During the heyday of the 2D fighting game boom in 1991, sixth-grader Haruo spends practically his entire day at an arcade in the seedy part of town, oblivious to the world around him. However, one day at his usual arcade, he encounters Akira, his female classmate with good grades and money. She may look out of place at the arcade, but she is actually a top-class gamer. Akira completely outmatches Haruo in one Street Fighter II round after another, and their relationship develops from this unlikely encounter.
I very much enjoyed Hi Score Girl as I'm one of those people that went through the golden age of gaming. I can easily relate to the main protagonist since I've owned and played on most of the consoles and games mentioned on the show. Very cool coming of age story where a young boy can't think of anything else but gaming and slowly starts to grow into a person who starts to care more for his friends and his future while his friends still keep dragging him back into the game world. There is a nice little love triangle although it can be a little hard to follow since one of the girls doesn't say a word and instead of giving us a facial expression we understand she'll start punching the main protagonist instead. Seeing all these old games is awesome, the characters are pretty cool and the CGI is a nice pick for this show although there are quite a few moments where you feel they could have done a better job with some of the animations.
The review is made after watching the dubbed version of this anime. STORY The story starts with two of the MC that are the ages of sixth-grader. The male MC is avid gamer at console and arcade gaming. This anime is focused on the retro gamings and not the modern game era so it is like the arcade versions of Street Figher and many more retro game titles. There is also this rich sixth-grader girl that is in his class who doesn't speak as well as she is secreatly a gamer, an arcade gamer. Both the male and female MC both meet in the first episode by in a arcade area when both of them where playing competetive Street Fighter against each other. Basically, the anime is about the male MC who goes around and explains the cool features of arcade gaming it kind of like Dagashi Kashi but it is focus on the relationship between both the male MC (Haruo Yaguchi) and the first female MC (Akira Oono) as they both enjoy video games. It laters becomes like a love triangle as the Yaguchi likes Oono, while Idaka likes Yaguchi. It is also a bit more mature in terms of the jokes and the dialog then Dagashi Kashi. This anime also has school scenes (like school trips, and other cool locations) and is not just set in two locations. The third MC, the female (Koharu Idaka) appears in episode four when the other MCs have grown older and are now at the age that they are in middle school. She is not a gamer girl *at first* but she enjoys watching Yaguchi play those archade game. The story is intresting and I do not want to spoil it for you. I highly recommend this if you are intrested in retro video games as this anime really tells you a lot about these classic arcade game. I just want to say this anime ends in a cliff hanger, therefore you will have to wait until they make another season in order to get the conculsion. I don't want to tell you what they leave you on as it would spoil the entire anime. Therefore in order to understand what I'm talking about watch the anime. ANIMATION The animation is one of the best CG animated animes out there, it works well with the I belive are hand drawn backgrounds. They are some noticable issues that are minor and that it takes a few seconds for the episodes to play almost like someone needs to click the play button for the anime to start once it done with the opening song. CHARACTERS - The Main Characters only. A boy (Haruo Yaguchi) that loves video games and sucks at school studies. A girl (Akira Oono) that is perfect, rich and secretly a gamer that hangs with the boy to play video games at the arcade. She is mute and loves to cutely hurt the boy when she is angry. Apeears in episode four, she is another MC (Koharu Idaka) girl that is intrested in the gamer Yaguchi (MC) but the boy is oblivious to her feelings as he is more focused on the video games and trying to surpass Oono in Street Fighter as well as he begins to develop feelings for Oono. OVERALL I have given the anime a 9/10.
My first impression of the anime was not good, as I'm personally not a fan of CGI. However, all the old-school videogame references immediately made me fell for it and give it a chance, as I am a gamer myself. I didn't start watching it expecting it to be a romance anime and maybe that was the reason I liked it more. As the anime develops and the characters start getting closer and knowing each other, one realizes that this is not the typical love story, but more of an innocent, childish friendship between two kids that share a common passion. Even though I admit it's not the best anime out there, I will recommend it 100% if you ever had similiar experiences as a kid. I guarantee that you'll enjoy it a lot and cherish the main characters as much as I did.
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