves to eat. Like many strong characters who love food, her strength derives from just how much she has eaten and how hungry she feels.  Her adventure to retrieve her sword stolen by a couple thieves intertwines with Yuuki and Kokkoro’s multiple times until finally, they work together to get her weapon back.

They do this with the help of Karyl, an absolutely adorable tsundere cat girl who has been observing Pecorine for yet-to-be-revealed reasons. Karyl brings to the cast the straight man to react to all their wacky antics and silliness. Watching her slowly befriend the rest of the crew and decide to join their guild is heartwarming as we see her cold facade crumble when she realizes the value of friendship.

Outside the main four characters, Princess Connect! Re:Dive also regularly features other fun, fanservicey characters in each episode. Being based on a gacha game, the series has a plethora of cute girls to show off. One of the best is Rima, the llama girl. Her introduction in episode 4 is the perfect example of director Kanasaki’s ability to subvert expectations, as instead of seeing a monster in the spooky woods what is bestowed upon us is a fashionable llama girl. What makes Rima truly the best is her transformation sequence. Key animated and supervised by Hikaru Miyazaki, it’s filled with a healthy dosage of humor and fanservice.

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Beyond the fantastic cast of characters, the show also has great music, borrowed from the game and reminiscent of JRPG games. The visual compositing is also impressive; Princess Connect! Re:Dive uses many unique post-processing effects such as lens flares and particles that could appear garish, but here never feel like they are obstructing from the overall action and end up enhancing the visual art style of the show.

In an interview with ANN, CygamesPictures Company Director Nobuhiro Takenaka describes the appeal of Princess Connect! Re:Dive as a show that “betrays the viewers’ expectations” and is made “so that even those who haven’t played the original game will be able to enjoy it.”  Choosing director Takaomi Kanasaki to helm this project made accomplishing both those goals a cinch. With its cast of doofuses colliding, unique visual style and skilled comedic directing, Princess Connect! Re:Dive is not a show to be missed.

KEEP READING: Konosuba: Why the Parody Fantasy Anime Is Worth Catching Up With

Konosuba director Takaomi Kanasaki is directing another fantasy series with loveable goofballs and fantastic production value.

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