「美食を訪ねて〜好奇心は最高のブーケガルニ〜」 (Bishoku o Tazunete～Koukishin wa Saikou no Buuke Garuni〜)
“A Walk on the Gourmet Side ~Curiosity Is the Best Bouquet Garni~”
Oh how I’ve waiting for this. Much as gushed on in the RC Winter Preview, Princess Connect is a show I hold in quite high regard. It came out of nowhere, did the impossible, and left on the high note of surprise sequel in the works. So does round two so far live up to the expectations set by the first? You bet your pouty nekomimi it does.
For the uninitiated (or those who simply forgot, heh), Priconne is an adaptation of the mobile game of the same name. In short, a vanilla hero named Yuuki (Abe Atsushi) saves the world with the help of Princess Knights, loses his memories as the result of said rescue, and now is back adventuring to restore those memories with the help of a new crop of girls. You’ve got the elf handler Kokkoro (Itou Miku) who’s assigned to watch out for Yuuki, the thoroughly neurotic catgirl Karyl (Tachibana Rika) who unintentionally winds up a member of the party, and the headstrong and perpetually hungry Pecorine (Ichimichi Mao) who’s only mission in life (at least right now) is finding the next tasty concoction. With their powers combined they form your quintessential fantasy RPG party, and yes you can bet how said story plays out from there. Or at least you would, because that’s not how it goes at all. Not in the slightest.
Where Priconne finds its anime claim to fame is its approach. Rather than a stereotypical fantasy adventure it throws caution to the wind, dispenses with direct adaptation, and goes all in on slice of life comedy. And I mean all in. The titular hero Yuuki? A recovering mute sacrificing physical prowess for sparkly power ups and on point comedic relief. Helper Kokkoro and new party acquisition Karyl? Two sides of the same wholly in over your head and up the creek without a paddle coin. And then there’s Pecorine who emphatically proves why gluttony is a sin and potentially where Yuuki’s powers ran off to. Couple this glorious cast with a largely episodic plot which basically revolves around finding the next thing to eat and you’re left with something quite literally magical. Very magical.
Given Priconne’s focus on comedy over (major) development it should be no surprise this opener was all about it. After Kokkoro stumbles across a veritable treasure map, Pecorine decides to send the group to solve it because obviously said treasure involves food. Naturally things don’t go according to plan, and after a little food poisoning and some ethereal encounters it’s the harsh realization said treasure isn’t in the vicinity. Dumb and simple plot? Most definitely, but fun and hilarious? Without a doubt. Given the art and animation CyGamesPictures is once again bringing to the table (Kokkoro and Karyl expressions are true blessings on this world) and director/series composer Kanasaki Takaomi’s way of eking out humour from the most basic of scenarios, I’m really looking forward to seeing what this season brings to the table.
After all, Priconne may not be the absolute best of fantasy or game adaptations, but it’s certainly climbing the ranks. Keep the popcorn handy boys and girls, this season is going to be a blast.