The Summer 2022 Preview Guide
Dropkick on My Devil! X
How would you rate episode 1 of
Dropkick on My Devil! X (TV 3) ?
Community score: 4.2
What is this?
Not even a successful crowd-funding campaign and a freshly-started new season can provide Jashin-Chan with the strength she needs to successfully take out Yurine! Maybe trying to change her character outright at this new beginning is the fresh start she needs? If that doesn't work, there's always the option of another New Year's get-together, or maybe a friendly Karuta competition. And when all of her efforts therein inevitably fail, Jashin-Chan can find herself meeting up with God Herself. Will there be heavenly guidance, or is The Almighty actually here for the purpose of destroying the entire world, and worse, the anime itself?
How was the first episode?
Jashin-Chan and all her friends(?) are back with the finest new season of anime a successful round of crowd-funding can buy! With that in mind, and given it's now three seasons deep, it probably makes sense for the series to please said funding crowd by basically coming out and playing the hits. The series does open with the astounding occurrence of Jashin-Chan actually landing a dropkick on Yurine for once…not that it actually takes, but that's still gotta count as some standard for progress, right? And to be fair, the ending of this episode does indicate at least one new additional element to what could charitably be considered the 'overarching plot' of Dropkick. So you at least won't mistake this for an episode of the old seasons you just somehow forgot about.
Everything else, though, is basically the same as it ever was. Even the first full sketch specifically focused on trying to be 'different' (initiated by Jashin-Chan claiming she's going to be serious this go-around, which mostly amounts to her not talking) is still beholden to most of the habits that made Dropkick's comedy so hit-or-miss throughout. The reference-overdosed appropriation of different art styles by the whole cast is a fun sight gag on its own, but it's significantly less charming when each new arrival is heralded by other characters just telling us what other well-known thing they're drawn as now. At least a couple of the cuts contribute to the chaos so long as they're self-aware, like pointing out that Pino's brief turn as a broadcast-blurred fanservice character is the sauciest the show's ever gotten.
That self-awareness helps out the following bit, a 'practice run for armageddon' game of Karuta. See, the clever part here is that most of the card quotes are references or explanations of events from the Dropkick canon that may have been alluded to but not fully explained in this anime version of the series. And in explaining elements this way without directly explaining that that's how they're explaining them, it becomes a fun meta-meditation on the anime's propensity for simply dropping viewers into the established version of the status quo without going through all the segmented setup. It's a living tribute to Dropkick's zero-fucks-given approach to communicating its comedy, highlighted by a cameo from no less than Miku Hatsune herself, just in case you needed to be reminded of the earlier, simpler time this series hails from. We haven't gotten much from Dropkick on My Devil! X yet, but if you wanted to watch Jashin-Chan rob a Vocaloid, they've got you covered on that.
So maybe it's only a little unfair to place any hopes for real escalation in Dropkick on the tiny shoulders of God Herself, Lierre, who gets (re)introduced into the cast at the end of this episode. Of course, it turns out that part of the reason she's here is for yet another attempt at heavenly assassination on Pekola, so it's not that revolutionary. "Why do you keep doing the same thing over and over?" indeed. But her other motivation of pondering a possible apocalypse has the potential to add something to the show, and results in the only joke this episode actually makes about the crowd-funded nature of this thing, which I felt showed a lot more restraint than I've come to expect from Dropkick.
That's my main impression, really, being surprised at the series feeling like it's holding back for its big return, when at this stage they could have just taken the money and ran wild, which might've made it more interesting, escalation-wise, after all these years. At least it ends the only way it could: with Yurine decking God in the face. And I'm hardly the target audience here anyway, so all of you who very personally asked for more of this, here it is. It must be doing something right.
discuss this in the forum (216 posts) |
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history