Princess Connect! Re:Dive season 2
See original review.
I was never the biggest fan of the first season of Princess Connect! Re:Dive, but it's like Studio Ghibli in terms of writing compared to season two.
If you liked the first season of Princess Connect! Re:Dive, good news. There's more cuteness, colorful animation, and quirky moe girls for you to attach to again this season. Our main party - dense swordsman Yuki, wise-for-her-age elf-girl Kokkoro, hungry and energetic swordsgirl Pecorine, and only-sane-girl cat-girl Karyl, are also just as likable as ever. We get a bit more into the workings of the world they're in, and the series finally, finally gets more into Yuki's past, something we only got a smacking of a hint of until nearly the end of season one. Karyl's faith in her boss Eustiana is pushed more to the test this season, and Pecorine has to come to a decision to tell her friends a big secret about herself. And Kokkoro, well, um, she continues to be cute, understanding, and make that adorable xOx face whenever weird stuff happens.
And then the preantepenultimate episode of the season comes around. AKA the very reason I made this second opinion review in the first place.
To say I did not enjoy the final four episodes of Princess Connect! Re:Dive 2 would be an understatement. It's easily some of the most angry and annoyed I've been with an anime when doing synchro anime watching with Stig in years. To not give much away, the final four episodes of the series are more or less about Pecorine saving Karyl from her evil boss. And that is where the problems begin.
First off, Princess Connect! Re:Dive's fights have always been the series' weakest link for me. I'm far more interested in the world building and characters - however calculatingly moe and cute they are to sell the mobile app this series is based on - than any of the fights they partake in. Despite seeing two whole seasons of this series, the only fights I can remember, ironically enough, are the ones from the end of this season. In earlier episodes they were relatively quick and swift fights, or at least didn't overstay their welcome too much. But not here. Ohhhhh nooooo, not here.
Secondly, the fighting in the last third of Princess Connect! Re:Dive 2 goes on forevvvvver. It's mostly a bunch of matches between Pecorine, Eustiana, and the armored knight Jun, with the only other noteworthy fight being the series' other despicably evil adult woman character Christina battling a few other characters. But Stig already brought up reasons to hate her in his own review, so I won't track retreaded ground. But I do want to bring up the other evil woman of the season.
Third; Eustiana is a terrible villainess. She's one of the most one-dimensionally despicable bad guys I've ever seen in a cartoon show, Japan, America, or otherwise. There are 1980s Saturday morning cartoon villians with more personality than her. Not to mention her hideous character design, with ugly thick brows and butt-ugly facial expressions. In a series that thrives on the cuteness of its huge cast of girls, I find it amazing that they managed to make a kitsune woman butt-ugly. But they did, somehow. And yet Karyl serves/cares for her still because...reasons? The series never made a good argument for me why Karyl wanted to get closer to Eustiana, considering she has zero positive traits about her.
Fourth; Pecorine is literally the only main character who does anything in the four episode finale. Kokkoro gets fed some backstory, Yuuki - aside from one scene near the end of the season - carries people out of the attacked village, and Karyl is kidnapped. And the other side girls either fight off generic shadow enemies or talk. Princess Connect! Re:Dive, for the most part, never really played "favorites" with its leads up until the end of season two, but they definitely do here, which may as well be called The Pecorine Show. An incredibly dumb plot twist in the final episode doesn't help.
In Stig and I's review of Captain Earth some years back, we talked about annoyed we were that the teenage characters were the heroic figures, and how pretty much every adult was either emotional support, the butts of jokes, or evil. And I feel that holds true here as well. Aside from a teacher character (Io) and the mother of one of the villagers, most of the adults in Princess Connect! Re:Dive 2 are either evil, relatively minor characters of the week, or are super cryptic plot dumpers (hi Labyrista!).
Another thing I hated in Princess Connect! Re:Dive 2 was the anime being the very thing I feared it was all along in season one; a trapped-in-another-world anime. Specifically the "trapped in a game" kind, with flashbacks of Yuuki's past showing very small glimpses of various girls he knew in more modern attire in modern Japan. Don't expect an answer of how/why the cast are stuck here, because we gotta milk this franchise out for another season or two!
I honestly can't remember the last anime I've watched that crashed and burned so bombastically like Princess Connect! Re:Dive 2's last third. There are anime I've given a single star to on this site that didn't annoy me even at their worst moments. It makes me genuinely not want to watch future seasons of this show if THIS is how the big fights from this point onward are going to go down. I alo don't want to watch another season of a show teasing me with cryptic crap to get me to watch yet another season, just to repeat the same cycle again at season's end. I'm so sick of this damn end season hook trend in anime, and Princess Connect! Re:Dive 2 is among the worst offenders of it. If Cygames wants me to continue watching this series, they're going to need to step up their game. Throwing more moe girls at me isn't going to be enough for a third go round.
So yeah, I didn't like Princess Connect! Re:Dive 2 much at all.
Starts off as more cute fun, but blows it with a terrible four-part finale. Only spared from a single star due to nice art and animation. — Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: The violence is actually a bit harsher in this season, with people being wounded in ways that looks decidedly serious. On the flip side, since this season doesn't have a beach episode, there's even less fanservice than the relatively minor amount we got in the first.
Version(s) Viewed: crunchyroll.com stream, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Princess Connect! Re:Dive season 2 © 2022 Animation "Princess Connect! Re: Dive" Production Committee
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