「ゲーマーズと青春コンティニュー」 (Geemaazu to Seishun Kontinyuu)
“Gamers and Youth Continue”

I take it back. Everyone is bad at this.

This episode made me realize something, and it may sound pessimistic, but stick with me. Here’s the realization: Gamers! will disappoint us in the end.

It’s baked into the show at this point. There was a point before this, when the narrative was making a lot of moves, when they could have jumped off the misunderstanding train and built it into something else that would arrive at a satisfying conclusion. The issue is A) that did not happen, and B) they’ve made the characters too likable. Like I said last episode, I don’t know who to ship anymore! That’s simultaneously the show’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness. It makes it more likely that this will be a delight up until the end, but almost certain it will be a disappointment in the final moments.

Because not everyone can win, right? There are five main characters, three girls and two boys—four girls, if we want to toss Konoha in the mix, but unless a couple of the girls turn out to be gay, that doesn’t help matters—and this is a romcom, so not everyone is going to end up in a happy couple. This was always built into the premise, just like it is with harem anime, but most harem anime do something that’s simultaneously less satisfying during its run and more at the end: there’s a clear end girl. (Or boy.) I mean, right? We almost always know who the hero is going to end up with! Everyone knew Keitaro was going to end up with Naru. Akamatsu Ken was good at throwing uncertainty into the mix for various short moments, but we all knew. That put a cap on the enjoyment throughout, because it required lying to ourselves to think the end would be anything else, but when it came there was also a limit to the disappointment. We all knew all along, really. We were just watching how they got there.

Gamers! does not have that. I don’t know who will end up with who, nor who I want to end up with who. Which is great fun while it’s going on! But it’ll disappoint us in the end. Even if we assume that Tasuku and Aguri stay together—not a safe assumption anymore—I don’t know who will win the Keita prize between Karen and Chiaki, and this don’t seem like a Harem End kind of show. The back and forth and back and forth just made that sink in. Take this lesson to heart: Gamers! will disappoint us in the end.

If we all internalize that, there’s a chance it won’t happen, because we’ll be prepared.

For all this flaw—no. It’s not really a flaw, is it? For all this decision descended upon me during this episode, I actually still did enjoy it, even if the chaos lacked the energy of previous episodes, and we were retreading old ground. Honestly, Gamers! reminds me of Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, where it was white hot fire early on when it was blazing through content and surprising us with every episode, but then it slowed down and was . . . still fine. It was still quite enjoyable. It just wasn’t as good. It burned hot early on and then had to cool lest it end too quickly (to continue making the author a living), and that lessened its enjoyment. Gamers! is doing the same thing, as it repeats instead of evolves, and knuckles down into a love triangle situation with no clear favorite.

Probably my favorite parts of the episode were depressed Karen & Tasuku early on, and Konoha. The Hoshinomori sisters are chaos incarnate, almost as much as Tasuku is, but at least Konoha is doing it on purpose. What a wingsister! Probably my least favorite part is how bad at dating Amano is in particular. Stop abandoning your girlfriend for another girl! I firmly reject the classic “Don’t be nice to girls other than your girlfriend” advice—you should be nice to everybody—but you’ve got to be aware of how things look. Amano is atrocious at this. Someone needs to sit him down and explain . . . but the only one who might is Tasuku, and he sucks at this too. All paths lead to failure!

Weird ending moment though. Did Amano break his ankle or something? Just an odd cliffhanger to leave on. Very odd.

Random thoughts:

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 updates. At stephenwgee.com, I’ve begun blogging again! The latest post: Help Houston.

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  1. From what I heard over on Reddit, this episode really changes direction from the LN so they can probably have an original ending that will get people to go and read it. So depressing in this case because up until now it was a really enjoyable show.

    1. Just want to reiterate this. The anime episode was like 80% original apparently, and in the original script… well that would be spoilers. Let’s just say the end of last episode and this amusement park date goes differently.

  2. i just want season 2
    im fine with someone losing out in the end, because it is better love and lose than not love at all
    best moment was Tendou letting her imagination run amok
    second best was Chiaki actually deciding to start in the Amano Cup
    (though I was disappointed she didnt manage even to come claean about rue identity of Mono/Nobe, let alone confess)

  3. As always the solution is cold but simple: stop listening to Tasuku!! >.<

    A double-date, now?! It really couldn't have been more obvious how that would go, and I really didn't follow the logic. You want someone to accept a couple, you put that couple together, give them tons of alone time to show "hey, it's great with just the two of us", then move on to showing off in public.

    What each couple keeps skipping, and what they sorely need, is a lot of just boyfriend/girlfriend time.

    I also don’t see any disappointment coming. Or, well, I don’t if you ship the current couples. While this show is zany, it isn’t shocking enough to break anyone up so late for more than an episode, plus it all depends on Keita, and he’ll never break Karen’s heart intentionally. So we might have a cliffhanger next episode and then a heroic return(is this 13 eps?), but I really can’t see any couples getting swapped around. Too much build-up, too late in the game.

    1. Oh, I guess I didn’t explain what I meant by the end. I don’t mean the end of this season. I mean the end of the story. Wherever it ends—which will almost certainly not be animated—I think it’ll disappoint then. It’ll probably only disappoint at the end of this season due to a rushed anime-original ending, lol

  4. From initially being a slice-of-life comedy anime about gamer guys and girls with video game shout outs, to a rom-com anime with a storm of misunderstandings (with gaming and its references becoming a side prop). Well-played.

    Even with her sister Konoha setting it up, Chiaki wasted the chance to finally admit she’s really Nobe/Mono and confess her feelings… (Though I’m not on the Keita x Chiaki ship, I still couldn’t help but sigh and facepalm.)

    It’s pretty much a meme by now that holding hands in anime is still considered as “lewd”. (Cue Neptune going, “Oh my, how lewd” and giggling.)

    Amused to see Yuka Nakajima (illustrator of Amagi Brilliant Park and the DL-Action / Digital Lover series of H-doujins) draw that end card.

    Waiting for the train crash/ship sinking(?) next episode.

  5. I will not be surprised if somehow the final episode ends with Keita and Aguri doing a fake getting together, with everyone else looking shocked. Uehara’s going to do something stupid, Karen still hasn’t made it clear, Chiaki’s still hiding and Konoha’s going to slip up.

    Dorian S.
  6. After this episode, I don’t know where this is heading. So, I doubt I’ll be disappointed. Kinda agree that it’ll probably not be great, but you never know. They may just be able tu surprise us.

    This couple looks safe.

    Just look at them several minutes before.
    Funny how it seems only Konoha is enjoying that ride.

  7. The animation quality has dropped so much in the last couple weeks, I can barely recognize the character design in this episode. Plus the plot has gone stagnant, when at first it was so fresh and witty. I am very disappointed with this anime. Had so much potential.


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