Watch or Drop? Rules
- The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
- At least 3 episodes have already aired.
- Episodes 1- 3 to be watched in a single sitting and a decision reached as to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
First Impressions of Full Dive:
Right off the bat the premise was always going to be a problem. That someone made a game that would reproduce real life, including pain, just strikes me as a terrible marketing decision and I’m sure two seconds of research would have convinced those who bank-rolled the game Kiwame Quest that it was a stupid idea.
More importantly, assuming the game did get made and assuming our protagonist was ‘tricked’ into purchasing the game, why would he log in again after the first experience. Full Dive seems to have wanted an excuse to put their protagonist through the wringer and they weren’t too picky about how they got to the point where they could torture the main character in episode 3.
Sure, they are overly exaggerating the reactions of characters and every character’s personality is way over the top in an attempt to play it as comedy, but realistically we’ve seen a teenager boy get beaten up for asking questions, accidentally kill someone, get pursued by guards, betrayed by another player, led in chains through the street and stoned before being haunted by a ghost and chained to a table and almost had his leg cut off.
Not entirely sure I’m getting the humour of it all.
That said, I also didn’t stop watching prior to the end of the first three episodes of Full Dive so there’s something about it.
Affiliate Link – Play Asia
Full Dive Series Positives:
I’m actually struggling a little here.
So far we have awful characters who have either endured awful things or done awful things playing an awful game where so far only bad things have happened.
It doesn’t even really look that great.
On the other hand, an anime doesn’t need to be sunshine and rainbows to be enjoyable. I’m just not entirely sure what the appeal is here. Part of me wants to know what it will take before Hiro genuinely doesn’t log back into the game again. The end of episode 3 of Full Dive has him declaring he’s over the game, but that seems unlikely given where we are in the story.
The other part of me wants to see if these negative experiences ultimately lead to something worthwhile. Let’s be real, even before Hiroshi started playing the game his life wasn’t exactly going great. While I don’t need a happy ending, it would be kind of nice to see that through overcoming his current tribulations maybe he finds something better.
Or maybe Full Dive really is just about making the character as miserable as possible. I guess I won’t know if I don’t keep watching.
Full Dive Series Negatives:
I kind of feel perhaps the biggest negative for me so far is that Full Dive: The Ultimate Next-Gen Full Dive RPG is Even Shittier Than Real Life! is labelled as a comedy and while I can kind of see some exaggeration for comedic effect, I’m not exactly seeing this as funny.
That’s naturally a subjective point of view but without this actually landing in the funny category, mostly it is just depressing and a little bit morbid. Then again, others who have reviewed Full Dive found it delivered on laughs so maybe this will work for you.
That said, I am kind of curious still about where they will take the premise. It is nice to see a character in a video game who doesn’t get instantly stronger and isn’t automatically recognised as a hero. In an over-saturated genre of being trapped in a video game, Full Dive has taken the path of Bofuri in that the character isn’t technically trapped, but then has dialled up the difficulty to Aincrad SAO levels if it had an insane mode that also made pain a thing.
Still, what it might be isn’t what it has done and in three episodes this one has been visually dull, the voice acting consists of a lot of shouting and whining, and so far I haven’t found a single character that I actually sympathise with, care about, or really want to spend time with.
I think I like the idea of Full Dive far more than I am liking the anime.
I actually don’t know just yet if I am going to finish Full Dive or not. I probably will because it made me curious and that’s perhaps my greatest weakness. That said, after trying three episodes, I wouldn’t exactly be telling anyone else they should be checking this one out. There’s plenty of anime out there with similar ideas that have been done better.
Maybe Full Dive will change my mind before the end but I’m not that optimistic.
Images from: Full Dive. Dir. K Miura. ENGI. 2021.
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