Overview (Spoilers Below):
After being transported back in time, Licht and the gang start attending a military academy where they are students being taught by Schmerman. They’re informed about the rules of the school, which is really just that whoever has ten stars gets to graduate and whoever loses all their stars gets expelled.
Rihito doesn’t get any stars to start with for some reason, and then everyone loses their stars when Doan Taketora steals them all. Tokikaze tries to fight back, but Doan threatens his grandmother, and he backs down. But thankfully, Rihito steals Doan’s stars before he can graduate, and Jail challenges him to a duel.
The Plunderer simuldub is back on, and while the dub is fine, this episode was straight-up awful. Maybe it’s partly because we’ve taken such a long break due to the Funimation staff having to adjust to working from home, but the entire episode felt so poorly written, poorly paced, and plain old boring.
The storyline is basically broken down to a bully steals gold stars from kids who can’t fight back. Doan is an ugly brute, and there’s no subtlety or nuance to him. Bad dude is big and dumb, we get it. It’s standard anime tropes all around, too, as Rihito keeps showing off what an ass he is by breaking into the girl’s bath. I don’t really like any of these characters, and when Licht is supposedly the titular hero, him being such an unlikable schmuck makes it hard to enjoy the series right now. The whole conflict between Doan and Tokikaze is mind bogglingly silly, as Doan’s parents apparently own Tokikaze’s grandmother’s dojo… like what? And he can’t fight back against the bully because of this. In his own words: “I just want Grandma to have a full stomach.”
That said, there were some positive points of the episode. Getting to travel back in time and uncover how the whole ‘Star Stake’ thing began is kinda cool? Even if it’s still a little dumb, at least it has more context and history now. Also, Jail is awesome. He’s the one character who is just a good, stand-up guy. He’s willing to fight for his friends, but he knows when to back down when it isn’t his fight. If there’s one highlight of this time travel arc, it’s getting to see Jail in high school.
On the production side, things are also a mixed bag. The English dub was fine for the most part, though some student background characters sounded off, or weirdly older than they should. Still though, it’s impressive that the show is back on it’s weekly schedule with all the crew and cast working from home. It took a bit, but Funimation’s schedule appears to be back on track.
Full Stomach is one of the worst episodes of Plunderer so far from a storytelling and comedy standpoint, relying on tired tropes and idiotic punchlines about peeping toms. An arc where the cast travels back in time and learns how their current world began has the potential to be interesting, but it sure hasn’t come to fruition so far.