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Why You Should Maybe Be Watching: Gamers!

Bonjour, and welcome to another stirring edition of anime I think You Should Maybe Be Watching, an example of my endless ambivalence to the more lackluster shows of the season that still have gems of goodness hidden within. Tonight my guest is Gamers!, a series about a group of people who, surprise surprise, are gamers, each with their own reasons to play the medium we all know and love, though there is a romantic comedy element to the show, as well.

If that sounds like a fantastic time to you, or you’re one of the two people (hi mom!) who just love reading everything I write, take a look below the break!

What I’ve Seen: Episodes 1-4

I’ve made a mistake, a mistake I think I share with at least a few people. I went into Gamers! first episode not expecting much, but what I was given was a celebration of gaming and the culture that surrounds it. There were all these different people with their own specialties, like a fighting game enthusiast or the guy who just loves Counter-Strike.

There were even a couple of noobs, with a natural gamer and the main character who just loved the art of the game included in this group. There were even depictions of girl gamers just being a thing like they are in reality instead of some kind of unicorn like they were in the 90s and early 2000s.

Everything was going great for that first episode, and I was super excited for what was next. And when that second episode rolled around, I was grinning in anticipation for an anime that, for the first time, celebrated gaming culture in a way that didn’t pander or make fun of it for being a NEET or otaku hobby.

This is when that mistake I made kicked in. As the episode went on, my smile started to fade. The extremely stylish comedy bits reminiscent of Scott Pilgrim were less in evidence. There were few actual games shown, though I freely admit the Persona fighting game was the highlight of the episode, if not the series thus far at that point. The anime started to do what I feared: submit to the tropes instead of trying to be different or interesting.

Sure, I had heard rumblings and rumors that the series would eventually fall away from the gaming aspect and more toward the romantic misunderstandings, but I felt at least a little bit hopeful that this anime adaptation would try and minimize it, if not avoid it entirely. The opening being a montage of different games so lovingly parodied and the moments from the first episode attempted to assuage my worries.

But then it happened. The third episode was all misunderstandings. The fourth episode was a romantic comedy. I can only imagine the fifth episode will continue these two genres forward instead of focusing on the only actually interesting parts of the anime, at least to me: the games and people enjoying them!

This is why I can only give this anime a Why You Should Maybe Be Watching. The show has the potential to be great, and for small moments post-episode 1, it reaches and sometimes even exceeds that potential, such as in the comedic stylings and accurate gameplay of the Persona fighting game scene, but as the series as moved on, it’s become less about what I loved in the first place.

That’s not to say it’s a bad show, because while I am world weary about the countless romantic comedies I’ve seen, most with misunderstandings out the wazoo like Nisekoi, the romantic comedy here might just tickle the fancy of someone who’s less experience or even the kind of person who just loves romantic comedies like eating a bunch of candy on Halloween.

Even the animation is above average in the show, because it can look very pretty, especially when it shows the gaming portions, though it can, of course, look horrible like the Counter-Strike scene, but that might be intentional because Counter-Strike is really old at this point. The character designs for the main character and his love interest are standard fare, but the supporting cast, minus perhaps Hoshinomori, are nice departures from your typical anime side characters.

Uehara is the cool guy with a heart of gold and tanned skin, a combination you don’t see very much in anime, and Aguri, while sporting the vibrant pink hair in typical anime fashion, actually dyed her hair intentionally to achieve that pink affect. Not only do her roots show a little bit even in her dyed hair, but the flashback of her normal, dark hair color showcases that she’s just as cute without the new color as she is with it.

Unfortunately, the ED is entirely forgettable, another blip on the pile of opening and ending corpses that won’t be remembered beyond the current season, but the OP gets a lot of points simply for its use of various games, including an extremely recent and popular one by the name of Player’s Unknown Battlegrounds (or PUBG, for short). Clearly the people who make the anime are gamers, or at least some of them are for that game to show up in the OP, which is only reinforced by the moments when the anime actually focuses on games.

And ultimately, that is my biggest problem with the series. I wanted an anime focused on games and its culture, rather than the romantic comedy that it’s become, but it was never going to be what I wanted from it. It has its moments, but the rest drags it down for me too much to enjoy it as much as I could have. I’ve still been watching it, and I’ll probably watch it entirely through specifically for those moments, but without much enthusiasm on my part.

You, on the other hand, may enjoy it, and I sincerely hope that you do find the good in it and have a blast with it. However, this anime won’t be for everyone, and there might be a good number of people who, like me, wanted more from it than the story was capable of giving.

Regardless, that’s all I have on the show for today, so go check it out to get your own opinions on it. If you enjoyed this look into Why You Should Maybe Be Watching this anime, take a look at my last Why You Should Be Watching on Isekai Shokudou!

And if want something a little more verbal, you can take a look at my YouTube channel where I discuss issues, ideas, and more through the lens of anime while giving insight into why I enjoyed the show.

If you want to talk to me, you can always leave a comment down below or catch me @Croswynd on Twitter anytime.

And, as I always say, remember to enjoy the way you watch anime, because as long as you’re having fun, that’s all that really matters.

See you next time!