「星ノ守千秋とすれ違い通信」 (Hoshinomori Chiaki to Surechigai Tsuushin)
“Hoshinomori Chiaki and StreetPass Communication”
And now: chaos!
A good story has a way of surprising us, and this is especially true of comedies. I know I say that a lot, which I do because it’s true. What Gamers! does this episode is take it in another direction than probably most of us were expecting, because it’s the less trodden path. It’s also one that’s harder to get right, but if they can keep nailing it: phew. This is gonna get good!
The expected path was two relationship tracks: one centered on Amano, with Tendou and the new girl Hoshinomori Chiaki (Iwami Manaka) battle for the affections of the audience insert nerd, while the other one is centered on Tasuku and Aguri. Instead, what did we get?
CHAOS! That’s what we got. Delightful, messy, hilarious chaos. Rock on!
Chiaki enters, and before long Amano and her are squabbling more like siblings. But she’s crushing on hot guy Tasuku, which makes Aguri mad, which causes her to go out for tea with Amano, which leaves the newly kawaii Chiaki to walk home with Tasuku, and we all know that the reason he’s leaning over her shoulder is because she’s Mono-san, right? Gamers! likes to screw with our expectations, but the lead-up, with Keita inviting Mono-san to a game right before that scene, is clear. (Also, Tendou is all kinds of losing it already, but she exists mostly as a punching bag right now. Poor girl. *snorts*) It’s all delightful. Chaos! Throw wrenches in every gear, and watch the whole thing break down!
I love this because it’s not the expected path, and because it’s the harder one. It’s also more dangerous, because we could speed past funny misunderstandings and spill into the land of acrimonious cheating real quick. That might not even be the intent, but the subtext can get fierce. This is like the Tasuku and Aguri relationship starting out last episode in a not so good place—potentially fruitful, but a character killer if managed wrong. And so far, all these threads are being managed well! But the wheels could fall off. That edge of danger makes it more fun, and the comedy is still hitting too. Take me wherever you will, Gamers! I’m on for the ride. Keep on surprising us, in the best of ways. Let’s screw with these people’s lives!
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for exclusive content. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: I get it now!; Guardians of the Galaxy, Glee, & Firesign; That’s not supposed to go there . . .; and The Carcer Principle.
Full-length images: 28.
The Chaos Gods demand blood and they must comply xD
Tzeentch must be enjoying this whole tangled web…
“JUST AS PLANNED.”
Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!.
poor tendo had a screentime just to be ignored.
long haired chiaki reminded me of ako, her cute way of talking too, but well i prefer her in short hair.
when you trying to save your friend’s life but he jumped off the cliff anyway.
Aww shucks…they replaced the headbanging with her disintegrate into ash but I guess that’s fine since it’s pretty funny too but I would definitely like the headbanging more.Anyway, let the cycle of misunderstanding begins!!!!
It was a facedesk IIRC, loud enough to surprise the whole class, and happened twice in succession. LOL
I have to admit, dissolve to ash works too, because he stepped right over her, completely oblivious to her existence. Tha’s even harsher IMO, enough to make me feel a bit sorry for her.
He did not simply step over her, he stepped on her! Like, Neil Armstrong stepped on. One small step for Amano Keita, one dust dispenser for Tendou Karen. Imagine the weight of entire human’s weight standing on your dust.
PS: With no ill agenda whatsoever, I’d like to point out that “step over someone/something” does not mean what you probably think it means. It means to avoid stepping on someone/something, i.e., almost the opposite of the soul-crushing technique Keita has (unknowingly) demonstrated.
Yeah, I should have used “stepped on”. I was in a bit of a hurry, so I didn’t get to proofread it before clicking Submit. The typo “Tha’s” is proof. 😛
I like how the root problem here isn’t the typical “MC(Keita) is so dense!” but instead Tasuku being ungodly oblivious to everything he isn’t focused on(aka “getting Keita and Tendo together” via making Chiaki and Keita friends). Man has zero peripheral awareness, so poor Chiaki is led on and Aguri joins the Meltdown Brigade. Amano being dense and poor Tendo’s suffering are just good background comedy right now.
It’s just that the boys are way worse at noticing things in their own relationships than they are in other’s relationships. Which is Truth in Television for many people, if we’re being honest.
It’s interesting to read that in Chiaki and Keita’s text conversations, Chiaki apparently likes RTS (Real-Time Strategy) games. Personally surprising to see an anime gamer chick who likes playing that game genre, but IIRC, I’ve heard of at least one or two female (South Korean) StarCraft players. And on that note, I almost forgot Overwatch‘s D.Va, too, even if she’s more on the “animesque” side…
This disagreement reminded me of Kae Serinuma and Shima Nishina’s shipping war in Kiss Him, Not Me. New best friends who have similar tastes, but suddenly burst into an argument over some minor difference.
And hooboy, that love dodecahedron that’s forming… Haven’t seen a love dodecahedron of this scale (and all the misunderstanding that entails) since School Rumble. (Poor Karen and poor Aguri, though… XD)
Yeah, and it’s not just Real-Time Srategy; she mentions Western hack-and-slash, First-Person Shooters… And in more Japanese games she likes the music yet hates moe characters, and praises foreign developers for focusing more on gameplay and story.
Basically, she stands out because she’s a Japanese gamer with Western tastes. And that was the source of their disagreement. Their argument brought back memories of certain opinion threads in gaming sites… I suppose that Japan has its own share of those threads too.
Western hack-and-slash… The Diablo series instantly comes to mind. Not to say that the Japanese don’t have their own good hack-and-slash games, even if some of them are notoriously Nintendo Hard from the get-go. (*ahem*Soulsseries*ahem*)
Also, I did mention back on the comments in Netoge no Yome that the Japanese are fans of first-person shooters (including Kana Ueda).
I wonder if Chiaki would hate visual novels because of the moe characters? (Even if some of them have beautiful mood-setting music and rich storylines like say, CLANNAD.)
Maybe Keita would like FPS more if he put a moe skin on the bad guys. Wasn’t there a K-On skin for Dead or Alive a few years ago?
I was expecting more real world games within the anime but sadly there’s wasn’t any in this episode (I think), but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a blast to watch. I don’t know how to explain it but I like how Keita isn’t the typical kind of dense. I mean he’s aware he’s weak in socializing with girls, and it looks like he might be aware of Tendou’s crushing on him (or I could be wrong). And for someone he gets along with when it comes to games, I was surprised he and Chiaki had a fight over difference in opinions. Ironically too, for someone who is against moe in games/anime, Chiaki is pretty moe herself, gorgeous even. I preferred the long seaweed hair look.
At first, I thought Keita had love interest in Chiaki, but I think he just really wanted someone who could share his interest in games.. or maybe I’m wrong. And also, if I was Aguri and I found my boyfriend saying that to another girl, I would be really upset. Not even disappointed like she was. Like, I would be furious lol
I just can’t stop laughing!! XD
This ep right here: it was probably the best ep of the 3. The thing is up until this point, I didnt find gamers! to be that funny. Its appeal relied solely on the charm of its premise and the small nuances in presentation made to bring that premise to life, at least for me. It wasnt until this ep that i really started to feel its potential as a confident romantic comedy. The thing is, as stilts said, these misunderstanding can be mined for some potentially hilarious situations; at the same time, if the show attempts to make forced drama out of it (i.e take itself too seriously) or make the characters act in vile ways, then this could go south fast. Also, the misunderstandings can get old pretty fast if the writing doesnt stay fresh and momentous. One of the key factors that made this ep work on such a humorous level was how quick the episode moved. The misunderstanding snowballed fast and getting to see the multiple perspectives of our cast members experiencing the snowballing drama kept the scenarios dynamic and interesting. Not to mention that the show has already done a fairly decent job establishing each of the casts character traits so watching them deal with the misunderstandings is a great way to flesh out and expand on those characteristics, as well as potentially using it to explore deeper character nuances. That’s a great recipe for good comedy and good storytelling in general
There are two things i greatly appreciated right off the bat (besides the quality increase in visual comedy) from this episode: 1. the focus on making tasuku and keita’s bromance feel genuine and natural. 2. nailing the quasi-antagonistic relationship between chiaki and keita. I was pleased to see that they didnt go the route of two characters berating each other all the time while obfuscating the fact that they are actually supposed to be friends. Sure there are slight remnants of this typical ln cliche, but here it’s played in a more platonically affectionate way. As stilts said, there’s this almost sibling-like quality to their arguing; especially considering chiaki is the only character Keita calls by first-name which is also true for chiaki when referring to him; that’s kind of an interesting small detail.
Speaking of interesting, i think Tasuku’s current dilemma is filled with some neat ideas. We think we have to do certain things to be successful and respected: making a shit-ton of money, having glamorous materialistic things; having a hot girlfriend/boyfriend. In regards to that last part, especially when we are young, we tend to get into romantic relationships because we think that’s what’s necessary to be popular and to matter. Tasuku accepted aguri’s confession, but he never truly liked her; he never gave himself the time to connect and relate with her on an emotional level; to even see her as a genuine friend. Now Keita is in his life and he has found someone he genuinely enjoys being around; a guy who likes games just like he does and he can carry interesting, layered conversations with. Aguri doesnt really fit that bill so its causing tasuku to start disregarding his girlfriend without realizing that’s what’s happening. Im sure there are some people who can relate to being in a relationship and not truly feeling like you connect with your significant other on a level where you feel that you guys relate to each other as deep friends or find each other interesting (most people just like to pretend they do because that’s what’s considered to be idealistic in one’s relationship. It allows one to feel that their relationship is legitimate and ideal).
Tasuku’s dilemma is seemingly getting worse because he also finds that gamer connection in chiaki; he may not necessarily have feelings for her, but she’s a gamer like him and that interests him enough to want to be friends with her. In doing so however, again, he’s unintentionally pushing aguri away and that’s causing a rift in their relationship. Tasuku just started growing some affection towards aguri; however the rest of the love necessary for him to uphold a genuinely intimate relationship with her is not there because his initial reason for picking her where based on a fallacy rather than a honest interest. The relationship basically has to work backwards to gain traction again and that’s going to be interesting to see how the show goes about making tasuku and aguri reach that point. The lesson here kids: dont just date someone because you want a girlfriend or boyfriend; actually make sure you two find each other interesting and there is real intimacy between the two of you.
I have to mention one last thing before i wrap this up: another thing that grabbed me this ep was the sense of conviction riddled in Keita’s character. Again, with these ln stories, the wimpy MC is some unaware fool who is unable to make any proactive decisions to better himself. The story feels the need to hand the MC progression rather than portraying the character actively pursuing the betterment of himself. I was surprised to see Keita take Tasuku’s advice to talk to a girl and actually go through with it. He didnt dance around the situation nor did it conveniently fall apart on him. He walked into class and straight up told a girl that he would like to get to know her Damn, even i couldnt do that; but i guess you can chock that up to Keita’s sometimes lack of social perception . One of Keita’s defining traits seem to be his directness and sense of honesty to himself and with the first 3 eps of gamers!, they have played that trait up quite well. For all intents and purposes, Keita should be the typical awkward loser character, and while he still is, Gamers! tweaks his trope enough to prevent him from being just that; a husk of a tired archetype. It doesnt revolutionize it or subvert his character archetype in some particularly interesting way, but it does make him feel like a character and that’s what stories should do.
I had a blast watching this episode. Tendou getting ignored and her reactions were hilarious. 🙂
Love the fact that videogames are some sort of catalyst for the chaos that’s happening in this show.
“Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!”
– The Joker, The Dark Knight (2008).
In romcom anime or visual novel usually tasuku is the donkan mc and amano is his otaku bestfriend.
Amano reminds me of junichi from amagami, usually shy but honest and direct like an arrow.
Oh and I see in the ED song, only tendo an chiaki that glowing like something we see on character selection screen, a foreshadowing for amano? Haha
Uehara might have seen Keita’s handle name. Interesting to see what happens next.
Sticking with this series till the end. Felt some dread about the potential misunderstandings to come, but it all ended up being so hilarious! Misunderstandings for comedy like this sure beats the ones for drama for enjoyment.
Poor girl. I pitied her, but still laughed out loud at her situation. Typing those words felt so wrong somehow.
Welcome to the Tendou club?
Still, got to respect Tasuku for trying to help out his new friend like that. Pretty good observation skills, though I think he needs to provide some more personal space to others. Ironically, Aguri seems to be the only one who gets under his radar. May cause she flies right at the tip of his peripheral?
So we´re feeding on the suffering of this poor idiots just for fun, that would make us terrible people but I think I can live with that! This is so freaking hallarious!.
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