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First Glance: Viral Hit

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Alternative title(s): Kenka Dokugaku
Manga Adaptation by Okuruto Noboru
Streaming on Crunchyroll


Yoo Hobin is a puny high school student who is often teased and harassed by his brawnier and more popular classmates. These classmates also take advantage of him by exploiting him as a means of making quick money for their YouTube NewTube films. But when Hobin eventually loses it one day and strikes back, unintentionally becoming well-known overnight, he discovers there are a lot of unrealized possibilities in his sudden notoriety. With his newfound ability to knock down bullies and pay for his mother’s medical expenses, Hobin is determined to change his life and his finances. He will join up with a former aggressor to take on the streaming industry and maybe even get the lady of his dreams.

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Artemis’ verdict: Paying Bills and Taking Names

After seeing this, I swear I just looked this up afterward, but I felt like, “This feels a lot like Lookism, and I feel a lot like the same way about it.” I figured this was just because it and Viral Hit are webtoon oriented, and maybe it had more to do with the plot style. When I finally looked it up, I discovered the author of the two tales is the same.

I’m instantly removing Viral Hit for the same reason that Lookism didn’t sit well with me: it seems a little too over-the-top, cliched, and too obvious. Perhaps all of that was intended; I do recognize that there is a lighthearted aspect there, and I would be inclined to trust those who assert that this was an authorial decision rather than an inadvertent consequence. I’m so tired of the entire “Doing this because my mum/sister/other female relative is tragically sick and only I can pay her hospital bills” cliché, but even so, this debut came off as more cliched than funny.

I understand that people like hearing about victims of bullying and/or other socially marginalized individuals turning their circumstances around and taking back control, whether it be in a mental, financial, or physical sense (or a mix of these). But I find nothing appealing about the way Viral Hit presents it.

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Jel’s verdict: Why So Serious?

Really, this is porn about nerd retaliation. The drama contains a black-and-white morality in which our hero is the victim of outside forces, has done nothing wrong, and has no choice but to subjugate the cartoon bullies in his immediate vicinity. The only variation is that, I suppose, the main character may now merely fight instead of changing into the Joker and utilizing his cunning to trap his adversaries.

When the combat begins, the tone changes to something lighter and more humorous, which is the sole reprieve—intentional or not. The part when a humiliated bully tries to attack a random geek and ends up being hammered into the ground made me giggle, I’ll confess. If Viral Hit takes itself less seriously, it may be bearable, but if not, I’m not interested in participating.

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