The year is 1991 and 6th grader Yaguchi Haruo only has video games to live for. He's not popular in school and he's neither handsome, funny, nice nor even friendly. The only thing he has going for him is that he is good at video games. One day at the local arcade, he plays Oono Akira, a fellow classmate but who's popular, smart, pretty and a rich girl that absolutely destroys him at Street Fighter II. Not only does he lose to her 30 times in a row, he can’t beat her at any game. Haruo can’t seem to shake Akira off as she follows him from arcade to arcade everyday after school and beats him every time. As weird as it sounds, the odd couple begins a strange bond and friendship.
Video games are games that use interaction with the user interface through images produced by video devices. Video games generally provide a reward system such as a score calculated based on the level of success achieved in completing tasks in the game.
The word "video" in "video games" initially refers to a raster display device. But with the use of the term "video game", now the word video game can be used to refer to games on any display device. The electronic systems used to run video games are called platforms, for example personal computers and game consoles.
taking the theme in the year one thousand nine
hundred and ninety one in that year the video game is still experiencing its popularity, a child named "Haruo Yaguchi" spends his days playing video games regardless of how his future destiny is as if the world is just a link between himself and video games .
The manga composed by "Oshikiri Rensuke" has made JC Staff studios make this series as an anime series. JC Staff made this series feel good and have a big impact (to be honest this studio has adapted some good manga / light novels for example Shokugeki no Souma and of course Shakugan no Shana which was adapted by three seassons).
no part of the voice is like eating without a drink, it doesn't feel complete if an anime doesn't have a supportive voice. For this series of voice actors, "Suzushiro Sayumi" acts as Oono Akira (although Oono's character rarely speaks) "Hirose Yuuki" acts as Hidaka Koharu and "Amasaki Kouhei" act as Haruo Yaguchi.
from the song theme section, it might be quite fitting and well, the opening song "New stranger" which was sung by Sora Tob Sakana was so good even though I don't know who he was, but what made me like the series this time for the closing theme song could be a favorite " Houkago die strauction "which was sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru.
in this series maybe at the beginning of the episode Haruo Yaguchi was an academic fool and only liked video games after the meeting with Oono Akira Yaguchi began to regard him as a rival but after a while Oono left Japan for a reason. When Oono left we got or the appearance of playing the third character, Hidaka Koharu, acts as an encouragement even though she also has feelings with Yaguchi.
The series adapted by JC Staff this time is more prominent on the impression of romance and honesty, I as an audience are very enthusiastic about this series and can't wait for the story to continue where a child who often goes to the place of video games begins to have feelings for his rival and his meeting with Oono Akira grow the seeds of love are very good to watch for teenagers and adults.
in the end we as humans also have a sense where we want to relieve stress from our daily busyness with the existence of video game games which are now very sophisticated and this series reminds us that we do not fall into a world that is only temporary.
if you expect a happy life forever then fight from now on because of the future what we do today.
There’s often times when I feel a bit of nostalgia in life. Who doesn’t really? The 1990s may not be technological advanced compared to our current modern times but it had great music, a more relaxing atmosphere, and moments that we’ll never forget. I remember the days when people actually went to places like Blockbuster to rent home videos rather than binge watching Netflix. People weren't on their phones half the day. Nowadays, everything is just too convenient and people operate at their homes through the digital web. Why do I mention this?
It’s because High Score Girl made me feel a bit of that nostalgia.
Don’t get me wrong though. I love the convenience of our current times and everything being so simple. However, watching High Score Girl gave me the impression of old school video gaming nostalgia. I was never too big about retro games or playing at the arcades. However, the contemporary times of this show made it feel like it’s both realistic and inspiring. As a series about video games, it takes an approach at decorating its story with a 1990s sensation.
We meet 6th grader Haruo Yaguchi from the start and he is not exactly someone I’d describe as popular at school. He’s a video game addict who spends his time playing games than studying or doing anything else. In many ways, Haruo doesn’t really have a goal in life other than to be the best gamer. His favorite genre seems to be fighting games such as Street Fighter II. He even earned a self-proclaimed title by calling himself “Beastly Fingers Haruo”. His life seems to be unchanging until meeting a rich girl named Akira Oono. After getting curb stomped by her at video gaming, it became obvious that he is no longer the best. This sets the main story as we see the relationship between the two and how they develop.
Jumping into this series felt unusual at first. It felt like a coming of age story that mixes in drama, comedy, and even some romance. The last part isn’t noticeable at first so I’ll get to it later. Rather, the story chronicles about how Haruo’s character changes throughout the series. In the beginning, he is more of a brat who tends to get angry when things don’t go his way. You ever seen a kid rage at video games because he lost like a sore loser? That’s the sort of imagery you can imagine coming from Haruo. However, meeting Oono changes his character as he matures and becomes a more tolerable person. I think it’s rather ironic that he offers to be friends with Oono as the two are more like rivals in the beginning. However, the show makes it clear that there’s a skill difference between the two though so perhaps it isn’t really a close rivalry. I think it’s important to address the friendship between Haruo and Oono as it develops into perhaps something more than just a bond. In later episodes, Oono seems to show feelings towards Haruo while the boy remains oblivious. It’s more of an innocent affection than anything else since the series doesn’t truly commit to romance. Despite this, I think it goes to show how far these two bonded together. Because let’s face it, Oono is a character with a quiet nature. No one besides Haruo seems to be able to get close to her. Even with her popularity, she is shy and throughout the show, we never once hear her speak directly to a character. She is able to open herself more thanks to Haruo’s influence and we see her show more emotions rather than being aloof all the time. There seems to be even feelings of jealousy coming from the girl in later episodes.
We eventually meet a girl named Koharu Hidata. Unlike Oono, she is more outspoken and easily fits with the crowd. Despite not being a child prodigy, Hidata is a much more sociable person as she is able to converse with anyone. Hidata’s relationship with Haruo in the show is pretty typical that transforms from being normal friends to her developing a crush towards him. In terms of technical skills, she isn’t as talented as Haruo or Oono when it comes to video games. However, the creators establishes her as a determined girl who wants to prove herself, and most importantly to Haruo. I’d say that she is more of a tsundere after observing her behavior. You be the judge but Hidata does add a different side of the series. She fills the role of being a character that Haruo doesn’t feel inferior to and can get along normally. Still, the series doesn’t do a well job at building their relationship because as usual, Haruo is oblivious to romance like a stone cold rock.
There’s a lot of emphasis on these three characters so you’re probably asking yourself if there are any others to worth mention. Unfortunately, most of the side characters in the series can be easily forgettable. Characters like Miyao (the chick magnet) hardly influences the story. The adult characters also makes little impact such as Oono’s butler or Haruo’s parents. It feels like these characters are just there and nothing more. Nonetheless, this really shouldn’t sway your attention as the heart of the show is about how characters changes through common interests and how they understand each other. There’s a good amount of heartwarming moments and clever comedy if you're into that too.
It’s almost impossible to not talk about the art style of this series. When it comes down to it, the show feels like a mixture of old school aesthetic blending with video game graphics. Even the theme songs is crafted with its peculiar video game style. Thankfully, it’s very faithful to the manga especially in terms of character design. And on most parts, I think they did a phenomenal job at portraying Oono. Despite not speaking at all in the show, she is able to express herself with body language and facial expressions. It’s important to also realize Oono’s change in those expressions that represent her development. Meanwhile, I’m also grateful for the realistic 1990s setting the series takes place in with the arcade games. Retro games like Street Fighter is shown with clever creativity while the graphic style represents the old school ways of playing. However, I wish the series presented more variety. Besides Street Fighter, there’s hardly any other games that are worth mentioning.
The 1990s really was a time that I missed. Everything just felt so simple and while I’m not as dedicated to retro games as the characters in this show, it still made me want to play them. That is to say, they still exist in our modern times but playing them now just feels different. Nonetheless, this series isn’t just about gaming but also how characters change. The creators really wanted us to get attached to the main characters and it worked. High Score Girl is a show that I recommend to anyone even if you’re not a video game fanatic. It has enough of a story with themes and main characters that will get your attention.
High Score Girl is one of the theses seasonal shows that quietly snuck up on me at the of the Summer 18 season. It was a manga series done by Oshikiri, Rensuke and until mid August where it Netflix announced they will be streaming the series in December 2018 the show least for a short while was hanging around in obscure vile and even after that Netflix announced the series is still pretty obscure compared to almost every other anime from this summer season.
Fast forward to late September where I was done watching throwaway seasonal anime from this season like Angel Of Death, How to
Not Summon a Demon Lord and Happy Sugar Life I decided to check out High Score Girl after leaving the show in my plan to watch list for so long. Then I watched it and after watching all 12 episodes of this I can defiantly say this. High Score Girl is not only the best anime from this season but it's also one of the best modern anime romcom to ever come period. I completely underestimated this show because at first, I thought this would be another forgetful romcom anime but this series completely blew me away in terms of writing, characters, music, romance and plot to a point where the series became a masterpiece
The story follows Haruo Yaguchi who is a gamer who spends he's all free time at the arcades playing various retro games such as Street Fighter II than take his daily life seriously, earning him the title Beastly Fingers Haruo. However, things would take a turn one day when he encounters honour student and rich girl Akira Oono dominating everyone else at his favourite game with Zangief. Having lost to her 7 times in a row and eager to break her 29-win streak, he resorts to underhanded tactics with his own favourite character Guile, an act which earns him a solid right hook from the otherwise quiet and aloof girl—and ultimately sparks their rocky relationship as she brazenly follows him from arcade to arcade after school.
The story of High Score Girl is brilliant and sweet.
Right from the gate, the show makes a great first impression where the show fantastically shows us the setting of the series with its early 90s gaming atmosphere where there are people standing up watching the players playing various arcade games. Not only that but it greatly introduces it's main two chararters in a form of a Street Fighter match where up to that point they have never interacted with each other.
It is series is effectively a coming of age tale of two people who meet up thanks to the hobby of gaming as well them understanding how the world really works outside of gaming.
At first this show may appear as your typical happy romcom anime however as the series progresses the show becomes more than just your typical romcom anime where the anime slowly dives into serious and relatable themes such as lack of free will, child abuse, letting go of your hobbies in favour of improving your studies and helping people get into the medium that you love and am glad that the show was able to handles theses theme with respect.
The romance in this show is very well handled. At first, Haruo and Oona don't have much chararter chemistry with each other but at the series progresses these two started to understand each other thank to video games to a point by the end of the series you feel like they are made for each other.
Even though this show a rom-com at heart it was still a great detail that adds more life to this show world.
The one thing that I loved about High Score Girl is how the show perfectly presents gaming in the 90s era. Before the days of Fortnite, Call Of Duty and League of Legends where people play these games online people would go to the arcades to play various games such as Street Fighter II, Final Fight, Vampire Hunter Darkstalkers Revenge etc. Not only that but compared to modern gamers today where they mostly spend the time talking to people online thanks to the power of the internet people around that time would ask face to face if they co-op/versus match with them.
Another thing that I liked about High Score Girl that was that the gaming industry develops alongside the characters for example in episode 1 people are playing the arcades as well SNES/Genesis however after episode 8 onwards people in the show started to talk about Virtual Boy, Sega Saturn and PlayStation 1 showing us how much the technology has evolved since episode 1. You would think that the attention of detail would be pointless in the overall narrative but it isn't as it perfectly tackles the themes of catching up, pride and getting left behind. In episode 10 when Harou lost to Koharu in both Street Fighter and Vampire Hunter Darkstalkers Revenge he didn't simply lose the fight but he's slowly losing his gaming pride as while all the new games and consoles were coming out Haruo was studying hard to get the high school that Oono is in and because of all that hard work Haruo literally started to struggle to play games for a while. This doesn't end there the social commentary in High Score Girl is extremely well handled. Throughout the show, characters would often commentate on a certain games/consoles as well as nongamers giving they views on the game industry. For example Haruo mother despite her being clueless about video games she doesn't mind Haruo playing video game even if his grades are at rock bottom. On the other side, we have Oono's private tutor who thinks that video games are a big waste of time and she doesn't’ want her to be part of the gaming crowd
Overall the story in High Score Girl was amazing as it’s not only a great throwback to 90s gaming but it’s the best modern love story I have ever seen.
Now we have the charters and to be frankly honestly the characters are all awesome and enjoyable in they own ways.
First up have our main protagonist Haruo who is an anti-social boy who has a passion for video games. Haruo may start off as a generic romcom geek protagonist he quickly became one of the most relatable character I have ever seen in a long while.
The way that he develops over the course of this series was as he went from being an anti-social kid who just sat down playing video games to a sociable person who starts caring more about the world as well Onna by trying his best to reduce his gaming addiction just so he can better person. It doesn't stop there the way he behaves and acts towards people was a nice portrayal of gamers from the 90s as whole were they so passionate toward video games that they either stay in the arcades playing games until closing time or pretending to be ill so they can play more games missing school in the progress. Overall brilliant chararter and he's by far my favourite chararter in the series.
Next, we have Akira Oona who is the silent rich daughter of the Onno family who sneaks away every so often to the gaming arcades to escape the harsh environment at home. Despite her being mostly silent in the anime I really enjoyed Oona. Instead of being another typical loud tsundere type she uses facial expressions that what she likes and what she hates. This alone makes Oono a complex chararter because the only way we relate communicate with Oono is by facial expressions. Unlike Haruo where he a great gaming life Oono gaming life is pretty sad as she has a strict private tutor that prevents her from going the hobbies that she enjoys doing like playing Video Games and while all that drama is going on she doesn't say a word as she show us her facial expression of what she's feeling. Overall great character.
Finally, we have Hidaka a girl who has no real hobbies. I really like her. At first, I thought she would just love triangle bait for the main two however as the series progresses she beings her own character where instead of interfering with the potential couple she actually supports Haruo by helping him get closer to Oono. Her character doesn't end there she actually starts getting interesting playing video games and by the 10th episode, she becomes a competent gamer for fighting games.
The rest of the characters were great for what they were as they are all fun and entertaining to watch especially Haruo's mom.
Overall the characters High Score Girl were amazing and it's easily the series biggest strength
While the story and chararters were amazing I sadly cannot say the same thing the visuals because this is easily the weakest part of High Score Girl. Okay the visuals aren't necessarily bad in fact I don't mind if a show goes for a different visual style but the problem with High Score Girl is how the show uses it's CGI. When the show it's at best visually the anime can look pretty good however a lot of the show can look rough especially the first half where the CGI was at it's worst. It eventually did get better in the second half as the show more constraint with its CGI but I honestly wish the show could have handled the CGI a bit better where it can attract the mainstream audience of anime fans. It's such a shame really because the show is outside its use of CGI is very good especially when the show uses actual footage of video games that are been played by real skilled people.
The soundtrack in High Score Girl is an amazing throwback piece towards the 90s gaming as many of the tracks in the anime have that nice retro 16-bit mix to it along with a couple of modern tracks.
The opening theme New Stranger by sora tob sakana is a fantastic opening theme that perfectly captures the show tone and setting of the series with a nice blend of modern and 16-bit style. Not to mention it's very catchy.
The ending theme "Houkago Diestrauction by Etsuko Yakushimaru is a clam and relaxing theme that perfectly closes each episode of High Score Girl. While it's not as great as the opening theme it's still a good song that is memorable on its own right.
The voice acting in High Score Girl is incredible. The Seyiuss all did a fantastic job on the roles that they were given. Not only was the voice acting well acted but the characters react to the games based on voice acting alone was great as they all sound like actual gamers that either won or lose a game.
At this time of the review, High Score Girl hasn't got an English Dub, however, like with Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan the show will be dubbed sometime in the future by Netflix.
High Score Girl is another modern anime masterpiece.
Sure the CGI in the show wasn't that great however the writing, romance, music, characters, and the great use of gaming references completely make up to a point where we can ignore the shows meh use of CGI. The show was truly a wonderful experience I will never forget and because of that, I thank the people who make High Score Girl for making this wonderful anime that perfectly shows that the story and characters come first before the production values.
Summer 2018 will pass as one of the most mediocre seasons for me, but it was saved by High Score Girl.
The video game story concept is one of the most popular but also one of the most difficult to create. It requires an unusual plot to satisfy a difficult and demanding audience. Gladly, High Score Girl does a marvelous job and delivers one of the most amusement stories in this field. The series mixes the historical video game developing (the 90s) with an amazing plot where the memories of any gamer will have some empathy. In this world, we are all experts but also we
are ignorant, and sooner or later our talents will meet challengers as happens in this fascinating story. But what can I tell you about the 90s? This decade is one of the most important technologically speaking. The internet was born on 1990, the CPU (first Pentium) and GPU (shading and rendering) appeared as we know them today. The video games transcended thanks to those hardware advances, Google appeared in 1995 and many other tech stuff that we use day after day saw the light in the 90s. We need to thank the 90s for our actual technology, and this anime is a tribute to all those developers that shaped our world. High Score Girl is one of the best gaming anime representations that follow a real historical timeline.
The story is straightforward and very easy to follow. It creates relationships from usual clichés such as video game challenges. The plot occurs in a casual world filled with arcade machines and game centers; it creates a magnificent 90s ambiance where the main characters converge and interact refreshingly without the need of the average slice of life comedy story. The plot is hilarious, dramatical and romantic. However, the most amazing part is the characters' synergy with a well-elaborated plot. We have three main characters, the typical gaming freak, the challenger that never speaks but she is very expressive reminding me of the phrase “action speaks louder than words” and the converted. All the three characters in some way are rivals with certain personal interests but also friends. I like that idea of rivalry; it is not the typical garbage where the rival is awful, boring and pedantic. It is a rivalry where the main characters want to be noticed between them as rivals, friends and more.
Another great factor, the gaming references. The plot utilizes some games to boost the narrative. Perhaps the biggest reference is with the Street Fighter franchise. The series uses characters such as Guile to propel the narrative, and they do it very well. We can say this game character is an active part of the story. Additionally, all the arcade and classic game references are just amazing. I almost lost my breath after watching Bomberman and Elevator Action, and I am not that old. Furthermore, I am surprised that several companies agreed to allow the anime to use a massive group of references. It is not normal because the rights and licenses are a pain or ask the author because the manga was in a hiatus for a dispute with SNK.
On the other hand, the characters. In one word synergy. Perhaps the chemistry between the characters is the most important when you design a group of characters. As one of my old animation co-workers said: “First create a background, then figure the synergy between the characters, and if you can't do it, the story will be a fiasco.” We have three main characters, the freak, the challenger and the converted as I said before.
The freak is Harou Yaguchi. The typical gaming lover. He likes the challenges and wants to be the best. Also, he has a charming side, and he cares of his friends.
The challenger, Oono Akira. For me, she is the most amazing character because never talks, but the actions and expressions help us to understand how she is feeling. She is Harou’s main rival, very lonely and I think she suffers a lot. I want to add a parenthesis here; it is unrespectful mocking the seiyuu because she never talks. If you pay attention, she needs to recreate some particular sounds or minimal sound ambiance to add emotion and action to the scene, if you think that it is easy you do not value all the work of a voice actor.
The converted, Hidaka Koharu. I am not going to spoil about her. I consider her as the story breaking point.
About the art, it is good. The use of CGI is smooth. They combined some 3D and Live2D techniques creating a very appealing series that has a nice palette color, good lighting model and a very reasonable camera angle use. Furthermore, they add old video games references that improve the story flow and adds nostalgic feeling. The art, in general, is amazing, and I liked and enjoyed it
The sound and music are great. The ED for me is the best; I love those lyrics, no idea why :3. The VO is good, and the score and games sound is perfect. In general, the sound timing is good and does help the plot outcome and the main events.
As a negative aspect, we have the overuse of the CGI. The transition between CGI and 2DLive could be rough, but it is one of the small limitations between the techniques. I understand some spectators try to avoid the CGI shows. However, High Score Girl deserves a try no matter if you love video games or casual comedies.