Kyuukyoku Shinka shita Full Dive RPG ga Genjitsu yori mo Kusoge Dattara (Full Dive: This Ultimate Next-Gen Full Dive RPG Is Even Shittier than Real Life!) comes to us hot off the VR presses to deliver a thoroughly entertaining first few episodes. Let’s take a look at how Full Dive breathes some much-needed life into the VR anime genre.
Full Dive’s Engaging Story
Full Dive follows the life of Haru, a NEET gamer who finds himself out of luck when trying to purchase a new game. With it being sold out everywhere, he is persuaded by the beautiful assistant of a back alley game store into buying Kiwame Quest. After booting it up, he comes to realize that the game is dead and inhabited by almost zero players. Doing his best to justify his purchase, he tries to leave the starting town, only to experience real-world pain when his friends try to stop him. It becomes evident at that point why everyone turned their back on a game that physically punishes you for making mistakes, as opposed to a simple respawn timer. To add to Haru’s problems, he accidentally murders his best friend, earning him the title of “Best Friend Killer”. Forced to escape before being held in captivity, he reunites with an in-game version of the shop assistant – Kisaragi Reona – and the two set out to clear Haru’s name.
As you can imagine with such a story, we’re in for a barrel of laughs as we watch Haru painstakingly claw his way through the game’s obstacles at the behest of a pair of blushing blue eyes. While it does offer a lot of what ecchi harem anime has come to be known for over the years, it also leans very heavily into the mechanics of Kiwame Quest, while providing a good mix of comedy at every chance.
A First for VR Narratives
So, the elephant in the PC room; Sword Art Online came out and has dominated the VR anime genre with its breathtaking visuals and compelling storylines. While VR anime have come and gone before and after SAO, it stands unrivaled among its peers. Needless to say, the VR genre, where our protagonist is transported into a game, is nothing new and the premise alone will not be enough to sell T-Shirts. Full Dive, however, introduces a very unique concept. While anime like SAO force their players to remain inside the game, Full Dive sees it perfectly acceptable to log out whenever you so choose (so long as you are not in the process of being hunted down by your psychopathic childhood friend). This is perfect for the comedic anime Full Dive is trying to be, as opposed to a more serious narrative.
Moreover, the concept of “dYiNg In GaMe MeAnS DyInG iN ReAl LiFe OoOooOh” has been done to death by this point. Full Dive’s premise of having one’s real-world physical ability tie into their character’s strengths, as well as having a one-to-one pain link for any injuries your character may suffer is very interesting and makes for some hilarious scenes. Worry not, should you be ripped apart by vicious wolves, it will hurt no more than the attaining of several bruises cause from falling down a flight of stairs. Thanks, game!
Not Just A Comedy?
Full Dive is a comedy anime and it does not disappoint with the laughs. Whether it be the cliched naming of Hell’s Fruit Slicer, The Fruit Knife Wielder From Hell: Alicia Von Rotarzen, or the manipulative coddling of Reona, you’ll find yourself cackling at the screen as Hiro tries his best to stay alive. However, Full Dive also seems to want to plant some seeds for future developments, not satisfied with only providing laughs. The first few episodes hint at Hiro’s life before becoming a NEET, where he used to run track and field and was a respectable child actor. We also learn more about the game of Kiwame Quest, namely, that someone managed to defeat this impossible game and was heralded as a legend because of it. Full Dive seems to be setting up a lot of pins which it will inevitably knock down as the series progresses and a lot of these are thoroughly interesting enough to keep us hooked until then.
Full Dive strikes a great balance between gaming anime and VR anime cliches, while still being a great fourth-wall-breaking, self-aware romp. The show pulls out every gaming cliche in the book from tapping in front of you to log in and out, a fantasy world filled with taverns, fairies, and monsters, as well as our protagonist being a legendary hero. However, it also flips all of these ideas on their head to provide a unique take. After Haru realizes he can escape his shackles by proclaiming to be the hero of legend, he is shot down by the guards as another crazy adventurer spouting about their destiny. He is, after all, one player in a world of thousands, and the guards have probably heard his story many times before. Reona also fails to make an appearance while Haru is being tortured due to her being distracted watching Ghibli’s Laputa Castle in the Sky in real life! Full Dive, instead of attempting to return to the beaten path, steers into the skid of cliches and tries its best to breathe new life into them.
Full Dive is shaping up to be one of the most comical anime of this season. Do not be deterred by its premise under the assumption that it has nothing new to offer. Should you give it a chance, you will certainly have a great time. What do you think of Full Dive so far? If you had to choose between Martin Time or Adult Event Time, which would you pick? Let us know down below!