This was a bit of an odd season. It felt that the game references that made the first season so great were pushed aside for a romance that was made way too complicated. A lot of that had to do with Oono just not being able to express herself properly, due to not being able to speak and the lack of facial expressions due to the style they went for. My biggest issue is when we're building up to an important moment in the story and we're not shown how things actually play out. It really took away from the storytelling experience. It just makes every event just not feel important, becoming an afterthought. I was excited to see more after season 1, they did themselves a disservice with how they released the following OVA episodes and the second season just missed the charm of the first season.
Right name is High Score Girl II.Great anime, one of my best favourite animes. School, Drama, Comedy, Romance & Deep feelings (the most beautiful combination). This season is the sequel to the events of the first season, second-year high school students Haruo Yaguchi, Akira Oono, and Koharu Hidaka live their lives as passionately about video games as they were five years ago And Haruo Yaguchi try his best to defeat Akira Oono and Koharu Hidaka (Two talented girls by nature in video games). When I finish this season and manga, I'll tell you guys who will really win.
If these characters were players in a fighting game, I’d root for them to all lose within the first round. Story - 3/10 Even though I did enjoy season one of this series, I think this time around they started off with a format that should have been the direction the show really went in. Yaguchi feels out of place at his local arcade, as he’s now being mocked and harassed by the members of the Mizonokuchi team that Hidaka trained with, so he heads off to Shibuya to find an arcade he can now call home. While there he beats the seemingly impossible boss in Kaiser Knuckle, and is immediately asked to join their local team, and coincidentally that team will be facing off with Mizonokuchi very soon. He agrees, and then quickly starts to resemble a Shibuya style thug, though it doesn’t keep him from getting almost beat up by the area’s real tough guys…..or rather tough high school girls. Meanwhile things have managed to get even weirder between Yaguchi and the two ladies around him, as now one of them is being coached by her older sister. Yaguchi ends up in a situation where he spends a night out with Hidaka, and the two are spotted by Oono the next morning. This causes Oono to become extremely jealous and take her spoiled rich girl routine to the next level, where she starts to aggressively pursue Yaguchi all because she doesn’t want someone else to have him. She follows this up by tracking down Hidaka and humiliating her at every arcade game, because clearly Oono isn’t actually good at anything else. During this time, with the help of his friend Miyao, Yaguchi starts to actually understand that his feelings for Oono weren’t just about her gaming skills. He starts to do things to impress her, such as get a scooter license, and finally builds up the nerve to ask her to be his girlfriend, but he first makes a deal with himself that he’ll only do it if he can defeat her at a huge Street Fighter II tournament thats coming up. The tournament ends up being an almost carbon copy, episode format wise, of the one in the first season, essentially being twenty minutes of uselessness that just makes you wish the show would end. In order to add some drama, which never really developed, they made the tournament a format where a first round loser still could win it all, but then completely screwed up how “Double Elimination” tournaments work, because the real format would mess up their bad plot. Not to be out done by their own laziness, they decide to then end the series with another do over from season one, with Oono once again leaving for America because of her parents. This time Yaguchi takes it hard, knowing that his love will now go unrequited, but he gets set straight by Hidaka, who tells him that Oono must care for him and he should go tell her how he feels. Inadvertently the writers also stumble over their own ineptitude here, because they state that her keeping the ring means she’s always liked Yaguchi, but then use the excuse that she never told him because she found out a week earlier that she’d be leaving, which completely ignores the few years, since returning from America, where she treated Yaguchi like trash and didn’t tell him her feelings. They decide to then go fully moronic on the ending, where this reality based series now becomes a Sci-Fi show where game characters actually start affecting the real world, only to once again try to make you feel sorry for one of the most heartless characters in the anime world. They started the show started the show off great here, going back to being about gaming and comedy, with drama filling in the empty spaces, but then completely lost the point. Going almost all out into a love story, one where they spend more time twisting themselves into making excuses, instead of writing a well thought out plot. I don’t mind the ending so much, even if it was cliche and cheesy, but the road to it was just way too bumpy and had many missed opportunities. Animation - 7/10 Everything here stayed true to what we saw in the first series, with the only real change being the ever evolving look of the video games our characters love. There were some clunky animation moments towards the end, but nothing major. Sound - 4/10 They tried to get the themes for this season to match the first, but they both just failed miserably. The first has the same video game Midi sound, but the vocals are just a bit too awful. The ending has vocals that sound similar to the original, but with music that is just out of place. In both instances it was like they knew they had great music in the first season, but just didn’t understand what portion of the music made it great. Almost everything else is the same as before with voice over work and background music, though that greatness can’t make up for the bad theme songs. Characters - 3/10 While Yaguchi did show some growth in the first season, though unbeknownst to even himself, this time, with the help of some friends, he actually begins to understand what it means to grow up. He starts to learn that sometimes feelings you think mean one thing, may actually mean something much more. While he didn’t totally do what was right, until the very last second, he at least got around to it eventually. They also made sure he was the anti-Oono, by coming out and explaining to Hidaka what his feelings were, instead of stringing her along for years and years. Oono, despite what the writers apparently thought they were putting out there, is as awful as ever. I can’t tell if they wanted us to dislike her or they just have no idea how terrible they made her seem. During this season they had her sister basically come right out and say that she sees this, the affection of Yaguchi, as a game where she only decided to start playing because Hidaka became her competition. How does anyone look at that thinking and not see the person as disgusting? In season one they had her play with Yahuchi’s heart, only cozying up to him when she needed something, and now she’s doubling down by only going after to him to hurt another girl. Then to add insult to injury she tries to get in the middle of Yaguchi and Hidaka (despite Hidaka’s inane interpretation of things at the end) knowing full well she was leaving. She’s such a frustrating character, who if written in almost any other way, would have fit the series so much better, as opposed to a girl who we’re supposed to feel sorry for and excuse her actions, all because she has a mean tutor. She’s the epitome of a privileged girl who thinks everything is hers, and can just be discarded at will. Hidaka really became the “woman scorn” after her loss to Yaguchi in the OVA episode. She’s now out for revenge by showing she can destroy him if she really tries her hardest, though this spills over to real life where she’s also started to flip back and forth between loving Yaguchi and treating him like dirt. She tries to finally make a real move for Yaguchi, but is shot down by his confused devotion to the simpleton girl, as well as that girl’s jealous and bratty behavior. In the end she realizes that her and Yaguchi were never meant to be, but then oddly justifies Oono’s terrible behavior for years and years, and then tries to blame Yaguchi for why he and Oono aren’t together, despite the facts on the ground. While visible for a few episodes in the previous year, they gave a bit more screen time to Yahuchi’s friend Miyao and Oono’s sister Makoto. Both act somewhat as guides for their specific character, with Miyao taking the helping friend approach, and Makoto going with the psychopath route, a common trait for the Oono family it seems. Much like Makoto they also used Yaguchi’s mother much more, and in the same way, to scream at her son and make perverted comments that were cringe worthy even from a comedy stand point. Overall - 5/10 The first part of the show was very entertaining and showed so much potential, but they then decided to go a little too far into the romance direction, almost abandoning completely what made the show great. The fact that the second half was also just a weak rehash of what we had in the first season, such as the Street Fighter tournament and the plot around Oono leaving again, was a giant let down as it seemed like they didn’t even care about the show any longer. Most of all with this series the biggest hit to the scores was Oono’s character. The storyline just doesn’t make sense when you account for the fact she is truly one of the worst characters in Anime history (when it comes to realistic dramas and slice of life shows.) They could have made her shy, reserved and a little awkward and she would have been fine, but the combination of vindictive and nasty human, together with drooling moron, doesn’t make for a character that should have any sane fans. Positive Reasons for Score: * The story during the first half was cute, funny and everything this show should be. * Yaguchi’s growth was well done, even if it made him somewhat more pathetic. Negative Reasons for Score: * The second half of the story is pretty much the first half of the first season. * Their reasoning for certain events trips all over itself. * They managed to make Oono even worse, admitting she’s only playing with Yaguchi to hurt Hidaka. * They would have been better off sticking with the great openings/closing tracks from season one. Ways to make the show better: * Again, try to make Oono have some redeeming qualities, instead of just being a cruel girl who only wants what others have. * Add a little more of Yaguchi’s friends, as they bring some good insight and humor. * Slow down, this season feels even more rushed than the first.
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