Kyuukyoku Shinka shita Full Dive RPG ga Genjitsu yori mo Kusoge Dattara (Full Dive: The Ultimate Next-Gen Full Dive RPG Is Even Shittier than Real Life!) aims to flip the cliched concept of VR anime on its head. Being transported into a world of gaming is a tale as old as time and Full Dive RPG comes out of the gate swinging—striving to poke fun at all those VR anime that take themselves too seriously. Let's take a look at a truly hilarious parody, with more going on beneath the surface than you may assume.
Full Dive RPG follows the life of Hiro, an ex-athlete turned hikikomori due to an unfortunate wetting incident during one of his races. He one day happens upon the game Kiwame Quest (KQ) and is persuaded into buying it by the store owner, Reona. However, he comes to find that KQ is not your average game and instead strives to emulate real life as much as possible. As such, one's physical fitness in real life is transferred into the game, pain and bodily functions all occur as they would in real life, and death in the game results in one's console being blown up! Obviously, the game has become a wasteland with people not wanting to touch it. However, Hiro works to eventually beat the game, marry Reona (although he is not particularly interested in this part), and rub their success in the only person to ever beat the game, Kamui, who rejected Reona's advances many years ago.
While Full Dive RPG is primarily a comedy, it also includes a lot more worldbuilding and character development than most of its peers. A significant portion of the plot is dedicated to Hiro's backstory as a runner, his fall from grace into a pit of self-loathing, and his imminent rise to the man he used to be. By the end of the final episode, we learn that the secret to both KQ and real life is controlling one's emotions. Hiro struggles with this a lot over the course of the series, lashing out at Reona in-game and his friends and family in real life. It is nice to see Hiro come to control himself and earn the right to Deus Ex Machina the final boss (kind of—this IS the ultimate shitty Full Dive RPG after all). We've all become disillusioned with the world at one time or another. Losing interest in passions due to failure or boredom is just part of life. However, rediscovering what made those things wonderful in the first place is incredibly moving, and watching Hiro learn to love running and schoolwork again was no exception.
Full Dive RPG is a comedy first and foremost. For the most part, the comedy is satisfactory and really delves into what playing a parody full dive game would be like. Fans of games and gaming tropes will definitely enjoy the subversion of expectations here. From being scammed in shops to needing to use the lavatory right before a big battle, all of the things we take for granted in normal games are flipped on their heads in Full Dive RPG. Full Dive RPG not only poked fun at traditional gaming tropes but also anime, movies, and Deus Ex Machina plot lines. The story really wants to hammer home the fact that there is no chance of random events occurring to benefit the player character. No speeches about friendships or people arriving 'JuSt In tImE' to save you will happen here.
The comedy, however, is quite hit-or-miss. One of the long-running gags of the show is Hiro's constant need to defecate himself. Sure the kids will love this as who doesn't love a good poop joke? Yet, if you find yourself of the age where unwanted bodily functions don't quite tickle your funny bone the way they used to, the screentime devoted to fleshing out this joke can get grating at times.
Big NPC Energy
We never really think much about NPCs in games. Oftentimes, we come to loathe some of the more static characters in games, growing angrier and angrier with each additional chicken we have to slay, or apple we have to gather to complete their erroneous quest. Full Dive RPG offers viewers a new experience and a different outlook on the games they have gotten used to. What if NPCs had motives, backstories, likes, dislikes, and the personality of a real human—able to articulate themselves beyond several repeated lines of dialogue? Would the gaming experience change? Would you be less inclined to mow down hordes of men, women, and children in GTA if the repercussions were less physical (the loss of money and reputation for example) and more emotional? Being forced to attend the funerals of those you murdered in cold blood would be an interesting concept and one that might make players rethink moments of needless bloodshed.
After Hiro murders his best friend, he is haunted by not only the ghost of Martin but by his little sister ruthlessly hunting Hiro down. Hiro comes to realize that it wasn't the murder per se that drove Alicia over the edge, but that her supposed childhood friend could commit such an act and then feel no remorse over it. She even gives her life to protect him in the final episode. Hiro is known to fly off the handle. At times, he cares little about other people's feelings. He yells at his sister for comforting him wetting himself during a race. He shouts at Reona for trying to help him enjoy Kiwame Quest. However, Full Dive RPG offers viewers the message of caring about those even if you don't know anything about them. Hiro eventually learns this (leaping to save the NPC girl from a goblin) over the series. To us, those we pass on the street may seem like NPCs. However, that does not give you the right to treat them with any less courtesy than you would your best friend. It is rude to assume that everyone you meet does not have something they are working towards or a problem they are trying to overcome. It may seem simple in concept but a simply complex anime like Full Dive RPG is just the right vessel to remind us of that fact.
Full Dive RPG offers a lot more than your traditional game transportation storyline. While it is primarily a comedy anime, there is also a wealth of life lessons to be learned here, including an interesting exploration into the lives of NPCs. While some of the jokes do fall flat, a majority of the watch is very amusing. Those who like their comedy anime with a little more substance, should be sure to check out Full Dive RPG. What do you think of Full Dive RPG? Let us know down below?