「亜玖璃と通信エラー」 (Aguri to Tsuushin Eraa)
“Aguri and Communication Error”

I don’t know how long Gamers! will be able to keep this up, but I want to find out. Because the spectacle is fantastic!

Every episode (last week excepted), the web of misunderstandings grows more and more tangled. By the end of this episode, every straight couple is assumed by someone, and once those were exhausted, we moved onto same-sex ones. Which is great! If anyone could talk to anyone else properly, this would be all ironed out instantly, but everyone is so bad, and it’s all mined for comedy over drama (the drama is only there to serve the comedy), that it hasn’t yet tipped over into frustration. It’s just too above and beyond to be taken seriously, and it’s hilarious as it all spins out of control!

It is spinning out of control, though, and I worry that Gamers! won’t change tacks before it all crumples. I don’t doubt them, necessarily; both the source material and the anime studio has earned quite a bit of faith so far. But they’re playing with fire. This show is so fun so far because it’s doing something difficult, and it’s doing it well, but not many are able to get even this close precisely because it is difficult. When will it all shake apart?

So far, the only time the lack of communication has verged on puzzling or annoying is between Keita and Tasuku, because they’re the only ones who can actually talk to each other properly. Sure, they’re battling Keita’s terminal case of no self-confidence (flea this, flea that), but you’d think Tasuku would ask what’s going on with Amano and Aguri? Though, asking your friend if he’s involved in an ilicit relationship with your girlfriend is, well. A little uncomfortable? To say the least.

Everyone else is terrible at basic human communication, from Keita to Keita to Keita. And the others too. (Don’t trust his skills too much, Aguri.) Tasuku still steals the cake for me though, because he’s trying to create a romcom between Amano and two beautiful girls, and screwing up his own life in the process. I appreciate that someone’s trying to orchestrate the whole thing for once; that he’s failing is the cherry on the comedic pie.

There’s a limit to how long the misunderstandings can go, before all the spinning plates crash down and the show crashes and burns. Hopefully it’ll move onto something else by then, once Tendou’s reputation is thoroughly trashed, Tasuku has learned to appreciate Aguri, and Chiaki and Keita realize just how damn similar they are. Maybe too similar? Sometimes it truly is that opposites attract. Though she’s his favorite freeware game designer too! I agree, Uehara-kun. Just how much more star-crossed can you get!?

Random thoughts:

  • She’s even cute when she’s ugly-pouting.

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.

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    1. it’s pretty intentional from the screenshot you have chosen. I will say this though: the resplendence of the character designs really got lost in the visual translation to anime form. That’s not to say that what we have in the anime is not good at all because it definitely works; but when comparing those designs to the ones in the LN, you can definitely tell the difference in quality. Tasuku appearance looks a bit different compared to this Ln art and chiaki’s beauty is a bit lost going from the LN to the anime. Even the eye catches (im not sure who the illustrator is) depict what Chiaki should essentially look like (there’s quite a quality difference if i do say so myself)

  1. Im not sure how I feel about keita’s response to chiaki concerning her dilemma. keita doesnt take into consideration how creators themselves feel when they put out work. He says that all that matters is whether the game is fun or not, but he’s looking at gaming from the perspective of a consumer who unabashedly loves the medium (as he so usually does) not that of the game developer who’s concerned about their craft and whether their creative philosophy is a lucrative one financially and/or artistically. He tries to paint it as a sort of black and white deal but this situation is a bit more gray.

    If Chiaki creates a game she finds fun but the majority dont, then she’s not fulfilling the essence of what gaming is supposed to be. However, if she removes her taste for games from the equation and appeals to what most people find fun, then she herself is at odds because she didnt make the that she really wanted to make, and that can feel stifling for a person who is trying to express themselves creatively. All that matters is that its fun to the consumer, but it’s because of that ideology is why Chiaki is struggling to figure out how she can come into her own as a creator. A consumer like Keita may not expect anything from the developers, but the developers may very well expect something of themselves and of the consumer; and that’s the hurdle one must face when trying to stay relevant in an artistic medium like gaming. You see? there’s no real side to lean on per say, which is why i found Keita’s advice to not be that useful. But maybe that’s it? maybe im not suppose to think that Keita’s response is the unequivocally noble and realistic answer; it’s just an ideal one.

    1. CMIIW, based from my understanding from the LN, chiaki feels that if she changed her style to match the audience it will be not her own works anymore…then keita just explain that no matter what style you end up..it’s your work. Well I agree it’s not that important advice though…even amano admit it himself.

    2. Remembering that there is currently no financial incentive (she’s releasing all of her games for free) I think the internal battle here is whether she wants to give up some of her freedom to be more popular or not. While Keita only cares about the final product, he does think that gaming should be about fun from both ends.

      I’ve known a lot of artistic or creative people who’ve gotten burned out doing what’s popular over doing what they wanted to do. It’s not bad advice, even if it’s not always realistic.

      1. Im not necessarily saying it’s bad advice; it’s just really generic advice that really doesnt touch at the core how to find balance within these two crossroads. It’s like giving someone generic self motivation like, “do your best” without tackling what it is that could impeding that person from trying their best in the first place. The advice is genuine, but it’s not functional. In certain situations, you need functional advice and i think that is what a person like Chiaki sort of needs at this point.

    3. An option is to dedicate part of her time (and website) to “experimental” games, where she just goes wild and does whatever she wants. And the other part of her site can be for games with more mass appeal. The former could have a disclaimer explicitly stating that the games may be weird by most peoples’ standards, but are just the result of her having fun and messing around. This way, she could have her cake and eat it too…at the cost of her time, or giving the appearance of slower releases.

    4. I don’t think his advice was supposed to be especially profound. The real answer is “If you truly want to be popular, create for that, whereas if you don’t care, don’t worry about it.” Though of course, with most people it’s a mixture of the two (be as popular as you can without losing the soul of the work).

      But mostly, I think Maou has it down. Whatever she decides, it’ll be her work, so whichever is fine. And then he screwed it up by taking an unnecessary swipe at her, but oh well, lol

      1. I get the essence of Keita’s advice; my whole point is that it’s not really helpful advice. Im not looking for his advice to be profound or anything, but it’s such a generic thing to tell someone: “whether you decide to make something popular or do something abstract, it’s your own work.” It’s like someone telling you that they are struggling in their calculus class and they might fail and you just tell them, “do your best and stay confident in your self”. Ideally that’s inspiring but it doesnt get to the root of the problem. The scene was being played up as Keita really giving Chiaki something to chew on but in all honesty, the advice is just…..ok. Again, it doesnt have to be profound but if you’re going to play up the scene like she learned something valuable, make the advice a bit more…pragmatic. Maybe that’s just what Chiaki needed to hear and Keita was the one to say it. Maybe it’s because i expected his advice to be a bit more nuanced rather than “hey, whatever you do, it’s your work so be proud of it.” Sometimes, creators make a popular work and yet they dont feel proud of it because it’s not something they wanted to make…it’s a difficult reality to deal with. What Keita said was just typical motivational hooplah. But i guess a person like Chiaki who lacks confidence needed to hear something like that, which is why i wasnt too bothered by it at the end of the day. It seems like one of Chiaki’s issues is having faith in her own work, and having heard someone tell her to do so might be cathartic for her, regardless of whether it doesnt actually help her transcribe her creativity into something her audience can get behind

      2. And just to clarify: im aware that the simplest most innocuous can be helpful depending on the circumstances (sometimes hearing someone say some simple motivating words or having a person right next to you can get you out of the worst of funks) so me saying that it’s not helpful advice is a bit misleading; however, there are situations where telling someone that may not be the most helpful. I hope that’s a bit clearer

  2. Keita’s showing a bit more of his deluded side in this ep, particularly with the way he handles the situation with Karen (in all honesty, he’s been showing signs since ep 1). Keita at the end of the day is sort of flake. He holds tendou in such high regard that he does the stereotypical otaku thing in that he blurs reality with the fiction in his head derived from what he’s seen in video games. Keita places Karen on such a ridiculously high pedestal that he thinks that he hasnt activated any flags with Karen (the first grave misunderstanding in the series) and is trying to go about pursuing Karen like a VN girl. He sees all his attempts at trying to win a girl like her end up badly in his games and projects these results in his perception of real life, ironically impeding his chances of getting with her yet oddly making Karen fall more in love with him (this series is nuts i tell ya). He tries his best to avoid her because he thinks the challenge of trying to win her heart will end up badly; he thinks he is not ready or worthy to talk to a girl like her and makes excuses by trying to push her away. Keita wants to win the girl, but lacks the ambition to pursue her because he thinks he will fail.

    If he ignores Karen and never tries to pursue her, then it’s like he never failed and doesnt have to deal with that cognitive dissonance. If he does decide to pursue her and she says that she just wants to be friends (this concern of his is foreshadowed in the opening), then it just proves his point that he was never worthy of her. In that sense it’s like his feelings with playing video games competitively. Sure Keita cares about winning, but he doesnt have the ambition (as he admitted last ep) to become a veteran at the games he plays. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to get competitive with a game that you’re playing but with Keita, it seems like a part of the reason why he may feel that way comes from avoidance of things in his life that may provide a sense of challenge or make him come to terms with his weakness and lack of standout qualities. The first signs of this was when he made excuses to not hang with Tasuku in ep 2 because he assumed the guy’s life was perfect. Ive praised Keita for being honest and committing to speaking his mind and getting his thoughts out, but he’s also adverse to challenges it seems. It seems more than likely that Keita’s desire to not get really competitive with games comes from a fear for trying to succeed at something and ultimately not getting there. That’s not to say that’s every one’s reason when it comes to not wanting to get overly absorbed in mastering a game, but that might be part of Keita’s.

    1. Many people play games just because they want to have fun, and only care about the challenge up to a certain point. I myself play games more like that nowadays, because games are a lesser portion of my life than they used to be. I get my challenge elsewhere, so I don’t seek it in video games.

      Keita, however, is afraid of failure. Everything in his life points to that. He doesn’t want to try because he might not succeed, and he’s willing to sacrifice any chance at success to avoid that hit. It’s as simple as that.

  3. Ah another episode of Misunderstandings The Anime xD

    Holy crap the misunderstandings are insane and hilarious, they work much better used comedically not for drama then they just get annoying and pointless.

  4. amano: uehara-kun likes aguri-san,tendo-san and seaweed.
    uehara: amano likes tendo and aguri.
    tendo: amano likes everyone except me.
    chiaki:uehara-san likes tendo and disgusting keita.
    aguri:tasuku likes everyone except me.

    that’s one hell of permutation formula

  5. Stilts got it all right because I’m just waiting for all of this to crumble into pieces in the near future. Hopefully it’s still funny by then because I’m enjoying it. Amano’s bad communication skills, I mean.

  6. ok Uehara really blew it big time, all he had to do, was say “ok here is little exercise for you 2, write down your best online game buddy now, and give it to the other person at same time” “enjoys the suurprise”

    1. Honestly, most of this is Uehara’s fault. He’s trying to be some suave cupid when he doesn’t have the skills, and all the while ignoring Aguri. He could’ve fixed everything already with a little direct intervention, but was too busy having fun and trying to “teach” everyone crap he doesn’t really know himself, and now he’s trapped inside the merry-go-round he wanted to watch from outside.

      The lesson here is don’t ignore your girlfriend to hang out with other girls, ya git! Grow a spine before asking your friends to grow brains. XD

    1. the funny thing is that, the gods dont even have to do jack shit because ths idiots are idiots that cant be direct, i know its a cultural thing in the japanese people but for god sake just talk this should should be renamed “what the fuck is wrong with you people”


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