Food for the Soul!
What’s the Story?
Yuuki, a young man whose memories are fragmented. Kokkoro, a shy and compassionate young elf. Karyl, a cat-earred sorceress with split loyalties. Then there’s Pecorine, an energetic swordswoman with an ample appetite and boundless optimism. Together they are the Gourmet Guild and they make it their mission to travel around the land of Astraea, discovering new foods and ingredients to share. Whether they’re exploring an ocean of flying fish, helping some friends put on a concert or dealing with a prankster pixie, every day is a new dish for this guild! The good times can’t last forever though and the looming shadows are spreading across the land. There is an imposter on the throne and the mysteries of this world look set to finally reveal themselves. Will it all end in disaster, or can the Gourmet Guild win through in the end? There’s only one way to find out!
I’m going to have to rewrite my ‘Top 10 Favourite Anime’ list, again! That should give all of you dear readers an idea about how this review is going to go, so get out your ponchos and prepare to enter the gushing zone! Back in my review of season one (which you can check out HERE), I talked about how surprised I was by this series. I still don’t fully understand it, how can such a silly, goofy show with a mountain of characters and hardly any plot to speak of be so amazing? It was so sweet, endlessly charming and had some absolutely jaw-dropping animation. I loved it from beginning to end. So, when I tell you that this season blows the first out of the water I want you to understand the magnitude of what I’m saying. Every bar I set for this show it surpassed with ease and only got better and better. If the first season surprised me with how well it all came together, this second season shocked me by turning a goofy adventure show into one of the most epic epic fantasy stories I’ve come across in years.
How does it accomplish such a feat? Well, for starters, it has an actual plot. I feel like I’m being mean to the first season, which I still think is fantastic for the record, but it was doing a lot of the necessary dirty work for this second season. Season one was all about getting us invested in the characters and the world of Princess Connect. There were a few breadcrumbs and mysteries set in place, but there were still so many question left unanswered that by the end it felt like we were just getting started. Season two takes those threads and runs with them, full throttle. There are still a handful of goofy adventures throughout and even more quirky characters to meet, but the focus is very much set on resolving the conflicted established at the end of season one.
I’ll admit, as I sit here trying to analyse the series as a whole, I’m in two minds. On the one hand, the cold logical side of brain is telling me that we still don’t have clear answers to a lot of things. Some of the answers are really just my own inferences about what has been going on and the villain’s motives are still quite murky to me (maybe I need to play the game to get the full detail, but if I do that’s just bad story-telling). On the other hand, the rest of my brain is just screaming ‘Who cares!’. Look at how amazing the animation is, how cathartic all the many fights in the finale are, and look at Pecorine, so strong and radiant as she stands up to despair and offers to sit down to a meal with it. Pecorine is one my favourite anime characters from now until the end of eternity itself, I love her. I suppose the details don’t matter all that much, we know all we need to know for everything to make sense and even if it doesn’t it just feels right. This series has a big beating heart and that’s on full display.
I’ve talked about the animation several times and I just want to talk about it one final time, because it deserves it. On paper, this show shouldn’t have as big of an animation budget as it clearly does, but I so glad someone poured all their money into this! Again I just have that finale flashing through my head with gorgeous scene after scene, from the big flashy attacks that shake the screen, to the quiet, smaller images like Pecorine crying her eyes out with joy. I just want to watch this show again and again and I can’t really think of a better recommendation. My hat goes off to everyone involved with this series!
In the end, Princess Connect! Re: Dive Season 2 is, amazingly, even better than the first! Whereas the first season was one wacky adventure after another, the second takes all those building blocks and characters and crafts them into something truly epic. There are twists, reveals, heartbreak and soaring triumph aplenty, but the show never loses sight of that sweet, charming core that it established in the first season. It’s the characters that make this show and, after these two seasons, I would die for each and every one of them. The animation is astounding, the characters are delightful and I just don’t have the words to do justice to this fantastic series. If you haven’t checked this show out then you’re seriously doing yourself a disservice and you need to correct that right now! Get to it!
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday or you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisGJoynson.