「雨野景太と導かれし者達」 (Amano kei Futoshi to Michibika re shi sha Tachi)
“Keita Amano and Chapters of the Chosen”
A great sense of humor elevates everything.
I went into this episode slightly excited, and was delighted by what I found. Part of that is certainly expectations; it’s easier to be pleasantly surprised when you weren’t expecting the world. But the simple fact is that this show takes what could easily be a derivative, uninteresting premise—a cute, popular girl is in a gaming club, and is thus interested in the audience insert/average unpopular high school boy—and elevates it through a deceptively simple tactic: having a good sense of humor. A good sense of humor makes everything better.
Take the popular, kind, smart, athletic, beautiful school idol Tendou Karen (Kanemoto Hisako), who also happens to be gaming nut. Wish fulfillment, right? Traditionally these characters look down on the gamer guy(s), they aren’t interested in him. But, from the foreshadowing of her reputation falling to everyone getting cut back down to size as soon as they get too full of themselves, it’s simultaneously treating the characters with affection and taking the piss out of them. It might be wish fulfillment, but none of it is working out to the main character’s actual benefit, so it doesn’t feel like pandering. That means we can enjoy the wish fulfillment aspects (the popular girl is still interested in the unpopular guy!) while laughing at their misfortune.
This is also a rare example of an average, absolutely-not-special main character done right. Amano Keita (Han Megumi) is a regular boy who enjoys games, but when you’re surrounded by a sempai who was trained in FPS’s by his mercenary father, or another who’s trying to bring her friend back from the dark side, or another who lost all his memories save for a puzzle game, being a normal kid who enjoys games becomes a revolutionary act. Normal becomes weird, so we can empathize with him as if he were weird in his own right! Neat trick, right? Though the sense of humor aids this as well, because while Keita might be the average guy, he’s not bland. His expressions are great! As are everyone else’s. I could watch this show for the reaction faces alone.
The seiyuus are great, the pacing is awesome, the animation is nice, and it’s funny. It’s really funny! I also want to know what was going on with that opening scene, if everything else wasn’t enough to keep me interested already. This is predominately a comedy, which can be hard to blog, but it’s also a romance, and I also enjoyed the heck out of it. I’m not sure if I’ll blog it all the way through, but I’ll definitely give it another episode or two. Hopefully it’ll keep pleasantly surprising us.
- Keita’s comment about wanting to see really pretty scenery makes me curious as to what kinds of games he prefers. Thoughts, gentlepeeps?
- That self-sabotage and self-loathing. I feel ya, kid. Been there. Been there!
- A banana peel! A flippin’ banana peel! How often do we even SEE that nowadays? It’s an oldie but a goodie.
Full-length images: 06.
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