WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 1 of Kyūkyoku Shinka (Full Dive), now streaming on Funimation.
Given how ridiculous they've become, it seems that isekai light novels, anime and manga are now in a competition to see which series can boast the most ridiculous concepts. Many of these continue to hone in on MMO and RPG tropes, featuring protagonists who are either extremely weak or extremely powerful game characters.
Full Dive, known in Japan as Kyūkyoku Shinka Shita Full Dive RPG ga Genjitsu Yorimo Kuso-Gee Dattara (What If the Ultimate in Fully Immersive VR RPGs Was a Crappier Game Than Reality Itself), does the same with the recent trend of VR games -- to the chagrin of pretty much every major character. Featuring a painfully mundane game, Full Dive accomplishes its goal of an isekai that's game world makes the real one look far more preferable.
What is Full Dive?
Full Dive is a series created by Light Tuchihi, who also created the similar comedy isekai series Cautious Hero. This very similar series began as a light novel last year before becoming a manga earlier this year. Its quick success has also led to an anime adaptation, which has recently begun airing.
The series stars Hiroshi Yuki, a high schooler student who is essentially forced into playing a virtual reality MMORPG called Kiwame Quest. This game boasts unparalleled realism, which is meant to capture the mundanity and idiosyncrasies of everyday life. Kiwame Quest is an outdated game by the point in time Full Dive's story takes place. Hiroshi only picks up the difficult title because he couldn't afford a newer one.
Unfortunately for Hiroshi, or Hiro as his avatar is called, this realism quickly gets in the way of him having any sort of grand, epic adventure. He not only is being kept from ever living up to his heroic moniker but also finds himself the root cause of unintended deaths and surrounded by annoying NPCs; trapped in a gaming experience that turns what should be pure entertainment into pure suffering -- as the series' title encapsulates.
How Full Dive is Even Worse Than Real Life
Kiwame Quest's realism is reflected by things like the avatar being able to experience sensory events like in real life, but this is about the only area where said level of technological depth is advantageous. This also means that Hiro and others experience fatigue and even pain, with Hiro shocked about how much it hurts when his friend's avatar punches him in the game during the anime's first episode. Additionally, his encounter with a particularly tsundere character named Alicia becomes an equally painful sprint for his life.
This mortality is only an action away from being lost, too, proven by Hiro's friend Martin. Martin and Alicia try to inform him that leaving the city where his avatar spawns is illegal -- another unsavory restriction of the game. Angered by his limitations, Hiro pushes Martin out of the way, making his friend accidentally impale and kill himself with a kitchen knife that goes right through his head. This permanently keeps Hiro from actually being the game's hero and earning him a much less savory title, showing how even the smallest of choices can have detrimental consequences in the game.
The light novels and manga have only just started while the anime is planned for at least one 12-episode season, so new fans will just have to wait and see how much worse Hiro's second life will get.