Dimension High School – Anime Preview
Synopsis: On his way to school, Junpei picks up a strange rock. In class, the rock comes to life and transports him and four others to an animated world! Now, they must work together in both the animated and real world to save what they cherish the most. (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Dimension High School is pure camp. Split into live-action and animated segments, neither section of the show is what I would call ‘good.’ The acting, especially in the live action segments, feels stilted and poor. We follow four high-schoolers and their teacher as they meet a talking rock/meteorite who throws them into the anime world. These sections feel like children’s TV, with overacting and underacting constantly pulling you out of the story. The writing isn’t too impressive either, and it’s all a bit boring and dull. Even once our characters get sucked into the 2D World (depicted with 3D CGI? How does that make sense?) things don’t really improve. In fact, the transition between who our cast of characters are in the real world vs the 2D world is totally inconsistent. None of these characters act the same between the two segments, making them almost feel like an entirely new cast with new personalities.
Linny: Dimension High School appears to use motion capture, as the movements of the CGI characters look strange and jittery. It’s ironic that the attempt to portray the literal physical movements of the actual actors comes off looking unnatural and bizarre. It just adds to the whole campy feeling. I might have at the very least been able to recommend this as a rather unique way to experience and try brain teasers, as that forms the majority of the first episode’s content. Our heroes trying to solve these brain teasing puzzles as a challenge from an evil sphinx but one of the two puzzles is literally unsolvable if you do not speak both Japanese and English, making it impossible for anyone not well versed in both languages. Ultimately, between the campy acting, bad animation and inaccessible language locked puzzles, Dimension High School ends up yet another easy skip for the season.
Tom: That’s the real clincher, the puzzles. Dimension High School, for all its flaws, might be a fun little experience, if only it was more approachable. It probably works really well in Japanese, where most of the population, this series is aimed at anyway, is fluent in their own language and know quite a few important English words to boot. The writing, poor as it is, might be endearing then if the puzzles are something you could actively participate in. Sadly the show is going to be by and large lost on anyone who isn’t fluent in Japanese, as it feels like 80% of the fun comes from playing along with the puzzles. Because the other 20% is the writing and the characters, dialogue, and narrative just aren’t strong enough to carry this series.
Dimension High School is available for streaming via HIDIVE.