「雨野景太と天道花憐の最高の娯楽」 (Amano Keita to Tendou Karen no Saikou no Goraku)
“Amano Keita and Tendou Karen’s Best Entertainment”

What a reward, what a wonderful reward!

Peaks and valleys, dear reader. A good story ought to have peaks and valleys. For the depths of drama to work, you have to bring us to the heights of happiness to show us what the drama imperils, and to make us hope for it to all work out. This was the peak, my friends! After a first ten minutes that seemed to indulge in the same old drama—making me worry that this as a one-note show that could do nothing else—it proved itself more wily than I anticipated. It was all a feint. Keita manned up and asked Tendou out on a date. Woohoo!

What resulted was a funny, sweet, lovey-dovey date that I feel like we rarely get in anime; this was a true first date, full of awkwardness and uncertainty, but with no seeming ulterior motive to the narrative. It really felt like two people stumbling through their first date, and trying to get to know each other better.

It was, to be honest, lovely. It felt fluffy, almost like it was filler, but not in the pointless way. More like it was a reward. Wade through the misunderstandings and drama, Gamers! is saying. Wade through! If these characters can make it through, happiness awaits! But beware, for if they fail, you’ll lose all this. The sweetness will disappear, never to be tasted again.

There are risks in this, of course, as there are with so much of what Gamers! does. Where before the drama was nothing but nonstop hilarity, now I find myself dreading its return. Don’t imperil their happy end, dammit! I’m totally on board with Keita x Karen now, they’re adorable together—she even likes it when he’s fumbling. They share interests, they both get so embarrassed, they’re both kind of stupid in a cute way, it’s great. But the misunderstandings still swirl. What will happen?

That’s a consideration for another episode. For now, I’m thoroughly satisfied, not the least because Gamers! had the guts to advance. To change. To do something different. The comedic drama is great, and this team and source material are damn good at it, but if that’s all they had, it’d be one-note. This is something different. It keeps it lively, it keeps us guessing, and it gives us something to remember when/if everything starts to fall apart again. And it was so cute, HNNNGG!

Random thoughts:

  • Keita, Chiaki, Aguri—no one has faith in Tasuku’s faithfulness. Poor guy!
  • The moment that Karen became, unequivocably, someone to root for: “I’m scared to see Amano-kun.” Even if you didn’t like her popular girl archetype up to this point, how can you hate her now? If you’re a monster, that’s how. You monster.
  • I loved that, as useless as Keita is in a lot of ways, he still knew enough to admit that he wanted to see her in a swimsuit, and compliment her when he did (even if his lead-in compliment was turbo goofy). Skipping the standard anime romcom clichés in exchange for ACTUAL romantic clichés is swiftly endorsed. And way cuter, d’aaaaww!
  • Slowly laying the groundwork for challenger two. That “enemies” junk isn’t going to last long at this rate.

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: 15, 21.

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  1. https://randomc.net/image/Gamers/Gamers%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2028.jpg

    Props for amano for keeping his calm and explaning that it’s wrong when chiaki hold his arm, i think it’s tasuku now that need to learn from amano about how to treat your girlfriend right.


    It’s amazing how many expression that tendou makes on this episode alone, but i like this expression the most! ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU for that smile! haha.

  2. Such a great date, but it really does make me fear what’s coming. Karen’s the one the least in-the-know with the drama, so she’ll get hurt the worst when she finds out Keita thought this was all fake and she was using him as a cover for Tasuku. Hopefully she’ll just snap at him, rake him over the coals really quick and then they’ll just move on instead of drawing things out.

    I really was too optimistic that Karen accepting his confession would smack some sense into everyone else, though. I’ve never seen a group of friends THIS BAD at reading subtext or having a straight-forward conversation, and two of them are already dating!

    1. The rooftop scene is like a reverse of the previous episode’s confession– this time, Karen’s anxious that Keita might rescind his confession, steeling herself for what she thinks is the inevitable rejection.

      Keita decides to give their relationship a chance, despite his wishy-washiness early in the episode. Aguri’s advice, while vague, seemed to help.

      The date itself is a bit awkward, but at least they had quite a bit of fun. The couple at the pool made them realize they’re not even at the flirting stage yet. 😛

      One thing I realize though: if Chiaki does fall for Keita, it would give Aguri and Uehara an opportunity to mend their relationship. :O

      Magnus Tancred
  3. God damn lucky lad… He`s a gamer and he hooked the top girl in their school. Something that will never happen in reality because 99% of girls is now preferring Class A type of guys and not plain simple guys

  4. I watched the first 5 minutes of this episodes, saw the misunderstandings building again and I turned it off. I came here to declare the series had done f’ed it all up. Guess I should have watched 5 more minutes. I’ll give it that right now.

    1. I really should have given the writers more credit, just after the crash last episode I was expecting actual plot movement and the first 5 minutes seemed to just be promising more of the same. I guess I should be thanking you Stilts, your post gave me the drive to see this episode through at least. I do really like this series, I just don’t handle embarassing misunderstandings well (having lived a life of those as a kid/teenager) especially if it just goes in circles.

    1. Karen´s school reputation might be in ruins by now but that doesn´t change the fact she´s the most charmig girl in school, poor Keita just became the enemy/hero of all single guys in school!.

  5. https://randomc.net/image/Gamers/Gamers%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2021.jpg

    Is it bad that I was reminded of Heavy Object‘s “Ohoho-chan” upon hearing Karen laugh? (*cough*seiyuujoke*cough*)

    Anyway, props to Keita for not rescinding his love confession from the previous episode. And just when I thought Karen couldn’t get any more adorable, she does. (Damn!)

  6. Karen was so adorable but this episode also confirmed that Chiaki indeed has feelings for Keita, up until know we only had Tasuku´s guessing and let´s be honest, that guy knows very little about love so insteresting what kind of dynamic this three will have with Chiaki thinking they are in a fake relationship, it´s like Nisekoi bakawards!.

  7. I love this episode. Girls love guys they have stuff in common with. It is crazy how insecure people can be. Karen is amazing and she is still scared that he won’t like her, even after she has turned down every guy. How can Keita be so clueless, you are the one dating Karen. Funny how people assume the worst. Just because they are both attractive does not mean they are dating. OAN, I work by a round 1 and want to go so bad. Hopefully I can use this episode to convince the boyfriend to go.

  8. poor Tasuku gets no confidence from ANY of the characters involved…
    well he deserved it, next time when you have a girlfried, make sure you spenmd more time with her thhan with any other female you happen to meet, and preferrably more time than with all of those combined

    that aside, despite all misunderstandings the Amano X Tendou ship is sailing on
    “Fluctuant nec mergitur”
    “Tossed by waves but she wont sink”
    That they managed to get this far despite respective dysfunctions, is a proof they really are meant to be together!
    Thats not escluding having some challenges on the way which we, the audience we can enjoy.


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