Princess Connect! Re: Dive Review: Season 1

I went into this show with mixed expectations. Upon learning that it was directed by Takaomi Kanasaki, who also directed Konosuba, I had high hopes. However, this show is also an adaptation of a mobile game that I haven’t played, which left me worried that I wouldn’t have the necessary background knowledge to enjoy the show.

Princess Connect is an isekai that uses slice of life aspects to break up the well worn paths of the genre. Much of the show is built around character development as you watch the main characters enjoy life with one another, and less about an over arching plot. The protagonist is a soft-spoken, charming, amnesiac who fell out of the sky, and everyone loves him. Throughout the show, he is treated as the little brother that everyone wants to see succeed. Unlike Konosuba, the characters aren’t constantly antagonizing one another, but are genuine and caring instead. They even form a guild together, called the Gourmet Guild, with the goal of finding new, exciting food and ingredients.

Each member of the guild is the embodiment of a different emotion, and watching everyone mesh together brings about incredibly entertaining situations. What happens when you have a tsundere catgirl mixed with an insatiable bundle of energy? How about when the friendly amnesiac goes missing and his timid, caring follower runs around looking for him? Exactly.

Animation and art style have been large talking points recently amongst anime fans, and Princess Connect has that in full. To put it simply, the show is gorgeous. The animation throughout the show is incredible, but what really sets the show apart is the attention to detail given to spells, abilities and attacks. It’s jaw dropping. The bursts of colors and silky smooth movements of Princess Strike are the greatest feats of animation I’ve ever seen. Princess Connect is drawn extremely well; every frame could be a standalone picture, no problem. The attention to detail, the crisp lines, the cute art style… It all compliments the vibe that the show is going for.

Normally, I would have mentioned the storyline by now in a review, but I don’t think it’s important when talking about Princess Connect. The show has an interesting plot, but what I keep coming back for is the character development. It’s the small trials and tribulations of daily life in a fantastical land that we see these characters embark on. With each interaction between characters, we get just a slightly better understanding of them. After awhile, each new episode felt like it was time to hang out with my friends for 23 minutes and 40 seconds.

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Review: Season 1

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime isn’t the first isekai to take the wholesomeness angle, but it does commit much harder than other shows are willing to. The protagonist will take the diplomatic route whenever possible, but that doesn’t stop them from fighting if needed. This balanced mix between social and combat progress allows for richer character development. Even the side characters have their own supporting arcs that make you feel invested in their lives. Everyone loves and respects the protagonist, which enables them to bring different races together and cooperate as they attempt to build up their small goblin village into the capital city of the Jura Tempest Federation.

The art style matches the aesthetic of the characters and story line; it’s clean, lighthearted, and vibrant. Even the spookier, moonlit or lantern-lit scenes remain pleasing, while also conveying the vibe they’re going for. The fight scenes are animated very well, but they also spent time animating the more impactful non-fight scenes as well – reinforcing the balance.

Music is often underrated in anime, but it adds a lot to this show. Most of the songs are in a major key to help accentuate the upbeat wholesome angle. The songs enhance the current vibe and are never overpowering or dissonant. Similar themes have the same song to immediately signal what’s taking place.

If there’s one downside to That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, it’s the off balance pacing at times. The first and last few episodes are a little slow when compared to the rest of the season. The duration of some scenes doesn’t match their significance, but every slower scene or episode was followed up with something exciting and important. If they keep following this pattern, the beginning of Season 2 will be something you don’t want to miss.