OP Sequence

OP: 「Present Moment」 by Tomita Miyu

「知らない世界」 (Shiranai Sekai)
“A New World”

Houkago Saikoro Club is the story of three cute girls who do a cute thing: in this case, playing board games. There’s Miki (Kouno Marika), the shy girl who’s bad at having fun. There’s Aya (Miyashita Saki), the energetic girl who doesn’t think much and is clingy. And there’s Midori (Tomita Miyu) the class rep who’s a stickler for rules but secretly has a heart of gold. I’m not going to talk much about Miki because honestly, she’s fine, but I’m too damn old seasoned for another turn at the “shy girl’s struggles” roulette. The first episode story around her was told well, it is what it is on the surface and not much deeper, ’nuff said.

Likewise, the other two girls are mostly what they seem. I do hold a fondness for Aya-chan, as I also find getting lost to be an excellent way to learn a new city and happen across some fun. If you’ve never tried it, I highly endorse it (in safe areas/cities/situations, of course). Serendipidity is a wonderful thing. I also liked Midori lapsing back into Kansai-ben when they won. Was it expected? Oh my yes, I saw it coming a mile away. But she’s a good girl, and I love me some board games nerdery.

Which is what this show is really all about! Hougako Saikoro Club is like watching Wil Wheaton’s TableTop with cute anime girls. It’s like Dagashi Kashi only not as funny (first season/so far, at least). You watch it because you want to pick out board games you’ve played in the background of an anime. Is that Codenames I see?? I’ve played that! Ahh, sweet validation.

The comparisons to Wil Wheaton’s TableTop & Dagashi Kashi were deliberate, because the primary joy is in learning about new games. Did you know Marrakech is a real game? I didn’t either, but now it’s in my board game wish list because I have a disease, and the only cure is the sweat embrace of death. But buying another board game beats back the dark tide for a time, and this show is giving my that fix. *shoots custom d6’s right into his veins* Ahhh, that’s the good stuff.

*Ahem*

My point is, the real joy in this show is in the board games. Do you like board games? Watch this series in proportion to how much you like board games. The math on that isn’t easy, but it is simple. I doubt I’ll continue blogging it, but I will be watching it, so let’s roll the dice and see how this one turns out together.

Random thoughts:

  • “Every game I play, I play for real. Even if my opponent is a child or a high school girl, I don’t hold back!” Cliched scary shopkeeper is my hero. I subscribe to this rule ruthlessly. Do you know how many years I spent getting whooped by my parents and older brother at games? Well the shoe is on the other foot now. It is *I* who is the master, and all young children in the family who fall prey to a board game with me will suffer until they grow strong enough to triumph. MuahahaHAHA!!

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ED Sequence

ED: 「On the Board」 by Kouno Marika, Miyashita Saki, Tomira Miyu

Preview

25 Comments

    1. Ugh, we’re so disappointed.

      We were hoping for an indepth discovery of the history, lineage, cultural significance, economics, etc. of famous games.

      You know; Chess, Othello, Go, Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders…

      Instead …. what are these games?

      Carpets?

      So you’re telling us we’re not going to get to see Dungeons and Dragons, Risk, or Battleship??? (hey, my kids love Battleship, and I still love playing).

      Jerry
      1. This series appears to be an exploration of the many many many many many many MANY bajillions of board and other such games out there. Just because a game isn’t famous doesn’t mean it isn’t good.

        Wanderer
      2. There’s tons of awesome board games people haven’t heard of! While I wouldn’t mind a D&D or Risk episode myself, I’m all in for hearing about a ton of ones I’ve never heard of before. That’s why TableTop was good, and hopefully why this will be too.

        Which is to say, don’t be disappointed because it’s a different thing than what you wanted it to be. That’s not its fault. As a writer who’s gotten 1-star reviews because someone thought I was writing Z when I was really writing A, I can tell you how frustrating that can be.

  1. Yes, it is codename. The basic one, it seems.

    Oh! I will watch it. No doubt, yesterday I read all the translated manga chapters.

    By now it is one game by chapter. But I know boardgames with very complicated rules, so I dont know how far they are going to go.

    Kinai
      1. Terraforming Mars, Scythe, VAST: The Crystal Caverns, Clank, Tokaido, Root, Wingspan, TIME Stories, 7 Wonders, Everdell and many others

        Some of them are more obscure so I don’t expect to see them in this kind of show – more likely we’ll see some more popular family games such as Ticket to Ride and Catan.

        Darklord
  2. I loved the Kyoto locations (I’ve even sat on the bench that Aya was sitting on in Kamogawa Delta Park near the start), but apart from that it didn’t do much for me. I guess I’m not really interested enough in board games.

    Angelus
    1. Hard to choose just one (see above) but if I have to I will say 7 Wonders. I’ve played it so many times and it never gets boring to me.

      But if you want a less-known one, I will go with VAST: The Crystal Caverns. It’s a really unique, asymmetric game where each player not only has different powers or abilities, but plays under completely different rules than the others and has a different winning condition.

      Darklord
    2. Pandemic Legacy (season 1 & season 2) provided some of the best sessions and best memories of any board games I’ve ever played. Ditto to D&D and other tabletop RPGs.

      I’m big into the narratives, y’all.

      As for games with more replay value, I love me some cooperative games, so Forbidden Island is up there. Though had some real good times with Tortuga 1667 and Secret Hitler too!

  3. I’m glad I’m not the only one considering buying a game about drugs after watching an anime of it.

    I hope we get to see Azul, Catan, or my favorite, Photosynthesis.

    Atalla

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