Gamers

January 14, 2018

Oh no. Not again. Do we need another anime about high school student and video games? Oh come on. In that same season we already had a sequel of a group of girls working in a game company and not too long ago there was a club of a high school that only consists of only girls in making video games (that personally didn’t really fare well with me). D-Frag! too had this theme although it is mostly random wacky stuff. And now we have Gamers. Is it a trend these days for high school students and video games to blend together? They’re getting lazier in naming the series and just named it as a group of people who plays games. Is this what it has become? Wait. What’s that you say? This isn’t about a group of students of a video game club? It’s about the love polygon between them? Oh. Okay. Sure this isn’t some dating simulation either?

Episode 1
Keita Amano is a plain guy who likes playing games. Well, not every game. This time it’s some dating simulation with blondes. And when the school’s top beauty and idol, Karen Tendou approaches him and talks to him about joining her game club, you bet this guy has all the reservations if this is some sort of new tactic in bullying. Meanwhile we take a detour to see Tasuku Uehara being easily winning a crane game to get his cutie girlfriend, Aguri a cat plushie. But does he have to go this far to note Keita is a loser since he doesn’t have a girlfriend like him? Keita learns more about Tendou that she came to Otobuki High School because there is a famous game club. However by the time she entered, it fell apart. This year she worked hard behind the scenes to try and revive it. Luckily it all paid off. Tendou has to leave because of her curfew and invites Keita to come take a look. He is happy with this prospect as he helps a fellow online gamer, Mono in some online mobile game. Next day, Keita is introduced to Eiichi Misumi. She also invited another person to come check out the club. Inside the clubroom are 2 seniors who are still glued to their screens playing their respective games. Folks, meet Gakuto Kase who is a pro in FPS (is this CSO a hybrid of Call of Duty + Counter Strike?) and Niina Oiso who is a pro in fighting games (nobody can talk to her when she is seriously concentrating). Tendou also shows off all the trophies the club has won during the year. Yes, this is the hard work she was talking about.

Kase has them play CSO. It might be fun for a few rounds but after 30 rounds… Keita is ‘dead’. Plus, Keita is such a noob that if this was real life, the toxic community would’ve killed him. So it makes Kase’s ‘criticism’ look like child’s play. As they take a break, Tendou asks why they became gamers. Kase’s dad tried to train him to be mercenary and Niina tried to bring a friend back from a dark side. Seriously? So Keita’s reason of he just likes games is weird? Not as weird as Misumi’s amnesia thingy. Are these people joking? So how is the club for these newbies? While Misumi would love to join, Keita won’t because they don’t play the games he likes! Don’t know why he is regretting the next day but Tendou confronts him and pleads for him to reconsider. When a cute angel with a cute smile reaches out her hand to you like that, you take it and not answer your online friend’s call for assistance! OMG! Keita must be gay to do that!!! He adds he wants to play games for fun and not for competition. He will play the game the way he likes. Poor Tendou. Slipped on a banana and cried all her way out. Keita you meanie!!!

Episode 2
In the eyes of others, it looked like Tendou got rejected! So Tasuku and his friends are talking about this and because Tasuku and Aguri are like day and night, the friends wonder how they ended up dating each other. Tasuku remembers he wasn’t given a chance to reject. Aguri doesn’t care as long as they’re happy together. Well, Tasuku doesn’t look like it… At the arcade, Tasuku accidentally bumps into Keita who recommends him one of the games he likes. Tasuku finds it weird for him to be at the arcade as he thought he likes gaming (of the console or mobile kind). Tasuku then suggests they play a game together. Tasuku whoops Keita’s ass in this Persona fighting game. It’s not that he is very good. Keita sucks like hell. However he notices Keita is having fun despite his heavy defeat. They play many other games as Tendou is spying from a corner. She looks like a stalker. When Keita realizes Tasuku came here with his friends, he calls it a day. Tasuku didn’t like that tone of it and ditches Aguri (who has been waiting for him) just to track down Keita to give his piece of mind about him running away. He gets a bit rough on him as he lectures Keita about grouping people together and thinking his style of gaming is better. Some short clips about Tasuku burying his nerdy side after stereotypes from around. When Tasuku calls Tendou’s club stupid, Keita fights back. Woah! Is he going to throw him down the pedestrian bridge???!!! Long story short from his ranting, Keita doesn’t like how Tasuku insulted Tendou who worked hard and was kind to him. Thankfully everyone cool their heads before somebody gets a permanent record of becoming a young killer.

As they leave, Tasuku notices Tendou watching from afar in awe. Safe to say that she has fallen for that plain guy. Now Tasuku has to deal with Aguri. To make up for ditching her, he has to get her another cat plushie from the crane game. He asks what she likes about him and he is shocked to learn she has liked him since middle school. A dark time when he was a nerd. He remembers coming here to this arcade and she used to observe him playing the games here. In fact she got her first plushie from him then. So when she heard they are going to the same school, she worked hard to become prettier for him and it’s like they both won the lottery because he too ditched his nerdy side and became a handsome hunk. Is it just me that I find the original Aguri to be cuter? Anyway, Tasuku is left shocked that he runs away? Next day in class, Tasuku reconciles with Keita. They become friends so he hopes he would recommend some good games to him. He is in a happy mood lately since he is having a blast with video games. Meanwhile Tendou can’t stop thinking about Keita. She is shocked he is at her class. Unfortunately he is here not to see her but another girl. WHAT???!!! Poor Tendou… I hope the shock didn’t kill her.

Episode 3
Keita and Tasuku are like gaming buddies now. But sometimes Tasuku can’t help get mad at some of the games he recommend because they are really crap. I guess it is all about taste. Be careful not to be too aggressive or the fujoshis will start having wild fantasies… Tasuku tries to be a nice guy and help ‘alleviate’ Keita’s loner status. So he shows her a girl in Tendou’s class, Chiaki Hoshinomiya how is also a loner gamer like him. With Aguri bugging Tasuku to hang out with her, Keita is left to his own devices. But why does he have to go through this? So Tendou was snapped out from her love struck daydreaming and ‘died’ hearing Keita is here for another girl. Then she ‘dies’ again hearing he wants to be friends with Chiaki. So dramatic… At first Chiaki is afraid of him but when Keita finds out Tendou too approached her to join her club and she declined because the games aren’t her type, they instantly clicked. Suddenly they become good friends! They share the same tastes like as though they are mirrors of each other. Well, almost. Just a slight different in philosophy has them ending up arguing. Games are this deep too.

So Tasuku is forced to moderate between them. So when they start talking the things they like, they’re back to normal. Because Keita earlier insulted Chiaki for her seaweed hair, Tasuku tries to sooth her that he likes girls with natural messy hair. It sounds and looks like he is trying to hit on another girl! Well, at least from Aguri’s perspective. He even goes as far as to suggest she cut her hair. Aguri is ‘dead’ and Tendou is left to rue who this Chiaki woman is so close to Keita. Aguri is visibly upset so when she asks Tasuku about his new friends, he can’t read the atmosphere that explaining Keita is his gaming buddy and was just meditating a fight with Chiaki made it worse. The next day, the guys at school are abuzz with a cute new girl. Actually it is Chiaki cutting her hair short! She really did take Tasuku’s advice. How can one level up so much by just cutting her hair?! It gets worse when Tasuku comments how cute she is and Aguri heard it! Keita tries to go after her but bumps into Tendou. Sorry girl. He is not looking for you this time too. So sad… Relationship drama… When he catches up to Aguri, I guess he didn’t plan things out and asks her to go out for a drink with him. Okay. Now what? She is still depressed. He tries to cheer her up that Tasuku still loves her and that he is rooting for them. So it may seem that things have calmed down for now but little do they know they are just in the eye of the storm. Here is the shocking scene they see from across the street: Tasuku hanging out and being overly friendly with Chiaki! Hand on her shoulder… Indeed relationship drama just ramped up a notch.

Episode 4
We peek into Tendou’s daily life before she became a love wreck. Ah, everything she does is so on time and with elegance and class. Even the toughest part of rejecting those asking her out, she is truly respectable. And now this is her daily life after meeting Keita. She can’t stop thinking about him, waking up late to the point of doing her homework that morning, clumsy, forgetful and even disrespecting those she rejected during their confession. If that is not bad enough, her gaming skills are getting worse. Bedtime, she stays up late lying in bed thinking all about Keita. Basically, Keita on her mind 24/7. She knows what the problem is and needs to fix it quick. So this chance meeting with Keita on the streets could be that chance? Nervous at first, she manages to convince him to go for a walk with her. Looking a bit like a date… After stopping by a game shop, they head to the arcade. Tendou gets worried when she hears him talk about the new game buddy he has. She can’t help think it is Chiaki when it could also be Tasuku. Please don’t abuse the game machine… Tendou then challenges Keita to a coin game. This is part of her plan to get over her slump. Well, not only Keita is a noob but he lost everything! Even if Tendou won big, she still feels dissatisfied. Then Keita borrows a coin from her and bets it all on a horse racing game. He lost. She is shocked to hear that he wants to win since this is a challenge or else it is no fun. Hence she is confused if he declined joining their club because of their difference in playing, how can he want to win and at the same time only cared about having fun? Girl, you do know that both can exist in the same sentence, right? You play games to win and when you win, you have fun. There will be good and bad times, you make a big deal of it either way. Enjoying wins and fretting losses are all part of the thrill of gaming. He declined joining the club because he didn’t have the tenacity to win. Tendou feels better and has the mood to go home to play games. However… Her gaming skills continue to suck and is now worse than a beginner! Every time it starts getting fun, she keeps thinking of Keita’s face. So in the end, it is still all his fault after all?

Episode 5
Flashback a few moments ago, Chiaki followed Tasuku because she wanted advice on game development. She drops the subject and plays her mobile game when he mentions Keita’s name. Tasuku then realizes Chiaki’s online name: Mono. She is also playing with her best online partner, Tsucchie whom Tasuku knows is Keita. When he tries to ask her opinion on both guys, she hates Keita and likes Tsucchie. He couldn’t get more appalled than this. Even more so when he hears how she chose that online moniker which is exactly how Keita chose his: Based on their mom’s maiden’s name. Do gamers think alike? Trying to solve this tangled relationship, Tasuku hits an idea. So he calls Keita and Chiaki for their first gamer’s meet-up. Oh, they still hate each other. He also invited someone else. Guess who that eager beaver is? But I suppose Tasuku didn’t tell Tendou that the duo are in this meet-up so imagine her shock-cum-disappointment seeing them together. And it’s not because they both turned her down to join her club. Chiaki tells her problems about creating games. Her games are more popular when she plays it safe but it’s no fun. Keita might sound disdainful when he doesn’t care. What matters if the game is good or not. More importantly, just make the games you want. Chiaki is touched but Keita had to ruin it with his honest sarcasm that he doesn’t really care about the games she make. Tendou seeing this misinterprets they like each other. Tasuku senses his plan will fall apart so he assures Tendou they are like this. Besides, isn’t it partly her fault that Keita and Chiaki hang out together? He is just trying to start by talking to a fellow gamer. Because of their good vibe, Keita and Chiaki now think Tasuku and Tendou like each other. Keita spots Aguri spying. She also misinterprets what she saw. Keita excuses himself to go with Keita. More misinterpretation when Chiaki mentions Aguri might be Keita’s girlfriend as she has seen them together many times. Poor Tendou and Tasuku… Ended up crying… First gamer’s meet-up failed. It could be their last as well…

So Aguri is crying her heart out and complaining loudly while taking out her frustrations on Keita? Please don’t bother other diners… Keita wonders why she likes a guy like Tasuku. She tells him you don’t do love. You fall in love. This touched his heart so he is motivated to bring them back together. This passionate declaration is spotted by Chiaki. Keita tries to explain to her but she doesn’t look convinced. What did he say? He is explaining Aguri as the best girlfriend ever. Hey. You didn’t say whose girlfriend… Aguri is also motivated to help Keita talk to Tendou. Meanwhile, Tasuku is going crazy thinking about Aguri and Keita as a pair. Hey. You need to insert coins to play the game. And it’s like some sort of foreboding because Keita plays his blonde dating simulation and gets a bad ending of being killed by a character that looks like Tendou… Yandere route… Next day in class, Keita and Tasuku talk. Tasuku thinks Keita should start making a move on Tendou. However Keita views he is not in her good books. He doesn’t think hanging out with her that day makes him her friend. Well, from Tasuku’s point of view he is already talking normally with Tendou. And with the other girls… Keita thinks Tendou is just nice to him so she can get close to Tasuku. Tasuku can’t believe Keita being denser about friendship. It’s about to get more complicated since Keita is happy Tasuku is concerned about him and that they are friends. Chiaki walks in and again misinterprets this passionate declaration. Wow. Now we have a gay connection. She runs away and Tasuku chases after her.

Episode 6
Tasuku and Chiaki are talking things out. Chiaki still thinks badly of Keita but admires Tendou. She asks him about his opinions then. Tasuku tells of Tendou’s good points albeit it is meant as sarcasm but Chiaki takes it the wrong way that he likes her. Instinctively he pats her head to cheer her up so she panics and runs. Keita and Aguri were eavesdropping and are shocked to hear this development. Now it’s their turn to discuss. Keita views life relationships like a game so Aguri tells him about this world that 1 + 1 isn’t equals 2. Rather, 1 + 1 = Love! Huh? Aguri believes if he really wants to be friends with Tendou, he won’t have trouble saying the necessary words. It might look like Tendou is practising her brutal rejection lines. Too bad she took it all out on a guy confessing to her. I hope he doesn’t turn into a delinquent given how a bad mood he has become. Misumi had to point out how brutal she was and advise of her very dismissive personality recently. Tendou thinks she needs to be more open instead of rejecting outright. Though, Misumi honestly can’t see her narrowing the gap with Keita. Keita is playing his blonde simulation for the umpteenth time and always gets a bad end. Frustrating. With some indirect advices from his pals, he plays the game again but with a different outlook. There. Good ending. So the lesson of it all is to not treat people like crap even though they treat you well? Wait, what?

Tasuku has purposely set up Keita and Tendou to meet after school and spread this throughout school. At first Keita isn’t appreciative till he explains about trying to make others respect him, some witnesses to see everything instead of rumours circulating behind his back when he suddenly becomes friends with Tendou. He bought it. Meanwhile we see the others ‘analysing’ this meet-up. Like Aguri who has drawn a ‘complicated’ love chart. Yeah, more complicated than her math class. Chiaki is also getting distressed thinking Keita is being played out by Aguri and that he might want to be Tendou’s friend just for the money! Thus it is Keita’s SOS for help! Tasuku’s real reason for this setup is so that he could watch Aguri’s reaction to determine if she is cheating or not. Although all also thought of how bad it could end if it doesn’t turn out the way they expected, they brush it off it won’t turn that bad. Fat chance… Anyway they are so deep in thought that their body actions and facial expressions are just bothering everyone. Even Tendou is starting to think this meeting is to end their relationship! After all, she has been bugging him. She tries to be positive and needs to tell him how she feels openly and honestly. So the much awaited meeting is here, all the related parties and a huge crowd have gathered. Tendou trying to hold back her emotional self so when Keita looks around, he sees his pals not looking at them but staring at each other! Maybe they pity him knowing he will be rejected? Tasuku and Aguri are intensely staring at each other and start to believe this reaction means the other is really cheating! Chiaki is staring at both of them means they are going out and will freak out at what Keita might say! As Keita is about to ask for Tendou’s friendship, his life flashes through his eyes. It ends with him winning his blonde simulation. Thus he blurts out for Tendou to go out with him. She instantly says yes! He realizes too late he messed up because now everybody is in shock! Can we undo this? Was there a previous save point?! Oh no. The game level has just increased its difficulty hundredfold.

Episode 7
Keita is now so ‘famous’. The stares from everyone are scarier than any horror movie. But the misunderstanding from the related parties is still there. It’s only going to get worse. Like Tasuku hinting he doesn’t know how to face Aguri because a certain guy likes Tendou. Obviously he is referring to Keita but that guy thinks Tasuku is referring to himself. Definitely cheating! Then Chiaki talks to Keita and when the latter confirms he isn’t dating Aguri in the first place, she believes he has quickly gotten over it. And then later with Aguri, she blames him that everything has gone downhill ever since she met him. Especially with the fact that Tendou and Chiaki knew Tasuku through him. This makes Keita depressed as he thinks Tasuku is using him. The duo decide to stay positive. So Keita calls Tendou to meet at the rooftop. She is nervous as hell as she jumps the gun believing he wants to break up because it has been hell for him ever since the confession. But she is in for a surprise when he wants her to go out on a date with him. Wait. What?! Why?! Hey, they’re in a ‘relationship’, right? Clearly Tendou doesn’t understand but Keita doesn’t want to lose to Tasuku. He puts it in a gamer’s perspective that it is wrong to disconnect before the winner decided. That resonated with her so she accepts going out with him.

They’re both here at the gaming centre and have lots of fun. There is also a pool section so she teases him about wanting to see her in her swimsuit. If you don’t want to, you’re gay… And so Keita ‘betrays mankind’ to see Tendou’s godly body in exchange for ‘losing a life’. They play some water splashing game but it makes them look like a lame pair of lovers in comparison so they stop. They see Chiaki being harassed by guys. Chiaki runs and clings on to Keita to force those flirters to leave. Because the duo continue to argue and she is still clinging so close to him, Tendou gets mad. Chiaki came here with her little sister but they got separated. Keita wants to help find her but Tendou doesn’t want him to flirt with more chicks and tells her to go wait at the arcade. She’ll look for her sister by herself. Not sure whether they found her or not (I suppose they did) because Tendou and Chiaki now join Keita playing a kart racing game. In the end, Tendou couldn’t stop laughing at how pathetic Keita lost. He had a rare item that could have made him won the game but he didn’t use it. He managed to entertain all the onlookers and made the whole thing fun. That’s what she likes about him. Keita notes he also likes how she didn’t go easy on him because he wouldn’t have enjoyed the game if she purposely let him win. Looks like their vibe is good so they continue talking about a recently released game.

Episode 8
Konoha is a model student and in the student council. But away from the public eyes, she is a pervert who loves sniffing the butt heat on the chairs of her all-girl student council. One night she dresses up like a man to go buy a hentai game. Also at the store are Keita and Misumi. Keita chose a really old game and gives his in-depth opinion about it. It makes Konoha feel bad and guilty for labelling him as a typical normal guy. Eventually she buys that game and we learn she is Chiaki’s younger sister. Tasuku dreadfully narrates the happy marriage between Keita and Aguri while all other parties look in dread. It turns out to be a board game of Life. Since Chiaki’s mom won it, Tasuku thought of an idea to gather them and talk things out. Well, it isn’t going to be easy. Everyone is so intense. Because it seems Keita is like a pervy guy who keeps adding more children to his family, Chiaki is like a jobless graduate and Tendou the rich workaholic with zero love life. Is it me that the fates sound mostly negative or discreetly an accurate depiction of their current relationship? Tasuku thought he could reset things if his player marries Aguri. He got Chiaki. Suspicions further increase. Also, Keita and Chiaki seem to land on the same space. When Chiaki temporarily leaves as Konoha is calling her. At the same time, Keita gets a notification of his online mobile game. Tendou watches him play and looks like their vibe is good. Tasuku and Aguri also take this chance to get back together. Tasuku holds her hand and Aguri worries he is doing it in front of Tendou. He replies she has nothing to do with it. When Chiaki returns, she hears everything how Keita praises Mono for always helping him and is his precious online friend. That devastated look on Tasuku’s face because he knows the love polygon is going to get worse. Chiaki might be late to the game but she now spots this I’ve-fallen-for-you look on Keita.

Episode 9
Chiaki narrates how her interests in developing games began. So she is a one woman show under the name Nobe, created many mobile games by herself. However she never enjoyed them with the mostly negative feedback. But she kept going because of one person who always appreciates them. So Chiaki is now trying to get ‘assurance’ from Konoha about her position with Keita. Too bad she isn’t sure what she is talking about. When Chiaki goes to get some stuffs at the convenience store, she bumps into Keita. They talk about a few things and since he starts praising the games she made, I guess it soften her heart again so she invites him to her place. She has him wait in the living room while she goes back to her own room to hide ‘evidence’ she is Nobe and Mono. However Keita comes in to alert her it is raining and her laundry is outside. In her fumbling attempt to cover up, it only exposes her more. Keita then sees the contents. Could it be? Chiaki is about to confess something important but Konoha just woke up sleeping on her bed. Chiaki then points out Konoha is both Nobe and Mono! Why you complicate things further?! Obviously shocked Keita tells this to Tasuku later and he too his shocked at this ‘lie’. Keita can’t put his finger on it because he can’t see Konoha as a game developer and player. The person he admires isn’t what he had in mind. You don’t say… Tasuku would have love to tell the truth as ultimately the decision lies with Chiaki. Since he can’t be happy if things work out between Keita and Tendou, he is going to root for Chiaki. Keita goes to the store to buy a game. At the same time, Konoha not incognito also buys the same game. Awkward. So she’s trying hard to be in character but ultimately goes with Keita’s suggestion that she has split personality. She doesn’t want him to tell others that she buys adult games. She asks his opinion about Chiaki. Nothing much really. What about Nobe and Mono? I love your works! Konoha punches him! Then they bump into Chiaki and she is puzzled why they are so close. I guess Konoha is trying to hint they’re talking about the games ‘she’ made and getting close together but Chiaki is not impressed a scumbag like him is hanging out with her bright sister. Chiaki gets a surprising call from Tasuku. However after he seriously blurted out a short “I choose you!”, he hangs up. Is he playing Pokemon? I don’t know but everyone thinks it is a confession! It’s just getting confusing.

Episode 10
Keita invites Aguri to join the gamers meet. She gives excuses she isn’t into gaming and the fact Tasuku and Tendou are going to be there isn’t going to sway her. But he’ll let her have this cake. Agreed! Keita is glad since he feels bad for her that Tasuku confessed to another girl behind her back. A few days ago after Tasuku’s surprise confession, the trio discuss about it and Chiaki can’t find a reason to turn Tasuku down. Hence Keita called Tendou to ask her advice on how to break up! You’re already breaking her heart. Thinking he is planning to use it on her, of course she tells him to think himself. She is so sick that she feels hurt and Keita thinks she is really hurt. He would definitely come to her rescue and this makes her feel better. She says she loves him and hangs up. Did it just get worse? Keita then asks Konoha for advice since she must have turned down lots of admirers for being this cute. She can tell off people as she is busy as the student council president but Chiaki can’t use that excuse. Thus Keita suggests a meet where all parties talk things through. And here they all are. Keita is about to make the important announcement but he chickens out and blabs about some game he wants to buy tomorrow so don’t get in his way. Back home, Konoha comes to check on Chiaki to ascertain her feelings. Still undecided? Better decide soon since her position as Mono and Nobe are getting shakier by the minute. Make up your mind if you want to get closer or always fight with him. It’s not going to be easy…

Tasuku wants to talk to Chiaki about Keita and of course she gets the wrong idea it’s about the answer for his confession. At the same Tendou wants to talk to them both. Meanwhile Aguri meets up with her old classmate, Sarina. She and her guys are like totally delinquents. They badmouth Aguri’s gamer friends thinking they are smelly fatty nerds. Even if they’re not, Aguri doesn’t want to stay around them. Because she has better fun with those smelly fatty nerds. Sarina gets mad for her attitude. If her boyfriend isn’t one of those nerds, why should she get mad? Aguri leaves her in a stitch, hinting about Keita being her boyfriend but not quite. She gets desperate to call Tasuku but he doesn’t answer. That’s because he is accompanying both ladies as Tendou speaks about her problems. She likes Keita but can’t help think he is always with Aguri. Tasuku assures she views him as some high maintenance brother. Chiaki adds Keita puts gaming first despite being a wuss. Tendou feels sad that Keita would rather choose gaming over her. At the same time, Aguri sees them. What makes it worse is how Tasuku is putting his hands on the girls’ shoulder! Aguri runs away in tears, believing he has been cheating on her. They run after her as the girls assure they see Tasuku as some bug and are way over him. It’s odd hearing Aguri commenting on Tasuku being called a cheater by the girls he is cheating on. Desperate Aguri calls Keita for help. When things calm down, here comes Keita rushing to her. Was he supposed to be out buying his game? He put that on hold. This is more important, Aguri calling him for help despite being exaggerated. With Keita and Aguri being so casual with each other, looks like the rest is starting to develop some sort of suspicion…

Episode 11
Tasuku and Tendou talk about Keita and Aguri. It only makes them more depressed. However they haven’t given up as Tasuku hatches a plan to turn things around. Tendou calls Keita to go on a double date with Tasuku and Aguri at the amusement park. He can’t say no because he wants to answer her wishes like a man? So here they are, Keita and Tendou are so happy like kids since the park’s theme is like an RPG game. The cringe is strong… Tasuku and Tendou’s plan is to look like they are dating with each other so as to break them up. Yeah, the duo seeing them like this are already starting to feel depressed instead. When they are about to take things further by a step by holding hands, they are spotted by Chiaki and Konoha. Apparently Konoha overheard about this double date planned and tricked Chiaki into coming along. Because if she doesn’t want to go with Keita, maybe Konoha will go with him. After a few rides, the real challenge now is the haunted house. However before Tendou could go further with Keita, he is already ‘gone’. Konoha had taken Keita and Chiaki to a shortcut exit so as to get them alone together. However Chiaki has been afraid all this time and she soon passes out only to wake up sleeping on Konoha’s lap. Keita carried her here. Konoha leaves to go buy drinks so as to leave them alone. Chiaki gets nervous with him although she would hate it even more to be left alone. She asks what he thinks of Nobe and Mono. His usual earnest opinion. Of course he thinks everyone else is also important. That includes you, Chiaki. Though he plays down Tendou, Chiaki just tells him to stop trying to be that cool. Their conversation is interrupted when they spot Konoha spying on them. It’s late and they should reunite with the others but Chiaki wants to go home. However Keita takes her hand and brings her to the parade where the others are. After explaining what happened, I guess Keita needs to spend some time with Tendou too so he agrees to hold her hand so as not to get lost. Chiaki most probably lost it as she breaks out of her character after all of Konoha’s teasing. She vows to make Keita fall slave to her charms. This outing is at least good for Tasuku and Aguri because they’re back on very good terms.

Episode 12
Before we forget who Misumi is, we see him narrate his life. He was wandering on the streets till he saved a rich girl, Riki from being kidnapped. She took him in and his basics in life were covered. However he has to face tortures, experiments and jealousy. Now he is in some video game tournament final and the person he is facing off is no other than Riki! Back to our proper story, Tendou has the gang go on a ‘serious training camp’. How can you have a training camp at the hotspring? Anyway, since she imposes the rule of no flirting, Keita and Aguri better not get too friendly with each other otherwise it’s those piercing stares. And Tendou shouldn’t break that rule herself because she is dressed up so nicely. Like as though she is trying to attract someone… The big ‘catch’ of this episode is how we see Aguri who is a non-gamer reasoning from her own perspective and all the irrational things gamers do, hence earning their ire. Especially DLC. Yeah… It really hits hard when she cannot understand one would spend money for clothes on your digital character when you can use that same money to buy real clothes! So true! Then there is this ‘trap’ of how DLC lures unsuspecting people to buy more and Aguri falls into it easily when Keita puts Tasuku as the object. She would love to spend and give her money all for him! So in the end, Aguri accepts DLC and concludes that games are real sh*t! So true for today’s industry! We ‘level up’ as now we hear the girls talking more about it in the hotspring. Is there a DLC to unlock those steam censors? They talk about game difficulties and how some like harder games and it makes them like some sort of masochist. They also talk about epilogue DLC and that this entire DLC thingy should be removed and if needed to be added, it should be one helluva crazy stuff. Back together with the rest, Aguri has now understand the concept of DLC as she explains it by substituting game with desserts and the extra toppings you buy at the shop and find it all very sh*tty. Keita also talks about a game his parents wrongly bought. It was crappier and more expensive than the clone and he couldn’t have the heart to tell them about it. But it wasn’t all that bad when he started playing. That was what makes it memorable. Games gives you the flexibility and freedom to make as much emotional investment as you want. There will always be terrible games out there so it is up to us to enjoy the games to the best of our ability in each of our own way. With that, Keita wants to play this crappy game but everybody tugs in for the night.

Game Of Love And Lies
Wow. The final episode was really different and enlightening. It actually highlights one of the biggest problems that today’s gaming industry is facing. This finale isn’t actually as bad except that it might be a little draggy and boring considering we have been watching all the comical hijinks and misunderstandings all the while and then they drop this ‘surprise’. It is enlightening and interesting but at the same time it is lacklustre and tedious especially if you are not from the gaming industry or even a decent gamer yourself, you will not understand what they are trying to say. Thus it is with mixed feelings that they decided to end the series this way. Or at least the ‘stage is clear’. Because with the relationship problems taken a backseat, maybe the next level of the ‘game’ would begin when they get back. But that is another story. Or a DLC! Curse you DLCs!!!

The entire premise is built on one big messy misunderstanding. This in itself can be a double edged sword. While it is fun and funny to see how the misunderstandings can carry on for a dozen episodes, the never ending mix-ups and confusions compounded from all the ambiguity and misapprehensions, at the same time the entire series gets a little draggy. The longer everything is dragged out, the more confusing it gets. Despite there are only a handful of players (you can literally count them all in one hand), trying to mentally come up with a love chart flow ended up me being confused of who is perceived to have mistakenly fall in love with who during a particular period. At the end of the day, I just screw all that and come to the conclusion that everybody loves everybody! I mean take for instance, Keita who first confessed to Tendou and then later everyone thinks he is hooking up with Aguri but at the same time Tasuku believes Chiaki has a crush on him. Same goes for Tasuku. Aguri is his real girlfriend but he is misinterpreted to be two timing her via Tendou and Chiaki. So you see, in the end all of them thinks the other loves somebody else but is gravely mistaken. Confusing? Sighs, if they had only been honest with what they want to say, this whole mess wouldn’t have occurred. But then again, where lies the fun in that?

Therefore I can’t say much about the characters because basically all of them are bad in communicating with one another for fear that the other would misconstrue and trying to be considerate but of course it backfired. That itself is a charm and curse for this series. Like Keita who is just really a plain guy and has nothing that stands out other than the fact he likes to play games. Tasuku is also somewhat similar except that he has a cooler perspective of life. Not so cool now that he’s gotten into this mess. From what I can see that he is the one mostly responsible for prolonging this misunderstanding drama because we hear his thoughts how he would like to quickly solve this problem but eventually things don’t go the way he wants and his entire plan takes another turn. Tendou has turned from somewhat a respectable cool beauty into one who keeps bugging Keita for his friendship. To a point that we can see she is some sort of Keita attention whore. I hope she doesn’t turn into some yandere. That would be real life bad end for Keita.

Aguri is the only one of the main characters who isn’t interested in gaming. Her misconception that Tasuku has strayed from her has led her to be involved in this complicated game of love. It could have not been such a big issue and this overall love complication not being blown out of proportion for so long if she had perhaps confided with a female person instead of a guy like Keita. Maybe Sarina is too b*tchy to talk about anything. Who else is so ‘understanding’ as Keita? So when a girl like her confides in a guy like him, you bet others will see them in a different light. Then there is Chiaki who started out as Keita’s verbal spat partner and that slowly evolved into love. When you argue with somebody so much, you eventually fall in love with that person. Don’t ask me. That is the logic of love. So she is like the tsundere of the series, trying to get her feelings across to Keita but at the same time trying to maintain that status quo of being his enemy. Say what? For now I don’t see how Konoha could enter the mix but I foresee that the more she want to play matchmaking for her sister, the more she will eventually find herself fall in love with Keita. I guess watching her sister in love is much more fun in playing her hentai game.

Sometimes it feels a little bit deceptive why they call this series so. Sure, video games are a theme but it is not the main focus. Those club members in Tendou’s gaming club are soon forgotten once this crazy romance antics start to roll. I beat they are still honing their FPS and fighting game skill while Tendou is out ‘chasing a boy’. So I’m thinking that the main quintet that got involved in this messy affair that could be viewed from another perspective as a game. You know, the first one to clear this mess ‘wins’. Game over when normalcy is achieved and the situation reverted to how it once was at the beginning. And that Misumi’s cameo in the appearance was one where it trolled us all and threw us off our balance. Because while we were watching the quintet in their silly misunderstandings, he has been fighting his own battle against a cutie pie that we will sadly never get to see. Don’t you dare suggest a DLC for those who want to watch this! Maybe his amnesia reason wasn’t a lie…

The art and drawing feels pretty standard. Animated by Pine Jam, they are a relatively new anime studio. This series is their first normal length animated series since previously they have only animated anime shorts like both seasons of Mahou Shojo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara and Getsuyoubi No Tawawa.

I have no problems with the voice acting. But somehow I just find it weird that Keita is voiced by a female. It is not unusual for boys’ roles to be helmed by a female but for Keita’s case, it makes him sound like a wuss. Yeah, maybe he is one. Just like that wuss main character in Tsugumomo. Keita is voiced by Megumi Han who did the titular character in Mushibugyou. The rest of the casts are Hisako Kanemoto as Tendou (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Tasuku (Mikado in Durarara), Rumi Ookubo as Aguri (Chinatsu in YuruYuri), Manaka Iwami as Chiaki (Erina in Re: Creators), Yuuki Kuwahara as Konoha (Tooru in Kobayashi-san Chi No Maid Dragon) and Natsuki Hanae as Misumi (Takumi in Shokugeki No Souma).

The opening theme is the same name as this anime and sung by the trio behind Tendou, Aguri and Chiaki. Sounds like one of those generic all-girl pop songs although they try to put in some video game-like sound effects in it. Not that I really like the song either but I prefer the opening credits animation since there are a few video game parodies like Street Fighter II, Super Mario Bros and even Super Smash Brothers. I might be mistaken, but isn’t there one that mildly parodies that very gay Cho Aniki game? I thought the same trio sung both the ending themes since they sound so alike. Apparently it was an all-girl group, Luce Twinkle Wink. The first ending theme Fight On sounds more like rock pop while the second ending theme, Koi No Prologue plays to a slower pace which I thought felt more suitable for a love romance drama genre. But among all the themes, I prefer this one.

Overall, this is still a fun and enjoyable series to watch. Especially those who love romantic comedies whereby boy-meets-girl-but-lots-of-funny-stuffs-happen-along-the-way-and-things-get-blown-out-of-proportion. Even though the plotline is wafer thin and cliché but at least they make it funny and amusing from the chaos that ensued. Those who are additionally decent gamers could spot a few game trivia here as well. I once thought that video games would in some ways help as practice for real life situations like dating and love. Then I realized it could just be a form of escapism. Because in real life there are no buttons to pause, restart or redo from an earlier save point. Heck, there are no save points! You don’t have 3 lives but only 1 chance to make it right. Otherwise it’s game over. Nobody checks the programming bug permeating in real life, hence all the communication glitches. Sadly, DLC in real life is also applicable if you have the cash to splash for easier access to everything. It’s all about the money. No wonder games today are so sh*tty. No wonder today’s quality of life is so sh*tty. And damn there’s no DLC for a better life.