“Would you like to be with me… in the Gamers Club?” Amano Keita is a perfectly mediocre loner with no particular distinguishing features other than his love for games. One day, his school’s prettiest girl and Gamer Club President Tendo Karen suddenly calls out to him. That moment changes Keita’s life forever, as he now finds himself in the midst of a romcom with beautiful girl gamers… or, well, that’s how it usually goes. Not with him, however.
When gaming enthusiast Amano Keita is invited by Karen Tendo, the cutest girl in school, to join the game club, he can barely believe his ears. The club seems like the kind of place where he can socialise with like-minded people and do the thing that he loves best – game. But to everyone’s surprise (and even himself), he refuses Karen’s invitation without really knowing why. When work gets around that he rejected the cutest girl in the class, his popularity drops more than he ever thought possible. But then he happens across Uehara, who is a whiz on arcade claw machines and secretly a gamer himself, and the two of them hit it off. Then when he is introduced to fellow ‘loner gamer’ Hoshinomori, some situational misinterpretations follow.
The clueless Amano hasn’t yet cottoned on to the fact that Karen has a crush on him, and she is low-key put out that he visits her class to talk games with Hoshinomori and not her. Meanwhile, Uehara’s girlfriend Aguri is jealous that he’s talking games with his new friends, particularly Hoshinomori. There’s lots of budding romances flaring up here, but not so much of them playing games so far, but I remain hopeful.
The opening sequence is a rather memorable one. It has the characters starring in a range of computer games including Resident Evil, a Naruto fighting game and even has a shot of the old, retro Street Fighter continue countdown clock. All these little elements have been nicely included in not just the opening sequence, but the ending one as well where we have old-school pixelated characters as well as some cheerily charming 8-bit music.
Surprisingly, we occasionally have a bit of dialogue between two characters in which they discuss the type of games they like and why they think they enjoy playing games. The second part of episode 4 has Tendo and Amano going to the arcade and watching each other play games. Hearing Amano talk about the kind of games he likes makes her realise why he didn’t want to join the gaming club because he didn’t like how focused on winning they were. For him, just playing the game and becoming immersed in it is enough – and meeting people online is an added bonus, although he acknowledges that winning a game is inevitably one of the draws of being a gamer in the first place. It’s about time these two actually begin to understand one another and see karen Tendo, who is supposed to be very intelligent, do something more than secretly stalk her crush. Unfortunately I think Amano’s denseness is in for the long run. He also has quite the inferiority complex when it comes to her.
Gamers seems to be a bit of a geeky modern-day comedy or errors. There just seems to be misinterpretation after misinterpretation. Tendo thinks Amano is into Hoshinomori; Hoshinomori thinks Amano is into Uehara; Aguri thinks Uehara is into Hoshinomori and I imagine this will continue and get more complex as the episodes go on. It’s mildly comical, but I’m just wondering if this is going to go anywhere – and if we’re going to see them play any games rather than walk in on one another doing what they perceive to be compromising positions.
Gamers sets out to be a mildly entertaining show – and scores extra points if you yourself play computer games and can identify the spoofs and the varied gaming approaches and preferences. I would like a bit more actual gaming discussion so we can learn more about how the characters view games and what they mean to them. It’s something that they’ve touched on and is worth more screentime than a girl walking in on two boys enthusiastically clasping hands in an empty classroom. Here’s hoping that things pick up in the second half.